What you Should Know About Going Gluten-free and Grain-free

(Please note that this is a blog re-post that I have carried over from my original blog, back in 2013. The information is very important and still pertinent for those of you going gluten-free)

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  Today is groceries day, we ran around to about 4 different stores but something is always missing. It seems buckwheat is considered "exotic" as a food staple in my neck of the woods. Ugh! It's alright though because I will be making a stop in the next few days to grab my missing ingredients at the health food store. So, I have been in an allergy cycle for the last week that has been making me feel physically miserable even though I have been in a positive frame of mind. I had finally calmed my reactions to the final day or two of bloat and itchies and was in a great mood about it. 
Then I went to my Vietnamese joint I adore because I can actually eat gluten-free there, well, maybe not so good for me after all as I reacted to the rice noodles which is the same dish I have been having for a long time but the last few times I have been reacting to it and nothing has changed in the recipe. I am on friendly terms with the staff & Chef so it's easy to ask. Now it seems that I will be making more changes to my already complicated eating regimen. I am reacting to all manner of grains, gluten free grains!!! I had gluten-free rice crackers and my body flipped out, same with my quinoa bread and various other foods. Not cool. It seems this may be an autoimmune response which may be linked to my thyroid. More tests yippee!!!!!! NOT! 
Actually, it deserves a good giggle. It's become de rigueur to have complications somewhere along the line for most gluten-free eaters. I read a whole bunch of info on a great blog at:

This is what she had to say and I think it's going to help save my life and bring balance back to my days.
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Why You're not Losing Weight on a GF Diet.

You Could Be Reacting To The Gluten Free Grains You’re Now Eating
A sensitivity to gluten increases the chances that you’re also sensitive to many of the foods you’ll turn to on a gluten free lifestyle including sorghum, millet, tapioca, amaranth, quinoa, rice, hemp, corn, and potato. These foods do not contain gluten but may still be a problem for you, this is called “gluten cross reactivity”. And if you’ve got a gluten issue, I’ve got some really bad news: coffee and chocolate are among the most common cross reactors. Tragic, I know.

Consider a grain free diet and utilize non-grain based starches such as sweet potato, pumpkin, squash, and legumes (note: autoimmune patents are also at high risk for reacting to the lectins in legumes, sorry! Best for you folks to leave them out as well.) Cyrex Labs offers a gluten cross reactivity panel if you’ve committed to gluten free and wondering which grains, etc might be good alternatives for you. Visit www.cyrexlabs.com and look at Array 4.

You May Have Increased Intestinal Permeability (AKA Leaky Gut)
This means larger proteins are getting through a leaky intestinal barrier causing inflammation and winding up you immune system. A “leaky gut” is due to inflammation in the gut that has caused a bit of swelling in the cells of your intestines, damaging the junctions between the cells allowing larger proteins to get through. Normally only small things pass through such as a single amino acid or a molecule of glucose. When these larger proteins end up in our blood stream where our immune system sees them and attacks, causing inflammation, bloating, puffiness and trouble shedding fat.

This creates inflammation in and of itself, which makes it hard to lose weight, but it also increase the chance that you’re have any of those cross re-activities I just mentioned.

We can get a leaky gut from years of a bad diet, eating foods that we are sensitive to, taking antibiotics or doing anything that disrupts the delicate balance of probiotics in our gut, various medications, having hypothyroidism or being under high stress.

Gluteomorphins May Be At Play
You may be reacting to gluteomorphins, a byproduct of our own digestion of gluten which act in the brain on opiod receptors causing a “high”. When we take that away, you obviously feel worse for a period of time as you go through a withdrawal period. Crazy huh? Our food is literally medicine!

When people have this reaction, they not only feel pretty lousy when they first come off gluten but their cravings for it sky rocket. If they manage to stick to their gluten free guns, they will usually end up eating a lot of other carbs to satisfy the cravings causing weight loss to stall….or worse, causing a weight gain.
Hidden Exposure
Despite your best efforts – you may still be eating gluten. Here’s a lengthy list of at least some of the more common places you’ll see it:

Gluten Containing Grains:
Most processed cereal
Oats (unless specifically labeled gluten free and note: oats are common cross reactors as well)
Bulgar wheat

Short List of Commonly Used Gluten Derivatives:

Alcohol made from grains: beer, whisky, vodka (unless purely potato), Scotch, most liquors and cheaper wines.
Artificial coloring additives
Chewing Gum
Battered Foods (i.e. fish sticks, fried appetizers, occasionally sweet potato or regular fries) and foods fried in same oil as battered foods (French fries).
Biscotti, pastries and any baked good made from flour, not specified as gluten free
Many juices and fruit drinks
Sauces in general, horseradish sauce and most pre-made salad dressings (unless gluten free)
Canned meat containing preservatives, canned vegetables (unless in water only)
Items containing hydrolyzed vegetable protein (often made with wheat)
Caramel (other than from US and Canada)
Imitation seafood (usually made with a starch, common in sushi)
Instant hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc)
Ketchup and most condiments (anything made with modified food starch has corn and/or wheat)
Rice syrup (may contain barley malt)
Soups (most commercially made canned or frozen soup)
Spices including white pepper, curry powder, bouillon cubes or powder
Soy sauce (except Tamari wheat free soy sauce) and most Chinese sauces
Veined cheeses (may be made from molds that may be of bread origin)
Mustards (unless specifically gluten free, read label for modified food starch)
Flavor enhancers including MSG (monosodium glutamate), glutamic acid, monopotassium glutamate, ammonium glutamate

Note: gluten free grains include rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and teff.

And one final thing: gluten may simply not be as inflammatory for you as it is your friend who had the skies part and the heavens sing when they cut it out. In this case, there may be another reason why your weight loss has plateaued and some gluten containing foods on occasion will probably not make or break your health.

So, if going gluten free was less dramatic than you’d hoped, consider these things and take another pass accounting for the reasons above.

Thank you Dr. Brooke, so I am now going to clean & cleaner eating and praying for positive results. I will be incorporating digestive enzymes, good probiotics, Aloe Vera whole leaf juice, liquid iron, and protein that is allergen friendly. My beloved who is also a weight trainer specializing in sports nutrition recommends Iso Pure. I will get back to you on all of this. 
In the meantime, I am happy to post a snapshot of my fridge which I feel very blessed about being filled with a powerhouse of healthy foods. Thank you God for making such things available to those of us in need, I know how lucky we are.
Here is what a clean eating fridge looks like:

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