Can You Digest This?
Do you experience any of the following symptoms?
- Digestive distress such as gas, bloating, nausea, IBS
- Joint and muscle pain
- Mood swings, depression, brain fog
- Nutrient deficiencies, osteoporosis, anemia
- Unexplained Fatigue
- Auto-immune disease
- Water retention
- Actually the symptoms are too numerous to include in this article.
Gluten, gluten, gluten, this is a sticky topic, and a big one. I have chosen this topic as it seems that in my life, every conversation I have leads to a question or story about someone who is gluten intolerant and struggling to get it out of their diet. Well, yes it is definitely complex and overwhelming if you are out there on your own looking for relief and solutions. It is also critical that you do get one hundred percent clear of gluten if you are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease. Testing is in order is you suspect celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
I am doubly happy to address gluten today, because this week I began the series of Gluten Friend or Foe? , my Tuesday talks at the Sante Gluten-Free Café here in Victoria, BC! See the attached poster. If you are in Victoria I hope to see you there!
Gluten is a complex subject. It is commonly misunderstood and there are loads of theories and tidbits and helpful advice being thrown around, the intention is good, the advice, well… not so much!
My goal today is to provide some basic information on gluten and the role it plays in our health. I am all for whole, natural food, and whole grains do fall into this category. Eliminating gluten from the diet is not a necessity for everyone. We are all unique, but gluten is prevalent in the western diet. It is good to be aware of the fact that overexposure to any food can lead to an intolerance.
Gluten is found in grains; mainly wheat, rye and barley. Spelt, kamut, couscous, spelt, durum and malt are derivatives of wheat.
Eliminating gluten in my life has played a very positive role in my vibrant health and happiness. Although I have not been diagnosed with celiac disease, I do have a gluten sensitivity that manifests in numerous nasty and often debilitating symptoms.
Basically my gut was on fire for a few years, which means that my whole system was inflamed. I suffered from many of the symptoms mentioned above. On my quest for relief I sought out a myriad of traditional and complimentary medical practitioners, I was told over and over again that there was “nothing wrong with me”. So I took the matter into my own hands and found the relief I was seeking.
Celiac is the most common lifelong condition in the world, and it is genetic. Gluten sensitivity can develop due to overexposure to gluten and may manifest the same symptoms and do the same damage as celiac. Ingesting gluten, if you have celiac disease, will lead to lack of nutrient absorption and destruction of the healthy villi in your small intestine, which leads to systemic inflammation and your body may develop an auto-immune response, which basically means your body is attacking itself.
When describing the impact gluten has on the gut, I enjoy using the following analogy.
When a sensitive person eats gluten, it is much like falling off a bike and scraping your knee. You stay off the bike for a while and your knee heals, but get back on the bike, take another tumble and the knee is scraped again. If you ride your bike daily, and continue to fall, the scrape never heals, it becomes nasty and very painful. The damage goes deeper and evolves into a problem neither a bandaid or mama’s kiss better can fix.
If you are intolerant to gluten it is imperative that you eliminate it one hundred percent to allow healing to occur. Each time you eat gluten, even a smidgen, you will damage the intestinal tract. Thus the inflammatory process begins and eventually your body becomes a raging inferno!
It is a challenge to eliminate gluten entirely from one’s diet. Gluten is very prevalent, it manages to find its way into all sorts of foods. If you are eating any processed food it is guaranteed that you are ingesting gluten.
Eating a naked diet, natural food clean of all gluten is imperative. When it is gone from your system, the fire will go out, symptoms will diminish, and healing will occur. You will feel like a new person! This process requires patience, diligence, support, guidance and hand holding along the way.
If you are struggling with gluten, contact me for a free 30 minute consultation, I will be happy to lend you a hand!
This week I am sharing a great Gluten-Free recipe that is super quick and easy to prepare and packed full of vitamins, minerals and protein.
This dish is great for picnics, lunches, filling for lettuce wraps or as a gluten-free dish at the next potluck. (That will be one safe food you can enjoy and share!)
I will give the Tru Roots Company a plug here. I love their Sprouted Bean Trio, these beans cook up in just 15 minutes, which is awesome for ‘dried’ beans. Sprouted beans are super nutritious, the sprouting process increases the protein content and helps in the synthesis of minerals and vitamin A, B. These beans are great in soups, casseroles, you name it!
Sprouted Bean Trio
1 c sprouted bean trio
3 c water
1 cup cooked brown rice
2/3 c fresh chopped parsley
1/3 c diced cucumber
3 Tbsp chopped green onions
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground cumin
sea salt to taste
• use organic ingredients if you can!
To prepare sprouted beans, rinse then combine sprouted beans and water in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for five minutes. Drain as needed. Chill.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well and enjoy!
Makes five servings.
Next week I will share information with you on a great gluten free grain which is versatile, delicious, nutritious and so, so easy to prepare.