Everything I have learned in the last five years, would have pointed me to do the Gerson diet if I was diagnosed with cancer, until this last year. I had read and lived a vegan diet for about two years and vegetarian before that for two years. I was totally convinced that raw plant food was the answer for everything. As I was trying to help my son, I discovered a whole new world of research. I read Robb Wolf’s, Mark Sisson’s, Dave Asprey, Johnathon Bailor, Jimmy Moore, and Cordain’s books on Paleo diets. I started to listen to podcasts and started to rethink the way I was eating and wondered if I was missing something. I felt great on this current diet and changed my health through eating this way. But as time was going on, I started to feel like I should re-introduce some animal foods back into my diet. Now, I am a true believer that I can combine the best of both worlds. I still believe in the power of vegetables, and greens, but I put some grass-fed butter or coconut oil on them now. I only eat organic grassfed meats, no commerical meats, and wild fish. One of the best things I learned over the last two years was to eliminate gluten from our families diets. We just focus on eating real foods, with the most nutrition we can get into us. This is such a HUGE topic so we will break it down in future posts, but today I wanted to talk about my concern with gluten.
Angie, I just wanted to post this link to the article that specifically talks about cancer with a low carb, or low grain diet. Dave Asprey is so intelligent and he really knows his stuff. He has a link in his article to a 16 page article that gets into the specifics of cancer and the benefits from cutting gluten out of your food choices each day. Here is the link:
I thought I would share our story of another reason we became gluten free. My son Isaac is really the catalyst of why we went gluten free and it has made a world of difference in his life. He is only 12 years old. He had blood test done and food allergy test that came back saying he didn’t have celiac or a gluten-intolerance but everything I was reading and studying would eventually bring me back to studies on gluten, dairy and other food intolerances. I decided that it was definitely worth a try to eliminate this grain, along with dairy from my families diet to see if we could help my son’s migraines. We did a full elimination diet and then slowly re-intoduced each food back in, one at a time. We didn’t see an automatic change. He seemed to get less migraines, but still got them. It seemed like such a huge overwhelming change at the time, since we had gluten at about every meal. I made my own bread, pancakes, waffles, ect- all from scratch. My family just LOVED bread and so I knew the change was not going to be easy and we just didn’t results enough that we just did less gluten and thought it would help. He was getting an average of 2 migraines every week. They were full out migraines that always ended up with vomiting and having to be in a quiet, dark room. It was heart breaking to watch this go on with Isaac for over 7 years. We spend probably about 5,000 dollars on doctors, neurologists, MRI’s, chiropractors, and holistic doctors. We used medications and had the heart bubble test done. We even had an eye surgery done that was suppose to help the problem. Nothing really worked and the medications were not worth being on because he still got the migraines. We decided to go back to the diet and be really strict this time about not adding gluten in our food everyday. I just started to take matters into my own hands and decided that this is the way the body is trying to communicate with Isaac that something is wrong. I really studied and kept coming back to Paleo diets and just this past year, we decided to cut most grains out of our diet. The difference has been very noticeable. We are now down to about one migraine maybe every 6 months. We mostly do white rice if we do a grain and white rice flour if we bake, along with almond flour and coconut flour. I am still learning. Some experts say that if you prepare your grains traditionally, then your body can absorb them better. For Isaac, it has been obvious that he can’t tolerate much of any grain, no matter how it is prepared. I am getting a little ahead of myself though, today we are discussing gluten and I have no doubts that this is something that everyone should really try and avoid.
Going gluten free means no more:
pasta (including couscous)
and anything else made with Wheat, White flour products, Barley, Rye, Kamut, Teff or Spelt
That said, there are certainly many gluten/wheat-free versions of the above foods that you can find out there in the grocery store, or you can make at home. Be aware of many gluten free products that are just replaced with other non nutritious processed foods. If you can, making them at home helps reduce all the preservatives. Try to think of REAL WHOLE foods more often for meal choices instead of just replacing your gluten containing processed foods with other gluten free processed foods.
You may be asking, “What is Gluten?” Let’s have a quick look at what it is and why you may want to stop eating it.
Gluten is a composite of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. These exist, conjoined with starch, in the endosperms of some grass-related grains, notably wheat, rye, and barley. Gliadin and glutenin compose about 80% of the protein contained in wheat seed. Being insoluble in water, they can be purified by washing away the associated starch…Although wheat supplies much of the world’s dietary protein and food supply, as much as 0.5% to 1% of the population of the United States has celiac disease, a condition which results from an adverse immune system response to gluten. The manifestations of celiac disease range from no symptoms to malabsorption of nutrients with involvement of multiple organ systems. The only effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet. [Source: Wikipedia]
The quick answer is, it’s a protein found in wheat and some other grains as mentioned above. You’re probably asking, well, if it’s a protein, then why can’t I eat it? The problem with this particular protein is that many people actually can’t break it down within their body and aren’t aware that they can’t. There’s a broad spectrum of those who are either sensitive to, intolerant of or allergic to gluten entirely. Gluten is the cause of so many gut issues like IBS, Crones, Leaky Gut along with Depression and many Auto Immune Diseases. I have read studies on inflammation in the joints being linked to gluten and the list goes on.
My generalized reason for recommending that you remove gluten from your diet is that most of the foods out there that contain it, well, they aren’t WHOLE FOODS. Think about that. In order to make something from wheat (or the above listed grains), you have to break down the grain from it’s original form to something that resembles dust. When we break down foods before we even get a chance to eat them, the way our bodies absorb what’s in them changes drastically.
These are what we call processed foods. Yes, even your bread is a processed food. A tomato, an egg, a piece of chicken, an apple. Those are not processed foods. Whole wheat bread is a processed food. Whole wheat pasta is a processed food. Your cereal is a processed food. Your protein bar is a processed food. When I’m talking about eliminating gluten from your diet, I’m aiming largely at the one ingredient, but more importantly at processed foods in their entirety.
When you eat a food that you’re sensitive to, it causes a series of negative biochemical reactions in your body, especially in your digestive tract and immune system. It also decreases your serotonin levels, which can have a marked negative impact on your mood, and can cause you to turn to simple sugars and carbohydrates for relief.
Usually, when you remove allergenic foods (such as gluten) from your diet, your cravings for sweets will diminish, your mood will improve, your weight will drop, and your overall health will soar. It is just a different way of thinking.
I listened to a podcast that explained in detail the danger of gluten from Dr. Tom O’Bryan. I think it is worth your time if you are thinking about if you should try to go gluten free.
Here is the link:
Some of the my favorite points that Dr. Tom says in this podcast is:
1. If you really have an immune response to gluten, then you can’t just have it once in awhile. “You can’t just have a little bit of gluten, just like you can’t be just a little bit pregnant.” I love that!!
2. As Dr. Tom explains in scientific terms, gluten is a HUGE contributor to depression. It is an opiate thing. When patients go off gluten, when they are NOT celiac gluten sensitive, it is like the light goes on again. They feel better, more aware, smarter. The depression is lifted.
3. Colostrum may be a great idea to healing the gut. If you want to try some, I suggest Dave Asprey’s brand, Bulletproof Colostrum. I am currently using it in my green drinks or water in the mornings.