Tag Archives: celiac

Letter to My Children: Health

I love you and that is the answer for so many decisions that we make.

I know that it doesn’t explain everything and I guess that is why I hope to explain it, in more detail, here.

Challenge is inevitable, as God gives each and every one of us things to guide and push us to be “more”. You have each been challenged early on, even though you may not really understand as it is just ‘your’ life. You know nothing different, because it has been that way for most of your life.

I believe that we are destined to help many families that also face challenges and that is why we were led down this path.

OK! Yes. I know. I will move on.

As a family I know that you both have different challenges, but we try to treat you the same.

Our goal is to give you tools that may not be popular or trendy, but real! We have experienced disease and chronic illness personally and professionally. We have had to learn a lot of the information that has kept you healthy and happy from non-traditional resources, but we have learned to trust our instincts.

Trust your instincts! Trust your gut!

As in any family, when one person is experiencing difficulty, we all are affected. We try to work together to solve the issues and come out stronger on the other side.  Sometimes you may have felt that you were having to deal with issues that weren’t necessarily yours. We know that, but realized that we can only do so much at one time. Everything happens for a reason and at the time that it is meant to.

Health-wise, we had no idea that starting a gluten-free diet would lead our family to a whole food lifestyle. When we first found out, we tried, like so many other families to do the minimum necessary to keep our children safe. Looking back, I can see how we were just like most other families that experience similar, we resisted the information to begin. We didn’t want to make those BIG sacrifices if we didn’t need to. It really was such a blow to our way of life. We were challenged by this and it made us stronger.

I am so grateful for the lessons that we learned! Through this we learned many things and have adjusted our diet to meet our needs, now and for life.

I know that it is hard to see family and friends eating what used to be common and is advertised as “normal” food. Every birthday party, play-date, school function or field-trip is hard for us, but I know it is difficult for you to see the other “convenient” options. Sometimes I wish that it was easy again, but I remind myself that our food is just that. FOOD. Not a party. Not convenient. Not to comfort someone else. It is a challenge for us all and I know that you wish to eat pizza and hamburgers. I also wish it was that easy again!

We have learned so much about health and disease that we want you to learn and have a healthy life. I don’t want you to eat, just to eat and have no idea what health is about, when you get older. I want you to understand that health is everything! If you are sick then life pretty much sucks, so why not do what you can to be healthy??

As you grown into beautiful adults and learn to care for yourselves, you may hear “how expensive” organic food(healthiest option)can be. I wish for you to understand that it is like putting good gasoline into a precious sports car. All systems work together to make that ‘car’ go. If you put junky, cheap ‘gasoline’ in, you will have a poor running ‘car’. If you consider it and investment(because health is your largest and most valuable asset)then you can expect exceptional performance!

I hope these lessons; which we learned the hard way, can make their way to you with a lot less challenge and discord, than how they came to us. I am blessed to have you in my life and know that together we will change the world, in a very positive way! God bless you.

Dad

 

Don’t Wait Until You Get Sick

I want to make sure this is clear.

This is just my thoughts and opinion.

I have seen, first hand, how food can heal and change lives. I have also strung together stories from strangers and family members and realized through our dietary needs, that if you eat crap, your body will treat you like crap.

I am just a dad, husband and a fed up consumer that realizes that we have been led astray by large corporations that want to sell their products. Enough of that!

Sickness and decay is not normal. Health and vitality is our default setting. Just because we are aging, we don’t have to fall apart.

Alarming Health Trends

I am begging you to not wait until you or someone you love gets ill, sick, cancer or dies before making diet and lifestyle changes. We all know that we should eat better.

I have found many great examples of people healing themselves and turning their life around with the power of good, healthy food choices.

We all know the saying “you are what you eat”, but when you are addicted to processed, easy food, it is hard to make that commitment.

I wish that I would have understood this much earlier. My parents did their job and taught me the common sense things like, eating meals as a family and teaching your children to cook. I put the blame on our weak, paid-for government and the large corporations that truly run our country. Apparently health doesn’t bring in enough revenue.

Please make your family’s health priority and choose to pay more now for good healthy foods.

How did our priorities get so screwed up?

Why is it, we are so eager to spend so much money on fancy cars, posh homes and then cheap out by trying to save money on our food?

lambo

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Should that not be our priority or at least high on the list of importance??

Raw-Fruit-And-Vegetables

I realize, first hand, how hard these changes are to make. Believe me, when I say that there has been very few days where I am not wondering, “what am I going to make for the next 3 meals?”. It does get better, but I have made that commitment, that we are never going back to a life of easy or cheap food. I have heard someone say that “you pay the farmer/grocer now or pay the doctors later”.

I urge you to start where you can today! Make better choices and balance your life.

  • Support local farmer’s markets and start a garden.
  • Cook!
  • Teach your children to cook.
  • Don’t give up or give in.

Be healthy and love life.

Best McFree Chicken Nuggets. GF, DF

You know that if you are limited to eating healthy, home made meals, you will do anything to help make life tastier and happier for your kids!

When I saw this recipe from Danielle Walker, I knew right then, that I was “all in”! The next day I hit the grocery store(like I do everyday)but I was on a mission to get these made. I wanted to be that amazing Dad that recreated McNuggets at home!

I picked up the best chicken thighs that I could get and headed for my kitchen. Little did I realize that this recipe would put my Vitamix to the ultimate test as well as the chef. Woops!

I didn’t think that I needed to get ground chicken and I was already “all in”, so I had to McGyver this into submission. I am that guy!

