How to Go Gluten-Free

how to eat gluten-free -

I’ve been gluten-free for four years.  I can’t believe something I had to do on the advice of my doctor is now a “trend”.  I’m rather grateful that it’s more popular now, because believe you me, I’ve eaten some rather nasty things in the past four years.  What was once a small section at Whole Paycheck or a health food store, is now an entire aisle at any grocery store.

Four years ago, when we embarked on this major lifestyle change, gluten-free was in the margins. Now it’s on the packaging of every food product you pass at your local Target.  Even the mainstream restaurants are catching on.  Hell, even Dunkin’ Donuts has a GF option.

What’s next: a gluten-free Happy Meal?

Don’t get me started on the crap in fast food.  A whole nother’ blog post.  A book.  Actually…

Regardless, I am grateful for the word GLUTEN’s move into the spotlight.  At least, it makes the diet was are on more “socially acceptable”- not that I care much about that because I’m the unwilling poster child for all things health food and what not.  Part of the job as an autism mom.  I’m the first one to wax about GMOs, food dye, food allergies, yeah.  You know if you’ve read me for any number of months.


how to eat gluten-free -


This begins a month-long series of everything I’ve learned.  The tips. The tricks. The ins. The flours to avoid.  The tests to ask for before you even attempt this lifestyle change.

It’s not a diet to me, this truly is a lifestyle.   I have a genetic disorder that doesn’t allow me to eat fortified foods (namely everything with regular wheat flour), in addition, I have years of bloodwork showing extremely high levels of immune reaction to both wheat and gluten.

So, before you even THINK about pulling all gluten out of your diet, please make a doctor’s appointment.

Ask for the CELIAC panel.

Ask for the HLA-DQ2 and DQ8 CELIAC genetic testing.


If you go gluten-free BEFORE testing for Celiac Disease, you could skew your results.  Gluten needs to be in your system to accurately gauge your IMMUNE REACTION to gluten.   If you are in the dark about this, PLEASE VISIT: The University of Chicago’s page- it has an incredible Celiac Department.

Celiac Disease, isn’t a trend, this is a serious disease which is the immune reaction to gluten, and requires a strictly maintained gluten-free diet for life.

Many Americans walking around, with loads of health issues, have it and don’t know it.  Which angers me on a whole other level, because so many doctors are looking in the wrong places for answers.

It’s time for a gut check, literally.  So, make that appointment with a knowledgable doctor first.   Be pushy. This is your health.

When I went for my genetic testing for MTHFR, my doctor looked at me like I had three heads.  She agreed to the testing, placating me that “I most likely won’t have it”…and sure as shit, I did.  Trust your intuition.

If those tests come out negatory, then the next step is to evaluate your health.  Do you have migraines? Anemia? Brain fog?  Skin issues?  IBS?  Anxiety? Depression?  Compromised digestion? Diarrhea? Constipation?  A combo of both?

You may be gluten-intolerant.

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then I’d suggest a gluten-free trial of at least 1 year.  According to all the doctors I’ve worked with for my son, it takes 6 months for the digestive system to clear gluten proteins.  So doing this for a few weeks isn’t going to cut it.

It sucks.  Yes.

Socially, it sucks.

I’m not going to lie.  It’s the hardest thing I had to do in my life.  I’m Italian. From Chicago.  I grew up on pasta and bread.

But, you can do this.

You can.

If I could be on this “diet” for 4 years…it’s not a diet.  It’s merely a different way of looking at food.

I feel better at age 34 than I did at 23.  Now, that I live without the gluten.

But first, get all the blood work done.  Please.


Stay tuned for more info on going gluten-free,



sharing @ Sunday Showcase

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Got lovehandles? Wheat Belly: A must-read right now. Like right this second.

My biggest takeaway from Wheat Belly:
Two slices of whole wheat bread have a higher glycemic index than a Snickers candy bar.  That’s right.  The two pieces of toast you eat for breakfast send your blood sugar soaring more than eating a candy bar.

