Is Gluten Bad For You?!

Women’s Health Has The Answer! :

What It Is, Exactly
Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley, and rye. Most of us unknowingly love it, because gluten gives our favorite foods that special touch: It makes pizza dough stretchy, gives bread its spongy texture, and is used to thicken sauces and soups.

Gluten-free eating has a basis in science, and it does help a genuine health problem. To people with a chronic digestive disorder called celiac disease, gluten is truly evil: Their bodies regard even a tiny crumb of it as a malicious invader and mount an immune response, says Alessio Fasano, M.D., medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research in Baltimore. Problem is, this immune reaction ends up damaging the small intestine, which causes both great gastrointestinal distress and nutritional deficiencies. If untreated, these responses can then lead to intestinal cancers as well as complications such as infertility and osteoporosis.

Experts once thought celiac disease was a rare disorder, believed to affect one in every 10,000 people. But an Archives of Internal Medicine study in 2003 suggests that celiac disease is far more prevalent than anyone had suspected, affecting one in 133 Americans. With increased testing and awareness, more people realized why they felt sick after eating a piece of bread, and food companies discovered a new market.

Now another problem is emerging, and experts are referring to it as nonceliac gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity can lead to similar celiac symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, and bloating. But unlike celiac, sensitivity doesn’t damage the intestine. For years, health professionals didn’t believe nonceliac gluten sensitivity existed, but experts are beginning to acknowledge that it may affect as many as 20 million Americans, says Fasano.

The Health Hype
Thanks to the increase in diagnosed celiac and gluten sensitivity cases, and the corresponding uptick in foods marketed to sufferers, “gluten-free diets have emerged from obscurity, and now the pendulum has swung completely in the other direction,” says Fasano. And with this popularity push, people have latched on to avoiding gluten as a cure-all for many conditions aside from celiac, including migraines, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. While some have found relief, that doesn’t mean a gluten free diet will work in all cases.

And then there’s the idea that a gluten-free existence is the ticket to speedy weight loss. But, says Mark DeMeo, M.D., director of gastroenterology and nutrition at the Adult Celiac Disease Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, “there’s nothing magical about a gluten-free diet that’s going to help you lose weight.” What’s really at work: Gluten-free dining can seriously limit the number of foods you can eat. With fewer choices, you’re a lot less likely to overeat, says Shelley Case, R.D., author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide and a medical advisory board member for the Celiac Disease Foundation.

But it can backfire too, because gluten-free doesn’t mean fat-free or calorie-free.

“Without gluten to bind food together, food manufacturers often use more fat and sugar to make the product more palatable,” says Case. Consider pretzels: A serving of regular pretzels has about 110 calories and just one gram of fat. Swap them for gluten-free pretzels and you could get 140 caloriesand six grams of fat.

Read more at Women’s Health:


The 411 on Fruit

According to “Ask Women’s Health/ We have the answers!” on page 18 of July/August’s “Woman’s Health” Bible, i mean magazine, :

“I love fruit, but a friend said it’s just nature’s candy.  Should I limit how much I eat? -Mary Fran G., Berwyn, IL

A large pear packs about 23 grams of sugar– about one gram more than a KitKat!  But that’s just a sliver of the story.  In addition to fructose, a naturally occurring sugar, fruit also contains tons of disease-fighting compounds, minerals, and fiber.  There’s even evidence that eating fruit can help reduce heart attack, stroke, and some cancers.  To reap the benefits without addding on pounds, aim for three portions a day— each with around 60 calories and 15 grams of carbs, says Woman’s Health advisor and author of The F-Factor Diet, Tanya Zuckerbrot, R.D.  That’s about half of a large apple; 3/4 cup of blueberries; a medium peach; half of a grapefruit; or half of a large banana.”

Pelham, NY, Alice S. “Ask Women’s Health / We Have Answers”I Love Fruit…””Woman’s Health July 2012: 18. Web.

