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Discovering How Food Sensitivities Create Mental Health Diagnoses

I cheated on my gluten-free diet (again). Now I can share with my clients in my adoption nutrition class the symptoms of gluten sensitivity from experience, not just research. I chose to be gluten and wheat free based on research upon hearing that all wheat in the United States was genetically modified. I prefer to avoid genetically modified foods. When I read Wheat Belly, it was clear that gluten certainly had other impacts on the brain and body, and some people’s behavioral and mental health diagnoses could be a result a gluten sensitivity of which they were unaware.

After giving up wheat and gluten for several months but not being very cautious, I had been much more strict in the last several weeks. If I do not naturally have a tendency toward gluten sensitivity, I had now created a situation in which my body would be sensitive to this new item in the diet. It is said to determine if you have a sensitivity or allergy to any food you should eliminate it from your diet for at least three weeks and then cautiously introduce it back into your diet to notice any symptoms.

Sunday night, I cheated on the gluten-free diet. My dreams were a bit chaotic, but Monday morning I noticed plenty of energy. After my run, I noticed a bit of a rash on my neck but I assumed it was just heat. I also noticed some very minor asthmatic symptoms which I thought were odd since I had finished the run and usually breath better after running. When I realized the rash had not gone away even after I had cooled down several hours later, I consulted my friend and allergy advisor Heather who was gracious enough not to say “I told you so,” even after my rash had spread on Tuesday.
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The Worst Time To Cheat On Your Diet

Waking to the news about the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, this morning reminded me a lot of September 11, 2001.

My responses were somewhat different, but prior to both tragedies, I had received sad news about death and loss impacting me and those close to me in quick succession. Just this week, two families I know lost babies and other friends experienced other losses. With social media, I was also exposed to the losses of friends of friends. In 2001, I had been to four funerals in just the few months prior to 9/11. Today, the sky is gray and it matches how I think many people are feeling.

When we are stressed, we tend to reach for sugary or fatty foods. It is kind of a natural craving, but it doesn’t mean that it will help you manage your stress. While we may be most tempted to cheat on our diet plans when we are stressed or grieving, it might be the worst time to do it.
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Ditching Dairy? See Our Side-by-Side Comparison of Popular Milk Substitutes

Allergies, sensitivities, and avoidance of animal products are some of the most common reasons that people choose alternatives to the traditional cow’s milk. While raw milk and goat’s milk are growing in popularity, they do not eliminate the majority of problems with allergies, sensitivities, and avoidance of animal products. Courtney Hardy shared, “I started drinking non-cows milk after a series of allergy shots where I found out I was allergic to cottonseed. I am not allergic to dairy nor am I lactose intolerant, but since dairy cows are fed a grain mixed with cottonseed it comes through their milk.”

I stopped drinking cows milk when I was fairly young; I just didn’t enjoy it at all. I still used it for cooking, until I decided to limit the dairy in my diet to see if my allergies and sinus issues could be resolved. Recently, I have been comparing milk substitutes to determine what would work best for my family. Real Food University provides a very handy comparison chart that compiles and compares the nutritional information in an eight ounce serving. An eight ounce serving of whole milk contains 146 calories, 8 grams of fat, 13 grams of sugars, 8 grams of protein, 28% calcium, and 0% iron.

Soy

I did not consider soy milk because soy is a growing allergen. It’s been suspected that more and more people are showing allergies to soy as a result of the increase in genetically modified soy. I have read that soy can inhibit the absorption of protein which may persuade others to avoid soy milk as well. An eight ounce serving of soy milk contains 105 calories, 4 grams of fat, 9 grams of sugars, 30% calcium, and 6% iron.
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We Love Copy-Kids Eat Fruits and Vegetables DVD

Admittedly, I was somewhat skeptical about the video Copy-Kids eat fruits and vegetables, but I was still interested in reviewing it. I was sure that it could not hurt, but I wasn’t sure if it would be as powerful as all of the testimonials I had read.

My nephew is an awesome eater who loves healthy foods. It seems that he would eat as much quinoa as we would give him. However, he is somewhat moody on whether or not he wants fresh blueberries, so I sat down with him with a small bowl and turned on the blueberries segment. At my house, he never watches television, so that might account for his quiet focus. He sat in my lap, and I held the bowl of blueberries in front of us. As he watched the first couple of children, he held a blueberry in his fingers, then he looked back and fed one to me before eating one himself. He silently, but with increasing gusto, ate all of the blueberries and immediately wanted more.


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Side-by-Side Comparison of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Fresh Market

Habit, convenience, and proximity are major factors in shaping where we purchase food and which foods we purchase. The decision to eat a healthier diet can be much easier than deciding which foods to purchase and from where to purchase them. While healthier options are becoming more widely available, where you live may determine what is or is not available. In Indianapolis, the 12th largest city in the United States, we have at least one farmers market year round, as well as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Fresh Market. Proximity plays a major role in where I shop most frequently, but perhaps that is not the most important factor.

Farmers markets may give you the best opportunity for the freshest produce and to speak with farmers about the conditions in which animals and produce are raised, but they are often not available throughout the week and selection of goods can vary. Whether we like it or not, we all visit a grocery at least occasionally, and the majority of Americans buy the majority of their food at a box store. Your farmers market may not offer fresh-made pasta or gluten-free baked goods like mine does, but your Whole Foods is probably a lot like my Whole Foods.
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