Naive and excited to make, I threw all 2 lbs of thighs right into the ‘ol Vitamix and hit the ON switch. It chewed up pretty good for about 30 seconds and then just stopped. (I thought these things were indestructible??) After calling the company and getting put on hold, I realized it just needed a rest during the GRINDING OF THE CHICKEN! (It turns out that you might need to grind the chicken in smaller batches)

Well, I was so excited to make these and I thought, if I’m going to go the trouble of making these, I should just make a bunch.  I had at least a double batch, cause I made close to 80 nuggets.

When I do a recipe, I use it as a guide for the most part and wing it from there.(makes life a little exciting)

I only used dark meat and it turned out great. I also only used the flours that I had on hand. I used almond and coconut flour for the batter. My batter was a lot thicker than I thought it would be, but it worked out really well even though it didn’t look like it was going to.

This is a bit of work, but totally worth it. My whole family, nearly gave me a standing ovation at supper! They all loved them, so much! Both girls wanted them for lunch the next day.

I hope you give it a go. It really is nice to have an old favorite, but in a healthy way:)

Stay healthy!

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AUTHOR: Danielle Walker – AgainstAllGrain.com

SERVES: 20 nuggets

CUISINE: Kids

PREP TIME: 25 mins

COOK TIME: 20 mins TOTAL TIME: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic palm shortening, lard, tallow or duck fat for frying
  • 1/2 pound ground dark meat chicken (preferably organic and if possible pastured)
  • 1/2 pound ground white meat chicken
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted chicken stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Batter

*note these will likely work without the egg for egg-free, but will probably be less crispy. 

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a deep pot over medium high heat. Bring the oil to 350°F then reduce the heat on the stove to keep a constant temperature. The oil should be about 2-inches high in the pot.
  2. Combine the chicken, chicken stock, 3/4 teaspoon salt, ground mustard, and garlic powder in a bowl.
  3. In a shallow and wide dish, whisk together the bean flour, arrowroot, 1/2 teaspoon salt and baking powder. Add the egg and sparking water and stir until just combined and smooth.
  4. Roll small portions of the meat mixture between your palms to create a nugget shape, then dip them in the batter. Shake off the excess batter and place them in the hot oil, working in batches of 6-8 nuggets. Cook on each side 3 to 4 minutes, until the batter has puffed up and is golden brown.
  5. Remove the nuggets with a mesh skimmer and place them on a rack lined with a paper towel to cool. Continue working in batches until you have finished the meat and batter.

Alternatively – these nuggets can be baked all at once, but they do not get nearly as crispy as they do when fried. After dipping the chicken in the batter and shaking off the excess liquid, place them on a baking sheet and baked for 16 minutes at 400°F.

To Freeze and Reheat

Cool the nuggets completely then freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Transfer them to an airtight container and store for up to 3 months. To reheat, place the nuggets on a baking sheet and cook at 400°F for or 12 minutes or 8 minutes on convection.

Best Chicken Nuggets, Danielle Walker

Steak Bites and Mixed Vegetables

This is a quick and easy solution to the “what to make tonight” question. I picked up a couple of nice steaks but since our BBQ is out of commission I had to find another solution for yummy steak.
Ingredients:
3/4 cups of almond flour
2 good steaks(I like rib)(you can use cheaper cuts for this)
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup broccoli stems and florets

1/2 red pepper & yellow pepper
1/2 cup of diced kale

1-2 tbsp of healthy cooking oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

Preparation:

Dice onion and cook on medium in your choice of healthy fat.
Slice and chop vegetables into small pieces. When onions are soft add crushed garlic and vegetables and cook until almost soft. Set aside and use same skillet for steak bites.

Combine almond flour and spices to make coating for steak bites.
Cut steak into smallish pieces( my kids really eat it when smaller pieces)
Make sure to trim off any unwanted pieces.
Coat in almond flour and spices.
Cook in healthy oil on high to get meat seared.
Cook in smallish batches.
Once all finished, serve on mound of vegetables.
Enjoy!

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Leaky Gut Syndrome In Plain English – And How To Fix It, by Jordan Reasoner

Three years ago the doctor gave our daughter a diagnosis of celiac disease and we thought our world was upside-down. Well, after all of the testing and appointments, he sent us home with a plan to not eat gluten. That meant to look at the labels and make sure that she wasn’t getting any wheat, barley or rye in our foods.

At that time we had a typical diet of pizzas, mac and cheese and all the “normal” boxed goodness meals. We are hard working parents, doing our best to raise our beautiful children and provide nutritious meals that our tasty and healthy.

With the celiac diagnosis, came the charge to find the same type of products, just gf, so that we could continue on our similar path. This message was echoed by other families that we talked to, with the same diagnosis. “Try to eat normal diet, just take out gluten”

Fast forward 2 years and our daughter is still not gaining weight and still not feeling good. Tummy pain started about 1 year into eating gf foods.

She was getting worse! Losing weight. After a lot of our own research and sleepless nights, we found SCD and what was possibly the closest symptoms to our daughter’s. At this point there wasn’t much that could get worse.

Thank you to http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/, Jordan and Steve for going through this before and finding a solution. You have shared your stories of successes and failures.

http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/p/scd-autism/

by JORDAN REASONER

Leaky Gut can be so confusing, but it’s becoming more and more of an epidemic.  Many of the causes and cures of Leaky Gut are widely debated, but Doctors are becoming more aware of the condition and ways to treat it.

This article is meant to shine some light on how to treat Leaky Gut Syndrome and why the SCD Diet is such a critical component to it.   

Leaky Gut Explained:

The term Leaky Gut Syndrome is used to describe the condition of “Hyperpermeable Intestines”.  A fancy medical term that means the intestinal lining has became more porous, with more holes developing that are larger in size and the screening out process is no longer functioning properly.  The fallout results in larger, undigested food molecules and other “bad stuff” (yeast, toxins, and all other forms of waste) that your body normally doesn’t allow through, to flow freely into your bloodstream.

