Archive for November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Recap, and Choose Your Attitude

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a good start to the holidays; we did at our house:)  All four daughters were home, even the one who’s working in Puerto Rico; 3 boyfriends joined us, and we had our first 100% Flour Free, Sugar Free Feast.

Here’s a picture of everyone:

thanksgiving group


And here’s the menu:  Turkey from Dark Hollow Farm in Markham, Va ( shout out – they raise them in the woods and they’re delicious!).  Oh, I have to stop here.  We decided to roast the turkey in our Big Green Egg, which we’ve used for several roasts and a couple big chickens this past year, so I felt comfortable.  We live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and it’s been super cold; when we went to light up the Egg, it was frozen shut!  Woops.  Mark was able to feed some starter bricks in the bottom, but even when the inside temp was 400*, the lid stayed frozen.   A little panic set in.  He poured water on it over and over and it eventually opened, but our dinner was a slightly delayed because of this.  Lesson learned though: the Big Green Egg can freeze shut in the right weather.  Plan accordingly.

We also had:  stuffing made with coconut flour bread; mashed potatoes, sweet potato muffins made with coconut flour, brussels with bacon, green beans, mushroom sauce/gravy which I thickened with a tablespoon of arrowroot starch(worked perfect), and carrots with butter and cinnamon.

coconut and barkFor dessert, we had pumpkin pie with a nut crust, apple caramel cake (OMG!!), homemade ice cream w/coconut milk, regular vanilla ice cream from the store, chocolate pomegranate bark, pecan pie bark, and toasted coconut flakes.   The pumpkin pie, apple caramel cake, the barks, and the mushroom sauce/gravy are all on my Pintrest page, but here’s the change we made:  we used Swerve Sweetener – and LOVED it!!  Definitely my new Go-To.

Paleo Cookie Exchange at my house on December 13, from noon to 2.  Bring a flour free/sugar free dessert – or don’t!  I’ll have plenty and everyone’s invited!

Are you remembering your mantra?  “Attitudes don’t just happen, they’re the product of our choosing?”  Our eating habits, our response to situations, how we react to people, these are all ACTIONS we can change or improve.  Nothing about us is set in stone, but plastic.  If you want to change your body, you have to change your mind first, this is an absolute.  If your thinking doesn’t change, nothing changes.  Instead of fixating over weight or thighs or food, think about your heart, your mind, and the vibrations and energy you give off or give away.  You can either start the changes today (or continue the changes you’ve started), and be a new person by January 1, 2014; or you can keep doing the same old thoughts, actions, habits, and attitudes and be the EXACT same person.

Enjoy your Holiday Weekend!  We’re off to the gym for HITT cardio, and biceps/triceps.  Catching Fire Tonight!!!

Holiday Baking Supplies and Links – For Good Paleo Food:)

paleo free thanksgivingHoliday Baking has begun, and I’ve had a bunch of questions on where to find the ingredients used in Paleo recipes, and also where to source local meat, eggs, and dairy.  It’s a lot easier than you might imagine if you haven’t done this yet.

(Speaking of Paleo baking, remember:  PALEO COOKIE EXCHANGE at my house, Friday, December 13, noon to 2.  More details after Thanksgiving, but EVERYONE is invited!)

I’m just going to make lists, ready?

For any local meats, dairy, or eggs, go to local, or eat; and this one, which is cool because it even has restaurants,  If you haven’t checked out these sites, I bet you’ll be shocked to see what’s available: dozens of small farms in your vicinity, that either have co-ops, deliveries, stores, or SHIP DIRECTLY.  Check them out.

What’s the point of the extra effort, when you could just go to Wegman’s, Whole Foods, or any other grocery store?  Small local farmers are following a trending movement of feeding their livestock traditional foods (grasses/hay) instead of just grains.  If you’re avoiding grains because of digestive and immune issues, you’ll want to avoid eating animals that eat them also.  Whether the gluten proteins that cause so many problems passes on to humans via turkeymeats/animal products is an issue that’s HOTLY debated; but here’s a certainty:  grain fed meats, eggs, and dairy contain high amounts of Omega 6s fats (inflammatory), and not much if any Omega 3s fats (anti-inflammatory).  Omega 3s come from grasses, and Omega 6s come from grains.  One of the biggest reasons red meats cause inflammation is because MOST PEOPLE EAT MEAT FROM ANIMALS FED INFLAMMATORY GRAINS.  We are what we eat.

