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News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Resources offer easy-to-digest tips for gluten-free diet


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Gluten-free diets are all the rage. Visit any grocery store today and you will find a plethora of food choices labeled “gluten-free.” Bring up “gluten” in a group of people and there is a good chance someone has tried or is trying to avoid eating wheat. But is gluten-free for everyone?

Gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley, is found primarily in food but also in medicines, vitamins and even lip balms.

Certain health conditions require living without gluten. People with celiac disease, a digestive condition that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food, must completely avoid gluten. Celiac disease runs in families, is diagnosed in both children and adults and tends to occur in people with other immune disorders, such as Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune thyroiditis.

There are hundreds of possible symptoms of celiac disease, including diarrhea, weight loss, anemia and migraines. Sometimes there are no overt symptoms. Because celiac can be difficult to detect, a blood test for antibodies is needed.

Dermatitis herpetiformis, a related skin condition, also requires a gluten-free diet.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 3 million people suffer from celiac disease in the U.S., and many more are likely undiagnosed. In fact, as many as 5 to 10 percent of the population may have some sort of gluten sensitivity, even if they don’t actually have celiac disease.

Such people manifest a range of symptoms, from gastrointestinal to neurological, and often find they feel better when they avoid gluten. The only treatment for celiac is a gluten-free diet.

Eating gluten-free when you are not celiac or gluten sensitive is a controversial topic. People with normal digestion who go gluten-free may be missing important nutrients, such as fiber, B and D vitamins, calcium and iron. If you think you may have celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis or gluten sensitivity, don’t try to go gluten-free on your own. It’s important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis while you are still eating a normal diet.

Books provide advice on gluten-free living

Once you know you must stick to a gluten-free diet, learning more about how to change your lifestyle is key. Several books at Stanford Health Library may be helpful.

“Living Gluten-Free For Dummies” (Wiley, 2006) is a good place to start. This book is a great resource, offering readers a complete overview of all aspects of life without wheat, barley or rye. Author Danna Korn, a celiac patient who has been gluten-free since 1991, includes much of her personal experience in her story.

The book follows the familiar “Dummies” format, breaking the subject into easy-to-digest sections (no pun intended), including informative sidebars throughout and the popular “Part of Tens” lists of 10 helpful tips at the end. “Living Gluten-Free For Dummies” is full of recipes that sound delicious, along with information about planning meals, shopping and eating out sans gluten.

Another book that makes the prospect of living without gluten manageable, even appealing, is “Let’s Eat Out with Celiac/Coeliac & Food Allergies!: A Timeless Reference for Special Diets” (R & R, 2010). This book will make you hungry. It offers guidelines for dining gluten- and allergy-free in six cuisines: Mexican, Italian, American, Chinese, French and Thai. Also valuable are suggestions for snacks, breakfast and drinks; food preparation checklists; and airline, hotel and cruise travel tips.

Co-authors Kim Koeller and Robert La France bring their personal and professional expertise to the work. Koeller has celiac disease, along with other food allergies, and La France has extensive experience in the restaurant business. They say they write from “both sides of the table,” and their varied perspectives, as consumer and provider, make for interesting reading. Their collaboration has resulted in a series of award-winning “Let’s Eat Out”/“Gluten-Free Passport” books.

Both children and adults are diagnosed with celiac disease, so feeding a family without gluten can be especially challenging. “Incredible, Edible Gluten-Free Food for Kids: 150 Family-Tested Recipes” (Woodbine House, 2002) teaches parents how to prepare and serve gluten-free foods that children will enjoy.

Author Sheri L. Sanderson, mother of a celiac child, instructs readers on how to begin and maintain a no-gluten lifestyle. The book includes comfort food recipes that sound tasty, and Sanderson offers tips on handling social events that are important in children’s lives, like birthday parties.

The main branch of Stanford Health Library is located at Hoover Pavilion, 211 Quarry Road, Suite 201, Palo Alto. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Nancy Dickenson is head librarian at Stanford Health Library. For more information, call 725-8400 or visit healthlibrary.stanford.edu.

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