So now that we have the general essentially meaningless definition out of the way let’s find out what is really going on…

The intestinal lining is the first mechanism of defense for our immune system.  The outer layers of intestinal cells (epithelial) are connected by structures called tight junctions.  At the tips of these cells are the microvilli, which absorb properly digested nutrients and transport them through the epithelial cell and into the bloodstream.  During normal digestion process the tight junctions stay closed, forcing all molecules to effectively be screened and only pass into the blood stream through the mucosa cells (think of them like bouncers at the front of a classy bar).  For reasons we will discuss later these tight junctions can become “open” or permeable allowing un-screened molecules to flow directly into the bloodstream (think of it like a fish net with very small holes).

Graphic From: www.leakygutcure.com

So Then What Happens?

The first reaction your body has to these “foreign” bodies in your blood is to fight like hell.  Initially, your Liver is called into action to work overtime and try to screen out all the particles that your intestinal lining was supposed to be taking care of.  In most cases, the liver has no chance of keeping up with the constant flow of waste into your blood and all the toxins, undigested food molecules, yeast, and other pathogens start to accumulate in your body.

Now the sleeping giant wakes up (your immune system) and it is not happy.  It goes into full battle mode to fight the evil intruders and get them out of the body ASAP.  More often than not, the body cannot keep up with the task at hand and the majority of these foreign bodies absorb into tissues throughout the body… causing them to inflame.

Inflammation is also an immune response and causes even more stress on your system.  Now that your body is focused on fighting the large war, the little battles are starting to be ignored, like filtering out the blood, calming inflamed areas of the body, fighting bacteria, regulating the gut, etc.  This process flow can lead to your body fighting itself and an array of autoimmune diseases such as Chronic Fatigue, MS, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, and Fibromyalgia.

Now your body will begin to produce antibody soldiers designed to fight against these foreign objects (which can be things such as the Casein protein from the milk you’re drinking, or other proteins in nuts, grains, or eggs).  Even chemicals normally found in foods such as Phenols and Glycerin can now trigger immune responses when they enter the body.  For instance, I immediately react to diary of any kind.  I get instant brain fog, a headache, sore throat, and horrible sinus drainage.  A similar reaction happens when I eat foods high in phenols such as tomato juice.  I am confident that it is all part of a reaction as a result of years with leaky gut from my Celiac Disease.

If you are having any food sensitivities to more than a dozen foods, you likely have leaky gut.  Any undigested foods that are absorbed into the blood stream are now considered enemies of the state, and your immune system will develop reactions to many of them, leading to food intolerances.  When you have a Leaky Gut condition, the damaged microvilli along the intestinal lining cannot manufacture the digestive enzymes they need to break down the food for proper digestion.  The resulting condition allows food molecules to flow into the bloodstream that have not been completely broken down into the nutrients your body needs. 

Bottom Line: The foods that you’re eating are not the root of the problem; it’s the leaky gut letting the food molecules into your bloodstream.  Of course, the caveat is severe food allergies such as gluten to a Celiac or deadly peanut allergies.

How Do I Know If I Have Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Symptoms of Leaky Gut can vary from person to person depending on the level of damage and the tissues being affected.  Multiple Food Sensitivities can be a sign that your immune system is developing antibodies to everything you’re eating.  Nutritional deficiencies are a sign of lacking vitamins and minerals from the improper breakdown of food in your intestines.  Chronic diarrhea and constipation are signs of inflammation of the intestinal walls from Leaky Gut.  Skin rashes are your body’s way of trying to dump the toxins through the skin perforations.  A poor immune system will result from your body trying to wage war on itself and ignoring all the virus and bacteria we encounter on a daily basis, allowing you to get sick more often.  Headaches, brain fog, memory loss, and excessive fatigue are a result of the inflammation of tissue and toxin build up.  Yeast overgrowth (Candida) will cause cravings for sugar and carbs, gas, bloating, and anxiety.  All of these things add up to a host of symptoms with a myriad of explanations… all leading back to one thing: the constant river of foreign objects being allowed to enter your bloodstream.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

The cause of Leaky Gut is widely debated in the medical community.  However, there is some level of consensus that the following are the basic contributors:

–  Diet: Consuming high amounts of refined sugars, processed foods, preservatives, refined flours, and flavorings introduces massive amounts of chemicals into the body that is seen as toxic.  If your body has a hard time keeping up the toxins start to build up and cause inflammation (like we talked about earlier).

–  Chronic Stress: Chronic stress almost always results in a suppressed immune system.  A weakened immune system cannot handle doing it’s normal job and gets overrun with pathogens very quickly.  This increases overall gut inflammation leading to increased permeability of the intestinal lining.

–  Inflammation: Any type of inflammation in the gut can lead to leaky gut.  This can be brought on by low stomach acid (which passes undigested food into the small intestine irritating everything it passes by), yeast overgrowth (Candida), bacteria overgrowth, infection, parasites and excessive environmental toxins.

–  Medications: Any medication prescriptions or even over-the-counter pain relievers with Aspirin or Acetaminophen irritate the intestinal lining and decrease the mucosal levels (a membrane produces mucus on the intestinal lining as a natural protective measure).  This can start or help to continue the inflammation cycle (more bacteria, yeast, and digestion issues) and promotes an increase in permeability.

–  Yeast: Yeast is found in normal gut flora but as soon as it begins to get out of hand it mutates into a multi-celled fungus (usually Candida) that grows tentacles to grab onto the intestinal lining and stay put, consequently making its own holes in the lining.

–  Lack of Zinc: Zinc is a critical piece of maintaining a strong intestinal lining.  A deficiency of the vitamin can lead to the mucosal lining losing strength and becoming more permeable.  There are studies that show that supplementing with Zinc when it is deficient can dramatically improve intestinal lining integrity.