Next, paleo/low carb flours that don’t contain gluten and don’t spike blood sugar.  The most common ones you’ll see in recipes are almond flour and coconut flour.  There’s also plantain and sweet potato flour for those with auto-immune issues who are trying to avoid nuts.  Most grocery stores are carrying almond flour and coconut flour, but there’s a bunch of sites selling them online: here’s a link to VitaCost options,  and here’s a page from Google.

One of my favorite sites?? Tropical Traditions!! What don’t they carry:  every and any coconut product you can imagine, plus hundreds of other different and fun baking, beauty, and home products that are natural and non toxic.  They even sell, and ship, eggs that are special because they feed the chickens coconut, which leaves the yolks rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides and Lauric Acid (trust me, you want those things).

Next up, sweeteners.  I use a lot of Stevia in the Raw.  I’ve just bought my first bag of Swerve and can’t wait to try that.  I also use liquid Stevia.  I’ve tried Truvia, and while it bakes well, I’m a little leary of it.  We do use honey and maple syrup in some of our baked goods.  Monk Fruit sugar is in a lot of recipes I see, and they just started selling that at our local grocery store.

Lastly some Recipe Sites, these are fun!  The Paleo Mom,  All Day I Dream About Food, Elanaspie Pantry, and Civilized Caveman.  Paleo, Low Carb, Gluten Free sites are so popular on the web that I haven’t bought a cookbook in years, I just use the computer.  I’ve also joined Pintrest and I think that’s a great way to keep a “recipe file”.

That’s it for on the cooking end. I have to finish this post with a reminder of this weeks mantra, “Attitudes don’t just happen, they’re the product of our choosing.”  We can choose to make this holiday about family and friends and community, or we can choose to make it about gorging ourselves into a coma.  Whichever of those we focus on is going to happen.  Choose your thoughts wisely, and let me know what you’re making for Thanksgiving!

Addictive Behavior, Diet Strategies over the Holidays, and a Paleo Cookie Exchange

motivation and habitI got a great email yesterday from someone who says she loves my “Change Plan“, and she’s going to start it as soon as the holidays are over…………………..  Ummm.

If you want to change your weight, your life, your outlook, your health, or the health of your family, you’ll want to start right now.

(Don’t worry, I’ve already emailed her and given her a heads-up about this.)

Waiting for all the Stars to Align is a “diet strategy”.  Diet Strategies NEVER work (statistically, more than 95% of everyone who loses weight on a diet gains it back.).  The Change Plan is about stopping that Diet Mentality, and getting off flours, sugars, and chemicals forever because they’re really, really bad for you.

Here’s a couple of thoughts for the week:  one, flours and sugars trigger “opioid centers” in the brain.  That means they literally stimulate neurons that make us feel pleasure, and then later those same neurons send out signals telling us to go find more flour and sugar so they can feel that way again.  This is real.  This is a scientific fact.  Even those “healthy whole grains” with the AHA seal of approval do this.  It’s easy to see that smokers and drug users have addictions, but honestly, flour and sugar create the same addictive brain patterns.

Another thought (this is the mantra for the week), “Attitudes don’t just happen, they’re the products of our choosing.”  This is a Joyce Meyers quote from her book, Power Thoughts.  She goes on to say that we establish thought patterns in our minds so easily that much of our life runs on “autopilot”, and we respond to certain situations out of habit, as opposed to what would be best.  We need to PRACTICE interrupting those autopilot situations and replacing them with thoughts, attitudes, and actions that lead to a better long term outcome.

Which brings me back to this ladies statement about waiting til after the holidays.  The assumption is that she’s going to be so surrounded by irresistible food that she either can’t or doesn’t want to say no.  Did you know that if you count holidays, weekends, birthdays, etc, it adds up to over a third of the year?    This is just plain, normal life.   The stars are aligned and we all need to start eating healthier and thinking healthier today.

Take it from a former food addict/diet addict/binger/every Monday it’s time to buckle down:  It’s totally doable, I swear.  Start with baby steps, practice your mantras, learn about the effects foods have on your moods, your hormones, your health and your biology, and it gets easier and more natural every day.   Our body and our mind thrives on Real Whole Foods.

