Beware the Ides of Starch!

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Source: Pexels.com

In William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar is warned by a soothsayer to “beware the Ides of March.” During the middle of this month, we’d also like to warn about the ides of starch.

In the past decade, gluten has become somewhat of a buzzword, inspiring inquisitions and concerns from the public such as, “Do I have gluten-sensitivity? Is a gluten-free diet right for me?”

Let’s start with the basics; what is gluten? It is a general term for the storage protein in certain grains such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and more. Gluten may be rather innocuous in the bodies of most of the population; however, if ingested by those with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, there will be a rather antagonistic bodily reaction with uncomfortable symptoms to follow.

There is a difference between celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity. The former is a genetic, auto-immune disorder in which the body attacks itself and damages the small intestine when gluten in consumed (or in the case of Hashimoto’s, the thyroid). When people with celiac disease ingest a product containing gluten, their small intestines rebel and, within an hour or two, they may suffer sharp abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting. Those who are sensitive to gluten report a variety of symptoms (stomachaches, reflux, even poor memory) which are typically similar, but less severe symptoms than people with celiac disease.

When it comes to symptoms of celiac disease, there are some classic signs: weight loss, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, nutritional deficiencies, and short stature. The so called “silent” signs of celiac disease include constipation, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), weight gain, osteopenia, and anemia.

Although only about 1 in 5000 people are diagnosed with celiac disease , recent research indicates that as many as 1 in 133 people may actually have celiac disease. The average time period between experiencing symptoms and getting a diagnosis is 11 years. Most often, the determination of celiac disease is made from blood samples and a biopsy of the small intestine.

If you think you may have celiac disease, talk to your physician about getting the blood-work and endoscopy needed to confirm diagnosis. Alternatively, if you are seeking a less invasive way to determine how your body reacts to gluten, you could try an elimination diet and, upon re-introduction of the offending substance, document any undesired symptoms.

Treatment for celiac disease involves following the gluten-free diet for life. This may seem stringent, but the complications associated with non-compliance (i.e. infertility, osteoporosis/osteopenia, cancers of the bowel, lymphoma) are serious. Remember that following the treatment diet will also help reduce and possibly eliminate your symptoms.

People diagnosed with celiac must not eat products containing wheat, rye, barely, malt, bran (except corn bran), spelt, and kamut. Oats are problematic not because they inherently contain gluten (they do not) but because they may contain a small amount of other grains from milling sources.

Typical hidden sources of gluten include: medications or vitamin/mineral supplements, broth, cheese slices, beer, licorice candy, salad dressing, soy sauce, modified food starch, cake icing, lipstick, marinades, sauces, breakfast cereals, tortillas, chicken nuggets and hydrolyzed vegetable or plant protein. Because of gluten’s ubiquity, it is best to employ a trained professional when determining the risk for cross-contamination at home, assessing foods in the grocery store to ensure they are gluten-free, and minimizing the exposure to gluten from other unsuspected sources.

Since flour and grain products are often used in cooking, it is important to ask how foods have been prepared, especially when dining out. Cross-contamination with gluten is another concern, both in restaurants and at home.

Talk with a qualified healthcare professional regarding your risk for celiac and consult with a registered dietitian to learn how to follow a gluten-free diet safely and nutriously. Remember, if you are diagnosed with celiac disease, following a gluten-free diet is of utmost importance in preserving your health and preventing lymphomas, colon cancer, or other malignancies.

Side-note: gliadin is a protein found within wheat gluten and is thought to be the real culprit; but because gluten is the term most people are familiar with, we’ve used it in the article to avoid confusion.

Article originally featured in UWeekly March 2nd, 2011

DIY Pizza Party!

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It has been a very long time since our last pizza. Years of sad, cardboard-y gluten-free pizza crusts turned our focus to other dinner entrées. However, a recent shopping trip to Trader Joe’s brought us back to our inner Italian, who gave us a kiss on each cheek. There are two pizza crusts in a single package; you’ll likely want to use them both and set up an impromptu decorate-your-own-pizza gathering where many hands can get involved in making a fantastic dinner. Gluten intolerants and celiacs – finally, a pizza without repercussions! This recipe is for 2 pizzas and about hungry 4 people.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 11 minutes

Ingredients

1 bulb of garlic (yes, bulb, not clove)
1 package of gluten-free pizza crusts (we got ours from TJoe’s)
1/2 cup canned or jarred artichokes
1/2 cup organic cheese, shredded (we used cheddar and Parmesan)
1/4 cup olives, sliced
2-3 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup arugula
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/8 cup diced jalapeño

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Instructions

Remove frozen pizza crusts from fridge and let thaw about 15 minutes while preparing the olives, mushrooms, and cheese. Roast garlic in oven at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until done. Pull pizza crusts out of package and spread tomato sauce over each. Then layer on arugula followed by mushrooms, cheese, olives, artichokes, jalapeño, and then the roasted garlic (removed from skin). You can either put pizza directly on rack or use a pizza stone. Buon appetito!

