Guest Post from Casey Cromwell – I Must Eat Gluten Free. I Choose to Eat Healthy

When people hear that I eat a gluten free diet because of celiac disease, there’s one common reaction: statements like, “You must eat so healthy!” or “I wish I had your willpower!”

Sure, these people might mean well. And, yes, they are right on two points: 1. Not wanting to have extreme stomach pain or fatigue (plus other unmentionable symptoms) is a great motivation to eat gluten free. 2. And, I do eat healthy foods.

The issue with their compliment? Yes, I must eat a gluten free diet…but I choose to eat healthy. Confused? Here’s exactly what I mean.

 “Gluten Free” Isn’t Synonymous with “Healthy”

One of the most common errors in today’s understanding of the gluten free diet is a simple one: people often equate gluten free food to a “diet.”

And in some ways it is. One of the definitions of diet is “food or drink regularly provided or consumed,” according to the Webster dictionary. So am I on a gluten free diet? Yes, due to celiac disease, I only consume gluten free foods and drinks. However, I – like many other gluten free eaters – am not using a gluten free diet to lose weight. As a result, eating gluten free is often not a diet in the sense of being a “regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight.” Nor is a gluten free diet the secret to eternal youth or perfect health.

In fact, recent research has found that eating gluten free can increase some people’s risk of heart problems. Experts have also reported that gluten free foods commonly contain more calories, more sugar, more fats and less vitamins than their gluten-filled counterparts. So is a gluten free diet healthy? Sometimes…but often not.

 So What Is the Gluten Free Diet Really For?

I can’t ignore the fact that some people do lose weight on a gluten free diet. However, those who do usually aren’t eating “gluten free.” They’re just not eating the processed gluten-filled foods – ranging from bread to cakes to cereal – that they used to regularly enjoy.

In fact, the gluten free diet really isn’t really a “diet” at all. It’s a form of medicine – the only medicine available – for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. One in 133 Americans has celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which ingesting gluten causes intestinal damage. I’m one of them.

Celiac disease has over 200 symptoms, ranging from digestive issues to skin rashes to brain fog. If celiacs continue to ingest gluten for a long time, they can even experience long-term health complications like cancer, other autoimmune diseases and gluten ataxia (brain problems).

But what about all the people who eat gluten free but don’t have celiac? After all, the number of Americans who reportedly avoid gluten has tripled in the last five years…even though there’s still only around 1.76 million Americans with celiac disease. While many of those people are probably fad dieters, others may have something called gluten intolerance. What is gluten intolerance? Basically, it’s when people don’t have celiac disease but gluten still makes them feel like C-R-A-P.

The medical community has long disputed the existence of gluten intolerance. However, this is the bottom line: recent research reports that some people experience a leaky gut and chronic inflammation, both of which benefit from a gluten free diet.

Do you feel cruddy every time you eat wheat? Then a gluten free diet may be the “healthiest” way for you to eat. But if you don’t have any of the medical issues that benefit from a gluten free diet, think twice about ditching whole wheat for gluten free bread.

So How Can People Really Eat Healthy?

Honestly, one of the most frustrating parts of people equating “gluten free” to “healthy” is that they are discounting all of the work I do to eat healthy. Because, to be blunt, eating a healthy diet takes work.

It takes self-control to choose a veggie-loaded smoothie bowl over a gluten free cinnamon roll for breakfast. It takes preparation to have grilled fish and roasted veggies ready for me after my college class instead of hitting Chick Fil A for the second time that week. It takes time to retrain your taste buds and honestly prefer eating homemade granola for a night snack instead of ice cream.

And the key to eating healthy isn’t necessarily following a certain diet, whether it’s gluten free, low carb, high fat or anything in between. Yes, it’s important to find the foods that make you feel your best. For someone with celiac disease, they’re gluten free foods. For someone else, whole grains might be just as healthy.

