Gluten Free -it's a huge buzz right now in the wellness industry. Often I am asked, "Why was gluten not a problem 30 years ago?"
Today's wheat is genetically-modified... the gluten content has been increased, and it is often referred to as franken-wheat. It is difficult for the human digestive tract to break down this newer gluten, and it can contribute to a number of health issues. Some times gluten can be the culprit for certain skin conditions and/or chronic sinus issues -which we learned when we eliminated gluten from our teenage son's diet for several weeks.
There are a number of books and articles on the topic of gluten and wheat, and it is encouraged for additional reading. Instead, I want to share my own experience and journey to renewed health...
Four years ago I was introduced to the company Arbonne. Consultants in the company educate people on label reading, which was not a practice I was accustomed to when purchasing products. I began to learn, study, subscribe to newsletters of medical professionals practicing alternative medicine, and built a library on hormone balance, nutritional wellness and cancer prevention...and so the journey continued.
I was very overweight, had chronic joint pain, my blood sugar numbers were borderline type II diabetic, and I had some additional concerns that made me quite nervous. I was using heartburn OTC medications daily.
A book on hormone balance titled, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer", by Dr. John Lee, Dr. David Zava and Virginia Hopkins, changed my life. It was about so much more than breast cancer. A few paragraphs on nutrition provided the life-changing "ah ha" moment. It was really quite a simple concept - in this book I learned that ALL processed, refined flours are metabolised just like table sugar in the body. Cancer cells are fueled by sugar.
By the way, this book was about much more than breast cancer. It talked about every cancer connected to the human reproductive system - including prostrate cancer. At the time, one of my dearest friends and spiritual mentor was preparing to meet his Maker, having had prostrate cancer years earlier which had returned as bone cancer.
It was from this point on that I made a decision...not to go Gluten Free, but to cut processed flour foods way back. For my morning routine, I substituted a vegan, soy free protein smoothie for convenience and great taste. This resolved any temptation I may have had to return to my breakfast of "heart healthy, cholesterol lowering multi-grain cereal" - which I learned was a clever marketing ploy, and not a true "heart healthy" fact..
At first, I cut back 50% on refined flour products. (This is much more than WHITE bread folks!)
I also eliminated processed skim milk, after learning milk contributed to acid reflux. The acid reflux diminished much, as well, I lost 32 lbs. in three months. Encouraged, I continued to cut back on gluten, and discovered I really did not miss breads, pizza crust and baked goods much. Rather than sandwiches for lunch, I enjoyed a large salad of organic greens, chicken, raw seeds, berries and feta cheese, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and squirt of fresh lemon juice for dressing. (Bottled, store-bought dressings, for the most part, contain ingredients that do not promote a healthy lifestyle.)
Encouraged by the initial weight loss, I continued to decrease refined flour products, and to this day gluten products are approximately only 10-15% of my weekly food intake. Three years ago this June, I had lost 85 lbs. and have maintained 80 lbs. of that weight loss for these past several years. After the 65 lb. milestone I did participate in an elimination diet as outlined by Arbonne, which resulted in another 16 lbs. lost in 30 days. It was through this program that I was able to discern, by learning to listen to my body, that I had a gluten sensitivity. Symptoms I incur when I consume gluten include aches in my knees, and sinuses that begin to drain incessantly within minutes.
If you would like to learn more about the Arbonne "30 Days to Healthy Living" program contact me and I can email you a recorded call that explains the top allergenic foods and how to go about discerning your own food sensitivities.
May you feel great, look great and live great today and always!