[VIDEO]: Big bad gluten

GLUTEN. What a charged word, right? I bet you know of at least 3 people that eat gluten-free. It's not surprising, since a whopping 80% of the population experiences gut issues when eating gluten. Some of these people have Celiac disease (the very serious autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack itself when gluten is around). And then there are those gluten-free eaters who have no idea what it is or why they do it but they heard somewhere it was healthy. If that's you, NO SHAME, but please read on so you can be smarter than these hooligans

One of the biggest reasons people have trouble with gluten is because it's foreign to our bodies. The wheat we're eating today is unrecognizable compared to wheat 2,000 years ago. Over time, the food industry has changed the seed to maximize crops and lower costs. Even the "whole wheat" we see labeled on food packaging is modified, containing more gluten and less nutrients than ever before. The creepiest thing of all, is that even when we steer clear of the bread basket, we're often eating it unknowingly. Gluten is a hidden ingredient in many of the packaged soups, salad dressings, sauces and deli meats Americans eat on a daily basis. Sneaky.

Some argue that the plant has become so foreign that our bodies don't know how to break it down, which can result in serious digestive distress. In fact, my own health journey started with a leaky gut. Years of eating gluten, sugar, processed foods, and leading a toxic lifestyle left my gut in a war zone. My body showed signs of distress, but I ignored them because I thought it was normal to have bloating, gas, and stomach pains on a daily basis. I don't know what's crazier -- that I experienced those uncomfortable symptoms every day, or that so many people around me also experienced it that it became my "norm." Years of my body saying, "help, I'm not well," and me saying, "shhhh, I'm eating here," led to that icky leaky gut, where the chronic inflammation inside the small intestine enlarged the pores along the walls, allowing undigested food particles to flow freely into my bloodstream. In the end it had gotten so bad, that my leaky gut led to other pesky conditions such as chronic fatigue, mental fog, acne and eczema. Had my gut been able to handle what I put in my mouth, those other adverse reactions would not have come about.

Disclaimer: my health issues came from a myriad of contributors, not just gluten. I share this with you in case you are experiencing any of these symptoms in your body. If not -- GREAT, you are a lucky one. If you are -- ALSO GREAT, and recognize how awesome you are for listening to your body's signals. Now that you know the dirty facts about the big bad gluten, decide for yourself where you stand. See how you feel when you take it out for 1-2 months and then slowly add it back in. Before the doctor gives you meds for all those pesky health issues, think again about what you're putting into your mouth and the signs your body is giving you. I have a hunch that a few weeks eating some whole, unprocessed foods may do the trick. ;)

The great news is, you don't need to deprive yourself. Hear why in this week's episode of #MichellesMondayMinute below, and then check out the bangin' recipe below the video for an Everything Paleo Bread. Grain-free and Dairy-free. This is the bread that helped me ease into a gluten free lifestyle so I didn't feel like I was missing out, especially when my bagel cravings hit on Sunday mornings. Who's with me?

Everything Paleo Bread
[Recipe adapted from Elana's Pantry]
Yield: 1 loaf

Seed mixture ingredients:
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
2 tbsp. coarse sea salt
2 tbsp. dried onion flakes
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
 

Bread ingredients:
2 c. almond flour
2 tbsp. coconut flour
1/4 c. flaxmeal
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
5 large eggs
1 tbsp. coconut oil (melted, at room temp)
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all seed mixture ingredients and set aside.
  3. Place almond flour, coconut flour, flaxmeal, sea salt, and baking soda into a food processer and pulse. 
  4. Add eggs, coconut oil, honey, and apple cider vinegar and pulse until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan, and generously sprinkle everything seed mixture on top.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Cool for at least 30 minutes. 

Notes:

  • Serving ideas: anything you would put on an everything bagel, my fave is avocado mash with smoked salmon, mmmm.
  • Great recipe to make on a rainy day, slice, wrap individually in parchment paper, and freeze. This will last up to 2 months in the freezer, just grab as you need, toast, and eat.
  • No food processor? No problem! Works just as well in a regular mixing bowl. Just be sure to sift the dry ingredients through a mesh sieve first before adding the wet ingredients.