However, personalizations aside, there are steps every person can take to eat healthy, regardless of what “diet” they feel best on. Although I’m no dietician or food expert, my journey with celiac disease and healthy eating has taught me a few tricks, like:

  • Adding veggies to every meal I can, whether by putting shredded zucchini into my oatmeal (tons of volume but no veggie taste!), replacing spaghetti noodles with zoodles, or even making sliders using roasted sweet potato rounds instead of buns.
  • Always having healthy snacks nearby because nothing says “face-plant-into-ice-cream” like being hangry and desperate.
  • Making processed foods a staple in, but not majority of, my diet. To those who don’t eat any processed foods and feel great, I’m happy for you. In my case, I don’t have the time to cook everything from scratch (hello college + job + blog) and protein bars or scones help me get the calories I need with less bloating (’cause too much fiber can be ugly).
  • Finding healthy recipes that you honestly look forward to eating. Everyone’s taste buds, caloric needs and daily schedules are different, so don’t expect to follow your friend’s meal plan and LOVE every meal (unless they’re one crazy good cook). Instead, experiment with enough recipes until you have a few solid favorites that you can regularly make and enjoy. If you actually like your “healthy” meals, you’re more likely to stick to eating healthy.

What I want people to know most about my gluten free diet? Because of celiac disease, I need to eat gluten free. However, it’s my choice to ditch fried chicken for baked fish…and you don’t have to go gluten free to make the same decision.

Do people ever assume you eat “healthy” because you’re gluten free? Can you relate to any of my points? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

AUTHOR BIO: Casey Cromwell is the founder of Casey the College Celiac, a blog that explores life in college (and now grad school) with celiac disease. She writes about gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; tips for living with a chronic illness; restaurant and product reviews; and general health and wellness. Find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter!

 

Guest Post from Paula Maier – Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?

Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?

Paula Maier – Paula’s Healthy Living

I became more aware of the dangers of high sugar intake in American diets when I began blogging 6 years ago and made diabetes a platform issue for my website, PaulasHealthyLiving.com.  Our nation’s sugar habit is a driving force behind diabetes and obesity epidemic in the US and it’s believed to be a contributing factor to cancer and Alzheimer’s according to The New York Times(January 1, 2017).

The questions are, if it takes three weeks to change a habit, could you go four weeks without added sweeteners? I challenged myself with this concept after a doctor asked me to remove maltodextrin, a sugar substitute, to help with stomach issues I was experiencing.  It’s a daunting task, but it could help you reset your sugar taste buds.

Sugar comes with many different names:

If you begin looking at ingredient lists, you may be shocked how frequently you will see these names within the first 3-4 names on ingredients lists. The higher they are on the lists, the more there is in the product.  See the level of sugar in commonly consumed drinks and products across the nation.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams of sugar per day for women and 36 grams per day for men.

(A single 16-ounce bottle of Coke has 52 grams).  You may find yourself reevaluating a lot of the ‘healthy’ foods you regularly consumed previously like granola or packaged cereals which predominantly contain added sugars, processed orange juice, flavored yogurt,  pizza sauce and sugar-free snacks.

One effort to assist in this challenge would be cooking, and therefore, controlling your own food.  If you buy it from outside aisles of the grocery, instead of the inside aisles, it more likely to help you in your quest.

What you will find at the end of the experiment is the pure taste in things such as honey crisp apples, oranges, sweet red peppers and many other foods.  I’m not an advocate of all-or-nothing diet plans, and a bit of 80% cocoa dark chocolate makes my heart sing in the afternoon sometimes, but you will realize a renewed, sensitive set of taste buds that have been dulled by processed foods.  It’s an awakening to the beauty and amazing nature of natural food items and improved health is a bonus!

Paula Maier
www.paulashealthyliving.com

Benefits of Tarter Cherry

 

I recently began taking Tarter Cherry after it was brought to my attention that it helps fight inflammation and Arthritis pain.  The results after taking it twice a day for two weeks has been worth sharing.  It provides solid health benefits and is only 120 calories per one cup serving.  The following benefits  are something that I think everyone should know and here are the reasons why:

1 . Helps Post-Workout Recovery

Cherry juice may help recovery post-exercise. It is naturally high in potassium , which conducts electrical impulses throughout the body. This mineral also helps maintain blood pressure, hydration, muscle recovery, nerve impulses, digestion, heart rate, and pH balance. Cherries contain about 330 mg of potassium per cup, which is almost 10 percent of how much you need each day.

