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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Rants, Reviews

“Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water -it will make ripples throughout the entire pond…”

“Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water -it will make ripples throughout the entire pond…”
― Jessy and Bryan Matteo

This past weekend, as I (and everyone else in the US) braved the trip to the grocery store in preparation of Superbowl Sunday, I had an excellent opportunity to help a fellow newbie at the grocery store.

As I walked slowly through the isles contemplating the purchases that I should make, a father and daughter were walking through the cereal isle looking for breakfast cereal that was “Gluten Free.” We briefly struck up a conversation in which she too had just started going gluten free and was lost in the sea of cereal and wheat products that are so prevalent in today’s society.

Happily, armed to bear, I was able to run up to the front of the store and ask for another copy of their gluten free product list. Granted, it only contained the store brand items, but at least it was a start!

So, with copy in hand, I returned to find the woman and her father still searching in another part of the store and handed her the list. It was a small thing, but it really made me feel good that I was able to do this for her. 🙂

Then, two isles over, I met another woman looking at the pastas in the gluten free section and mentioned if she cooked the pasta for the minimum amount of time, the pasta is still al dente (a mandatory requirement in my book).

It felt so good to be able to help others who are facing the same dietary plight as I am and I am only 2 weeks into my dietary changes.

Sooo… I thought, why not look into the other stores as well for their gluten free, dietary lists? After all, if I’m a newbie who needs help, as were they, how many others could there be? Right?

In this post, I thought I’d share the info I’ve found about the gluten free sections of grocery stores and those who are more gluten free friendly.

I must say, if you are close to a Whole Foods, you are blessed! Whole Foods has an amazing website! Their site is LOADED with gluten free information including information on Celiac disease, suggestions for support groups and the fact that they are more than happy to supply a meeting room at your local store if they have a meeting room available. How is that for customer service? Huh?

They take the time to care, and post, and educate… For more information on gluten free items, their gluten free bakery and where gluten hides, please definitely visit them here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/healthy-eating/special-diets/gluten-free

I’ve always LOVED Whole Foods and really celebrated the new location opened in Charlotte, NC! I was truly spoiled by them. 🙂

Anyway, here are the gluten free lists of products offered at various stores… More will follow, but this is a good start. Some are in pdf form, some are the website pages themselves… Happy hunting. 🙂

Whole Foods: http://www2.wholefoodsmarket.com/specialdiets/APK_Gluten_Free.pdf
Trader Joes: http://www.traderjoes.com/pdf/lists/list-no-gluten.pdf
Harris Teeter: http://www.harristeeter.com/shopping/gluten_free.aspx
Publix: http://www.publix.com/managed_pdfs/GlutenFree10117.108335384.pdf
Kroger: https://www.kroger.com/asset/banner-glute-free-product-list

Sadly, not everyone is gluten free friendly and have lists readily available. I think that is a great mistake on their part as there are more and more people showing at grocery stores wondering what to buy. This weekend was a perfect case in point.

By the way, did I mention that I LOVE Whole Foods?? :)…jk..

Anyway, I hope that you find these links and lists helpful.

Of course, as I learn more, I will be happy to share further! I can’t wait to start creating my very own recipes. That will mean great success for me!

So, what is your favorite place to buy GF foods? Please email me or post a response!

Anyway, Happy Reading and Eating!
~ Christa ~

Be Strong! Carry on!

Be Strong! Carry on!

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