How To Fix Leaky Gut Syndrome…

The medical community is also still rather divided about the methods used to alleviate leaky gut.  Treating Leaky Gut is a multi-faceted approach that requires many different pieces of the puzzle to fall into place.  If each one is utilized, the holes in the sinking ship will plug up and allow the body to return to a more normal state.  Here are a few of the most agreed upon avenues and also where the SCD Diet comes into play:

– Diet Restrictions: Eliminating sugars, starches, grains, and any other irritating foods alleviates the inflammation and starves out the yeast overgrowth (this is where the SCD diet takes over the healing process).  Reducing both of these allows the intestinal tract to slowly return to its normal permeability, stopping the flow of foreign objects into the blood, which will stop food intolerance symptoms and eventually help stop the vicious cycle just as the book described it.  I would argue that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is the foundation of curing leaky gut, but it does need some help from the next three pieces.

Here’s a free guide to get started on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet: “How To Start The SCD Diet In 24-Hours

  Nutritional Supplementing: The conditions that lead to leaky gut can also cause mal-absorption and improper digestion, both of which are going to leave you with nutritional deficiencies.  First and foremost: supplementing with a good multi-vitamin, large amounts of vitamin D, and Zinc will help the intestinal lining return to normal (assuming the irritants from the diet are removed by following the SCD diet).  Essential fish oils have also been shown to really help improve the condition of the intestinal mucosal lining (omega-3’s greatly reduce inflammation among a host of other benefits).

  Probiotics: Now that the Candida is being knocked down by your adherence to the SCD diet, mixing in a solid foundation of probiotics, and more specifically, the friendly bacteria Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a must.  The diet gets rid of the bad bacteria and you need a constant feed of the good bacteria to replace it.  Friendly bacteria stop the inhabitance of bad bacteria and yeast, heal the gut lining, help nutrients get absorbed, and keep the vicious cycle in check.  Studies suggest that keeping a ratio of 85% good to bad bacteria in the gut will stop the cycle from starting back up.  A good non-dairy SCD legal lactobacillus acidophilus will be very beneficial.

  Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes are critical to properly breaking down the foods we eat.  They are found naturally in the raw form of foods to help break them down, unfortunately, in the beginning stages of the SCD diet we have to cook all of our fruits and veggies, rendering them useless for enzymes.  The have multi-faceted skills to help alleviate leaky gut.  First, plant based enzymes will break down food into very small particles before it leaves the stomach, preventing large undigested molecules from irritating the intestinal lining and increasing nutritional uptake.  They also work through your intestines acting as garbage collectors by removing toxins, bacteria, and damaged cells of the mucosal lining.  The whole process gives the gut a clean slate of healthy cells to rebuild with.  While the leaky gut permeability remains, they do the same garbage collecting in the bloodstream if they are passed through the intestinal lining.  The bromelain and papain enzymes are shown to reduce inflammation in the gut lining and throughout other tissues in the body, allowing the immune system and the liver some reprieve.    Any SCD legal, plant based enzyme will make a world of difference here.           

In good health,

– Jordan

Leaky Gut Syndrome in Plain English – and How to Fix It

5 Things You Should Know Before Going Gluten Free

When I read this article for the first time, I thought about my daughter who was diagnosed when she was 7. She has been so brave and so mature through all of what she(and the family)have gone through. She continues to amaze me and my wife. She is an inspiration to many of us, who might occasionally say “oh I can’t do possibly do that!”
 
“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Walt Disney

Our children will be so much better equipped, to deal with our food challenges that we face today. Gluten and grains will be better understood and it will be normal for people with celiac disease to dine out in safe environments and join in, in social gatherings like there is nothing special about them. 
 
The children growing up, like my children, don’t know any different. As the number of people with the diagnosis continues to climb, the level of understanding and acceptance will continue to grow as well. We will find better solutions for our health crisis here in North America and it will come in the fashion of small farms, people looking for local growers and more homemade simple meals.
 
I hope that by sharing our thoughts, challenges, triumphs and successes, that we can help clear a path for our children to make our world just a bit better.

Article courtesy: Taylor, Gluten Away

Everyone takes on going gluten-free in their own way. Some people research it first and take it on like a pro. Others get overwhelmed and don’t really know what to do. I’ve gained a lot of experience over the last 4 years, learned a lot of things, and also gotten a lot advice from people as well. Even though I’m 16 years old, I can definitely say I’m a pro by now. Even though I’m very experienced, there’s a lot of things I wish I knew when I first went went gluten-free 4 years ago. That’s why I put together this list of 5 things that everyone should know before they go gluten-free. I hope this is helpful to you no matter how experienced you are!

1. You NEED vitamins – Everyone who goes gluten-free thinks that they can just remove gluten and feel better. Although going gluten-free helps with celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or just your overall health, it can also create a lot of issues. You are removing grains and a lot of food groups from your diet which means a lot of vitamins are being removed as well. Make sure you get the proper vitamins to replace what you are missing or you will get deficient in many vitamins and begin to feel sick. Click here for the most common vitamin deficiencies while being gluten-free!

2. Hidden gluten – It’s easy to know what gluten is in. Bread, pasta, cookies, cake and so on. But a lot of people don’t think about the hidden gluten which can be hard to find. Things like soy sauce and many other products make it very hard for people to know what to avoid. Also it’s important to look at whether a product is made in a facility containing wheat because this can cause cross contamination as well. Check out this Top Products With Hidden Gluten List!

