I ran across this video today from Jimmy Kimmel Live asking people why they hate gluten. Do you think they could answer correctly? Check it out below:
So here comes the problem...some people are bashing gluten and going gluten-free but have no idea why! While it is a good thing to eliminate gluten in your diet for many people, it really helps to understand why. So I am here to save the day for those who are gluten-free but not sure how to explain it! If you want people to take your gluten-free lifestyle seriously, you really need to know how to back it up. Most people know that it makes them feel poopy when they eat it (literally), but that's not enough. You need to know WHAT in the HECK it is and not get caught off guard like the peeps in the video above.
So here we go: Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains like barley, rye and spelt. Gluten is the magic that helps bread rise and keep its shape. For those with Celiac Disease (an auto-immune disorder) and those with gluten sensitivity/intolerance, these proteins can cause all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms ranging from bloating and gas to diarrhea and more. It isn't pretty and it sure isn't fun.
To get more scientifical (that's a word, right?)... Gliadin is one of the proteins found in wheat. For one with Celiac, this little protein literally causes the immune system to attack the bowel tissue. It causes villous atrophy, which is the erosion of the nutrient-absorbing villi that line the small intestine. And by the way, did you know your small intestine is WAY longer than your large intestine? True story.
So is bread the only place we are exposed to gluten? Heck no. Gluten is found in personal care products, vitamins, medication and some brands of French fries, hot dogs, soy sauce and even hot chocolate. So be weary if you see a product labeled "Wheat Free" as this doesn't mean gluten-free. There could be barley, rye or spelt instead.
Hope this helps to get the basic understanding of what gluten is and how to pass the test if Jimmy Kimmel decides to interview YOU about your GF lifestyle!
When eating clean, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice having sweet treats of goodness! I think that is a misconception many people have. But I am here to tell you, you can eat healthy and actually enjoy it! I wanted to share one of the 5 different protein ball recipes that are in my Winter Clean Eating Program. These are gluten and dairy free and loaded with superfoods that are excellent for your body. Hope you enjoy!
Makes 8-12 balls, or bars
6 tablespoons Sunbutter
4 tablespoons cacao (or unsweetened cocoa)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, chia seeds OR almond meal (I used almond meal with these in the picture)
1 scoop pea protein or hemp protein (if you don't have this, just leave out)
1 tablespoon raw honey (local, if possible)
pinch of sea salt
water (as needed)
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir and slowly add water until you get the desired consistency of your ball (about 6 tablespoons, or less).
Mold the dough into little balls and place them on a cookie sheet or parchment paper. If you want to make bars, place in a square pan and spread evenly and sprinkle coconut on top. For balls, roll each one into a bowl of shredded coconut. You may also want to dust them with more cacao for an extra boost of antioxidants! Eat these right away or freeze them for 10-15 minutes. Store in a cool place if you don't eat them all!
Today I want to share further information about cleanse, detox,
toxins, clean eating and the basics of an elimination diet.
I get asked these questions often and want to help you understand what all this really means for you and your health.
What is the difference between a cleanse and a detox?
Both detox and cleanse focus on bringing your body into perfect
balance, or homeostasis, where the organs self-regulate to keep the body’s internal environment stable.
A detox focuses on releasing toxicity from metals, chemicals found in cleaning products, cigarette smoke, food and drink, etc. from the body, sometimes from specific organs and/or the blood stream.
A cleanse focuses mainly on cleansing the organs on a deeper level and removing unwanted wastes that accumulate in the colon, digestive tract, and liver that can lead to disease or gut imbalances such as candida, parasites and unwanted pathogens.
In my Winter Clean Eating Program, Eat to Nourish, we are combining the principles of both a detox and a cleanse. Often a cleanse goes deeper into the organs and can include some fasting or a liquid diet for a short amount of time, but I do not believe you need to take this approach to get results. We are ditching the fasting, the pills, and the powders, and focusing instead on improving your digestion. You will only eat whole, seasonal foods that are designed to support your body’s natural processes of detoxification and cleansing.
