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!

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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.

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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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The Book Of You

USA, J¸dische Familie im ExilA few years back, I wrote this.

The idea behind it was that all the bits and pieces of your life get woven not only into your memories, but also the very fabric of your home – using color, shape, furnishings and mementos to paint a picture – instead of words.

What I’ve come to realize, is that those same bits and pieces – indeed, the entire story of your life in all its shame and glory – has a huge impact on your health.

No matter how much you might try to deny it, these various threads of your life nonetheless parallel and influence each other – starting at birth, and continuing undiminished, until you take your last breath.

In short, everything matters!

Every bite you choose to eat, every action you take, every significant person who’s crossed your path – to the soup of environmental chemicals you might be exposed to along the way or how you manage stress.

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What’s On Your Bucket List?

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

That list of things you’ve always wanted to do, but never quite got around to?

In a nutshell, a Bucket List is a way of setting some goals for yourself, namely what you’d like to accomplish in this life, before moving on.

And 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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Is Removing Gluten Always the Answer?

gluten free word with wood backgroundShould you remove gluten from your diet?

I get asked this question a lot.

And the short answer is “It depends”.

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!

And you don’t want to stop there, either.

[Read more…]

Celiac Disease & Gluten-Sensitivity – Should You Be Tested?

CautionlDo you regularly experience any of these symptoms?

  • Digestive Complaints
  • Cramps, Bloating or Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Sinus Congestion
  • Joint Pain
  • Rash or Itching
  • Insomnia
  • Chemical Sensitivity
  • Memory Loss
  • Osteoporosis
  • Weight Gain
  • Mood Swings

Perhaps you know others who do?

While this list is by no means comprehensive, the thing to note is that NONE of these symptoms are NORMAL!

It’s also why it’s critically important to take a closer look at what you’re eating – and to know whether you have Celiac Disease – or non-celiac Gluten sensitivity.

While food sensitivities would also be great to test for, you want to rule out gluten first and foremost.

Here’s why:

Gluten-Related Disorders are known to be the cause behind almost every disease, or symptom within the human body – neurological disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, – especially anything related to your thyroid – plus common age-related diseases such as osteoporosis.

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Going Gluten-Free? Don’t Make This Mistake!

PackagesDo you know what most people do, once they receive a diagnosis for Celiac Disease – or it’s better known cousin, Non-Celiac-Gluten-Sensitivity?

They go shopping, of course.

And that’s perfectly understandable.

For most of us, the first inclination is to purchase suitable replacements for everything we’re used to eating.

Things that include:

  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Cereal

 After all, a girls gotta eat, right?

Then again, a number of people have been known to go into a sort of hibernation – dreading that first trip to the market.

Instead, they focus on foods that are naturally gluten-free – things like nuts and seeds, all manner of fruits and vegetables, dairy (if permitted), eggs (again, if permitted), meat and poultry, legumes and a few safe grains.

And you know what?

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Let’s Chew On This

Bread CrustDid your grandmother (or a parent) ever admonish you to adequately chew your food?

(In my husband’s family, his grandmother had a hard and fast rule to chew each bite exactly 33 times).

Well, it turns out your grandmother was right!

Chewing your food thoroughly is a critical part of the digestive process, priming your stomach and your digestive juices for the task ahead.

Not only that, this entry point – i.e. your mouth – is also where the Gut-Brain connection happens.

Translation – your gut and your brain are so closely connected, that the gut is often referred to as your “second brain”.

In fact, proper chewing does all of the following for your body:

  • Helps to eliminate gas and bloating (gluten sensitivity, anyone?)
  • Helps to eliminate abdominal pain
  • Helps to reduce the load on the rest of your digestive system
  • Actually helps with weight loss!


Are you curious about the last one?

Properly chewing your food can actually help with weight loss (and weight maintenance) simply because you’ll end up feeling satisfied on less food!

So, here’s the thing.
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Is Your Brain Working?

BrainWhat are you reading these days?

This past week, I’ve been immersed in a book called “Why Isn’t My Brain Working?” by Datis Kharrazian, DHS.

Recommended to me by my nutritionist, it’s proven to be an excellent read!

Of course, there are all kinds of reasons why you’re brain might not be functioning at top speed, and undetected Celiac Disease or food sensitivities are certainly among them.

That’s why I’m especially enjoying the chapters on Gluten Sensitivity – and the Gut-Brain Axis.

The former includes an extensive breakdown of the appropriate tests your doctor needs to run before ruling out anything.

Cause here’s the thing:

If your doctor only tests you for Celiac Disease, you could still be highly sensitive to gluten and not know it.

Also, did you know that a gluten reaction could show up just as easily in the brain as the stomach?

The good news is that a qualified medical professional will know to look for this, so you want to make extra sure that you’re in good hands.