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The Paleo diet, which should be totally free of grains,has been a huge fad for some time. It can often be confusing when terms such as 'Paleo, Gluten Free, and Grain Free" are intermixed. For the growing number of individuals who are intolerant to gluten, it can be quite difficult to navigate a restaurant or the buffet table, let alone the supermarket aisles.
Most people have heard about "gluten free" – but in case you still aren't sure what that means: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and related grains. Individuals with celiac disease follow a gluten free diet, although I find that those that avoid grains and gluten all together feel better, area able to loose weight quicker, and also find that their hormones and mood are more easily regulated. Individuals with gluten or wheat sensitivity can become quite sick if they eat even small amounts of gluten.
Here is a quick guide to create ease of navigating this confusing topic. Store it in your mobile phone to always have it available!
Gluten is found in:
Commercial Oats* (there is some debate as to whether or not individuals with celiac disease can tolerate oats – for more information visit www.celiac.org). The biggest problem appears to occur with cross contamination.
Grain foods that most individuals with gluten sensitivity can tolerate include:
Brown and white rice
There are many theories as to why more and more people are growing sensitive to gluten.
- One of which has to do with the application of pesticide (glyphosate) applied to the wheat right before it is harvested.
- Another theory is the increased hybridization and genetic modification of wheat.
Symptoms of intolerance range from major digestive issues - diarrhea, gas and bloating, constipation – to fatigue, hair loss, anemia, and many more.'
You can substitute or eliminate grain based flours, get creative with nuts and fruits and chocolate! Read labels of course to uncover any hidden ingredients or additives that may contain gluten.
Certain spices and baking powders may contain hidden gluten. Food colorings, sweeteners (even brown rice syrup), coatings and starches can contain wheat as well. Oils, vinegars and starches should also be investigated to make sure they are gluten free.
Here are some other helpful ways to thrive grain free:
- Use almond or coconut flour to thicken gravy and sauces. Cornstarch also works – just make sure it is gluten-free, and preferably organic since corn is one of the most common GMO crops.
- Use ground nuts and seeds instead of flour for cake and pie crusts.
- Be a part of the planning – call ahead to discuss menu planning with friends and family.
- Focus on conversation and gratitude rather than food or lack of choices.
- Focus on fresh vegetables, fruits, local cheeses, and organic free-range meat and seafood
- Introduce people to grain free baking with your awesome grain free treats
- Start the day off with a hearty protein-filled breakfast.
Beaute'' - I hope you find these tips helpful and notice a difference in cleaning up the grains to allow your "beautiful health" and body more ease of digesting and eliminating everyday toxins.