Speaking of Real Whole Foods, I’m hosting a Paleo Cookie Exchange on Friday, December 13th, from noon to 2.  If you’re in the area, please, please plan on attending.  If you want to bake and bring something, that’s great.  If you don’t – come anyway! I’ll make sure there’s plenty to share.   This way you can see how sweets made with coconut and almond flour taste.  More on this later, but save the date now.


Is Quinoa Paleo? A Travel Workout; a Vacation Cut Short, and THANKSGIVING

Our anniversary weekend was cut a little short thanks to snow – we brought a car that DOESN’T drive well on slippery roads 🙁   We still had a great two days, got to see a part of fallingwaterSouthWestern Pa I hadn’t seen before ( beautiful! ) and take a tour of Fallingwater, the home Frank Lloyd Wright built in 1936 over a waterfall.  If you’re in the area, or interested in architecture, this is a Must See.

We did have a great workout yesterday in the Nemacolin Spa/Gym, who wouldn’t?? The stone, the wood, the giant walls of glass so that you felt like you were outside – it was inspiring!   Here’s what I did (Travel Gym Workout):  7 rounds of leg press (25 reps) with 2 minutes on the elliptical after each set,  then 2 rounds of abductor/adductor machines with 2 minutes elliptical after each set, then 4 rounds assisted pull ups (12), 15 push ups, with 2 minutes elliptical after each set, and ball pullovers to finish up.

eggs and vegAfterwards, we had a quick lunch before we checked out: the leftover vegetables from the night before mixed with 6 eggs (yes, we eat the yolks – they’re nutrient BOMBS).  Then I ate a small bag of nuts and seeds in the car.

Dinner was back at home, and I just made what I was going to make anyway:  burgers stuffed with slow roasted tomatoes, topped with thick cheddar, a pot of vegetables cooked in bacon fat and butter (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, onion, and kale), a big sweet potato cut up and roasted, then doused in butter.  Two of our girls were home so I made a lot, but there’s vegetables left over to mix with eggs again this morning.

Now to the Quinoa question:  is Quinoa paleo?  Is it healthy? Is it a good substitute for bread crumbs in meatloaf?  Do I eat quinoa?  Answers:  quinoa is a seed not a grain, technically, seeds are paleo.  However, the carb count is high:  1 cup is 109 grams of carbs, that’ll send your blood sugar soaring.  It’s also got some of the anti-nutrients you’d find in grains, which means say hi to digestive/stomach issues.  Do I eat it?  Not in years.  I OD’d on grains and gut disruptive foods for so long, that I have NO leeway in messing with them; a couple years ago I even tried sprouted quinoa, and 30 minutes later I was in stomach bloat misery.  What about the meatloaf?  You can use almond flour, coconut flour, or ……. no flour binder whatsoever.  Have you googled Paleo Meatloaf recipes?  There’s about a million;  I never use a recipe, I just throw in whatever I’m craving or whatever’s available.  Meatloaf’s kind of a no-brainer in that it’s EASY to make it delicious.  Try this one:

turkeysEnough about all that now, it’s Thanksgiving week!!!  We’ve been pouring over recipes  and this morning we’ve watched the Contessa, Giada, and Pioneer Woman.  I’ve started saving recipes on Pintrest, and we’re about to head to Wegmans.  We’re planning a solid, 100% Paleo/Gluten Free Thanksgiving ( sorry Shelby!).   What are you all making?



26 Years of Marriage, and Eating in Nemacolin Woodlands

IMG_2768My husband Mark and I have made it to 26 years of marriage – Yea Us!  We’re away for the weekend in Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, and having fun 🙂  He rented us a townhouse here so that we’d have a kitchen,  because we both love home cooked food.  Here’s the low-down so far:  yesterday morning, I had my Kitchen Sink Smoothie for breakfast, and he had 2 scoops of protein with Raw Milk; have I told you he drinks half a gallon of raw, whole milk a day and has for almost 2 years now?   Some may say this is over kill, but I’ve got to admit, it works for him.  My husband has also (almost) totally given up bread, pasta, and desserts in 2013.  I say almost, because he probably still indulges once or twice a month, which is a HUGE change from a few times a day every day.  He’s also cut his beer consumption waaaayyy down for the past several years, and this year he’s switched to Hard Cider (gluten free, no sugar added) about half the times he does feel like a drink. The guy’s become LEAN.  He’s liking the changes – and so am I:)

By lunch time, we were on the road; he had another raw whole milk and protein before we left, and I ate a baggie of nuts and a pear.  We stopped right past Cumberland Md at a Sheetz ( which had a DRIVE THRU!!) for a tea and bathroom break. ( I’m so weird I travel with my own tea and stevia, so really, I just paid for the cup and the hot water.)