If I could blog every single article in every single women’s health magazine out there, I would.  Subscribe. Now.

“Butternut Squash Ravioli” (Sweet Cashew Paste in Vegetable Shells)

Adapted from the Organic Garden Cafe, 294 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA

“Alfredo Sauce” (adapted from Organic Garden Cafe)

  • 1 cup cashew (and/or Macadamia)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 7/8 cup water
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 t herbarmare
  • 1/2 t garlic powder (I minced half a garlic clove)
  • 1/4 T nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 T dried rosemary
  • 1/8 t dried dill
  • 1/8 t dried thyme
  1. Blend all ingredients, except dried herbs, in Vitamix (a high speed blender) until creamy
  2. Add herbs and blend 10-20 seconds more
  3. To plate, simply pour some onto a plate and spread by tilting the plate around until well spread out

*1 T additional water if being refrigerated–always hold back some water until the end.  The recipe, if served immediately, requires less water.  If refrigerated, needs more water because it thickens/congeals from the olive oil.

“Butternut Squash” Filling (adapted from Organic Garden Cafe)

  • 3/8 cup carrot juice
  • 1 1/2 cup cashew (I didn’t have enough cashew so I subbed some walnuts)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 T herbarmare
  • 1/4 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1/4 t garlic powder (I minced a little garlic)
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  1. juice carrots (about 2-3)
  2. grind cashews to fine consistency, but not butter (I ground all ingredients except carrot juice, added carrot juice last)
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and blend to thick and creamy, but NOT butter.
  4. For the shells, you can use beets, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, whatever!  Get creative!  Use a julienne slicer and slice the beets (or whatever) on the thinnest setting, then put a spoonful of filling in the beet slice and fold in half.  My raviolis were dehydrated on low for about 4 hours and then served but at the Organic Garden Cafe, they are raw and then warmed under a heat lamp for about 5 minutes prior to serving.  I prefer mine cold, but a little dehydrated so all the flavors mend together.  Up to you!  Here I also served with diced tomatoes and walnuts and 2 sprigs of basil!
  5. Bon Appetite!

Christine Lucas, HHC, AADP

At the holistic health expo at the St. Andrew’s church, Christine and I pose in front of her table with fliers for her next two classes coming up!  Tuesday (tomorrow):

and then on Thursday!! SO EXCITED! :

Christine is an inspiration to us all.  Such a steadfast and secure belief of what is right and true and an energetic spirit that radiates to everyone and everything she comes in contact with.  The most brilliant woman.  She knows absolutely everything there is to know about health and living well and, just, EVERYTHING!  I remember the first time I took a class of hers at the Y, I went into it thinking I wouldn’t learn anything (I am a nutrition geek..!) and I was BLOWN OUT OF THE WATER INSPIRED AND EMPOWERED WITH SO MUCH KNOWLEDGEE!!  This woman’s brilliant.  She knows just how to help each and every individual individually!

She sure helped me, boy!  One would think that a nutrition geek like myself would be able to healthily eat and live the best right?  Well, through my journey, naysayers have really gotten to me.  Especially going to the midwest, where the go to food source is mcdonalds, jimmy johns, or cheesy bread delivery.. you get it, haha.  The college life is rough.  I second guess myself about my knowledge and I did fall of the wagon.  And I felt like absolute CRAP!!  Haha  But, helping Christine again this summer, I know as a matter of factly that I AM educated, and I feel 300 times over better!  I know what I am doing.  “We are spiritual beings living a human experience” As Christine says.  In her latest talk at this expo where the picture of us was taken, she spoke of the 6 steps to creating the life you love.  “Think, write, speak, believe, act, be.” ❤  I believe!

Christine Lucas is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor (HHC) and the founder and president of Compete Mind and Body, Holistic Health and Nutritional Consulting.