Changes your ideas of a good breakfast? Eh?
Gluten-free bread slices are actually worse for you, because the carb load is higher!
So why are nutritionists and doctors pushing the crack that is bread and “whole-grain” goodness on all of us?
That’s what Dr. William Davis explores and more in his latest book: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health.

Wheat is so pervasive in the American diet, that David points his finger at the right culprit.  The problem being that the wheat plant has been modified in the past fifty years in size, gluten-content, and in ways that have not been tested on public health.


With the rise of autism, ADD, celiac, obesity, autoimmune disorders, and the like, people need to wake up and realize mindless eating is killing our country.  Fast food, processed crap {mainly wheat-based} is stealing lives. Wheat is in our breakfast bowls, lunch boxes, drive-thru windows, and dinner tables.

When I think of most obese Americans, I am reminded of my dad.

He had a wheat belly and was addicted to sweets and sugar.  He was 5’6″ and at his heaviest, 250 lbs. He had a kidney transplant. And diabetes.  And high blood pressure. And pancreatitis.

My dad died at a mere 54.  Four years ago already this November.  My kids will never know him.

He carb-o loaded on breads and pastas.  In hindsight, it was his diet and the barrage of pharmaceutical drugs that killed my father.  First and foremost, it was his diet.  His poor choices.

But what are choices when we don’t know what the hell to eat in the first place?  Americans followed the food pyramid and grew exponentially, according to Dr. Davis.  Now we have the food plate, but processed and fast food prevails in most American households.

Even the college-trained nutritionist and dieticians have it all wrong.  Grains are garbage for our health, but in a land of buns, breads, cookies, and the like, what’s left to eat?

A lot.  If you read up on raw, paleo, and grain-free diets, but almost two years into being gluten-free, it’s still hard for my family.

Up until two years ago, I thought feeding my son organic whole wheat toast and organic milk was the healthiest thing EVER. I was super mom of the year.

Then he developed autism and my nutritional world was shaken.

So, I hope you all read this book if you eat wheat products.  Remember that even the organic whole wheat toast spikes your blood sugar more than a candy bar.  {Whole wheat has a glycemic index of 72, and Snickers a 49}

Your take-aways from reading this blog post {I hope}:

1.) I beg of you, to ask your doctor to be screened for celiac.  Every single person in this country should be tested.  It’s covered by insurance and it’s a simple blood draw.

2.) Even if you test negative, try being wheat-free for a month.  You can do it.  If you need ideas or advice, feel free to contact me via twitter or email.

To your health,

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Gluten-free Chocolate Rice Krispie Treat Recipe

To the untrained eye, rice krispie treats seem naturally gluten-free, but not so.  The lovely manufacturers of traditional rice puffed cereal, use barley malt in their rice krispies which has the dreaded gluten.
Even though this brand has some sugar in it, my kids rarely eat refined sugars {and this brand has evaporated cane juice, so it’s like the hot cousin of plain old white sugar}, but in moderation it’s alright with me.
It’s not like we live in the house of sugared cereal, pop tarts, and other garbage processed foodstuffs.
Looking back, I could have bought some plain GF rice cereal, and added in cocoa or cacao powder, but hey that’s another blog post!
This was for my son Monkey’s 2nd birthday.  I may have eaten enough of these to warrant a sugar-induced acne outbreak.
I n g r e d i e n t s:
-one box of said Koala Crisp gluten-free rice cereal
-the gluten-free marshmallows that were $$ at whole paycheck
-3 T of ghee *{safe on casein-free diets} -it also has caramel undertones.  yum.
D i r e c t i o n s
1.) Melt ghee and marshmallow over low-medium heat.
2.) Dump box in bowl.
3.) Poor goopy deliciousness over rice cereal.
4.) Ghee up {note no butter} a glass 9X13 baking dish.
5.) Wait til warm til touch, and pat it down.
You could be all crafty and form into your rice treats into shapes and what not.  Like this cute thing I spied at pinterest.
                                                                           Source: via Lily on Pinterest
This lil hedgehog is extra sentimental to me, as it was Monkey Magoo’s first nickname: Hedgehog.  
See why?
Just like his mama.  I had the same spiky massive hair as a baby. 
Can’t believe my lil man is 2.  Time for another one. 
I was pressed for time, but I think rice krispie treats could really make for some amazing “play with your food” kind of desserts.  I could have made monster eye balls looking back, but I had a whole dessert table to create.
I get kinda Martha Stewartish around birthdays when it comes to the dessert table.  I’m Italian, whatdoyou expect???
Stay tuned, the rather belated birthday post is coming to you this week.
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New to Celiac Disease: How to Survive

