Tag Archives: Health

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!

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

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

Food Restrictions Bring Freedom not Limitations

FoodRestritionsBringFreedomNotLimitations

Out of curiousity, I looked up synonyms for restriction. A few of the words I found were constraint, limitation, restraint, and confinement.

Those words were how I would have defined food restrictions for nearly two years. On the surface these words are true. Food restrictions and elimination diets limit and restrain you from doing things giving you a feeling of confinement.

Now think about it for a minute. Are food restrictions really restrictive? No, they are freedom.  Freedom from health problems and the affect they have on your life.

They may prevent you from doing things now and you may feel held back at times, but in the long-term by dealing with these issues and healing your body you are gaining freedom.

When I realized this, I had this mind-blown moment. This is so true but sadly not how we often view them. Our perspective of food restrictions affects our attitude which in turn affects our actions. Remember the freedom you are getting in the long-term over the constraint you have for short-term, and you will find your perspective, attitude, and actions changing.

Print the picture below to hang up as a daily reminder.

FoodRestrictionChart

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

Take Responsibility for Your Health

TakeResponsibilityForYourHealth

If you are dealing with health problems as a teenager, then you know how hard it is. I don’t have to remind you because you know from experience. If you are like I was then sometimes you can’t stand your parents for making you eat a certain way or get upset when you have to do certain things that they think will help you. There are times you eat what you aren’t suppose to when you leave home and then deny that it makes you sick. Maybe you are angry that you have to deal with these issues and rather not address them by tackling them head on.

But guess what, it is time to step and deal with your problems. Enough of the whining and the complaining and expecting others to do everything for you. It is your body, not your parents’ or your doctor’s – yours! You want to be healthy? You want to live your life without your health holding you back? Great! Then step up and take control of your health.

Taking responsibility for your health means that you research and understand what you are going through. It is shown by being self-motivated, following your diet in and out of your home, helping with cooking, and having a positive attitude.

You are a teenager, an official adult in only a few years. You are old enough to understand consequences, see the big picture, and have an affect on the dreams and goals for your life. This also means you are old enough to know that the consequences of not addressing your health could have a detrimental affect your goals and dreams.

Some day, you will move out of your house and not have your parents around to tell you want to do and eat. You will be on your own soon and will have to make smart and responsible decisions. Your parents wanting you to have a healthy life is not enough. You have to want it too. If you start to make good choices now and create a healthy lifestyle then it will be much easier when you are independent.

I learned this through my own experiences. I went through the motions and followed my diet restrictions as minimally as I could for a year and half. I was angry and upset, and I really didn’t like any part of what I was doing. I’m not saying that I love my food restrictions now, but once I figured out why I was changing my diet and decided that no one could heal my body but me was when my attitude changed. I truly believe that our attitudes shape our actions. The first time I fully committed to regaining my health was when I changed my attitude and took responsibility and there has been no stopping me since.

I’m going to say one more time. It is your body, your health, and your life – not anyone else’s. Time to take responsibility. 

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Mondays, Natural Living Mondays, Fat Tuesdays, Tuned-In Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Unprocessed FridaysThe North Star

Roasted Salt Hamburgers

RoastedSaltHamburgers

My family can eat a lot of meat. Like a lot a lot. This just means that we have had to get creative for how we cook meat, specifically hamburger. Normally it wouldn’t a big deal but because we can’t add ketchup to the hamburgers there needs to be plenty of flavor so the hamburger tastes good by itself.

I started adding roasted salt to the hamburgers and was amazed by how good they tasted! Roasted salt is salt that has been roasted to provide a distinct taste. Depending on the type of salt and the type of wood it has been roasted over, a variety of flavors can be created.

Salt is an essential part of our diets because it helps our muscles, memory, and heart function properly. It is important to be consuming a good source of salt though. There are three types of salt: rock, sea, and table salt. Rock and sea salt are unrefined, meaning that they still have their trace minerals like magnesium and potassium which help support nerve and muscle impulses and the regulation of the body’s water balance. Table salt on the other hand has been refined and is lacking these trace minerals.

As said in an article by Natural News

“The right kind [of salt] and the right amount could enhance the taste and healthfulness of the food. Otherwise, refined (and iodized) salt, like refined sugar is slow poison.”

Makes about 4 hamburger patties

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of hamburger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of roasted salt (buy here)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder

Equipment:

Directions:

  1. Cut open the package of raw hamburger and place it into the bowl.
  2. Measure all the ingredients and put them into the bowl with the meat.
  3. Use your hands to mix the spices and meat together. Keep folding and mixing it until it seems some what evenly distributed.
  4. Turn the stove on to a medium heat and place the pan on the burner.
  5. Scoop a 1/2 cup of hamburger with the measuring cup.
  6. Place the 1/2 cup of hamburger into the the hamburger press.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all the hamburger is gone and made into patties.
  8. Place the patties onto the pan.
  9. Flip each when they are cooked half way through.
  10. Take the patties off the stove when they are cooked the way you like on both sides.

