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Monday, January 19, 2015

Is wheat grass gluten-free or what?

Honestly, I don't find joy telling you or myself to NOT consume something. Life is short and do you really want to be sick and unhealthy your whole life? I don't take those risks. I take other life thrills like bungee jumping, running and hiking 14er mountains and challenging myself when snowboarding, or through regular work day adventures. 

The word "wheat" makes me cringe, so does barley, ryes, malts, etc. It's their protein, gluten, that makes my world hell.  Yet learning more bout grains, the young wheat grass and other grass such as young barley grasses in their true selves (grasses) probably don't have any gluten proteins present yet what my research shows. They're "so healthy" and I really want to try it, but I'm not ready to risk it. It's the harvesting and equipment that could and likely are contaminating the grasses. Therefore, if any type of tiny, medium to large farmer allows any of these grasses to begin seeding prior to a harvest then this crop will be contaminated with gluten. Plus, nobody tests any of this, instead it's just "gluten-free" because it is gluten-free, which I don't jive with. 
Our world is full of cross contamination, 
deal with it and don't be so surprised all of the time. 
In addition, if these tiny, small or large manufacturer of fresh or produced wheat grass supplements is made in a gluten-containing facility on the same equipment without thoroughly for gluten / protein allergen cleaning agents, once again you have at minimum, traces of gluten contamination if not much more. 
Common sense test says, the risk outweighs the benefits. 
The U.S. FDA put out a guideline for gluten-free labeling, does everyone know this?  So why do we see so many products without gluten-free validation?  I reached out to an Australian wheat grass business who said they do not currently validate the gluten ppm cross contamination, but Celiacs have had success on their product. Unfortunately, that blanket statement is what every business, marketing and scientist without results says and I typically say, "no thank you, go validate your claims." Hey, I'm not perfect, but some stuff is too fishy for the frier, ya know what I mean?  
It's now 2015 and the governmental or 3rd party agencies that are supposed to guide good healthy practices in our world, still fail. We're still far away from transparency that the few require, while the many don't seem to live all that well regardless, considering I see a lot of unhealthy people who eat gluten, every single day. Anyway, it's quite challenging again today, that we live in a world with food allergies, gluten related disorders and auto-immune diseases, and companies, restaurants, etc can still get away with not testing before going to market. 

Remember, eat fresh, research and investigate, but prepare and cook your own food, and wash/scrub everything well. If there is doubt, avoid it and stay in control of your gluten-free lifestyle, especially as a diagnosed Celiac. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

What's Your Meaning Of Gluten-Free?

Is this gluten-free?

This is a complicated yet easy question to analyze. Something either has gluten or it doesn't right?  However, we don't live in a homogenous style world... Not in the USA and not in any kitchen. Therefore people will believe what they choose and live how they decide that's best for their health, wealth and lifestyle, period. Regardless of someone's health symptoms, financials, and equality overall, each of us chooses to smile, laugh or frown, live in pain, we live in distress and sometimes we see things that we believe are correct, despite our body or others telling something different. We argue and we quarrel, but do we learn and change?  Most of the time, I would assume yes, but ask yourself this question? With that said, I ask you if you truly believe that you're living a gluten-free life or if you're just living your life by reducing some of this and some of that.

  • Do you have gluten in your house and use the same silverware, cutting boards & pots? 
  • Do you have a dishwasher and do you clean with a dedicated gluten-free sponge? 

Perhaps you believe that you feel better when you reduce some gluten or reduce wheat or dairy, but the truth is the never ending education on each is great, so have you invested in your ongoing food education?  Some admit they haven't, some believe they have, but I encourage you to keep reading, and opening yourself or others to learn about why and how you feel and challenge yourself, family and friends to be healthier by being gluten-free smarter.

Is this gluten-free?

Is this gluten-free?

Is this gluten-free?

Is this gluten-free?

FDA guides brands to declare gluten-free if products have been verified <20 ppm gluten contamination, and that's microscopic! However, this isn't enough as most Celiacs believe they react and show symptoms on a committed gluten-free lifestyle. Personally, I eat no gluten-free and the risks I must take I carefully monitor by body and get blood checks throughout the year to see if my body's gluten antibodies are active. There are other testing <10ppm and <5ppm and hopefully the FDA will lower their standards so that the entire community can change forward.  Who do you trust and where do you find resources? The truth is it's impossible to know if  anything is gluten-free because the farm, processing, packaging, fulfillment and handling supply chain contaminate everything. It's true.  Therefore, eating legit farm fresh, home grown and made is your best way of living the way humans did before processed and packaged goods. Truth is the truth.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How Much Salad Did You Eat In 2014?

Don't laugh, this is a legitimate question I have for you. Salad according to my definition, is six or more cold raw vegetables and accompanying healthy counterparts from the land or sea served in a bowl as an appetizer or a meal. It's intent is to fulfill via healthy natural, and organic measures and you should not only enjoy your salad, but celebrate socially each meal. 

When looking back 
did you have a salad 
every day, multiple times per day?

Eat A Smart Salad
I love salad soooooo much. It's a love affair of mine. I talk about it with my brother curiously wondering how much cabbage he ate recently, with my parents who raised me on a salad for every dinner meal, and I'm curious about other people's salads, too. I'm baffled by what's in them, why they choose certain ingredients and dressings and what their motivations are behind each bite. There are dozens of vegetables, fish, meats, poultry, fruits, nuts, some grains and legumes that make there way into my dream salads.  The salad concept here is that the world's melting pot should keep you on edge, always learning about food's place of origin, seasonal freshness and tantalizing your taste buds in suspense. 

Is Salad Making You Fat?
If you think eating salad is your answer to good health you're not even half correct. You can be creative with your salad, eat good veggies, but if it turns into a towering monster that's a sign it's tipping the iceberg of nutrition. If you eat too much high fat marinated meats, bacon, fried/breaded chicken, shredded cheeses, pastas, noodles, nuts, dried fruit, and even avocados and don't portion control you're over indulging. The white iceberg lettuce and common lettuce mixes must have dark leafy greens in there, for optimal nutrition. If you opted out of the creamy dressings, thats' good, but even too much oil and vinegar isn't helping yourself, you're going to give yourself hips that don't lie! 

Looking Forward, Looking Back
Here is my top salad based reflections looking forward into 2015. I will be taking these changes into account myself. In the Winter I become lazier and less motivated to work out and need a few reminders to get back on track...

  1. Always shop organic and never GMO (genetically modified organisms).
  2. Every day should have a salad meal and each meal have veggies. 
  3. Be active on your feet with a sweat 30-45+ minutes per day. 
  4. Drink more water with lemon and ginger.
  5. Drink green tea daily or various teas during morning and day.
  6. Create fantastic high protein and low sugar smoothies for breakfast even if you're not a body builder. Lean protein is essential to being well and fit. 
  7. Walk more and focus on less sitting while moving around each and every day. 
  8. Stop eating by 8pm - nothing healthy happens late at night!
  9. Laugh at yourself, with others and be sure each day you had a good laugh. 
  10. Overall, you should only be eating in calories, fats, and proteins, etc for what you're body is capable of utilizing to be great ... you gain weight if the calories aren't being burned off.