My best friend just learned today that she has celiac disease. Which for those of you unaware of what it is, celiac means that gluten is her enemy because it has destroyed her villi and creates an immune reaction.

 Now that I am a gluten-free veteran and have earned my stripes and then some, I just had some thoughts to share with my best friend, and to the many of you who are new to gluten-free living.

1.) The hardest thing about celiac/gluten intolerance is losing the traditions and social relationships with food.  Making ravioli at Christmas.  Grabbing a beer with friends.  Savoring a cake at a birthday party.  Over time, you will make peace with the substitutions and realize these events are about the people, not about the food.

2.) Be vigilant when reading labels and eating out at restaurants. Last Sunday, I was “glutened” by a waitress’ mistake and have been miserable all week! Speak up at restaurants, and I would personally talk to the manager.  When shopping, do realize that hidden gluten is in most processed foods. Some examples of hidden gluten are: soy sauce, chicken broth, and yes, even lipstick.  You need to avoid MSG like the plague as well.

3.) When I first learned of my issues with gluten, my body went into revolt because I was eating a ton of corn, eggs, etc. to make up for the missing food group.  I tested intolerant to those foods within a few months of being gluten-free.  My advice: rotate your foods every 72 hours until your gut heals.  Eating one food repeatedly will make you react to that very food.

4.)  Life as you know it isn’t over.  If you are sensitive to gluten or have celiacs, removing gluten will make you feel better, but it will not heal you.  Look into gut healing foods like bone broths and probiotic rich fermented foods.  Check out diets like the ones embraced by Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions or the GAPS diet.

5.) Not all gluten-free foods suck anymore.  I have embraced my inner 50s housewife and have fallen in love with my kitchen.  It pays to learn how to bake again. Websites like Elana’s Pantry, Comfy Belly, The Spunky Coconut, Gluten-free Goddess, and Gluten-free Girl and the Chef have helped me tremendously over the past year. When I am too lazy to bake,  my two favorite bread companies are Udi’s and Rudi’s.  Trader Joe’s Brown Rice pasta rules.

I really think ALL doctors should be screening for celiac’s with our yearly checkups.  It’s a simple blood test people.  If you are bloated, tired after eating, anemic, fatigued, migraine-prone, underweight, overweight, depressed, {the list goes on and on}…you may have an issue with gluten.

I hate gluten so much that it’s my new scapegoat.

To your health…

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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe {made with ghee}

What bites about buttercream is that it must be refrigerated to hold up, especially at summer birthday parties in the dead heat of a Chicago July.   What really bites about the butter in buttercream, is that I can’t eat it without a migraine or my kids acting a fool.

We can’t eat butter because of the casein protein.  So to impart that buttery goodness without the nasty casein protein, I called in a pinch-hitter: butter’s sweet cousin named ghee.

Ghee rocks for several reasons.
1.) It stays solid at room temperature without spoiling{unlike butter}.
2.) It’s casein-free, so it’s friendly to those on GFCF diets.
3.) It tastes like caramel.

