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

HedbergWEB Color KK32 CROPA few days ago, a friend whom I hadn’t seen in awhile exclaimed that I looked about 20.

Of course, I was pleasantly surprised and secretly quite pleased – to hear this.

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.

Of course, I don’t think I really look like a 20 year old. (When I look in the mirror, I’m as critical as the next person).

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What You Know In Your Gut

What is your body telling you?We all know about gut instinct.

It’s that inner compass that guides you day in and day out – even when you choose to disregard it’s message.

Most of the time, it’s ‘spot on’ – helping you determine whether something might be harmful to you, or not – be it another person, a situation, or even the foods you choose to eat.

You can either honor that innate directive in the moment it occurs or ignore it completely.

All to often you might choose the latter – despite knowing, on a gut level that you really ought to pay attention!

The thing is, you have a direct gut-brain connection in your body – with these two seemingly distinct entities constantly in communication with each other.

Yet while your thinking brain knows how to separate fact from fiction – the brain in your gut (literally your 2nd brain) doesn’t have that ability.

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

gluten free word with wood backgroundDo 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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Mimics, Marauders & Masqueraders

Tragicomic Theater Masks. Sad and Smile masksDo you sometimes feel like there’s a lot of drama going on in your body?

With Halloween just two weeks away, it seems like the perfect time to explore this drama in greater depth, since these so-called mimics, marauders and masqueraders are present 24/7.

Yes, you read that correctly.

You see, even though your body is beautifully designed to deal with these pranksters at a moment’s notice, sometimes your immune system does make mistakes.

Or rather, we think of them as mistakes, but in all actuality, your immune system is simply doing what it’s designed to do.

And that is to protect you.

So, 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.

And the immune system gets confused.

Let me explain.

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The Window Screen In Your Gut

Bread CrustDoes this sound familiar?

You’ve recently eliminated several foods from your diet – such as gluten or dairy – knowing that 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?

Well, here’s an analogy I think you’ll like.

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 if 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 your digestive tract.

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Are Your Genes Talking to You?

WheatDid you know that your genes are constantly talking to you?

Not only that, you’re also talking to your genes through every choice you make, and every decision.

Especially when it comes to diet and lifestyle!

How’s that even possible?

Truth is, you can’t change the genes that you were born with.

However, you do have the ability to control how your genes are “expressed”.

What does that mean?

Throughout a typical day, the foods you choose to eat, the amount of sleep or exercise you get and any number of things that you might be exposed to, are signaling to your genes.

They’re having a conversation.

And these signals, or triggers, are either turning your genes “on” – or “off”.

Pretty cool, huh?

But what does this have to do with the health of your gut, not to mention your sensitivity to gluten and other foods?

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Is Gluten Toxic?

assortment of baked breadThe bigger question, of course, is “Do you have Celiac Disease?”

Or, “Do you have a gluten-related disorder, most often referred to as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity – or Gluten Intolerance?”

Did you answer “yes” to either question?

In that case, 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 off the hook.

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.

Why is that?

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Is There A Frat Party In Your Gut?

Teen girl with bellyacheTruth be told, while I’ve been to a number of Frat Parties in my day, I never actually drank the beer.

That’s because I never acquired a taste for it – not even to this day.

(As you can imagine, I was the life of the party.)

Perhaps this was my body’s way of telling me that gluten wasn’t my friend – long before I knew the first thing about Celiac Disease or gluten-sensitivity.

As you likely know, Frat parties have a reputation for being a bit on the wild side, with lots of drinking and misbehavior.

So, what does a Frat Party in your gut look like?

The key word, here, is “misbehavior”.

With that in mind, let me share with you 3 things I’ve learned about my own body over the past year:

  • Yeast Overgrowth

Sounds like a Frat Party for sure, doesn’t it?

Well, here’s the thing.

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Shooting Yourself In The Foot

Last week, I accompanied a friend to a doctor’s appointment.

My role was official note taker.

As luck would have it, the discussion came around to the subject of gluten – even though this was far removed from the initial purpose of our visit.

In reviewing some of the lab work and test results, the doctor made some key observations and suddenly announced that my friend was likely highly sensitive to gluten.

When I heard the word “gluten” my ears instantly perked up.

I couldn’t help it.

I suddenly found myself glued to every word the doctor was saying, and felt incredibly grateful for this unique opportunity to hear his take on managing food allergies.

I particularly loved the following analogy.

The doctor compared the human body to a used vehicle, traveling along the Road of Life.

Along the way, he said, we encounter many potholes especially once we’ve reached a certain point in our lives. Having an autoimmune disease like Celiac Disease, or gluten sensitivity, is one of those potholes.

Which is why our bodies need to be properly maintained and require the occasional tune-ups – just like a car.

Understandably, the doctor was quite insistent that my friend completely eliminate gluten from her diet.

“Otherwise,” he said, “You are shooting yourself in the foot.”

Those words really stayed with me. It was a much-needed reminder that it was time to revisit any bad habits I might have picked up along the way.

Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

For anyone who has ever dealt with a medical issue or two, on this so-called Road of Life, how many of us have gone into denial after the initial diagnosis?

How many of us have been told not to eat certain foods, yet we eat them anyway, telling ourselves that one little bite can’t hurt?

Well, the sad truth is, you’ve just ‘shot yourself in the foot’.

When we consume a food that our body is sensitive to, our autoimmune and nervous systems are suddenly placed on high alert.

The immune system, in particular, goes into full fight mode, trying to rid itself of the intruder.

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If you’ve been doing your homework, you already know that beer traditionally contains gluten.

That’s because regular beer is made from barley, or hops, which is a big no-no for anyone on a gluten-free diet. If you are a beer drinker and have recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease you might be in despair.

If you also love pizza, and believe you can’t live without the combination of pizza and beer, rest assured you don’t have to give up either one.

Gluten-free beers are made from sorghum, a safe grain for anyone living a gluten-free lifestyle.

As it happens, I’m not a beer drinker myself, yet a friend of mine recently handed me this bottle across the table when we met for lunch.

She’d spotted it in a store and bought it – just for me.

I wasn’t sure what to say.

Our other friends at the table asked “Do you drink beer?”

“No” I said, meekly.

I never have – I just don’t care for it.

However, for those of you who DO drink beer, this is one of several options for you. Gluten-free beers are now readily available in most supermarkets, or specialty food stores.

Try it. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Postscript:  Since I took the beer home for my husband, he suggested that I at least try a small sip. I hesitated, then agreed on the condition he finish the bottle if I didn’t like it.

I’m happy to report that Yours Truly did take a sip, while trying very hard not to scrunch up my nose in anticipation of the taste.

I’ll let you guess who drank the remainder.