Complete Mind and Body specializes inhelping clients improve eating habits and experience an increase in overall satisfaction with their lives. At Complete Mind and Body, Christine begins with food, but doesn’t stop there. She incorporates a true holistic approach byconsidering lifestyle factors such as stress management, finding physicalactivity that’s fun and exciting, having honest and open relationships, being in a career or life path that’s inspiring and she encourages her clients to find some sort of spiritual practice in which they feel connected. Christine’s goal is not only to educate her clients and help implement healthier food choices, she also encourages them to recognize what feeds their soul and hunger for living. As a Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor Christine works to help her clients find balance in all areas of their lives. She practices in New York City, Boston and Marblehead, MA and also counsels by phone for those inother areas.

Christine became interested in health over a decadeago when, after a car accident, doctors said she could no longer enjoy anactive lifestyle, because of a back injury and being overweight. Refusing to beresigned to such a fate, she was determined to take control of her life. Christine began to educate herself on health, diet, exercise and spirituality. After losing 40 lbs and altering her overall wellness perspective,Christine’s life completely changed. Friends and family noticed herremarkable transformation and naturally wanted her to help guide them towards their own healing.

Supersized Servings

Supersized servings a big concern

Heaping plates of pasta and giant cups of sugary drinks may be good values for the wallet, but can also be a health hazard, researchers say

By Karen Weintraub

The Big Gulp is the new Public Enemy Number 1.

The mayors of New York and Cambridge, the American Medical Association, and the Harvard School of Public Health have begun an assault on sugary drinks, particularly large servings of soda.

Such giant servings – the “Big Gulp” is a king-size of the 7-Eleven chain, but there are many others of its ilk – are both a direct factor in the obesity epidemic, researchers say, and a symbol of the outsize portions most Americans now eat.

Everything from the humble bagel to a slice of pepperoni pizza has more than doubled in size and calories over the last two decades.

Back in McDonald’s early days, until the mid-1950s, soda was sold in 12-ounce servings; now a “small” soda under the Golden Arches contains 16 ounces and a large has 32 ounces — with more than 300 calories.

We now eat nearly 300 more calories per day today than 30 years ago — about half of those calories come from sugary drinks and another quarter from portion size increases, said Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina.

Why do people overeat?

In some cases it’s an optical illusion, research from Cornell University has shown. When we eat out of bigger containers or plates, we don’t notice that we’re eating more. That’s why, in one study, people ate more stale two-week-old popcorn when it was served in a big bucket compared to a small one, and why, in another study, they ate 73 percent more soup when the bowl was secretly refilled, without feeling any fuller.

“We overeat easily and under-eat with difficulty,” said Susan Roberts, the director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. “Every study I’m aware of has shown that the bigger the portion size the greater the overeating.”

It’s not that you have weak willpower when you can’t stop eating that giant portion of pasta in front of you, said Dr. David Kessler, a professor of Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

Our brains literally can’t resist. According to brain scan studies, he said, “brains get aroused and activated and stay activated until all the food is gone.”

And living in a world where food is constantly available and loaded with hard-to-resist fat, sugar, and salt means constant arousal, said Kessler, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration. “Our brains are being hijacked on every corner.”

What should be done to control portion size?

What’s needed, Kessler, Popkin, Roberts and others said, is the same kind of cultural shift that happened with tobacco — a transformation that changes the perception of overeating from an acceptable or even a glamorous pastime to deadly, disgusting habit.

We all need to stop seeing that heaping plate of food as a good value, and start thinking about it as a health hazard, said Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.

“Getting that good deal may look good for our pockets, but it’s bad for our health and bad for everyone’s pockets,” as health care costs rise, she said.

Boston isn’t considering banning jumbo drinks, as New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced earlier this month, and as Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis proposed last week. Instead, Boston has asked beverage companies to take sugary drinks out of vending machines on city-owned properties — a collaborative approach that many officials favor over Bloomberg’s more confrontational style.

Voluntary improvements will be more effective in the long-term than bans, said David Just, a food and behavioral economist at the Dyson School at Cornell.

