Tag Archives: Paleo

Gluten Free Diet Journey

Gluten free, Paleo, It Starts with Food, Eating Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, these are just a few books and programs to “fix”  what ails you.  And I’ve tried many of them, but I’m not giving up on trying what will give me energy, fabulous hair and skin and a way to easily maintain or lose weight without starving myself.

I have to admit that over the summer I have gone right back to my gluten habits.  Although, I still eat pretty clean and my calories never go over 1500 calories (1100-1500), Gluten can wreak havoc in a body that has autoimmune disease.  For me, gluten-free keeps me healthy.  Since I have re-introduced gluten in my diet, I have been sick at least twice.

Since I am blogging my journey, so that others may benefit from my successes and failures, I wanted to honestly blog my failures and symptoms from them.  As I mentioned previously, my calorie intake is right where it should be for maintenance or even weight loss, but since the re-introduction of Gluten, I have been unable to maintain my weight, feel sluggish, have low energy, brain fog, and have been sick with congestion and bronchitis.

My next chapter is going Gluten Free again, but I am also going to try a program that a friend with auto-immune disease suggested.  The book is The Virgin Diet.  The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin, starts out with an elimination Diet for 21 days as follows:

Eliminate

  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Sugar and Sugar Substitutes

 

The Elimination Diet is nothing new, but it will be new to me. Basically it calls for eliminating foods that typically cause an allergic  or adverse reactions. Here are some of the reactions to foods that can cause intolerance.

Adverse Reactions to Food Intolerance

  • Joint Pain
  • Congestion
  • Acne
  • Sleep Issues
  • Bowel Problems (diarrhea/constipation)
  • Headaches
  • Weight Gain
  • Low Energy
  • etc.

 

Yes, I have tried different books, diets programs etc.  I’m hoping my journey, helps you in yours.  All seem to say the same thing and there is a common thread that runs through them , especially when it comes to autoimmune disease.  So I am really not trying anything completely different.  I would say the only thing that I am adding is the 21 day Elimination Diet to know once and for all if I am allergic or have a sensitivity to certain foods.

After the 21 Day Elimination

  • Slowly add each food back in
  • If you have any adverse reactions or symptoms eliminate them
  • If you don’t have adverse reactions continue to eat them

 

I will blog my next 21 days, please follow me as I enter this new journey.

 

Notes

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before taking any medication or health supplements.

I encourage you to always research before you buy supplement or attempt to treat any illness.  Always consult your healthcare practitioner.

*This site contains affiliate links.  That means that when you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a commission.  However, the amount that you pay will not change.

 

 

 

 

Gluten-free to Paleo to Whole 30 Journey

I promised that I would share my Paleo journey.  In previous posts I mentioned that due to my autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I  am going gluten-free.  The research is here if you want to read my post.

Gluten-free is definitely a challenge for this Italian girl. When I started out a few months ago, I decided to go “gluten-free”: first.  I immediately noticed a difference in that I saw less bloating.  I had no idea that I had gluten-sensitivity .  Remember I was doing this because of the research I found regarding auto-immune disease and gluten.  Going gluten -free was not as difficult as I thought.  There are many gluten-free products out there and as a matter of fact I fell into the “gluten -free snack trap”.   I began to eat foods that I don’t normally eat just because now it said , “gluten-free”.

My next phase was to follow the  Paleo plan.  The Paleo plan is here if you want to read about it.  On this plan, I began to eliminate all grains. This is NOT the Atkins plan. This is a lifestyle that also includes fruits and veggies.  Once again, I continued to feel better.  My goal was not to lose weight, but to improve my health.  As my body began to heal, some of the bloat and weight came off without trying.

My third and final phase was to join the “Whole 30″ craze. ” Whole 30″ is considered ‘ Paleo on steroids’.  You can read about it here. During this phase I took out all sweeteners which includes, agave and stevia.  I have heard many positive testimonials regarding the Whole 30 and decided, I will try this next.  Again, I am doing this because of my autoimmune disease.

Below you will find my results from going gluten-free.  The blood test, C-Reactive Protein measures “the amount of a protein called C-reactive protein in your blood.  C-reactive protein measures general levels of inflammation in your body. High levels of CRP are caused by infections and many long-term diseases. But a CRP test cannot show where the inflammation is located or what is causing it. Other tests are needed to find the cause and location of the inflammation.” (WebMd)

Results from going completely Gluten-free:

Less Bloating

Weight Loss

Inflammation decreased

C-Reactive Protein lowest it’s been in 6 years

 

Notes

I will continue to update you as I go through the Whole 30. I am not a doctor.  Always consult your doctor when changing diet or exercise program.

