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    Gluten-Free – Is it a Fad? Giveaway – Grain-Free Cookbook!

    Wheat There’s no quicker way to get an eye-roll from a waiter than to ask for a gluten-free menu these days. Is going gluten-free a fad or a dietary necessity? You can’t go anywhere these days without hearing about another celebrity-gone-Paleo or a new blog, cookbook or website devoted to a gluten-free lifestyle.  In fact, a new grain-free cookbook, Against All Grain, is currently one of Amazon’s best sellers (and a favorite of mine). It’s even struggling to keep inventory in stock! We’re giving one away at the bottom of this post…so keep reading! against all grain cookbook According to a recent poll by the NPD Group (you can read about it on Huffington Post), 30% of American adults are trying to follow a gluten-free diet.  Even food manufacturers are getting on the band-wagon – labeling foods that you wouldn’t think had gluten in them to begin with, like potato chips, yogurt and pickles.

    Why Gluten-Free? Gluten-free, paleo and grain-free diets are popular, and their popularity keeps growing. But why is the diet sticking around? It’s probably because thousands of people are experiencing profound health changes by removing gluten from their diet. They’re losing weight and strange health maladies like eczema and migraines are disappearing! The truth is many people are gluten-intolerant or sensitive and might not know it. Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in all grains. It’s composed of two subfractions: prolamines and glutelins. Prolamines are most studied because of their relation to Celiac Disease. According to Dr. Peter Osborne of the Gluten Free Society, there are over 200 medical conditions that have been linked to those with gluten sensitivity. Only one of those conditions is Celiac Disease – an adverse immune response following consumption of gluten or gliadin, which causes villous atrophy in the intestine.  It is said that 1 in 100 have Celiac disease throughout the world today. That number may sound large, but believe it or not, Celiac is one of the more rare conditions affected by gluten.

    Besides Celiac, some of the symptoms and medical conditions linked to  gluten-sensitivity include:

    • Diarrhea
    • Bloating
    • Abdominal pain
    • Skin conditions like Eczema or Psoriasis
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • Headache, Migraine
    • Foggy brain
    • Fatigue
    • Depression
    • Joint pain
    • Numbness in the extremities
    • Unexplained infertility
    • Bone loss
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Thyroid Disease

    Sometimes your symptoms may not include those above. I, for one, would suffer from a lot of mucous after eating wheat – same thing with my dad. Twenty minutes after a meal and we would start clearing our throat and coughing. What is happening is the mucous is coating the offending allergenic substance, preventing its absorption and facilitating safe elimination through the gastrointestinal tract.

    So how do you know if you have a sensitivity to gluten? There is a blood test that can determine if you have Celiac disease, albeit somewhat untrustworthy since it can produce false-negatives, as well as an invasive intestinal biopsy. But if you really want a cheap, easy way to determine if gluten is your poison, just eliminate it from your diet for at least 3 weeks. Then, slowly reintroduce the food and monitor how you feel.  Ask yourself if any of the above symptoms (or other unique reactions) occurred when you added it back in. Do you feel bloated after you eat a meal of breads, pasta or cereal? Do you have to unbutton your pants after eating? You may have a gluten-sensitivity.

    I went on vacation last summer and strayed from my gluten-free diet. I enjoyed a true Southern biscuit, half of my daughter’s pancake, a roll with dinner and perhaps ingested some hidden gluten. That small amount was enough to cause tummy troubles, a cough, a few extra pounds and a strange case of eczema on my neck. I truly suffer from the effects of gluten – no expensive doctor’s office visit required.

    My favorite, new cookbook is from Danielle Walker, called Against All Grain. I love her grain-free and dairy-free recipes for granola bars, blueberry waffles and our new fave Zucchini Noodles! One lucky person will win this fantastic cookbook with more than 150 amazing recipes! We’ll draw the winner on Monday, April 28, 2014.

    Our giveaway has ended. Congrats to our winner!

    ENTER BELOW TO WIN!

    1. Sign in to the widget below with either your Facebook account or your email address.
    2. You will see 5 options for entering, with a scroll bar at the bottom of the box.
    3. Choose how you want to enter: “Like” us on Facebook, answer a question, tweet about the contest, etc.
    4. For each of these things that you do, you will be entered to win. So if you do 4 of them, you will be entered 4 times.
    Good luck! Contest ends Monday, April 28 at 8:00pm.

    Have you found an improvement in your health by removing gluten? Please share your story and let us know. See our post next week on the right and wrong way to go gluten free.

    6 Responses to Gluten-Free – Is it a Fad? Giveaway – Grain-Free Cookbook!

    1. Brittany April 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

      I am gluten free and it has helped me to feel so much better. I never went to the doctor just eliminated it from my diet and when I try it now I feel similar to you bloated, headache, pain, extra weight, so not worth it! I think it is more then a fad it is a problem that needs to be addressed in our food supply. Our society is burnt out, overweight exhausted, and not healthy because of multiple problems with our food supply. Thanks for the chance to win.

    2. Olivia Borer April 25, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

      I have chosen to eat GF to improve my energy levels and overall health! It has been a wonderful experience so far. Thanks for the chance to win!

      • Cher April 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

        Department of Agriculture recommendations for starchy carbs and grains need to seriously challenged and the people need to awaken and refuse this poisoned food supply!! =(

    3. Kristy S April 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

      I haven’t tried going gluten free yet, but think it may help relieve some of my digestive issues.

    4. Carol April 26, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      I have gone gluten free and noticed improvement in my energy level also. Every time I add gluten to my diet, the change i noticeable. This is the only change I have seen although I do have multiple family members with celiac disease and see how disruptive it is for them.

    5. Alexandra Roach April 27, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

      We have tried a gluten-free diet as a family and I have done it by myself. It has proven helpful. However, I have to say – as a person and health coach who loves whole foods, I also believe that it is sad to see one of the biggest staples fade away. Historically, humans have grown and eaten grains for thousands of years and bread has been baked in most every culture. That being said, I was looking for another solution to this problem. Personally, I believe that it is not necessarily the gluten that makes everyone sick but the way we grow our grains, nuts, and seeds these days… depleted soil, pesticides, GMO, industrial processing, etc. It made me think… now, I am actually teaching classes about how to soak and sprout your grains, seeds, and nuts. It didn’t surprise me that many of my clients felt immense digestive benefits (no more fatigue, smoother digestion, no headaches, etc.) by buying organic, unaltered grain and treating those by soaking or sprouting.
      Of course, there are the patients who have true Celiac Disease (and they should have no gluten whatsoever), but for everyone else – wouldn’t it be nice to still enjoy a warm, fresh-baked loaf of bread :-)

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