Is Gluten for Me? Is a Gluten-Free Diet Healthy?

Gluten-free diets have greatly increased in popularity in recent years, and for good reason! The benefits of a gluten-free lifestyle are many and wide-ranging, so cutting certain foods out of your diet will be worth it in the long-run.

What is gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein (technically a mixture of proteins) found in different types of grains and is often used in the production of bread products because it makes the bread more elastic, flexible, and “chewy.” Typically, a gluten-free diet is required by people who have celiac disease because their bodies can not absorb the gluten; however, this diet has become more popular with people who don’t have celiac disease. Some people without this autoimmune condition can still react negatively to eating gluten, and this is referred to as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Research on the effects of gluten on people without celiac disease is still ongoing and developing and is beginning to clearly show the benefits of going gluten-free.

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Benefits of a gluten-free diet
Whether you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity or just want to improve your general health, a gluten-free diet is a good idea. Going gluten-free will help you to lose weight if you’re overweight, improve mood, increase energy, reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and reduce inflammation.

Interestingly, gluten is the only known edible protein that the human body can not digest (it’s broken down and nutrients are absorbed by villi in the small intestine, except in people with celiac disease), so naturally removing it from your diet will improve your digestive health overall. If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease, kicking gluten out of your dietary repertoire will help to alleviate symptoms.

Since you’ll automatically be eliminating a lot of unhealthy foods from your diet by going gluten-free, this lifestyle can lower cholesterol levels. Dr. David Williams admits that a gluten-free diet will reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and ultimately lead to weight loss.

The gluten-free lifestyle will also improve your body’s health by lowering your risk of developing autoimmune diseases because gluten consumption increases inflammation in the body and puts your immune system on high alert. In addition, many foods included in a gluten-free diet contain a lot of antioxidants and minerals which naturally help to ward off germs and viruses.

What to eat and what not to eat
If you go into any supermarket, you will see many gluten-free products. Still, you’ll want to check for replacements, as they can be high in carbs and ultimately unhealthy. Gluten-free is not always low-carb, contrary to popular belief, so just be aware. Luckily, the grains that contain gluten can be replaced with grains that do not contain gluten, such as corn and cornmeal, or sorghum. Although you will have to cut some tasty things like cookies out of your diet, there are still plenty of delicious foods you can eat such as meat, poultry, and fish (so long as they’re not breaded), fruits and vegetables, most dairy products, beans. and many others. All around, the benefits of a gluten-free diet outweigh the lack of cookies and bread!

Family Ties – Dietary Expectations

How many of you were in a situation where you felt obligated to rest on your laurels and take the path of least resistance this year by giving into those delicious gluten filled dressing balls? I did! Luckily, my sensitivity is low enough to where I have the capability to do this. However I know some of you all are not in a position to oblige to such an offering and have to stay strong enough to resist the temptation.

This year our cousin, Ricky, was staying with the family over Thanksgiving – he does not hold back over the holidays. He works full time for a roofing company in Jupiter, FL, we rarely get to see him given his hectic schedule. Ricky is gluten intolerant and has been so pretty much his entire life. Over the years he has been a very strict vegetable eater and even dabbing in the raw food movement for a while. It is nice to have someone in the family who appreciates the gluten-free diet that I promote, however his take on the lifestyle part is a bit different.

To begin with he does not really see my perspective of living a new “lifestyle” while living a gluten-free life. He doesn’t think that by taking gluten from your diet you can somehow be propelled to new heights in your missions and goals in life. I asked him, “How does he think a gluten-free lifestyles has effected his roofing abilities”? He laughed out loud hysterically and said “zip”! Of course, his reaction was predicted. Ricky is one of your typical hard nosed construction types that likes to poke fun at people in the health industry, even though it is light hearted. Ricky is the guy who can make a decision and follow through with it immediately without of second guessing anything. I commend him on his ability to do successfully do this. Ricky if you are reading this, “I commend you, sir”

So Ricky and I were the only gluten-free outsiders at our Thanksgiving party this year and it will probably be the same for the next, and the next. Not everyone is as lucky as I to have a comrade alongside them. any people have to battle it out with family members on why they should have gluten-free options at dinner party’s let alone family gatherings. I would go as far as to say, if your family decides to be reluctant to provide such necessities at Thanksgiving, or any other event, please do yourself a favor and pass on it. There is no need to become belittled in a group setting become of biological reasons completely out of your control.

