Tag Archive for Food Allergies

How to Improve Your Diet and Achieve Optimal Health

Want to improve your diet and achieve optimal wellness? Our clinicians share tips to improve your diet and your mind.

There are simple ways to improve your diet without disrupting your sanity. Eliminating foods can cause panic and stress for most people, but what they fail to realize is it enhances their health. Our clinicians have some helpful tips that you can implement into your life today. » Read more..

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Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Sweets

Do you or someone you love have a food allergy? Valentine’s sweets are everywhere right now, but before indulging make sure you check out the ingredients to avoid a potential gluten or dairy disaster. Even if you read the ingredients, gluten could be hiding in those heart shaped boxes.  Here is what you need to know about gluten-free candy this year.  » Read more..

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Great Gluten Free Resources

 By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Karina Allrich's Gluten Free Pumpkin Stuesuel Muffins, creater of Gluten Free Goddess

“What can I eat? “ I find myself frequently thinking of what I am not allowed to eat rather then the wealth of foods I am able to enjoy these days.  Myself, and others who have sensitiveness to gluten,  often find themselves in this tiny corner of the grocery store, that can seem daunting and scarce.  It’s important to note that any food with wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats in the ingredients list, or that indicates it has been manufactured in the presence of wheat, gluten, or gluten-containing ingredients can affect you if you have these sensitivities. I didn’t know this until recently when I had some oatmeal, which was a bothersome experience. Upset, I decided to start looking at what I can enjoy instead of focusing on what I have to live without.

 For many parents and clients we talk with, the change to any diet appears very difficult at first, but after they look at all the possibilities of foods they can eat, try out recipes with success, and eat at their favorite restaurants with ease they often tell us, it’s much easier than they expected.

Here are some sites that I found extremely useful in making my transition to gluten-free and understanding what I CAN eat.  Please add your favorite sites and blogs as well! The more information we can get and share with others, the easier it will be for all of us who have food sensitivities or family members who are living without.

Gluten Free Girl: I Really like this blog, great recipes, stories, and coupons for GF foods (so simple to print and I have already saved $5.00 on my next trip to Whole Foods).  She makes living gluten free look very easy.  Love her easy-to-read style and simple, yet tasty, recipes.

Celaic. com:  When I ask myself, “So…What can I eat?” I turn to the experts on this site.  There are lists of foods to avoid and those that are tolerable.  Great information for a newbie like me.

Gluten Free Goddess: This is a fantastic blog.  She makes cooking without look better than with gluten.  I was inspired by her site and beautiful pictures.  Who knew you could have scones and muffins that actually taste delicious!

Gluten Free Cooking: For holiday recipes that seem daunting without gluten Teri Gruss has made it look simple; with anything from pie to stuffing, to creative alternatives that look and taste like the real thing follow her guide and it will be just like Thanksgiving or Christmas, but without the stomach aches.

Gluten Free Mommy: is a fantastic site for parents; she has easy recopies for gluten free and casein free kiddos (and parents too!).

Please add your favorite blogs or sites below.  Start a discussion about how living without ____(insert you or your child’s sensitivity here) has been for you and share resources.

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What is Gluten and Why Shouldn’t I Eat it?

By Nikki Jackson-Drummond, CCN

Have you ever wondered what gluten intolerance is and why it has received so much attention recently?  Is this just a new fad from the health food industry or something to take notice of?  How do you find out if you or your child is gluten intolerant?

The answers to these questions might be surprising….

The Basics about Gluten

First, let’s be clear on the meaning of gluten intolerance.  It does not mean allergy.  Gluten intolerance is a physical condition in the gut.   It basically means that your body is not able to digest gluten proteins (from wheat and other grains).  Instead, the body begins to attack these undigested proteins as if they were a foreign invader, damaging the micro-villi that line the small intestine.  The lining becomes inflamed, which reduces the surface area available to absorb nutrients. 

Common symptoms of gluten intolerance:

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Impulsivity and/or aggression in children
  • Poor Focus/ Poor Memory
  • Weight Gain or loss
  • Bloating and/or diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Joint pain
  • Eczema/Psoriasis
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Low Iron levels
  • Neurological disorders

It All Starts in the Gut

The severity of gluten intolerance may range from gluten sensitivity all the way up to full-blown celiac disease, a true “allergy” to gluten that is an inherited autoimmune disorder.  This is no fad.  In fact, many people are gluten sensitive or intolerant and have absolutely no idea.  In 2000, gluten intolerance was estimated in 1 out of 2500.  Today that statistic is an astounding 1 in 133! 

The misuse of words by the media has caused lots of confusion on this topic.   However, the differences are profound. 

Gluten Sensitivity Can be Fixed 

Put simply, if you test “sensitive” to gluten, take it out of the diet for at least 6 months.  The gut heals and gluten can gradually be re-introduced.  However, some folks may not be so lucky.  Removing the gluten and healing the gut can take care of the symptoms, but removing gluten from the diet must be permanent if there is a true intolerance. 

