Gluten

Happy Halloween 2015

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Today’s Halloween comics offer a glimpse into the changing culture. Now, I am one to be sensitive to dietary issues but it’s gotten to the point where it’s ridiculous. You can’t cater to everyone or every child. Is it so bad to teach our children that things don’t always work out for them or apply to them? They get over it, I swear!

Have a safe and wonderful and FUN Halloween!

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halloween-cartoon

Is Dairy Causing Your Eczema?

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The Connection Between Eczema and Eating Dairy

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine about her recent case of eczema. I immediately said it’s probably dairy. She said that’s what her doctor said too  Fast forward to this morning, before our 6A boxing session, she said she stopped the dairy and almost immediately – her eczema cleared up! Well what do you know!! It’s amazing how many people don’t realize that a sensitivity to dairy can cause skin issues and congestion.

Before understanding how dairy affected me, I had hard, crusty hands all the time. To help alleviate the burning and itching, my doctor gave me a steroid cream. He never once discussed its possible cause.  Once I quit dairy – it was gone. Just like that!  Recently, I was reminded once again that dairy and I don’t mix. I started drinking a whey protein shake in the AM. Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese making process and after a few days, my eczema started to flare up on my hands again. I switched to a veggie based shake and the eczema issues cleared up.

Eczema and Dairy Connection

As a general practice, I don’t eat dairy but maybe once a week. When I do have some, within hours, I feel congested and the next morning, my hands start to itch. If i eat it more than once a week, eczema on my hands starts to appear.  One of my favorite treats – ice cream – is almost not worth eating because my congestion gets so bad that getting a good night’s sleep becomes a challenge. Everything in life is a trade off and now, before eating anything with dairy or gluten for that matter, I ask myself if it’s worth it. Sometimes the answer is yes, but most often, it’s no.

Here’s a bit more info on dairy and food allergies:

How can you figure out if dairy is causing you issues?

It’s simple really. Try eliminating it for a week or so to see if any skin issues clear up, including acne. Then, add it back in. If you notice a reaction, then you know that dairy is causing you some inflammation issues. Keep in mind that a week may not be enough time to really eliminate it. As with most things, It depends on the person. The thing is, if you find you are sensitive to dairy, you are armed with the knowledge and can be more aware of how your body feels and reacts to your food choices.

Let’s Talk About Gluten Sensitivity

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People ask me why I limit how much food I eat that contains gluten.  When I eat gluten I don’t feel well.  I become fatigued, my eczema starts to flare (which is also connected to eating dairy), and I start to gain weight.  I even find that my migraines come back when I eat too much. I used to be a lot more strict and avoid any and all foods that have gluten, but I have relaxed my focus a bit but it is not without consequences. I am sure there are those out there with no issues with eating gluten on the regular, but not me. I do think however that everyone out there should detox from gluten for a week or two, and then add it back in. See how your body responds.

Think about it – from age four months on, we have been fed foods that contain gluten. Oatmeal is one of the first foods kids try and it is a staple of breakfast choices. How do you know how your body responds to gluten if you have never gone without? You don’t know any different. If you are trying to lose weight, or suffering from symptoms you cant resolve, the first thing I would suggest is to detox. Start eating fresh, whole food for 12 -14 days and then add things back in one at a time. You will most likely find the culprit.

Gluten sensitivity can come in a spectrum of forms

“The gold standard for identifying gluten sensitivity is the elimination diet, in which a patient strictly eliminates gluten for three to six months and then reintroduces it, monitoring the effects.”

Read This

Be Inspired

You must hunger for it

Workout

Friday: Boxing

Saturday: CrossFit (back squat)

Corporate America: The Crap They Eat

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I appreciate a free lunch like anyone else out there – but when you make healthy eating a priority, a free lunch doesn’t really mean much.

A few weeks ago, I was attending an in-house two day training session for work. Apparently, my company provides lunch when all day training is scheduled.  Being new, I didn’t know that – and because I am used to being a ‘picky’ eater, I am perfectly fine providing my own lunch – no issue at all.

