Insightful Information About a GLUTEN-FREE Diet

Diet Information

What is gluten?

The following information has been compiled from various web and volume resources. It is by no means comprehensive, but an abridged primer on gluten.
What is gluten?

Gluten is a particular protein found in grains. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with this protein, in sensitive individuals, gluten can wreak havoc.

People with gluten sensitivity often have common manifestations which can include:

  • Digestive issues like diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramps, and gas
  • Central nervous system reactions like muscle tightness-panic attacks, inability to concentrate, irritability, anger, depression, and feeling overwhelmed
  • Chronic rashes like eczema and psoriasis
  • Migraine headaches
  • Arthritis and joint aches

People with other autoimmune diseases often do substantially better on a gluten-free diet (Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Hashimotos, Thyroidism, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, etc)

nsf-logo

Gluten Free

logo02

Organic

logo03

Non-GMO

logo04

Kosher

People with Celiac Disease, however, must stay on a gluten-free diet in order to avoid further damage to their intestinal lining, which forms increasingly more scar tissue as gluten is consumed. This prevents the body from absorbing vital nutrients, but with gluten-free diligence, the intestines can heal.

Although not life-threatening in the short run, none of these manifestations allow those with gluten intolerance to function very well.

Foods can be divided into four basic categories:

  • Proteins like eggs, seeds, nuts, meats, poultry, fish, beans (which are all gluten-free)
  • Fruits and veggies (which are all gluten-free)
  • Oils (no problems here)
  • Carbohydrates (here’s the gluten)

Where do you find it? Gluten can be found in:

  • Wheat
  • Couscous
  • Barley
  • Kamut
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Bulgur wheat
  • Spelt, as well as all foods made with some aspects of these grains

What can you eat instead?
The common carbohydrates that GLUTEN-FREE are made from

  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Oats (often grown in fields next to wheat and can be contaminated so get GF oats)

Some other carbohydrates that are also GLUTEN-FREE are:

  • Buckwheat (seed)
  • Amaranth (seed)
  • Quinoa (seed)
  • Millet (grain)
  • Tapioca (root vegetable)
  • Bean Flours (legume)
  • Sorghum (grain)
  • Teff (grain)

There are endless gluten-free choices that are easy to obtain.
(Written by Arnel McAtee)

ELIMINATION DIET: GLUTEN Elimination Diet for Gluten

Over the years, I have encountered many people who quietly live with chronic maladies such as eczema, psoriasis, irritability, anxiety, depression, migraine headaches, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and digestive disorders, and they wonder if gluten (a protein found primarily in wheat, barley, and rye products,) might the culprit. Some of them have heard about food elimination diets but have no idea how to successfully go on one. Well, here’s my plan for an easy GLUTEN ELIMINATION DIET. Keep in mind that if you are very diligent and have absolutely no gluten for three weeks, you will only have to do this once. If you only cut down on gluten, your body tells you nothing. You must rid your system of ALL gluten to get the proper results. Also, the actual diet is easier than you think if you plan well and focus on all the things you CAN eat, rather than all the foods you CAN’T eat.

(On a side note, I have known people who did a complete colon cleanse, as if they were preparing for a colonoscopy, using a natural product containing magnesium citrate. They used a brand called “Natural Calm” and mixed a cocktail of 3 tablespoons of magnesium citrate in hot water. Apparently, it tastes like unsweetened lemonade, very palatable. Once their colon was clean, no gluten remained in their system and they were able to see if the effects of eliminating gluten were beneficial.)

This experiment will take approximately four weeks, three weeks for your body to expel the built-up gluten and see how your body feels eating gluten-free and one week to reintroduce gluten and see what ailments might return. It will be easier to have the whole family go on the same diet, but if you have someone who is digging their heels in the sand, just tell them to eat whatever they want like OUTSIDE of the house, but in the house, gluten-free foods are their only choices for 3 weeks.

First, a little allergy background: There are four general categories of irritants to the body: food, animal dander, chemical smells (bleach, formaldehyde in clothing, nail polish, etc.), and environmental particles (dust mites, mold spores, pollens, etc.). Most sensitive people are challenged with more than one of these categories but it’s the food irritants that are the easiest to control. Let’s dive right in.