I made a killer frosting with it: a chocolate buttercream that needs no refrigeration! I usually make my frosting from nuts and dates like in this recipe, but some of our cousins are nut-free, so I was up for the challenge.

I n g r e d i e n t s
5 cups of powdered sugar {those who are corn sensitive can make their own with arrowroot powder}
1/2 cup of ghee
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1 tsp of hemp milk {or your choice of milk} at a time until desired consistency is reached

D i r e c t i o n s
1.) Add ghee and cocoa powder to your mixer.  Combine on medium speed.
2.)  Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time to the mix.
3.) Once all the sugar is added, begin thinning it with a tsp of milk at a time.  A little goes a LONG way, so be mindful.

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Home Stories A to Z: Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

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of gluten and migraines

All hail this child.  For he saved my quality of life. 
Without my son, I never would have discovered the root cause of all my migraine headaches since I was eleven years old: gluten.

Back in spring of 2010, we placed our son Moose {then 2.5 years old} on a gluten, dairy, and soy free diet to combat his developmental and speech delays.
I decided to risk it and do “the diet” as well to support him. I had nothing to lose.  How could I continue to gorge myself on cheese, yogurt, and bread products when he wasn’t allowed to have any?  
This was our dairy funeral.  4. 27. 2010.  {The date on the camera was wrong}
Given that I eat each meal with him, it only seemed the right thing to do.
{Moose before the “the diet” enjoying chocolate pudding with real milk}
I was pretty strict about the diet for myself the first two months.  Moose transitioned well.  The mysterious rash on his thighs and arms disappeared. He had eye contact with people again.  He said “mama’ for the first time in a year.
Curiously, I had no migraines at all. My skin cleared.  My energy rose.  
Occasionally, I’d cheat with some bread or cheese when I was out with friends.
Within a few hours of eating either food group, I’d pay for it dearly.  That’s when I realized I had a problem.
My stomach kicked into overdrive and started beating me up internally. Migraines. Diarrhea. Fatigue so bad I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t hold any foods in. 
So I found myself a holistic doctor and started listening to my body.  After he ran a ton of tests, the truth rose to the surface.

I tested severally intolerant to wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, egg whites, egg yolks, and corn.  Basically, the entire Standard American Diet.

My magnesium, vitamin D, and iron came back dangerously low.  I was shocked about my vitamin D, because it was the middle of the summer.

Basically, my body was malabsorbing what I was eating because of my gluten intolerance.  For those people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance {which is not autoimmune like celiac}, the villi in your digestive system  flatten and you stop absorbing nutrients.

Low magnesium equals migraines for most people.  Low vitamin D can cause a host of problems from depression to joint pain to higher risks for cancer.  Low iron can cause poor brain function and fatigue.

No wonder I was such a hot mess.

On the subway back to my neighborhood, I cried the whole ride.  What the hell was I to eat? Rice cakes and salad?  How could I heal?

I knew I had to take all of those offending foods out of my diet.  My holistic doctor, Dr. Hope, assured me that it wouldn’t be forever with all of the foods.  I just had to listen to my body.  {As of today, I can eat eggs again. Thank. God.}

Now,  I want my story to help you.  Just as alcohol, drugs, and nicotine affect us, food does to a even highest degree than the majority of people realize. Never in a million years would I have guessed my problem be my beloved pasta and bread products.

After all, I’m an Italian girl living in Chicago.  Deep dish pizza capital of the universe.

I know gluten-free is all the rage right now, and many people “go gluten-free” for the wrong reasons.  This lifestyle is rough.  I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone who didn’t need it for medical reasons. Going out to dinner with friends means all-out guerilla warfare and hope that the kitchen doesn’t screw up.

If you or someone you are suffering and jumping from doctor to doctor racking up medical bills, look at your diet, closely with a microscope.

Gluten isn’t innocent as it seems.  It causes inflammation in those sensitive to it, and inflammation causes weight gain.

