I receive a lot of questions about foods containing gluten.
And that’s why I’ve dedicated my past 2 health articles to the subject. You may
say, “you seem a little obsessed with gluten. What’s the truth about this
food?” I’ll share a little bit more today, in a different light. Let’s
look at one of the questions I get posed often.
“If it was good enough in the biblical days,
what’s wrong with it today?”
This is where my interest is piqued because I love the word
of God and I love science and nutrition.
In the biblical days, the harvesting of wheat was an annual
event. An abundant harvest was a sign of abundant blessing. Wheat and bread
were also seen as acceptable sacrifices to God. Jesus even spoke about bread,
saying that He was the bread of life. He taught us to pray and thank God for
our daily bread. He even performed miracles and multiplied bread to feed
While all of these things are true, nowhere in the Bible does
it tell us that bread was created to be a staple and sustain us and provide us
The big problem was discussed by cardiologist, Dr. William
Davis, in his book called Wheat
Belly. Like many of the foods we know today, the crossbreeding of
wheat and non-wheat began many decades ago, in hopes that we would yield a
higher crop. It worked!
The problem is, today’s wheat isn’t even wheat after using
chemicals, high-dose gamma rays, and x-rays. Over the years, we’ve seen about a
400% increase in things like celiac disease, diabetes, obesity, and other
inflammatory diseases. This hybridization decreases the amount of amino acids
we receive as well as the nutrient content. He recommends that everyone
completely eliminate this food for that very reason.
So, is this gluten free craze really a big deal
or is it just another flawed fad?
Here’s where the science comes in.
Gluten has been found to either contribute to or cause over
200 disease states, some of them being heartburn, anemia, thyroid disease,
autoimmune disease, depression, migraines, chronic fatigue, gas and bloating,
dizziness, skin rashes, gallbladder malfunction, and even infertility.
My personal experience is that I had EVERY symptom above
except autoimmunity and infertility- likely all related to gluten exposure and
Here are a few other pieces of information that
come from the research:
Consuming excessive amounts of gluten can cause either
excessive weight gain or excessive weight loss.
Children with hyperactivity and learning disabilities who are
placed on a gluten-free diet typically respond very well and show improvement
Gluten can be found in cosmetics and body care products and
can cause the same problems as if it were consumed through food.
You may ask if it’s worth giving it a shot, giving up gluten.
I know how difficult it can be to remove foods like this from your diet. I know
the cravings, the addictions, the comfort, and feeling like you have no idea
what to eat when you remove certain foods or food groups from your diet.
I will also tell you 100 times over that I didn’t realize how
important my health was until I hit rock bottom and had none left. If you asked
me today what I would be willing to experience the healthy life that I have today,
my answer would be, ” all I have to give!” There is no food worth
losing your health over, and there is no amount of money I would not be willing
to spend to be where I am today. To me, food is a tool and money is a tool. You
simply can’t put a price on health, no matter what you must give up.
It can take up to 3 years to repair the body and recover from
gluten induced disease. Every time you’re exposed, it extends the healing
process. The best way to test for gluten sensitivity is through DNA lab testing,
or just remove it as Dr. Davis suggests.
My desire is for you to feel better than you ever remember
feeling in your life so you can live your best life. You are made to live a
life greater than you can probably imagine right now, and truth is, if you
don’t feel like it, then you simply won’t do and be all you were created to.
If you are looking to gain access to the tools you need to
investigate your health concerns further, I’d love to take the opportunity to get
to know you a little better and offer feedback on a Complimentary Discovery Call.
In my last article, I talked about warning
signs your body gives you when something isn’t right. I mentioned several
inflammatory foods like grains, dairy, sugar and artificial sweeteners, soy,
and alcohol. These are some of the most inflammatory foods you can put in your
body. The list is not all-inclusive, but it’s a good start.
So How Do You Know If You Should Remove These Foods?
