Tag Archives: Lifestyle

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 »

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 »

I’m deficient, You’re deficient, We’re all deficient? (Part 1)

I was recently reading a press release from Nature’s Path Organic about two of their new cereals. The press release made a familiar argument: the cereals “provide gluten avoiders with whole grains… unlike many gluten-free cereals which forfeit nutritional benefits…” The implication is that many gluten-free cereals (and other gluten-free processed foods, by extension) are more highly processed in order to improve taste and texture. But they do so by sacrificing nutritional quality.

There is some truth to this logic. Foods made from whole grains are inherently healthier than heavily processed foods, and I’ll use our good old enemy – wheat – to demonstrate. I compared whole grain wheat flour (less processed) with white, unenriched wheat flour (more processed) across a range of nutrient measures. Not surprisingly, the wheat underwent a profound loss in Read More »

Gluten Free Spells Success for Big Time Athletes

Finally it seems that athletes have become savvy to the benefits of a gluten free diet.  As the general population has started to become more aware of the prevalence of gluten sensitivities and Celiac Disease, there has been a noted increase in the number of athletes turning to the gluten free lifestyle in an attempt to maximize their training and find greater success in their respective sports.

Among the most notable athletes making the gluten free switch are Raul Ibanez of the Philadelphia Phillies, Cedric Benson of the Cincinnati Bengals, and tennis player Novak Djokovic, the 2011 winner of Wimbledon who went on an unprecedented 43-match win streak.  Most significant about their decision to go gluten free is the marked improvement in all three athletes after the switch. Read More »

National Jewish Health Expert Discusses Psychological Aspect of Living with Life Threatening Food Allergies

Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

Mary Klinnert National Jewish Health

Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health. Mary is an expert in child psychology and has numerous previous research studies on the effects of asthma on mental health.  She started her career mostly focusing on asthma, but in recent years, has turned much of her attention to the psychological aspects of living with life threatening food allergies.

While meeting with Mary, she briefed me on a study she is conducting on the psychological aspects of food allergies and how this study differs from the majority of previous studies that mostly focus on quality of life issues related to living with food allergies.  The hope of Mary and the rest of the team is to get to the root of what is happening to families that sometimes contributes to deeper Read More »

Interview with Gina Meagher: Living with Type I Diabetes and Celiac Disease

Gina Meagher Celiac Disease DiabetesI met Gina through the Celiac Sprue Association, Denver Chapter 17.  She helped me get involved in volunteering at last years ‘Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Food Fair™!’  She has been part of CSA for several years and is a member of the Board.  She has a lively personality and is willing to share her thoughts with others.  I am so excited that she was willing to sit down with me and talk about her experiences of living with Type I diabetes and Celiac disease.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  The overall message I took away, was that neither Diabetes nor Celiac disease define who Gina is, because she is so much more and has never let either one stop her from living the active life she was meant to have!

Interview

 

Jenn: Hi Gina! It’s great to be with you today and to have the opportunity to get to know you better.  So, tell me…how old were you when you were diagnosed with Type I diabetes?

Gina: I was 17 years old.

Jenn: And how old were you when you were diagnosed with Celiac disease? Read More »

Bard’s Beer Is Premium American Lager That “Happens to Be Gluten-Free”

John Libonati Gluten Free Works

Bard's Beer Gluten FreeFor more than five years, Bard’s has been the beer I bring to parties and barbecues. Friends who try it for the first time all say the same thing…“Hey, this tastes just like REAL beer!”

That is because Bard’s IS real beer, brewed in the style of American Lager. The only difference is that instead of using barley, Bard’s uses sorghum, a gluten-free grain.

Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bard’s Beer was developed by two celiac Read More »

Chef Damian Cardone Brags About Feeding Gluten-free Patrons High Gluten Pasta

 

[Editor’s Note: This story is from 2011. It still illustrates why we must be vigilant about where we go to eat.]

Gluten-free Nation, you should be rightly shocked, dismayed and FURIOUS!  A chef in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is poisoning you…and bragging about it.

Chef Damian Cardone is wantonly feeding gluten pasta to patrons who request gluten-free food according to a post on his Facebook page. 

Chef Poisons People Gluten Free Works

Cardone was deliberately feeding high gluten food to people as of March 10 according the dates on comments to his post.  

It gets worse.  Cardone seems to relish his campaign to feed gluten-free individuals gluten… Read More »

Six Steps to Safe Gluten Free Dining

Jen Cafferty Gluten Free Works Author

Gluten Free Restaurant

Copyright (c) 2012 Simone Marani

1.     Find a restaurant that can accommodate gluten free meals. Many restaurants are very familiar with gluten free meals or have a gluten free menu.  If you are new to gluten free dining, stick to a restaurant where you don’t have to explain yourself.  There is a list of gluten free restaurants at www.glutenfreerestaurants.org

 

2.     Do your homework ahead of time. Call ahead and speak with the chef and ask if the restaurant can accommodate your needs.  Also, review Read More »

Overcoming Gluten Free Social Isolation: Part I Communication

Jennifer Leeson Gluten Free Works

gluten free cooking friendsThe phone rings…it’s my friend calling to see if I would like to come over to dinner.  Little does she know that I have just been diagnosed with Celiac disease and I’m now nervous about eating at other people’s homes… 

I’m still learning what to eat and how to read labels.  I feel my heart beat increase, and my palms start to sweat.  “What is this weird feeling,” I ask myself.  I feel like I’m going to panic…and all over a social invitation.  “What’s wrong with me, this shouldn’t be a big deal.  It never was before, I’ve always just done what I wanted.”  Oh yeah, I remind myself, it’s because I don’t know if I will be able to eat if I go over.  Maybe I just shouldn’t Read More »

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