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  • Jennifer Nyce
    Jennifer Nyce

    The Ultimate Challenge

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Spring 2013 Issue

    The Ultimate Challenge - Image: CC--Donnie Ray Jones
    Caption: Image: CC--Donnie Ray Jones

    Celiac.com 06/08/2017 - After thirty three years of a self indulgent relationship with food, my life hit rock bottom and took an unexpected turn, for what momentarily seems to be the worst. As spontaneous and adventurous as I am, I decided to challenge myself and make my already horrid situation, even worse. Or, as you will come to see, surprisingly better.

    To start, when I say self indulgent, I mean I allowed myself to have whatever delicious and comforting food I wanted, whenever I wanted. This was never anywhere close to an eating disorder, but I most certainly had a seductive sweet tooth and I definitely experienced emotional eating. A bowl of ice cream always made a bad day turn good, despite my lactose intolerance issue.



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    When I was forced into this drastic change in my life and my world was flipped upside-down, it challenged me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. My health was crashing. I couldn't regulate my blood sugar. I was diagnosed with a stress induced hiatal hernia. I had constant and burning indigestion. My emotions were all over the place and my faith in who I was and what I believed in was tested.

    Courage I never knew I had slowly came out of the depths of my soul and spilled over into all the areas of my life. I wanted to press on, conquer, and show how strong I am. I decided to challenge myself even further. I decided for the fun of it, to go refined sugar and gluten-free. I wanted to see if I had it in me to exhibit extreme self control under my extreme circumstances. I ultimately wanted to stretch my faith in God and the power residing within me; that which sustains me. Now to some that may sound silly or easy to eliminate a few ingredients, but to my fellow sweet tooth and carb lovers, you know the kind of uphill battle I was committed to taking on.

    My way of eliminating these things was very simple. I just stopped eating them. I didn't wean myself off of them. To me that would be a tease. I can have a crumb but not the cake? Silly, right? To make matters worse, both sugar and gluten are challenging in themselves to eliminate, as they are in EVERYTHING, but putting them together to eliminate and trying to find something to eat seemed nearly impossible.

    I had to get creative. I already knew all about eating healthy and the gluten-free diet because my six year old has been gluten-free for the past five years. I know what products to avoid. However, going gluten-free after eating gluten filled food for thirty three years was tough, and even though I knew better by raising my daughter gluten-free, I always found excuses for my own eating habits. I do believe taste buds get accustomed to unhealthy food. But I reasoned in my eye opening feat, that if taste buds can get accustomed to unhealthy food, then I guess taste buds can get accustomed to healthy food.

    I have to say that the first and fourth weeks were the most difficult. Week one, I had to keep telling myself no! No one wants to hear the word "no" all day long. Weeks two and three were pretty easy. I was into my routine of making healthy meals, trying new recipes, and baking yummy things without sugar or gluten! I have to say, the cake I made the other day was seriously the best cake I ever ate! Week four was the true test of my willpower. I had rampant cravings. For some reason it seemed like everyone kept forgetting that I was now gluten and sugar free and kept offering me bad things! Smells drove me crazy. I couldn't really be around anyone who was eating things I couldn't. Since then, I have to admit, it's been pretty smooth sailing.

    Despite the difficulty and temptations of week four, I began to notice something amazing. My hair and nails were longer than I can ever remember. For thirty three years I've been trying to grow my hair long and it was always thin and would never grow past my shoulders. Looking in the mirror at this long beautiful hair gave me some kind of warm smile inside and urgency to share my good news. I noticed other changes too. My bloating and stomach aches were gone. This was another chronic condition of mine that has been with me for so long that I actually came to accept it as "normal." Horray! I no longer feel like I'm ten pounds heavier than my scale says! Now mind you, I'm a very tiny and petite girl, and with the realization that gluten must have been stunting my hair and nails growth, I can only imagine what other things might have been stunted? You get the picture.

    Going gluten and refined sugar free was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It changed me in ways I could never have imagined and it opened my eyes to a whole new way of living and optimizing my health. Experiencing firsthand the kind of care and dedication that I give to my daughter and her health makes me feel like a whole new woman!