Before arriving on my first day of training, I stopped off at Wegmans and picked up a salad. Lunch was provided for the rest of the group and it was the standard: Sandwiches, salad with croutons and cheese, a cream based soup and cookies and brownies for dessert.  Needless to say, I was happy with my salad even though it provoked a ton of comments and questions about my food preferences. All was right with the world.

Before the end of day one, the lady in charge of ordering asked me what my food preferences were. She seemed to not even grasp the idea of a food allergy if you ask me but I told her nonetheless.  I mentioned I don’t eat foods with gluten or dairy and suggested a salad as a good option if she were able to order something for me. She wrote it down and said ‘no problem’.

SaladI didn’t stop for salad the next morning – why would I? Well – I should have known better. Lunchtime came around – the lunch order arrived. Guess what was waiting for me? A bowl of lettuce – and to add insult to injury, with grated Parmesan cheese mixed in. I am not even joking – a BIG BOWL OF LETTUCE – iceberg lettuce!! I looked at the lady and she just shrugged and said I told them you didn’t eat gluten and walked away.

I don’t need to be coddled. I am perfectly fine fending for myself when it comes to my food preferences,  but when someone says they are going to take care of something, I figure – they will take care of it. Silly me – I was even more annoyed that the lady didn’t give a shit afterwards. Who the hell eats a bowl of lettuce and calls that lunch? Would she be ok with that for her lunch? Anyways …

Today my company held holiday lunch. There was nothing for me to eat. Not a huge deal, since I brought my lunch but it just seems to me when you are providing for a large group of people – at least a few of them would need some other options than fried, breaded, cream based foods. The salad they offered had cheese all over it again as well – there was absolutely not one thing offered that I could eat.  As I said, I wasn’t expecting different but it made me think about a few things…

  1. You can’t please everyone – I get that. However, if you are in charge of putting together a luncheon/dinner/party– at least consider those with food allergies or preferences. Salads (beyond just a bowl of lettuce) are great. Just offer the cheese and croutons on the side.
  2. Corporate America eats like shit. There was not even a crudité fruit platter offered instead of cookies/brownies for dessert.

Anyway, that’s my PSA for the day…

I wonder if this list of The 44 Healthiest Companies to Work For in America has the same problem?

Gluten Free: Is It Really Beneficial To Your Health?

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Gluten FreeSo a friend of mine posted this Business Insider article: The Science Is In — Why Gluten Sensitivity Is Probably Fake out on FB. As anyone who has read this blog for a while knows, I am primarily gluten free. I clearly feel lethargic, bloated, and fatigued when I eat gluten, so when I do eat it – I make sure it’s worth it to me. Another friend of mine left a really good comment on the article that I think makes the point perfectly regarding the BI article: 

One study with 37 people doesn’t prove anything. Jeff quit gluten and his acid reflux went away. I quit gluten and my acid reflux, sinus infections, headaches, and fatigue went away. My client quit gluten and the three headaches a week she had had for 12 years went away and she had more energy – no afternoon naps needed anymore. A friend of mine quit gluten and dropped her 3/week migraine headaches. Yes, the food industry glommed on to gluten-free and stupid people think it means “healthy.” People think they are on a gluten-free diet when they’re not, people say they are on a GF diet and don’t really know what it means, etc, etc, etc. I don’t understand why so many people are out to prove that it’s all “a big lie”. Not everyone needs to be gluten-free, but a lot of people feel better without it. So the bottom line is, who gives a shit what a study says. People should try going gluten-free (strictly, and for 21 days) and then add it back into their diet, and see if they notice anything. If not, great, keep eating it. If they do notice they feel better, then that’s all the proof anyone needs. Granted, it may not actually be the gluten in the wheat/barley/rye as they threw in at the end of the video — could be FODMAPs. Regardless, cutting out wheat isn’t a bad thing for anyone.”

In my opinion we are all sensitive to gluten on different levels and because of different factors. If it doesn’t bother you too much, then go for it. For me, avoiding gluten helps me feel better and that is worth it.  