2 . Fights Inflammation and Arthritis Pain

Research shows that the antioxidants in tart cherry juice can reduce pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis. A 2012 study showed that drinking cherry juice twice a day for 21 days reduced the pain felt by people with osteoarthritis. Blood tests also showed that they suffered from significantly less inflammation.

3 Reduces Swelling

When people experience pain from swelling, they often turn to  nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, the effects of these drugs can  be harmful , especially when you take them too often or have allergies. A 2004 study found that cherry juice supplements can reduce inflammation and pain-related behavior in animals, showing promise as a treatment for swelling in humans.

4. Boosts Immunity

Like all fruits and vegetables, cherries pack a powerful antioxidant and anti-viral punch.  Flavonoids , a type of antioxidant in cherry juice, are made by plants to fight infection. Research shows that these chemicals can have a significant impact on immune system function.

5. Regulates Metabolism and Fights Fat

There is some evidence in animals that tart cherries can help adjust your body’s metabolism and your ability to lose abdominal body fat. One study showed that  anthocyanins , a type of  flavonoid responsible for cherries’ red color, act against the development of obesity. Another study in rats found that tart cherries can help reduce inflammation and abdominal fat, and lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.

6. Helps You Sleep

The anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice combined with a dash of sleep-regulating melatonin may help you sleep better, according to a recent study . The results suggest that tart cherry juice has similar effects as insomnia medications like valerian or melatonin on older adults.

7. Blocks Cancer Growth

In a 2003 study , researchers pitted cherry juice against the NSAID  sulindac , which is the most common preventive anti-inflammatory treatment for colon tumors. Although an animal study, it is notable that cherry juice — unlike the NSAID — reduced the growth of cancer cells.

Even without its antioxidants and nutrients, cherry juice is deliciously tart and refreshing. Try replacing sodas and sports drinks with something that can really make a difference to your health.

 

WHEN WEIGHT GAIN IS NOT YOUR FAULT




So you’ve lost the weight… NOW WHAT?

For many people who have reached their goal weight, now comes the toughest part, which is keeping the weight OFF for good. Maintenance can be tricky, so you have to remember that the new habits that you have acquired MUST remain with you for a LIFETIME, hence the saying “LIFESTYLE CHANGE”. You often find yourself thinking “will I NEVER be able to eat real food” and the answer to that would be that in moderation MOST foods are allowed, but always remember , portion control is EVERYTHING. Making mindful food choices always will keep the pounds at bay especially during this phase of your healthy living journey.

During the maintenance phase, your body is desperately fighting to regain every pound that you have lost in record speed. Research has shown that during and after weight loss our metabolism slows down and our appetite increases. A good way to combat that is to understand how many calories you were burning when you lost the weight and decrease your calorie consumption by at least 300 calories. You might have raised your eyebrows at that suggestion, but trust me, you’ll thank me later. The bottom line is that when you are losing weight you are often the most active that you’ve been for a long time because you understand that this behavior will give you the results you want. But, how long can you keep this vigorous exercise regiment up, because truth be told LIFE HAPPENS to everyone.

So, before you throw in the towel at the finish line, remember all that you have accomplished thus far and most importantly, that you’re NOT in it ALONE.

With your success and health in mind,

Natonée

 


How can Hydrotherapy aid in weight loss




Recent studies have proven that the regular use of hot tubs can aid in weight loss.  It also can diminish the appearance of CELLULITE  due to the fact that soaking in a hot tub alone stimulates exercise.  Studies conclude that the fatty deposits that typically gather on the hips, buttocks and thighs of most women can never be fully eliminated.  Due to the fact that the design of a woman’s body naturally causes the skin to dimple, no matter if she is overweight or thin.  
 
