Pros & Cons of the Paleo Diet

Fresh raw salmon fillets on cutting boardSeems hardly a day goes by, that I don’t hear of someone else who’s embarked on the Whole 30 diet, or ‘gone Paleo.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Paleo trend, it’s based on the concept that you’re going back to an ancestral diet – the way Nature intended you to be eating all along.

In other words, you’re eating the way your long-ago ancestors ate prior to the introduction of agriculture.

What this translates to – is that you’re foregoing many modern foods you’ve become accustomed to eating, in particular grains, legumes, and – depending on the plan you choose to follow – an absence of potatoes, alcohol and sugar.

If that seems overwhelming to you, I’ve been hearing over and over of the positive experiences people are having.

More energy. Less inflammation. Fewer aches and pains.

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P Is For Pearl Necklace

P - PEARL NECKLACEIf you’re anything like me, you probably believe that whole grains are incredibly good for you.

I used to think so myself!

Yet I’ve come to realize that whole grains aren’t quite what they’re cracked up to be (pardon the pun).

Why?

Gluten-filled grains such as wheat – along with just about any food that’s part of the plant kingdom – have their own built-in defense system.

[Read more…]

Is Gluten Toxic?

assortment of baked breadIs Gluten Toxic?

If you have Celiac Disease, the answer to that question is yes, of course.

However, if you have a gluten-related disorder – otherwise referred to as Non-Celiac Gluten (or Wheat) Sensitivity – then gluten can be equally toxic.

In either scenario, gluten certainly is a toxin, at least to you.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t appear to have a sensitivity to gluten – that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re completely out of harms way.

Especially if you’ve yet to be diagnosed!

According to Dr. Tom O-Bryan, who refers to himself as the Gluten-Free Doc, “Everyone should be checked for a gluten sensitivity. And if you have the celiac gene, you definitely want to be checked every two years or so. You might be fine now, but at some point you will likely cross the line.

What imaginary line is he talking about?

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O Is For Osteoporosis

O - OSTEOPOROSISYou’ve heard of a Bucket List, right?

But there’s another Bucket analogy that’s also worth exploring – an overflowing bucket, if you will.

What does that image conjure for you? Does it mean you’ve gone too far? Perhaps you’ve filled the metaphorical bucket too full?

Whatever it is that you’re doing, your body can’t tolerate it anymore.

It’s communicating this to you via the only language it knows: your symptoms – and that includes autoimmune disease, osteoporosis and lots more.

Sure enough, O is for Osteoporosis!

While it might be a lesser-known aspect of gluten sensitivity, it can be just as debilitating as digestive or neurological issues. (and has nothing to do with increasing your intake of calcium!)

[Read more…]

What’s On Your Bucket List?

Overflowing bucketYou’ve heard of a Bucket List, right?

It’s a list of things you’ve always wanted to do, but never quite got around to – so in a nutshell, a Bucket List is a way of setting some goals for yourself, as far as what you’d like to accomplish in this life, before moving on.

No question, it’s an awesome idea!

(Perhaps you’ve even seen the movie by that name?)

Today I’d like to share with you a different sort of Bucket List.

It’s an analogy, if you will, a way of looking at the hand you’ve been dealt – your medical history, along with your entire life trajectory and challenges along the way.

In other words, everything that’s you led to where you are today.

So, here’s the thing.

Picture a bucket of water – with the water level stopping about two inches from the top.

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N Is For Neurological

N - NEUROLOGICALThe genes you’ve inherited are what they are, that’s true.

But did you know they come with a sort of ON/OFF switch?

Which begs the question:  Are your genes turned ON? That’s a bit of a trick question – because the genes that are in the ON position could actually be your ‘bad’ genes, as opposed to your ‘good’ ones.

How do you know the difference?

If you have an autoimmune disease – such as Celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or something else altogether – autoimmunity is known to have a genetic component, along with an Environmental Trigger. (The third leg, so to speak, being Leaky Gut).

This is WHY everything you do – from diet and exercise, how you handle stress and lots more – influences how your genes are expressed! (Science calls this epigenetics).

In other words, getting older doesn’t mean you have to get sick!

You’re not doomed to get dementia – or worse still, Alzheimer’s (something I’ve experienced close-up and personal with my mother) – just because it ‘runs in the family’.

It’s with sadness that I share with you today my mom’s recent passing. In a way it’s also fitting, because we’re now at the letter ‘N’ – as in N is for Neurological – all part of my on-going video series “A Gluten Primer, Everything You Wanted to Know From A – Z”.

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The Alzheimer’s Myth

Aging Hands SmallA few days ago, I had a conversation with a friend who was speaking of her aging mother who was showing clear signs of dementia.

She explained further, that the family had just moved her into a retirement home.

I mentioned the tendency we have, as a society, to believe this is simply what happens as we age – that it’s normal for your body to fall apart.

Or, that you might lose your mental faculties completely.

“Well, it certainly SEEMS to be increasingly normal” she said in response.

“It’s COMMON, yes” I answered, “But it’s not normal.” (I could see the ‘light bulb’ go off, as I spoke those words.)

It’s an important distinction, by the way – as you’re talking about two very different things!

Bottom line:  It’s your behaviors that matter more than anything.

By that, I mean your diet, and your lifestyle (managing stress, exercise, plenty of sleep) as well as reducing your exposure to environmental toxins as much as possible – especially in your home.

It’s NOT only about your genes! (Scientists have known this already, for close to 20 years!)

In other words, your genes do NOT determine your destiny! [Read more…]

M Is For Memory B Cells

M - MEMORY B CELLSMemories are a wonderful thing.

Whether they’re of your loved ones, a special celebration, or even an amazing meal – it’s these recollections from your past that make your life all the richer.

Does your immune system also have a memory?

You bet it does!

I share all about it in this week’s video: M is For Memory B Cells – a key player in how your immune system functions.

It’s a lot like the RAM in your computer…

Or your memory of that family picnic 30 years ago when your brother teased you & threw you in the pool…

[Read more…]

Gluten & the 80/20 Rule

Pasta on black backgroundHave you heard of the 80/20 Rule?

Also known as the Pareto principle – it’s the understanding that, in the grand scheme of things, roughly 80% of results come from just 20% of your efforts.

You can think of it in terms of economics, but it also plays out in other areas of your life. For example:

  • At home or the office – it’s usually 20% of the people, who are typically doing 80% of the work
  • It’s likely that you wear only 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time
  • If you analyze a day in your life, it’s possible that only 20% of your achievements really matter
  • In your home, you might spend the majority of your time in just 20% of the available space
  • At mealtime in Japan, a popular rule of thumb, is to stop eating when you’re 80% full

More recently, I’ve noticed a disturbing new trend – which appears to be the “80/20 Rule with a Twist”, in regard to food and nutrition.

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L Is For Leaky Gut

L - LEAKY GUTEver have days where you look in the mirror and wonder what the heck happened?

Perhaps your skin looks sallow, or blemished – and everything about you seems tired and listless.

Not to mention a new wrinkle or two!

You just.feel.OLD.

If you’re like most people, you’ve likely accepted these annoying physical changes as simply what happens as you get older.

But what if it that wasn’t the truth?

What if – your complexion, your energy, and so many aspects of your health all comes down to the health of your gut?

As in: L is for Leaky Gut!

This is #12 in my series of educational videosA Gluten Primer – Everything You Wanted to Know From A – Z”! – and as with everything in this tutorial, the conversation always comes back to gluten.

Why? Because Leaky Gut plays a KEY role in the onset of Autoimmune Disease, inflammation, and the overall health of your immune system.

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