The townhouse is great, and as far as kitchens go, pretty complete.  I’m a good packer, so I’d food in fridgeincluded a sharp knife, a cutting board, salt and pepper, and a plug in food on counterfrying pan with a lid ( you never know what a kitchen is going to be missing).    Here’s the counter and fridge loaded with items I packed:  lamb, sausage, kale, brussels, cheese, mushrooms, carrots, onion, garlic, avocado, slow roasted tomatoes, bacon, a green pepper, eggs,  coffee ( go Paul Newman Vanilla!), stevia, raw cream, raw milk (2) and protein powder.  (I keep a running list on what I want to bring when I travel, it helps me not to forget anything.)

Here’s the dinner pic:  burgers stuffed with tomato and covered with cheese, and a side of brussels sprouts w/bacon, onion, and mushrooms.  That cheese plate in the middle was sent by a friend of Marks as an anniversary gift:)    After dinner, we walked thru the resort ( it’s probablynemacolin dinner around half a mile – inside), and split a dark chocolate bar.

Why do I enjoy packing and cooking on a vacation??  Because I’ve trained my brain to enjoy cooking; and it takes no training whatsoever to appreciate that after I eat home cooked food as compared to restaurant food, there’s no feelings of “too full/sick/indigestion/guilt/brain fog,  etc etc etc”.  In my mind, it’s a win-win.


The way we think is everything!!  That leads me right into our Positive Attitude/ Positive Changes plan:  the mantra is, ” Find someone no one else loves, and love them.”  Chase those negative thoughts about your body right out of your mind –  they just keep you in the same habits and patterns you’re in now.   Instead, focus outside of yourself, and if that’s hard to do, PRACTICE it.  We can do anything we train for and practice!

We’re off to the Spa/Gym now, we checked it out last night and it’s Beautiful!!!! Remember: choose foods and actions and thoughts that make you feel good later, and you’ll change your life.

What to Eat for Lunch Instead of a Sandwich, and a “Thought Changing” Quote

I get asked all the time, “what do you eat for lunch if you don’t have a sandwich?”  That’s easy:  meats, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and fats.   There’s nothing magic about a sandwich at lunch time, not even “ease of eating”;  lots of things are fast and easy to make / eat.

Start with dinner leftovers; actually, PLAN for dinner leftovers.  Buy and cook more dinner than you think you’ll need to, and pack the leftovers for lunch.  No leftovers?  Make sure you have nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, or good lunch meat and cheese on hand to throw together in 5 minutes.  ( Planning is EVERYTHING.)

lunchHere’s a few recent lunches I packed:  that’s leftover sausage with broth, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms, and those two white chunks on the side?  That a couple of chunks of coconut butter I popped out with a knife.

To the right, that’s left over fish with half an avocado, a baggie with a pear, and a lunch 2baggy with pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts.

This is a baggie of brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dark chocolate, and macadamias, and a Granny Smith apple.   lunch 3 Easy!

What about kids?  Meat and cheese roll ups, bags of nut/chocolate/fruit mixes, fruits with nut butters, gluten free nut bars, carrots and celery sticks, salads,  homemade paleo treats, and occasionally, a sandwich with gluten free bread. (My youngest wears me down – but I do have  standards!).  I’ve got a post on feeding kids in the works, but know this for now:

*****You Are The Example***** Your health, your habits, your issues, you’re teaching them and conveying them to your children EVERY SINGLE DAY.    If your message is that you’re too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed, too sick, too too too too, your kids are sucking that right up.

On a different note, have you been thinking about the Mother Theresa quote, ” Find someone that no one else loves, and love them.”  ??  Remember, you’re taking a couple of months to ACTIVELY work on getting rid of your negative thoughts.  Check out the last several posts to see where that’s going.

