We discovered during the past year that my 4-year-old son Ronin and my 21-month-old daughter Ellie are both gluten and dairy intolerant. My husband John is gluten-free too. The good news is that changing Ronin’s diet has helped his anxiety-related sleep issues decrease immensely. He used to have night terrors every night, but now only has them on the rare occasions we miss cutting out the gluten.
Since John has been gluten free for a while, I came up with this stuffing recipe a few years ago for Thanksgiving. And its always been a huge hit. This year I’ve modified it to also remove the dairy for the kiddos.
I have had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Stephen Wangen, the founder of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle, WA. Awhile back, at a CSA (Celiac Sprue Association) meeting I had the pleasure of helping Dr. Wangen with his book signing. He had flown in to Denver to speak on his books, Healthier Without Wheat and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution. There was a full audience of folks, just like you and I, who were able to ask personal questions and learn more about living with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, as well as exploring other areas such as food allergies.
Since that time, Dr. Wangen and I have had the chance to talk about what the IBS Treatment Center does to help people really understand their bodies and how food can be affecting them. He explores the possibilities of Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance and food allergies and helps people to develop a healthier lifestyle tailored to their specific needs. At the same time, Dr. Wangen has observed the emotional affects these conditions can have on people and understands that not feeling well emotionally has an affect on how people take care of their physical well being. What makes his practice so fantastic is the positive nature. Dr. Wangen helps people view the changes by looking at the benfits and the gains and focusing on what people can have, rather than on what they can’t. Here is what Dr. Wangen had to say when I asked him about his own experiences. (more…)
Living 100% Gluten-Free is a challenge. Most of us, even after we’ve learned about hidden sources of gluten and done our best to stay away from them….are going to get “glutened” from time to time. This happens most often with:
1-Cross contamination 2-Eating out at a new restaurant 3-Eating products that don’t have any “gluten” ingredients…but still aren’t 100% GF.
We have to be extremely careful with cross contamination in our own homes. Most of us are living with non-GF people. So make sure everyone knows which toaster is the GF one….and when your grandma is baking glutenous pies, cakes, and bread….stay far away from the kitchen. Trust me, I know. Even a TINY bit of gluten will do THIS to me:
Of course, I often get the same reaction when eating out at a new place I’m unsure about. Many restaurants offer “gluten-free” items, but they (more…)
The suitability of oats as part of the gluten-free diet has been a source of controversy, with some groups pointing to research suggesting oats are safe and others pointing to other research demonstrating oats are dangerous to those with celiac disease. Close inspection of available medical research clearly shows that oats, even “gluten-free” oats, should not be included in the gluten-free diet at this time.
Until the early 1990’s, oats were excluded from the gluten-free diet, along with wheat, barley and rye. Then, a few pilot studies suggested oats may not cause the harm previously thought. The idea was proposed that people with celiac disease would find their diet more palatable, and would benefit nutritionally, if they were allowed to eat oats.
Heavy contamination of many oat products with wheat, rye, and particularly barley, was a concern. Companies began to produce so-called “gluten-free oats.” These oats were tested for the presence of wheat, barley and rye. They are vigorously marketed as “safe” for celiacs. However, studies show that even “uncontaminated oats” (oats not containing wheat, barley or rye) are toxic to an unknown number of people with celiac disease.
Early studies proclaimed oats to be safe, but they have since been judged faulty with poor validity. Nevertheless, they opened the floodgates to (more…)
This video from the Food Allergy Initiative is a great representation, straight from the parents mouths, of how food allergies have impacted the lives of their children and themselves. It reinforces how important it is for people to really understand how food allergies affect children and their parents. (more…)
"Real Foods" are the whole, natural, and traditional foods man has always eaten. Photo: eHow.com
“Real Food” can be defined as natural, unprocessed, traditional and nourishing foods that human have always eaten. This includes things like whole fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, fish and seafood, and animal protein. These lie in stark contrast to our modern foods which have been grown with the use of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, have very often been genetically modified, and had chemicals and flavorings (synthetics and other highly-addictive allergens) added.
For those living a gluten-free lifestyle, supporting “real food”, or “pro food” as it’s sometimes called, with our purchases is important because it reduces the risk of being exposed to and ingesting gluten. Processed foods — both conventional and (more…)
Once you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it is easy to become wrapped up in fear and anxiety about food. This is absolutely normal as now there is an apparent “evil” out there just waiting to get ya.
However, reality is it’s been getting you on a regular basis prior to being diagnosed or figuring it out on your own. While the symptoms definitely suck, and for some people, can be debilitating at times, you (more…)
Wheat presents a special case insofar as wild and selective breeding has produced variations which include up to 6 sets of chromosomes (3 genomes worth!) capable of generating a massive number of proteins each with a distinct potentiality for antigenicity. Common bread wheat (Triticum aestivum), for instance, has over 23,788 proteins cataloged thus far. In fact, the genome for common bread wheat is actually 6.5 times larger than that of the human genome!
With up to a 50% increase in gluten content of some varieties of wheat, it is amazing that we continue to consider “glue-eating” a normal behavior, whereas wheat-avoidance is left to the “celiac” who is still perceived by the majority of health care practitioners as mounting a “freak” reaction to the consumption of something intrinsically wholesome. (more…)
In a previous article, I discussed the role that wheat plays as an industrial adhesive (e.g. paints, paper mache’, and book binding-glue) in order to illustrate the point that it may not be such a good thing for us to eat. The problem is implicit in the word gluten, which literally means “glue” in Latin and in words like pastry and pasta, which derives from wheatpaste, the original concoction of wheat flour and water which made such good plaster in ancient times. What gives gluten its adhesive and difficult-to-digest qualities are the high levels of disulfide bonds it contains. These same sulfur-to-sulfur bonds are found in hair and vulcanized rubber products, which we all know are difficult to decompose and are responsible for the sulfurous odor they give off when burned.
There will be 676 million metric tons of wheat produced this year alone, making it the primary cereal of temperate regions and third most prolific cereal grass on the planet. (more…)
As common at they are, gluten allergies and elimination diets are still, many times, viewed as fringe alternative health practices and often don’t receive the mainstream validation they deserve. When some estimates show that nearly 1 in 30 people suffer at the hands of gluten, one would think the intolerance to this protein would finally gain more acceptance in mainstream medicine and media. One man, doctor and author Mark Hyman, is working to do just that.
Hyman, an M.D. in the field of functional medicine, pioneers techniques that aide the chronically-ill in improving their health and quality of life by determining the underlying causes of illness and treating according to those causes, as opposed to much mainstream medicine that focuses on treatments that champion subsistence and reliance on a medication. Doctor Hyman is a blogger for The Huffington Post and in a recent article, cites gluten allergies and Celiac Disease (even latent Celiac) as the cause for many ailments and conditions never previously associated with the grain protein. (more…)