Stay Calm, and Carry On!

Healthy Lifestyles Revisited

Lets create a list of things that we have covered in previous posts about living a healthy lifestyle.

  • Exercise
  • Waking Early
  • Dietary Choices
  • Goal Setting
  • Positive Affirmations
  •  *Surrounding Yourself with Success

To make a long story short, surrounding yourself with success will bring everything else together. It is the last on the list, however it may be the most vital component. Lets be clear, success is an arbitrary term and ultimately is it up to you to decide what that word actually means and how to apply it to your life. Wether it is living a Gluten-Free lifestyle or not, it needs to align with your unique perspective of success. Now, the reason I say surrounding yourself with success is a sure-fire way to bring success in your life is because we as humans adapt to our environment. Our species is well equipped for this, physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you can find people that “have what you want” then you can learn to imitate their lifestyles until it manifests authentically as your own way of life.

An example of this could be financial success. Lets say your goal in life is to become a multi-millionaire, and right now you are only making around $20,000 per year. Its rather impractical to say you will be your millionaire dreams my staying at an income level of 20k. If you started on the search for knowledge to reach your goals you will probably start by reading books written by successful people. This is totally a form of surrounding yourself with success. Mentally you are changing the way you see the world through the perspectives of people who have already reached the goal you are trying to achieve.

Now what is even more powerful than reading the success into your life is physically surrounding yourself with it. No, I don’t mean rolling in a wad of money, but interacting with people who have reached the goal you are attempting to achieve. By talking with them, listening to them, they will rub off on you contagiously. Its simply a part of life. So go out there and meet people in your area who are already living the life you want to live. I don’t mean to “leach” off of them or to “stalk” them either. If you are constantly surrounded by people in your life who do not live up to your own goals and dreams, then they will bring you back down to their level.

I hope this helps to inspire you to move forward with your goals and make the necessary changes in your current lifestyle that will set you up for success.

How many people do you know with a gluten sensitivity?

According to recent studies roughly 3 million people in America suffer from celiac disease. This is about 1% of our population as of right now. However, I know many people that choose a gluten-free diet, but if only 1% of the population actually have celiac disease, then why are so many more people choosing to avoid gluten?

Honestly, I don’t have celiac disease. Neither do most of my friends. Maybe we have been hoodwinked by great marketing to avoid gluten. Regardless, I feel 20 times better than I ever have before, not that I eliminated gluten from my diet. My significant other also began a gluten free diet and she now feels more energy than she has in many years. So what is it with gluten that makes us feel so much healthier if we avoid it?

Many gluten containing products are higher in calories, sugar, and fat. By substituting our diets with lighter foods, our body are simply reacting in a positive way. I know many of you can attest to high amounts of sugar being harmful to our bodies and clarity of mind. As stated before here, clearing out the gluten from your body is more than just a dietary change, it is a lifestyle change. It effects your mind, body, and spirit. You become a healthier individual because you are literally living a healthier lifestyle. Pretty simple eh?

Never underestimate the power of choice and how one simple choice can effect your entire life.

My Gluten-Free Benefits – Clearing The Inner Plumbing and More

The benefits to a gluten-free diet are eventually going to translate into living a healthier lifestyle. How you go about meeting your goals and your strategy to getting there will enable you to become a better individual as a whole. There were many disciplines that need to be trained and tried and trained again before I could say “I am living a healthy lifestyle.” Still to this day I have to put into practice my disciplines. This isn’t an arduous feat as it once was, it always gets easier with time. Changing my diet was one of the major factors to my success. Let me make a point of what changing my diet did for me. Earlier this year I had my kitchen remodeled and we were told we need to hire a plumbing company to do this. The reason as to why we were referred to work specifically with a plumbing company was because the handle the most vital part of the kitchen. The plumbing is what not only makes the kitchen functional but it also effects the entire house as a whole. This was very insightful as how I look at my diet. How can I expect to have success in my life as a whole if my inner plumbing is not functioning properly? Now, I understand it all matters based upon what your goals are in life and where you want to see yourself in the future. However, I think this is very intuitive when you think about it and is in alignment it living a gluten-free lifestyle which comes down to having a healthy diet.