Gluten – A protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut and all of the by-products made from those grains (like malt found in most breakfast cereals, beer, regular soy sauce, and most commercial salad dressings.) Oats are inherently gluten-free but there is so much cross-contamination that oats usually contain enough gluten to cause some serious damage. Generally speaking, stay away from processed foods with ingredients you can't pronounce and anything with regular flour (pasta, pizza, 99% of the bread and breakfast cereal out there,) as well as oats, malt, BHT (found in most chewing gum), potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, dairy products (which include lactose, whey, and casein), and red and yellow food dyes. Most gluten-intolerant people are sensitive to these foods as well.

STEP 1:

Go through your cupboards, refrigerator, freezer, and pantry and bag up all of the foods that contain obvious gluten as well as the more obscure additives like modified food starch, (unless it specifies corn,) durum, and semolina. If you have been eating a traditional American diet, you should have about 70% of your food in bags. Put them somewhere out of eyesight (perhaps the garage or the bottom shelf of the refrigerator or in the back of the freezer) and head to the store to stock up on your next two weeks of acceptable foods.

Although some restaurants are trying to have alternative choices for those who are gluten intolerant, it’s best to eat at home for these two weeks. Bring snacks with you when you leave the house so you won't be hungry and desperate to eat off the diet.

STEP 2:

Here are lists of acceptable foods:

  • OILS – all cold or expeller pressed oils are safe (as opposed to hydrogenated oils.)
  • PROTEINS – all nuts, seeds, meats, poultry, fish, and beans, are safe. Season with simple spices and herbs like salt, garlic, onions, dill, etc. Stay away from ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  • VEGETABLES – all veggies
  • FRUITS – all fruits
  • CARBOHYDRATES (here’s the culprit) – anything with rice, potatoes, corn, tapioca, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, amaranth

Here are some meal and snack suggestions:

Breakfast – gluten-free cereal with almond milk, homemade home fries, fruit, beans, rice, and eggs

Lunch – rice crackers with good peanut butter and jelly, home-cooked meats (chicken turkey, roast beef,) rice pasta with garlic and oil, salad, tuna or salmon with Best Foods Mayo, baked potato with broccoli, homemade potato salad, rice cakes topped with tuna, corn chips. Costco sells deli meats from Columbus that are gluten-free.

Dinner – meats, poultry, fish, or beans, brown rice, rice pasta, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, healthy oil potato chips, homemade coleslaw, homemade potato pancakes thickened with rice flour, vegetables, salad. Many of the Wishbone salad dressings are GF.

Snacks – dry roasted nuts, celery and carrot sticks, cucumbers with salt, potato chips, fruit (melons, blueberries, and peaches), smoothies with almond milk and honey, apple sauce, jicama, avocado with salt as a dip.

STEP 3:

Start the diet. Be creative and always take some carbohydrates with you when you go out the door (like chips or rice crackers.) One very important thing to keep in mind is that food, which you are sensitive to, can act like a drug. There might be withdrawal symptoms. On day three, my six-year-old daughter had a screaming tantrum for almost an hour in front of the refrigerator begging; I mean desperately begging for a piece of bread. I almost gave in but something told me to stand firm. Boy, am I glad I did because from this diet we found out how intolerant she was to the gluten in the bread. It was my homemade organic whole wheat bread sweetened with honey that caused her to have the most violent reaction.

STEP 4:

After 2 weeks, add gluten back into your diet at every meal. Do this for a week unless you have negative reactions. Keep a journal of how you sleep, how you feel emotionally, and what your body does physically (rashes, irritability, tension, gas, sneezing, itchy nose, palette, skin, joint aches, respiratory congestion, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, inflammation, etc.) If there are no negative reactions, you can go back to eating gluten. If you are not sure, keep the food out and test it again later. If you have a reaction, stay away from gluten.

Well, good luck with the diet and stay healthy!
Call me if you have any questions.
Arnel (805) 322-6900

GLUTEN-FREE: rice, corn, any type of potato, quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, tapioca

GLUTEN to stay away from: wheat, durum, semolina, rye, barley, malt, beer, bulgur wheat, spelt, kamut, flour, bleached or unbleached flour, Ezekiel and Manna bread (both are made from sprouted wheat).