Hydrotherapy dilates the blood vessels, which promotes increased circulation as it relaxes the skin and muscles. It also raises the heart rate and lowers blood pressure.  It tones the body tissue, reduces fluid retention and relieves swelling. With all of these benefits combined the result in diminishing cellulite and weight loss is high.
 
Ultimately, hydrotherapy improves your sense of well-being with the many health and fitness benefits and it supports athletic performance. With all of these benefits in mind, it surely makes sense to include this component of hydrotherapy to your nightly routine on your weight loss journey.
 
Relax, relate, release  and enjoy your next spa soak.

 

COMPONENTS TO A SUCCESSFUL HOME DETOX PROGRAM




Whenever we talk about a DETOX program we are normally referring to an alkalizing diet and/or drink program that consist of leafy green vegetables and green drinks. But, in order to thoroughly reap the benefits of a detox program there are a few key steps that we can do at home that shouldn’t be overlooked. In the upcoming weeks I will share and break down each step that you can do at home to complete your program. Let’s get started…

The first thing that you can do that may be the missing piece to a complete detox program from the inside out is Skin Brushing. The skin is the largest elimination organ, it is often referred to as the third kidney because it is responsible for 10 to 15% of total body elimination. Dry skin brushing is an efficient and powerful way to enhance the detoxification process and it gives you amazing results to your detox program. Including this method will improve the appearance of your skin by eliminating dead cells and helping new skin to regenerate, it also stimulates blood circulation, the lymphatic system, and significantly improves toxin elimination.

Cellulite reduction is one of the most sought after results of skin brushing due to the massaging of the skin that stimulates the fatty deposits underneath the skin. Brushing the skin stimulates the lymphatic system which is considered to be one of the best natural internal cleansers. The lymphatic system is composed of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and organs which makes up part of the body’s defense system that removes microorganisms and other foreign substances. Ultimately acting as a filtration system that keeps bacteria from entering the bloodstream.

So, skin brushing is a great way to promote blood circulation, cell regeneration, detoxification, weight loss and cellulite reduction as well as improve tone and skin radiance – why wouldn’t you want to make this practice a part of your daily routine.

TOOLS AND HOW TO

NATURAL Bristle brush with a long handle or a Loofa hand

– Duration 3 – 5 minutes

– Start with brushing your feet, including the soles and move upward in circular motions

– Upper body – Put one arm up and brush down towards the armpit and then move to the other arm. When brushing the abdomen, brush upwards toward the heart. Brushing over the breast and toward the armpit where there is a concentration of lymphatic nodes and I end up brushing over the shoulders and neck in small circular motions.

I hope this was helpful in your efforts to attain a healthier you from the inside out. Stay tuned for the next edition where I will discuss the benefits of a DETOX BATH and WATER THERAPY.

Always with your health and success in mind,

Natonée


Healing Ways To A Restored Digestive System

When your digestion system is off track, your health can suffer in all kind of ways. From several digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, gas a much more. If left unchecked these thing can lead to dangerous chronic health problems. Once you are focused on improving your digestive system, you can reverse just about any chronic health issues without drugs, diets or deprivation. Here are 8 simple ways to help you heal your digestive system.

  1. Good digestion starts in the mouth. When you chew your food well, it eases the work required from your digestive system.
  2. Focus on whole, fresh foods. Avoid processed foods, fast foods, those foods are really high in salt, sugar and processed oils which are hard for your system to digest on top of them providing no nutritional benefit.
  3. Try to eat fermented foods, they are high in good bacteria. Eating them will help regenerate your gut flora. Fermented vegetables, tempeh, miso, yogurt, kefir, kimchi, Kombucha and sauerkraut. Start slowly allowing your body to adjust the change and become accustomed to the changes.
  4. You can heal your digestion system by supporting your liver to work efficiently and effectively. If your system can handle it try to give it a boost by eating carrots, beetroots and leafy greens in soups and freshly squeezed juices.
  5.  People who suffer from digestive disorders are extremely dehydrated. Try to increase your water intake. Try to drink to drink a glass a day with apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Herbal teas are another way to get and stay hydrated as well as healing your body. Peppermint, ginger, fennel and fenugreek are all good for digestive support as well as helping to  heal.
  6. Consider using a gentle detox on a regular basis as a way to reset your system. Using Aloe Vera juice is great for healing and soothing, so consider putting that into your detox.
  7. Probiotics are the good bacteria that have been shown to improve gut health. They are easily available as a dietary supplement. Please ask your doctor before adding anything new to your diet.
  8. Glutamine is one of the most important nutrients that support your body and help with regeneration and repairing of your intestinal lining in your body and also soothes inflammation. These are just some of the foods where you can find glutamine, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, beets, beans.

