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!
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
"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!
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!
As seen today on Mind, Body, Green:
I used to see ginger at the grocery store and wonder who would buy it and what exactly they would do with it. Now that I know the benefits, and how easy it is to incorporate into my daily life, I include it on my shopping list weekly.
Ginger has long been regarded in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for many different conditions. It can be used medicinally, as a delicacy, and as a hot, fragrant cooking spice. There are many ways to consume ginger, but my favorite is as a juice. You can also make ginger tea, which can help reduce inflammation and ward off colds, all while aiding digestion. Here are two of my favorite ginger recipes to try out if you're new to this crazy-looking root!
Simple Ginger Juice
Bring water to a full boil, then add the ginger and turn the heat down to a simmer to avoid burning. You can simmer longer if you want a stronger tea. After 10 minutes, pour the liquid in a mug and add honey and lime. This tea tastes
amazing and is so simple to make! It is great for an upset stomach or when coming down with cold/flu symptoms.
We have all heard about gluten lately and some may wonder why all the hype. Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat, barley, rye, kamut, triticale and spelt. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of those with Celiac disease. There are many people that don't have Celiac but are sensitive to gluten. I am in this category.
So how do you know if you are sensitive to gluten? The easiest way to find out if you have a sensitivity is to cut out all gluten from your diet for at least a week. Then add it back in very slowly and see how you feel. If you become bloated, gassy or end up rushing to the bathroom, then you can pretty much assume you are sensitive. There are also others signs of gluten intolerance that are not directly felt in your stomach like fatigue, headaches, tingling/numbness and brain fog. If you have any of these regularly, cutting out gluten is a great idea. It's incredible how much better I feel now that I am gluten free.
The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives to leave you satisfied and not feeling deprived! Here are a few grains and starches that are gluten-free:
This article below, as seen on MindBodyGreen.com
This is a hard subject to speak about as some might judge or label me, but I want to share my story in hopes that it can help others avoid the nightmare I was in for three months.
I can trace back my first anxiety/panic attack to a week after my mom died in 2009. I decided I needed to get away after dropping everything in my life, including my job, to take care of her for a year while she battled her second round of breast cancer. It was my first trip alone and it was going well until I decided to take a taxi into Playa to do some shopping. Something told me it was too dangerous to do alone. As I waited for the taxi, I started to sweat and immediately felt so queasy like I was going to throw up. I assumed it was something I had eaten or maybe I had accidentally drank the wrong Mexican water.
I didn’t experience this again until I started traveling heavily for work in 2011 and 2012. Almost every time I ended up getting “sick” in my hotel or while navigating the ridiculous turnpikes in New Jersey. I had to fly home early from Florida once and decided I needed to figure out what was going on.
I had every test done through my gastroenterologist and all they could tell me was that I had a leaky gut and some inflammation in my stomach. They promptly gave me acid reflux medication and sent me on my way.
I tried every single holistic method to control my anxiety. I did deep breathing exercises, drank tea and tried meditation. I even went to a place that hooks your brain up to a computer for an hour trying to change your patterns. I took every supplement that I could find that was supposed to help with anxiety. I went to an acupuncturist, a naturopathic doctor, therapy and many other places to seek help. I changed my diet drastically as well.
From there, I was okay through Christmas and in January everything started to unravel. I was getting nervous and sick at my house, which was my safe haven. And it wouldn’t stop. I was in a constant state of panic and couldn’t sleep, eat or even function. I was literally a prisoner in my own home. I went to the ER more times than I care to admit thinking I was having a heart attack or dying. They really couldn’t help me and would give me an IV and some Ativan and send me home. I would feel better for about 4 hours and then right back to where I was before.
Over the next three months my weight got so low that I would have to go in for IV fluids since my anxiety was so high that I couldn’t eat…not a bite. I had to spend the night in the hospital once in order to get my nourishment back to somewhere near normal. From there, it got to the point where I couldn’t even leave the house to take my daughter to school which is actually in our neighborhood. I was terrified and didn’t want to admit that I had a problem that had nothing to do with anything physical. How do you admit to yourself that it’s your brain causing all these horrific physical ailments?
My mother –in–law showed up one Saturday at our house and freaked out when she saw me. My hip bones were sticking out and I just looked incredibly unhealthy and sick. My very supportive husband and I decided that we had to do something to get me well. I had been seeing a psychiatrist who was continually changing my medications which was making me even sicker. It was the worst thing I have ever been through.
That night I made the hardest decision and checked myself into a psychiatric hospital where I spent the next week focusing on myself. I was so against taking medication but finally admitted it was my only option at that point. At the hospital, I got the right medication and medical help to gain back my appetite and finally feel okay.
I was on a floor with patients dealing with anxiety and depression so as you can imagine, it was a very calm atmosphere! I was able to see that I wasn’t “broken” and that I wasn’t alone. I had an instant support group of people that were going through some of the exact same things that I was. We were able to learn from each other and help encourage each other.
After leaving the hospital, I completed five weeks of out-patient DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) where I learned to deal with my brain’s “false signals” of danger. I learned so much about myself and my triggers. I started seeing a new psychiatrist who is much more in line with my needs and beliefs. I also go to my Life Coach who has been amazing in helping me move forward and face my fears.
How did I end up here?
I am an only child and both my parents died at a young age of cancer. Being a single mom during this time, I never took the time to grieve or deal with my emotions around both these huge losses.
I worked full-time at a job that had me on the road several times a month going to strange cities and having to navigate them alone.
I was in school and had weekly lessons and lectures which took up most of my free time.
I was having custody battles with my ex-husband.
I was in the process of creating my own Health Coaching business from scratch.
I had a daughter that had volleyball practice three nights a week and all day tournaments every Saturday.
If I did something, it had to be perfect. There was no room for error in my head. I had such ridiculously high and unobtainable expectations for myself.
Just thinking back, it’s no wonder I hit rock bottom. I just couldn’t handle it all. Since then, I have learned to put myself first because when I don’t, I am no use to anyone around me.
How I put myself first:
I spoke to my boss and cut out the travel aspect of my job. I am now home with my family every night and that is really what is important in life.
I set small goals. I was 10 weeks behind in my school work so I set a goal to do 2 hours daily until I caught up. Sticking to my plan and goals allowed me to catch up with ease.
I get a pedicure or a massage at least once a month. These are treats for me that allow me to disconnect from everything, if only for an hour.
I use essential oils that are calming and relaxing, as well as some that help me focus better during my work day.
I started my Health Coaching business very slowly and am working up from there. I now understand that slowly growing my business is better than a rapid growth that I couldn’t manage.
I walk my dog more and ride bikes with my daughter.
I fall asleep every night listening to a guided meditation that I downloaded on my phone.
This entire experience has been a blessing in many ways. I have learned so much about myself and what is really important in life. I still have to be cautious daily to not go back down the anxiety road, but if it happens, I now have the skills and knowledge to keep myself healthy.
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!