Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Author: Thora Toft      June 6, 2017
Categories: Planning    
No Packaged Food for 1 Week
Image by: Freepik

You've been diagnosed with Celiac disease. You've tried to go gluten free. But you're still not feeling well.

Now what?

Let's start with the core issue...

If you have Celiac Disease, that means you CANNOT eat gluten, ever again. Period.

100% Gluten Free
Image by: Free Design File

There's no debate. There's no wiggle room. There's no pill that will fix it. (There is one brand new, but the research is not yet complete as to whether it's a legitimate solution yet; it will be a few years before we know.)

It doesn't matter if the cause is genetic, chemical poisoning, modern agriculture, or something else.

Now that your body cannot deal with the specific gluten protein that caused Celiac, nothing will make that go away. You simply cannot revert now to old heritage non hybridized non chemicalized versions of the affecting grains.

At this point, you simply can't eat gluten. Ever.

If you do, you will be sick.

Now that that's been said, and exposed, and stated bluntly... Now what?

Let's get on with how to fully remove gluten from your diet. All of it. And how to remove other things that are known to cause digestive problems.

You may have friends who can eat junk and it doesn't affect them. But that is not you. You have a damaged stomach and digestive system. You are likely malnourished. You likely have other damaged parts of your body.

That means you are not in a position to be able to tolerate things that have been shown to cause digestive problems, or have the potential to make things worse, such as food additives.

I was unwell to varying degrees my whole life, and very sick for several years. I spent years trying everything I could think of to try and feel better. I didn't have anyone else around who was able to help me, so I did it myself, and did a ton of experimenting.

I did figure it out though. The bottom line is that I figured out I cannot eat gluten. Since you have Celiac Disease, you also cannot eat gluten.

I cannot eat food additives. I cannot eat chemicalized food. I cannot eat so called health food that really isn't anything we're built to be able to properly digest. The evidence shows that all of of these things are bad for everyone, and will cause damage over time.

You have the benefit of now being able to cut to the chase, and eliminate huge amounts of experimentation. In a matter of days or weeks, you can get yourself to the point it took me about 8 years to figure out.

There may be some additional things thay you'll need to deal with, such as some potential other foods you're allergic to. But, getting rid of all the other junk will make finding those other things much, much easier.

If you're used to relying on packaged food for a portion of your diet, then today's post will be especially helpful.

The vast majority of packaged food is loaded with a bunch of ingredients that are not food. In the last 20 years, the sheer volume of these ingredients has dramatically increased.

It's snuck up on us, and no one bothered to tell us. What may have been a relatively ok packaged food a few years ago is no longer ok.

If you've never really thought about it, or think these ingredients must be ok, and thought they must be safely tested by "someone," it may come as a shock to find out that they're not.

Why Food Additives Have Not Been Shown to Be Safe

(If you want to jump to the "How To" section of this post, click here.)

Private investigators, journalists, former employees, and whistleblowers over the years have documented the corruption between the regulators and the food additive manufacturers.

About 1/3 of the ingredients are GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA in the US. They have had no safety testing. The manufacturers have simply requested that their product be given this status based on some history either of the additive, or of some additive that is similar. When you look at the documentation actually provided during this process, you quickly realize the manufacturers were rarely required to actually show anything resembling safety data. That may have seemed like reasonable idea in 1958, when this status was first introduced, but that's no longer the case. These days, most of these additives are not close derivatives of food, but purely laboratory creations.

Research experiments
Image by: Pressfoto

The other 2/3 of the ingredients did require more stringent testing. However, 1/2 of these ingredients have no documentation listed anywhere in the records. That means those additives were approved with no testing what so ever. They were not eligible for GRAS, for some reason, yet this documentation was never given, and obviously never even required to get approval. The FDA simply gave them a green light, and just "trusted" them. This is so rampant, and on such a large scale. Investigators have tried getting this info, and simply been ignored. This is not just on a few newer ingredients, but on about 1/2 of all approved additives, going back many, many years.

Of the remaining 1/3, many of them do actually list damaging effects to humans, even from the original testing. Additional proof has since been gathered on many additives, and are known about by the FDA and the Federal Government, yet they stay on the market. The tiny, tiny amount of additives that have lost their approval, even with overwhelming evidence that they are unsafe is very disturbing.

To summarize:

  • 1/3 given GRAS status and no testing required.
  • 1/3 were required to be safety tested, but no documentation exists to determine what testing was done, and if it showed any ill effects.
  • 1/3 were required to be safety tested, and documentation does exist, and many of them show known issues that make them unsafe to varying degrees.