Are You Suffering from a Primary Immunodeficiency?

A primary immunodeficiency disorder is when any one group of disorders weaken the immune system and allows infections to happen much more frequently. If you’re someone who suffers from a primary immunodeficiency disorder staying fit is important to your overall health. People who are physically fit and exercise regularly tend to get sick less often than those that don’t. Being active and participating in recreational activities that you enjoy can also help relieve emotional stress and anxiety caused by primary immunodeficiency.

If you have a primary immunodeficiency disorder, get your doctor’s okay before you begin a new activity or exercise program. Aerobic exercises such as swimming, biking, running and walking are really good options because they promote lung function, muscle development, strength and endurance.

Some activities pose health risks for certain types of immunodeficiency disorders. An example is if you have chronic granulomatous disease, and immune system disorder that occurs when a type of white blood cell that usually helps your body fight infections doesn’t work properly. Your doctor might recommend that you only swim in well-chlorinated pools. Brackish or briny water can cause exposure to organisms that are dangerous to people with this disorder.

Also, please be sure to take all extra precautions during physical activity and exercise (especially in a gym) to prevent infections.

-Wash your hands regularly and shower immediately after activities where you have direct skin contact with people or shared surfaces.

-Avoid activities with people who have obvious signs of infections.

-Whenever possible use a barrier between you and the equipment.

-Don’t share your personal items such as towels, water bottles and clothing.

-Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with bandages until healed.

Healing Ways To A Restored Digestive System

When your digestion system is off track, your health can suffer in all kind of ways. From digestiveseveral digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, gas a much more. If left unchecked these thing can lead to dangerous chronic health problems. Once your focused on improving your digestive system, you can reverse just about any chronic health issues without drugs, diets or deprivation. Here are 10 simple ways to help you heal your digestive system.

  1. Good digestion starts in the mouth. When you chew your food well, it eases the work required from your digestive system.
  2. Focus on whole, fresh foods. Avoid processed foods, fast foods those foods are really high in salt , sugar and processed oils which are hard for your system to digest on top of them providing no nutritional benefit.
  3. Try to eat fermented foods, they are high in good bacteria. Eating them will help regenerate your gut flora. Fermented vegetables, tempeh, miso, yogurt, kefir, kimchi, Kombucha and sauerkraut. Start slowly allowing your body to adjust the change and become accustomed to the changes.
  4. You can heal your digestion system by supporting your liver to work efficiently and effectively. If your system can handle it try to give it a boost by eating carrots, beetroots and leafy greens in soups and freshly squeezed juices.
  5. People who suffer from digestive disorders are extremely dehydrated. Try to increase your water intake. Try to drink to drink aa glass a day with apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Herbal teas are another way to get and stay hydrated as well as healing your body. Peppermint, ginger, fennel and fenugreek are all good for digestive support as well as helping to
  6. Consider using a gentle detox on a regular basis as a way to reset your system. Using Aloe Vera juice is great for healing and soothing, so consider putting that into your detox.
  7. Probiotics are the good bacteria that have been shown to improve gut health. They are easily available as a dietary supplement. Please ask your doctor before adding anything new to your diet.
  8. Glutamine is one of the most important nutrients that support your body and help with regeneration and repairing of your intestinal lining in your body and also soothes inflammation. These are just some of the foods where you can find glutamine, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, beets, beans.

