Second Edition of “A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions” is Released & GIVEAWAY!!

Today is the day!!! The second edition of my book, A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions: A Practical Guide to Keep from Going Crazy, is now ready to be purchased!

The first edition was created after I struggled with chronic joint inflammation for five years and had been changing my diet for nearly two years to eliminate the daily pain. Through this part of my journey, I was never able to shake the feeling of loneliness.  I longed for a community of teenagers who could understand what I was going through and offer me advice, but I couldn’t find one.

front coverMy mom suggested I write a book in May 2013 and I released the first edition  in August 2013. Through the next few months, the book received several positive reviews and I began blogging! I was proud of what I had accomplished but I knew I had more to offer and that is when the second edition was started.

The second edition is a combination of the blog posts, recipes, personal stories, all new material, and original content from the first edition. Altogether, the length has doubled.

The second edition will include…

  1. An updated version of my story
  2. A “warning” about the reality of food restrictions as a teen
  3. How to stay motivated through a restrictive diet
  4. How to maintain a social life (dating, friends, planning ect.)
  5. How to go to school with food restrictions
  6. Additional advice
  7. Two other teenagers sharing their story
    • Colin with Type 1 Diabetes
    • Justin with Crohn’s Disease
  8. Two recipes
    • Coconut StrApple Bars
    • Dairy-Free Mango Banana Ice Cream
  9. And Much More!

You can purchase A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions: A Practical Guide to Keep from Going Crazy as a(n)…

Want to preview the book before buying it? Click here to read My Story and one section from the Reality and Motivation chapters.

And finally… the GIVEAWAY!!! Thanks to help of four great companies, I am giveaway an autographed copy of my book, a titanium spork, a Kleen Kanteen water bottle, Thermos BPA free water bottle, a 10 oz. stainless steel food Thermos, and two U Konserve stainless steel containers. All of these items are perfect for school lunches if you are a child with food restrictions and have a total value of $90! Go to Edible Attitudes’ Facebook page to enter! Your chance to win them for free last from today (April 21st) to April 29th at 12 a.m. central time zone. A winner will be selected and contacted on April 30th. Prizes will only be shipped within the United States – Sorry!

If you read my book, please help me out by reviewing on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

***Don’t forget to enter in the giveaway to win 6 amazing prizes and an autographed copy of my book!

Hey Girl and Food Humor

2Weeks

HeyGirlAndFoodHumor

One thing I’ve learned from food restrictions is sometime you just have to laugh at yourself and the situation you are in. So, here are some of my favorite gluten-free, real food, food humor, and Hey Girl pictures! Hope you laugh as hard as I have finding these images!

JUST IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T LAUGHED ENOUGH…

ONE MORE SET :)

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Monday, Natural Living Monday

Gluten 101

3Weeks

Gluten101

One of the first questions skeptics raise about gluten sensitivity is whether or not there has been an actual increase, if gluten-free is only a temporary health fad, or if awareness is what is leading to more diagnoses and therefore the number of cases is not truly increasing.

Fifty years ago, one in 700 people were sensitive to gluten. A study now reveal that one in 100 people are reacting to gluten (1). Extensive research indicates this dramatic rise in gluten sensitivity is not only attributed to growing awareness and detection clinically but the food itself.

The gluten that is now eaten has been changed for many years and is not the same as it was for past generations. Processes of hybridization and deamination have created a “new wheat” and caused it to be inflammatory for humans to consume (1).

So, what is gluten and what is it doing to our bodies?

Gluten (glu-ten) was given its name for its glue-like properties. It is the main protein found in wheat and other grains, such as, rye, spelt, and barley.

The most commonly known and recognized reaction to gluten is Celiac disease, an autoimmune response that occurs in the small intestine after coming in contact with gluten and the body begins to attack healthy cells. This disease may be affecting up to one percent of the population.

Gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, is affecting a much greater percentage of the population and is any immune response to gluten. This has become known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).

