The ketogenic diet is gaining in popularity; people are finding themselves with more energy, a clearer head and less excess weight when they switch to it; but it can be hard to know what to eat on a ketogenic diet to stay in that optimal fat burning, energy-producing zone. Today I welcome guest blogger Amelia Johnson. Amelia is a writer/editor with an endless passion for bringing a lot of useful and trustworthy information to the community. She founded stayhealthyways.com, a blog dedicated to sharing quality articles related to health, nutrition, fitness, and beauty. [Read more…]
I believe that people are becoming increasingly aware that gluten is not the best food ingredient for us – it can be very difficult to digest, and can promote significant inflammation both in the gut and in the body as a whole, resulting in chronic pain, fatigue, brain fog, skin irritation, mood imbalances and more. There are a variety of labs that offer testing for gluten intolerance- in fact, all the big commercial labs offer the tests. I have found, however, that sometimes those blood tests are not as sensitive as some others. In my view, the best test for gluten intolerance is a stool test offered by a lab called Enterolab.
The markers that are tested for gluten intolerance are anti-gliadin antibodies and anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies. Both are looking for auto-immune reactions in the body that are caused by the ingestion of gluten. These are the markers that are assessed in blood testing too.
Enterolab uses a stool sample to look for those markers. I have found this to be a more sensitive test than standard blood tests (one of the ways I know this is that a rep from one of those big labs offered 10 of my patients free testing with their lab to be able to compare the results with Enterolabs results (samples taken on the same day). In several of those cases, the bloodwork showed negative where the stool results showed positive. Can we rule out false positives 100%? No, we can’t, but I can say that the results were reflective of the health issues of those patients, and all those patients felt better when adopting a gluten-free diet.
One can be gluten intolerant without having Celiac disease. Celiac is the most severe form of gluten intolerance, where damage is at the extent of causing erosion of the villi of the small intestine. Celiac is typically diagnosed by a biopsy. Gluten intolerance can be much subtler in its presentation, but can also be insidious and cause many quite serious health issues.
I also think the stool test is ideal for kids – sparing them a blood draw. I’m getting ready to do the test on my daughter, because while I am gluten free, and we are gluten free at home, I don’t restrict her outside of the house. Recently, however, we’ve been noticing that when she eats wheat, she gets these anger outbursts that happen 10 minutes or so after ingestion, and only last a few minutes. It’s so out of character for her that I started observing what was happening around the time they occurred, and sure enough, eating wheat seemed to be the trigger. I talked with her about it and she can actually see the connection too. Even at age 4, kids know when something makes them feel bad and how uncomfortable it can be.
Getting the sample isn’t so hard either – an adult can simply put a clean container in the toilet bowl. I have found that that can be off putting for kids, so I advise parents to put saran wrap inside the bowl, allowing some length so that the sample call “fall in”, so to speak. It secures quite well around the rim of the toilet, then when you put the seat down it’s barely visible.
Enterolab is a lab that does not even require a doctor’s order – you could feasibly order a kit yourself, they ship it to you, you take the collection and send it in.
They also offer cheek swab testing for the genetic markers that predispose to gluten intolerance – that’s pretty cool too, especially for people who are going to have children to get an indication of whether their kids will have that gene too and subsequently be predisposed to gluten intolerance.
You want to have eaten gluten fairly recently to see an accurate result. If you’ve been gluten free for months or years, it may not show up. I took this task very seriously when I was testing myself – I was on holiday in Sydney at Easter time, and I ate Hot Cross Bun after Hot Cross Bun – at least one every day for a week! I felt pretty sick by the end of it mind you!
The panel I recommend with Enterolab is B1: Gluten Sensitivity Stool Panel. If you’re interested in the genetic test, you would also order the Gluten Sensitivity Gene Test, which is a molecular HLA-DQB1 analysis). They also offer more extensive panels to include other food intolerances, but the ones I’ve listed as the specific gluten ones.
I have rarely come across a person who didn’t feel better on a gluten-free diet. But some of us need to see the results of a lab test to motivate us to make dietary changes. If that’s you, then this test would be ideal.