All of The Benefits – Coconut Flour

coconut flourIn this article we’ll be talking about all of the glorious benefits of coconut flour. We’ll give you tons of information on nutritional values and facts. The pro’s of using coconut flour as opposed to other processed flour. Of course we’ll throw in a few recipes along the way for you to try and tell us about.  So I hope you guys enjoy this edition of “All of The Benefits”, till next time stay healthy, stay fit and remain sleek!

Coconut flour is quickly becoming a growing trend as more people learn all about it’s benefits. Here are just a quick few things that you may or may not know about coconut flour. Coconut flour is gluten- free, high in fiber, protein and it’s also wheat and grain free! It has a light taste of coconut which is delicious on top of being healthy, so you won’t feel to bad when you bake with it. Another nutritional value that coconut flour has is that it’s filled with healthy fats, low in sugar, has digestible carbohydrates and calories, on top of being low on the glycemic index.

These things make it a favorite among  gluten-free eaters including those with a sickness called Celiac Disease, gluten sensitivity, leaky gut syndrome, diabetics, vegetarians and those allergic to nuts. Coconut flour is very versatile and can be used in many recipes and causes very little to none digestion or autoimmune problems. So now let’s jump into some food facts about our fabulous coconut flour.

  1. One of the benefits is that it helps to give your metabolism a boost of energy due to the high levels of healthy saturated fats called MCFA(Medium Chain Fatty Acids).
  2. Coconut meat supplies 61% of dietary fiber, which is quite impressive. Fiber can’t be absorbed some of the calories and carbohydrates in coconut flour move right through the digestive track helping to get rid of toxins and waste.
  3. Being that coconut flour is a low glycemic food, it doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Studies show that consuming coconut flour can help to lower overall glycemic impact and help maintain a stable blood sugar level. This is extremely important for those who have diabetes and are trying to reach or maintain a certain weight.
  4. Due to it’s high nutrient density it helps to keep the digestive system healthy and running smoothly. It also helps to lower bad cholesterol levels and serum triglycerides. All of these wonderful things due to it’s high supply of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber and healthy fat content.

Coconut flour is made from ground and dried coconut meat. After the outer green husk is removed all that remains is the coconut meat. Coconut meat is the white, firm part of the coconut. But in order to make the flour you need  to scrape the inside, separate the milk from the meat, then strained so it can be baked in order to dry and become this wonderful thing we know as coconut flour.

A serving of coconut flour is ¼ a cup which has

  • 120 calories
  • 4 grams of fat
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 10 grams of fiber
  • 16 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of sugar

Coconut Flour Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

¾ cup coconut flour

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

A dash or two of sea salt

¼ cup shredded coconut (plus a little extra to top the loaf)

Wet Ingredients:

3 pastured eggs

¼ cup apple sauce

⅓ cup coconut oil

1 tbsp vanilla extract

3 medium bananas (ripe)

⅓ cup raw honey

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300F.

Lightly oil your bread pan. In addition to oiling the pan, I like to cut 2 strips of unbleached parchment paper and overlap them in a cross to cover the interior of the bread pan. This will help your bread lift out once it is baked.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium size bowl and set aside.

Mash the bananas in a small bowl. I use a potato masher.

In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil on the stove top (and the honey if it is in a solid state).

Finally, mix together all ingredients including the ones that you have not yet touched and the ones that you have set aside. Mix until well incorporated.

Pour into the lined bread pan. Sprinkle extra shredded coconut over the loaf if you desire.

Bake for 1hr and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven insert a toothpick into the loaf. If it does not come out cleanly, return the bread to the over for another 10 minutes and check again. Continue until the toothpick removes cleanly.

*Baking Considerations
1. An old fashioned aluminum bread pan works best. The lighter the pan the better as dark pans absorb the heat and often burn the loaf. Glass pans, while light, are actually the worst. They act as an insulator and over cook the bread.
2. Over mixing, or mixing using beaters will create a dry and thick loaf.
3. The riper the bananas, the better the loaf will taste.
4. Preheat your oven for at least 15-20 minutes.