Earlier this month, for example, Disney announced voluntary plans to cut all junk-food ads from its websites, radio, and TV stations, and make its theme-park menu options healthier.

The beverage industry is also already working to reduce people’s calories, said Chris Gindlesperger, spokesman for the American Beverage Association, a trade group.

High-calorie soda consumption in schools, for instance, has fallen 88 percent since 2004, when the industry agreed to change its vending machine options in schools, he said, and overall full-calorie nonalcoholic beverage consumption fell 12.5 percent between 1999 and 2010.

The Harvard School of Public Health, according to Eric Rimm, an associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition there, is among those lobbying to include soda among the products — like alcohol, cigarettes, and certain prepared foods — not covered by the federal food stamp program. More than $6 billion a year in food stamps is spent buying soda, he said.

Why target soda?

Soda is an easy first target for public health measures, researchers say, because it adds no nutritional value to the diet — no vitamins, no minerals, no protein — just calories.

Sugar-sweetened beverages, “have been a critical factor in the increased energy intake of Americans, and they’ve been an equally critical factor in changing the norms of the entire meal,” Popkin said. “The super-size of the Big Gulp has changed people’s perceptions of how much to eat in a lot of other ways.”

Also, when we eat a giant, high-calorie slice of pizza, we tend to reduce our calories later in the day to somewhat compensate. But when we drink a high-calorie drink, our bodies don’t “register” those extra calories, and we don’t compensate for them, he said.

The other problem with sugar-sweetened drinks is the sugar. The average American consumes about 500 calories a day in added sugar, Popkin said; about 200 of which come from drinks. All that sugar day-after-day can trigger diabetes and heart disease, as well as obesity.

Last week, the American Medical Association, the country’s largest doctor group, voted in favor of taxing soda to pay for an anti-obesity public education campaign.

Cutting out soda won’t immediately help most people lose weight — unless they were drinking a tremendous amount a day. But “one of the simplest strategies for people managing their weight is to cut out soda,” as part of an overall weight loss plan, said Barbara J. Rolls a professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State.

Will cutting portion sizes reduce waistlines?

Surprisingly, there’s very little research supporting the idea that reducing portions will have an impact on the scale.

People are amazingly creative when it comes to keeping up their calorie intake. Tell people their chips are low-fat, and they eat more of them and more the rest of the day, Cornell’s Just said.

“People push back, they rebel,” Just said. “They didn’t get the thing they wanted so they overcompensate later and end up eating more fat later. Typically, it leads to more calories overall.”

Public health officials are hopeful that downsizing meals — instead of supersizing them — will help reduce obesity. But no one really knows yet what will happen.

“I don’t think overnight it will impact obesity,” Rimm said, “but it’s something that we need to train the next generation, that the standard portion [of soda] is not 64, 32, or even 20 oz.”

“Health & Wellness.” N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2012. <;.

Spirulina Balls

As an active adrenaline addict who looves all things active, challenging, and anything to do with using muscles, a dense energy bar is nice to have on hand– on the go, on a long bike ride or hike– clif had the idea– but with the spirulina jam packed with iron and bee pollen; another of natures multi vitamins, freshly ground flax- hello omega-3 fatty acids!- and if you use soaked sesame seeds (calcium calcium calcium) and soaked date (simple carbohydrate (yes, high in sugar) for energy) these little balls are quite the power bar!! And are they delicious!!!  We had them for dessert at Christine Lucus’s fourth night of her “Thrive Eating Live” course! Give them a try!!

From pg. 17 “Rapid Raw” By, Mark Johnson

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2 Tbs spirulina
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup fresh bee pollen
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 Tbs agave nectar >> I used 2 soaked dates, chopped instead of agave
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds, sunflower, or sesame seeds >> I used soaked sesame seeds

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Spoon out and make into desired sized balls. >>I used an ice cream scoop and packed in the..”dough” I guess we can call it?.. and it made these nice rounded nom noms!  Can roll balls in almond meal, coconut, carob powder, etc. to coat. (i didn’t coat mine)


As a plant, Spirulina is incredibly rich containing a balance of nutrients that make it virtually a ‘whole food’ capable of sustaining life without the need for other foods.