Want to give living Gluten Free a try? Visit my Paleo & CrossFit Resource page or check out this basic The Gluten Free Quick Start Guide for some great info, tips and recipes.

Read This

Be Inspired

Mistakes Make You Learn Lessons

Workout

Flow Yoga

 

Did You know? Certain Foods Create Mucus

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Although losing an hour in the spring is tough, I feel more energized and in the mood to organize. I have committed to going through closets in the next month and getting them situated. Let’s hope this energy is a sign that my winter blues are drifting away.

I am still having asthma fits during my workouts and it’s frustrating the heck out of me! Imagine being fit and having your lungs seize up every time you do something cardio based — so much that you have coughing fits and you can’t catch your breath but yet still have more to do. We did shuttle runs today and sure enough I was frustrated –I did complete them but it’s really frustrating to know I am working out as hard as I can but am still limited.

I did pretty well refocusing my nutrition yesterday and feel better already. I feel sorry for people who don’t realize how food affects them and just think it’s environmental allergies. A friend of mine told me yesterday that his wife has always had a runny nose and gave up dairy and guess what? No more runny nose! And funny timing to tell me that because I ran across this post from Holistic Dad:

Constant runny nose and sinus infection sufferers should find relief reducing these foods to elimination while adding more of the raw, nutrient packed foods that cut inflammation and mucus. 

And it included this graphic: If you are constantly stuffy or congested, try eliminating the foods listed below that create mucus for 7-12 days and I bet you will notice a marked improvement. Although I do realize that the foods on the “no” list are the foods that are ‘yummy’. Ice cream is one of my all time favorite things in the world — As my daughter says “I wish the bad foods were good for us, and the good foods were bad for us”, but that ain’t so…

Mucus Causing foods

Read This!

 

Get Inspired

There is something really special about this short video that brought 20 people in and paired them up and asked that they kiss each other. Watch it and try not to smile…

First Kiss

Laugh

Workout

  • Mobility
  • Ring Rows – My hands hurt with my calluses so I opted to do ring rows instead of pull ups.
  • Push ups
  • Shuttle Runs
  • Rowing

Be Thankful for The Difficult People

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Mean People Suck Earlier this week I found out that someone that I am not fond of has been hired to do some work at one of the company’s that I am doing consulting work for.  When I said I am “not fond of”, It’s really not even close to covering how much I would prefer never seeing this person again. Up until this week, I didn’t think I would ever have to. What are the chances that this person would re-enter my life? It got me thinking about the reason that they showed up again.  Could I still have more to learn from the experience? It could be that her projects will never intersect what I am doing and I hope that is true – but the fact that she has entered my professional circle once again has irked me. Like some cruel joke. I’m professional and all but I can’t help feeling a pit in my stomach when I think about it.

So I did what someone like me does usually – took to the internets to read and learn about Nasty People. Hope it helps some of you out there as well —

I took a rest day today after not taking one on Weds after all — I was so tired this morning and started the internal dialogue with myself when the alarm went off about how tired I was. Since I didn’t have a real rest day yet, I said what the heck and turned the alarm off and went back to sleep.

If you read my blog regularly, you know I ditched the gluten a long time ago. I just realized I felt like crap all the time, my belly was always bloated. I wanted to sleep all the time -my symptoms go on and on. It’s always interesting to read about research on how gluten affects people.

Read This!

For Laughs

Super Cute Picture of the Day

Family - My sister and Niece

 

Baby, It’s Cold Outside in the DMV Area

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Polar Vortex - It's 2' in Northern VA areaI know there are a ton of people out there that live in cold weather and it’s just another day to them. However, in the Northern VA/DC metro area –this is not normal weather. It’s minus degrees with the wind today and holy crap – it’s cold.

And for the third day in a row, the kids have off from school. While I absolutely appreciate the school erring on the side of safety, I do think we are creating wussy kids. It’s cold out there –so what? Get your butt to school. I get that some rural areas have bad conditions, but my kids need to be in school. You know I am getting old when I tell you that when I was a kid – we walked to school in snow and cold and it was a cold day in hell before they cancelled school in Northern NJ. It just didn’t happen.