Also, gluten can be connected to Leaky Gut Syndrome (intestinal permeability) by making the lining of the intestinal track more permeable that is, to have holes in it. The body is affected by the permeability when food particles are not fully digested and ‘leak’ from the digestion system into the bloodstream. Once any substance, not just gluten, crosses into the bloodstream, havoc can occur in one’s body from a variety of symptoms.

Many brain disorders, such as, schizophrenia, cerebellar ataxia, epilepsy, and autism, are also being linked to gluten. Many contributing factors in addition to gluten, including genetics and the environment, also play a role in mental illness (2).

Determining if a person is intolerant or sensitive to gluten can be a difficult process if the proper testing is not conducted. Standard testing has shown to be inconclusive because only a small portion of the gluten protein, alpha-gliadin, is being tested for when there are more than 100 different components of gluten that can provoke a reaction (3).

There are 12 components of wheat that cause immune responses most often. These components were identified by Cyrex Labs, which conduct five arrays of test to determine if a person is having some type of reaction to gluten.

An unforeseen issue with being gluten sensitive is cross-reactivity. Cross-reacting occurs when the body thinks another food is gluten and then reacts to it as if it were. This happens because the food’s molecular structure is very similar to gluten. There have now been twenty-four foods associated to cross-reactivity with gluten. The two most common foods are dairy and instant coffee (Cyrex Lab Array 4).

If you are thinking about how gluten may be affecting your body and want to remove it from your diet, remember that eating gluten-free food does not necessarily mean it is healthy or beneficial for your body. Processed gluten-free foods may have extra sweetener added to replicate the gluten version of the recipe, be high glycemic, and/or contain GMOs. There are many resources, recipes, and protocols to help you heal your digestion system.

Are there any health related topics you’d like to see broken down and written for teens? I’d love to have your input! Email me your suggestions at edibleattitudes (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sources:

  1. Gluten Can Devastate Brain and Nervous System
  2. 6 Ways “Heart-Healthy” Whole Wheat Can Destroy Your Health
  3. Eating Gluten Increases the Need for Thyroid Hormones
  4. Modern Wheat – Old Diet Staple Turned into a Modern Health Nightmare
  5. What Type of Gluten Intolerance do You Have?

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Mondays, Natural Living Monday, Wellness Wednesday

 

Share Your Story!

ShareYourStory

Last week, I shared part of my story with you by giving an update on my health through the past few months. Now, it is your turn to share your story!

All of us are unique and experience different events in life. We build relationship and internalize our problems differently, and develop our own sense of humor. When it comes to food restrictions and health, one person’s problem may appear to be similar to another’s but the state of our bodies vary so much that similarity doesn’t mean the same.

Every person’s journey towards wellness is as unique as they are, and has the power to inspire others. What inspire us though, differs from person to person . We will sometimes form connections with people and they have the instant ability to encourage and inspire us. With that said, you never know when you can have that effect on others.

So, don’t be afraid to share your story. Please, please, please do not be that person who only talks about themselves but don’t keep your journey to yourself either. Talk to your friends by bringing parts of it in a conversation. Work it in casually, it doesn’t have to be forced but if the timing seems appropriate then go for it.

Don’t be ashamed of what you are going through because it is happening for a reason. Let people know about your story. You never truly know the power you posses to help and inspire others in their own journey. Even if you don’t see the effect you have on them know, you can’t predict the future and how your story may effect them then.

So go ahead! Share you story!

I would love to hear about your journey! You can email me at edibleattitudes (at) gmail (dot) com!

My Health Update

MyHealthUpdateThe past several months have been very busy, as always, and my health is fluctuated during this period. With this said, I though it would be good time to update you on my health and how I have been doing.

The biggest health problem in my life use to be joint inflammation. The daily pain was the reason why I first changed my diet over two and a half years ago. Through everything, the joint inflammation has not returned. I had a few scares when I thought it was flaring up again but, to my relief, it went away within a day or two.