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Healthy Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

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Source: dailyburn.com

In a recent interview for the Daily Burn, we were asked a few questions about apple cider vinegar’s benefits and potential damages. Here’s what we had to say:

What are the nutritional/health benefits of adding apple cider vinegar to your diet?

Vinegar comes from Latin meaning “sour wine” and, for thousands of years, has been used for its health and cleansing properties. Hippocrates found a variety of medicinal uses for it back in 400 B.C. and more recently, we have some scientific studies pointing to apple cider vinegar improving insulin resistance . Apple cider vinegar contains B vitamins, vitamin C and acetic acid. Acetic acid is known for increasing the absorption of minerals from the foods in our diet.

I’ve seen some “cleanses” and diets suggest that we all take shots of apple cider vinegar? Is it better to consume it with food/in the form of recipes or is it okay to shoot straight?

‘Straight shooting’ is likely to expose your tooth enamel to vinegar’s acetic acid, potentially causing damage to the enamel. Even though apple cider vinegar can provide several health benefits, dilution and dosage are important in safely consuming it.    People often consume vinegar in the form of salad dressings or in a drink, which helps dilute the acetic acid. Dosage should always be considered as there’s a tendency to think that more is better. There’s a study that linked a daily glass of apple cider vinegar to tooth erosion in a teenage girl, for example, and a glass is far more than the suggested 1-2 tablespoons typically suggested in literature.

Are there any populations that should avoid apple cider vinegar? 

According to one study, apple cider vinegar may cause digestive issues in those with type I diabetes. Again, in most cases, the amount of apple cider vinegar used in a medicinal manner equates to 1-2 tablespoons per day. Having too much apple cider vinegar can cause lead to safety concerns and side effects – including decreased potassium levels, which could be life threatening. Vinegar may also interact with diabetes and heart medications (i.e. Digoxin) as well as diuretics and laxatives. If you want to drink vinegar as a health tonic, consult your physician or pharmacist to ensure any medication you take won’t have negative interactions with the vinegar. To consume apple cider vinegar safely, it is important to limit and monitor your daily intake, dilute it and to avoid it if you have undesired side effects.

What is your favorite way to add apple cider vinegar to your diet?

Using undistilled apple cider vinegar in the Organic Vinegar Tonic recipe and also in home-made salad dressing, egg-less baking, or even adding some into tea. Outside of dietary uses, apple cider vinegar makes an inexpensive and effective multi-purpose household cleaner.

Read the article with additional recipes here

Soothe your Scalp

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Because your scalp is an extension of the skin on your body, its health can be influenced by diet, stress, products, genetics, and weather. We generally spend time taking care of our facial skin and hair, neglecting our scalps…until a problem arises. Whether it’s an itchy or flaky scalp, you can help bring it back into balance.

If you find the flakes have a yellowish tinge, it could be seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff. This is a very common cause of flakes and is often a result of a fungus called malassezia. Excessive sebum can feed the fungus, causing irritation and inflammation as well as tiny white flakes.

Perhaps the issue is scalpal eczema which results in a very sensitive skin which can be itchy and have an accompanying red rash. The dryness of winter can exacerbate this condition and the flakes produced tend to resemble oat bran.

Psorasis is auto-immune disorder, typically inherited, that can impact skin all over the body, including the scalp. The immune system goes into over-drive, producing more skin cells than can be sloughed away naturally, causing a build up of scaly patches.

Stress, diet, chemical or food sensitivities, allergies, and weather can play a role in the need to brush your shoulders off.

Chemical sensitivities are hard to tie down (ever notice how many ingredients are in a typical shampoo?!) but keep an eye on products such as hair dye, styling products and other scalpal hygiene products.

