Author Topic: Overcoming Gluten Intolerance  (Read 9460 times)

Offline herbdoc

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Overcoming Gluten Intolerance
« on: November 11, 2011, 08:12:56 PM »
Gluten Intolerance

The problem of Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease is growing exponentially.  And as a result, the gluten-free market is booming.  Doctors, celebrities and the mom and herb kids next door are disavowing grains while preaching its evils with religious fervor.  Hint or suggest that wheat may not be quite the villain it is being portrayed is can bring quick and harsh judgment.

As is so common in our culture, we are so quick to come to a conclusion and often not even asking the right questions to the issue at hand.  One of the newer diets gaining in popularity is the Caveman or Paleolithic Diet, which espouses that we should "eat like a predator - not like a prey".  Kind of catchy, isn't it. Or in other words, eat meat like a wolf or mountain lion, not grain and grasses like a cow. This approach of eliminating grains is somehow justified because early man did not begin farming and eating grains until about 12,000 years ago.  Therefore, according to their logic, before that time man was healthy and it wasn't until they started eating grains that our health became compromised.  Unfortunately, Gluten Intolerance really has not become a significant health problem until the last 10 maybe 15 years.  To me, it doesn't stand to reason that it took 11,985 years for the human body to begin suffering from the ill effects of grains.

I am not questioning the reality that people suffer and indeed suffer greatly from eating wheat or other grains that contain gluten.  What I am suggesting is that there is more to the picture of gluten intolerance than wheat being bad.  Certainly, there is a genetic component, but that is not the only factor to consider.  What I suggest is that wheat or grain is not so much the problem as they way it is prepared.

Our modern methods of food manufacturing emphasize a few things that translates in how they do things.  Your typical manufacturer is interested primary in profits.  To insure profitability, they focus on getting the product out as quickly as possible.  They are also interested in shelf life of the product once it gets to market.  There are other factors of course, but these are the main two that affect the digestibility of your bread.

Bread in times past, was not made with quick rising yeast.  (Red Star, SAF, or Fleishmanm’s).  Bread and grains in times past where not laden with preservatives and chemicals to lengthen the shelf life or enhance the texture, color or whatever else they do to increase sales.  Modern convenience dictates that we don't make "daily bread", but we buy our bread once a week and expect it to stay fresh and last at least a week.

Grains, as well as legumes and many other foods, contain what is known as anti-nutrients.  The purpose of these anti-nutrients (such as phytates, enzyme inhibitors, saponins) are genetically built into many plants to insure their survival.  If, for example, someone or some thing begins to eat too much of a bean or grain, after a while the body says hey that's enough of that food - move on to something else.  With these anti-nutrients, the tasty grain or bean would be entirely consumed and its survival would be in jeopardy.

Ancient man, however, was pretty cleaver.  Through trial and error (and without refrigeration), discovered how to preserve his food, make it more digestible as well as more nutritious.

If we ask the question, "What are we doing to the grains we eat today that people back in the day did differently?" We know as historical fact that people have been eating bread and grains for thousands of years without it causing problems.  In Christianity, we pray from our daily bread and Christ refers to himself as the Bread of Life - each example with very positive connotations.

Every culture prior to ours would soak or ferment their grains and bread dough prior to cooking.  Bread was not made with added yeast, but with a culture or sourdough started.  This natural leavening (typically a lactobacillus bacteria) was acid and would break down the phytic acid, deactivate the enzyme inhibitors as well as cause the bread to rise.  The resulting product was a fresh aromatic easy to digest and healthy bread.  Genuine sourdough bread is made today as it was anciently with three ingredients - Grain, water and salt.  And if done properly delivers a light nutritious loaf that is exquisite.  This bread is not made in a day, but traditionally takes 2 to 3 days to make.  This is why the Hebrew people in their exodus from Egypt were instructed to make unleavened bread - bread that didn't require the time to culture, ferment and rise.  And the Jewish people today continue to make unleavened bread - but only once each year in celebration of the Passover.  The rest of the time, bread is made with leavening over time.