I know Dr. Oz recently had a show on about how gluten-free diets can make people gain weight.  Yea, if they continue eating all processed garbage they do.  If they move back to fruits, veggies, and eat a healthier less-grain dependent diet, they look freaking awesome.

I’m skinnier now that I was in college.  My mood is better.  My skin is better.  My migraines are gone.  It’s not a coincidence.

You have to eat way more of this to heal:

And not this:

I am married to the King of Chicago Gluten and Processed FrankenFood

Usually, from my experiences with the wonderful practitioners I’ve seen here in Chicago, what we crave is often what we are intolerant to in our diets.

99% of people who have problems with gluten don’t even know.   I’m lucky to be in the knowing 1%.

Get thee to a doctor if you are a migraine suffer or have depression or chronic fatigue. If your normal doctor is nutritionally ignorant, it is best to educate yourself.

 Demand a celiac blood panel.  Demand food intolerance testing. Demand iron and vitamin D testing.  The squeaky wheel theory holds true here.

If you are low in vitamins and minerals, chances are you have inflammation of the gut and issues with gluten or some of the other top 8 allergens.

We are not what we eat, we are what we absorb.

May my misery in this past year (or 20 years actually) be your light.

To your health.

Taking a Risk by posting this at THE NESTER’s Take a Risk party

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of health and healing

As a part of healing the Moose, myself, and preventing issues for Monkey, we are following what is as “biomedical protocol”.  Which sounds intimidating, expensive, and technical.

But, I assure you, it works.  Moosey is on “the spectrum” somewhere and I do have a history of migraine headaches and stomach issues.  This protocol, which I have outlined below in a tutorial format,  has helped my family tremendously.

If you have migraines or any gastro issues, please look into talking with your doctor about starting a wellness regime.  The cure is in the cause.  Find out why you are having these issues.

*note: most western md’s don’t know jack about this.  Find a holistic doc or naturopath to work with alongside your traditional western doctor.

We’ve taken this course slowly.  Here’s what our diet of supplements looks like on a daily basis. *I was in no way compensated for disclosing what brands we use.

After trying a boatload of brands, the one I currently can vouch for is Symbion Probiotic.   It stopped my gut issues after a summer of hell in 2010, and cured Moose of his chronic diarrhea after a few rounds of good old penicillin.

I take one a day, Moose takes a 1/2 cap a day, and Monkey a 1/2 cap every other day.

Digestive Enzymes
This really deserves an entire post.  Really, an entire blog.  Coming soon here. Promise.  But, I swear by Houston Nutraceuticals Digestive Enzymes with DPPIV activity.  It breaks down gluten and casein {the proteins in wheat and dairy}.   Moose’s poops are night and day different if I take those away.

Since taking enzymes, all of my vitamin and mineral levels are restored per my most recent blood work.  I no longer have magnesium, iron, and vitamin D issues!

Moose takes one after every meal.  Monkey once a day.  I take two after every meal.

Vitamin D3
Given that Chicago winters leave 90% of us vitamin D deficient, I start the day with Carlson’s drops for the boys and me.  4000 IU for me.  Between 400-800 IU for them.

Fish Oil  
We were on Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil for the past ten months, but I recently switched to Barlean’s cod and salmon fish oil: 2 tsp for me, 1 tsp for Moose, and 1/2 tsp for Monkey.  The kids love it and literally lick every drop off the spoon.

Multivitamins and Calcium
We take the run of the mill Lil Critters multi and calcium supplements.  Until Uncle Sam graces us with a check.  Then I’ll bump it up to something fancy.

B12 shots
Moose only.  They are compounded shots from Pure Compounding Pharmacy all the way out in Naperville, Illinois.  A good ride from here in Chicago.  Pure is affliated with the mavericks over at True Health, an amazing DAN! [Defeat Autism Now} practice headed by Dr. Anju Usman.

