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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Delicious-Alternatives: The Wheat Belly

Delicious-Alternatives: The Wheat Belly: The Wheat Belly The Wheat Belly written by Dr. William Davis is an amazing look into what wheat has done to the health of our citizens i...

The Wheat Belly

The Wheat Belly

The Wheat Belly written by Dr. William Davis is an amazing look into what wheat has done to the health of our citizens in the past 50 years.
As he states in his book, “Wheat Belly explores the proposition that the health problems of Americans, from fatigue to arthritis to gastrointestinal distress to obesity, originate with the innocent looking bran muffin or cinnamon raisin bagel that you down with your coffee every morning.”
Just think about how much wheat is in our food. Think about going to the grocery store and of all the aisles that contain wheat products. The bread aisle; white bread, whole wheat, multi grain, seven grain, rye, pumpernickel, sourdough, French bread, baguettes, bagels, flax bread, pitas, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, hot dog buns and don’t forget the artisan bread. The bakery department with cakes, cookies and pies. The snack aisle with pretzels and crackers, followed by the baking aisle with bread crumbs, croutons, and flours. The dairy case has crescent rolls, cookies and frozen pies. Breakfast cereals, pastas and frozen foods, all contain wheat. Apart from the soap and detergent aisles and fresh produce wheat it in every product.
Bread dates back to before Christ and it always seems that to break bread with someone is a special event.
During the 19th and 20th centuries wheat changed little. Then in the latter part of the 20th century what we called wheat changed. The wheat we grow today is so different from what was grown a century ago that we should be calling it by a different name.
The demand for a higher yield, decreased production costs and a longer shelf life was instrumental in the genetically changed wheat. But are we now paying for our mistakes?
Celiac disease in on the rise and one in 133 people are Celiac. Many others have an intolerance to wheat and gluten. Many people have no symptoms, but that does not mean their bodies are okay with consuming wheat. Look at the rise in cancer and diabetes. All this can be linked back to the time that we changed the type of wheat we are growing.
What really got me was Dr. Davis’s statement that, “ Did you know that eating two slices of whole wheat bread can increase blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar can? How can this be possible? We have grown up in the past 10 years of hearing eat more whole grains, it will do your heart good. Well maybe not. This cardiovascular doctor says that wheat is the cause of my illnesses including heart disease.
So what are we doing to our bodies?
A Neolithic breakfast would have been a meal of fish, game meat or some berries or insects.
 Today we start our day off with a carb and end it with a carb. Boxed cereal, which contains mostly cane sugar and processed wheat flour, muffins, biscuits, toast, oats, croissant, bagels, pancakes or a breakfast bar.
We then have a sandwich at lunchtime, or a bowl of soup and crackers, maybe even a doughnut at mid morning break. Dinner might consist of pasta or frozen dinner which will contain wheat. We don’t exercise enough and we wonder why diabetes and obesity is on the rise?
Foods that increase blood sugar also cause diabetes. Carbohydrates trigger insulin release from our pancreas causing visceral fat, which then causes insulin resistance and inflammation. Look at the common illnesses of our world, most are based on inflammation. Diabetics are told to cut fat, reduce saturated fat and include healthy whole grains, beans and legumes in each meal. Yikes what are they thinking, all these foods turn into sugar in the body.
Perhaps if we say goodbye to wheat, we might even say goodbye to diabetes and many other health related illnesses.
If you want a good informative read with a bit of humour thrown in, read the Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, be informed about what you are putting into your body.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Delicious-Alternatives: Websites and Food Blogs Galore

Delicious-Alternatives: Websites and Food Blogs Galore: I am amazed at how many websites and blogs there are that deal with food, food preparation, allergies and especially gluten free cooking...