Yesterday was day two of my meditation experiment and I felt better again – it’s a guided program that lasts about thirty minutes. I admit it’s a bit on the odd side to sit quietly, with headphones on and hear this soft spoken lady speak to me with all of these echos but if it helps me feel better and get more focused, I’m willing to stick with it. And I think it really is good to take some time each and every day to just be still, without all the noise.

Have you noticed lately that if you aren’t on your guard, you can drown in all the information being thrown at you.  As much time as I spend on social media, there are so many times during the day that I get overwhelmed with all the posts, articles etc that come across my feed. I am sure I miss a ton too — and I have been trying very hard to just let it go. If it’s good enough info, it will come into focus for me eventually.  It’s important to remember that your time is valuable – and you have to be conscious of what you are spending it doing. And I have also noticed there is a ton of bad content out there –the title sounds interesting– but the payoff isn’t there and then I am annoyed. And lately – there have been a ton of articles out there that just annoy me.

I’m about to start a wellness challenge for Highbar CrossFit on Saturday. I am going to go all in myself this time — I need to refocus and start practicing what I preach again. My ego took a blow with getting laid off – but I can’t let it take up any more time or space in my head. That company doesn’t deserve it, the people I worked with don’t deserve my time, and I deserve better. Enough said-time to put in the work!

Workout

Mobility work
WOD
2k Row
4 rounds
pull ups
double unders

sit ups

Recommended Reading

Kindness Matters

Rekindle Your Spirit

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

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Please keep in mind these pancakes are gluten free not Paleo!

pancakes


2 cups Pamela’s G Free Pancake mix
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1.5 cups water

Mix that together…

pumpkinAdd 1 cup of pure pumpkin

Add some spices (experiment depending on your own taste preferences!)

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
A dash of nutmeg
A dash of allspice

Pre-heat your griddle with some butter and start cooking the batter!

For me, this mixture usually makes about 8-9 pancakes –depending on size.


I let them cool down and wrap two together with saran wrap and freeze them.
The kids grab a packet from the freezer in the morning, and re-heat. Voila!

 

 

It’s About Making Progress

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I want you to stop and realize that more than half of October has passed by. How does this happen? When we are young, time goes by so slow. I remember sitting in class, looking at the clock, thinking that 3:12 would never come. Even in college, on my Tues/Thurs schedule when I had the longer length classes – some days it was torture. But yet, here I am wondering how 2013 is almost over.

And on that note, what are you doing each day to progress and get you closer to your goals? Today is a great day to take a step towards progress – you will be one step closer than you were and that is progress!

deload

Strength
5×5 False Grip Ring Rows
5×3 False Grip Pull ups on Rings
WOD
5m AMRAP
7/arm DB Snatch
10 Ring Dips
–rest 10s–
5m AMRAP
12 Goblet Squats
90m Shuttle Runs

1150200_10151604981067781_289683975_nNews to Note

For those who already do CrossFit regularly, this is surely no news flash. Based on the high intensity of the workouts tested, researchers conclude that CrossFit does a really good job of helping exercisers improve their aerobic fitness, while burning a fair number of calories in the process. And, like other high-intensity interval-training (HIIT) workouts, one can expect greater increases in aerobic capacity than what is seen with traditional aerobic training, which is typically performed well below an individual’s anaerobic threshold. 

Here’s some unusual and helpful ways to use it!

There is way too much noise out there and it is changing the way we consume info. Have you ever really thought about the habits it is creating? . this article asserts:

After a while, these information sources start to become normal. Pretty soon, you’re logging onto Facebook because of the fear of missing out on “something.” You turn on the news or check CNN, not because you care about a particular topic, but merely out of habit. You watch tonight’s reality TV show because that’s what you always do on Thursdays at 8pm.

As a gluten free person, it really is super easy to fall into the trap of oh yeah, its gluten free. That does not mean it’s healthy. And because companies are seeing the dollar signs in this trend, you really have to be your own advocate.

 

 

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