Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Paleo Woes and Gluten Sensitivity

Hello there again, folks!

So, I figured it was time for another installment of the new Paleo Grrl blog. I hope to gain more readers, but for now, I just do this for the pure joy of it! Anyway, so I'm still fairly new to the Paleo lifestyle. I'm going back and forth between Paleo and AIP (autoimmune Paleo). I'm avoiding nightshades (peppers, eggplant, white potatoes, tomato, etc.) at the moment, but this beautiful Paleo cookbook that a good friend ordered for me (thank you, Amazon!) includes several recipes that incorporate tomatoes. And I love a good tomato, so it's kind of rough. The reason I'm avoiding nightshades (for now) is that they are sometimes known to cause gut and or skin issues for some people. They are also a big no-no for the AIP diet. Nightshades also include some spices like cayenne, paprika, chili powder, etc. I avoid these spices myself, because I have Rosacea, and I think spicy things just exacerbate my skin condition. I don't really miss these foods though anyway, so it's all good.

My beautiful new cookbook! Thanks, Jerry! 

Today was rough. I do retail merchandising for a living (for now), and I was in one of my Target stores in Austin that I service on a monthly basis. As I was leaving the store, I passed by their cafe, where I smelled the delectable smell of pizza! OMG, it was glorious. Then..I snapped out of it, realizing that pizza is technically no longer a part of my life. What a shame, right? I did actually attempt to make a Paleo pesto chicken pizza about a week ago out of coconut flower, some oregano, basil, and a few eggs. It was ok, but just not the same as the pizza I know and love. I covered it with pesto from the grocery store, which (grrr!) incidentally had dairy in it in the form of parmesan cheese bits. FYI, dairy is also off limits for most Paleo peeps, such as myself. So, my lovely mom made some homemade pesto yesterday, sans dairy and I plan to try this pizza recipe again soon. But again, pizza is just not the same without a good tomato sauce and ooey, gooey, cheese! I know there are some non-dairy cheeses out there, but I don't know what's in them, and if they are laden with weird chemicals or soy, I will avoid them at all cost. I used to eat pizza maybe every other week, and oh, I love it so! For now, I'll just have to live vicariously through my sense of smell whenever I smell a fresh, hot pizza.

It's also less than a month away from Paleo (fx) in Austin! I'm so thrilled I could scream! I will be going it alone, unfortunately, but I'm sure I'll meet some nice folks there to chat with about all things Paleo. It'll be my first time going, so I am very excited to see what this event has to offer. I'm very excited to hear Mark Sisson speak (a God in the Paleo world), as well as Dr. Josh Axe and Dr. Chris Kresser, among others. I'm going on Friday, May, 19 and Saturday, May, 20 so that I can catch all the action. They also have cooking demonstrations, a vendor fair, and I get a free gift each day at check-in! Woo hoo for free stuff! I hope to go home with a head full of new knowledge and some sweet samples and freebies.

Now, lets switch gears a little and talk about gluten. Ah, a very controversial topic, indeed. I gave up gluten a few months ago, and I think it was the right move for me. I've lost weight (26 lbs and counting), and I don't have to worry about my blood sugar spiking through the roof every time I eat a piece of bread anymore! I don't get "hangry" anymore and I have a ton of energy throughout the day. I actually avoid gluten-free bread now too, as most of them are filled with other junk that makes them almost just as bad as gluten-containing foods. I've cut down on a lot of processed foods in general, and I think I'm better off because of it. Anyway, back to gluten. One big reason to avoid modern wheat: it's sprayed with a nasty, toxic herbicide, glyphosate (aka Roundup) and it is not that of the wheat our ancestors consumed. Considering the population is only about 1% Celiac, gluten may not seem like such a big deal, and for some people, it's not! But, there's also something called gluten sensitivity, which I tested positive for on an IgA food sensitivity test a few years ago (thousands of people also have unknown gluten sensitivity!).  Back then, I wasn't informed enough to know about the dangers of gluten for some people, so I freely ate several servings of bread and pasta on a daily basis, thinking nothing of it. Gluten also tends to bother people with thyroid issues, especially those with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. This is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the thyroid. I have hypothyroidism and have had my antibodies for Hashimoto's tested, and they came up as "1", which is basically saying that I don't have Hashimoto's. However, it is sometimes possible to test negative or very low for these antibodies, but still have the disease. So, the fact that gluten can be very detrimental to those with thyroid issues in general, I avoid it like the plague now! It's hard though, because it's in almost everything processed that humans consume in the Western world. This includes most breads, pastas, salad dressings (I now make my own dressing!) and other sauces. It's often used as a filler or thickening agent and it's what gives bread dough it's flexible, pliable texture. Here's a very recent compelling article transcript and radio interview with Dr. Chris Kresser and a functional medicine doc named Pam Grover on Revolution Health Radio on why a gluten-free diet may or may not be dangerous.

Now with that being said, my newly-acquired cookbook does include a Paleo bread recipe that uses almond flour and coconut flour, which I eventually hope to try! That, and the coconut flour tortilla recipe. Yum! So see, I don't really feel like I've been missing out by not incorporating gluten into my lifestyle anymore. I've been eating these cassava coconut wraps made by Siete Family Foods once in a while, and they are actually pretty good, but not AIP compliant, because they contain xanthan gum. Gums such as, guar gum, xanthan gum, and locust bean gum are not allowed on the AIP diet. Like I said, I'm teetering on the edge of AIP, but I still eat things with nuts and seeds (like chia) in them sometimes as well as eggs, so I am half Paleo, half AIP I guess you could say lol. PS: Siete makes these killer grain-free lime tortilla chips, which go great with this awesome AIP guacamole recipe that I've already made twice in the past week! Jealous? You should be!

MMM...holy guacamole! 

Anyway, I think that about rounds out this blog post! Also, it's almost 8:30 PM, and I haven't eaten dinner yet. So alas, it is time for me to go! Until next time, au revoir my bloggie friends!

Also, I would love to hear your feedback! Have you gone gluten free or Paleo or even AIP? If so, how do you feel? Has it dramatically changed your life as it has mine? Lemme know!

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