So what's the big deal with gluten free Cheerios? I just don't get it, I've eaten it and it tasted great and I haven't had any issues, I'm not understanding why all the controversy. Please help!

So what's the big deal with gluten free Cheerios? I just don't get it, I've eaten it and it tasted great and I haven't had any issues, I'm not understanding why all the controversy. Please help!

Well dear reader this one is a bit more complicated to answer because not only does it involve the safety of how gluten free products are processed but it also has to do with lots and lots of advertising dollars that have gotten tied up in the mix and that is why there has become so much controversy around this topic. So I'm going to try and briefly break the main points as there are many articles floating around all over the Internet.

First off let me start with a few main facts:

  1. There was a Class 1 recall for 1.8 million boxes on October 8,2015 for a combination of plain Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios for undeclared wheat from their manufacturing location in Lodi, California. 
  2. Cheerios uses "washed" oats and not certified gluten free oats. This means that these oats are mechanically separated from mainstream gluten grains and because of this, these oats are generally extremely gluten contaminated. For more information see the Gluten Free Watchdog article which explains the difference between purity protocol vs mechanical sorting of oats. 
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Does Everyone Have Gluten Withdrawals?

 Does Everyone Have Gluten Withdrawals?

No, not everyone goes through gluten withdrawals, only the lucky ones. The symptoms can vary from mild (like a slight headache) to severe (which could include physical and emotional turmoil). Typical symptoms include nausea, depression, lightheadedness, brain fog, headaches, low energy, bloating, constipation, dehydration, dizziness, excessive joint pain, fever, sweating and extreme craving for anything that has wheat in it.

Yes you crave anything with wheat in it and may even start seeing and smelling your favorites everywhere. Your body is screaming out for wheat and it is hugely important during this time that you DO NOT GIVE IN. Not that it is ever okay to give in but mistakes do happen, this is not the time to be making any. Wheat is very addictive and by some accounts more addictive them cocaine so it is a really hard habit to remove this.

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Where is gluten hiding?

Where is gluten hiding?

Yeah sure if you have celiac disease or are severely gluten sensitive we all know to avoid the usual suspects like bread, breadcrumbs, cakes, cookies, pastries, donuts, wheat, barley, and rye but where else does gluten hide? Where else might gluten be lurking in your food? 

Staying gluten-free is critical to your health so it is important to find the hidden places where you might be surprised to find have wheat, wheat starch and gluten added. 

1. Oats 

Yes oats in nature are gluten free however it is how and where they are grown and how they are processed that becomes the problem. Most oats are processed along with wheat and flour therefore making cross-contamination very likely. Sometimes the oats are stored in silos that are also used to store other grains. So unless they are clearly marked as Certified Gluten Free Oats meaning they were grown, processed and stored safely stay clear of them.

2. Chewing Gum 

Believe it or not some brands of gum are not even safe because they use a gluten-based powder to keep the gum from sticking to the wrapper. It is crucial to double check the ingredient list here because not all gum is created equal in a celiacs world.

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What to do when you feel left out?

What to do when you feel left out?

This is a very common question in regards to celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Most people cannot possible understand that on a bad day it takes every ounce of energy and strength you have for you to get up get dressed, showered, make-up, put yourself together and get out the door. You look fine to the rest of the world, they can’t see a difference. They have no clue how bad you may be suffering and for the most part, you get tired of talking about it. So you suffer in silence. You do the best that you can and some days that is way more than other days but no one can usually tell the difference.

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How do I love my body again after I feel like it let me down?

How do I love my body again after I feel like it let me down?

I love this question and I have to admit this is a question that I once asked myself so I can definitely relate. The challenge here is did you really ever love your body? Did you have a good relationship with your body? With your health? With your weight? With your thighs? 

The answer that I have found with my clients and with myself was a resounding NO. No, I did not have a healthy relationship with my body. I did not appreciate that my body was something that I needed to look after, that my body was something that I needed to take care of, instead I took my body for granted and treated it badly without ever really giving it any thought. How about you? 

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How to Overcome the Gluten Blues?

How to Overcome the Gluten Blues?

For me I think there are a few kinds of “gluten blues” and they seem to come at different junctures in your journey. 

When you are first learning to go gluten free it is a very daunting task understanding all the nuances that go into changing every thing that you eat. Learning to navigate your kitchen, your old favorite foods, baking, cooking, eating out, dealing with friends, family and special occasions all of these take some time to learn how to survive, let alone to relax and enjoy your meals. 

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Can you be healthy and gluten-free?

Can you be healthy and gluten-free?

This is an awesome question and one that I hear often. The challenge is the answer is not a simple yes or no. The answer depends on you and your commitment to your health. Understanding that health looks different to everyone but generally at this time of year when most people are on a healthier kick, are eating better and exercising their definition of healthy is more about loosing weight and not about truly getting healthy.

However, there is a major difference for someone who has celiac disease or a severe gluten sensitivity that most people overlook and that is we have to repair the damage that has already been done to our bodies and that takes time, some times years and it is your level of commitment here that will determine if you will truly ever be healthy and live a gluten-free lifestyle.

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What about my Kitchen?

What about my Kitchen?

I have been told that as a celiac that I need to start from scratch, pitch everything is that really necessary and why?

Let me start out by saying in a perfect world, yes if you have celiac disease that is your best option. But you have already spend thousands of dollars on testing and now food is more expensive, do you really need to invest in new dishes, pots, pans, utensils, cooking tools, and small appliances? The real answer is yes to most and here is why.

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Will the Rotation Diet Work For Me?

Will the Rotation Diet Work For Me?

A rotation diet is typically used for people who have multiple food allergies. So doctors suggest that the person rotate their food every four days. So lets say for example you would eat gluten on Monday, you would typically wait four days, so on Friday you would eat gluten again and see if your body reacts to this food.

Here’s the problem with gluten. If you are having a reaction to gluten today, your body will always react to gluten. This is a permanent sensitivity. The challenge becomes when you body does not respond the way it did last time you eat gluten and it decides to find another vehicle and see if you will pay attention to a different signal of pain.

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My Doctor said I Don’t Have the Celiac Gene but, I Feel Better on a Gluten-Free Diet - What should I do?

My Doctor said I Don’t Have the Celiac Gene but, I Feel  Better on a Gluten-Free Diet - What should I do?

When your doctor orders the gene test because he or she believe you could have celiac disease they are looking to see if you have HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 (these are the genetic markers specifically for celiac disease). 93 to 97% of celiacs have one of these genes commonly referred to as DQ2 or DQ8. Now here is where it gets a little tricky, 45 to 50% of people with non-celiac gluten-sensitivity also have one of these genes. And so do 30% of the general population. What is really important to understand is that this test is really indicative of a gluten-related disorder not of celiac disease. 

It has been reported that up to 7% of the celiac population have other genes which are not tested and therefore the gene test is not 100% conclusive. So it is possible to have celiac disease and not have either DQ2 or DQ8 that is the first thing to understand.

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