Because bread and grains (this includes pasta, pastry and anything else made from flour), prepared improperly, have been eaten as a dominate part of the diet, these anti-nutritents cause irritation, inflammation and deplete minerals in the digestive tract.  Coupled with a genetic predisposition that many have inherited, the result can range from mild discomfort of gluten intolerance to the ravaging inflammation of Celiacs Disease.

As a result of years of eating bread and grains that are milled too finely, risen too quickly and eaten too abundantly, these chronic and sometimes disabling digestive conditions are spreading as an epidemic across modern cultures. The consequences of gluten intolerance and celiac disease is an inflamed and damage digestive tract.  The solution will not be found in simply eliminating gluten from the diet (although this is necessary and it does help with the symptoms).  Honestly, people suffering from gluten intolerance, even though they have completely eliminated gluten in all forms from the diet, still have digestive problems and are oh so sensitive to many foods and stress.  The digestive tract first needs to be healed.

There is hope.  Click over to our Blog for specific recommendations on how you can Overcome Gluten Intolerance.

Overcome Gluten Intolerance – Blog Article

Food and eating should be a wonderful experience that is discussed, planned, anticipated and savored.  Unfortunately, those suffering with digestive distress too often view mealtime with anxiety, frustration and trepidation. 

In order for your body and digestive system to heal, you must first understand the cause behind gluten intolerance.  While there is a genetic component associated with celiac disease, that is only one factor – akin to someone having a genetic or family history of heart disease or certain types of cancer.  Typically, we find that the manifestation of disease results from a multitude of risk factors playing out and not only the genetic predisposition.  As alluded to early, Mother Nature puts anti-nutritional factors and toxins in grains, nuts, seeds and beans for a variety of reasons. Phytates, for example, block seeds from sprouting prematurely. Protease inhibitors, saponins, lectins and phytoestrogens harm insects, animals and other predators that would otherwise eat too many of them. If evolutionary theories are correct, wounded plants produce extra inhibitors and other anti-nutrients to save the plant species.

These foods when eating too abundantly act as irritants, resulting in inflammation, diminished absorption of minerals and nutrients and ultimately damage of the intestinal tissue.  Compound the naturally occurring anti-nutrients with chemicals added by the manufacturer such as preservatives, artificial colors/flavors/enhancers, etc. and you can create some pretty inhospitable foods.  The knee jerk reaction, exhibited by many popular doctors – usually pushing a diet plan, is to eliminate all grain from the diet, because it is obviously not meant to be eaten.  However, our ancestors, were pretty clever, even if they didn’t drive cars, fly planes and entertain themselves with electronic gadgetry.  By soaking grains, seeds, nuts and beans, something magical happens.  Gluten is broken down, phytic acid is neutralized and enzyme inhibitors are deactivated.  The inhospitable food is now not only easily digestible but has transformed into something quite healthy and nutritious.

It appears that grains are not so much of the problems, but how they are prepared.  Breads made from wheat or other gluten containing grains must be soaked or fermented with an acid (such as sourdough starter or apple cider vinegar) for a minimum of 8 hours before proceeding to cook.  This is how every indigenous culture prepared their grain (and nearly all of them ate grains – wheat, oats, corn, barley, etc.).  By the way genuine sourdough bread is not made with yeast.  I once mistakenly bought Apple Cider “flavored” vinegar.  You don’t want sourdough “flavored” bread.  Which means that most likely, if bread is to be introduced back into your diet, you will need to learn how to make your own bread. Once you understand a few basic techniques, it is fun and easy.
But before we get into sourdough bread, you must heal your gut (the gut really is the scientific term for the entire digest tract).  First and Foremost – YOU MUST NOT EAT ANY FOODS CONTAINING GLUTEN or other foods that cause you digestive upset or other symptoms. 

Colon Comfort by Western Botanicals has been specifically developed to soothe the entire digestive tract. This alone can give significant relief.  Most people will begin with 3 capsules three times daily.  Additional Colon Comfort can also be taken throughout the day for symptomatic relief. 