What is a toxin?
A toxin is any substance that can be harmful to the body, causing allergies, intolerances, sensitivities, bloating, digestive upset, or an overall feeling of sickness. These can be from eating harmful foods, using toxic loaded personal care products and even the air we breathe. You cannot escape toxins
permanently, but you can work to cleanse/detox your system from them.
What is clean eating?
This is a phrase that has become very popular in the past five years. Clean eating is a way of life. By avoiding foods that are processed or refined, which may contain nitrates, chemicals, and pesticides, you reduce your exposure to free radicals that can harm your system and cause disease. By choosing ingredients in their most natural, whole state, including clean animal- or plant- based proteins, and preparing them in healthy fats, you reduce inflammation in your body, balance your pH levels, and improve vitality.
What is an elimination diet?
An elimination diet, such as this program, aims to uncover hidden food allergies and sensitivities and improve your digestion by discovering which foods are right for your body. You eat amazing, whole foods for a week then slowly introduce foods afterward. Your body will tell you what works and what doesn’t.
By cleaning out your digestive system and balancing it with whole foods, you are getting a clean start to finding out any hidden food sensitivities.
I hope this helps to clarify some of the terms associated with my programs. There is not much
better than knowing how to eat correctly for your body. It is truly amazing! For more information on how to get started: Winter Clean Eating Program
I bought a dehydrator over a year ago and never really used it. I pulled it out this past weekend to make beef jerky for my husband. It was SO easy and tasted delicious. And by making it yourself, you know there is nothing added to it that is bad for you. I decided this was the best way when I read the ingredients on a pack of beef jerky at the store. All the additives were ridiculous and took any nutritional value right out the window.
Since I had such success with the jerky, I decided to try apples and pineapples. These just happened to be in my house at the time. Fruits take longer in the dehydrator than beef, but it is SO worth it!
My pick daughter turned up her nose at the pineapple and I made her eat one. She then had that look on her face like "Oh these are awesome" but also "I don't want my mom to know I like them." Mission accomplished...approval from my pre-teen!
If you have a dehydrator sitting in a closet somewhere, dust it off and put it to use! And if you are looking to purchase one, here is the one I have:
Dehydrator. You can find it under "Kitchen Products" on my Favorite Things tab. There are so many options out there for dehydrators and you can spend hundreds. I have found that this one that is fairly inexpensive does the trick!
Now start making some yummy, healthy snacks!
I started drinking coffee in college during all-night study sessions cramming for tests. We would all meet at Denny's where we paid about $2 and could drink as much of this caffeinated goodness that our stomachs could hold. I remember going to class the following morning with major shakes and it's a wonder I ever graduated! The best part of those times was hanging with my friends "studying" and doing way more chatting and coffee drinking than anything. We actually made it fun and looking back, I feel sorry for the waiters that had our table that we would occupy for hours on end with only enough money to pay for the essentials...coffee.
After graduation, I began working at Dell Computers which was my first "real" corporate job. And it wasn't just 9-5, it could sometimes be 7am to 7pm. It was crazy those first few years as the company grew and I was making plenty of money to make up for all the extra hours worked. However, I was tired ALL THE TIME! Then Dell had a fabulous idea...they put a STARBUCKS in our building. It was just a short flight of stairs down to all the coffee, cream and sugar that your heart could desire. And this is when the real habit began.
I would stop at 7-Eleven on the way to work for a huge cup of their coffee and finish it within the first hour of my day. When the mid-morning crash started, I would get a coffee from downstairs at the office. And of course, the afternoon crash was even worse so I would head down again to grab another cup to tide me over until it was time to go home. And I did this every single day. I worked there for ten years and we had our "coffee" groups that would go down and grab our cups together while discussing whatever was happening that day: who's underwear was showing, who came in late, who came back from lunch looking like they got high in the parking lot... and other real important manager stuff. It became a habit. A real habit that was not ever going to break.