Moose receives one shot every three days from Nurse Mama.  Mama would love me some B12 cause I could use more energy keeping up with these kids.


In addition to the supplement regime, we follow a strict gluten, casein, and soy-free diet.  It’s expensive, difficult, and time-consuming, but worth it.  Any child on “the spectrum” be it autism, ADD, ADHD, and sensory processing should try a trial of this diet for at least six months.  But, only after, being test for celiac’s disease.  You cannot get a positive celiac’s test while already on a gluten-free diet.  Celiac’s disease is underdiagnosed in this country, with only 3% of celiacs aware of their condition.

That’s 97% of people afflicted with Celiac’s Disease totally in the dark about the cause of all their issues.
Many spectrum kids turn out to be undiagnosed celiacs.  Just saying.

We saw major improvements in Moose after the diet.  For me?  My chronic migraines of 20 years vanished.  Coincidence, I think not.

{aka…the American Poison}

Focus on Raw-High Raw food incorporation

I push as much raw green veggies as I can hide in my kids’ diets.  It decreases carb and sugar cravings and helps with detox of crap in our environment {we are in Chicago, one of the most polluted cities after all}.  See my green smoothie post here.

Yes, it’s expensive.  Yes, I forget supplements some time.  No, I never imagined motherhood would be this challenging.   I thought it be all bedtime stories and rainbows.

Sometimes I wish I was the mom who could hit the drive-thru and pop frozen waffles in the toaster.

Every label is scruntized.  Every meal is prepared from scratch.

“Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food”-Hippocrates

I am worth it.

My kids are worth it.

There’s no where to go from here, but up.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

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Dairy & Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese {Eat Well}

No, it’s not an oxymoron, this is for real.  It’s way healthier than than its predecessor and kid-approved.

I n g r e d i e n t s

For a half package of pasta I used
-3/4 cup of frozen organic peas
2 T of Earth’s Balance {soy-free}  *noteed in late 2011: I would NEVER use this stuff now.  Use grass-fed ghee. MUCH healthier
-3 T of nutritional yeast flakes *see footnote
-1/2 tsp of garlic powder
-brown rice spiral pasta from Trader Joe’s

D i r e c t i o n s

1.) Bring water to a roaring boil and cook rice pasta for ten minutes.  Gluten-free pastas are a wee-bit difficult, I’d I’ve found the longer time works better.

1.5) While the pasta is cooking toss a veggie steamer on the top of your pot and cook your peas.

2.) After the pasta and peas cook/steam for ten minutes, strain both, and  mix the Earth’s Balance and garlic powder in your pasta.

3.) Then add your nutritional yeast flakes and peas.

So those new to gluten and dairy-free living, don’t despair.  Or those who want the cheesy flavor without all the cellulite that comes with it, give this lil recipe a go.

You’ll be coming back for more.

Dairy is for baby cows, anyway.

And bikini season is just around the corner…

*Nutritional yeast flakes were not something I’d ever thought I buy.  It’s used a lot in the vegan and raw communities.  But given my low energy and the insane amount of B vitamins in this stuff, I’d thought I’d give it a go.  

You probably have eaten nutritional yeast flakes and not even have known it.  It’s used as a topping at movie theatres to make popcorn more tasty.  And tasty it is.  It gives sauces unami that many gluten-free dishes are missing.  

A gigantic container can be had at your local health food store or Whole Paycheck for under $15.  

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Losing Baby Weight: How I did it.

January is here. The month of diet and gym memberships.  Of resolutions and staring at the body that has replaced your prebaby body.

Here’s me in labor with Monkey. 45 lbs gained.

disclaimer: I am not a vain person.  I am rocking the same pedicure since October courtesy of my friend Rana’s wedding spa day in Hilton Head and haven’t had a haircut since..wait for it…JUNE!

I am a hot mess.

But I am a size zero.  So hate me.

I am smaller than I was in college.