Elimination Diet for the top 11 food allergens

FOOD ELIMINATION DIET

Over the years I have encountered many people who quietly live with chronic maladies like rashes, hay fever, and digestive disorders, and they wonder if food might be a contributing factor. Some of them have heard about food elimination diets but have no idea how to successfully go on one. Well, here’s my plan for an easy FOOD ELIMINATION DIET to try. Keep in mind that if you are very diligent, you will only have to do this once. Also, the actual diet is easier than you think. Just plan well and focus on all the things you CAN eat, rather than all the foods you CAN’T eat.

This experiment will take approximately one month, two weeks for your body to expel the irritating foods, and two weeks to slowly add them back in.

It will be easier to have the whole family go on the same diet but if you have someone who is digging their heels in the sand, just tell them to eat whatever they would like OUTSIDE the house but at home, these are their only choices.

First, a little allergy background: There are four general categories of irritants to the body: food, animal dander, chemical smells (bleach, formaldehyde in clothing, nail polish, etc.), and environmental particles (dust mites, mold spores, pollens, etc.). Most sensitive people are challenged with more than one of these categories but it’s the food irritants that are the easiest to control. Let’s dive right in.

The 11 most common food irritants in their purest forms are:

  • dairy products – milk, cottage cheese
  • gluten – wheat, barley, rye, malt (pasta, grape nuts cereal, rye crisps)
  • sugar – sugar cubes
  • eggs – usually it’s the yolks that are more of a problem
  • cocoa – chocolate powder
  • red and yellow food dyes – Jell-O, unsweetened Kool-Aid (sweeten with honey)
  • corn – corn on the cob, popcorn, corn chips
  • citrus – oranges, pineapple, lemons, tomatoes
  • soy – tofu, soy nuts, edamame
  • peanuts – natural peanut butter, peanuts
  • preservatives – BHT (in most chewing gum), sodium benzoate (flavored drinks), potassium sorbate (frozen otter pops)
    (Although there are countless preservatives in our foods, for some reason these three are the most common irritants.)

These are the foods you will be eliminating for 2 weeks!

STEP 1:

Go through your cupboards, refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, and bag up all of the foods that contain these ingredients. If you have been eating a traditional American diet, you should have about 80% of your food in bags. Put them somewhere out of eye sight (perhaps the garage,) and head to the store to stock up your next two weeks of acceptable foods.

STEP 2:

Go food shopping. Here are lists of acceptable foods by category. BE CREATIVE and take your positive attitude to the store with you. Basically, you will be eating simple foods with a few ingredients in a non-processed form.

  • OILS – all cold pressed oils are safe (except corn oil).
  • PROTEINS – all nuts (except peanuts), seeds, meats, poultry, fish, and beans, are safe. Season with salt, garlic, onions, or anything else that’s pure.
  • VEGETABLES – all veggies (except corn)
  • FRUITS – all fruits (except oranges, lemons, pineapple, limes, tomatoes, anything citrus)
  • DRINKS – non-citrus fruit juices, non-caffeinated teas, club soda
  • CARBOHYDRATES – anything with rice, potatoes, tapioca, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, amaranth

Here are some meal and snack suggestions:

Breakfast – rice cereal with almond milk, homemade home fries, fruit, beans and rice

Lunch – rice crackers with almond butter and fruit sweetened jelly, turkey, chicken, roast beef, rice pasta with garlic and oil, salad, tuna or salmon with Best Foods Mayo, baked potato with broccoli, homemade potato salad, rice cakes topped with tuna

Dinner – meats, poultry, fish, or beans, brown rice, rice pasta, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, healthy oil potato chips, homemade cole-slaw, homemade potato pancakes thickened with rice flour

Snacks – dry roasted nuts, celery and carrot sticks, cucumbers with salt, potato chips, fruit (melons, blueberries, and peaches), smoothies with almond milk, non-citrus fruits, and honey, apple sauce, jicama, avocado dip (just mash it with water and salt.)

STEP 3:

Start the diet. One very important thing to keep in mind is that food which you are sensitive to, can act like a drug. There might be withdrawal symptoms. On day three, my six year old daughter had a screaming tantrum for almost an hour in front of the refrigerator begging, I mean desperately begging for a piece of bread. I almost gave in but something told me to stand firm. Boy am I glad I did because from this diet we found out how intolerant she was to gluten products. During our elimination diet, it was my homemade organic whole wheat bread sweetened with honey that brought on a most violent reaction.