Spirulina provides vitamins, many minerals, essential amino acids, carbohydrates and enzymes. Spirulina is at least 60% vegetable protein, which is predigested by the algae, making it a highly digestible food. It is higher in protein than any other food. Its outstanding nutritional profile also includes the essential fatty acids, GLA fatty acid, lipids, the nucleic acids (RNA and DNA), B complex, vitamin C and E and phytochemicals, such as carotenoids, chlorophyll (blood purifier), and phycocyanin (a blue pigment), which is a protein that is known to inhibit cancer.

Bee Pollen

1. The nutrients found in Bee Pollen are extremely high quality. Not only does bee pollen contain high quality nutrients that can be burned as fuel, it also provides nutrients that are helpful in maintaining and promoting health.

2. The nutritional makeup of Bee Pollen is extremely broad spectrum. The wide range of nutrients found in Bee Pollen include polyphenols, enzymes, beneficial fatty acids, free amino acids, vitamin complexes, chelated minerals and trace elements, as well as a large array of phytonutrients that have yet to be identified. This nutritional diversity makes Bee Pollen an ideal dietary supplement as a complement and boost to a well-rounded diet.

3. The nutrients in Bee Pollen are very concentrated. This nutritional density means that even small amounts provide effective and valuable levels of important nutrients. In other words, bee pollen, as a food source or as a supplement, provides low volume, but high intensity, nutrition.

My Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch curly green kale, de-stemmed (stems saved for juicing)
  • as much olive oil as you want (maybe like lil less than 1/3 a cup?)
  • as much nutritional yeast as you want ( I go crazy with this stuff nom nom nom, like 1/2-3/4 cup?)
  • as much paprika as you want (like 2 or 3ish Tbs?) >>try cayenne pepper for a kick!!
  • organic sea salt, finely ground, to taste (maybs like a teaspoon or 2?)
  1. Massage olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt into the beautiful nutrient powerhouse (kale) with love
  2. I like to eat it raw at this stage haha, buutt
  3. I dehydrated these on “medium” overnight, so probably like 80-105ish degrees. *I haven’t tried this, but if you don’t have a dehydrator, I heard that putting your oven on “warm” is fine>> beware though, there have been horror stories with this method and beautiful kale turning to ash.
  4. Enjoy in sustainability and vibrancy!!!

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast which is sold commercially as a food product. It’s sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder similar in texture to cornmeal, and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. It is popular with vegans andvegetarians and may be used as an ingredient in recipes or as a condiment.

It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten. Sometimes nutritional yeast is fortified with Vitamin B12.

Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used by vegans in place of cheese. It can be used in many recipes in place of cheese, such as mashed and fried potatoes, as well as put into scrambled tofu as a substitute for scrambled eggs. Another popular use is as a topping for popcorn. Some movie theaters offer it along with salt or cayenne pepper as a popcorn condiment.[2]

In Australia it is sometimes sold as “savoury yeast flakes.” In New Zealand, it has long been known as Brufax. In the United States it is sometimes referred to as “nooch”, or “yeshi,” an Ethiopian name meaning “for a thousand”. Though “nutritional yeast” usually refers to commercial products, inadequately fed prisoners of war have used “home-grown” yeast to prevent vitamin deficiency.[3] Nutritional yeast is different from yeast extract, which has a very strong flavour and comes in the form of a dark brown paste.  “Nutritional Yeast.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 Dec. 2012. Web. 21 June 2012. <;.

^ this full to brim of nutritional yeast from the bulk section: $2.50  GO BULK SECTION!!!

This was like $15.00: