52 weeks of good health....

every week I will share with you a tip to improve your eating habits or lifestyle to help you reach maximum energy levels and increase overall physical and emotional health.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Going Gluten Free

What is gluten, and why is it a problem? Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains such as barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and sometimes oats (because wheat and oat fields are often rotated). It is extremely difficult to digest, and when an intolerance to it develops due to over-consumption or heredity, it irritates the lining of the intestinal walls, destroying the cilia that absorb nutrients, and causing inflammation and irritation of the bowels.

People decide to go gluten free for different reasons – some for health reasons, some for better digestion; whatever your reason, it can be confusing and hard knowing where to start. When starting out, the best thing to do is keep it simple. There are a lot of whole, natural foods that are gluten free and if you are already following a good, wholesome diet then you may already be closer then you think to becoming gluten free.

While going gluten free may seem daunting, keep in mind that aside from the obvious foods you must avoid (bread, muffins, cookies, crackers, etc...), if you avoid processed, packaged foods, junk food, fast food – basically any food with ingredients that have names you cannot pronounce – you will be on the right track.


This is where trouble lays for many people; finding foods to eat on the go that are gluten free and healthy. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • · Organic plain yogurt with chopped fruit or fruit preserves stirred in.
  • · Rice cakes with all natural nut butter (almond, walnut, cashew) and a dab of honey.
  • · Veggies with homemade hummus.
  • · Sliced cheddar cheese with a handful of grapes or an apple.
  • · Nuts and raisins.
  • · Fruit
  • · Smoothies

Remember, it can take anywhere from 2 weeks up to a month to adjust to living gluten free. During this time, you might want to avoid the gluten free products that will replace your regular wheat products. They definitely taste different then wheat and many people have trouble adjusting to the taste. But, once you have gone a couple of weeks without wheat, your taste buds will be more willing to accept the new flavours.

For more information and a complete list of foods to avoid, visit http://www.celiac.ca/

In good health,


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