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    In my opinion, most of us in the U.S. on the Standard American (Roman) Diet (SAD) are raised to be brainwashed, ignorant drug addicts. As a psychiatrist has written, flour (meaning wheat flour) is a drug. Cane sugar is definitely a drug, more addictive than heroine, according to some rodent studies. Doctor/nutritionists have stated that everyone has a sweet tooth. I got a diagnosis of reactive hypoglycemia in 1980, and had to quit sugar, alcohol and starches. It took me 6 months. A year later, I was still symptomatic, and had to start reading labels and eliminating all hidden sugar. For two weeks, I felt like I was dying. When I was diagnosed in 2007 with celiac disease (my education, memories and my nurse mother's notes show that I was perhaps celiac since birth) and casein intolerance, I went totally gluten-free and dairy-free at once, and it was no problem. Kudos to you for going totally gluten and sugar free at once, though.

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  • About Me

    Jennifer Nyce

    Jennifer Nyce is a creative and passionate Christian single mom of one beautiful little girl, age 6. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania and works as behavioral therapist for children with special needs. She has a diploma in health studies, and is certified in Yoga, and Green Living, and is in her third year of a Bachelor's program in Psychology. She enjoys cooking, reading, writing, music, and the outdoors. She loves spending as much time as she can with her daughter and family. She lives a healthy, wholesome, organic, gluten –free lifestyle, and her hope is that she can use her experience to help others.


