If your health is perfect and there’s no room for improvement, I say go with it. Keep doing what you’re doing.

Most of us fit into a different category though.

Most of us don’t feel as good, vibrant or healthy as we would like.

If you suffer from IBS or IBD, joint pain, diarrhea or constipation, stomach pain, bloating, canker sores, osteoporosis, diabetes, autoimmune disease, PMS or uncomfortable menopause symptoms, food sensitivities, allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, hives or brain fog – you might benefit from trying to clean up your diet and go gluten free.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt and several other grains.

Gluten is what makes bread dough sticky and stretchy when you knead it.

Gluten is known, and can be seen under a microscope, to cause the cellular lining of our intestines to separate.

Harvard research shows that gluten causes intestinal permeability within minutes of eating it in all people.

This is one cause of leaky gut and leads to maldigestion, and serious immune reactions when undigested food particles leak straight into bloodstream from these openings.

The glyphosate connection

Most wheat in the U.S. is covered in residue of a toxic chemical called glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active compound in Roundup and is linked to cancer and a number of other serious health impacts.

While wheat is not a GMO crop, Roundup is nonetheless used to kill the foliage at harvest time to make harvest easier. The residue persists into finished wheat products.

You should expect glyphosate contamination on all non-organic wheat grown in the U.S.

A trend that works

The gluten-free trend is based on serious improvements in health and is not fabrication.

Going gluten free does help most people feel better – no matter what their health issues. If you are struggling with health issues, try it for a month and see what happens.

Replace the overabundance of processed wheat products that make up the bulk of most of our diets with real, unprocessed, wholesome foods.

How to go gluten free

Many people attempt to go gluten free but end up simply removing the gluten without replacing it with other healthy, nutrient dense, carbohydrates and/or good quality fats.

It is important to maintain a well rounded diet while going gluten free. Healthier carbohydrate substitutes include foods like potato, sweet potato, root veggies like carrots and beets, and winter squash.

The big important rule is: Don’t go hungry! Make sure to eat plenty of food. Following my suggestions will allow you to feel less bloated, crampy, and blah, and more nourished and energized than ever before.

If you try to give up gluten but find yourself eating only or mostly meat or dairy – you are doing it wrong. Replace the wheat with lots of veggies and good, quality fats.

Consider the space on your plate the wheat products used to inhabit. Fill that with veggies instead.

If you are eating grains, try substituting with non-gluten grains like rice, quinoa and amaranth.

Legumes like lentils, pinto, garbanzo or black beans are another whole-foods way to get nourishment and carbohydrates. Fruits also provide carbs bt be careful about overdoing it.

I recommend staying away from the packaged, processed gluten free substitute foods for the mainstays of your diet.

They are highly processed, lack nourishment, and often have fillers and gums that are known to irritate the intestines, so you don’t want to swap one problem for another.

Enjoy your holiday meals, festivities (and cookies!) and consider experimenting with a whole food, nourishing diet in 2018. Happy New Year Buena Vista.

Liz Morgan, MA, JD, RYT, NTP, RWS, specializes in analyzing the root causes of chronic illness and helping clients overcome chronic pain, digestive distress, food sensitivities, malnourishment and stress to reclaim their health. Liz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner with a private, nationwide nutritional therapy practice. Liz invites you to listen to her new podcast, the Nutrition Soapbox, where she discusses the most important issues in nutrition today. www.NutritionSoapbox.com

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