The answer is simple. You could run a range of food
sensitivity panels, or you could just remove known inflammatory foods for at
least 30 days to see how your body responds, which is known as an elimination
diet. Starting with the ones mentioned above is a good start, but if there are
additional foods you feel your body doesn’t respond well to then go ahead and
remove those during this time as well.
Do Elimination Diets Work?
The truth is, there is a little controversy here. The foods
that are recommended for removal on an elimination diet are typically those
that many people have a reaction to. But as we know, everyone’s body is not the
same. The best way to learn which foods you react to is to run a food
sensitivity panel. This gives a clearer picture of what’s going on in the body
when a particular food is consumed. The reason this is the case is because
there is sometimes a delayed reaction, and it can be hard to tell which foods
are actually causing it.
You also want to consider that one man’s meat is another
man’s poison. Take a healthy fish like salmon for example. It’s a healthy fish,
right? But what if you’ve developed a food sensitivity? If that’s the case,
then that healthy salmon could actually cause an inflammatory response in your
body, which in turn leads to stress on the body and can have all sorts of ill effects
in the long-run. The great thing about food sensitivities is that we can
usually remove the foods, heal the gut, and reintroduce those healthy options
again later on down the road.
Common Mistakes People Make When Eliminating Inflammatory
I’ll use gluten in my examples below, but this is true
for all inflammatory foods.
Removing one and not all inflammatory foods. If your body is having an inflammatory response to something you’re consuming, and you don’t work to remove all the things that could be causing inflammation at the same time, it may be difficult to recognize a positive/negative response from removing certain foods. For example, if you remove gluten, but fail to remove dairy, then you could still continue to have those symptoms in your body related to gluten exposure. One reason is because gluten and dairy have similar molecular makeups and when the body is attacking one, it will likely attack the other as well. This is true for many food groups.
You don’t give the body enough time to respond. I hear people say all the time, “I tried gluten free and it didn’t work for me. We can actually have delayed reactions to foods when there is a sensitivity in the body. We tend to think of it in the same way as we do a food allergy sometimes, but the 2 are quite different. Your body can react to a food or other substance for up to 3 weeks, so if you only give it a couple weeks and call it quits because you don’t see a change, then you may be giving up too soon. Again, commit and stick with it to give your body the time it needs to respond.
You aren’t satisfied without your dairy or
gluten. I get it. I love those foods too. But much of our dissatisfaction
after a meal when eliminating inflammatory foods comes down to 2 things.
1) Not eating enough protein, fats, and carbs to
actually fill our bellies. Filling up on processed foods makes us feel
satisfied because that’s what we’re used to.
2) Food cravings, which can be expressed in the
form of hunger.
The way you can avoid this is to make sure
you’re eating enough, and to balance your plate with plenty of healthy meat, cooked
vegetables, and even starchy vegetables until your body begins to adjust. If
you truly are hungry, then eat more of the whole foods and play around with
your ratios of carbs, fats, and proteins to find your unique ratio. This
depends a lot on how fast you metabolize certain foods. So if you find that
you’re super hungry and tired within an hour or 2 after consuming a plate full
of veggies, then try adding more dense proteins and see if that helps. Play
around until you find the ratio that works for you.
Filling up on gluten free processed
alternatives. If you’ve read my book, “Healed His Way,” then you know I
discuss this in detail. Foods that are labeled as gluten free are not always
truly gluten free, and if you are attempting to avoid gluten, then you want to
focus on whole foods instead of gluten free snacks. This is not to say you
can’t snack on a food from a bag here and there, but if you do, look for grain
free over gluten free. Why? Gluten free is not technically gluten free. It’s a
big lie! “What? How can they do that?” you ask. Gluten, by the FDA’s definition
does not include ALL types of gluten. It only includes 1 type, called gliadin. While
the 2 main types of gluten found in wheat are gliadins and glutenins,
they are not the only types. Gluten free foods do not take into consideration
the other types, because by FDA regulation, they are not required to. So, if
you are consuming a piece of bread labeled gluten free, is it really? Likely
not. The best way to avoid it is to avoid grains altogether.
