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…]

Are You Losing Your Mind?

AlzheimerDo you ever have days where you’re feeling super forgetful?

Like not remembering the name of your favorite book, or movie, or that ‘thingy’ you’ve been meaning to buy for weeks – what was that called again?

Maybe you’ve realized that the lines have blurred over the sequence leading up to an event that – even though it happened years ago, used to be so clear in your mind.

A ‘Brian Williams’ moment, if you will.

Then again, maybe you’re thinking one thing, but the words don’t come out quite right.

What the heck is that all about?

Are you losing your mind?

[Read more…]

Is Your Immune System Attacking You?

Thyroid Word CloudDo you have days when your body seems like a bit of a drama queen?

Perhaps you were sick with the flu, you’ve been fighting a migraine, or you’re feeling sore and achy all over for no particular reason. Other days, it might seem that you’re no longer able to tolerate the foods you used to eat with abandon – you’re dealing with a major case of indigestion and you’re carrying around an extra twenty pounds (that you can’t seem to lose, no matter what you eat).

Does any of this sound familiar?

I call these on-going annoyances “mimics, marauders and masqueraders” – because that’s basically what they are – but what I’d really like you to take away from this, is that it’s an important part of your immune system and how it functions.

The good news is that your immune system is beautifully designed to deal with these pranksters at a moment’s notice, and it’s exactly that on your behalf so 24/7 – even though it might seem at times that your body is working against you.

Sometimes your immune system DOES get confused. However, even though you might think it’s making a mistake, the reality is that it’s simply doing what it’s designed to do – protect you. Consider too, that 70% of your immune system is in your gutBut because it’s inside, and you can’t see it, and you can’t necessarily feel it – you’re not at all aware that anything is wrong.

The symptoms are often subtle.

What’s really happening, though, is that some of these invaders are actually very clever,  mimicking or masquerading as something other than what they really are.

Let me explain.

 

Cross-Reactivity

As you may already know, gluten is a family of proteins found in wheat and is therefore present in any foods that are made from wheat – although it can sometimes appear in other guises, as well.

[Read more…]

Why Is Gluten Such a Big Deal?

Gluten free words - tag cloud illustrationHave you seen all the gluten-free foods these days?

It seems like a brand new thing but really, gluten-free foods have been around for while. Go into any grocery store today and you’ll see whole sections dedicated to shelf after shelf of gluten-free breads, cookies, cereals and lots more.

It’s literally an explosion of products, the majority of which didn’t exist five or ten years ago.

So what gives?

Is this gluten-free trend just another fad? And why should you even consider taking gluten out to begin with?

 

What’s the big deal?

Gluten is a unique protein, which can be broken down further into smaller proteins, or peptides. The most common of these proteins is referred to as alpha gliadin – or gliadin, for short. But there are many others!

Sidenote: This happens to be one of the BIGGEST problems when it comes to accurate testing, the issue being that most labs are ONLY looking at gliadin – when there are hundreds of other peptides you could be reacting to. That’s why Wheat Zoomer has become my go-to test for accurate results!

[Read more…]

Is Removing Gluten Always The Answer?

Celiac Disease concept. Book with stethoscope and pills.Should you remove gluten from your diet? (I get asked this question a lot).

The short answer is “It depends”.

What do I mean by this? In a nutshell, it depends on what’s going on in your body.

It depends on the signs and symptoms you’re experiencing.

And it also depends on your test results!

Of course, if your tests come back negative, then you’re in the clear – at least for the time being – more on that later.

But it’s super important that you get the RIGHT tests!

You don’t want to stop there, either.

[Read more…]

The Myth of Weight Gain & What To Do About It

Calories LetterpressAre you swept up, once again, in the first-of-the-year weight-loss battle?

Post holidays, it’s not uncommon to be 5-10 pounds heavier than you were two weeks ago and frustrated (yet again) that yet another year has passed where you ate all this junky food and are feeling like crap from all the over-indulgence.

Chances are you’re also thinking about what to do to start losing that weight. (It’s why Gym memberships EXPLODE during January.) You’re going to start seeing all these Detox and Cleanse programs – with the emphasis on exercising more and reducing calories.

While that’s all well & good, there’s also an elephant in the room!

What if I told you that your struggles to lose weight aren’t so much about how much you’re eating, but rather WHAT you’re eating? And that the chemicals and other irritants in your environment can also have an enormous impact on your weight!

What’s toxic to your body?

If your normal diet is gluten-free, (maybe dairy-free as well) and you veered off that path, that alone can get you off track.

But maybe you didn’t stray. Maybe you did everything ‘right’ –  yet you still baked, and ate your share of seemingly safe holiday treats. In that case, you might simply have eaten more refined gluten-free flours and starches than you would normally eat, and are now feeling bloated and out of sorts. (Not to mention the additives and preservatives typically found in processed foods – whether gluten-free or not).

Add to this a simmering cocktail of chemicals like BPA found in plastic storage containers, water bottles, and store receipts! (you’ve likely read about this offender in the news)

[Read more…]

Are You Losing Your Mind?

AlzheimerDo you ever have days where you’re feeling super forgetful?

Like not remembering the name of your favorite book, or movie, or that ‘thingy’ you’ve been meaning to buy for weeks – what was that called again?

Maybe you’ve realized that the lines have blurred over the sequence leading up to an event that – even though it happened years ago, used to be so clear in your mind.

A ‘Brian Williams’ moment, if you will.

Then again, maybe you’re thinking one thing, but the words don’t come out quite right.

What the heck is that all about?

Are you losing your mind?

[Read more…]

Mimics, Marauders & Masqueraders

Comedy and tragedyEver feel like there’s a lot of drama happening in your body?

I call these mimics, marauders and masqueraders. They’re present 24/7. The good news is that your immune system is beautifully designed to deal with these pranksters at a moment’s notice, through the.

However, sometimes your immune system gets confused. You might think it’s making a mistake, but the reality is that it’s simply doing what it’s designed to do – protect you. What’s really happening here is that some of these invaders are actually very clever,  mimicking or masquerading as something other than what they really are.

Let me explain.

 

Cross-Reactivity

As you may already know, gluten is a family of proteins found in wheat and is therefore present in any foods that are made from wheat – although it can sometimes appear in other guises, as well.

[Read more…]

3 More Environmental Toxin Myths Debunked

Composition with plastic bottles of mineral waterThere are lots of myths circulating about environmental toxicants, detoxing, and whether or not it’s even a necessary thing to worry about.

You can read Part I of this conversation here.

I like to be thorough, if nothing else – leaving no stone unturned!

 

 

MYTH #4 – I’ve Already Switched to BPA-Free Plastic

That’s wonderful – you’re already ahead of the curve!

Unfortunately, I fell for the exact same marketing spin when I first learned about BPA in plastic.

I went out and bought all new plastic containers – looking for the tell-tale stickers that said “BPA-Free”.

I thought I was safe.

But guess what?

Manufacturers are smart. They know to replace BPA with something else – other chemicals with names like BPF, or BPS.

[Read more…]

5 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Skin

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

Not only that, it’s also your body’s #1 defense against the outside world. And it gets more fascinating still – since you have both an outside skin, and an inside skin. (That inside skin covers things like your digestive tract and your respiratory system – not necessarily something you would think about)

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!

While it’s true that we don’t ingest our toiletries or cosmetics – whatever we put on our skin can get absorbed.

And that’s important!

[Read more…]