Here’s a great quote from Joyce Meyer’s book, Power Thoughts,  “Whatever you hold in your mind will tend to occur in your life.  If you continue to believe as you have always believed, you will continue to act as you have always acted.  If you continue to act as you have always acted, you will continue to get what you have always gotten.  If you want different results in your life or your work, all you have to do is change your mind.”  Anonymous

Love it!

You Can Be Better By January, 2014, Or Not…. & More Gluten E Summit Facts

debbie (27)It’s been over a week now that I’ve challenged you to Change your Thinking if you want to Change Your Body; and I’m specifically talking about those negative thought patterns that I’ve heard so many people express:  I hate my thighs, if only they were thinner;  I hate my stomach; I hate my butt; I want to lose weight; If only I could lose 10 pounds…. etc etc etc.  Ask yourself how long you’ve been spinning on these exact same thoughts and how well they’ve allowed you to change.  How long?

Change doesn’t happen when you keep doing the “same old same old”;  negative thought patterns NEVER produce positive results.  Never.  Get your mind off of what you don’t like, and start focusing on improving yourself in your soul.  Seriously.  Focus on being kinder, gentler, more patient, more loving, more thoughtful.  Get your focus off your body (and calorie counts).  Use Mantras, Meditation, and Prayer;  write a quote on 10 or 20 sticky’s and post them all over: your mirrors, wallet, fridge, doors, car.  PRACTICE changing your mind.  Work on it.  It doesn’t just happen, trust me.

We had a speaker at church yesterday who’s a life long missionary, and a Mother Teresa fan.  He quoted her and I’m going to make it my quote for the week:  ” Find someone that no one else loves, and love them.”  This goes right along with “loving-kindness” meditation, where you don’t just pray for yourself and your loved ones, but for someone “neutral” and someone else you’re currently having difficulty with.  We’re not supposed to focus on ourselves so much, despite decades of advertising hypnotizing us otherwise.  Nothing good comes of that.

Here’s something I’m really into:  the way Science is Solidifying the Mind/Body connection:  eat flour/sugars, and you create a brain that ONLY thinks about flours and sugars.  As your body becomes unhealthier, and you become unhappier yet continue to eat flours and sugars, NOTHING CHANGES; the negative thought patterns continue, the addictive eating continues, the thoughts, the addiction and so on and so on.  Too addicted to think about quitting?  Fill your head with facts about what Flours and Sugars actually do beyond making you gain weight, because it’s pretty profound.  I hope I’ve persuaded you all to tune into the Gluten E Summit – what a wake up call!  It’s not too late to register and catch the final day presentations and listen to them in kitchen, your car, or during a workout.  Here’s some recent snippets:

From Dr. Amen, MD Psychiatrist

* Neuroplasticity, or the ability to Change Your Brain, has been a scientific fact for 10 – 15 years, but many doctors are still unaware and don’t practice/prescribe according to this.   We can make our brain Better or Worse through our Life Style Choices:  Food, Exercise, and Thoughts.

* Low Fat Diets and Bad Fats have horrible consequences for the brain ( because our brain is about 60% fat).  This applies whether you’re 2, 12, 22, or 82.

* There are MORE than 100 studies which show that Big Belly’s correlate with Smaller Brains.

* Genes are NOT as important as Behavior and Choices (Epigenetics).

* “Food is Medicine, or Food is Poison.”  You know I love that one!

* Gluten is Poison for most of the population. ( No human has the enzymes to break down the gluten proteins)

* ADD studies show 100% of people affected with this disorder show some level of improvement when Gluten and Casein (milk protein) are removed from their diet.  (Diet or drugs, diet or drugs???)

* “Why do we celebrate with Toxins?”

* The less insulin we need over the course of our life, the longer we live.  Insulin triggers many inflammatory pathways.  ( what triggers insulin?  Carbohydrates.  Not Fat. )

* Cancer uses Glucose (the breakdown product of carbohydrates) as it’s main fuel.

* Anyone with Thyroid issues MUST go Gluten Free.  Gluten affects the Thyroid in a myriad of ways, including inhibiting the conversion of the Thyroid hormone T4 to it’s active and usable form T3.

* 2002 Study from Journal Of Neurology:  Severe migraine sufferers (the study group were actually unable to work and on Workman’s Comp because of the severity of the migraines) were put on a Gluten Free Diet,   70% NEVER had another headache.