This is blessing everyday that I tend to overlook. Two years ago, I struggled to play the sport I loved because of the pain and I would have laughed if you were to ask me if I seriously thought I would play softball in college. The softball season starts today and this is going to be my second high school season now with no pain! I also plan to play at the division three college I will be attending next year. It has been an incredible turn around that has opened many doors for me.

Although the main symptom has gone away and not returned, I still deal with other issues. Now, I don’t feel sick but I know I am. I am definitely not as healthy as I could be and still need to overcome the remaining issues, primarily being cystic acne and weigh gain.

My amazing mom has taken on researching and learning about the different reasons for the health issues each family member is dealing with. She decided it was time to have a DNA test run in December and we received the results in January. It revealed two mutations with the MTHFR gene. Like all gene mutation, just because I have doesn’t mean it is expressing itself and causing complication.

A complete metabolic blood test was also conducted around this time to better understand what was going on. Combing the test results with the knowledge of the MTHFR mutations, it is reasonable to say that the mutations are affecting my body through a series of chain reactions. The biggest impact has been on my liver. I struggle to detox and although a recent test has not been taken, I likely still have high heavy metal levels. Poor detoxification and liver functions can be connected to my issues with the acne, weight gain, popping joints when I move, almost color in my eyebrows, and poor absorption of vitamins.

Since knowing this, I have been careful with my diet. Although we frequently make minor changes to it, for the most part what I do not eat is all grains, nuts, dairy, and sugar. This leaves me with meat and eggs and most vegetables and fruits. The closest diet to this is Autoimmune Protocol. I am also taking additional supplements targeted to support my liver and methylation pathways.

Overall, I have made a few steps forward but have seemed to plateaued. I follow the rules and try to exercise several times a week in addition to managing my stress levels and getting enough sleep. I still mess up but I am not giving up. I have struggled mentally over that past several weeks as everything has begun to seem overwhelming. This is the hardest part for me. I have learned to control my actions, I still have to make daily decisions to control my thoughts, emotions, and attitudes.

My journey isn’t over yet but, by the grace of God, I will overcome this.

Can Food Save Me?

CanFoodSaveMe

So much of my life revolves around the food  I can and cannot eat because it affects my daily life. It is easy to get caught up in everything and believe that what I am eating has the capability of saving me.

Regardless if I am to overcome these health problems or not, which I do believe I will, God is good and sovereign. He has a plan for all of this, and He sent his Son to save and guarantee me an eternity with Him that doesn’t include suffering of any kind. See, I am already saved. I admitted my sins to God, and I am forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus’ life. The perfect substitute for my brokenness. I don’t need food to save me and besides, it can’t.

Obviously, food is very important and I need to be eating well, but I often put too much emphasis on it. While food can help heal and protect my physical body, it cannot save my soul – which is far more important than my health. I will forget this though and rely on food to save me. God has the power and capability to save my soul and also to heal my body. Whether He uses diet or not is up to Him, it is out of my control.

I’m not going to stop eating beneficial foods though. Waiting for God does not mean not doing nothing. I can eat well. I can exercise. I can get enough sleep. The results are in God’s hands. God’s timing is not my timing, which can be frustrating beyond belief but probably a good thing because God has a plan (Mark 5:21-43). All I can do is pray to and trust God for healing and remember that food is not my Savior – Jesus is.

This post is part of: Wellness Wednesday

40+ Easy & Healthy Recipes for College

40EasyHealthyRecipesForCollegeTime is going fast! Only a few more months before I graduate and I’ve begun to think about what recipes I am going to be able to make will I’m at college. The lists below have a few of my own selections but the rest have been compiled with the help of many amazing bloggers! They are all grain and dairy free also!

Breakfast…

Lunch/Dinner…

Vegetables…

Soups…

Snack…

Dessert…

Fermented…

Eating food on campus? Here are 30+ Tips for Building a Healthy Meal at the Dining Hall

Looking for more resources? Here are three of my favorite bloggers who are also college students!

