Tag Archives: Diet

How to Lose Weight on a Gluten-Free Diet in 2012

christie bessinger gluten free works

gluten free weight loss
Well, it’s that time of year yet again…we’ve all made our new year’s resolutions…and more than likely, we’d all like to shed a few pounds :0)

In my 2011 weight loss post, I talked about 5 important factors for weight loss success:
1) Eating more lean, healthy protein
2) Chowing down on veggies
3) Cutting back on sugar
4) Avoiding processed foods
5) …and exercising!

christie bessinger celiac scoopHopefully all of us are doing our best at these things… if we do, the weight should come off pretty easily without having to really “diet.” I’d just like to add a few more things that have helped me, and hope they can help you too :-) Read More »

True Story: Doctor Says “Don’t Eat Wheat Ever Again”

gluten free challah bread

Gluten Free Homemade Challah Bread

This is a quote that a lot of people are hearing these days. What happens after your doctor says these words? Here is a synopsis of my journey; if any of this sounds familiar, give it some serious thought…there may be a very simple answer.

I first heard these words while I was barely concious, in a bed at Methodist Hospital in Houston. I had become so weak and debilitated by my undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease that my life was in danger. The symptoms over twenty years included gastrointestinal problems, fibromyalgia, irritability, bone pain and more. The good news was that I finally found out what was wrong with me; the better news was finding out that the disease is completely manageable through dietary changes alone.–no medications, no surgeries, none of that stuff. Just don’t eat grains that contain the gluten protein, mainly wheat, barley and rye. That sounded really good to me.

Not so fast. While still in the hospital, I was really still very sick, and not really able to process the information. After a couple of days (in which I was already improving), it dawned on me that Read More »

Gluten – What It Is And How To Find It In Your Food

Erika Krull Gluten Free Works

Gluten is the trouble-making ingredient you’re supposed to avoid when going on a gluten free diet.  But how do you avoid something if you aren’t sure what it is or where to find it?  I’ll admit, this can be a challenge.  It’s just not as obvious I’d like it to be, but once you learn how to spot it you’ll feel more confident about grocery shopping.  Also, knowing what gluten is and how it works in food can help you understand how to cook with gluten free ingredients.

What Is This Gluten Stuff?

Gluten is the stretchy glue that helps bread, pizza crust, and other baked goods get nice puffy air pockets.  It creates a flexible structure that helps each baked good hang together without necessarily being tough or chewy.  When a baker knows how to properly activate the gluten protein, it will start doing its thing. The presence of gluten has influenced baking techniques for decades, even centuries.   Sorry, I’m not trying to build up gluten as some kind of magical essence that turns good food into great food.  It’s just one of many ingredients with useful properties out there in the world.  It happens that wheat is commonly grown and used across the world, and it affects a lot of food in Western cultures.

Ready for a little science?  Gluten is made up of two types of proteins – one is the Read More »

Sweet Pot-Souffle Recipe

sarica cernohaus gluten free works

This is a great way to start the day on a sweeter note, without the sugars found in more traditional sweet morning fare—something that works great for those following a gluten-free–and even grain-free–lifestyle. It is packed with fiber, Vitamin A, protein and healthy fat. Use sweet potatoes or winter squash that has been pre-cooked to make preparation fast and easy–there should be plenty on hand, either before or after a Thanksgiving feast!  This is a dish that pleases young and old alike.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

• 1 cup cooked Sweet Potatoes or Winter Squash, skins removed

• 2-3 raw Eggs

• ½ cup unsweetened Almond Milk or Coconut Milk

• ½ tsp. ground Nutmeg

• ½ tsp. ground Cinnamon

• 1 tsp. Vanilla extract Read More »

Gluten Free Diet Helps Little Boy with Glutaric Acidemia Type 1 (GA-1)


gluten free glutaric acidHaley is the mother of 21 month old Wyatt, who was diagnosed with Glutaric Acidemia Type 1 (GA-1) through newborn screening. Doctors have been unable to explain why a gluten free diet seems to be making such a positive difference to his health. Here is Wyatt’s story…

Haley’s letter to Glutaric Acidemia Group:

I thought I would share some interesting news with you all, in case there is a child out there like my son. We started my son on a gluten free diet in April and since then, his glutaric acid and 3-hydroxy glutaric acid levels have Read More »

Novak Djokovic #1 Tennis Player in the World Dispels Myth That Gluten-Free Diet is Deficient

Novak Djokovic: #1 Tennis Player in the World & Gluten-free!