Food sensitivities can play a role in skin’s irritation and breakouts. Talk with a qualified registered dietitian-nutritionist to help figure out what foods are helping versus hurting the situation. Omega-3s can help replenish moisture in an irritated or dry scalp. Research shows that high-glycemic diets and high blood sugar can increase inflammation. Refined, white carbohydrates typically found in sweets, pasta, bread and junk food can spike blood sugar. Probiotics can also help reduce dandruff since they help maintain a balance of yeast in the body. An anti-inflammatory diet including vegetables and fruits, protein providing certain minerals, and avoiding added sugar and processed foods is a good place to start.

Certain shampoos, herbs, and essential oils can help with fighting the fungus and cooling the scalp.

Stress can change your immune system and create inflammation in the body. Proper sleep is great for taming tension and anxiety; calming activities (i.e. reading, yoga, exercise, and meditation) can help.

May your scalp be soothed and shoulders free from flakes.

Recipe: Spicy Cowgirl Salsa

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Hot and spicy foods can kick winter’s coldness to the curb as well as help with weight loss endeavors and provide health benefits. In this Spicy Cowgirl Salsa, you will feel the heat of the jalapeño and enjoy the freshness of the avocado, lime, cilantro and other ingredients. Olé!

For other hot & spicy food demos, check out our WBNS 10tv news segment!

Ingredients

1 red onion, diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 jar or 16oz of salsa (unless you want to double the heat of the jalapeño, stick with mild)
1 tsp cumin
1 slice of lime, juiced
(Optional) Slices of avocado

Instructions

Combine all ingredients into a medium bowl and mix until combined. Feel free to top with slices of avocado and enjoy with some organic blue corn chips. For a tasty meal, consider topping brown rice with the salsa mix.

Sweet Success!

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First of all, let us express our admiration and pride for every one of you who participated in the recent Sugar Detox Challenge. From the early days of listing your reasons for wanting to embark upon this journey -including weight loss, defeating your sweet tooth, better energy, and improving diabetes and hypoglycemia – you’ve worked hard for these results!

“I’ve found an increased variety in my foods, feel less bloated and have better digestion. I haven’t been putting sugar in my coffee and found that the ‘hidden sugars’ were my issue.

I’ve found substitutions that allow me to still enjoy a drink but without all the sugar usually added. I’ve consistently found myself at 25 grams or less of sugar – sometimes as low as 8g or even 3g! At work luncheons I make the best decisions I can around food and the sugar isn’t even tempting to me!

I feel energized, strong, and centered. I have more clarity and am not tempted by the dump truck of sweets coming into the office; it’s not appealing. If I want to splurge, I don’t waste my sugar allotment on crap; I want a quality treat.

For the first time since Sugar Detox Challenge started, my acupressurist was impressed and said I was not so tight, or bounded like before, with less chi blockages.

This challenge has been really impactful – I feel my body is rejecting sugar. My clothes are fitting better – (including a previously too-small flannel pullover!) Keeping track of my sugar has become a bit of a game that keeps me on track.

My significant other participated in the challenge too, and he has a sweet tooth, but he has lost 9-10lbs in 3 weeks!

I’ve really enjoyed our weekly meetings and sharing with the group, question and answers, as well as having our own time to talk about individual issues. This is a lifestyle change I plan to continue.”

Alexis P., Columbus, Ohio

“I did a lot better with eating only one junk food meal. I also learned how much sugar is in a medium hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts. Holy cow!

I swear, every week has some new experience I learn from. Not eating any junk on Wed felt much better. It was an easy change. I can definitely feel the difference in my body – detoxing from sugar.”

Jenna K., New York City

“Previously, I would white-knuckle my attempts to ‘never have sugar again’. I’d start each new year with a goal to completely wipe it out of my diet. And each year, the sweet tooth grew into ‘teeth’ and I felt like my cravings got stronger, until gave in. The Sugar Detox Challenge helped me realize that I live in an environment that makes it hard to avoid sweets, but that I can change my environment. Keeping sugar out of my diet has become a game for me and I’ve noticed that I can look at sweets and see them for what they are…and I don’t want them. I have better energy, lost weight, and feel more alive. This feels like freedom! I’m looking forward to 2017 – this time I know I can succeed in avoiding added sugar!”