  • How We Flourish: Chole is a college student and real food, health, and environmental blogger.
  • Economies of Kale: Liz is a PhD student and shares her tips for eating well and saving money all while being a college student.
  • Empowered Sustenance: Lauren is a college age blogger who will be returning to campus next fall. She writes about healing your body and shares her gluten-free recipes.
  • Rubies & Radishes put together a 60+ Paleo Recipe Round Up and each has five or less ingredient.

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Monday, Natural Living Monday, Tuned-In Tuesday

Don’t Let Your Dreams be Dreams

DontLetYourDreamsBeDreams.jpg

Dreams are powerful things. They can drive our actions and determine our attitudes. They have to power to crush us and to motivate us.

With softball season starting soon, it would be fair to say it is on my mind a lot. Bear with me through this sports analogy!

As kid with food restrictions, you may be familiar with the feeling of being held back because of your health and diet. It is time to take responsibility for your health and step into the batter’s box. Don’t let your health problems hold you back as your dreams pass by you. Yes, life is going to throw you some curve balls and change-ups and an occasional out of control rise ball will come flying toward your head but it all about how you handle it.

You can either drop the bat and get out of the box because you are too afraid to swing or you can stay in it, being smart enough to get out of the way of the pitches about to hit you, but still swing. Every now and then, you can’t get out of the way of a wild pitch in time and it will hurt and leave a mark but then you get to go to first base. Good things can come from hard times depending on your attitude and if you are looking for the positive instead of the negative.

Your dreams don’t have to be dreams, they can be a reality. They will take work to achieve and require you to get into the batters box though. Take the risks, live life to the fullest, and make your dreams a reality. Don’t waste your life by just going through the motions. The pitcher winds up and the pitch is coming in hot. Are you going to get out of the box or are you going to crush it out of the park?

GMOs & Cleanliness: Theories on the Rising Rate of Children’s Food Allergies

FoodAllergies

As the number of Americans plagued by food allergies and intolerances has increased, so have the theories of the cause, or causes, behind the rapidly rising allergy rate.

An allergy occurs when the body has an immune system response to a food and the body attacks the food as if it is a harmful invader or pathogen. The most common food allergies are: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, shellfish, dairy, and wheat. Minor allergic reactions are typically rashes or hives, but a major reactions causes the airway to close and send the body into anaphylaxis shock which can lead to death. Teens and young adults have the highest risk of going into anaphylaxis shock.

Food intolerances differ from food allergies because they can include almost any reaction to food, typically caused by an irritated digestive system. An intolerance can be developed for any food and cause a variety of symptoms. The most commonly recognized intolerance is to lactose, the inability to produce lactase and breakdown the sugar in dairy products.

According to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study released in 2013, food allergies have increased approximately 50 percent among children between 1997 and 2011. While the exact number of American children living with food allergies can only be estimated, roughly one in 13 children under the age of 18 or about two in every classroom are impacted.

Multiple theories have been presented, argued, and rejected in different scientific, doctoral, and functional medicine communities. Careers have been dedicated to finding the cause of expanding number of children with allergies and how to cure it. Some theories have overlapping themes, while other have almost nothing in common.

A dominant theory in select communities is that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and processed food are contributing to the rise in allergy rates. In the mid-1990s, scientist began introducing newly engineered food proteins into daily-consumed foods. The dairy industry was part of this first wave of change. To increase the production of milk, farmers began giving cows a genetically engineered growth hormone, Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). Coincidently, milk is now the number one food allergy in the United States.

Other common allergenic foods have undergone changes as well, such as, soy and corn, to be able to handle large doses of weed killer by being genetically altered to create their own pesticides. Dr. Mercola, osteopathic physician and expert in alternative medicine, argues because an allergic reaction to food occurs with the “body reacts to a food protein as a foreign invader,” these new or ‘foreign’ GMOs, hormones, food colorings, flavorings, and preservatives are likely contributing the rising allergy rate.