In the beginning of my lifestyle change, the dietary aspect was not only the most important, but also the hardest to overcome. Actually “feeling” healthy was something I seemed to be completely unaware of before changing my diet. I had forgotten this was literally a feeling one produces when they are living a healthy lifestyle based on their perspective. Let me give you some examples of what my perspective looks like when living a healthy lifestyle.

  • Waking up early
  • Having tangible and non-tangible goals – having GOALS
  • starting the day with a clean attitude
  • Choosing my meals wisely
  • Achieving daily tasks associated with hitting said goals
  • Communicating clearly with myself about how I feel and why
  • Reading something – taking in information or refreshing old information
  • When eating, choosing to congratulate myself when I eat healthy

Not to keeping going on, because there is only so much one can focus on in the day, but choosing to live a healthy lifestyle is making a major decision. My daily habits create the foundation of positive proclivity. Once I begin to feel these changes, they compound the effect and push me even further to make longer strides in my perspective of success. My vision is strengthen by my daily habits.

Thanks for reading!


Gluten-Free Foods, The Healthy Diet Check List

Starting a new diet is never easy. Many, if not all of us have attempted this before. We here about a new trending “health food” diet and it sounds great so we decide to jump on the train only to find ourselves getting off on the first stop. Listen, a gluten free lifestyle isn’t as hard as it sounds. Do you enjoy cooking your own meals? If you do, then this should be a breeze because your recipe book will really not change that much. A few simple ingredients will be replaced with healthier ones and before you know it, you will be living a gluten-free lifestyle.

In order to help your transition to a gluten-free diet, we have built a quick check list on foods that are safe to eat and that we know you all will love.

First, let’s go ahead and make it easy on you. Feel free to go wild with vegetables. Just about every kind of vegetable you can find at the grocery store qualifies for staying in the recipe book. Potatoes are also naturally gluten-free, and the same goes for sweet potatoes. Low sugar fruits like, avocados, lemons, and limes are also great to keep on your grocery list. Seasonings are also an easy fix because virtually all of them can stay on the list with the exception of ketchup.

Gluten-free grains we went over in a previous article here, but below a check list to review.

  • amaranth
  • brown, white, and wild rice
  • quinoa (our favorite)
  • millet
  • buckwheat
  • sorghum

As far as your legumes, beans, lentils, and peas are all okay. Chickpeas are an excellent choice for making hummus. Last but not least, because we all know your dying to find out: cheese. If you are going to keep dairy products, we ask that you use them sparingly. Goat cheese is my go-to. You can usually find it at your local farmers market for best taking, homemade cheese.

We hope this helps you on your journey to living a gluten-free lifestyle. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

What Is Gluten?

Let us look into gluten for a moment.

We will try and keep this as simple as possible and leave out all of the technical stuff. So, what is gluten? I have always been told that gluten is similar to glue. When the body digests something that as gluten, the gluten will stick to you digestive system like glue that can begin to build up overtime. It is difficult for you body to digest, therefore your body can start holding an excess of gluten in the form of fat. Gluten refers to a protein and is made up of gliadin and glutenin. The elasticity of doe in baked goods is gluten. It is what makes these goods so chewy.

What goods have gluten in them? Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye. Most grains contain gluten as it is part of the seeds germination process. However there are still some grains that do not contain gluten namely: oats, sorghum, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, wild rice, amaranth, quinoa (my favorite), and corn. I have become very accustomed to quinoa these days. And even attempted to grow it one year which was unsuccessful. Quinoa is probably one of the more popular gluten free choices as it is easy to cook and there are a variety of byproducts you can make with it such as quinoa burgers.

Before we digress to much, lets recap what gluten is. It is a protein among different cereals, mainly wheat, that is the cause of the elasticity in doe.