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by Erin Romero, wife of MLB pitcher J.C. Romero, and Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach
“Gluten-free” has become another common marketing trend lately chosen to deceive the ever growing public eye on health. The problem is, people are jumping on the bandwagon fast, without educating themselves first. It seems like every alternative practitioner, doctor, and health coach are diagnosing every patient as “gluten intolerant”.
What exactly is gluten anyway? Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and many other similar grains like barley and rye. It’s purpose is to keep the elasticity and sticky texture to those certain foods. (think breads and pasta) A lot of people have found that they cannot digest these grains properly and form an immune reaction to them. There are certain individuals that are full-blown allergic, resulting in Celiac Disease. Evidence shows that these individuals with Celiac have severely compromised gut bacteria and are probably dealing with many other issues as well.
What about the bible days? Bread and grains have been around for centuries, why has this ‘fad’ just started in recent years? I thought the same thing to myself. The answer is that it’s not the same quality as it used to be. My first step in educating my clients includes teaching them about traditional food. What did our ancestors eat? What did your great grandmother cook and eat? I always like to say that if it wasn’t here 10,000 years ago, don’t eat it! This is the first step in realizing why these grains are not the same and why they might harm us.
Let’s take a look and see why things have changed so drastically:
- Today’s wheat has been hybridized so much by man that it’s chemical structure is almost completely different. It has many more proteins than the wheat of the biblical days.
- The production, harvesting and nutrient contents have also changed drastically, kind of like our total food supply.
- The way the wheat is now grown (low light) affects it’s nutritional make up. The quality of the soil in which wheat grows is depleted of minerals when it is sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, which include a specific neurotoxin called Malathion that cannot wait to disrupt our hormones!
- Today’s wheat is doused with high gamma and microwave radiation to make it more resistant to disease, called mutation breeding (not genetic modification). This changes the molecular structure of the crop, which is basically the same thing that happens when we microwave our food. FYI, I haven’t used a microwave in about 7 years!
- Today’s wheat is so chemically and humanly altered that it cannot survive on it’s own in the wild without human intervention! I like to relate this to giving a child processed sugar-laden food for a week and then the second week trying to make the child quit ‘cold turkey’. You’ll see the anger and desperation of sugar real quick!
The major concern from all of these points is that when the chemical structure of our food is modified, our bodies no longer recognize it as food, therefore creating some form of rejection in the body. This rejection could come in many forms like bloating, dark circles under the eyes, constant cough or runny nose, rashes, allergies, autoimmune problems, psychological and other mental disorders (over time).
So, you assume that I want you to go gluten-free, right? Kind of. I believe that we should eat real food, always. I believe that modern day wheat has become so industrialized and hybridized in the past fifty years that I am very close to putting it in my category of a ‘non-food’. I want so badly to not hop on that bandwagon of fad diets, but this, my friends, seems like it’s here to stay. There have been estimates floating around that approximately 80 percent of people with Celiac are either unaware they have it or have been misdiagnosed. There are so many people, and especially children, who can FULLY recover from major health issues and disease by cutting out the gluten along with other non-foods. Many see tremendous results by just cutting out gluten.
Ok, let me go out and buy those pretty gluten free products that are so readily available now. No! This is the tricky part. Most people, when switching to gluten free, go out and buy every gluten free labeled box out there to satisfy their cravings (like that desperate child I described above). Please be aware of the remarkable marketing that goes along with gluten free products. Most gluten free products that are in grocery stores substitute the harmful and inflammatory wheat and grains with other harmful ingredients, like genetically modified corn and soy. Approximately 80 percent of all corn and soy is GMO. So, please pay attention to the boxes of gluten-free products, they are still processed foods that will disrupt your digestive system and further weaken your immune system.
I am going to list some common signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance that might help you in determining if you have a severe reaction to consuming gluten.
*digestive issues: bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation
*fatigue after meals, brain fog, headaches and migraines, waking up sluggish
*hormone imbalances: PMS, PCOS, infertility
*inflammation in your body: unexplained joint pain
*anxiety, depression, mood swings, ADD, ADHD and other psychological issues
*acne, mild or severe breakouts
Many health professionals believe that gluten can be the single cause behind many of these problems and diseases. On the other hand, many conventional doctors find it hard to pinpoint the cause of your health problems but there is not one case of gluten intolerance or Celiac disease that can be treated with better medication.
I am a firm believer that food can either harm you or heal you, and I think America is slowly catching on. It is up to us, as consumers, to vote with our money. Support your farmers and organic food industry as much as possible. Read the ingredient labels!! I can’t state this enough. Just because something says “organic” or “gluten free” doesn’t mean it is real food, especially if it comes in a box! Educate yourself, then educate others, and then just eat real food!
Erin Romero is a certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, wife, mother and daughter. She is happily married to J.C. Romero, a professional baseball player of 16 years. They have a beautiful 6 year old daughter named Jazlyn. She enjoys traveling, sports, researching, eating real food, farmer’s market hopping, listening to music, reading the Bible and spending much needed time with family and friends. Erin was a three-sport athlete in high school and received a scholarship for college basketball. She was also an All-American college softball player. She earned a degree in Physical Education, but Erin knew that there was something missing. Her interest in helping others achieve their personal goals led her to developing her own holistic lifestyle business, Total Lifestyle.