New Year, New You! While not necessarily the best phrase, the new year typically brings a time when many people set goals and work to better themselves. Oftentimes, those goals are to improve health and get in better shape – good things! Depending on what your body is used to, beginning a new exercise regimen can take a toll, and many become discouraged. If you happen to be someone looking to get in better shape in the New Year, take a look at these health tips for the new year to help support your body in achieving your goals.
For those of us in the United States, Thanksgiving Day is coming up on Thursday. I personally love Thanksgiving – it’s been my favorite holiday since moving to the U.S. in 1999. I love it because it’s not overly commercialized, we get to spend time with people we care about, think about what we’re thankful for, and eat a yummy dinner, which for us is roast turkey. There is lots of anticipation about the dinner part – lots of planning, lots of cooking; and it’s soooooo delicious in the moment. But then, an hour later, we can be sitting like a blob on the couch, or lying down in discomfort, because it all tasted so good and we overdid it. Here are 6 tips for surviving food overindulgence, and being able to enjoy Thanksgiving without eater’s remorse! If you are reading this outside of the U.S., please feel free to apply these tips and principles to any holiday meal, or occasion where you eat too much! [Read more…]
Do you want to start a gluten- and casein-free diet (GFCF Diet) for your child, but can’t figure out where or how to begin? I’m very pleased to introduce a new resource that may help get you started and your child on the path to healing. Dave Borden of I’m Simply A Dad, has put together a most excellent how-to guide to the GFCF diet. Having gone through the process himself with his own child, he is now sharing his wisdom and experience, as well as a ton of great information regarding nutrition, and how our bodies respond to the food we eat. Parents, I think this will be an invaluable resource for you – and I’d suggest any adults who are trying to go gluten- and casein-free read it too! Here’s an introduction from Dave, and you can access the full guide on his website.
Reactions to foods are increasingly common it seems, with a large portion of the population experiencing some reactivity or sensitivity. There are several distinct types of food reactions, so I’m going to outline food allergy versus food intolerance to help distinguish. Often in Western medical circles, only a true food allergy is recognized, whereas many reactions may not fall into that category and ignoring other sensitivities can lead to ongoing symptoms that could be avoided.
Leaky gut is a condition that involves changes in the integrity of digestive tract, compromising its function and immune protection. It has a variety of different causes, but it is clear that eating gluten can contribute to leaky gut via increasing the production of a substance called zonulin.
I came across this recipe yesterday for a Chocolate Banana Matcha Smoothie and thought it was just too good not to share! I can’t take credit for it – it was posted by Sanus Biotech, a company that makes a neurotransmitter support formulation to help balance brain chemistry called Synaptamine. The ingredients in this smoothie are ones that support dopamine production, one of our brain chemicals that helps with memory, balanced mood, alertness and feelings of contentment and pleasure. These ingredients are also great antioxidants too. [Read more…]
The one thing that sugar and salt have most in common is that they taste good with a huge variety of different foods. Unfortunately, both of them are also difficult to consume in moderation.
Even if you avoid sugary sweets and salty snack foods, salt and sugar can both find their way into your diet as a part of the recipes that you prepare. What sort of harm can sugar and salt cause to your body? Here are just a few of the reasons that you should really try to cut down. [Read more…]
Today’s post is a guest post written by Serena Morris of Kittymoms. She writes on topics related to pregnancy, birth, babies and children, particular in topics relating to health. I’m happy to have her here on The Naturopathic Mama as a guest contributor, where she shares great information on allergy-friendly packaged foods for children:
Having a child with allergies can be difficult where mealtimes are concerned. As I found with my own children, though you can prepare foods that avoid their allergies when you make meals, snacks are much harder, especially if you want to make sure your children have something tasty in their lunch box every school day. That is where packaged foods come in very handy. However, not all packaged foods are allergy-friendly. With that in mind, today I am going to tell you how to choose good allergy-friendly packaged foods for children. After that, I will give you some suggestions for delicious snacks that they will love. [Read more…]