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  • Related Articles

    Kit Kellison
    Celiac.com 09/08/2016 - I'm going to discuss a topic that I'm sure will be fraught with controversy. However, as someone who has watched the difficulty that so many new patients have in navigating their diets on gluten-free and celiac forums for the past twelve years, I believe it's time to consider a new model for approaching the gluten-free diet.
    A gluten-free diet is essential to the celiac patient, but it disrupts the metabolism in profound ways that, until now, we have ignored because there is absolutely no other option for those of us who can't digest gluten. It is worth noting that there are other situations where we may find ourselves drastically reducing carbohydrates in order to realize health benefits. (Bear with me here, I'm going to tie it all together soon!) Changing the diet to limit or eliminate one's intake of grains and starch is a common response to many of the following situations:
    People who have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy. Diabetics who seek to stabilize blood sugar. People with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) who need to limit all di- and polysaccharides (most starches and sugars) per the SCD or GAPS diets. People on the FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols) diet for fructose, lactose and fructans intolerance. Many celiac patients report benefits of this diet when symptoms don't resolve after treating celiac disease. People starting the Paleo diet or the autoimmune protocol diet (AIP) are instructed to stop eating grains and processed foods. People eating a very low-carb diet (below 40 grams per day) in an effort to shed excess body weight. People with epilepsy and certain other neurological disturbances who benefit from a reduction in carbohydrates in order to promote ketosis (see Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet, or "GAPS diet"). People who are fighting metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. The thing that all these situations have in common is the need to make a significant dietary reduction of grains and starch. While the standard American diet consists of 300-400 or more grams of carbs a day, some diets restrict carb intake to less than 20-40 grams. A significant carb reduction of any kind can cause a huge strain on our well-being by causing a dip in thyroid function.
    Paleo diet authors generally recommend a maximum of 100-150 grams of carbs in order to stabilize blood sugar, a decrease in carbs of at least 50% for most people.
    Even those of us who are merely cutting out gluten because of a celiac diagnosis can have a very difficult time adjusting to the new diet. Unfortunately, little is mentioned about the down side of making such a huge, if necessary, change in eating habits.
    About a third of us feel so lousy after cutting down on our carbohydrate intake that we seriously consider turning our backs on our new diets. The strain of staying on track can be overwhelming.
    Twelve years ago, as a newly-diagnosed celiac patient, I experienced sleep disturbances, anxiety so high I couldn't relax, hyper-vigilance, an absolutely crushing brain-fog as well as general malaise. I had been sent out into the world beyond my doctor's office with no more than a celiac disease diagnosis and the advice that I now need to stop eating gluten.
    And stop I did.
    I had been ill for so long prior to my diagnosis that I would have given up all food if I thought it would make me feel better. I was so distrustful of every processed food I had grown accustomed to that for the first two weeks I ate little more than broiled chicken breasts, steamed broccoli and rice. The whole process of shopping, cooking and eating sometimes became psychologically overwhelming. I was afraid I'd starve to death if I left the house for more than half an hour so I always kept a gluten-free protein bar in my purse to prevent all-out panic.
    There may be more than one process at work here.
    Why do I feel so awful?
    A couple of small studies point to a problem low-carbers have in maintaining production and uptake of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (often referred to as T3). T3 is the most active form of thyroid hormone. Every cell in the body needs it for oxygen uptake. A sudden reduction in carbohydrate intake can lead to a dip in T3 availability that can lead to cognitive problems, depression, anxiety, fatigue, weight gain, constipation, heart palpitations and a laundry list of other hypothyroidism related symptoms and complications.
    Although this can happen to anyone reducing carbohydrates, most people will eventually bounce back if they are getting over 100 grams of carbs a day. However, for those very-low carbers who stay under 20 daily grams, they can expect to deal with a sluggish thyroid until their carb intake increases to maintenance levels.
    Gluten Withdrawal is Real
    It also appears that some of us are quite sensitive to the opioids in the grains we most commonly eat. Every grain has it's own opioid, but they differ from each other. Even cutting out wheat or gluten while maintaining a high carb intake can give us symptoms that mirror drug withdrawal, so obviously, it's not just about carb reduction.
    Although the amount of opioids in wheat is quite small, we all have opioid receptors in our brains that have the potential to become quite dependent on our little wheat-driven drug rush. I think anyone who has quelled their hunger or anxiety with a piece of bread and butter and felt that "ahhhhhh" response can relate. The enormous (if temporary) sense of satisfaction that comes with sitting down to a bowl of pasta may be due to the presence of the opioids in the semolina wheat grains that were used to make that delicious fettucine alfredo.
    "Gluten withdrawal," has a real biochemical basis; you wouldn't expect someone to kick Ativan or Vicodin in one fell swoop. In fact, it's downright dangerous. Perhaps we shouldn't be asking it of people who must give up their usual grains.
    People who kick an addictive drug have been helped mightily by the use of a drug called "low-dose naltrexone (LDN). It has been suggested that, by the same mechanism, it can prevent some of the problems created by the discontinuation of grains. I, for one, would love to see some research on this.
    Most Americans are familiar with the concept of filling up on a Chinese buffet only to feel hungry ten minutes later. Most Asian recipes use rice as a base of the main dish, so we are getting plenty of carbs. But why do we still feel hungry soon afterward even though our belts are still too tight?
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    Although it couldn't come close, I tried to pay some of our debt to them by inviting the family of seven over to a big dinner of spaghetti, meatballs (complete with homemade marinara), fresh grated Parmesan and garlic bread and a big green salad (obviously, this was a time previous to my celiac diagnosis.) Ahn and her family all seemed to enjoy the meal, but she confessed to me afterward that she needed to go home for a bowl of rice in order to feel full. This after she had eaten two big plates of spaghetti!
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    The Role of Ketones
    Another possible mechanism at work might be the unusual difficulty that some people have in converting fatty acids into ketones. When human beings don't have enough sugar or starch available from our diet to convert into glucose, we really feel it in fatigue and mental sluggishness. We may become uncommonly irritable as well. Luckily, our bodies have the marvelous adaptive ability to convert fatty acids to ketone bodies. These ketone bodies may be converted from either dietary fatty acids or from our own fat stores. Ketones are the only known source outside of glucose that lend energy to our brains and bodies.
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    Is it possible that there is one answer to all of these problems? Could a much more gradual transition from high carb to low carb or gluten-free put less strain on body systems?
    I propose that we examine the possibility that cold turkey isn't the best way to cut back on either gluten or carbs. What evidence do we have that the best way is the hard way?
    Yes, for some of us, wheat or gluten is absolute poison and we want to be rid of it as soon as possible. But will taking a week or two to wean off of it really have any lasting negative impact on our overall health? For those who don't have severe digestive symptoms at the point of a celiac or NCGS diagnosis, a strategy of careful withdrawal should be considered.
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    Those who don't experience discomfort may still benefit by following this guideline:
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    Spread those slices out for as long as you can stand it, but don't let yourself suffer for long.
    Pretty soon, one slice a day will keep all those annoying withdrawal symptoms completely at bay. After that point, you only need to eat a half a slice at a time. You may soon go a day or two without noticing any problems; at that point, you're home free, and you need never eat it again. Throw the rest out or leave it out for your family, if you have an gluten-eaters in the household.
    Clearly, this whole subject needs a lot more research. I'd like to see more study on exactly what happens to thyroid levels during carb restriction. I'd like to know what it does to our blood sugar, our livers and our brains when we make huge lifestyle changes such as these. I'd like to know how we vary in our ability to produce ketones and how many of us function optimally on ketones in the absence of glucose. We should also know what happens to our microbiome, the bacterial colony that lives mainly in our guts when we change our diets. I think we are just now scratching the surface in learning how food interacts with our bodies.
    Yes, there is a lot to learn and some are making strides in discovering how food helps and hurts our health. In the meantime, we are wise to tread carefully, even when making a necessary lifestyle upgrade.
    References:
    Decline in T3 after low carb diet: Ullrich IH, Peters PJ, Albrink MJ. Journal of the American College of Nutrition [1985, 4(4):451-459] http://dev.europepmc.org/abstract/MED/3900181/ GAPS diet: http://www.gapsdiet.com/ FODMAPS diet: http://stanfordhospital.org/digestivehealth/nutrition/DH-Low-FODMAP-Diet-Handout.pdf Atkins diet: http://www.atkins.com/Home.aspx Paleo diet: http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/


