Are You Vulnerable?

Weakest LinkGrowing up, I thought I was fairly invincible.

This would explain the concussion at age 8, from falling off my bike. (I was trying to stand on the handle bars).

It would also explain the ski accident four years later that put me in a cast for several months.

(While you might still find me on the slopes, I’ve never again skied downhill quite so fast).

When it came to food, I thought I had an ‘iron stomach’.

I was extremely proud of the fact that I could eat pretty much anything.

Fast forward a good many years, and things have definitely changed. In fact, the older I get, the more vulnerable I seem to be.

How did that happen? Perhaps you’ve even noticed this in yourself – and your seemingly ‘sudden’ sensitivities to gluten, and other foods – which have led you to a somewhat restricted diet.

Why would the foods you’ve always loved – and have eaten all your life – no longer agree with you?

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V Is For Villous Atrophy

V - VILLOUS ATROPHYOK, I admit it – I live in a bubble of sorts.

The bubble I speak of revolves around Functional Medicine, which is always focused on learning the root cause of your illness – versus a conventional approach, which only looks at symptoms.

Looking at your body as a whole makes perfect sense to me.

After all, it’s made up of closely interconnected parts – including your immune system, your neuroendocrine system and so forth.

First and foremost is your Digestive System.

This last one, alone, is typically at the root of whatever ails you – with the usual dietary culprits being Dairy, Sugar, and Gluten.

It’s what I focus on throughout A Gluten Primer – Everything You Wanted to Know From A-Z – although I also share plenty about your immune system, leaky gut and lots, lots more.

But why gluten – specifically?

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How to Look 20, When You’re Well Past 50 (60, Even)

HedbergPhoto3KK10FBFULLA while back, a friend whom I hadn’t seen in awhile exclaimed that I looked about 20.

Of course, I didn’t believe her. (When I look in the mirror, I’m as critical as the next person).

But I was pleasantly surprised and secretly quite pleased to hear this.

Who wouldn’t be, right?

After all, it isn’t exactly easy to pass for 40 years younger than your actual age!

“What about my gray hair?” I asked her, thinking that was a dead give-away.

She brushed that aside, saying it didn’t mean a whole lot.

Well, OK then.

The thing is, this wasn’t an isolated incident – which, to be perfectly honest, leaves me a bit baffled..

People want to know “What’s your secret?” – and while I might not be sure initially, when I think about the work I’m doing, and how I live my life, I realize – that’s the secret right there!

What I teach, after all – is a lifestyle.

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

Gluten free words - tag cloud illustrationTake a look at the list of symptoms below.

Are any of them common for you – or even someone else you know?

  • 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

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

They’re common, yes – but common and normal are NOT the same thing! It’s an important distinction, and one I like to stress – at every opportunity!

Here’s another thing I like to stress:

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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.

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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…]

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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H is For Hashimoto’s

H- HASHIMOTO'S 2A Gluten Primer, Everything You Wanted to Know From A – Z – continues – this week, we’re all the way up to “H is for Hashimoto’s”. (Click here for the full video series and tutorial).

But wait – is the conversation still about gluten?

You bet!

Keep in mind that Hashimoto’s (which has to do with your thyroid) and Celiac Disease are BOTH autoimmune conditions – with gluten being the #1 Environmental Trigger across the board!

If you have any kind of autoimmune disease – a gluten-filled diet is not your friend.

Here’s what else you need to know:

  • Autoimmune disease means your Immune System is in overdrive (it’s attacking your body)
  • It’s possible to reverse your symptoms entirely!
  • Implementing an anti-inflammatory, gluten-free diet is key

How do you know if gluten is a problem for you? You pay close attention to how  your body is communicating with you – meaning all those signs & symptoms, be it digestive complaints, neurological issues (numbness & tingling in your fingers or toes, foggy thinking), headaches or migraines, aches & pains throughout your body, weight gain and more.

Hint: Even though Celiac disease affects only 1 in 6 people – Gluten Sensitivity is known to be 6-20 times MORE common. Which means you might not be as lucky as you think. Knowing where you fall on this spectrum for gluten intolerance is key to managing your long-term health – & can’t be stressed enough. [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!

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E is for Environmental Triggers

E - ENVIRONMENTALThere’s a lot of talk these days about the environment – be it lead in our water, endangered wildlife or polluted air.

Some of these Environmental Triggers even come from your food!

They could be in the form of chemical additives or preservatives found in processed foods – or simply your body’s inability to tolerate a food such as gluten, or dairy.

In either scenario, your body views the offender as toxic!

This, in turn, triggers your immune system – in an all-out assault to rescue you from these harmful invaders.

That’s it in a nutshell – but I dive into much greater detail in my new video series “A Gluten Primer, Everything You Wanted to Know From A – Z” (complete with accompanying tutorial)!:

If your goal is to minimize your symptoms and turn your health around – it all starts with what you’re putting into your body.

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