Websites and Food Blogs Galore

I am amazed at how many websites and blogs there are that deal with food, food preparation, allergies and especially gluten free cooking.
 I think gluten-free has taken on a whole life of its own and from what I have read, is now a million dollar industry. As I read the “ Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis I am becoming aware that we have done this to ourselves. Changing the structure of our wheat over 50 years ago so that it would bring in a higher yield, be resistant to bugs and feed the world we have created a wheat that humans can no longer digest. Hence, Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, IBS, and a multitude of other intestinal disorders.
Many of us are aware of the havoc that gluten wreaks on our systems as we get the full body symptoms after we digest wheat, but many others have no symptoms and are unaware of this silent and potentially deadly food we are consuming.
Cutting wheat out of your diet can seem overwhelming, but with so many websites and dedicated bloggers you will be amazed at how easy it can be.
Here are some of my favourite website/blog sites, check them out for lots of great info and tasty gluten free recipes.
Check them out
The Stuffed Pepper-
The Balanced Platter-

The Gluten Free Homemaker-
Cook it Allergy Free-

I will be writing a book review of The Wheat Belly in my next blog, stay tuned...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hey Mom. what's for lunch?

Hey Mom, what’s for lunch?

As a dietary consultant I specialize in helping people with food allergies come up with menu ideas and recipes that meet their dietary needs.
Having food allergies as well as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I know only too well how challenging it can be to make tasty, healthy meals.
Last week I spoke with a Mother of two children ages 8 and 10. Both children have food allergies, and are following a gluten free diet. Mom was feeling quite stuck in what to prepare them for their lunches.
Living in our North American society we are so programmed to the ‘sandwich’ and when we stray from that we find it difficult to come up with other ideas.
 When I went to school most of us would open our lunch bags to bologna, ham and chicken sandwiches, a piece of fruit and or cheese. These days not much has changed, but what I find is that most kids are picky and not really that hungry at lunchtime. They tear open their sandwich, eat the inside meat and their fruit or yogurt and are off to play in the school yard. The Wonder bread gets tossed in the garbage and so I wonder, why is the almighty sandwich so important for lunch?
If we lived in another part of the world we might go to school with a corn tortilla and an avocado for our lunch, or some rice or soba noodles with vegetables.
What came up in our conversation was that she didn’t want to send her kids to school with “weird” lunches. I don’t want the other kids to make fun of them she said. Oh boy, what have we done to get here? How have we gotten so away from nutrition and feeding our children healthy foods, to what looks right and fits in with the bullies in our school yards?
We started to talk about ideas for school lunches and what would appeal to her children. Here are some of the ideas we came up with.
I am hoping they will give you some ideas as well, but ultimately it is what your child will eat and be comfortable with taking out of their lunch box or bag.
Bean dips with cut up veggies- these are so easy to make. Take a can of navy beans, or lima beans, rinse well, put in blender with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and cilantro or parsley and a little salt. You can do the same with any canned beans or even chickpeas to make hummus. Many grocery stores are offering healthy hummus and bean dips as well, but check the ingredients.
Lettuce Wraps- Take a piece of romaine lettuce, spread allowable mayonnaise or mashed avocado, layer with nitrate free turkey or ham and roll the lettuce leaf up so that you have a sandwich roll without the bread
Gluten free tortilla wraps – There are corn wraps, rice wraps and teff wraps available at your grocery store. Some of the brand names are La Tortilla Factory and Food for Life
Tortillas filled with refried beans and daiya cheese, if you are not familiar with daiya cheese visit their website at
Salsas with corn chips
Gluten free crepes with a dipping sauce
Leftover homemade chicken nuggets with dipping sauce
Homemade gluten free pizza
Cabbage Rolls
Rice cakes with sunflower butter or apple butter ( nut butter unless the school is nut free)
Sweet Potato Corn Wraps- Cook sweet potatoes in oven until soft and carmalized. Scrape out filling let cool and put into wraps or on pieces of celery or sliced tomatoes
Healthy Muffins are a great quick lunch or snack idea
Tahini banana sandwich on gluten free bread
There are many gluten free sites on the internet and so many recipes that are being posted online, check it out and see what you can find to put in your healthy lunchbox today!