    Lisa Cantkier
    Celiac.com 10/04/2016 - I have been following a gluten-free diet since being medically diagnosed with celiac disease as a toddler. My food choices have certainly evolved over the years. Many life experiences have influenced this evolution, including the loss of loved ones to cancer, experiencing my own health struggles resulting from celiac disease, and many surprising things I have learned from studying holistic nutrition.
    If I had to put everything I have learned over the years into one sentence, it would be, "Every bite matters." Those are words I live by now. After all, an overwhelming number of health experts agree that over 90% of our immune system exists within our gastrointestinal tract, so what we eat means more than ever. As a celiac with specific nutritional requirements, and being someone at risk of various deficiencies, this mantra can literally make or break me. I am always searching for new ways to maximize the potential of my food choices.
    Here are some of my favourite ways to turn everyday eating into meals that pack a greater nutritional punch.
    Avoid pre-packaged foods, particularly with long ingredient lists. Virtually all packaged foods contain preservatives, among other unhealthy things we can live without. The words "packaged" and "preservative" go hand in hand. That means you are getting unwanted ingredients in your food. Also, avoid products that contain ingredient names that look unfamiliar to you. Unfamiliar ingredients usually equate with unhealthy additives, preservatives and chemicals. Try to avoid processed/refined foods, and foods that are high in sugar and high on the glycemic index. Instead, select local, in season, whole foods. Choose organic when possible. When you choose foods that are organic, you are not only helping the eco-system in many ways, you are also helping your gut in more ways than you'd think. Organic foods are clean and free from harmful chemicals, pesticides, genetically modified processes, antibiotics and anything that is unnatural—from start to finished product. I find organic foods taste significantly better as well. Wipe out white rice, refined flours and crusts. For example, make your own gluten-free flours by grinding mineral-rich seeds such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Bake homemade pizza and lasagna with a layered eggplant base (you'll need to cook the eggplant first). Replace nutrient poor, refined white rice with nutrient-dense quinoa. Make a wrap with seaweed or collard greens. Kick sugar to the curb. Use natural sweeteners lower on the glycemic index, such as stevia or organic coconut palm sugar to replace refined table sugar that has been stripped of its minerals and nutritional value. Although maple syrup and honey are not considered low glycemic, they certainly have more minerals and health benefits than white, refined table sugar. Organic honey is preferable. Pick quality protein and heart healthy omega 3 fats. Adding lean, quality protein and heart healthy omega 3 rich fats to your meals and snacks will help you absorb nutrients better, and help balance your blood sugar levels, which is good for you in the short-term and long-term. Reach for raw. Increase your intake of raw, nutrient-rich vegetables (especially cruciferous and sea vegetable varieties) and fruit in a wide range of colours to receive the benefits of an assortment of vitamins. Grab more green, such as kale, broccoli and spinach. Try juicing to conveniently get more veggies into your diet. Make your meals super. Add super-foods rich in antioxidants such as chia seeds, hemp hearts, flax seeds, gogi berries and other kinds of berries to cereals, stews, soups and sauces. A variety of colors will ensure you are consuming a variety of vitamins. Be mindful of your B's. Iron and B-vitamin deficiencies are extremely common among celiacs, even those who follow a gluten-free diet. Try to eat foods high in these nutrients. Foods high in B-vitamins include leafy greens, beans, eggs, fish, nuts and poultry. Foods high in iron include red meat, poultry, squash, pumpkin seeds, beans and various nuts. Savour the Season. Now that Spring is here, there is no reason why you can't visit your local farmer's market or farm for fresh, in season produce. Imagine the goodness lost when produce is packaged, shipped, sitting on store shelves and even cooked. Those steps, not to mention the time involved strip plant based foods of their nutritional value, and they leave a significant footprint on the environment. Consider creating your own veggie garden so you can take advantage of food that goes from soil to plate. Now that I've got you thinking differently, instead of reaching for what's inside the box, think outside the box and experiment with healthy whole foods. You might not love everything you introduce to your palate, however, you won't know until you try. One thing is certain—your gut will thank you.