These things should make us really think twice about ingesting these additives.

Common Allergens and Toxic Chemicals Used to Make Additives

Many of these additives are made from a number of ingredients that are very common allergens such as corn, soy, wheat, eggs, and milk.

When you're suffering from any kind of digestive problem, like you'd have with Celiac Disease, this just adds fuel to the fire of your digestive and health problems.

The manufacturing processes also commonly utilize methods and toxic chemical that have been approved, yet have directly been shown to cause damage to humans, specific illnesses, and further digestive problems.

Since there are thousands of additives, it really is virtually impossible to figure out exactly which ones don't bother you, and which ones do. You could never do any kind of elimination diet to test them all. Packaged foods also often comes with several additives and not just a single one. No one has ever done intensive study on the combination of additives, and whether they are worse in combination.

To summarize:

  • Common allergens affect those with digestive issues at a higher rate.
  • Many chemicals used in creating food additives have documented digestive and other harmful effects.
  • Too many food additives to be able to test yourself to see which ones will affect you.

Disinformation and Lies Spread Like the Plague

Battle
Image by: Daviles

I've participated in many online discussions, where someone mentions some additive, stating it's bad, and there'll be someone else jump in and go into a long drawn out criticism of the people calling it down. They're so full of science jargon, and get so technical, that many people get so confused, and don't know what to believe. But the vast majority that I've "battled" with actually aren't telling the truth - they were liars - but it can take hours to go back and forth to show every little thing where they're not telling the truth. Most people just give up trying to banter in this way. This means there's a lot of untruths circulating, because no one has time to take them all on, head to head.

Unfortunately, much of what is discussed regarding food additive safety on the internet is like this. Someone sounds so official, and technical, and "sciency" that they just sort of sound like they must be right. Because of what I've focused on for the last 15 years, I've gotten used to being able to look up an ingredient and debunk most of this kind of thing within a few minutes. But if you don't have the knowledge and the time to do this, just know that there's a lot of misinformation out there in regards to food, food additives and health. Never take anything at face value - even what I have to tell you.

Over my 15+ years of research I've found so very, very few additives that are truly safe, with no side effects. I've intensely studied several hundred. But, with about 10,000 chemicals added directly or indirectly to food in the US, it would take me the rest of my life to study them all. And in that time, thousands more would be added, and thousands would adjust their formulas. Theres's just no way to keep up. And with so few being safe, I finally realized it's a waste of time to continue that level of intense research.

Suffice it to say, additives are unhealthy. They are never added to make food healthier, or more nutritious. NEVER. They are added to save the manufacturers money or to make more money. They can use inferior food ingredients, and "fix" them with additives.

To summarize:

  • Much of the pro additive information on the internet is either biased, or a lie.
  • Just because something sounds technical and scientific doesn't mean it's true.
  • No single person can keep up with the research needed to properly review every additive out there.
  • Additives are NEVER used to make food more nutritious. They are only ever used to save or make more money for the manufacturers.

Now you know WHY I suggest going packaged food free for 1 week and why the Quick Start Guide has a chapter on this.

How to Eat Packaged Food Free

Now we'll cover HOW to start eating packaged food free.

First off, when I say going packaged food free, I'm really being literal. If something comes in a bag, a box, a jar or any kind of package that contains more than 1 ingredient, it needs to be off your shopping list for at least 1 week.

You also want everything organic. Or if you have a local farmers market, where you know the farmers, you may find some things that aren't technically organic, but they will be a TON better than store bought regular produce. I'd suggest really making an effort to find organic, even from your local farmers, if at all possible.

Prepping for Meat Eaters

Free range cattle
Image by: Ales Krivec

If you are a meat eater, and if at all possible, I want you to find a local farmer, raising animals on an open space farm. By that I mean that he needs to have massive space that he allows his animals to graze on. No feedlots with thousands of animals crammed into a disgusting sh*tty mess. Chickens should be outside most of the day (weather permitting), and be allowed to pick the ground for bugs, etc. in a natural, large and open setting. No giant bins of chicken food (which is really an oxy moron). This should go for egg chickens and eating chickens.

If you don't have access to farmers, then get the absolute best quality meat you can get your hands on. Free range, fresh grass pasture fed, not grain finished. If you don't know where to find it, ask your friends, or the local health food stores.

Make a 1 Week Menu / Recipe Plan

Depending on how you prepare your food, or what you like to eat, it probably will be a good idea to plan out a 7 day food plan. Some people will need a light guideline, and others will need to hunt down some recipes very carefully. Whatever way you decide to prepare, just start planning.