From Dr. Davis, MD Cardiologist (the Wheat Belly doctor)

* Heart Scans that measure Coronary Calcium Plaque show that once Plaque gets started, it grows at the rate of about 30% a year.


* What’s the biggest factor in Coronary Plaque?  HIGH BLOOD SUGAR.   He says if you have Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes, or Insulin Resistance, no drug in the world will stop the Heart Disease you’re nurturing with your high blood sugar.

* Main Driver of High Blood Sugar?  Wheat, Grains, and Sugar.

*Wheat, Grains, and Sugar also are the only foods that cause the body to create Small, Dense, LDL (the bad stuff).  The ONLY foods.  Small, dense LDL is sticky, and lasts up to a week in the blood.  This is totally different from big, fluffy LDL, which has beneficial side effects, like carrying essential fatty acids to our brain and glands.

* The Gluten Proteins in wheat are highly “opioid”, which makes them appetite stimulating and addicting.   Who’s addicted to meat?  No one.  Who’s addicted to foods full of flours and sugars?

*  If we continue on the path we’re on now, by 2044 the amount of money the US will need to treat JUST diabetes ALONE, will be MORE THAN all the tax revenue the Federal Govt collects.

* Yet, Main Stream Medical Advice/  Governments Health Advice is to eat a diet of 60% carbohydrates, many of them from “healthy whole grains”.

Quit thinking of food in terms of Calories In Calories Out, that’ll just lead to weight gain and horrible health.  It’s a wrong paradigm that’s made a lot of people a lot of money.  The Scientific Evidence against Grains and Sugars is overwhelming, and concrete.  Take your health into your own hands.  Ditch the grains and sugars, and eat Real Whole Foods.  Practice your Mantra.  You can be a whole different person by January 2014, or you can be the exact same.  It’s up to you.

More Gluten Free Summit Snipits, and a Focus Reminder

gluten e summitThe Gluten E Summit continues to impress, if you haven’t registered, it’s not too late, there’s still 3 more full days of FREE lectures by doctors and researchers who are at the top of the game when it comes to Preventative and Functional Medicine.   Dr. O Bryan, who’s at the helm of all this, has created a listening ability to access each of the lectures right through your email.  If you don’t have Stitcher or iTunes, that’s okay, you don’t need them.  Just click on the link and listen in your car, your home, the gym, where ever.

Here’s some highlights from the past couple of days:

“Main stream medicine does NOT have a monopoly on knowledge” ( this from Dr. Natasha, who has TWO MDs)

“Fat makes you thin, and Sugar/Glucose makes you fat.”  (all carbohydrates break down to glucose)

Two slices of Whole Wheat bread have more glucose and will raise your blood sugar HIGHER than Two Tablespoons of Sugar.  ( whole wheat’s not the health food it’s cracked up to be)

Gluten-Free Foods are a BIG PROBLEM.  They’re made with high glycemic flours (rice flour gluten free mini browniesshoots blood sugar up quicker than wheat flour), sugar, and chemicals.   They’re usually just another processed food.    (from me:  if you go Gluten Free, let it mean Real Whole Foods)

Gluten Free = Gluten Free.  Microscopic amounts of Gluten trigger the same Immune Response that large amounts do.

“Removing gluten is NOT Alternative/Functional/Holistic medicine;  it’s good medicine backed solidly by Science.”

Put Gluten and Sugar together ( for example, in a processed food like crackers, cereal, bagels…), and you’ve got the perfect storm for Addiction.  Chemicals are triggered that are “opioid-like”;capn crunch  the same areas of the brain that respond to drugs and alcohol light up.  Why set your kids up for a life time of the same battles you’re fighting, or worse?

“It’s become NORMAL to start the day with dessert: cereal, danishes, bagels;  this matters because Food is Information, and the information anyone gets from those kinds of foods is All Bad”

Everyone who lectures reminds us that reactions to Gluten don’t just happen in the Gut.  As a matter of fact, around 70% of all reactions happen in places OTHER THAN THE GUT:  the brain, the cardiovascular system, the joints, and the skin.  Several Neurologists who’ve spoken say that Gluten Sensitivity is responsible for a large portion of Parkinson’s, Bells Palsy, Shaking, Migraines, etc.    Our food has consequences!