    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
    Celiac.com 02/14/2017 - In 1999, Loren Cordain, the renowned professor of Exercise Physiology at Colorado State University who has since popularized the Paleodiet, published an extensive exploration of why our cultivation and consumption of cereal grains has been disastrous for the human race, resulting in many autoimmune, nutrient deficiency, and other modern diseases (1). Previously, in 1987, the famous physiologist, Jared Diamond characterized humanity's shift to agriculture as "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race" (2). A year later, medical doctor and professor of Anthropology, S. Boyd Eaton and colleagues suggested a mismatch between the human genome and our current agricultural diet/lifestyle (3). And more than a decade prior to that, gastroenterologist, Walter L. Voegtlin, M.D., self published a book apparently asserting, based on his treatments and observations of patients, that dietary avoidance of cereal grains and sugars, offset by increased consumption of meats and animal fats, is an effective treatment regimen for a variety of intestinal ailments including Crohn's disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and indigestion (4). Each of these perspectives was informed by a different but solidly scientific approach to human health. The academic field of each of these authors varied from Exercise Physiology to Physiology, to Gastroenterology, to Anthropology. Yet each of these specialist researchers arrived at the very similar conclusion that cereal grains are not healthful foods for humans. Their strident declarations to that effect leave little room for doubt. Dr. Cordain acknowledges that the roots of some of his thinking lie with Dr. Eaton and his colleagues. Nonetheless, there is a convergence here, of ideas and insights drawn from separate bodies of data and investigative approaches. While there is some overlap between these scientific disciplines, they all lead to a clear indictment of cereal grains as little more than a starvation food for humans. These scientists point to myriad signs of illness that arise more commonly when populations make the transition to eating diets dominated by grains, especially when the grains are refined and when they are combined with sugar.
    One critic of this paradigm is the evolutionary biologist, Dr. Marlene Zuk of the University of California at Riverside. According to Alison George at New Scientist, Zuk asserts that the 10,000 years that humans have been cultivating and consuming cereal grains is an adequate time period for humans to evolve an adaptation to these foods (5). But surely this is a Eurocentric view. Simply because some Europeans have been cultivating and consuming cereal grains for ten or more thousands of years does not mean that the entire world's population, or even all Europeans, would or could have adapted to consuming these foods.
    Let's look back to see what we currently know about our human roots and how those early humans spread all over the world. A group thought to number about 200 humans left Africa sometime between 85,000 and 70,000 years ago, during a glacial maximum that lowered worldwide sea levels by about 300 feet below current levels. The enormous glaciers of the time so depleted the oceanic barriers we see today, that these bodies of water were made navigable even with very primitive flotation devices.
    The progeny of this relatively small group of early modern people multiplied and went on to parent almost all of today's non-African people of the world with some 1% to 4% of today's human, non-African genes having been derived from the Neanderthal branch of the hominid tree (6). This predominantly early modern human group's progeny would quickly find its way to Australia, the South Pacific, across Asia, to China, east to the Americas and west across India, finally arriving in Europe, where they would supplant the long-time Neanderthal residents who had survived some of Europe's harsh and inhospitable glaciations but apparently could not survive having our forebears as neighbors.
    While specific paths and dates for exiting Africa, and worldwide patterns and timing of human distribution remain controversial, most experts now accept that indigenous Australians had arrived there at least 60,000 years ago (6). A similarly recent finding places people in the Americas by at least 55,000 years ago, long prior to the date at which the Bering Land Bridge was thought to be available for human movement from Siberia into the Americas (8). This newer, admittedly controversial date raises the likely possibility that people arrived in the Americas, from Asia, by boats or rafts on which they followed the shoreline east to what is now Alaska, then south of the glaciated wastelands of much of what is now Canada. (Or perhaps they arrived by some other means that we have not yet imagined.) But only a small portion of these early Americans would eat wheat, rye, oats, or barley before the last 200 years or so, especially those living on the Great American Plains, or in the frigid north, the dense jungles or places that were otherwise isolated from the encroaching wave of "immigrants" from Europe and beyond. And none of those aboriginal peoples of the Americas were eating these grains prior to 1492. The epidemics of autoimmunity and obesity that may be seen among indigenous Americans are clear reflections of their recent shift to the gastronomic wonders of foods derived from these European grains.
    Further, even among Europeans, grain cultivation and consumption had not uniformly spread across most of Europe until, at most, less than half of the 10,000 years that Zuk says would be sufficient for human adaptation. In Britain, for instance, grain farming was only getting under way about 4,000 years ago, and availability of grains varied according to local geographies and economies. Also, in parts of Scandanavia, wheat bread was a rare treat until after World War II. Some Europeans are thought to have been cultivating grains for even longer than the 10,000 years ago suggested by Cordain, but the evidence is contradictory and accompanied by a range of expert opinions. Further, the health consequences of this nutritional path are consistently seen in the skeletal remains of those early farmers, many of which can now be seen reflected among indigenous peoples of the Americas, as they assimilate our grain and sugar dominated diet. Adaptation to eating grains is not a gentle, joyful process. Early farmers may have produced many more children than their hunting and gathering neighbors, but their lives were shorter, their bodies were less robust, with substantial reductions in stature, and they experienced widespread infectious diseases and ailments driven by nutritional deficiencies.
    By the time grains became a cash crop for many European farmers, cereals were disproportionately consumed by affluent urbanites. Those who were large consumers of cereal grains did not include all Europeans, even where yields were prodigious. In more remote, northerly, or mountainous areas, cereal grains, or foods made from them, were likely a rare treat rather than a daily staple.
    Jared Diamond points out, that in addition to "..... malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions." He goes on to argue that only with farming and the storage and accumulation of food can Kings "and other social parasites grow fat on food seized from others". He also presents evidence that farming led to inequality between men and women. Conversely, contemporary hunter-gatherers have repeatedly been shown to be quite egalitarian, both regarding gender and political leadership (9).
    Roger Lewin is another critic of the health impact of European grain cultivation on humans. He points out that even in the very heart of the Fertile Crescent, where agriculture got its start, there was not a uniform adoption of farming. One agricultural center at Abu Hureyra, experienced two cycles of abandonment, one at 8,100 B.C.E., lasting about 500 years, and another at 5,000 B.C.E. These periods when agriculture at this locale was abandoned are "thought to be related to climatic change that became less and less conducive to agriculture" (10).
    Lewin also harkens to Mark Nathan Cohen's collation of "physical anthropological data that appear to show increasingly poor nutritional status coincident with the beginnings of agriculture.... " (10) suggesting, again, that grains were a starvation food.
    Eaton et al also approach grain cultivation from an anthropological perspective, suggesting that increased dietary protein and fats from animal/meat sources likely gave rise to increased stature of earlier humans, along with providing the necessary fatty acids for building larger brains, and allowing smaller gut sizes over the past 2.5 million years. It seems reasonable to assume that if it took our pre-historic ancestors that long to adapt to eating meats and animal fats, the very irregular adaptation period of between less than one hundred years and about 10,000 years that various world populations have been cultivating and consuming wheat, rye, barley and oats would be insufficient to allow full adaptation to eating these immune sensitizing cereal grains.
    Dr. Zuk's perspective might be tempered a bit if she considers that Europeans and their descendants do not comprise the entirety of the world's populations. There are several Asian populations that are not insignificant when compared with European populations and their progeny, including the residents of China, India, Pakistan, and South-East Asia. Even among those of us who appear quite European, there may be a mixture of genes derived from peoples of any of the other five populated continents. The approximately 10,000 year maximum period since humans began to cultivate cereal grains would have little adaptive impact on populations that have only been exposed to these grains for a period of somewhere between four or five centuries and seven or eight decades, as is the case among the indigenous people of the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Asia (6).
    Even if all humans had been cultivating and consuming cereal grains for the 10,000 years since this practice was first begun in the Middle East, the high frequency of intestinal, autoimmune, and other diseases that can be mitigated by a gluten free diet, even among descendants of Europeans, leaves little room to doubt that Dr. Zuk's projected adaptation simply has not occurred. The current prevalence of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity identifies, at a bare minimum, between 7% and 12% of the American population that has not adapted to cereal grain consumption. While a few research projects suggest that molecular mimicry and the opioids from cereal grains contribute to autoimmunity, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardio-vascular disease, current research does not provide any clear sense of how many cases or to what degree these health conditions are driven by gluten consumption. We know that foods derived from cereal grains are often laced with refined sugar, but the insulin stimulating properties of gluten alone are such that their role in these conditions cannot, reasonably, be denied. I feel vindicated by these many experts who decry the folly in humanity's embrace of the European grains. I wonder how long it will take for this information to filter into, and be acknowledged by, those who claim that science has led them to advocate cereal grain consumption for everyone without celiac disease and, more recently, non celiac gluten sensitivity?
    Sources:
    Cordain, Loren. Simopoulos AP (ed): Evolutionary Aspects of Nutrition and Health. Diet, Exercise, Genetics and Chronic Disease. World Rev Nutr Diet. Basel, Karger, 1999, vol 84, pp 19–73 http://thepaleodiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Cerealgrainhumanitydoublesword.pdf Jared Diamond, "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race," Discover Magazine, May 1987, pp. 64-66. http://www.ditext.com/diamond/mistake.html Eaton SB, Konner M, Shostak M. Stone agers in the fast lane: chronic degenerative diseases in evolutionary perspective. Am J Med. 1988 Apr;84(4):739-49. Voegtlin, Walter L. (1975). The stone age diet: Based on in-depth studies of human ecology and the diet of man. Vantage Press. ISBN 0-533-01314-3 George, A. " The Paleo Diet Is a Paleo Fantasy" New Scientist. April 7, 2013. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/new_scientist/2013/04/marlene_zuk_s_paleofantasy_book_diets_and_exercise_based_on_ancient_humans.single.html Oppenheimer, Stephen. The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa. Basic Books, NY, NY. 2004 Fagan, Brian. Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans. Bloomsbury Press, New York. 2011 http://www.utep.edu/leb/Pleistnm/sites/pendejocave.htm Brody, Hugh. The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers and the Shaping of the World. Douglas 7 McIntyre Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 2000 Lewin, Roger. A Revolution of Ideas in Agricultural Origins. Science. vol 240, May 20, 1988