So here’s how I did it:

1.) Breastfeed.  You burn 20 calories for every ounce you nurse or pump.  I nursed both Moose and Monkey til well past a year.  I wanted to go for longer, but they self-weaned at about the same time: 15 months.  Think of formula as weight gainer. For you.

All breastfeeding books talk about the good for the baby, and by no means am I discounting that.  It is the perfect food.  But, no one talks about the #1 benefit for mama.  Losing the weight.  Only nursing til 3 or 6 months isn’t gonna work, ladies.  You have to go the whole nine yards, meaning at least a year.

And nursing isn’t always easy. I know. I had infections and mastitis, and bleeding nipples…all the fun stuff.  I nursed through my own depression after my father and grandmother passed away when Moose was just 6 weeks and 6 months old respectively.

Here’s Papa Sloth holding Mr. Moose the night before he died.
He was only 54. 

If I can nurse Moose through the worst time in my life, anyone can do it or at least give it the old college try.

2.) I didn’t workout at a gym.  I do go for insanely long walks pushing the equivalent of my body weight in a stroller.  Moose is 40lbs and Monkey nearly 30lbs.  Picking them up alone is like lifting at the fitness center.

3.) Honestly, being gluten and mostly dairy-free really did it.  That’s how I lost the last ten pounds.  I used to think all of those South Beach Dieters and Atkins people were nuts.  How could you possibly live without carbs?  Last summer, I learned that my wheat/gluten intolerance made me bloated and retain a ton of liquid.

This bread looks innocent enough.
But it is the devil dressed in a baguette.

I still eat many of the things that are banned on those diets like fruits, potatoes, rice, etc.  and I don’t gain anything.

Strange, huh?

What’s important to realize is that carbs with gluten and dairy products actually have morphine compounds in them (hence why people can’t live without bread, cheese, pasta, ice cream).  

I am an Italian girl born and bred in Chicago, the heart of all things gluten and dairy! If you would have told me last year that this was going to be my life, I would have laughed in your face.   I ate pasta three times a week as a kid.  Pizza twice a week.  Bread for breakfast.  Cheese for a snack.  It was all I ate.

This is like looking at roadkill to me.

I kicked the habit.  {Admittedly though, I still crave cheese, but I pay for it now when I eat it.}  If I accidentally ingest wheat flour or any derivative like MSG, I am sick for 2 weeks.

This food addiction people, is worse than cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, and drugs combined.

Why? Because we are taught from a young age that these foods {meaning bread and milk products} are meant to sustain us.  People eat them 3 meals a day, 2 or more snacks, all the days of the lives.

That’s why diets fail and this country is morbidly obese.  It’s the morphine in the foods. Casomorphin and glutomorphin.

Have you seen how hard it is for drug addicts to kick their habit? Smokers? Gamblers?

Have you ever had morphine in the hospital? I did when I passed kidney stones in my early 20s.  Those foods are painkillers.

Just think of the proverbial girl depressed eating a gallon of ice cream.  Now you know why.  She’s self-medicating with casomorphin.

 Go google those fancy scientific words.  I kid you not. Casomorphin and glutomorphin.  Or go read this genius work

There should be surgeon general warning on cookies and ice cream.  Addictive. Literally.

Without wheat, I’ve never felt better in my entire life.  I have energy, my bloated belly is gone, cellulite diminished, NO migraine headaches to speak of anymore, and I actually feel good about myself for the first time since my early 20s.

*Stepping off my soap box*
That was exhausting to write…

4.) I had an extensive blood work up to uncover why I was fatigued last summer.  My vitamin d, iron, and magnesium levels came out dangerously low {this is also related to my gluten/wheat issues}.
Once Dr. Hope and I cleared up those hurdles, I felt like I had the energy of a toddler.  Seriously.

Here she is. My saving grace. I love you, Vitamin D3.

