What the hell is Gluten?

I get this question a lot, and I mean A LOT. What is gluten? Why is everything labeled gluten free and do I have celiac disease?

Okay, so first off let me start off by saying that gluten is a real thing and we should pay attention.

Second of all, can you benefit from minimizing your gluten intake? Absolutely.

I would direct you Dr. Perlmutter’s book, Grain Brain. Available on amazon.  This book gives everyone an honest look at gluten, what it is, how it affects our bodies and why we might want to avoid it in our food.

Gluten, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Let me repeat, gluten is not a bad thing. It is a naturally occurring protein, that is formed when wheat and yeast get together.  Unfortunately, gluten is pervasive in our processed food supply (i.e. flavored coffee) and has been unknowingly dumped on our bodies in mass quantities.

So, yes we need to aware of what it is and where it is, but we do not need to fear it, unless of course you have Celiac’s Disease and then you need to run, far far far away from it.

For me, I was consuming gluten on a daily basis, multiple times a day and had no idea! I didn’t realize it was in my favorite flavored hazelnut coffee or my coffee creamer, or my salad dressing (when I was being healthy for lunch, during a crazed graduate school day), or my ice cream (*read tough day at work). After reading Dr. Perlmutter’s book, I realized that gluten had invaded my life and I didn’t even know.

My gut on the other hand was under attack from this constant stream of gluey, sticky, stuff. From what I now know, this glue (gluten means glue, literally), can stick to my gut and cause leaky gut syndrome. Meaning my second brain (gut), doesn’t make all of my brain hormones or regular hormones for that matter.

So what do I do?? I try to eat whole foods, that can’t possibly have gluten, and minimize my intake where possible. That’s not to say I don’t indulge when I want to, because I definitely do. Now I’m just a more cognizant person, about what I put in my body.

Information Overload

Do you ever look at old family photos and think “geeze, they had it so easy?”

I look at my family’s photos from the 70’s and everyone looks so thin and happy. Then I look at my photos from the past 10 years and think “my God, that’s been a struggle”. Not to say I’m a pessimist about life. On the contrary, life is awesome!  What I have struggled with is the overwhelming amount of information on diet and exercise. Every 6 months there is a new way to exercise and a new diet to try. Weight lifting is good, but yoga is better! Get out and walk, no, now do High Intensity Interval Training…eat 6 smalls meals a day, But Wait! the research says you should fast for 16 hours a day and eat whatever you want in 8 hours.

STOP! It’s maddening.

Maybe I’m the only one who finds this assault of information overwhelming.  My Instagram and Facebook feeds are filled with results from this program and that program.  I love seeing people getting results and feeling great. But sometimes at the end of the day, I think to myself, are we doing more harm than good?

Has our quest to be happy and thin, left us jumping ships to the point where we can’t remember where we started? Perhaps I’m over thinking this, but at the end of day, I honestly couldn’t tell you what to do for exercise or how to eat.

Like I said, I’m going to chronicle my journey of researching health topics and I hope it helps you.

 

“Health” Journey?

This is the post excerpt.

Let’s talk about the “health” journey…

I swear, everyone is on a health journey these days.

Maybe it’s because we are all so unhealthy, with our steady diet of fast food, TV, and sedentary lifestyles, that we feel the need to seek our health at every opportunity.

Instead of finding information easy to understand and implement, we are inundated with buy this, try this, and do that.

I think we’re over complicating things…

We eat like crap, so start eating better.

We sit all day, so try walking after work.

We watch too much TV, so start reading something positive every night.

This might sound silly or too easy, but why are we trying to complicate are already over complicated lives?

Let’s just start with the simple and build from there.

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