Why Are More People Gluten Intolerant Today?

Even over the last ten years, cases of gluten intolerance are on the rise.  There are several factors:

  • Dysbiosis:  Some people may not be able to digest gluten because they have gut dysbiosis, an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.  Dysbiosis can occur from taking antibiotics (especially if used more than once every few years), or from eating foods you can’t digest.  For example:  feeding grains to infants before they can digest them can cause dysbiosis.  The overgrowth of “bad bacteria” along with the undigested fragments of gluten can trick their immune system into thinking the undigested food particles are from the bad bacteria. 
  • Genetics:  Some people may have the gene responsible for improper digestion of gluten, although it has not yet been identified. 
  • Food Quality:  We all know that food today is much more processed and genetically modified in many cases.  We also know that breads today are not made the same as they used to be.  In fact, the gluten proteins found in grains today are structurally different from the grains our ancestors used.  Scientists have recently discovered a peptide in gluten (which triggers the intolerance) that did not exist in ancestral grains. 


How Do I Get Tested?


Click here.  Gluten intolerance is identified with a simple blood test.  As a clinical nutritionist, this is one of the first tests I order when patients do not respond well to neurotransmitter balancing.  We’ll  send you a test kit and then go over the results to devise a diet that suits your body’s needs.  The lab I like to use for this testing will also test for 19 other common food sensitivities, 10 food additives, and 10 food colorings.  You’ll receive the following:

  • Food Intolerance Test kit
  • Results identifying both food intolerances AND food sensitivities
  • 50-page Guide to living with food sensitivities
  • Half-hour consultation with Clinical Nutritionist
  • Gut restoration protocol
  • Price:  $225

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Great Gluten Free Snacks: Kid and Adult Tested

Many of the children and adults we have worked with are on specific diet. Whether they are allergic to dairy or wheat, sugar free or casein free, we know tasty snacks are sometimes hard to come by.  We are seeing more kids on gluten free diets, and parents who have a difficult time finding convenient and tasty snacks for them. Here are some of our favorites that have been kid (and adult) taste tested with scores of “Yum” across the board.

 Nut Thins.  With seven different flavors there is one to please even the pickiest palate.  Add hummus, peanut butter, or cheese for a complete protein snack.  Or just eat them straight out of the box, with 3 grams of protein per serving.  My personal favorite is Country Ranch, but the kids go crazy for Cheddar Cheese.

bluedimond.com

 LesserEvil Krinkle Sticks. Many potato chip brands have seasonings that contain gluten (take a look at your ingredients). This brand is completely gluten free. This was the perfect alternative to a potato chip with only 2.5 grams of fat, no trans or saturated fat. They are available in four fantastic flavors: Classic Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Onion, Old School Bar-B-Que, and Cajun Kaboom!

lesserevil.com

 Amy’s Kitchen Frozen Meals. If you have ever looked for a healthy alternative to microwave meals then you have seen Amy’s amazing products in your grocers freezer.  They are kid and adult friendly with a variety of products.  Kids I’ve talked to love the gluten-free baked ziti. 

Amyskitchen.com

Envirokidz Organic Crispy Rice Bars.  These bars come in 5 delicious flavors.  My favorite is the lemur Peanut Choco Drizzle.  They also have a variety of other tasty cereals and snacks that are nut, dairy, and gluten free

Envirokidz.com

Lara Bars. Great on-the-go snack.  These bars are 100 percent gluten free and have over 20 flavors.  I love the Apple Pie, and kids go crazy for the Peanut Butter Cookie flavor.

 Larabars.com

Chex:  The classic cereal you grew up with has gone Gluten-free!  They have a wide variety of flavors and recipes on their site. 

Chex.com

Applegate Farms Natural Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets.  Most breading on chicken nuggets contains gluten, MSG, and other flavor additives.  Not Applegate’s, these are by far the best chicken nuggets I have ever tasted.  Kids (and adults) prefer these over McDonlads!  They are delicious and protein packed.

Applegatefarms.com

Cherrybrook Kitchen All Natural Cookies.  This brand is amazing! The cookies are peanut free, dairy free, nut free, egg free, and vegan; best of all they taste great.  They have baking mixes for any occasion along with frosting and breakfast mixes. 

CherrybrookKitchen.com

 

Ians French Bread Pizza. The gluten and casein free French bread pizza is “awesome” a very picky 11 year old told me.  Put them in the toaster oven for added crunch, and for you adults out there with gluten and dairy sensitivities, add some chili flakes, it’s a healthy alternative to your favorite slice of pizza.

Ians.com

Add your favorites below.  We look forward to hearing from you.

In Good Health,

Emily Roberts, MA, LPC

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