5.) Learning about the acidic and alkaline balance has really helped me too.  I drink tons of green tea and lemon water now to make my body more alkaline.  I stay away from all things processed, fast foods, soda, and shop exclusively at farmers’ markers, fruit stands, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods.  I eat almost all organic foods.

I’d rather buy organic strawberries and chicken than get my haircut.  Or a pedicure.  Or fill my empty closet with stylish stay-at-home mama clothes.

See, it’s like $800 a lb.  Really, $8.

So, that’s it ladies.  It’s fridge and gut check time.

I hope this post inspires you to look at what you put in your mouths each day.


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Cereal Killers: How ditching wheat could change your life.

There was a time, a year or so ago, if you told me I’d never eat bread or pasta again, I would have died on the spot.

I was the girl who ate an entire pretzel roll on the way back from Trader Joe’s.  At restaurants,  I scarfed down the entire bread basket before meals.

No, really I would.  I was an addict.

Granted, I was never “fat’ (I could pass for a junior high student most days), but I was 100% addicted to carbs.  And filled with a myraid of health issues ranging from massive migraines to GI problems.

I thought people on diets like South Beach and Atkins were out of their gourds…how on earth could you live without bread and pasta?  Especially in Chicago, home of the beef sandwich and all things Italian?
Well, it is possible.  I will touch on that later in an upcoming post on what the food situation at the estate looks like nowadays.
My motivation was much different than “losing weight”.  A.) I was trying to heal my kids’ underlying gut issues, so I couldn’t eat said foods infront of him B.) As wheat and other glutenous grains left my diet, I noticed my health issues disappear and my overall well-being improve.  Migraines, gone.  Needs for gut meds, gone.  Dry skin, gone. Patience level, improved. Smartass mouth, still alive and kicking.

I couldn’t believe the massive change I felt.  All of the years of migraine meds and trips to doctors galore.   No one pointed out to me the two major causes of my migraines: wheat and dairy.

Well, it’s because most doctors are not TRAINED in nutrition.   

It got me to thinking.  Grains are garbage.  They are NOT good for anyone, gluten-intolerant, celiac, or not.  They are addictive junk of the food system.

Yes, this includes your whole wheat bread as well.   I thought I was uber-healthy when I used to scarf down my organic whole wheat toast in the morning.   Little did I know the damage it was really doing to me.
During my research into the GFCF diet for Moose, I came across a disturbing fact about gluten and dairy products.  They contain a component that is a morphine-derivative, which is highly addictive.  The bread family contains glutomorphin and the dairy family contains casomorphin.   That’s why you love it, my fellow Americans.  It’s like a morphine rush eating pizza, ice cream, fresh baked bread.

This book is filled with amazing research.
Now you are a wee bit wiser.  Just being aware that you are craving that “morphine” may have you reach for a better choice next time.  
Unless you live in a cave or you have your fancy personal assistant do your grocery shopping, you’ve proabably seen the words “gluten-free” abound in the supermarket.  
Gluten-free grains are a better option than glutinous ones, but are grains nonetheless.  
Living gluten-free in a land-o-bread bowls isn’t easy.  Rice, quinoa, and potatoes are still a part of my diet.  But honestly, I find cooking them a pain now.  Fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and yes, a lot of animal protein are what the fine members of the estate eat (save for the junk food binging of the King, he has yet to see the light).
If you are struggling with your weight, depression, skin ailments, etc, please make the connection between the grains and your pain.
Billions of dollars are spent on “cures for cancer” and “R&D for new pharma”…but the answer is simple.  Our bodies do not have rumens like cows have for digesting grass. All grains are related to grass.  Sugar included.

Cows eat grass.  People can’t.  Grains are of the grass family.

 Grains poison us, but that’s probably why they taste so damn good.

Even if you can’t kick the addiction to grains, at least reduce your consumption.  Hell, you may even loose a jean size or two.
It took me 20 years to discover this.  But at least I will have the rest of my life to make up for lost time. 
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