3. You may need to remove more than gluten – Some people assume gluten is all they need to remove to feel better. This may be true for some but it isn’t true 100% of the time. Many people with celiac disease also have lactose intolerance since the 2 are connected. It’s important to get tested by a nutritionist to see if you are allergic to any other foods and if anything else should be removed from your diet. If you still continue to feel bad then it may be more than gluten that you have to avoid.

4. Social situations will be harder – I’ll say it right now because it’s true. Going gluten-free does make social situations harder. Most people only think about the diet aspect of going gluten-free but not the social aspect as well. Food is involved in almost any social get together which means it can be a lot harder to have options eating out. Let the people know you can’t have gluten or bring your own food! Either way going gluten-free is a life style change and this is one unfortunate side to it.

5. You can still enjoy food, being gluten-free – I’ve seen people say this a lot. They assume that going gluten-free means they can never enjoy food again which isn’t true at all. In fact, I think going gluten-free allows you to enjoy food more! Luckily there are gluten-free alternatives to pretty much anything now which is awesome. But there are actually so many naturally gluten-free options to enjoy besides those gluten-free alternatives. You can still enjoy food as long as you are open minded and realize there are still so many options for you to enjoy.

 

http://www.gfreefoodie.com/5-things-you-should-know-before-going-gluten-free-taylor-teenager-on-a-gluten-free-mission/

The Gluten Free Lie: Why Celiacs Are Slowly Dying

For the one year anniversary of the beginning of my daughter’s recovery from “failure to thrive” and the doctors brilliant(sarcasm) prescription of Ensure, this article has brought us to a place of health and happiness! After numerous trips to emergency, the doctors really didn’t know what was going on. We were essentially left to figure out what was happening on our own.
She is now a shining example of a creative and goofy pre-teen.
When we read this article, it shattered our paradigm! We thought we were doing what we needed to, for her health. After reading and re-reading this many times, we then considered how we would then eat. The choice was obvious! We would change whatever we needed to, to get healthy and happy. (She was in pain and unhappy. It didn’t help that we were totally stressed)

We promised her,(through her tears)that we would do everything that we could to get her healthy and pain-free. Once we started SCD, we saw slow but steady improvement in her mood and her health. It was inconvenient and restrictive, but all in the effort to get her well, right!

This article may not be what you want to hear, but for some, they still may be frustrated like we were and unsure of what to do next. I hope that re-posting this may help other families reach a point where they can feel healthy again.

By Jordan Reasoner

Conventional medicine usually works like this…

I have a problem, the doctor figures out what the problem is, and gives me a conventional prescription generally supported by Doctors, researchers, and the FDA.

This prescription is supposed to be relatively safe and effective in accordance with the laws in the United States and most modern countries

But what if the conventional prescription doesn’t work?

Like people with Celiac Disease that follow a strict gluten-free diet and don’t get better…

Does that mean the gluten-free diet is the wrong prescription for Celiac Disease?

Earlier in this series, I showed you that gluten is toxic invader that causes Celiac Disease. Logically, removing the intruder is the first step towards treatment. That’s why anyone diagnosed with this autoimmune condition gets the conventional Celiac Disease prescription: follow a strict gluten-free diet for life. But the latest Celiac Disease research is painting a very different picture.

The University of Chicago has one of the leading treatment and research centers for Celiac Disease in the U.S., so my jaw dropped when they posted this:

“While healing may take up to 2 years for many older adults, new research shows that the small intestines of up to 60% of adults never completely heal, especially when adherence to the diet is less than optimal.”[1].

60% odds are worse than flipping a coin…

It would be easy to read that and think, “So it’s the people who don’t follow a strict gluten-free diet that don’t heal.” But to be honest, I don’t think they said it as strongly as they should have. Here’s a recent study that paints a much darker picture of the gluten-free diet’s success rate.

Only 8% of adult patients healed on a gluten-free diet…

A 2009 study in The Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics looked at 465 Celiac Disease patients and found only 8% of adult patients reached “histological normalization” after following a gluten-free diet for 16-months, meaning their gut tissue completely recovered to that of a healthy person. The authors stated:

“Complete normalization of duodenal lesions is exceptionally rare in adult coeliac patients despite adherence to GFD” [2]

These people followed a strict gluten-free diet for 16-months and most didn’t heal their gut. The success rate of the conventional Celiac Disease prescription isn’t working… and the research is exploding the truth.

Another 2010 study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology looked at 381 adults with biopsy-proven Celiac Disease. The authors found small intestine mucosal recovery occurred in only 34% of participants following a Gluten-Free diet for 2-years. They concluded:

“Mucosal recovery was absent in a substantial portion of adults with CD after treatment with a GFD.”[3]

The Conventional Merck Manual definition for diagnosing Celiac Disease provides that: “The diagnosis is confirmed by an initial microscopic examination of a biopsy specimen revealing flattened villi of the small intestine and by a subsequent improvement in the lining after the person stops eating foods containing gluten.”

These studies clearly show that when a Celiac stops eating foods containing gluten, the intestinal lining isn’t healing. But that’s only scratching the surface of what’s going on…

65% of gluten-free Celiacs still have a raging fire in their gut

The same 2009 study in The Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics of 465 Celiac Disease patients 16-months gluten-free found that 65% still had “persistent intraepithelial lymphocytosis” AKA inflammation in the gut.[4]

Their intestines are on fire with inflammation even after 16-months gluten-free.  Why is that important?

We know gut inflammation is associated with a laundry list of health issues, including cancer and early death.  That’s bad news for the conventional Celiac prescription and even worse news for the people not getting better on a gluten-free diet.  Want more evidence gluten-free doesn’t put the fire out?

