Tag Archive for Is gluten free healthy

What is “Clean Eating”?

Emily Roberts MA, LPC

There are so many diets and fads out; it’s difficult to know what is best for you and your family, and what is more work than it’s worth.  Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, raw, the list goes on.  One of the lifestyle diets we hear most is “Clean Eating”. This is a great plan for many, depending on your dietary needs and restrictions; however, let’s get clean on what it really means.

Clean Eating is not just washing your produce well and keeping a close eye on labels. Simply put, clean eating is avoiding all processed food, and relying on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, rather than prepackaged or fast food. The purpose of clean eating is to make sure you are getting your nutrients and your health from whole foods, and avoiding junk food.  According to research, a clean eating lifestyle can keep you healthy, or help you regain your health if you haven’t been well. If this sounds close to impossible, to only eat clean, I hear you! However, it’s easier than you may think.  One of my favorite blogs these days, The Gracious Pantry, puts it in perspective:

  1. Eat Lots of Plants, Fruits, and Veggies – Emphasize foods that are close to nature. If you focus on foods that are off a tree, bush, plant or vine, you’ve pretty much got it covered. Stay away from foods that are processed.
  2. Include Meats, Fish, and Poultry - Eat meats that are whole and straight from the butcher, not prepackaged (which are sometimes filled with nitrates and other chemicals).
  3. Enjoy Grains - Eat grains that are still complete and haven’t been broken down into “glue”. Stick to brown rice, whole wheat, and other whole grains (For a list of foods to stock your pantry with, check out this list.)
  4. Don’t Always Trust Labels – “Whole Grain” or “natural” doesn’t always mean it is.  Look closely at the ingredients: white flour is not a whole grain, and “natural” spices and flavorings can encompass surprising ingredients – clarify with the company.
  5. The Fewer Ingredients, the Better. Try not to purchase foods that have more than 3-6 ingredients in the ingredient list, according to The Gracious Pantry. If you can’t pronounce it, and don’t recognize it, it likely shouldn’t go in your body.

You Can Have Carbohydrates

Avoid anything white or “enriched”.  Once again, if you are trying to eat clean, then you will want to purchase only those products that say 100% WHOLE grain/meal/flour.

Your Whole Family Can Benefit.

Processed foods are linked to lower IQs in children, research suggests. When we think of creating a lifestyle (depending on your child’s unique dietary needs), many parents are choosing to eat clean, most of the time.  A family I talked to recently said they do 80:20, 80% clean, 20% real life.  The book Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love (Fair Winds Press, 2012), by Michelle Dudash, R.D. can help, as well as many of the websites and blogs out there:

The Gracious Pantry

Clean Eating Magazine

Michelle Dudash



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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.




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In Response to ABC’s Nightline Gluten-Free Segment

Recently ABC’s Nightline did a piece titled “Is Gluten Free Healthy?” We at Neurogistics found this interview highly unprofessional, in that they talked more about the “fad” of gluten-free instead of the well documented benefits for many people; not just those with  disease.  They did not touch on individuals who have sensitivities to Gluten and whose guts are not working well.  Many studies confirm that gluten increases constipation in ones gut, thus decreasing absorption of nutrients.  We see that replacing gluten with rice or other options has benefited so many children and adults in creating optimal health. Pam Machemehl Helmly our Chief Science Officer and Clinical Nutritionist says ” For many Gluten is toxic and has a huge role in children’s behavior and overall health.”

Although Dr. Green makes a point in regards to Gluten free diets may lack in fiber and B vitamins, that is only true if you are not eating a well-balanced diet. It is more unhealthy to be getting all of your fiber and B vitamins from white flour, which Dr. Green says is where the Gluten-Free diet lacks in health benefits.  It is recommended before placing yourself or your child on a specific diet to get nutritional counseling, or even allergy and gut testing to identify these sensitivities and get proper dietary recommendations.  However, we have seen many more than only Celiac clients benefit from eliminating gluten from their diets. For some Gluten has an opiate like effect on the brain, and in children or adults who eat it we see an almost “drug-like” reaction. Intense cravings, mood swings, and uncontrollable behaviors can steam from gluten.

In Dr. Green’s defense, you can tell this was an incredibly short segment, and if time alloted I am certain he would explain in depth the benefits of gluten-free diets.

The blog by Gluten Free Fitness does a great job of analyzing the segment.  The author says ”

Overall, I was incredibly disappointed.  There has been so many great news pieces done on celiac disease and gluten intolerance lately that this was like a kick in the teeth.  “This was a wonderful opportunity for education and discussion on the beauty of naturally gluten free food, on the importance of eating ‘real food,’ how you CAN get nutrition in your diet, how celiac disease is under diagnosed, and it wasn’t that at all.” Read more here

 To watch the segment click here and let us know your thoughts.

In Good Health,

Emily Roberts MA, LPC

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