Gluten Sensitivity?

I don’t have celiac disease, very generally an allergy to gluten that affects the small intestine. However, I do notice a difference in my digestion when I eat foods that are high in carbohydrates. A recent New York Times Blog entry, “When Gluten Sensitivity Isn’t Celiac Disease” offers some discussion on gluten sensitivity, recognizing that it may be FODMAPs, an acronym derived from Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, that are to blame. As identified in the article, FODMAPs

may be poorly digested or absorbed, and become fodder for colonic bacteria that produce gas and can cause abdominal distress. They are:

■ Fructose: A sugar prominent in apples, pears, watermelon, mangoes, grapes, blueberries, tomatoes and tomato concentrate, and all dried fruits; vegetables like sugar-snap peas, sweet peppers and pickles; honey; agave; and jams, dressings and drinks made with high-fructose corn syrup.

■ Lactose: The sugar in milk from cows, goats and sheep, present in ice cream, soft cheeses, sour cream and custard.

■ Fructans: Soluble fiber found in bananas, garlic, onions, leeks, artichokes, asparagus, beets, wheat and rye.

■ Galactans: Complex sugars prominent in dried peas and beans, soybeans, soy milk, broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts.

■ Polyols: The sugar alcohols (sweeteners) isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol, present in stone fruits like avocado, cherries, peaches, plums and apricots.

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My Whole30

Wow! So, over one month has passed since my last post, but I return to say that I have successfully restarted! Today is Day 11 of my first Whole30.

The Whole30® Program, created by Whole9

As promised and as planned, I started gearing up towards the end of May and into the beginning of June (translation: began weaning myself off the occasional candy fix and tortilla chips at the Mexican restaurant). After returning from a brief business trip, my eating turned to business: enter the Whole30.

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What exactly IS Paleo?

I suppose I should take a step back … what is paleo? I am nowhere near an expert; I’m just starting on this journey myself. According to wikipedia:

The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman dietStone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets.

But perhaps the best explanation of paleo comes from the Whole9 – something it calls “The Whole9 Nutrition Elevator Pitch

I eat “real” food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit.  I choose foods that are nutrient dense, with lots of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition.  And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat comes from, and buy produce locally and organically as often as possible.

It’s not a low calorie “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy and a healthy weight.  In fact, my diet is probably much higher in fat than you’d imagine.  Fat isn’t the enemy – it’s a great energy source when it comes from high quality foods like avocado, coconut and nuts. And I’m not trying to do a “low carb” thing, but since I’m eating vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal and pasta, it just happens to work out that way.

Eating like this is good for maintaining a healthy metabolism, and reducing inflammation within the body.  It’s been doing great things for my energy levels, body composition and performance in the gym.  It also helps to minimize my risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

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