Most people with Gluten Intolerance end up with what is known as a leaky gut.  The intestinal villi are damaged and the channels in the intestine for absorbing foods are larger than they should be.  The gut is too porous allowing food particles that are not broken down sufficiently to be absorbed into the blood stream.  The result is often the development of food allergies.  So compounded with the inflammation and irritation caused by gluten, you now are allergic to corn, sugar, nuts and many other non-gluten foods.  The dietary changes alone will resolve many

Another key to healing the digestive tract is Bone Broths.  This was how our great grandmothers made soups and stews.  You cannot buy bone broths.  They must be made in your kitchen.  The great value in bone broths is that are rich in minerals that are cooked out from the bones as well as very high in gelatin.  The minerals and the gelatin are so nourishing and healing as well as very easy to digest.  And as a bonus, soups, stews and sauces made from these broths are delicious. 

Mineral-Rich Bone Broth (Beef & Garlic)

This recipe make approximately 64oz of broth depending on how much water, how much you reduce the broth and how strong you like the flavor to be.

• 4 quarts of filtered water
• 1.5- 2 lbs of beef knuckle bones (or any other kinds of bones/meaty bones/marrow bones – chicken necks are inexpensive and work great)
• the cloves from 1 whole head of fresh garlic, peeled & smashed
• 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered- We like Bragg’s brand)
• 1Tsp unrefined sea salt - or more/less to taste (I like Celtic Sea Salt or Real Salt)


• If you choose, you may brown or roast the bones/meaty bones first in a separate pan/pot if using a crockpot but this isn’t a necessary step. I don’t normally do it because it saves time/dishes not to and the purpose is just for more flavor which I don’t find necessary in this recipe. If you choose to, brown them in bacon fat or coconut oil before putting them into the water in the next step.
• Place all ingredients in a 6 quart crockpot and set the heat to HIGH.
• Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat setting to LOW.
• Allow the stock to cook for a minimim of 8 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer it cooks the better!
• Turn off the crockpot and allow the stock to cool.
• Strain the stock through a fine mesh metal strainer and throw away what you skim off.
• Place the cooled stock into glass jars for storage in the fridge (for up to a few days) or freezer for later use.  Ideally, once cooled your broth will gel up due to the high amount of gelatin.

You can use stock to drink any time of day or before a meal or as the base for soups, stews and in any recipe that calls for it!

Use any other kind of animal bones you like, chicken especially will take less time due to smaller pieces.
Add chopped veggies like carrots, celery and onions for more flavor or variety.

A crockpot makes this recipe super-simple, but you can also use a large stock pot (hence the name) or an enameled cast-iron dutch oven type of pot.

I will often recommend taking in 5 cups of bone broth per day. – at least for the first week.  You will notice an improvement usually within a day or two of starting this. 

Many of you who have probably been advised (by those who may have been very well meaning) that you need to eat a raw food or mostly raw diet.  You discovered that raw foods tear you up inside.  What you need is just the opposite – easy to digest foods.

Congee is the foremost of the “easy-to-digest” foods in Oriental medicine, used for all types of imbalanced digestion.  Congee is a thin porridge, which is often used as breakfast in parts of China.  There are many congee recipes available online, but I will give you the basic formula here:

I typically like to use brown rice, millet, quinoa or buckwheat (or a combo of any of these) as these are easy to digest and, usually, the least allergenic. Use a ratio of 1 part whole grain to 5 or 6 parts water.  To this, you can add various fruits, vegetables, spices or herbs. Then cook on low for several hours. (In a crockpot overnight on the “low” setting works well.)

Examples of ingredients to add to the congee would be ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, raisins, chopped carrots and apples. (These will add a touch of flavor and texture to the congee, but will still be well-cooked for easy digestion.)

You can also put cooked congee through a blender to feed to infants and toddlers with “tummy problems”. 

Warm Cooked Foods:
When your system can handle more solid foods, you can add cooked potato, sweet potato (skin the potatoes initially if you need to), cooked winter squash (such as pumpkin), cooked summer squash (like yellow squash or zucchini), cooked root veggies (such as carrots, beets, daikon radish), whole grains like rice, quinoa, millet and buckwheat, and warm veggie soups with your bone broth or miso broth.

You may also add to your diet stewed fruits such as apples, pears, prunes, and figs, particularly if you are constipated.

