NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS HEALTHY FEELS!
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Remember to always talk to your doctor about any and all health related concerns. Remember to tell your doctor about any and all medications you may be taking.
Our current incarnation as human beings, also known as homo sapiens, arrived on this planet about 200,000 years ago. For about 190,000 of those years or so, humans were mostly nomadic wanderers, hunting and gathering from what their environment provided. All natural foods
Sometime around 10,000 years ago, humans invented farming. Instead of chasing food the way the wind blows, we planted grains, among them wheat, thereby creating a sense of security for our fragile human population. We also domesticated and herded animals. Providing a steady food supply enabled trade and the growth of civilizations. A surplus of food allowed people to have more time to diversify and to develop the skills of artisans, builders, and all sorts of jobs and professions.
As nomads, we hunted and gathered. We ate seeds, nuts, fruits, plants, roots, wild fish and game. When farming was invented, grains were what was planted first. With grains on the menu, we began eating more and more grains. And, then, with flour from these grains, we made other grain products.
"Let them eat cake!" someone said, and you could tell, things were tasting good! They may have been running to the bathroom, but things were tasting good!
WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE ?
CELIAC DISEASE, along with ULCERATIVE COLITIS, make up the top two diagnoses under the category of INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE, also known as IBD.
Scientists and doctors now know CELIAC DISEASE has an environmental precursor: GLUTEN. CELIAC DISEASE is a multi-system disorder affecting primarily the small intestine. A delayed diagnosis increases the risk of developing neurological problems, osteoporosis, infertility and, yes, even cancer.
DIAGNOSING CELIAC DISEASE is done with two tests: 1) Blood and 2) Biopsy.
a blood test is administered to determine the presence of specific antibodies being produced by your immune system. These can be seen as biological markers. If certain antibodies are detected, there's the mandatory biopsy.
A positive blood test must be followed by an intestinal biopsy, in which a thin tube is inserted down the throat of a sedated patient to extract tissue samples. A positive biopsy is the leading indicator of a CELIAC DISEASE diagnosis.
Fortunately for CELIAC DISEASE sufferers, once diagnosed, their solution is easy: Eliminate GLUTEN and symptoms subside.
Unfortunately for CELIAC DISEASE sufferers, like ULCERATIVE COLITIS, THIS IS a lifelong diagnosis. Don't ever believe you're "cured". You stray, you pay. You can never have GLUTEN again if you're to stay well.
WHAT IS GLUTEN AND GLUTEN INTOLERANCE?
GLUTEN is a protein found in certain grains including wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. Gluten is what gives baked goods that wonderful mouthfeel and taste. Soft wheat grain found in flour contains a higher percentage of gluten and helps give pastry and cake that great, springy, creamy mouthfeel. Thanks to modern science and bioengineering, today's wheat reportedly contains almost twice as much gluthen than the wheat just a century ago. For some, especially those diagnosed with Celiac disease (affecting an estimated 3 million Americans), gluten is ANTIGENIC, that is, it elicits inflammation in the small intestine, an adverse immune response, symptoms of an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, which Celiac Disease is.
Other people may have a NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY that causes digestive unrest. (Maybe just a sensitivity to too much dead food, methinks...I don't know.)
Those diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac Disease, or other inflammatory auto-immune diseases, and you know who you are yes you do, often benefit by eliminating all gluten products.
Some thoughts point specifically to GLIADIN, a substance found in GLUTEN, as the specific culprit. People allergic (gluten intolerant), when they eliminate wheat products in particular, symptoms they previously experienced, subside. It means giving up packaged, processed foods such as cereal, crackers, cookies, pasta, pizza, burritos, hamburger and hotdog buns, tacos, flour tortillas, bread of all kinds, bread sticks, churros, pastries, cupcakes, and, of course, cake.