And my favorite quote of the day:  “Your Body Is NOT a Math Equation (calories in calories out doesn’t work), It’s a Chemical Reaction.”   The food we eat triggers hormones, and they determine whether we store fat or burn fat.

throw bread awayWhich leads right into our Change Effort that I’m running through January:  Most negative thoughts about your body lead to a plan to reduce calories through diet or burn more calories through exercise.  None of this works:  not the negative thoughts, and not the diet and exercise program (that’s the calories in – calories out paradigm).   Check the statistics:  almost 100% of everyone who loses weight on a “diet” gains it back.  Want real change?  Change Your Thoughts!!!  Quit focusing on what you don’t like about yourself ( your thighs, your stomach, your weight), and start focusing on being a better person, having a kinder heart, fostering better relationships.  Use the Mantra “I practice being kind, not right.”

As for really changing your body?  Start thinking of Food in terms of the Effects it has on your hormones:  carbs encourage you to store body fat through the hormone Insulin; and the main two components that build your body structurally are Fat and Protein.  Feed your body what it takes to run beautifully, and be beautiful.  Eat Real Whole Foods.  Work on being in charge of your thoughts.  Our food matters, and our thoughts matter.  We have so much power, control, and choice over our life! There’s some people who climb into little boxes and stay there for days, they will their Respiratory System and Cardiovascular System to slow down – just to prove they can.  These people aren’t magic, they’re focused;  you can focus too!  Start practicing now and change will happen.     “I practice being kind, not right.”

Gluten Affects the Neurological, Digestive, Immune, and Cardiovascular Systems

me on porchThis is going to be a fun post full of fun – and fascinating  – facts.  I’ve been listening to the Gluten E Summit ( which is free – you should be listening too) and madly writing down notes to pass on ( if you can’t listen).

If you’re thinking, “I don’t have problems with gluten” – You’re Probably Wrong!!  Most gluten symptoms happen OTHER PLACES THAN THE GUT:  the brain, the heart, joints, skin, etc.  Got headaches, depression, or swollen knees?  The chance that it could be caused by reactions to gluten are very high.  What about your children:  headaches, behavior problems, constipation?  Again, there’s a good chance it’s reactions to gluten.  You should just TRY eliminating gluten for a few weeks, or a month, and test what happens.   (Eliminating means “100%”, I’ll explain why in a minute)

The doctors and researchers giving the presentations have credentials that take several minutes to go through – they’re all experts who study the absolute most current research available, and use that research in their practice. ***** (This is significant; according to an Institute of Medicine report on the state of the US Health Care System, it takes “it takes 17 years for new knowledge generated by randomized, controlled studies, to be incorporated into practice; and it even then application is highly uneven.”  That should make you feel uneasy.  It makes me more determined than ever to be my own best health advocate.

Here’s some bullet points from Monday and Tuesday’s Summit Talks:

No human can completely breakdown the protein gluten in their digestive system.  No one.  We don’t have the right enzymes.  For some, there are little to no consequences, and for others, there are big consequences:  neurological/cardiovascular/immune/joints/gut.

Gluten reactions and high blood sugars are highly involved in the plaques that cause Alzheimer’s and dementia.   The Lancet Journal of Neurology says at least 54% of Alzheimer’s victims could have prevented their disease with different lifestyle choices.   54%.

Intestinal Antibodies to Gluten are there for at least 7 years before there’s any “villis-atrophy”.  Translation:  Just like with all disease, it takes years to cook/incubate/manifest, but damage is happening way before a diagnosis.

Very low HDL is a marker of Gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease.

“It is Mythological and Perverse information that fats cause Heart Disease and that a Lack of Fat helps you lose weight.”

The Brain must have fat ( saturated, mono-unsaturated, and Omegas), to function properly.  Trans fats and an incorrect ratio of Omega 3/anti-inflammatory to Omega 6/inflammatory are  very damaging.

Vascular Disease starts incredibly early:  if the mother’s health or diet is compromised, it affects the fetus.  Around 30% of children and teenagers have measurable markers of Heart Disease.

We have control over our levels of inflammation by just cutting back on Carbohydrates from flours and sugars.   Get your CRP tested – it’s an incredibly accurate reflection of the level of inflammation in your body.

The Ideal Diet is High Fat/ Low Carb.

It can take 6 to 12 months to heal leaky gut, calm down antibodies to gluten, and eliminate symptoms.  Patience is a virtue – and a necessity.