STEP 4:

Add one category of food at a time back into your diet every other day. It a small amount in the morning, and if you do not have any violent reactions, eat lots of that food for lunch and dinner. Make sure the food consists of one or two ingredients. For instance, on the day you eat dairy, don’t eat ice cream, which also has sugar and eggs. Drink milk and/or eat cottage cheese instead. Keep a journal of how you sleep, how you feel emotionally, and what your body does physically (rashes, irritability, tension, gas, sneezing, itchy nose, palette, or skin, joint aches, respiratory congestion, stomach cramps, nausea, etc.) If there are no negative reactions, you now can add that food back into your diet

If you are not sure if you reacted, keep the food out and test it again later. If you have a reaction, stay away from that food. Often times, you can handle certain foods in moderation but not in excess. In that case, you could probably rotate a small amount of that questionable food in your diet every 4 days or just eat a small amount once in a while when you are eating out and do ok. That’s what I do with dairy products.

* Side Note: It's a good idea to clean your digestive system out with some type of laxative before starting this elimination diet. Doing this will help you to see results much sooner.

Well, my friends, good luck with the diet and stay healthy!
Arnel McAtee

Cooking Egg Free

Arnel’s Suggestions for replacing eggs:

Eggs do three things in baking… adds moisture, holds things together, helps food rise

With this in mind, choices of what to use as an egg replacement will vary with what you bake

MAKE-a-CAKE MIX has baking soda as a leavening agent. When adding vinegar (an
acid) to baking soda (a base) their reaction makes the cake rise. Flax gel holds the cake
together

FLAX GEL – Mix 1 TBS of flax meal with 3 TBS of hot water. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR - 1 TBS
Add both of these for each egg

ALL PURPOSE FLOUR Mix………BROWNIES, and COOKIES

FLAX GEL – Mix 1 TBS of flax meal with 3 TBS of hot water. Let it stand for 10 minutes

BUCKWHEAT BREAD Mix
¼ cup bean water from a can of any cooked beans (aqua fava)
This works perfectly to moisten and hold the bread together

Other ideas for an egg replacer are:
3 TBS apple sauce + 1 tsp baking powder
4 TBS mashed tofu + 1 tsp baking powder

What is XANTHAN GUM? Corn? Soy?

This is an issue I have researched and can knowledgeably answer. I not only consulted with a lab that makes xanthan gum, but with a UCLA doctoral student in Chemistry who has Crones Disease and a sensitivity to corn.

Here's what I learned….

Xanthan gum is a powdery substance (technically an inactive bacterium) that grows on a starch (either corn or soy) by a fermentation process. Once this powdery substance is scraped off of the starch, it no longer is molecularly corn or soy. With that said, of the people who are sensitive to corn or soy, about one percent reacts negatively to xanthan gum and 99% do not. Current research tells us that those who have negative reactions to xanthan gum are reacting to the fermentation process and not the starch itself.

Xanthin gum works so well to hold gluten-free foods together, (as well as to thicken and prevent the separating of liquid mixtures) that it is a viable choice for those of us who eat gluten-free. I use less than a quarter of an ounce of xanthan gum in my 13 oz mix or worded another way, about 1% of the mix contains xanthan gum. Without it, the bread falls apart after it cools.

If you find that you are sensitive to xanthan gum, by all means, stay away from it. If, however, you are sensitive to corn or soy (like myself and both my daughters), you might want to see if you have an adverse reaction to it because the large majority of us do not have problems with xanthan gum.

Why didn’t my bread rise as high as yours?

The biggest reason why the bread doesn’t rise as high as expected in the 30 to 40-minute time frame is heat. You need to get the water really warm (just before it boils) because by the time you add your oil, vinegar, and cold egg, the liquids are the right temperature to begin to activate the yeast. If the water is too warm (boiling), the heat will kill the yeast. If the water is too cool, it won’t activate the yeast. Once the bread is allowed to double in volume, it is ready to be baked. After the bread has risen, the 350º baking temperature will kill the yeast and bake the bread.

Other Possible Reasons Why the Bread Didn’t Rise Properly:
Expired yeast was used
Bread was not put in a warm place to rise