The Window Screen In Your Gut – A Gluten Analogy

Bread CrustDoes this sound familiar?

You’ve recently eliminated several foods from your diet – things like gluten, dairy or even eggs – because you know you’re sensitive to them.

And you’re eating other foods instead.

Maybe you’re even eating a lot of these other foods – they’re ‘safe’ after all.

And the next thing you know, you’ve become sensitive to THOSE foods.

What the heck is going on?

Is this just a part of getting older? Or is there a better explanation?

Let me share with you my favorite analogy.

If you think of your average window screen, its job is to keep bugs and gnats out of your home – letting in only the good stuff. (The ‘good stuff’ being fresh air!)

However, what happens when there are holes in that window screen?

Next thing you know, a mosquito or two will be buzzing about your head or maybe even a larger insect.

Now compare this to what might be going on in your digestive tract.

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What Is The Trade-Off?

Egg & ChickAre you committed to eating a healthy diet?

If so, you already know that being a diligent label reader is helpful.

When you add a special dietary protocol to the mix, it becomes all the more crucial. Whether you’re contemplating a gluten-free diet – or you’re  already gluten-free – rest assured that it quickly becomes second nature, as you become ever mindful that gluten can often be sneaky – showing up where you’d least expect it.

At the same time, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword! What not-so-great choices could you be making instead?

What is the trade-off?

Let me share what I mean.

Back when I first became gluten-free, I started eating a lot more eggs. I was baking my own gluten-free bread, and the standard recipe called for three or four eggs per loaf – and since eggs are gluten-free, I thought nothing of it.

At least once a week, we’d have omelets for dinner – or even breakfast. On occasion, I’d even whip up a soufflé. (Sounds fancy, I know, but soufflés are actually pretty easy to make).

Then almond meal hit the market, and it seemed like a wonderful alternative to gluten-free flours.

Being an almond lover myself, I was ecstatic!

In a given week, I poured almond milk on my breakfast cereal and snacked on almonds by the handful. And before I knew it,  I started experiencing many of the symptoms I’d had BEFORE going gluten-free.

What was that all about?

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Got No Willpower?

A bowl of mixed salad with a tape measure for healthy eatingWhen it comes to tempting treats – do you firmly believe you have zero willpower?

Are you convinced this lack of control mean you’re deficient as a human being?

Or equally bad, that there’s something terribly wrong with you?

Well, here’s the good news: there might be a perfectly logical explanation for your apparent ‘lack of willpower’!

And it all comes back to your diet and the state of your digestion.

Let me explain.

On a deep, physiological level, it’s possible that your body isn’t absorbing the nutrients it needs, and this can happen for a number of reasons.

The most common ones would be a poor diet, or a flawed digestive system – either one of which can lead to a leaky gut.

Not to mention a host of other problems – including nutrient deficiency! (You could literally bestarving– and not even know it.)

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5 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Skin

Gal Toiletries SmallDid you know that your skin is your largest organ?

It’s also your body’s #1 defense against the outside world.

Back in the early days when I first went gluten-free, I attended a lecture that was geared toward gluten-free folks like you and me.

The presenter was very insistent that there was no need to be concerned about putting gluten-containing products on our skin.

He said it was virtually impossible for gluten in skin care products to be a problem – because we weren’t ingesting it.

At the time, I thought it made sense.

But guess what?

He was wrong!

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Are You Eating Backwards?

Dining OutManners aside, I’d never given much thought to whether I was eating “correctly” while growing up.

Meals were served to me three times a day, and I ate them dutifully.

This didn’t change much until 7th Grade, when I took my first Home Economics class.

(Back in those days, it was a requirement for all female students).

That’s when I first learned there were RULES to eating food.

Things like – it’s important to vary color throughout a meal, so you should never serve a meal that is “all-white” like chicken, white rice and cauliflower.

(I like to think that those first lessons on color have served me well as an interior designer).

We also learned the importance of including the four food groups at every meal – meat, dairy, grains, plus fruit and vegetables.

(My, how that one has changed!)

This was my introduction to the basics of nutrition, and many years later those early lessons have served me well.

However, the older I get, not only do the basic rules keep shifting, but new ones are introduced all the time.

For example, I now know that it’s perfectly OK to avoid dairy – even though it’s one of the basic food groups.

In fact, if you continue to eat the food you’re actually allergic to, chances are you will be… [Read more…]

Celebrate Your Sensitivity

Woman with her arms wide openLet me ask you a question.

Has the following thought crossed your mind in recent weeks, while celebrating the holidays?

“I wish I could eat whatever I want – gluten included – and not have it impact my body!”

OK, let’s be honest here.

While that would be good news indeed, for most of us it isn’t the reality, is it?

Sure, it would be great – fantastic, even – to be able to eat gluten-containing foods again, but at the same time, doesn’t your body feel really good based on what you’ve chosen to eat instead?

I, for one, am not even wishing for a cure.

Why?

As daunting as it might be (especially in the beginning) the most impressive thing about Celiac Disease (and it’s sister condition “Non-Celiac Gluten-Sensitivity”) is that better health requires nothing more than changing your diet.

There are no medications to take. (Seriously – this is a good thing!)

No surgery is required.

Which is why I’m suggesting that you jump up and celebrate your sensitivity this holiday season.

Because being sensitive is NOT a bad thing!

Let me explain what I mean.

 

Sensitivity 101

When you react to something – whether it’s something you ate, or something in the environment – it’s your body’s way of communicating with you.

In short, your immune system only kicks in when it’s been triggered.

So, while you might feel uncomfortable in the moment – because of a headache, stomachache or other discomfort brought on by the offender – it’s only because your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.

It’s trying to protect you!

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Are Your Kids Missing School?

Allergy ConceptNot too long ago, a friend of mine mentioned that her two-year old grandson had been extremely sick over the past few months.

The poor little guy had been in and out of our local Children’s Hospital, subjected to one test after another.

But there was still no clear diagnosis.

Eventually, his doctors began to suspect that the real culprit was the new carpet recently installed in the family’s home.

As shocking as this might seem, the truth is things like this happen all the time.

Here’s something else that might surprise you:

Asthma in children is on the rise, resulting in a lot of missed school days. (According to the latest statistics, more than 25 million people are affected!)

The culprit?

Once again, these statistics can be traced directly to toxins in the environment, in this case a group of chemicals commonly referred to as VOC’s.

That stands for Volatile Organic Compounds  – even the word volatile sounds scary, doesn’t it?

You know how, when food has gone bad, it typically has a rather awful smell?

Well, think of VOC’s as being the household equivalent to rotten food.

Just as you wouldn’t eat food that has obviously seen better days – you really don’t want to surround yourself with toxins that poison the air you breathe, do you?

(According to recent studies, indoor air pollution can actually be 50% worse than outdoor air).

That’s why paying attention to your child’s sleep environment is such a great place to start!

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