You'll likely hit some little "walls" when you realize there will be some things you're used to using out of a box or a package. Things like cereal, dressings and sauces, spice mixes, canned goods, frozen foods, etc. This is an area that I've helped clients with a lot. So many people have simply gotten used to using so much prepared food, it can often be a bit of a block and can lead to frustration. I can really help get over that frustration; I've figured out a whole food replacement for just about everything.

Each time you find one of these things, just think about some nice alternatives.

Inspiration for Alternative Foods to Eat

Breakfast - instead of cereal or toast or breakfast meat:

  • Scrambled eggs and fresh cut up fruit
  • Omelettes with fresh vegetables, fried up with some fresh herbs
  • Smoothies with fresh fruit and vegetables made fully from scratch
  • Fresh hot gluten free grain or non grain cereal made from scratch with fresh fruit (limit this to no more than once per week)
  • Fresh meat, such as some leftover chicken or beef, warmed up, with fried eggs, fruit and veggies
  • Make "jam" by simply mashing raw fresh berries with a fork, and using them on sliced apples, or pears, or any fruit that can be cut flat, or putting a little dollop on your once a week hot cereal
Eat something different for breakfast
Image by: Adam Jaime

When I went gluten free, my breakfast started to resemble lunch much more than breakfast. Just because we've eaten toast and cereal for many years doesn't mean we must replace it with some fake toast and cereal. Expand your options and you'll find some very tasty alternatives. Much of the world never eats toast and cereal at breakfast.

Lunch - instead of a sandwich:

  • Use lettuce or cabbage leaves as the "bread" and use it like a wrap to put your fillings in
  • Homemade soup
  • Big salad, with veggies, meat, eggs

Dinner - instead of some of the common packaged food that forms part of the meal:

  • Fresh meat prepared with fresh herbs and single spices
  • Roasts or baked meats, with various fresh veggies, herbs, spices
  • Fresh steamed veggies, with some optional fresh spices
  • If you're used to a big serving of starch (potatoes, rice) cut down the amount you normally have, and make a simple version from scratch, such as plain rice, or brown rice, or some mixed brown and wild rice, with or without some herbs and spices, or some roasted potatoes, or sweet potato fries - work on cutting down the volume of these starches - have at least twice as many veggies as starches
  • Big salads with homemade salad dressing
  • Skip bread completely - eat more of everything else instead

Dessert:

  • Fresh homemade ice cream
  • Fresh fruit with homemade whipped cream
  • Baked apples, pears, berries, with some honey and cinnamon
  • Bake fruit "Cobbler" made with nuts or flaked coconut instead of flour, with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

What You'll Learn with Your 1 Week Real Food Experiment

This first week will expose you to a lot of changes. What you'll find:

  • Things that were really a lot easier than you thought they'd be.
  • Things that were more of a challenge than you expected.

Write those things down, and what you thought and felt about them. Then take this and try and find some solutions for you to deal with some of these things in the future.

Preparing food
Image by: Josep M. Suria

Here's some other things you'll find, that you can think about, and incorporate or skip in the future:

  • Things you liked or that you found easy or really enjoyed, that you can do more of in the future.
  • Things you didn't like to do. You'll have to decide if you want to just get used to making them, or if you really just want to skip them in the future. I found some things that I didn't think were worth the effort, but now I like doing them just occasionally, and now I appreciate them even more, and the occasional effort is worth it.
  • Things that were simpler than you were used to, but that you really enjoyed. These can be easy things to do more of in the future. Examples could be steamed veggies, or simple roasts, etc. I often like to do some simple things for most of my meal, and then make one item more fancy or time consuming, or just simply something I've not tried before.
  • Things that are more difficult when you first learn them, yet later on are easy, simply because you've done it so much. Over time your pantry and fridge will contain more suitable base ingredients, that makes preparing some things so much easier.

Find some new routines for yourself, and even entertain the idea to "switch it up" once in a while, to expand what you normally do.

The Future is Full of New and Delicious Choices

If you're a totally "mad" cook, and like to try anything and everything, your choices are wide open to try tons of interesting things in the future.

If you want some help in trying to figure out how to start, or you're having some sort of planning block, I can help.

Let us know how your week went with your Eat Real trial, what you learned, what frustrated you, and definitely tell us what you ate!

¡Buen provecho!

Thora

Citations - References - Resources:
ScienceDirect
FDA - Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)
TED Talk: Battling Bad Science - Ben Goldacre
FREE Gluten Free "Eat Real" Quick Start Guide
Concrete steps you can take NOW
+ 20 Recipes
Free membership included - 75% more Recipes & Tips


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