Gluten Free for Five Years and Loving It: Are You Up for the Challenge This New Year?
And don’t forget to join our group detox on January 19th!
I have been gluten-free for 5 years now. I didn’t realize gluten was causing me to have inflammation in my body. So, I decided 5 years ago to go on a gluten free challenge. I was going to give up gluten for 30 days. In that 30 days, I dropped 10 pounds and I was feeling really good. I couldn’t believe that good ole bread was causing me to stay overweight and sluggish.
There are many reasons why people choose to go gluten-free, the most common being to manage celiac disease, control dermatitis herpetiformis, and to reduce symptoms of gluten sensitivity. No matter your reason, I’m here to help!
Making dietary changes can be difficult, which is why having the support of other like- minded individuals can be so beneficial. My job is to provide you with useful tips and to help keep you motivated. Your job is to do the work and help support those on the journey with you.
Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in cereal grains and gives dough an elastic texture acting as a glue that binds grains together. The unique texture of gluten helps food maintain a specific shape and is critical in making dough rise.
Gluten is a natural component of most whole grains, and we’ve been consuming it since we first started cultivating grains some 10,000 years ago. It’s important to understand the distinction of a whole grain. Grains are made up of three parts - the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Used in their natural “whole” state, they contain plenty of fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and, of course gluten.
You may also have heard or noticed the term, enriched flour. In this form, flour has been stripped of its nutrients through extensive chemical and mechanical processing. Flour is called ‘enriched’ because 5 nutrients are added back in (20 essential nutrients have been removed!). The nutrients used to ‘enrich’ the stripped-down flour are created in labs.
Celica disease vs. non-celiac sensitivity
Celiac disease (CD) and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) have many symptoms in common, whereas those of wheat allergy are usually distinct. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as cramping, diarrhea, and constipation, as well as symptoms in other parts of the body such as bone or joint pain, headaches, or fatigue, are common signs of CD and NCGS. Symptoms of an allergy to wheat, on the other hand, can include itching, hives, or anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction.
Celiac disease is a genetic, autoimmune disorder that occurs in reaction to the ingestion of gluten. Only about 1% of the population has celiac disease. Celiac disease diagnosis involves blood screening followed by a small intestine biopsy.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is not well defined. There are no tests or biomarkers to identify this condition. Once celiac disease has been ruled out, gluten is temporarily removed from the diet to determine if there is a change in condition. If symptoms improve, a gluten sensitivity can be diagnosed.
Wheat allergy is an immune reaction to any of the hundreds of proteins in wheat. A person with a wheat allergy must avoid eating any form of wheat, but does not have trouble tolerating gluten from non-wheat sources. A skin or blood test can be done by an allergist to diagnose wheat allergy. I run food allergies in my office to help patients determine what food is causing their health issues.
Last month I had a patient that was complaining of a persistent dry cough that was irritating him. He had this cough for years. I ran a food allergy test and gluten came back a positive food allergy. He was upset to find out it was gluten because his love for bread. I told him to give up gluten for 30 days and see what happens. After a week of being off of it his cough stopped and his joints felt better. He couldn’t believe gluten was the cause.
Read food labels
Knowing what to look for and how to read food labels will be the key to your success when going gluten-free. Rest assured, gluten is not typically a ‘hidden’ ingredient in foods. As long as you know what to look for, you can feel confident in your food choices. The trick is to read every single label, which can be a tedious and daunting task.
FRONT OF PACKAGE LABELS
Packaged foods will use the front of a product to convey what’s in the package as well as product hypes. Food companies can choose to use a gluten-free label or not, they are not required to do so by law. For items not clearly labeled as gluten-free, which will often be the case, you will need to further investigate the ingredient list.
It’s in your best interest to practice reading ingredient lists, after all, they are there to help consumers. The most common ingredients you want to look for include, wheat, barley, rye, malt, brewer’s yeast, and oats.