Enjoy!

*Affiliate Link

This post is part of: Fat Tuesday, Mostly Homemade Mondays , Natural Living Monday, Wellness Wednesday, Real Food Wednesdays, Paleo AIP RoundtableThe North Star

Normal People Live Normal Lives

NormalPeopleLiveNormalLives

I always desired to be normal and  fit in. I struggled with wanting to fit in socially starting in 7th grade but the desire to be “normal” came in 10th grade when I started to change my diet. When I started my sophomore year of high school I had only been off of gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, and corn for about a month and none of my friends really knew why. I stuck out and my life was suddenly dramatically different than theirs.

A mentor of mine had the unfortunate pleasure of listening to me say many, many times that all I wanted was to be normal and eat like everyone else and not have to be concerned about my health. She asked me what being normal meant to me. My response was that being normal meant that I didn’t stand out. She kind of smiled and then said, “Normal people live normal lives and you have no desire to have an ordinary life”.

This has stuck with me for the past year now and has positively influenced my view of my health issues. All of these problems and struggles that have come with them have happened for a reason and I am growing from it. I have learned lessons and developed characteristics that I don’t know if I would have without my health issues and food restrictions.

I don’t know about you but I have no desire to live a normal life. I don’t want to only be going through the motions and not be doing something with my life. That has no appeal to me. I want to travel, care for others, and change the world! I want to stand out and be extraordinary! If I don’t want a normal life then why do I want to be normal? It doesn’t make sense!

My poor health would prevent me from doing all those things. My health would be part of what makes me live an ordinary life. So, how do I change that? I change my health. I change my diet. I stick out and live differently so I don’t have to live a normal life.

Wanting to be normal isn’t wrong; it’s pretty natural actually to want to fit in. That desire doesn’t go away though until you make it, until your desire for something else is bigger then your desire to be normal. Do you want to be normal? Do you want to live a normal life? If not, what is it that you want? Focus on that consistently and you will find your desire to not stand out and be normal slowly going away making this journey easier.

You can learn more about my journey by reading my book, “A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions: A Practical Guide to Keep from Going Crazy”. Find out more about the book here or go ahead and purchase for only $1.99 here!

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Mondays, Wellness Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Unprocessed Fridays, Natural Living, The North Star

Facebook Group for Teens with Food Restrictions

FacebookGroupForTeensWithFoodRestrictions

There is a new Facebook group just for teenagers (middle school, high school, and young adults) with food restrictions! Food restrictions can be anything from a one to multiple food sensitivities, allergies, or intolerances. If you are on a diet like GAPS, Paleo, SCD or have your own personalized diet then you are welcomed to join the group as well!

From my personal experiences, having food restrictions is difficult for anyone but they are especially hard for teenagers because we are young to have our health problems and even younger to be doing something about them.

I spent many hours looking for a Facebook group, blog, or just blog post about teenagers with food restrictions. I found almost nothing. All I wanted was a community to relate to and to support me when my friends weren’t able to understand what I was going through. So that’s what this group is for- to create a community and support system for all of us.

To be successful though, this group needs to be supportive, welcoming, and kind to all the members. No one should feel nervous or afraid to ask a question. This should a safe environment to ask for advice about anything related to the struggles that come with food restrictions. This group is also a place to share what you are going through-struggles and successes.

If you are a teenager with food restrictions we would love to have you join the group! Even if you feel as if you don’t necessary need advice or support, others do and there is power in numbers. You can also help others by answering their questions and offering advice based on your experiences.

I hope many of you join the group and I look forward to getting to know you!

Parents- If you think your teenage child would benefit from this group, please encourage them to join us because we would to have them!

** I know Facebook isn’t that cool anymore so if you have a suggestion for a different and more trending social media network to move the group to, please contact me.**

This post is part of Mostly Homemade Mondays, Fat Tuesdays, Wellness WednesdaysThe North Star

Today I Chose to be Healthy Because…

TodayIChoseToBeHealthyBecause

Ever feel like your health is never going to improve (read more here)? Like all your hard work isn’t going to pay off and you are just stuck this way (read more here)? I do and it is mentally exhausting and stressful.

When each day is a struggle to have a good attitude about my health problems or diet, I say to myself, “Today I choose to be health because…” This is my way of reminding myself of what I am working towards or what my goals are. For me, the answer normally involves something about college or traveling but everyone is different so personalize it for yourself.

Try this next time  your find yourself feeling sorry for yourself. You might be amazed how much this can help! Make a list of all your daily reasons so  when you have a really bad day you can look back at it and be reminded of everything you want.

Your health may be holding you back now but it doesn’t have to in the future. It isn’t your identity and it doesn’t determine your worth as a person so don’t let it hold you back! Keep working and remind yourself why you are choosing to create a healthy lifestyle.

Click HERE to print a larger version of this list.

TodayIChoseList

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Mondays, Natural LivingThe North Star