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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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May 6, 2021

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Final Week

Today I’m going to wrap up this topic. Not because I’ve covered everything that there is to know about gluten, but because there are other topics

April 29, 2021

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 2

How do you know if you have a gluten issue? It’s possible that you may eat foods containing gluten and not experience any significant digestive issu

April 23, 2021

Veggie Stuffed Turkey Burgers

(The following recipe first appeared in the September 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Ingredients: 1 tablesp

April 22, 2021

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 1

What are your thoughts on gluten? Do you eat it, or not? Why are so many people talking about it these days? Just this week I received a call from a f

April 15, 2021

Anchor Habits, Being Still, and My Resident Rabbit

It almost feels as though our world is sort of opening up again. For now. How very indefinite. At any rate, prior to everything shutting down, perhaps

April 8, 2021

3 Reasons Why Losing Weight is Hard

It seems like such a simple concept. Expend more calories than you eat, and BOOM. Off go the pounds. Not so fast. There are lots of reasons why it’s

April 1, 2021

He’s Here, and He’s Adorable

This is week #39 of baby, and guess what? He arrived! Little Angelos is perfect and looks like a little angel—well-dressed in monogrammed attire wit

March 26, 2021

Leek, Potato and Zucchini Hot Cakes

Ingredients: 1 medium potato 2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)                                             

March 24, 2021

For the Love of Leeks, and Hot Cakes

It’s the week of the leek. From the looks of the leek I have in my fridge, it’s a good thing that at week #38, baby is about to make his grand wor

March 18, 2021

Swiss Chard, Your Refrigerator, and Advice from Julia

As we close in on this journey at week #37, baby is the size of a bunch of Swiss chard.  Swiss chard falls under the extremely nutrient dense umbrell

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Final Week

Today I’m going to wrap up this topic. Not because I’ve covered everything that there is to know about gluten, but because there are other topics I’d like to cover before summer arrives.

That being the case, if you are struggling with how to manage a gluten-free lifestyle and enjoy great food, we need to talk. I’ve been practicing for several years now.

Gluten can sometimes be found in ingredients that you’d not expect. It’s tough to avoid something when you don’t know that you should—like licking envelopes. 

While this is not a complete list, here are some names that are often code for gluten:

  • Caramel color (frequently made from barley)
  • Hydrolysate
  • Hydrolyzed malt extract
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Maltodextrin
  • Modified food starch
  • Natural flavoring
  • Yeast extract
  • Soy protein
  • Vegetable protein

This is another reason why it is important to eat a diet that consists primarily of whole foods. Long lists of ingredients often lead to food that isn’t that good—taste wise and for you.

5 Tips to Help You Eat Gluten-Free Deliciously

  1. You’ve heard this one before, yet it can’t be overstated: When grocery shopping, stick primarily to the perimeter of the store, where whole, nature-made foods live. Avoid the middle aisles which are filled with processed foods.
  2. Make a shopping list and don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. Crazy things end up coming home with you when you skip this tip. Been there, done that.
  3. On those occasions when I’d like a special treat, I’ve found that Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend, as well as King Arthur GF flour, work very well. Recipes using their products can be found on their websites. 
  4. For convenience foods (like crackers, muffin mixes) made with real and healthy ingredients, look for Simple Mills. You can pronounce the ingredients and your body will recognize them as real food.
  5. These products can be found at most local groceries. I also like to shop at vitacost.com. When I’ve left products in my shopping cart for a day or so, I often get an email with a coupon and reminder to finish my shopping.

May is Celiac Awareness Month and vitacost.com is offering 15% off on select gluten-free foods.

To learn MUCH more about how gluten and grains affect us, a great book is Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter.

Enjoy the lilacs of May.

Much love,
Carol

“Food is medicine. We can actually change our gene expressions with the foods we eat.”—David Perlmutter

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 2

How do you know if you have a gluten issue?

It’s possible that you may eat foods containing gluten and not experience any significant digestive issues. However, if you have any of the symptoms that were listed last week, it’s possible that gluten is at the root of the problem.

To know for certain, you could do an at-home gluten sensitivity test. While there are numerous ways of getting tested, the best seems to be a combination of stool and saliva testing through a company called EnteroLab (www.enterolab.com).

I can hear you hollering “NO WAY!” about a stool test. If you feel bad enough…

The tricky part is deciphering the gene information once you have it. You can get assistance from someone at the lab, or work with a functional or integrative medical practitioner who understands that language. 

Another way to determine if gluten is the culprit is to completely avoid it and see how you feel. If your symptoms improve, then you don’t need to bother with a test unless you’d like to know exactly which gene(s) you have that may also affect your children.

What other foods contain gluten?

The obvious: breads, pastas, baked goods, crackers, and anything with the gluten grains added.

The list of foods that often contain gluten is fairly lengthy and unbelievable. Here are some of them:

  • Beer, wine coolers, various alcohols
  • Condiments, salad dressings, marinades
  • Soups, bouillons, broths (commercially prepared)
  • Gravy
  • Communion wafers
  • Energy bars
  • Cereals
  • Hot dogs, cold cuts, blue cheeses
  • Soy sauce and teriyaki sauces
  • Wheatgrass
  • Veggie burgers
  • Oats (unless certified gluten-free, since they are often contaminated from wheat products)

This is not a complete list. It gives you an idea of the extent to which gluten has taken over our food supply. It really is everywhere!