And ditch all the fast food, of course. No more drive thru for a while. A LOOOONG while. I know. I've been through the drive thru many a time. I finally came to the realization that all I was giving up was the mega-size, mega-fat, mega-sugar, mega-wheat, megamega-salt, mega-carbolicious, corn-fed, antibiotic treated, hormone-injected, heartburn inducing, heart attack in the making, factory farms and slaughter houses. Like I said, it took me 20 years to fully unwind THAT clock. Pavlov's Dog, I was.
Regarding the antibiotic treatment that many farm factory animals undergo, meat producers are supposed to give the treated animal enough time to flush the antibiotics from their systems before they are slaughtered. Methinks that's probably not checked up on as closely as Id like as there are a lot of cattle being harvested and not enough government agricultural inspectors to oversee or even catch the offenders. This leaves open the possibility that the antibiotics are getting into our food supply and we're consuming the prescriptive medication unknowingly. All I know is, I got questions.
But, like I've said, if I'm good and 'eat clean' all of the time, well then when I go to Dodgers Stadium, I'm gonna have a Dodger Dog and slather it with mustard. No soda, though. Never again. Like drinking acid, for me. Bottled water. And two fishoil capsules. The fishoil and the hotdog together make for my smooth elimination later, with no constipation or bearing down intensely, ever. EVER. Smooth as a yogurt machine. I've said that before.
I'm simply not going to deny myself tastes every once in a while. I feel I can only do that because my immune system is no longer fighting me and I'm no longer fighting it. We're intimate partners and I'm going to do my best to protect my best friend, my immune system, from toxins and exacerbators. I'm worth the extra effort to do right for me.
UNLIKELY SOURCES OF WHEAT - REMEMBER TO READ ALL LABELS :
Processed meats, all snack foods, BEER (omg, did I say beer?? I did...!), soups and sauces, salad dressings, supplements, vitamins and - be aware of this one - IN MEDICATIONS! Some of the GLUTEN in medications comes in the form of disintegrating agents. I understand lists of these drugs have been compiled but but be aware that pharma formulas are subject to change. ALWAYS contact your doctor, pharmacist and the pharmaceutical company, if you have questions about GLUTEN SENSITIVITY and your medication.
THE IRONCLAD RULE : READ ALL PACKAGE LABELS
Ever notice a banana doesn't have a bar code? That's because it's naturally unprocessed. Fruits and veggies don't come with bar codes. Only processed foods have bar codes. Like everything that comes in a box or a can or shrink wrapped.
READ THE LABELS OF ALL PROCESSED FOODS ! Before you buy any processed food, any food that comes in a jar, can, plastic container, paper or shrink wrap packaging or a box. I was amazed at how wheat is in most everything I had been consuming outside of fresh, whole foods.
READ THE LABELS because your health depends on knowledge and knowledge is the power that makes change possible. Know the grains that carry gluten and avoid them. Once you discover the sources, it's a real eye-opener.
READ THE LABELS simply because it's what's about to be consumed, by you or someone you love.
GLUTEN FREE GRAINS
NON GMO, organic rice, corn, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, quinoa (pronounced: KEEN-wah), and amaranth.
THE CHALLENGE :
In learning the ingredients of many packaged products, guess what? Wheat is in so many processed foods, it's almost in everything that comes in a box or can. Once I started reading labels, I felt I could make an informed decision that was best for me.
I've come to believe that bread, much of it marketed with the 'whole-grain goodness' and heart-healthy seal, has ingredients (mostly gluten-rich, whole wheat flour) that have simply been over-processed to favor taste over nutrition. I believe our factory food processing ends up killing much of the nutritional value of the original ingredients leaving us with nutritionally shallow ingredients, ingredients that end up starving our cells if not kept in balance by real, whole foods. We cannot live on processed grains, injected with fat, salt and sugar or artificial sweeteners, without having the nutritionally dense counterpart of running the bad bacteria out of town with fresh whole foods. With many Americans getting 62% of their nutrition from processed foods and only 10% of their nutrition from fruits and veggies, the living content of our food is far outweighed by the nutrient shallow or dead nutrition of processed foods.