-Violet R., Columbus, Ohio

“To be honest, I have beat myself up for waiting so long to contend with sugar. I was recently diagnosed with diabetes and my A1C was at 7.1 at my last check-up. All the years of soda and a generally unhealthy diet caught up with me. I was angry and ready to make a change so this challenge was perfect for me. Adrienne is a great cheerleader and she made the sessions both educational and fun. She educated me on simple substitutions that could cut out sugar but still have my food taste delicious. During a time of year when I would usually indulge more, I found this challenge kept me on track. My morning blood sugar is much better than before and I’m actually looking forward to my next doctor’s visit to see what my levels are and to hopefully reduce my insulin!”

– Neal T., Columbus, Ohio

“Looking back, I feel a bit sick. I didn’t feel like I was doing anything out of the ordinary American diet. I even thought that perhaps I was eating better than my peers. That type of thinking made it easy for me to ‘treat’ myself on a regular basis. So my previous days would start off with coffee, flavored creamer, and then either sugar or artificial sweeteners. The cereals, lunches, dinner entrees, snacks, and even low-calorie desserts I ate were not helping me achieve my goals and I was considering skipping meals to lose weight.

My turning point was adding up the sugar intake for the day. I was shocked. How did my ‘healthy’ choices add up to 87 grams of sugar or more? More than anything, I’m glad I did this because of the awareness I’ve gained in seeing what I was doing to myself on a daily basis. The tele-classes were helpful because I given help on HOW to make easy changes. The results speak for themselves- over the holiday, I was able to go on a date with my husband wearing a cute dress that didn’t fit me last year (or showed too many bulges!). I get compliments on my skin and can tell my face is thinner but also my digestion is way better than before. I’m so glad I took this step!”

-Heather B., North Carolina

Curious about results from previous challenges? Check them out here.

Are you ready to break your addiction to sugar and have more energy and vitality in 2017? Join us on March 12th and watch your life transform!

Your Life’s Work + 10 Years

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Without consciously planning, people often assume roles, professions, and jobs they find acceptable or even just barely tolerable, believing the shape of their lives is due to circumstance.

Our belief is that each one of us has a purpose on this earth. A mission. A way of living and working that encourages the sharing of your intelligence and creativity as well as fitting with your values and allowing you to be yourself, authentically. 

Traditional work often requires more of us than we want to give (which can lead to resentment); our life’s work is driven by our passion, intention, and sense of mission. We give more time and energy than we would in traditional work because we feel, compelled out of love and joy, to do so.

We all weren’t born with knowing our life’s purpose. Some find their purpose earlier than others. If you’re feeling directionless, here are some ideas on how to make a discovery of your mission:

  1. Consider the interests you have now and those you had as a child. Perhaps you liked building cities out of Legos, drawing up architectural plans of your dream house, using imaginary tools to perform ‘surgery’ on your dolls, being a movie director and casting your siblings in a superhero drama, organizing events or games for others to play, teaching others how to do gymnastic moves, doing arts and crafts, reading or drawing, cooking or baking with your parents. Mine your memory for some of your favorite activities or a certain profession you were drawn to – they can be a hint for what you may enjoy doing now.
  2. Conversely, are you harboring an interest in something as of yet unexplored? Perhaps being a travel agent, working to protect the environment, learning how to program computers, or starting a pet massage business is something you’ve been secretly yearning to do.
  3. Take inventory. What are your skills, strengths, beliefs, passions, and values? These can help you refine your search for purpose.
  4. Create space to consider what you feel called to and narrow it down. Ask yourself how you want to work. Do you like the environment of a fast-paced laboratory? Do you like working with your hands? Sit quietly in meditation and set an intention to be open to clues or signs of what you’re meant to do.

On your journey to uncovering your life’s mission, you may realize your true potential and live a purposeful and authentic life. Also, because life is rarely linear, you may find that your life’s work will change at various points in your life. Perhaps after years of loving numbers-crunching as an accountant you now feel you want to help others relax as a yoga teacher. Maybe you felt strongly about being a present parent and devoted almost two decades of your life to that pursuit only to find that you’re now free to discover your next step or new passion.

How you know you’ve discovered your life’s work: you are energized and eager to face each day. You feel good about the work you do as well as who you are.

Here at One Bite Wellness, from director to associate to intern, we are here because it is our life’s mission to improve the lives of others – body, mind, and spirit. We empower and support each client to take care of their health and their lives, including finding their life’s passion.

For over 10 years since we’ve found our mission and calling, we feel supremely thankful to be able to use all of our gifts to serve you. Thank you for supporting our life’s work.