    Lisa Cantkier
    Celiac.com 03/08/2017 - With summer coming soon, many parents want their child to experience summer camp. If your child has gluten intolerance (and/or other special dietary needs) the summer camp anticipation and experience itself can be anxiety provoking for you, and for your child. As a parent, it is normal to have concerns about sending your child to camp, of course, particularly when the camp is providing meals. Here are some simple tips to help you advocate for your gluten intolerant child, and keep him/her safe at camp this summer. Not only should parents be their child's advocate - parents also need to teach their child how to be a well educated self advocate. Many of these tips are also applicable to school settings, birthday parties and other social gatherings.
    Prior to each camp session, schedule a meeting with your child's supervising camp staff to discuss your child's dietary needs. Be very clear about what your child can and can't tolerate, as well as the short-term and long-term consequences of consumption of those foods. Bring copies of helpful facts and information, and even myths to educate the staff. You can also bring helpful books and/or videos to share. Any notes from your child's health professionals may be helpful as well. Let the staff know you mean business and you take your child's needs very seriously. Your child should never be turned away from a camp due to their dietary needs. That would be a conflict of the Human Rights Code!
    Request that your child's camp staff post an educational fact sheet in the camp office, staffroom, and main rooms in the camp building about his/her dietary needs and condition (e.g., celiac disease), as well as a list of foods that your child must avoid.
    Get a medical alert bracelet for your child, and list your child's condition(s) (e.g.,. celiac disease), as well as your child's dietary needs clearly (e.g., gluten intolerant). Allerbling.com is a great resource and they offer fun colors and patterns.
    Ask the camp staff if you can come into the camp one day and have a discussion with the campers about your child's condition/food intolerance. You can even find out if you can bring in props, such as products your child is and is not allowed. You might want to bring in a short video about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
    Find out if there will be birthdays being celebrated at camp, and then contact the parents of the birthday child the week before, and again the day before the birthday party to inform and remind them about your child's food intolerance. You could also offer to bring treats that your child is allowed.
    Send some "back up" snacks and treats for your child for camp staff to store, even if it's a package of cookies, or a cupcake – just in case there are celebrations or times when treats are given out that your child cannot have.
    Teach your child about his/her food intolerance, and teach your child to share the information with others. It is a good idea for your child to learn how to self-advocate at a young age. If your child is very young, you can teach through the use of puppets. Research shows that young children learn very well through the use of puppets.
    Many non-profit associations offer camps, support groups and educational programs for children. Gather information from trusted organizations such as the Canadian Celiac Association or the Celiac Sprue Association.
    Be positive – learn to look on the bright side, and teach your child to do so as well. There are many advantages to living gluten-free. Keeping positive and demonstrating strength will make your child stronger and better able to cope. Remind your child regularly that their differences are what make them special!


