Rants, Reviews

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” Nelson Mandela ~ How Going Gluten Free and Positive Attitudes Can Help!

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” Nelson Mandela

~How Going Gluten Free and Positive Attitudes Can Help!~

The one thing that I am discovering more and more is the amazement of how the human body works. How everything is pieced together and wonderfully made. The fact that our body when healthy is a well-oiled machine is amazing. Then, through genetics, external influence, or negligence a body can rapidly change.

What about how a person’s attitude can change based upon how one feels… and how one feels can also be changed based upon one’s attitude! It seems as though it may be a catch 22.

Those dealing with chronic illness may relate more than those who are not…

Apparently, our minds are hard wired to respond to negative stimuli in a way much like that of prey discovering they are in the path of a tiger… At least that is the illustration used in this article about the influence of negative thought within the human mind. As they put it “In each case, your brain closes off from the outside world and focuses on the negative emotions of fear, anger, and stress — just like it did with the tiger. Negative emotions prevent your brain from seeing the other options and choices that surround you. It’s your survival instinct.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/positive-thinking_b_3512202.html)

Now, imagine dealing with a long term illness in which one’s will to remain positive is eventually worn down… After a while of being locked in a negative situation, we can get caught up into saying “I can’t!” or “It won’t happen!” thus locking ourselves into a negative mind set and if not careful, giving up hope.

In this post, I thought I’d explore two things… the fact of the attitude or psychological influence over a human being, and how the gut may interplay with the wellness of a person.

I think that one of the biggest things I’ve learned is, as David Whyte said, “Without silence we become frightened by what is occurring. There is no room for it to grow inside us, and bereft of that spaciousness, we feel as if the process is about to take us over.” We must have time of peace and reflection in order to cope… To give yourself permission to rest.

I know… I know… who has time for that, right?

But, getting “caught up” in the illness can be easy to do if your body is spiraling out of control. You are not acting, but reacting. Then, in reaction mode, something as common as eating can become a labor intensive negative experience until you act… research it to a point of understanding. With research, you are acting on the problem and not reacting! You are being pro-active! And with that understanding, hopefully peace and better health will arise and your mind reset, changing for the better.

“All choices affect my health in either positive or negative ways.” Paige Bailey.

So what are your choices? Keep plowing forward with the bit in your teeth or, regroup.

What I have most recently learned is that I did need a time of stepping back to regroup, to learn how to eat, to identify with those who are going through similar circumstances and to learn from them. My choice was to take a step back… to learn!

One of the most surprising things I’d learned is that common illnesses aside, wheat and gluten have a strong correlation with the physical and mental well-being of many individuals.

Before going gluten free, I had no idea that simply dropping Wheat from the diet could possibly improve one’s mental function, help eliminate brain fog, help calm autoimmune diseases or provide relief to those suffering from ADHD, Autism, Schizophrenia, or Depression.

While these were not all the reasons that I went gluten/wheat free, I must admit my total outlook on life has been changing for the better. Granted, that is because I am truly feeling better physically… but still, I found the link between the gut, physiology, and psychology fascinating!!!

For instance, in the “Wheat belly” book by William Davis, MD., he describes how the shortage of bread and wheat products during WWII positively affected those hospitalized for Schizophrenia. He also explained how after the war, and diets returned to “normal” there were negative affects! Dr. Davis also goes into the effects of wheat on ADHD, Autism, Diabetes, Heart Disease and other ailments.

To learn more, please go to http://www.wheatbelly.com/

To learn more, please go to http://www.wheatbelly.com/


Here are a few bits and pieces that I’ve gleaned in regard to a few types of gluten free diets. I hope it helps with your own research.

Going Gluten Free:
The website, http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2013/April/considering-a-gluten-free-diet?utm_source=health&utm_medium=pressrelease&utm_campaign=health0413
goes into how a gluten free diet helps those suffering from Celiac disease. Nothing new there… but what about other autoimmune diseases? Did you know that going gluten free can help just about all of them?

Like Celiac disease, autoimmune diseases occur when your body gets confused and rather than attacking the supposed “virus, disease or illness” that has attacked your body, it targets part of your own. This could be your thyroid, intestines, or other vital organs of the body. Gluten can actually trigger this action! Therefore, autoimmune diseases can be benefited by a gluten-free diet. Read on…

Autoimmune/ Paleo Diet:
A more strict form of diet to observe if you are autoimmune is the Autoimmune Paleo diet! The Paleo Diet is based upon the Paleolithic time period when we, as humans, were hunter/gathers and were not an agrarian society… (stationary, raising and consuming grain and grain fed animals to supplement our diets). Many sources suggest that that was when all of our health problems really began! While our diets changed, our bodies didn’t.

The Paleo diet primarily consists of grass fed beef, free range chickens, and pastured pork as well as lots of green leafies, veggies and fruits. No grains… especially no wheat or gluten and no dairy.

There is a fabulous book that had recently come out called “The Paleo Approach” by Sara Ballantyne, PhD. In her book, she has explored and explained the very core of what the causes Autoimmune Diseases are.

Here is a link to her site where she actually has a video of flipping through the pages and describing the book: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/01/announcing-my-book-the-paleo-approach-reverse-autoimmune-disease-and-heal-your-body.html.
paleo approach book

Both the “Wheat belly” book by William Davis, MD And the “Paleo Approach” by Sara Ballantyne, PhD are excellent resources to understand the “leaky gut syndrome” that people may develop due to gluten and wheat!