Starting a countdown timer to the end of elimination
challenge and just going back to old habits when it’s done. Consider paying
attention to your body when you eliminate certain foods. Take an inventory. How
do you feel? What is your mood like? Do you have more energy? If you are seeing
positive change, why would you jump back into the same old habits that were
giving you negative results? If you choose to bring those toxic/inflammatory
foods back in your body, the best way to do that is to go very slow. Introduce
foods one at a time, and pay attention to your body. Give the food a couple
weeks, and if there are negative effects, then consider removing it for good.
As I said before, if you’re body is not responding well to a certain food then
it is causing inflammation and with that comes disease.
My favorite way to find out how your body is responding to a
particular food or group of foods is to test for specific food sensitivities by
running appropriate lab tests that show the foods you’re reacting to. And when
you do this, I would highly recommend removing all of the foods on this
inflammatory food list while removing anything that shows up on your food
sensitivity panel. These tests are not all created equal. So work with a health
professional to help you understand which tests are right for you.
But here’s a little recap – leaky gut forms when tight
junctions in the gut become compromised or loose, allowing things like toxins,
pesticides, and large food particles to pass into the bloodstream where they don’t
belong. When this happens, the body elicits an attack on these particles. When
certain foods are seen as a foreign invader, they cause inflammation in the
body. So that’s exactly why you may see some of the foods you consume on a
regular basis show up on a food sensitivity test. Your body is simply attacking
it because it doesn’t belong in the bloodstream. The only thing that belongs in
the bloodstream from our food is things like vitamins, minerals, amino acids,
and other nutrients. The actual protein is a foreign invader to the
In the event that you are looking for your own health
practitioner, I would love to hear more about your unique story and help guide
you as you work to resolve those. You can access my services here and if you
would like to chat after reviewing them, simply fill out the form on my site
for a complimentary
discovery call to schedule your appointment. I’m here to see you succeed in
reaching all your health and wellness goals.
Is your body giving your
warning signs that something isn’t right?
Your body is such an intelligent
piece of machinery. What I’ve learned over the years as I’ve worked with my body to heal naturally is
this… If your body tells you no, the answer is no.
I know how it is to absolutely LOVE
things like sugar, dairy, bread, pastries, and all the other grain-filled
goodies. I know what it feels like for those items to make up the bulk of your
diet and wander “what in the world am I going to eat if I remove those things?”
The reality is, it requires a definite shift in the way we view our plate and
our food. I had to relearn that food is
The mental/emotional attachment
to food is real. Those feeling of “comfort” we receive from certain
foods is real. AND the addiction is
real. We actually receive a physiological response when we consume certain
foods. That means they alter the chemicals within our bodies that leads to
those feelings of euphoria. But I learned that this food-euphoria can come at a
advice? Pay attention to your body.
Listen for clues. When you experience
symptoms in your body, it’s the intelligence of the human body calling out for
change. It’s as if your body is screaming, “WARNING, SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT!”
If a food is making you sick every time you consume it, stop consuming it! It
doesn’t matter what a doctor or a lab test or even a minister tells you. If you
feel bad every time you have a piece of bread, then put the bread down and
don’t consume it. Back away slowly… and it’s okay to RUN!
I’ll go back to my initial
statement about the body being a very intelligent piece of machinery. The truth
is, the body knows when something has entered into its environment that is
causing harm. It actually elicits an attack in response to what it perceives as
an invader. This causes inflammation in the body, which can cause a range of
symptoms, but worse than that, it can cause a range of diseases.
Something that may seem very
innocent, like putting bread in your body when your body says, “no” is only
adding fuel to the fire. You deal with the consequences of how you may or may
not feel afterward, but it’s not as innocent as we’d like to believe. This
repeated inflammatory response can actually lead to disease states in the body.