I look back to that time in my life and I remember dealing with major stomach issues almost daily, including horrific heart burn and acid reflux, among other icky ailments. It makes sense now: I was eating junky food and fueling myself with caffeinated beverages through each day so I could wake up and do it all over again.
About a year and a half ago I went to a doctor that ran the food sensitivities test on me. I had no idea what to expect when the tests came back, but for some reason, I was shocked at the results. There at the very tippy top of my list of the "foods" I was most sensitive was COFFEE! How was this possible? I loved coffee, it helped me wake up every day. It helped me, not hurt me. I owned two Keurig machines, just in case the unfathomable happened and one didn't work. I was ordering at least $100 a month on those little k-cups. Coffee was my #1 offender and causing many of my issues...I just couldn't grasp this information.
As I drove home and thought more about it, it did start to make sense. I was starting each morning with a hot beverage that didn't work with my system. And it was down-hill from there. I decided it was worth a shot to quit coffee after seeing the results on paper.
That was the last day I drank coffee. Just like that; I quit cold turkey. I felt I had to in order to save my digestive system. and so began my search for alternatives. At the beginning, I would have hot tea instead and I still enjoy hot herbal tea at least once a day. The changes after eliminating coffee were almost immediate...besides that blaring headache that came from the withdrawals. Luckily those went away after a few days.
So for me and my body, coffee wasn't working. I missed it greatly at the beginning but now that I have been coffee-free for over a year, I don't even really think about it anymore.
I tell my clients that are heavy coffee drinkers with any sort of stomach issues to slowly begin weaning off of it. I recommend cutting it down by 1/4 a day. So they will have a cup in the morning and instead of the second, I urge them to have a big glass of water. Many people that drink coffee all day are pretty dehydrated. And for those that don't want to give it up for good (which is fine if your stomach tolerates it), I recommend buying a high quality, organic coffee to enjoy. One of my favorite teas that fill that dark roasted coffee need is Dandy Blend. It is incredible and can be a great way to wean yourself down from any coffee habit. It tastes like coffee but is actually a tea and it is gluten free.
So if you are experiencing any kind of heart burn, acid reflux or other digestive issues, I would recommend cutting out the coffee and see how you feel. You might be shocked, as I was, at how much better I feel without it!
"When our bodies become toxic, it means that our natural means of ushering out metabolic waste from a normal human metabolism, environmental pollution, and what has become known as the Standard American Diet (or SAD diet) have exceeded the threshold for what the body's innate detoxification system can tolerate on its own. With this toxic load, every system in the human body can become affected. From our head to our toes and everything in between, toxicity makes us sick!" --Dr. Mark Hyman, Functional Medical Doctor & Teacher
Cleansing and eating "clean" is such an important and productive process for your body. Our bodies need to clear out the built-up waste in our systems to leave you feeling lighter and cleaner.
Some people do a detox or cleanse in order to lose weight, but it is so much more than that. Sure, it will result in weight loss but it will also improve your digestion, improve your metabolism, uncover any hidden food allergies and decrease inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of all major, and minor, illnesses. These are things such as chronic colds, brittle nails, hormonal imbalances, dry skin, dry hair and constipation...just to name a few!
Every food you consume, every breath you inhale and everything you touch each day brings contaminants. This constant barrage forces your liver to work hard to detoxify your body daily. There is no way to avoid these toxins so our bodies have to work that much harder to process them. When we stop and give the body a rest by eating whole, clean foods, your body will naturally detox and reset itself. This will leave you feeling amazing!
So why is detoxing in the Fall a good thing? For starters, it prepares your body for the winter months both physically and emotionally. It helps to prevent common winter illnesses and attaining a clearer and more focused mental state. We could all use that, right? Our bodies tend to build up toxins over the summer months of heat that can lead to coughs, migraines and stuffy noses in the coming weeks. Fall is a wonderful time to slow down and move the focus inward, purging the toxicity that is keeping us from being the best version of ourselves. It is similar to the trees losing their leaves; you are shedding what is no longer serving you as you ready yourself for the coming cold months.