The GAPS Diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome):
The GAPS Diet, also described as SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) is used to both aid in the healing of the gut and also the psychological links between the gut, wheat and grains and the causes or influence on different diseases. The list is quite extensive as to the benefits. An introduction to the Gaps diet and descriptions can be found here: http://www.gapsdiet.com/

Now, as with everything… Rush into nothing! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! And then, speak with your doctor!!!
I hope you find this information helpful as it is just a suggestion. Speak with your doctor about it. Print it out, email it to them, then do your own research and talk to them about it in depth. You are the only YOU that you have, so care of yourself wisely!

Keep your head together and your heart positive! After all, as the old proverb says, “Be careful what you think. Your thoughts run your life.” Proverbs 4: 23
Until Next time,
Happy Reading and Eating.
~Christa~
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For More Gluten Free info, recipes and fun, please follow my Pinterest board:

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Rants, Reviews

“I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way!” Johnny Nash. ~ The proven benefits of going gluten free!

“I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way! Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day!” Johnny Nash.

~The proven benefits of going Gluten Free~

It has now been about a month since going Gluten/Wheat free and the results has been amazing.

Having dealt with constant aches and pain, headaches, ups and downs with blood sugars, little infections, little illnesses, sleeplessness, and thyroid symptoms, I can happily say that I am much better off now than I was one month ago.

Though I had stomach flu this past week and allergies that triggered due to construction work at work, I have overall been feeling better. I am losing weight. I can see more clearly as my eyes would become quite blurry at times. The ringing in my ears is dissipating. I have been able to reduce or eliminate some of my medicines. My stomach, while still a bit crampy at times, has tamed itself considerably, but best of all, the brain fog is lifting!!!!

For me, that is the best result of all. I still have momentary lapses but the fog that muddled my brain for school last quarter is lifting and I hope to be in tip top shape again before the next quarter starts in April. This is probably one of the greatest benefits of all.

My diet has been further restricted from more than just Gluten and Wheat. I’ve eliminated eggs, all dairy (including butter and yogurt replacing them with coconut oil and kombucha), soy, refined sugars, and all processed foods. I cook everything myself now. I also use organic chicken and grass fed beef when eating animal proteins, so you can imagine how sparingly I must eat that.

My diet consists primarily of good healthy produce, the meats mentioned above in moderation, lots of water to drink, kombucha for probiotics, and grain free (including oats for now).

I’ve cut all caffeine and all sodas replacing them with sparkling mineral water on occasion and herbal teas or hot lemon water when cold. I must say, after the storm of my body last week, it has calmed down considerably as of today.

And for the first time in 5 years, I ate a banana! A real banana! For some of you, it may seem quite trivial, but when you go through the storm and walk out the other side, it’s like seeing that first ray of sunshine! I could not eat them before as they would make my body spike.

I have been reading the book “Wheat belly” by William Davis, MD and I have been amazed by what I have learned. I will review the book more fully once finished, but through this book, he fully describes to the reader the catastrophic condition that wheat puts the human body, leading to diabetes, affecting celiac and autoimmune diseases of all kinds, cancer and worse (life with debilitating diseases).

To learn more, please go to http://www.wheatbelly.com/

To learn more, please go to http://www.wheatbelly.com/

According to Dr. William Davis, both wheat and dairy have addictive qualities, or “morphine-like compounds” that can cross over the blood-brain barrier and even affect mental health triggering an “opiate-like” addiction. On page 49 he even goes into how “opiate-blocking naloxone prevents the binding of wheat-derived exorphins to the brain.” (Davis, 2011) Exorphins give you a “high” of sorts, and there are detox symptoms when you go off of them. This I can attest to after the fact. As a layman, and one who has experienced it, I do recommend doing one at a time if you have to give up both, unless your doctor recommends differently. I actually gave up gluten, wheat, dairy, caffeine, and sodas all at the same time… Quite a challenge.

Anyway, back to the book. According to Dr. Davis, gluten elimination has even been able to help those with all manner of mental issues such as depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, and even Autism. Other affects have been to help in diabetic control, autoimmune diseases, skin issues and more! Wheat is actually addictive. So, the more you eat, the more you want. The more you want, the more you eat. The more you eat, the more you gain! In his opinion, “lose the wheat, lose the weight!”

This has been an amazingly educational book, with scientific fact, genetic information about wheat, and how everything is tied together. Happily, with the brain fog lifted, I can actually remember what I am reading now! 🙂 It has piqued my interest in science again and has my curiosity searching other resources.

After a month of being gluten/wheat free, I am beginning to feel like my old self again… something that I have missed greatly over the past year or two.

I feel as though I am rebuilding again… rediscovering… and recovering! To me, that is priceless!

Perhaps you do not have wheat or dairy allergies or other known medical conditions, but just for educational purposes, I would definitely suggest reading this book. It may explain a different aspect as to why you may feel the way you do, or why a loved one is going through some unexplained “mysterious” illness.

Research… Research… Research!!! It’s worth a shot!! Seriously… You’ll be glad you did!

For more info and ideas, you can follow my Pinterest board here where I am constantly pinning information, benefits of gluten free living, recipes and ideas.

Until next time,
Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~

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