Warm Teas:
Most people do well with chamomile tea, licorice tea,  rooibos (redbush) tea, or fennel tea. Liver  Western Botanicals’ Tummy Tea is also a good choice.

Also sip on warm, clear bone broths or warm miso broth. Use a pinch of sea salt or Real salt – never, never table salt – as this results in mineral imbalance.  These healthy broths are very nourishing and very satisfying to the taste.

Foods to Avoid:
With nausea, vomiting, stomachache and/or diarrhea, avoid raw veggies, frozen, iced and chilled foods, as well as acidic fruits (like citrus and raw tomato) until your digestion is feeling normal again. It is best to avoid the cruciferous tribe for quite a while. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, etc., are all wonderful foods, but they are hard to digest for anyone with a sensitive digestion. Spinach, beet tops, Swiss chard and rhubarb all contain abundant oxalic acid, which irritates the lining of the gut, and which the body neutralizes with calcium from the diet. Eating these vegetables will restrict calcium absorption, and they won't be good choices for the healing period. Depending on how weak your digestion is, you may need to eliminate all raw fruits initially as well, even bananas until you are feeling a little stronger.

Other foods to avoid with weak digestion are diary products, which are very difficult for most people to digest and create excess mucous in the digestive system, as do wheat products, animal meats, sugars, artificial sweeteners, and fried or greasy/fatty foods and oils.  This means no fast foods, no processed foods, no candy, etc. 

Beans, nuts and seeds are healthy foods, but should be avoided until the digestion feels normal again. People usually do okay with sprouted beans, lentils and seeds, but don’t push your luck.  One miscalculated indiscretion can bring on a week or more of digestive upset.

I generally recommend that you enjoy several weeks of digestive happiness before you begin to add any sourdough breads, soaked and fermented oats, or beans, nuts or seeds.

 S o a k e d   O a t m e a l
 T o   m a k e   o a t m e a l   t h e   o l d   f a s h i o n e d   w a y ,   m i x   1   c u p   o f   r o l l e d   o a t s   w i t h   1   c u p   o f   f i l t e r e d   w a t e r   a n d   2   T B L   y o g u r t ,   b u t t e r m i l k ,   l e m o n   j u i c e   o r   c i d e r   v i n e g a r .   C o v e r   a n d   l e a v e   o n   t h e   c o u n t e r   o v e r n i g h t   o r   f o r   a   m i n i m u m   o f   7   h o u r s .   I t’ s   i m p o r t a n t   f o r   t h e   o a t s   t o   s o a k   i n   a   w a r m   k i t c h e n   o r   c u p b o a r d ,   n o t   i n   a   c o l d   r e f r i g e r a t o r .
 A f t e r   s o a k i n g ,   a d d   1   c u p   o f   a d d i t i o n a l   w a t e r   a n d   s e a   s a l t ,   b r i n g   t o   a   b o i l ,   r e d u c e   h e a t ,   c o v e r   a n d   s i m m e r   f o r   s e v e r a l   m i n u t e s .
 S e r v e   w a r m   i n   a   b o w l   w i t h   p l e n t y   o f   b u t t e r   o r   c r e a m .   A   w h o l e   n a t u r a l   s w e e t e n e r   a n d   f r u i t   o r   n u t s   c a n   a l s o   b e   a d d e d .
 Y o u   w i l l   n o t i c e   h o w   q u i c k l y   s o a k e d   o a t s   c o o k   i n   c o m p a r i s o n   w i t h   n o n s o a k e d .   Y o u   w i l l   a l s o   n o t i c e   h o w   m u c h   m o r e   s a t i s f i e d   y o u   f e e l   e a t i n g   s o a k e d   o a t m e a l   a n d   t h a t   y o u   s t a y   f u l l   l o n g e r .