A 2008 study in the Journal of Inflammation looked at 18 symptom-free Celiac Disease (SFCD) patients and found they still had elevated markers of gut inflammation even after 2 years on a gluten-free diet.  The authors reported:

“Faeces of both active CD and SFCD (symptom-free 1-2 years on a GFD) patients, representing an imbalanced microbiota, significantly increased TNF-alpha production and CD86 expression in PBMCs, while decreased IL-10 cytokine production and CD4 expression compared with control samples.” [5]

In another 2009 study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers looked at small intestine biopsies from 45 children with Celiac Disease and 18 clinical controls.  The authors found an increased presence of T cells (inflammatory marker) in well-treated CD patients:

“The long-lasting presence of high frequencies of T cells in the epithelial compartment in well-treated CD indicates that the epithelium is stressed possibly because of constant attack.”[6]

Both these studies looked at patients that are supposed to be “healed”… supposedly “well-treated”. Even though they appeared to be symptom-free, the medical tests paint a much different picture.  These asymptomatic adults and kids still had inflammatory fires raging in their gut… promoting further disease development (like Cancer).

So far this research has only reviewed patients following a gluten-free diet for 1-2 years… but what about long term?  Does the body just need more time to heal and get back to normal?

56% have poor vitamin status after 10 years gluten-free

A 2002 study in the of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics looked at the vitamin status of 30 adults with Celiac Disease showing “biopsy-proven remission,” after following a gluten-free diet for 8-12 years.  They found that 56% had poor vitamin status, suggesting that proper nutrient uptake is not occurring. The authors concluded that:

“It is generally assumed that coeliac patients adhering to a strict gluten-free diet for years will consume a diet that is nutritionally adequate.  This is supported by the demonstration of a normal bone mineral density up to 10 years of dietary treatment.  Our results may indicate otherwise. We found signs indicative of a poor vitamin status in 56% of treated adult coeliac patients.” [7]

Even after following the conventional Celiac prescription for 10 years 56% still showed signs of poor nutrient uptake, meaning their digestive system still isn’t working like it’s designed to.

That means after 10 years of being gluten-free, HALF of all Celaics are likely starving for the critical nutrients required for health and longevity.  It’s no wonder we have a 77X increased risk for lymphoma.[8]

The gluten-free diet doesn’t fix leaky gut

Earlier in this series, we discovered that gliadin initiates leaky gut by increasing the zonulin protein in people with Celiac Disease.   And later, we learned that fixing leaky gut is absolutely essential to reversing the damage from Celiac Disease…

But the gluten-free diet doesn’t fix leaky gut…

As it turns out, when Celiac Disease patients follow a strict gluten-free diet, their zonulin levels do fall (which is good).  But research shows that they still have elevated levels of zonulin compared to non-Celiacs.  And when the zonulin levels are still high… the Tight Junctions can’t restore normal function and the leaky gut remains.

Chris Masterjohn found the same thing reviewing a study by researcher Allessio Fasano,[9]

 Remarkably, they found that celiacs produce 30 times as much zonulin as non-celiacs, even though the non-celiacs were not eating gluten-free diets while the celiacs had been off gluten for over two years!

Here’s a graph of their data:

 

This is remarkable because even though the point of the study was to show that gluten increases zonulin production, the controls were eating gluten yet had infinitesimal levels of zonulin production, while the celiacs had not eaten gluten for at least two years yet still had very high levels of zonulin production.  This suggests that something besides gluten may be causing zonulin production in celiacs.

 

Chris also pointed out the same study looked at Leaky Gut in Celiac Disease patients following a gluten-free diet for more than two-years:

[NOTE: in the graph below, the smaller the bar, the leakier the gut is]

Here they measured trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) of intestinal tissue taken from gluten-free celiacs and gluten-eating controls.  TEER is an estimation of the leakiness of the gut, where a lower value indicates a greater level of leakiness or permeability.  They found that tissues taken from controls who had been eating gluten had three-fold less leakiness compared to celiacs who had been off gluten for over two years.  This, again, suggests that something besides gluten may be contributing to leaky gut in people with celiac.

So in summary, Chris pointed out:

  • Celiacs produce 30 times as much zonulin as non-celiacs, even though the celiacs had been off gluten for over two years!
  • Intestinal tissues taken from controls who had been eating gluten had three-fold less leakiness compared to Celiacs who had been off gluten for over two years (so Celiacs had a much leakier gut, even while eating gluten-free)

But the evidence doesn’t stop there…

A 2008 study in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research tested for leaky gut in 22 celiac disease patients who were on a gluten-free diet for 1 year.  They found these patients following a gluten-free diet still had a much leakier gut compared to healthy controls eating gluten (0.013 vs 0.003, P = 0.001).  The authors concluded:

“This means that, at some time, complete recovery of intestinal villous may not have occurred and an inflammatory process may have persisted.”[10]

This is crazy!  All this research shows the gluten-free diet doesn’t heal Celiac Disease.  In fact, the evidence suggests that in many cases, leaky gut and inflammation remain high for years on a gluten-free diet.  This spells bad news for anyone with Celiac Disease relying on a gluten-free diet as the only treatment protocol…

It breaks down like this… high inflammation, poor vitamin status, and leaky gut persist on a gluten-free diet which leads to one thing: untreated Celiac Disease…

And untreated Celiac Disease will kill you… fast

If you don’t completely heal from Celiac Disease, you’re going to die much sooner than healthy people.  In fact, one of the largest cohort studies on Celiac Disease patients and mortality published in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that:

  • Those with Celiac Disease (villous atrophy) had a 2.80-fold increased risk of death the first year after diagnosis and a 39% increased risk of death over the study period

But the authors didn’t stop there… they also looked at people with intestinal inflammation.  Remember the two studies on “well-treated” (asymptomatic) patients that still had inflammation?  The authors found:

  • Those with intestinal inflammation (and not villous atrophy) had a 4.66-fold increased risk of death the first year after diagnosis and a 72% increased risk of death over the study period[11]

A 72% increased risk of death!