On September 12, a gluten-free Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal to win the men’s US Open Final.
Djokovic, the #1 men’s tennis player in the world, credits his adoption of the gluten-free diet at the recommendation of a nutritionist in 2010 for his incredible success in 2011. He has won an astounding 64 out of 66 matches and 3 out of 4 Grand Slams in 2011.

Djokovic said in interviews that removing gluten from his diet has resulted in his increased speed, endurance and improved play. In his own words, he feels better, moves better and thinks better.

While watching the grueling 4 hour and 10 minute US Open Final and listening to the announcers repeatedly describe it as one of the most intense they had ever witnessed, a nagging thought begged the question…  Read More »

FDA Gluten Free Labeling Update

Cheryl Harris Gluten Free Works

The FDA is finally moving on regulating the claim “gluten-free” on packages, which is fantastic news!  Lots of people have put in countless hours to make this happen.  We’ve got 1 month left to comment—until October 3rd—and YOUR comment is vital to getting the law YOU want.

During the Aug 2nd teleconference, we heard that the comment period was re-opened and we might have a law by late 2012.  Several prominent researchers, including Dr. Alesso Fasano and Dr.Stefano Guandalini, spoke in favor of the new proposed legislation. “This is a standard that has been in use in Europe for almost two decades, & the science supports the U.S. adopting it as well,” commented Dr. Fasano.  I posted highlights of the teleconference, but upon reading the 90+ page safety assessment, I had a lot of questions! http://1.usa.gov/r4NDLA

The safety assessment suggests that for the most sensitive Celiac, Read More »

Dr. Stephen Wangen of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle: An Inside Look

Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

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. Read More »

What is “Healthy” Food to You?

Gluten free produceIn the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to ponder the question “What is healthy food?” It seems that many of us have very different perceptions. Maybe that’s what stands in our way some times, we think healthy food and healthy eating is not obtainable.

It would be so much easier if my brain did not crave things like salty chips or sweet cookies but the reality is, it does. Maybe it’s a combination of many years of being bombarded with advertising to make me think I want it or maybe it’s as simple as it satisfies something in my head. I didn’t take enough psychology in college to answer that. I do know if it’s around me (like it is now as I write; you wouldn’t believe what is at the end of the table at my sister’s house) I’m less likely to eat well.

In my older years, I have realized that if I allow myself a little rather than denying myself entirely, I can balance the cravings with Read More »

I’m deficient, You’re deficient, We’re all deficient? (Part 2)

In  Part 1 of this article about nutrient deficiencies in the gluten-free population, I posed four critiques and questions that I promised to answer in today’s part 2. Without further ado, here we go…

Critique #1 questioned the small sample size of the research. I can’t do anything about that, and there’s not much to be said about it, so let’s move on.

Next, I think it’s easiest to address critique #3: How did nutrient deficiencies in the gluten-free population compare to Americans as a whole? To answer that question, I pulled data regarding nationwide averages from the USDA’s Community Nutrition Mapping Project. If I amend yesterday’s table that showed the percent of the gluten-free population who are deficient in given nutrients, and add to it a column for the national averages, this is what you find:

 

Nutrient GF Deficiency Nationwide Deficiency
fiber 74% 92%
calcium 82% 69%
thiamin 59% 19%
riboflavin 25% 11%
B6 35% 26%
folate 85% 40%
B12 29% 20%
iron 41% 11%

 

These numbers change the perspective a bit, I think. It’s not simply that the gluten-free population is nutrient deficient. When you compare us to the national averages, it gets slightly more complex. In some cases, such as folate, riboflavin, thiamin, and iron, we’re two or more times as deficient (as a group) than the nation. However, in other cases, such as B12, B6, and calcium, we still have greater rates Read More »

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