I believe, for all intents (taste and mouth-feel), a lot of processed food is dead food. Not simply 'junk food,' which leaves open the possibility that it's somehow still food. DEAD food. Food with no value except as taste and mouth-feel. And junk food is also, simply: dead food. I'm just saying it's my belief, you understand. It's because I was a zombie.
No surprise then, I'm not getting any calls to be an agribusiness marketing director. Probably because I have no credentials and I'm not a scientist or doctor and I don't eat their products all that much anymore. I get it. I'm not the mascot, ra ra cheerleader for factory processed food.
However, I AM the RAW RAW cheerleader for REAL food. My philosophy: My food choices should come as close to the earth with as little processing as possible.
So, modern American meals might look like this:
BREAKFAST (If eaten at all):
A $5 Coffee at the drive-thru, maybe an energy shot with a granola or protein bar
A breakfast of champions with milk, a slice of whole wheat buttered toast or maybe a bagel with cream cheese and a glass of orange juice. Add a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Take some coffee for the road, too.
LUNCH (Ofen grabbed, convenient, fast and tasty):
A sub sandwich, burger, burrito, or pizza and fries and a soda or energy shot
DINNER (rarely the same time each night) :
More bread, breaded chicken or fish, some burger/chicken creation with noodles or meatballs with spaghetti; chips, crackers, tortillas, stuffing, tacos, burritos, ramen noodles, dessert.
DESSERT (If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding, and you can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!
Some combination of sugar, more sugar, high-gluten pastry flour, butter or cream, milk chocolate and egg. In my mind, it's a lot of dead food. The bread, spaghetti, pasta, and cookies have been refined to where my body thinks it's just pure sugar; the dairy, ice cream, milk, cream cheese and orange juice has all been boiled to death - using a process called pasteurization - and then has had stuff injected back into the science experiment, like extra calcium and vitamin D.
When I eliminated wheat from my food choices, I eliminated two of my potential exacerbators at the same time: gluten and refined sugar. For me, these two are also two of the offenders in the accumulation of free radicals and oxidative stress.
When I eliminated concentrated fruit juice, coffee, and soda, I eliminated a lot of dead food choices as well as a considerable amount of acid. Concentrated juices, particularly orange juice, has a wallop or both acid and sugar, soda and coffee are also sugary and acidic. And my body runs smoothly without these personal exacerbators of mine.
Not to mention the perpetual confusion my body has had regarding dead food. My living cells continuously tell me, they love real living foods. Would I feed my dog dead food? How about my fish? Would I feed my plants acid? Of course I wouldn't. So, I should treat my body as good or better than my pets or plants. Certainly, it's a goal.
For me, knowledge is power. If the right answer is out there and I find it, I'm going to keep it. My tongue ain't gonna rule alone. My brain, and feeding it good ideas, is how I work best. My journey has allowed me to discover a lot about how our food is made and how it might be a clue to an environmental contributing factor to my dis-ease.
GLUTEN PLUS all the processed sugar PLUS the possibility that it truly is dead food, ADD UP to food choices guaranteed to screw up my digestive system. Like gifts of crap I don't know what do do with, guess what happens? My body reacts to white refined flour as if I was eating a bowl of ice cream. Over-processed, dead food that is mostly recognized as sugar by my body, is no longer welcome in my smorgasbord of real food choices.
I've concluded that, for myself, the substances marketed to me as bread, pasta, pastry, donuts, mac and cheese, and especially those floury confections large and small that have that wonderful mouth feel and deliciousness, are not only possible antigens contributing to my digestive distress, it helps me to view these items as dead food.
Grains pulverized beyond recognition, dairy and juices pasteurized so that anything good is killed by also being boiled to death, it's all, just sayin' now: DOA...Dead On Arrival.