In other words, if you’re a symptom-free Celiac and your labs show signs of gut inflammation… you’re going to die much sooner than you think. 

So should Celiacs eat a gluten-free diet?

Yes… gluten is still the kryptonite in Celiac Disease, don’t ever eat it.  Following a gluten-free diet is a requirement for treating this autoimmune condition… but you can’t stop there.

This evidence clearly shows that only following a gluten-free diet doesn’t fix leaky gut, gut inflammation, or a damaged gut lining.  That means the gluten-free diet isn’t enough to treat Celiac Disease patients and anyone using it as the only protocol is at risk for dying much sooner than they should…

The conventional Celiac prescription is incomplete and not working.  There needs to be more. 

In the last post, I showed you that fixing leaky gut is a critical step in reversing Celiac Disease… and now you know that gluten-free doesn’t cut it.  In the next part of this series, I’ll explore the leaky gut-Celiac connection and what to do about it.

http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/the-gluten-free-lie-why-most-celiacs-are-slowly-dying/

GF Candy Bars from Gwyneth Paltrow

 These bars are fantastic! I find them so sweet, as per the recipe, that I don’t even do the chocolate, but I will let you decide for yourself.
This is a healthy alternative to anything from the store and the kids will love you for it!

Makes 18 bars

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (60% or higher cacao)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

PREPARATION

  1. In a food processor, grind cashews to a fine meal. Add dates, almond butter, syrup, flour, coconut and almond extract; pulse until a sticky dough forms. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a drop of water on hands, press cashew mixture onto parchment, forming a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate until firm, 6 to 8 hours. Set a stainless steel or glass bowl over a pot of simmering water (water not touching bowl). In bowl, combine chocolate chips and oil. Stir until just melted, 3 to 5 minutes; remove from heat. Pour chocolate mixture over cold cashew mixture; smooth with spatula. Refrigerate until chocolate coating sets, at least 1 hour. Using parchment, lift bar out of baking sheet. Cut into 18 rectangles.

THE SKINNY

305 calories per bar, 19 g fat (8 g saturated), 35 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 5 g protein

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe/gwyneth-paltrows-candy-bars-18915361

Why You Should Probably Stop Eating Wheat

Wheat and grain-based foods are all around us. We love our bagels, pasta, bread, and breakfast cereals. For many, the thought of eliminating these staples from our diets seems wholly unreasonable, if not ludicrous. But a growing number of people are switching to wheat-free diets — and for very good reason. As science is increasingly showing, eating wheat increases the potential for a surprising number of health problems. Here’s why you should probably stop eating wheat.

Without a doubt, wheat plays a major role in our diets. It supplies about 20% of the total food calories worldwide, and is a national staple in most countries.

But as is well known, some people, like those with celiac disease, need to stay away from it. The problem is that their small intestine is unable to properly digest gluten, a protein that’s found in grains. But wheat is being increasingly blamed for the onset of other health conditions, like obesity, heart disease, and a host of digestive problems — including the dramatic rise in celiac-like disorders.

So what’s going on? And why is everybody suddenly blaming wheat?

The answer, it appears, has to do with a whole lot of nastiness thats present in grain-based foods. Wheat raises blood sugar levels, causes immunoreactive problems, inhibits the absorption of important minerals, and aggravates our intestines.

And much of this may stem from the fact that wheat simply ain’t what it used to be.

Hybridized wheat

Indeed, today’s wheat is a far cry from what it was 50 years ago.

Why you should probably stop eating wheat

Back in the 1950s, scientists began cross-breeding wheat to make it hardier, shorter, and better-growing. This work, which was the basis for the Green Revolution — and one that won U.S. plant scientist Norman Borlaug the Nobel Prize — introduced some compounds to wheat that aren’t entirely human friendly.

As cardiologist Dr. William Davis noted in his book, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health, today’s hybridized wheat contains sodium azide, a known toxin. It also goes through a gamma irradiation process during manufacturing.

But as Davis also points out, today’s hybridized wheat contains novel proteins that aren’t typically found in either the parent or the plant — some of which are difficult for us to properly digest. Consequently, some scientists now suspect that the gluten and other compounds found in today’s modern wheat is what’s responsible for the rising prevalence of celiac disease, “gluten sensitivity,” and other problems.

Gluten and Gliadin

No doubt, gluten is a growing concern — and it’s starting to have a serious impact on our health, and as a result, our dietary choices.

Gluten is a protein composite of gliadin and glutenin that appears in wheat as well as other grains like rye, barley, and spelt. It’s also what gives certain foods that wonderful, chewy texture. Gluten also helps dough to rise and keep its shape.

Why you should probably stop eating wheat

The problem, however, is in how it’s metabolized. According to Alessio Fasano, the Medical Director for The University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research, no one can properly digest gluten.

“We do not have the enzymes to break it down,” he said in a recent interview withTenderFoodie. “It all depends upon how well our intestinal walls close after we ingest it and how our immune system reacts to it.” His concern is that the gluten protein, which is abundant in the endosperm of barley, rye, and wheat kernels, is setting off an aberrant immune response.

Specifically, the gliadin and glutenin are acting as immunogenic anti-nutrients. Unlike fruits, which are meant to be eaten, grains have a way of fighting back. They create an immunogenic response which increases intestinal permeability, thus triggering systemic inflammation by the immune system — what can lead to any number of autoimmune diseases, including celiac, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and so on. And this holds true for people who don’t have celiac disease.

Davis also believes that gliadin degrades to a morphine-like compound after eating, what creates an appetite for more wheat; his claim, therefore, is that wheat actually has an addictive quality to it.