 S o a k e d   P a n c a k e s
 P a n c a k e   b a t t e r   i s   e a s i l y   s o a k e d   b y   m i x i n g   2   c u p s   o f   f r e s h   w h o l e   g r a i n   f l o u r   w i t h   2   c u p s   o f   f i l t e r e d   w a t e r   a n d   2   T B L   o f   l i q u i d   w h e y ,   b u t t e r m i l k ,   l e m o n   j u i c e ,   o r   c i d e r   v i n e g a r .
 A f t e r   m i x i n g ,   c o v e r   a n d   l e a v e   o n   t h e   c o u n t e r   o v e r n i g h t   o r   f o r   u p   t o   2 4   h o u r s .   W h e n   s o a k i n g   i s   c o m p l e t e ,   d r a i n   o f f   a n y   e x c e s s   w a t e r ,   b l e n d   i n   2   b e a t e n   e g g s ,   1/2 t s p   s e a   s a l t ,   1   t s p   b a k i n g   s o d a ,   a n d   2   T B L   b u t t e r   a n d   f r y   a s   u s u a l   u s i n g   a   h e a l t h y   o i l   l i k e   g h e e   o r   c o c o n u t   o i l . .
 B r o w n   R i c e
 W h i l e   r i c e   i s   g l u t e n - f r e e   a n d   l o w e r   i n   p h y t i c   a c i d   t h a n   m o s t   o t h e r   g r a i n s ,   s o a k i n g   p r i o r   t o   c o o k i n g   i s   s t i l l   b e s t   f o r   t h o s e   w i t h   a n y   t y p e   o f   d i g e s t i v e   c o m p l a i n t .
 T o   p r e p a r e ,   m i x   2   c u p s   o f   s h o r t   g r a i n   b r o w n   r i c e   w i t h   4   c u p s   o f   f i l t e r e d   w a t e r   p l u s   4   T B L   y o g u r t ,   b u t t e r m i l k ,   l e m o n   j u i c e ,   w h e y   o r   c i d e r   v i n e g a r   a n d   l e a v e   c o v e r e d   o n   t h e   c o u n t e r   f o r   a   m i n i m u m   o f   7   h o u r s .
 B r i n g   t o   a   b o i l ,   s k i m   o f f   a n y   f o a m ,   r e d u c e   h e a t   a n d   s t i r   i n   s a l t   a n d   b u t t e r .   C o v e r   t i g h t l y   a n d   c o o k   o n   l o w   f o r   a b o u t   4 5   m i n u t e s .

 S o a k i n g   o f   B e a n s
 L i k e   g r a i n s ,   l e g u m e s   c o n t a i n   p h y t i c   a c i d   a n d   e n z y m e   i n h i b i t o r s ,   a n d   r e q u i r e   a   c a r e f u l   s o a k   b e f o r e   c o o k i n g .
 F o r   k i d n e y   s h a p e d   b e a n s ,   p u t   b e a n s ,   a   p i n c h   o f   b a k i n g   s o d a   a n d   e n o u g h   w a t e r   t o   c o v e r   i n   a   l a r g e   p o t   a n d   s o a k   f o r   1 2 - 2 4   h o u r s .   F o r   n o n   k i d n e y   s h a p e d   b e a n s   l i k e   b l a c k   b e a n s   a n d   o t h e r   l e g u m e s ,   s o a k   w i t h   w a t e r   a n d   1   T B L   o f   c i d e r   v i n e g a r   o r   l e m o n   j u i c e   f o r   e v e r y   c u p   o f   d r i e d   l e g u m e s   u s e d .
 F o r   m a x i m u m   d i g e s t i b i l i t y ,   i t   i s   b e s t   t o   r i n s e   a n d   r e f r e s h   t h e   w a t e r   a n d   b a k i n g   s o d a   o r   t h e   a c i d i c   m e d i u m   o n c e   o r   t w i c e   d u r i n g   t h e   s o a k i n g   p e r i o d .
 O n c e   s o a k i n g   i s   c o m p l e t e ,   d r a i n ,   r i n s e ,   a d d   f r e s h   w a t e r   a n d   b r i n g   t o   a   b o i l .   R e d u c e   h e a t ,   a d d   a   f e w   c l o v e s   o f   p e e l e d   a n d   c r u s h e d   g a r l i c   i f   d e s i r e d   a n d   s i m m e r   f o r   4 - 8   h o u r s   u n t i l   s o f t .
 I f   y o u’ v e   h a d   t r o u b l e   w i t h   b l o a t i n g   a n d   g a s   f r o m   b e a n s   i n   t h e   p a s t ,   t r y   t h e   t r a d i t i o n a l   m e t h o d   o f   p r e p a r a t i o n   a n d   n o t i c e   h o w   m u c h   m o r e   e a s i l y   t h e y   s e t t l e   i n   y o u r   s t o m a c h !