You may be tempted to take a quick glance at the allergen label, however, keep in mind barley and rye (gluten-containing grains) are not in the top eight allergens required to be listed. You should also be aware of product cross-contamination. Ingredients can be cross-contaminated with wheat, rye, or barley during transporting, processing, and packaging. These factors do not have to be taken into consideration when a gluten- free label is used. Some products will list a cautionary or “May Contain” statement, however, these are voluntary.
Watch out for “Made on equipment that also processes wheat,” or “Made in a facility that also processes wheat” which can show up on products with a gluten-free label.
Tips on going gluten free
Going gluten-free isn’t a simple task, but I assure you it gets easier! To help you with the transition, here are a few tips:
Don’t rush. Make sure to go to the grocery store when you have enough time to read labels. This is a time-consuming task; however, it will get easier with practice. If you can’t find the information you’re after on a label, contact the company. More and more companies are on board with easily accessible labeling. However, some products may be missed. Find a company phone number to get to the bottom of your inquiry.
Don't rely strictly on gluten-free labeled products. Not only can items created as a gluten-free line be more costly, but packaged foods are also processed and may lack nutrition of fresh foods.
Don’t forget to ask your pharmacist about gluten in medications you are taking.
Types of flour
Flour is a common ingredient in many foods, such as bread, cookies, cakes, and pasta. Additionally, flour is often used as a thickener in sauces and soups. White or wheat flour is most often used in processed products, however, when it comes to cooking or baking yourself, there are gluten-free flour options!
This is commonly used in baked goods, substituted in a 1:1 ratio in place of white or wheat flour, and can be a grain-free alternative to breadcrumbs.
This ancient cereal grain is naturally gluten-free and is considered the fifth most important cereal grain in the world.
Amaranth a group of more than 60 grains that were once considered a staple food in the Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilizations. This flour is best for making tortillas, pie crusts, and bread.
This traditional Ethiopian grain is high in protein and can be substituted for 25–50% of wheat or all-purpose flour.
Gluten and grain free, this starchy flour can be used as a thickener or mixed with almond, coconut, or tapioca flours for bread and dessert recipes.
Going gluten-free doesn’t mean you get to slack on nutrition. Healthy balanced meals are important no matter what your diet looks like. Gluten-free doesn’t mean giving up taste either!
Let’s cover the basics:
Water is always the best option, try it sparkling, or with a twist of fruit for a little kick. You should drink about 8 cups a day.
FRUIT, VEG, & GRAINS
One common rule for fruit and veggies is 5 a day - 2 portions of fruit and 3 portions of vegetables. Produce packs a punch when it comes to vitamin and mineral content. Grains play an important role, even in gluten-free diets. Fiber and carbohydrates in grains provide easy to use energy. Aim for 6-8 ounces of gluten-free grain intake daily.
This group includes meat, fish, eggs, and legumes. Try to consume around 5 to 6-1⁄2 ounces of different proteins.
Your kitchen is where you have the most control over cross contamination. Anything in your kitchen that has touched gluten such as toasters, pans, lunch boxes, utensils, counters, dish scrubbers, etc. may contain gluten. When this gluten residue touches your gluten-free food, cross contamination occurs.
If you live with others who aren’t following a gluten-free diet, you’ll need to create a ‘safe zone’ in your kitchen for gluten-free utensils, appliances, and even refrigerator space. This is necessary to ensure cross contamination doesn’t occur. I have a wonderful husband who supports me, and our house is a gluten free house. This is very important because even breathing in gluten can cause issues for me.
-Invest in a new toaster, using an old toaster is one of the most common sources of gluten cross contamination.
-Only use stainless steel or solid aluminum pans that do not have a non-stick coating. Gluten can be left behind in scratches of non-stick pans.
-Keep sponges for cleaning surfaces and dishes separately.
-Looking for a salty, umami flavor? Skip the soy sauce which contains wheat. Instead opt for the Japanese equivalent, Tamari, or Liquid Aminos.
-Couscous is made of tiny balls of semolina, and on the do not eat list for those forgoing gluten. Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, however, is a great substitute providing a similar texture.