Gliadin, what scientists call the “toxic fraction of gluten,” has also been implicated in gut permeability. When someone has an adverse reaction, it’s because gliadin cross talks with our cells — what causes confusion and a leak in the small intestines. Fasano explains:

Why you should probably stop eating wheat

Gliadin is a strange protein that our enzymes can’t break down from the amino acids (glutamine and proline) into elements small enough for us to digest. Our enzymes can only break down the gliadin into peptides. Peptides are too large to be absorbed properly through the small intestine. Our intestinal walls or gates, then, have to separate in order to let the larger peptide through. The immune system sees the peptide as an enemy and begins to attack.

The difference is that in a normal person, the intestinal walls close back up, the small intestine becomes normal again, and the peptides remain in the intestinal tract and are simply excreted before the immune system notices them. In a person who reacts to gluten, the walls stay open as long as you are consuming gluten. How your body reacts (with a gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy or Celiac Disease) depends upon how long the gates stay open, the number of “enemies” let through and the number of soldiers that our immune system sends to defend our bodies. For someone with Celiac Disease, the soldiers get confused and start shooting at the intestinal walls.

The effects of gluten and gliadin clearly vary from person to person. But as a recent studyshowed, nearly 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease, and another 1.4 million are likely undiagnosed. And surprisingly, another 1.6 million have adopted a gluten-free diet despite having no diagnosis.

In addition, it’s estimated that about 18 million Americans have “non-celiac gluten sensitivity,” which results in cramps and diarrhea.

High glycemic index

Wheat also raises blood sugar. As Davis notes, the glycemic index of wheat is very high (check out this chart from Harvard to see how various foods rank). It contains amylopectin A, which is more efficiently converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate, including table sugar.

Why you should probably stop eating wheat

Consequently, two slices of whole wheat bread increases blood sugar levels higher than a single candy bar. Overdoing the wheat, says Davis, can result in “deep visceral fat.”

Wheat can also trigger effects that aren’t immediately noticeable. Small low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles form after eating lots of carbohydrates — which are responsible for atherosclerotic plaque, which in turn can trigger heart disease and stroke. And in fact, it has been shown that a wheat-free diet can improve glucose tolerance in individuals with ischaemic heart disease.

Lectins

Lectins, which are a class of molecules, can be found in beans, cereal grains, nuts, and potatoes. And when consumed in excess, or when not cooked properly, they can be harmful.

Now, most lectins are actually quite benign, and in some cases they can even be therapeutic —like fighting some forms of HIV.

But the problem with some lectins, like the ones found in whole grains, is that they bind to our insulin receptors and intestinal lining. This increases inflammation and contributes to autoimmune disease and insulin resistance. It also facilitates the symptoms of metabolic syndrome outside of obesity.

Phytic acid

Phytates are also a problem, a compound that’s found within the hulls of nuts, seeds, and grains. Phytic acid cannot be digested by humans. And worse, it binds to metal ions like calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. In turn, these minerals cannot be properly absorbed after eating.

Consequently, any minerals that might be provided by consuming grain-based foods are not well metabolized. So phytates, combined with gluten, make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients — which can lead to anemia and osteoporosis.

The Fiber myth

Lastly, a common argument in favor of continuing to eat whole grains is that they provide necessary fiber. This is actually a bit of a myth. As nutrition expert Mark Sisson has noted, “Apart from maintaining social conventions in certain situations and obtaining cheap sugar calories, there is absolutely no reason to eat grains.”

And indeed, we can get adequate amounts of insoluble fiber simply by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Images: Top Morgan Lane Photography/Shutterstock. Inset: Zeljko Radojko/Shutterstock, JulijaSapic_Portfolio/Shutterstock, MedicineBulletin.

Question: Are mushrooms gluten-free?

Answer:

Plain mushrooms ought to be gluten-free — after all, they’re a fresh vegetable, right? But unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story for mushrooms if you’re particularly sensitive to trace gluten.

You see, mushroom spores are grown on gluten grains — most commonly on rye, but also on wheat and occasionally on a combination of the two grains. And this cultivation method leads to some gluten cross-contamination on the finished fungi.

How much gluten? It’s tricky to say, although it almost certainly comes in far lower than the less than 20 parts per million standard that’s considered “gluten-free” in the United States and some other countries.

However, it’s also enough to cause reactions in those of us with celiac disease and gluten sensitivitywho are quite sensitive.

More on sensitivity levels:

But Won’t Washing Get Rid of the Gluten?

Okay, so mushrooms are grown on gluten grains, which does sound a little scary. But you’d think washing your mushrooms well would get rid of any stray gluten-containing growing medium.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to do the job. Washing works for the less sensitive (who might not react to unwashed mushrooms, either). But for those who are sensitive to lower levels of gluten, washing really doesn’t seem to help enough to prevent a reaction.

I speak from experience on this: I definitely react (although not badly) to conventionally grown mushrooms, including Portabella mushrooms and the button mushrooms you buy at the grocery store. And yes, they’ve been washed. When I can source wild mushrooms (a woman at my local farm market sold them for a while), I have no trouble eating mushrooms.

Is this something you need to worry about? Very likely not, unless you react to mushrooms yourself or if you want to eliminate every possible gluten exposure, regardless of whether you react. Most people consume mushrooms just fine.

But if you repeatedly find yourself glutened following a meal that features mushrooms, then you may want to look around for a source of wild mushrooms. Here’s a list from About.com’s Guide to Gourmet Food: Where To Buy Wild Mushrooms. If you ask around at your local farm markets, you may also have success in finding someone who grows mushrooms on sorghum or millet, two gluten-free grains that occasionally are used to cultivate mushrooms.

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/glutenfreefoodshopping/f/Gluten-Free-Mushrooms.htm