When we listen to and respond to
our body and give it what it needs, we can enter into a state of thriving
– where we can flourish, prosper, blossom, and succeed. On the other hand, when
we continually put things in the body that cause inflammation and illicit a
response that puts our cells into attack mode, it creates stress on the body.
If this stressor is in the form of food, like some of the toxic foods mentioned
previously, it can begin to compromise the lining of the gut.
In a healthy body, the gut is
lined with tight junctions, allowing only things like nutrients in the form of
amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to pass through and be absorbed into the
system to bring us into a state of health. The gut lining can become compromised
because of stress, pathogens, or from continuous stressors/toxins from our
environment that are eliciting a stress response or an attack on the body.
What does this mean?
It means that these tight junctions, that prevent
larger particles in the gut from spilling into the body, actually lose their
strength to hold those food particles in. This is known as leaky gut –
or intestinal permeability – where the contents of the gut are literally
spilled into circulation, where they don’t belong. This is a process that
happens over time because of some of the stressors mentioned previously – food
being only one of them. When these tight junctions become loose, and larger
particles begin to spill into the body, they are seen as foreign invaders, and
the intelligent piece of machinery that we are walking around in begins to
elicit an attack on these particles that do not belong in the bloodstream.
This creates food sensitivities
or intolerances, and in some cases disease processes and can even lead to
things like autoimmunity. Autoimmune patients have one thing in common for
sure, and that is a leaky gut. Many times one autoimmune condition can lead to
another. Your body doesn’t hate itself. But it’s attacking what appears to be a
Food is only a small piece of the
puzzle. But many times it’s one of the easiest to resolve. Not emotionally,
because people are truly attached to their foods, but many times these
attachments are not our fault. Food companies create foods that lead to
addiction. If you’ve read my book Healed
His Way, I talk
about the reasons food, and in particular dairy is so addictive, and that’s
because it works on the same receptors in the body as morphine. So you
literally have a morphine-like response in the body when you consume dairy,
which can cause it to be one of the most difficult foods for people to eliminate.
Does this mean you can never eat dairy or grains again? Well in some cases, maybe! For some, gluten just doesn’t work. I recommend that you test in your own body if you want to know what works best for you. The body doesn’t lie.
I choose to do my best to keep certain
foods out of my diet after running several food sensitivity panels. I’ve also found
a common denominator in many of the foods that cause problems for most people.
So even without testing, I typically recommend removing grains, dairy, sugar, artificial
sweeteners, soy, and alcohol for a period of about time and if you decide to
reintroduce, then pay close attention to how your body reacts. After my last
food sensitivity panel, I noticed that there were certain food groups that
consistently showed up for me. When I decided to take that a little more seriously,
it changed my life.
In my case, I’ve dealt with
hypothyroidism for many years, and according to symptoms, for much of my life.
But I’m learning now that it’s possibly related to the fact that I never really
healed my gut completely because I compromised in certain areas a little more
than I probably should have. My gut is my week area and I have to constantly
work on that. But if I put inflammatory foods in all the time, then I know my
gut will never truly heal.
I do take support for my gut on a regular basis as well as thyroid support in the form of herbs and natural supplements that give the body what it actually needs to heal and repair. Will I ever be 100% without the help of supplemental support? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that it is a journey. And I’m working every single day to eliminate what’s causing me harm and including what is bringing me health. And as long as I do what I know I should, I live symptom-free. And you can too.
I encourage you to begin to examine some of the things in your life that are causing you stress. That can be emotions, food, chronic illness, relationships, too little or even too much exercise, and more!
The secret to my success in
almost every area of my life can be accredited to hiring and partnering with
mentors and coaches who push me to become my best self. Those are many times
people who want to see me accomplish my goals as bad as I want to accomplish
If that resonates with you, I’d
love to chat with you and possibly help to you dig a little bit deeper into
finding out what could be the cause of some of your symptoms. Or find someone
else in the field of functional health who will form a partnership with you, so
you can become your best self.
And if you know someone who could use this information, please
feel free to pass it along.
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