Speak Another Language?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Will Eating Gluten Free Make Me Skinny?

I never paid much attention to the word “gluten-free” until my sister, April, and her daughter, Arleena, were diagnosed with Celiac disease (an autoimmune disease) about 5 ½ years ago. I then became very aware of the physical and mental affects that gluten can have on people who are Celiac or have a gluten intolerance. April lived most of her childhood and adolescent years battling weight, bloated, dealing with diarrhea, constipated and a lack of mental clarity. She was misdiagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), as many with gluten issues are, and all the while she was unknowingly ingesting gluten which was causing severe damage to her intestinal villi, ultimately limiting the amount of nutrients she was able to absorb from food.
After being diagnosed with Celiac disease and cutting out all gluten, April experienced an incredible turn around in her health and released 40 pounds effortlessly. I, Amber, was later diagnosed through stool sampling and a mouth swab that showed I was a Celiac. My symptoms where much less pronounced, but I did experience abdominal bloating, bouts of constipation, skin breakouts on my back and fatigue. I have been gluten-free for four months now and feel amazing.
is Gluten-free for everyone? This is a great question and there are people who eat healthy and include gluten in their diet and do not exhibit any signs or symptoms that their body cannot tolerate it. Gluten, by definition, is a kind of protein that tends to exist in wheat, barley, and rye among other carbohydrates.
This whole gluten situation can get confusing because so many people feel like crap, because they eat like crap. By eliminating soda, fast food, fried foods and processed foods, people will find themselves in much better tune with their body and then you can start to discover what issues are REALLY going on. But as long as you are consuming these “naughty” and “unhealthy” things, not only are you consuming loads of unnecessary gluten, but you are also exposed to high levels of preservatives, additives, sodium, saturated fats and minimal nutrients! This type of lifestyle will NEVER support you in feeling better and releasing weight, gluten or no gluten
Once you have begun a journey of eliminating these vices and eating more whole, unprocessed food, THEN take a look at how you are feeling. By laying the foundation of health, you can start to uncover what may be an allergy or intolerance.
Some symptoms of gluten issues are:
• Upper respiratory tract problems
• Fatigue
• Mouth ulcers
• Iron-deficiency anemia
• Osteoporosis
• Weight loss or Weight Gain
• Short stature in children
• Diarrhea
• Constipation
• Abdominal bloating
• Crohn’s disease
• Diverticulitis
• Depression
• Attention and behavioral problems (in children and adults)
• Autism
• Skin problems
• Irritability
Just because you have one or more symptoms does not mean that you have a gluten-issue, but going on an elimination diet (in which you avoid gluten and all gluten containing products) can allow you to see if you feel a difference eliminating that. Note that almost ALL processed food and fast food contains gluten. Gluten is many times NOT listed on the label and is often hidden in other ingredients.
Gluten-free living is not a fad.
There are 20 million Americans with gluten issues and some experts are advocating the 99% of the population has some type of issue with gluten. Many of the sources of gluten are found in the very things that we know we should be avoiding: processed foods, enriched breads, refined pastas, beer (I know, it sucks) and fast food, etc.
Gluten-free can make you fat.
One of the BIGGEST downfalls for anyone who has a food allergy is going for the Frankenfoods. These are foods that are processed, but are “allergy free” so you feel as though you are making a great decision, but in reality you are swapping one evil for another.
Here are three ways gluten-free processed foods can make you fat:
1. More Calories In Gluten Free Products
2. Gluten Free Products Are Lower In Fiber
3. More Carbs In Gluten Free Products
Don’t swap one type of processed food for another! This is what the marketing gurus want you to do, but you are SMARTER than that! So what do you do? EAT REAL, WHOLE FOODS! Not only do you always know what the ingredients are, but whole foods contain the nutrients, water and fiber our bodies need to thrive and heal! If you are confused as to how to eat using whole foods, check out this simple and economical guide to whole food cooking, called The Healthy Edge cookbook.
We believe in your body’s ability to work FOR YOU and not against you! Figure out what is nurturing it and what is harming it and make small decisions every day that will compound in to your best life!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Deprived Kids or Healthy Kids…Can You Have Both?