-Need a little more crunch in your salad? The common crouton can be traded up for toasted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
-Pasta is a comfort food for many. Ditch the traditional stuff and look for rice noodles or quinoa pasta to satisfy your urge.
-Have a recipe that calls for breadcrumbs? Swap them out for flax meal or crushed almonds.
What about breakfast?
Breakfast can be a challenge when going gluten-free. The American breakfast is laden with sugary delights; waffles, muffins, pastries, toasted bread, and sweet cereals. Going gluten-free, however, doesn’t mean you should forgo breakfast.
Here are some breakfast bowl recipes that are equally tasty and nutritious!
Repurpose last night's quinoa by adding your favorite fruit and nuts or seeds and sprinkle with a little cinnamon or nutmeg.
Support for going gluten free
Having support as your complete your transformation is crucial for success. It can be particularly difficult if you live in a household where you are going gluten free on your own.
You can also join an online group or talk to family and friends about your struggles. Loved ones are often eager to help, but may not know how to do so. Share with them what you need whether it be a supportive shoulder or help to make a new dish.
Your final challenge is to share who your support system will be as you continue your gluten-free journey!
Making dietary changes is never easy which is why having a strong support system in place is so important. I encourage all of you to keep in touch with me and each other as your journey continues.
My office team will be doing a detox group challenge that will be gluten free. If you would like to do a challenge with me you can.
Order your simple Clear Change® 10-Day Program and join the Challenge with us at https://cweaver.metagenics.com/clear-change-10-day-program-with-ultraclear-renew and enter promo code "detox20" to get 20% off.
The Clear Change® 10-Day Program is designed to enhance the body’s natural metabolic detoxification process while providing adequate fuel for both cleansing and other daily activities—providing energy and support for overall well-being.
This is ideal for anyone wanting to benefit from an occasional “Spring Cleaning!”
Our office team will be starting our group detox on January 19th!
Join the detox with us and post on our exclusive Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/382639405839519/ to get entered into the surprise raffles! Click the link above to request to be added to the group.
Once again, if you ever need any additional guidance or support, don’t hesitate to reach out! I am deeply passionate about helping people become the very best versions of themselves. If you need any additional information, help, or questions answered, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want more healthy tips you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here https://www.youtube.com/drcorinneweaver. Like and comment on my channel so I will know what tips and topics you want to know about. I am forming a community of people who want to take action in their own health with my social media channels and I want to know what health topics you want to hear.
I hope my column speaks to you and you can wake up each morning with a purpose. What I do every day is a calling, and I give God the glory for allowing His gifts to work through me. I do believe in miracles, because I get to see them every day! For more information you can go to www.nomoremedsmovement.com and sign up for my closed Facebook group #NoMoreMeds-Community for more healthy tips.
Dr. Corinne Weaver
Dr. Corinne Weaver is a compassionate upper cervical chiropractor, educator, motivational speaker, mother of three, and internationally bestselling author. In 2004, she founded the Upper Cervical Wellness Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Over the last 13 years, she has helped thousands of clients restore their brain to-body function. When she was 10 years old, she lost her own health as the result of a bike accident that led to having asthma and allergy issues that she thought she would always have to endure. Then, after her first upper cervical adjustment at age 21, her health began to improve thanks to upper cervical care and natural herbal remedies. This enabled her to create a drug-free wellness lifestyle for herself and her family, and she also enthusiastically discovered her calling to help children heal naturally.
Dr. Weaver was recently named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Top Doctors" in 2016 and is now a number-one internationally bestselling author to two books: Learning How to Breathe and No More Meds.
Upper Cervical Wellness Center is known for finding the root cause of health concerns through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, nutraceutical supplementation, and correction of subluxation (as opposed to just medicating the symptoms). The practice offers cutting-edge technological care at its state-of-the-art facility, including laser-aligned upper cervical X-rays, bioimpedance analysis (measures body composition), digital thermography (locates thermal abnormalities characterized by skin inflammation), and complete nutritional blood analysis, which is focused on disease prevention.