Other scientists and doctors are skeptical of GMOs causing allergies. In order for a GMO to be approved to be produced for the food supply, reviewing committees must decide if it has a high or low probability of causing allergies. Additionally, there are doctors and organizations that believe there is no known cause for the allergy rate.

Another widely known and supported theory is the hygiene hypothesis, stating that “excessive cleanliness interrupts the normal development of the immune system, and this change leads to an increase in allergies.” Immune systems need to be exposed to germs and dirt to build strength, but the Western lifestyle has removed this exposure through high antibiotic use, improved sanitation, and extra clean environments. This hypothesis argues allergy rates are rising because as the world has modernize through medical technology and removal of parasite infections a perfect environment for allergies has been created.

There is no clear and agreed upon theory for what is causing the increase of food allergies to be rising rapidly or how to stop the growth. The source could be GMOs or too sterile of environments, or possibly a combination. Some doctors and scientists believe it is not one reason, but many factors, such as, C-sections, smaller family sizes, genetics, Vitamin D deficiency, poor gut flora, in addition to the previously noted theories. Regardless, food allergies and intolerances are becoming a norm in American culture and plaguing an unprecedented number of children.

Are there any health related topics you’d like to see broken down and written for teens? I’d love to have your input! Email me your suggestions at edibleattitudes (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sources: The Rise of Food Allergies and First World Problems, UCLA Food & Drug Allergy Care Center: Why are Allergies Increasing, Palo Alto Medical Foundation: Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance, FARE: Facts and Statistics, Bt Corn: The Popular Food that Turns Your Gut into a Pesticide Factory, The Truth is out on Genetically Modified Foods- And It’s Not Pretty, GMO Compass: Do GMOs Mean More Allergies? 

This post is part of: Natural Living Mondays, Mostly Homemade Mondays, NHS North Star, Fat Tuesday, Tuned-In Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Fight Back Fridays, Unprocessed Fridays

Summer Camp

SummerCamp

Summer camp is one of my best childhood memories! Starting in 5th grade, every summer my best friend and I went to camp for a week. Playing camp night games, singing songs to God with a hundred plus other kids, going on hikes, and spending time in the craft shop were just a few of my favorite activities. The food at camp was of course delicious with it’s excess of processed foods and the counselors insisting we eat one scoopful of vegetables a day.

My food sensitivities were not too obvious at this time. I’d bring lactose intolerant pills along and to my mortification, I had to go to the nurse’s station to take my vitamins twice a day. Besides that, everything was fairly normal.

Since then, my family and I have gone back to camp and lots of planning went into making the trips possible. We started off by contacting the camp to find out if they would be able to accommodate to our diets. Luckily, we were not the first campers to come with gluten, dairy and countless other sensitivities.

Here is how it was possible for us to go…

A few weeks before leaving for camp, we contacted the cook and talked specifically with him to create a plan. My mom asked him to email her the menu the week before we left. She’d read through it and mark all the foods we would not be able to eat. If she had more questions after that, she called or emailed the cook again.

The camp was able to make a few substitutions or remove an ingredient or two to make parts of meals okay for us but for the most part we prepared food ahead of time. For example, if the meat wasn’t allowed in one meal, for whatever reason, then we’d cooked a hamburger or packed a few hot dogs to be made instead. None of the desserts were safe so cookies were baked prior also.

All the food was put into ziploc bags and containers marked with the date or meal they were meant for. We took the food with us and went to the kitchen as soon as we could when we arrived. The kitchen staff then kept it in a cooler and warmed it up each meal.

I had only positive experiences at camp and have been blessed with an amazing staff who was willing to make it possible for me to go. With registration for many camps already open, if you are considering going to camp but are unsure if it would be possible for you to go because of your food restriction then I highly encourage you to contact them before ruling it out.

Camp is an amazing experience you don’t want to miss if you don’t have too!

This post is part of: The North StarMostly Homemade MondaysNatural Living Mondays, Fat Tuesday, Tuned-in Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Fight Back Fridays, Unprocessed Fridays