How To Find Your Path & Stick With It

Tree blocking the roadDoes this sound like you?

First of the year, you vowed to lose a few pounds – and transition to a healthier way of eating.

But nine months later, you’re exactly where you were on Day 1.

To make matters worse, you just got back from vacation – and all your health goals seemingly fell by the wayside.

You’re beyond frustrated (yet again) that you ate all this junky food and now feel like crap from the over-indulgence – too many desserts, snack foods, and alcohol.

Now you’re regretting it big-time!

Chances are your digestive system is also out of whack because you’ve been eating things you wouldn’t normally eat. You’re paying for it with daily heartburn, indigestion – and an extra 10 pounds.

All this despite your goal this year, to do at least ONE of the following:

  • Make healthier food choices
  • Transition to an anti-inflammatory diet, by removing gluten & sugar (because you know you’ll feel better)
  • Identify which foods you’re sensitive to – to help calm your immune system
  • Lose weight
  • Mange stress by focusing on self-care (e. all of the above)

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I Is for Inflammation & the Immune System

I - ICE PACK smallDid you know that May is National Celiac Awareness Month?

With that in mind, I bring you:  “I is for the Immune System & Inflammation – which we’re exploring it in depth this week.

I must admit, this is probably my favorite video in A Gluten Primer, Everything You Wanted to Know From A – Z video series!

I even bring in an Army & a Cannon! (Yes really – an Army).

But what is the connection, you might ask? And what does Gluten Sensitivity have to do with your Immune System & inflammation?

Whether Celiac Disease or another autoimmune condition (Hashimoto’s anyone?), gluten sensitivity, food sensitivities in general, or life-threatening allergies – even heart disease – your immune system is involved each and every time.

How do you know if gluten is a problem for you?

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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.

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

gluten free word with wood backgroundAre any of these symptoms common for you? (You might even know others who do.)

  • 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!

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 additional 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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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)

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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.

[Read more…]

10 Americans – A Gem of a Video

Pile of PancakesTruth be told, this isn’t a story about pancakes but bear with me here.

Because there actually IS a large pancake stack in this wonderful video I’m sharing with you today – titled “10 Americans“).

As you may know by know, I’ve done a considerable amount of training with an Environmental Toxins Expert – learning as much as I can about the home environment in particular and the many little things we can do to create change.

As a former interior designer, with an eye on Green Design – this is right up my alley!

As I’ve also shared in recent weeks, it’s SO important to broaden the conversation beyond calories and exercise and  food sensitivities, so we’re not just talking about these things – but also understanding how other things in your environment can affect your weight, and your health in general.

For example – did you know that the average female consumer uses a dozen personal care products every day (which may, or may not contain gluten)? And that those products alone, contain in the neighborhood of 168 different chemicals?

(Men use about half as many products – containing 85 different chemicals, or so.)

Either way you look at it, that’s a lot!

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3 Common Myths of Environmental Toxins

GMOThere are lots of myths out there about environmental toxins, detoxing, and whether or not it’s even a necessary thing to worry about.

So, let’s jump right in and discuss these, one by one. (and be sure to check out the Special Invite at the very end...)

 

MYTH #1

My Body Is Designed to Rid Itself of Toxins – Without Any Help From Me

This particular myth is, in part, true.

Your body is designed to detoxify it’s internal environment, and it accomplishes this task through various specific pathways:

  • Your Skin (i.e. sweat)
  • Your Digestive tract (i.e. elimination)
  • Your Kidneys
  • Your Liver

In fact, your liver is the powerhouse for the entire detoxification process.

However, it’s also where things can go wrong.

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Is Giving Up Gluten the Key to Weight Loss?

CautionlHave you been swept up in the first-of-the-year battle to lose weight?

Perhaps this has been a year-long struggle for you, but post holidays you’re not only 10 pounds heavier – you’re also bloated and still suffering from indigestion, due to all your holiday indulgences.

Given this common scenario, it’s no surprise that come January 1, a lot of people jump on the weight loss bandwagon.

The media will tell you that weight gain is all about calories and exercise and I’m here to tell you that just isn’t true.

The thing is, I’d like to see you actually lose weight this year!

And also banish those tummy troubles (instead of just talking about it).

Are you up for that?

If you’ve recently vowed that this is the year you’ll finally lose those extra pounds – welcome on board!

However, if you’ve also been told that the only sure-fire way to lose weight is to stop eating gluten, let me break this down for you.

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3 Surprising Things In Your Home That Are Making You Fat – Part II

Gal Toiletries SmallIs your skin cream making you fat?

I pose that question partly in jest but the truth is, yes it can!

In a nutshell, it has to do with chemicals in your environment,  that are considered “obesogenic”.

And it has nothing to do with food! (You can read Part I of this article here.)

To recap, remember we have three pathways to consider:

  • Ingestion
  • Absorption
  • Inhalation

I covered Ingestion in Part I, and you can read that article here.

This week, I’ll explore the remaining two pathways – Absorption and Inhalation – plus I’ll leave you with a few tips you can incorporate right away.

So let’s dive in!

 

ABSORPTION – Toiletries & Cosmetics

Chemicals like BPA and PFOA (which I covered in Part I) aren’t just limited to food containers and cookware.

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