The Dis Ease from Gluten

Is gluten intolerance a hoax? As our main food group in the food pyramid consisted of wheat, until just recently, American’s consume a lot of it because its healthy, right? Well, in moderation, and for some people not at all.  When an ingredient such as wheat or gluten is in everything, from breads, to marinara sauce, to fillers for meats, you may have to start thinking about the ingredient as a ticking time bomb for your gut; especially when its combined with high fructose corn syrup (hfcs). Consuming either or both ingredients, gluten and hfcs, causes our body to react with an inflammatory response. Gluten acts like glue and hfcs goes straight to our liver where it cannot be processed, so it is turned into fat.  If tons of foods we eat have one or both ingredients in our breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks our gut flora severely diminishes and we cannot lose weight. In turn, we are left feeling like either what we aren’t doing or doing a lot of on the porcelain throne. icecream

When your body has a ton of inflammation, you bloat, you may have symptoms of IBS, you experience foggy brain, and you may become irritable and/or fatigued.  Since Ciliac dis ease has become more common, the branding of “Gluten Free” has arrived. I am pro labeling; however, I do not agree with products labeled and sold as “GF” that have a ton of sodium and sugars to maintain the convenience eating addiction.  What taking gluten out of your diet really means is getting back in the kitchen and taking ownership of what goes into your body. You will find more recipes full of vegetables and quality meats, and you will definitely be eating less processed foods and refined sugars.  In theory, eating a more whole foods diet will make you feel like a million bucks.  You also will spend less, if not now, than in future medical costs. If this soap box stand is getting too much for you, allow me to shift gears.

My clients weight makes it difficult for her to exercise and so, she has told herself time and time again, I just need to lose some weight before I start exercising.  She has tried everything on the market to help her shed pounds and nothing has really worked. Her inner voice had affirmed that she can’t do anything and ultimately she had given up on herself.  Fortunately, she was open to a complimentary coaching session. After just one 45 minute session, I had noticed a sense of relaxation wash over her, and all I had done was listen to her story.  In our first coaching session, we talked about all the things that were coming up for her.  I observed that she really wanted to lose weight and was desperate for relief from her ailments.  The first challenge we worked on was motivating her to drink more water.  Flushing her body of impurities and really hydrating her body was our top priority.  Gifting her with a 64oz. water bottle, she got to work and was drinking well over her 64oz. goal.  During our follow up session, she remarked that she was feeling hydrated but, was still having issues with her digestion.  I suggested trying a gluten elimination diet for 3 weeks.  I sensed hesitation from her which is understandable.  I myself had a love affair with bread, but I reassured her I would be advocating for her every step of the way.

Today is day ELEVEN of no gluten for my client.  She tells me every day how AMAZING she feels! She loves not having to rush home to use the restroom, she is not experiencing bloating, and she has not had any headaches.  I can tell my client is hooked on feeling good.  Her sports bra fits her more comfortably, and her pants are not as tight.  She feels motivated to drink more water, and has started walking at least 3 days a week for 30 minutes. The greatest moment for me, was when she told me she was getting the hang of cooking and starting to enjoy it. She let me know that the first week of no gluten was really hard for her. She didn’t know what foods did or didn’t have gluten, and she was still trying to maintain her convenient eating habits.  In our second session, I provided her a grocery store tour.  Together we found easy flavorful recipes that she and her family would enjoy.  After we created the food list, we went to her local grocery store.  Starting out at the produce section was crucial and from there we went through each aisles (avoiding some), reading labels, and getting her to realize how affordable eating healthy can be.  My client posted a brilliant photo the other day that exemplifies the transformation that is occurring within her.  Before, she would eat take-out at least 3-4 times a week. Now she wants the good stuff and only the good stuff nourishing her. You see, it just starts with one small shift, and from there you and your body can transform. Louise Hay

Homemade Mac & Cheese: The Tipping Point

What usually happens when I decide to play in the kitchen is nothing short from fun at the beginning. The reason is, I am indecisive and hardly ever remember to bring the grocery list I spent 20 minutes concocting.  Which is why I usually am going back and forth between aisles and end up only getting staple items and I walk out of the store telling myself, I’ll try that cool recipe another time.  Well that “next time” attitude gets me nowhere. So I intend to be present in this very moment and make the shift.  Besides, my palette has been craving things that do not serve my body, which means I really need to switch it up!! So first it’s the grocery store debacle.  What and how many ingredients do I need for a particular recipe, and how many grocery stores do I have to go to.  That being said, I keep new recipes simple.  The best thing I ever did was stock up on key spices and condiments (for more info email me at

I was browsing various FB posts and came across a whimsical BuzzFeed video for Vegan Mac & Cheese, it met my requirements for minimal shopping; I already had carrots so I just needed potatoes, an onion, and pasta. Now I have just recently moved from the glistening South Park area.  I am familiar to only the finer grocery stores.  So having to shop at Food Lion, was the most daunting idea for this self-proclaimed grocery snob. A brand new shiny grocer moved in beside the Harris Teeter in town, and you can cut the rivalry with a butter knife.  But, let me say Publix is far from being my ideal grocer; after watching Food Chains, I really have a hard time spending money at conventional grocer’s in general. Alas, I was not taking a 35 minute drive to go to my familiar cozy health food store of choice.

Walking into Publix an aroma of pumpkin spice overwhelmed me and my eyes saw local produce front and center.  There was a small section of overpriced organic produce, but most of the dirty dozen produce were not available as Organic (for more info email me at  I decided to find that darn video on my phone to make sure there wasn’t any ingredients I forgot about.  Sure enough I played the video numerous times and got the jingle stuck in my head.  After I found the produce needed for the recipe, I decided to look around and see what Publix had to bring to the table.  I think the best part of the shopping experience was how freaking nice the staff was. They could tell I was hunting for various things, so they kept asking with a smile if I needed help.  I am quite stubborn, so of course I said no and went down the same aisle probably 5 times. Side note, I also really dislike conventional grocer’s because to me its like comparing Walmart to Target…do you get it now? I mean why is coconut water and bottled water where the bread is?

So now to getting in the kitchen and make some mac & cheese.  Guess how many times I played this video while cooking? Probably 20 times, only because I am so Type A, and have to make sure I get the recipe exactly right.  When I started to peel the potatoes and had watched the video yet again, I realized I had bought the wrong type of potatoes. Crap, oh well; that’s me liberating myself from a Type A disfunction.  So I boiled everything and threw it in my badass repurposed and much cheaper Vitamix. Then I boiled the noodles and was looking for nutritional yeast to add to the ‘cheesy vortex’; I love my memory of the way cheese tastes and I was not convinced 2 potatoes, 1 carrot, and 1/4 onion could taste cheesy. That’s right I said it, I love the way cheese tastes.  I have been a Vegan for 6 years and I still remember the deliciousness that cheese is.  So I look through the cabinets and ask for some assistance, and the answer I get is “do you see what we have in this house, do you think we would have anything that starts with ‘nutritional’?”  … we will come back to this topic. So without the nutritional yeast, my first batch of Vegan Mac & Cheese was a success, I added fresh basil and I think next time I am going to bake it with Kale. Vegan Mac & Cheese

Ya’ll today was a good freaking day.  I explored a grocery store with it almost empty, the weather was beautiful, and I made something absolutely delicious!  In the end,  its all about finding the simple things that bring you pleasure, and letting go of the nuances that may pop up.  Let me know how this recipe goes for you!  Even better, let’s talk about the movie Food Chains.