During a Fall Cleanse or Detox, we honor the lungs and the large intestine.
Physical: Optimal delivery of oxygen. Supports healthy immune system and good digestion. Preventative against colds and winter congestion.
Emotional: Release feelings of sadness and prevent the "winter blues."
Physical: Cleanse and support for healthy functioning, better support of the immune system and optimal digestion.
Emotional: Release negative emotions that are not serving the body well. Letting go.
Hopefully this helps to understand why cleansing in the Fall is so vital and important to our health in the coming winter months. It really is essential to keeping your immune system up and running at its best to protect you!
My first Fall Clean Eating Group Program began today and we have an amazing group that are committed to cleansing in a fun, healthy way. That group is now closed but the second group is now open for registration and will begin November 4th. In addition, if you are looking to get started on your own schedule, there is a DIY option available as well.
I highly recommend joining in this Fall with my incredible program and support the entire step of the way. You will be so glad you did!
My husband, like most men, will eat just about anything. But he has always told me that he hates Brussels sprouts. I was at the grocery the other day and they had tons of them on display and they looked so green and yummy. I bought them and tried cooking them on the stove. They were okay, but still not that great. So I decided to try again and bake them this time. And it was incredible! We were both practically licking our plates whishing there were more. I don't generally follow recipes, I prefer to wing-it and create things my own way. So I will try to explain how I made these little yummy green sprouts!
Start with pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees.
About 20-25 Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons olive oil (or any other healthy oil like coconut)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
Cut off the hard end piece of the Brussels sprouts and peel off any discolored leaves. I then cut them in half to make them bite-sized. If any leaves fall off, go ahead and bake them too... they turn out like a chip! In a bowl, mix your Brussels sprouts with the oil, garlic, salt & pepper. Make sure they are all coated well with your mixture. Place them on a baking pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. I recommend checking them at 15 minutes, move them around a bit to make sure they are getting roasted on all sides, then put back in the oven. My oven cooks really fast so I have to be careful not to burn things. Once they are brown and crispy, pull out of the oven and serve immediately.
I promise this might just change your mind on how delicious these can be! Oh, and they are good for you too. Just don't tell the kids!
By now almost everyone has heard about gluten but many may not understand why all the buzz. Well, I am going to break it down for you today! Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat, including kamut, spelt, barley and rye. Having a diet free of gluten is the only real treatment option for those with Celiac Disease. The number of people with Celiac is fairly small, but there is a very large population that are gluten intolerant. This means that consuming foods containing gluten can cause all kinds of side effects, not all related to stomach aches. You can test for gluten sensitivity as well as for Celiac. If you feel you might be sensitive, the easiest, and cheapest way is to take all gluten out of your diet for a week and see how you feel. Most people find the results to be incredible! We do this in my 7 Day Clean Eating Program and I love hearing all the incredible success stories from my clients as they go through the program. If you are interested, click here for more information and to sign-up!
The main problem with gluten is that it causes inflammation, and if you have been following me long enough, you know that inflammation is at the heart of almost every major illness that could affect us.
So what foods are naturally gluten-free? Here's a quick list:
Anything with Wheat, Kamut, Spelt, Rye, Barley, Modified food starch, oats (generally avoided as they are almost always processed in mills that process grains containing gluten) and barley enzymes. Barley enzymes are found in almost all breakfast cereals.
Here are a few tips to avoid cross contamination:
(Makes 12 cups)
DIY Gluten-Free Flour Mix (Light)
(Makes 12 cups)
1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup milk (almond, coconut, etc)
In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and then add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Drop approximately 1/4 cup batter per pancake into an oiled, preheated griddle. Cook pancake on each side until golden brown and cooked through the center. Serve hot with maple syrup or fresh berries. Enjoy!
My mission as a Certified Health Coach is to make the world a happier, healthier place, one person, one meal at a time, with love and gratitude. I work to inspire others to live a life of prevention and overall wellness!