In the book Grain Brain, Dr. Perlmutter explains that although our ancestors had similar genetic makeup, modern food manufacturing has allowed us to grow structurally modified grains that contain gluten that’s less tolerable than the gluten found in grains cultivated just a few decades ago.

In simple terms, we are now eating gluten on steroids.

For Seinfeld Fans

Do you remember the episode where George’s fiancé, Susan, had to lick all the wedding invitation envelopes? They were supposedly made with low quality, poisonous glue, and she died.

Perhaps she had an extreme gluten issue. Non-adhesive stamps and envelopes may contain GLUTEN!

I’m not even kidding.

SOOOO, what CAN you eat?

These grains and starches are gluten-free: amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat (there’s no wheat in it, honest), corn, millet, potato, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy (although I’m not a fan), tapioca, teff   

A few more ideas: eggs and other protein (wild fish, meat, poultry, pork), healthy fats (nuts and nut butters, avocados, cheeses, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil), fruits and vegetables.

Be sure to read anything with a label. Many of them now state: contains wheat.

Next week I’ll fill you in on some other ingredients that are code for gluten and share some of my tips to help you.

In the meantime, beware of those wicked stamps and envelopes.

Much love,
Carol

“Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else — not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.” — Mark Hyman

Veggie Stuffed Turkey Burgers

(The following recipe first appeared in the September 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms or 4-ounce can of mushrooms, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cups fresh spinach
1 small tomato, diced (liquids drained) or 1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
16 ounces ground turkey (can substitute ground grass-fed beef or bison)
8 outer leaves of romaine lettuce

Instructions:
1. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in mushrooms.
2. Add balsamic vinegar and stir. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add spinach and tomatoes and cook for another minute. Stir in mustard and turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper. Place spinach mixture in the refrigerator and cool for 15 minutes.
4. Form turkey into 4 equally sized balls. With your fingers, make a well in the center of each ball. Stuff about 2 tablespoons of spinach mixture inside each ball. Seal the top and flatten to form a patty. Reserve any leftover spinach mixture to serve on the side.
5. Pan-fry or broil your burgers:
• To pan-fry: Heat a pan and add a little oil. Add the patties and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness is reached.
• To broil: Set oven broiler to “high.” Place patties on a foil–lined baking sheet on top oven rack. Broil for about 3 minutes, flip patties over, and broil for about another 2 to 3 minutes or until burgers reach desired doneness.
6. Let the burgers rest for a couple of minutes.
7. To serve, take 2 romaine leaves and sandwich burger between them.

Notes: Tomato paste is available in a tube, and is great when you only need a small amount. The tube of paste stays fresh for months in the refrigerator. If you don’t care for the vegetables used to stuff the burgers, use what you like and they’ll be delicious.

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 1

What are your thoughts on gluten? Do you eat it, or not? Why are so many people talking about it these days?

Just this week I received a call from a friend who was in tears. She had just been diagnosed with a severe gluten allergy—AND she’s Italian. Horrors.

Sometimes before we can move forward, we need to have a good cry. 

I get it. I’m right there with her, even though I’m not Italian. It’s tough, yet it really is manageable.

In today’s blog I’ll discuss what gluten is, why it’s in our food, and how it may be affecting your health.

Gluten is a protein composite that’s found in wheat and other grains and starches: barley, bulger, rye, spelt, kamut, triticale, semolina, farina, wheat germ, matzo, graham flour, couscous.

Gluten is Latin for “glue” and acts as an adhesive that holds flour together to make food products. It makes pizza dough stretchy, breads and bagels chewy, and pasta noodles elastic.

It is a common additive that’s found in processed foods, cosmetics, personal care products, and even medications. It keeps sauces and gravies from curdling, as well as volumizing your mascara.

Celiac disease refers to an autoimmune condition that affects numerous systems in the body. Its primary target is the intestinal tract and affects approximately 1% of Americans.

Gluten sensitivity implies that there is some type of immune reaction occurring due to gluten in the diet. 35-40% of the population cannot tolerate gluten.

Gluten sensitivity is very real and causing major health issues for a growing number of people, even if they don’t have symptoms – yet.

Health conditions that may be linked to gluten sensitivity:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Autoimmune disorders (diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, etc.)
  • Bone pain/osteopenia/osteoporosis
  • Dairy intolerance
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Infertility
  • Hives/rashes
  • Migraines
  • Food malabsorption
  • Neurological disorders (dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, etc.)
  • Seizures/epilepsy

This is not a complete list. A delicious piece of bread can sure wreak havoc on a body. 

Remember, I’m merely the messenger and am continually putting the pieces of my own puzzle of health together. It’s a process.

Next week I’ll address more on this topic: How do you know if you have a gluten issue? What other foods contain gluten? What CAN I eat?

In the meantime, if you’d like more detailed information, check out the book Grain Brain, by David Perlmutter, MD.

If you should find yourself in the 35-40% or wish to eliminate a food group from your diet, I’ve had LOTS of practice.

Finding ways to eat deliciously without gluten and dairy are my specialty. Contact me today and I’ll help you live healthier with food.

Much love,
Carol

“People are getting to this place of understanding that their lifestyle choices actually do matter a whole lot as opposed to this notion that you live your life, come what may, and hope for a pill.”—David Perlmutter