The most common questions I get around getting healthy have to do with kids. It is one thing when we as adults make a decision to go on a health kick or to start exercising again however, when it comes to making decisions that will affect our kids many parents freeze up. Making change at home means dealing with the moaning and groaning of our children when we tell them it is time to start getting healthy.
I am on this journey everyday as I provide the healthiest environment that I can for my family. It is so important to not fall into the mindset that you are depriving your children of something good. It is not good to feed children foods that will adversely affect their health when they are older. I have never talked to a parent that said my goal for my child is to make sure he has diabetes at a young or old age. That is absurd! Yet the lifestyles of some families are putting then on track to achieve that result.
When Arleena was diagnosed with food allergies, it was very emotionally difficult for me to take her off of gluten and dairy. I felt like I had taken away a huge part of her life. The opposite was true. After explaining that she had a special belly that could not handle those items she was on board to get healthy. It is very important to enroll your children in getting healthy. Be sure to find healthy alternatives to their current diets before you turn their world upside down.

The Healthy Edge program has a great pantry list that you can use to have your kids select what they want to eat and The Healthy Edge Cookbook has many kid approved recipes to help you keep on track. The more they take ownership of the changes the better response you will get. Be sure to explain why you are making changes to help them get healthy. The “BECAUSE I SAID SO” approach doesn’t work as good as letting them be involved in the decision making. Empower them and they will empower you!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Children and Type II Diabetes

I was recently reading an article from USA Today titled: “Most type 2 diabetes can be stopped at childhood.” Really? Thanks for the news flash! Of course it IS! Most people realize that type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease that is not only preventable but reversible with the right diabetic diet! It’s all about choices!

Now on to the article’s recommendations for CHILDREN with type 2 Diabetes. Notice I say these are recommendations for the children and NOT the parents.

Let me pick out a couple of my FAVORITES!
Limit fatty foods: Burger and fries are high in fat: try pretzels instead of potato chips.

Wow! Are you kidding me? Obviously the first statement about burgers and fries is valid, but pretzels instead of potato chips? You are swiping one problem for another. Not only are pretzels COMPLETELY devoid of nutrition, but they are high glycemic! The very thing diabetics need to learn to avoid! What about a suggestion like this?

PARENTS, get rid of the highly processed chips, pretzels, crackers, etc. that are causing your kids’ health problems. Stack the refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables so your kids can incorporate them in their diabetic diet. Make a healthy hummus dip to liven up veggies! Kids will choose healthy when there are no other choices! Check out The Healthy Edge Cookbook for four different hummus recipes and many wonderful kid approved recipes!!

Here’s another brilliant suggestion: Cut Sugar. Switch to sugar-free drinks.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Seriously? This is endorsing things like Crystal Light, Diet Sodas and “energy drinks” that contain things like aspartame, acesulfame-k and sucralose. If you are unaware of what these things are linked to, let me give you a few: ADD, ADHD, depression, cancer, central nervous system difficulties, skin problems…just to name a few. The younger the age, the more exposure and let me tell you WE ARE THE TEST SUBJECTS when it comes to artificial sweeteners! It is ONLY a matter of time before the results are in and these sweeteners and the health ramifications will be exposed!
                              What about this suggestion:
Cut Sugar in cereals and drinks: The unhealthy cereals are marketed TO YOUR CHILDREN! Here’s a diabetes diet tip for you: Make eggs with vegetables, buy slow cooking oatmeal, fruit and greek style yogurt (with no added sugar) or a yummy meal replacement shakes for breakfast! Substitute sugary sodas and fruit juices with water! Add lemon and other fruits to water to change the flavor. Buy 100% fruit juices (check the labels) and combine 1/3 fruit juice and 2/3 water to give water more flavor.

The reason kids don’t like these things is because they have TOO many options! Establishing a proper diabetic diet may seem like a battle at first, but YOU are creating a SAFE haven for your children and saving their lives! If your excuse is TIME, then you are going to have great difficulty convincing your child that fast food and processed foods are not the only way to live life when you are busy.

The lessons and example you set is the example they are going to follow! Follow this diabetes diet guide for your health as well as your child’s health! It is worth the time, effort, money, etc. for you to make decisions to keep your medical bills down and your family together longer!
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More