The question always comes up, when can I eat bread again?  If you are talking about commercially made breads the answer is NEVER.  But there is a lot of research coming forward showing that genuine sourdough bread is tolerated very well by those with celiacs or gluten intolerance. 

 C h o o s i n g   B r e a d s
 F o r t u n a t e l y ,   t h e r e   a r e   p l e n t y   o f   g o o d   q u a l i t y   b r e a d s   o n   t h e   m a r k e t   t o   b u y   t h a t   a r e   t r a d i t i o n a l l y   p r e p a r e d .   W h i l e   m o r e   e x p e n s i v e   t h a n   c o m m e r c i a l   b r a n d s ,   t h e y   a r e   d e c i d e d l y   m o r e   f i l l i n g   s o   y o u   w i l l   f i n d   t h a t   y o u   e a t   m u c h   l e s s !
 T o   c h o o s e   t h e   b e s t   b r e a d s ,   l o o k   f o r   s o u r d o u g h   o r   s p r o u t e d   b r e a d s   m a d e   f r o m   f r e s h l y   g r o u n d ,   o r g a n i c   f l o u r   w i t h o u t   a n y   a d d i t i v e s   s u c h   a s   g l u t e n ,   s o y   f l o u r ,   o r   v e g e t a b l e   o i l s .   B e   a w a r e   t h a t   i f   a   s o u r d o u g h   b r e a d   h a s   y e a s t   i n   t h e   l i s t   o f   i n g r e d i e n t s ,   t h a t   i t   i s   n o t   a   t r u e   s o u r d o u g h   l o a f .   T h e   s o u r d o u g h   b r e a d  make  h a s   o n l y   t h r e e   i n g r e d i e n t s :   o r g a n i c   f l o u r ,  sea  s a l t ,   a n d   w a t e r .

While some people who suffer from Gluten Intolerance are looking for a panacea that will take their pain away and allow them to go back and “eat like everyone else”.  I am sad to say (that’s just an expression because I’m really not too broken up that you will be forced to eat a diet that is so much healthier than what “everyone else eats” – meaning you will be cutting risks of cancers, heart disease, diabetes, to name just a few), there is no pill you can take that will restore your health allowing you to consume unhealthy, un-nutritious foods and enjoy all the benefits as if you were eating healthy nourishing foods.

Recommendations in summary
1) Avoid all grains containing gluten and any other foods that cause symptoms
2) Colon Comfort by Western Botanicals – 3 capsules 3 times daily and as needed
3) Bone Broths (with added sea salt) – 5 cups daily
4) Warm cooked foods including Congee, root vegetables
5) Do not introduce soaked or fermented grains or breads until your digestive tract has healed and settled down for several weeks. 
6) Commit to a life of preparing and eating only healthy foods.

For an easy to download format of these articles and additional recipes and references email Dr. Christensen at Western Botanicals, Inc.

Offline Truik

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Re: Overcoming Gluten Intolerance
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 08:28:06 PM »
Wow! A ton of good information there.

I gotta make a batch of the broth and start trying it. My neighbors are big advocates of eating "gluten free" and I am sharing this with them as well to see what they think.

Thanks for the post!

Offline BillyS

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Re: Overcoming Gluten Intolerance
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 08:50:34 PM »
Follow the Primal lifestyle myself. I agree that bread is good and all that (your post was really long...) but here's some proof: I've had a beer gut since I was 12. I've always been athletic. I've been through football and cross-training athletic sports both in school and for fun. I've been on and off different diets and exercise regimens since I can remember.

On Primal I feel better, have TONS more energy, higher sex drive, better mental capacity, smaller appetite, lifelong skin problems gone, no more heartburn, more motivated, and for the first time in mylife, the gut is shrinking. And quickly.

Perhaps it's not grain and/or beans but what they've been soaked in or the hoops they're forced to jump through in the labs before they're planted. I don't know. But I really don't care. I doubt I'll ever go back.