 

Paleo, Whole 30, Atkins is it for You?

In a previous post, I talked about going “Paleo” and off of gluten because of the research regarding gluten and autoimmune disease. And since I have Hashimotos Thyroiditis, I felt this was right for me. Read here to see that post. I have since eliminated gluten, but have not adopted the  Paleo lifestyle until this week.  The difference between the two is this:  Gluten- free you can virtually have any gluten-free product.  (There are a lot out there)    So , even though I was not a big snack or grain eater in the first place, I found myself buying all of these “fun” gluten-free products, like bars, cookies etc.  Ummmm,, so I felt pretty bad and fell into the trap like most people.  So out with all the snacky snacks and in with the Real Food .

Let’s take a look at three popular and very similar programs or meal plans.   I say “meal plan” because I don’t believe in going on ‘diets” anymore, I believe in getting healthy and as this “Aspire page” says “Wellness from the inside out”.  So with that in mind..here we go:

Claims from Whole 9 Life (Whole 30 , Whole 90)website says: testimonials claim of cure or improvement in these:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • type 1 & type 2 diabetes
  • asthma & allergies
  • sinus infections
  • hives, skin conditions
  • endometriosis, PCOS
  • infertility
  • migraines
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • heartburn & GERD
  • arthritis & joint pain
  • ADD
  • thyroid dysfunction
  • Lyme disease
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic fatigue
  • lupus
  • leaky gut syndrome
  • Crohn’s, IBS, Celiac disease, diverticulitis, colitis

What to Eat

  • meat,
  • seafood,
  • eggs,
  • vegetables,
  • some fruit, and
  • plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.

What Not to Eat

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking.
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not eat white potatoes.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30
  • No Paleo-ifying baked goods, desserts, or junk foods

Find out more about the Whole 30 with their book “It Start With Food” here It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways

Benefit Claims of Paleo

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and most chronic degenerative diseases that affect people in the western world
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Improve your athletic performance
  • Slow or reverse progression of an autoimmune disease
  • Improve or eliminate acne
  • Sleep better and have more energy throughout the day
  • Enjoy an increased libido
  • Improve your mental outlook and clarity
  • Enjoy a longer, healthier, more active life

What to eat :

  • Grass-produced meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthful oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

What Not to Eat:

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils

Eating foods made with substitute flours (Almond &Coconut Flour)

“The basic premise and goal of The Paleo Diet is to eat as close to nature as possible. In reality, a hunter gatherer would have not been able to cook up Paleo pancakes or bread, regardless of the type of flour used. Processed foods were completely out of the picture. The key here is moderation. A coconut flour based pastry on occasion is obviously better than eating the common alternative, which typically is loaded with gluten and vegetable oils. As long as you stick to consuming The Paleo Diet in the way that it was meant to be followed for the majority of your meals, a little dessert here and there should do you no harm.” Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Find out more about the Paleo Lifestyle here The Paleo Diet Revised: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat

Paleo vs. Atkins

  • Counting carbs essential on an Atkins diet requires measuring, weighing and recording of the carbohydrate content of everything that’s eaten.
  • Paleo is just about eating real food and avoiding grains, legumes and dairy so no need to weigh, count, measure or journal.
  • A Paleo diet is all about food quality. Meat in particular, is ideally grass-fed and organic. Processed, grain-fed, intensively farmed meat is to be avoided.
  • Atkins however, the source of the food isn’t of such importance .
  • Paleo diet omits grains, legumes and (sometimes) dairy, on an Atkins diet, these are all permissible – providing they are low in Calories.
  • Atkins You can consume sweeteners, diet soda, seed oils, soy, Atkins chocolate bars, Atkins crisps – and lots of other very un-Paleo foods on Atkins.

Notes

So here it is, the differences and similarities.  Questions to consider first would be why you are choosing one of these.  Choosing a meal plan is  something you do for a lifetime, not just a temporary fix.  I do not recommend the Atkins program.  Usually those that choose Atkins, are looking for a quick fix and then go “off” the program and gain weight back.  I feel the other 2 programs are about choosing “healthy’ and natural foods to incorporate for a lifestyle and lifetime of eating.

For me, with Hashimotos Thyroidits, I feel , it is vital to have a gluten-free lifestyle. This is the reason I am sharing my story and will also share my results.

This will not be easy ,  but this will be my journey!  I’ll keep you updated.  Share your stories with me if you have an autoimmune disease or have gone on Paleo and whole 30 for health reasons.

* I am not a doctor, always consult your physician before starting any program especially if being treated for a condition and /or taking any medications.

* This site contains affiliate links.  That means that when you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a commission.  However, the amount that you pay will not change.

*The picture is provided by © Guyerwood | Dreamstime Stock Photos

 

Paleo- Ain’t Nothin’ but a “Another” Thang?

That’s what I used to think about Paleo..that it was just another “thing” , another “diet” another “fad”.  I’m a Registered Dietitian and my conventional and traditional education taught me that no food was “bad” unless there was some disease state associated with it-  Liver Disease, Kidney Disease, but even Heart Disease never really had a “bad” food….” Every thing in moderation”.   I never really tried the Paleo Diet for more than a few weeks at a time.  Mostly because I was trying to lose weight  and I just felt that it was another option. since being diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis I have found it nearly impossible to regulate my metabolism and lose the 20 pounds that I gained a few years ago before I was first diagnosed. Again,  in my undergraduate and graduate studies I was trained a certain way, but also trained to have research backing everything up.  So here I go…

So , on my journey for “wellness” from the  inside out”  this will be one in a series of posts exploring research studies on different meal plans and autoimmune disorders.

 What Are Auto-Immune disorders

An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the body’s immune responses being directed against its own tissues, causing prolonged inflammation and subsequent tissue destruction. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders.

 

  •  Addison’s disease
  • Celiac disease – sprue (gluten-sensitive enteropathy)
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Graves disease
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Type I diabetes

What is Paleo?-

There are many eating plans that are very similar to Paleo,   but I’m tackling that one first.

Paleo is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed diet of Paleolithic humans. Based on the premise that human genetics have scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture, which marked the end of the Paleolithic era, around 15,000 years ago, and that modern humans are adapted to the diet of the Paleolithic period. (Wikepedia)

What does The Meal Plan include:

  • Grass-produced meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthful oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

What does it exclude:

 

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils

 

Hashimotos Thyroiditis:

There are quite a few studies out there in support of the Paleo Lifestyle for those with Thyroiditis.  For those that do not know what it is, it is an autoimmune disorder caused by the body mounting an attack on the thyroid gland in an attempt to destroy it, the thyroid is a major part of the endocrine system. It is a gland that makes and stores hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate at which food is converted into energy. Thyroid hormones are essential for the function of every cell in the body. They help regulate growth and the rate of chemical reactions (metabolism) in the body.

Needless to say “hypothyroidism”is just one in a host of other symptoms that can take place.

There are thousands of testimonials but I need proof along with it.

Proof

As I was researching this week this is what  I came across :

1) Chris Kessler(licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine)  explains the connection- It’s a case of mistaken identity. The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten, closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut, and enters the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. These antibodies to gliadin also cause the body to attack thyroid tissue. This means if you have AITD and you eat foods containing gluten, your immune system will attack your thyroid

2)PubMed – Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998 Nov;10(11):927-31– “The association of celiac disease with autoimmune thyroid disease is not surprising as they share common immunopathogenetic mechanisms. It is advisable to screen autoimmune thyroid disease patients for coeliac disease as there is an increased risk for gluten intolerance.”

3) J Clin Gastroenterol.- 2010 Jan 15. Przegl Lek. 2009;66(7):370-2.  “A total of 111 patients (40%)  diagnosed with additional autoimmune diseases…autoimmune thyroiditis was the most common concurrent disease (28 patients, 10%). Other concurrent autoimmune diseases comprised vitiligo (5 patients), rheumatoid arthritis (5 patients), Sjogren syndrome (4 patients), ulcerative colitis (4 patients), conjunctivitis (4 patients), celiac disease (3 patients), systemic lupus erythematodes (2 patients), type I diabetes (2 patients), multiple sclerosis (2 patients), polymyalgia rheumatica (2 patients), and urticaria (2 patients). One patient each was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, autoimmune gastritis, collagenous colitis, hypophysitis, and sarcoidosis.”

Conclusion

To be honest there are too many studies to cite.  I just picked a couple that I thought summed up their conclusion well.

Here is my challenge-  I don’t feel sick when I eat Gluten…my stomach doesn’t hurt etc.  However, there are  too many research articles to ignore…I will be going completely Gluten Free and charting my journey.

I look forward to updating you on my progress.

Notes:

I am not a doctor, please consult your physician when attempting any new eating plan.