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/01/2017 - Calgary University's Faculty of Arts and Markin Undergraduate Student Research program is designed to give recipients a leg up on research projects that can help advance their academic goals.
    For one such recipient, Karen Tang, those goals include helping individuals "to effectively self-manage celiac disease and follow a strict gluten-free diet, by teaching people evidence-based strategies." For Tang, the opportunity allows her to combine her interests of psychology and self-compassion with her desire to help chronic disease populations.
    For those coping with celiac disease, strategies such as self-compassion can be an effective tool for managing their well-being.
    Tang has been heavily involved in the pilot study for the Promotion of Optimal Well-Being, Education and Regulation for Celiac Disease (POWER-C). The study is the first program specifically designed to teach individuals evidence-based strategies for coping with celiac disease and to help them effectively manage their illness.
    Tang has spent the fall and winter committed to helping individuals with celiac disease effectively manage their illness, to enhance their health and their quality of life. For many, a strict lifestyle change comes with its own set of problems and challenges. Research indicates that approximately less than 42 per cent of individuals with celiac disease adhere strictly to a gluten-free diet.
    Tang says, "The purpose of this research is to help individuals to effectively self-manage celiac disease and follow a strict gluten-free diet, by teaching people evidence-based strategies."
    Ms. Tang presented an update on her research at a mini-symposium on April 7, 2017.
    Read More at Calgary University's UToday


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