Celiac and Me How can I help end the gluten epidemic? As a food activist, I and my colleagues know we can help change the health of the world through education, example, and organizations such as Slow Food (I was a leader of 3 conviviums).

This was the question I asked myself in 2002, as soon as I learned I was a Celiac and what that signified. Because of a breast cancer mastectomy in 1995, I had undergone chemotherapy and radiation, plus a slew of powerful antibiotics when I contracted a life threatening staphylococcus infection after an attempt at breast replacement. I vowed I would delve deep into my inner self and find out why I contracted cancer. I wanted to upgrade my diet further, even though I had eaten mainly the Mediterranean Diet for more than 20 years, when I lived in Tuscany. This nutritional lifestyle is based on vegetables and legumes, and nutritionists and dieticians identify it as one of the world’s healthiest nutritional regimes.


When I moved to LA in 2004, my Hungarian MD, Dr. Ilona Abraham, diagnosed me as gluten intolerant. She recognized the symptoms, as she is Celiac herself, and said it is very common with people with Eastern European roots. Dr Ilona suggested I omit all wheat from my diet. Then, my homeopath, Dr. Gail Tune McDonald, diagnosed me with Sjorgans Disease, which is a similar immune system disease. By 2005, I was a food coach and cooking school director for Whole Foods Market—the first full time food coach at the time in the Woodland Hills, CA store—a position I developed thanks to my customers, who would ask me for advice about what to eat when their doctor told them to eliminate wheat from their diet. I began to research wheat allergy, (had born with an allergy to wheat), which led to the discovery of my own gluten intolerance.  Gluten sensitivity is not an allergy. It is a lifelong disease of the immune system, which can lead to dire consequences such as cancer, arthritis, and neurological chemical imbalances such as autism and ADHD. Over the last 200 years of our modern age, active genetic selection, and genetic modification, has changed the aspect of the original wheat from few grains and little gluten, to huge wheat production with added gluten (50% of the protein content), well adapted to cultivation and extrinsic production.Humans today no longer eat the original wheat grain, and are still too young to digest the wheat we can buy in today’s markets and bakeries, which are additive “enhanced”. However, we are fortunate to have a choice of a frozen, gluten-free breads at many specialty supermarkets and health stores.


As an avid label reader, I haunt the shelves of normal fare and gluten-free with the same approach. There are too many products that contain ingredients that are toxic for me to take any chances. Every time I do, I have a mood swing or tummy ache. I like Kinnikinnick, Glutino, and Seeds for Life seed breads, English muffins, and hamburger buns, as they don’t contain yeast, which sometimes provokes candida. When I toast theses gluten-free breads, I find them very tasty substitutes for wheat. I also recommend Tinkyada and Pastariso gluten-free rice pastas. Quinoa pastas are good too. Be sure not to overcook the pasta—al dente us best.I also work with a naturopath who reminds me that my allergies can dissipate when I don’t tell my subconscious that I “own” the allergy, as when I used to say, “I am a Celiac”. Now, a few times a day, every day, I tell myself I am on the way to perfect health. On the way to perfect health, I remind myself to be very grateful I have found this new way of eating. I feel better, have fewer cravings for sugar, and am able to educate people daily about this silent epidemic through my lectures and consultations. 



9/6/2012 10:17:55 pm

Thanks for information


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