Gluten-Free needs to mean 100% Gluten Free.  A little tiny bit of gluten triggers the same reaction a lot of gluten does.  

The scientifically proven connections between autism and gluten are profound.  Check out Liz Lipski and the Autism Research Institute to learn a TON.

That’s it for my wrap up, more soon.

Have you been remembering to focus on the mantra of the week:  ” I practice being kind, not right.” ?  Practice deleting negative thoughts from your brain.  Nothing changes when nothing changes, know what I mean?   Change happens when you do something different:  think differently, feel differently, focus differently.   Read my post here and here to get a feel for what I’m talking about.

If you spend time in the car or time in the kitchen, it’s a great opportunity to listen to podcasts and youtubes that improve your health, your focus, and your life.  Take advantage of all the FREE information put out there by prominent members of the medical community.  Because much of their advice stems from diet and lifestyle changes, and not pharmaceuticals (aka $$$$$), you’ll need to search it out.  This isn’t information that just lands in your lap or that you’ll hear from your GP; but it’s there and it’s incredibly accessible, and FREE.  Go for it!  And remember,  “I practice being kind, not right. “

The Habits of Happy People Seminar

results and changeI had the pleasure of going to a seminar last Friday called the Habits of Happy People – I love stuff like that!! Did you know that with the advent of modern technology, the ability to really study and see the brain has just exploded.  For instance, until recently it was pretty widely accepted that the brain quit growing in early adulthood; now we know – via MRIs, that’s not true at all.  Our brain can grow and develop for as long as we challenge it.  That’s why games like Luminosity, crossword puzzles, and learning a new language are so good for us.  No challenge, no growth; just like our muscles.

Here’s another thing that won’t change without challenge:  our level of happiness.  Back up:  isn’t it exciting that we can change it???  Apparently, we’re born with a “pre-disposition” for happiness that we inherited from our parents.  Current science says that only accounts for about 50% of our mood and attitude- the other 50% is what we do, what we say, what we focus on, what we read or watch or listen to, who we pick for friends and peers, etc.  We have such opportunity for improvement!

I think this totally coincides with my own “Positive Attitude Positive Change” challenge I threw down last week:  Practice, Plan, and Work on taking Action Steps to STOP the Self Defeating Negative Talk, from now through January, and See the Changes!   What’s that mean?  Instead of focusing on how much you dislike something about yourself and want it to change ( which gets us NOWHERE despite years of thinking that way), focus on being healthy and taking the Action Steps to get there.

Action Steps are EVERYTHING.  You know how you can let your mind just wander and ruminate and spin on what you don’t like?  And how it can start with one subject, like your thighs/butt/weight etc, and then just keep growing, like ripples in a pond? Well, that’s what Actions Steps prevent: no more wasting  downtime “vegging” in front of the computer or tv.  No more spending hours of the day (driving, at the desk, even with other people) WASTING your brain time. Now practice focusing on doing:  when you can plan/shop/cook/pack; when you can get a workout in and what it’s going to be; listen to a podcast/youtube on a healthy topic like heart health or sleep or thinking positive; schedule cleaning out a drawer, your desk, or your closet and then do it;  schedule and follow through with family time, or friend time.  I know everyone’s busy, but God didn’t put 24 hours in a day and make it not enough (whether it seems that way or not).  He gave us 24 hours because he thinks that’s sufficient – so it must be.

Positive thinking and health; they’re practically one and the same.  Our thoughts come from the neurotransmitter mixes we make in our brain.  Neurotransmitters are made from  Amino Acids, which are from Protein.  Our synapses and neural connective tissues are made up of fatty acids (from fats).  Our body is made out of Protein and Fats.  Feed your body the foods that it needs to make itself.   

Positive thinkers and optimistic people have Stronger Immune systems (less cortisol, less negative hormones and neurotransmitter mixes).  They also heal from wounds quicker and have less perception of pain.   They’re also better problem solvers and more creative, have better success at work by all measures, have happier marriages and friendships, and greater resilience to all sorts of problems.    Why wouldn’t we strive for this?

So next time your mind wanders to what you don’t like about yourself, focus instead on the Action Steps to become what you want to be!

Quote for the week (I’ve been saying this one a lot): ” I practice being kind, not right.”  I think I got that from Joel Osteen.  Have a great day!