The Benefits of Collagen | Gut Health, Skin, Hair and Joints

There has been an increase in awareness and popularity with taking collagen supplements over recent years. Claims have been made that it can help with skin’s youthful appearance, increased bone density and decreased joint pain, along with other claims such as helping to heal your gut lining. For all of these reasons, it’s no surprise that collagen has become a widely sought-after ingredient in the wellness and beauty communities. But collagen’s efficacy is still pretty up in the air. Here’s what we know.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins found in the body. “Its fiber-like structure is used to make connective tissue. Like the name implies, this type of tissue connects other tissues and is a major component of bone, skin, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. It helps to make tissues strong and resilient, able to withstand stretching.”1 As we age we naturally start to reduce our collagen production. This means that our bodies are not able to replace the collagen we are losing as quickly as it is breaking down. Starting in our 20s about 1 percent of our collagen production breaks down each year. External factors such as cigarette smoking (inhaling or second hand smoke), extended sun exposure, pollution, excess alcohol, lack of sleep and exercise increases the breakdown of collagen.

Collagen As A Supplement

The first appearance of collagen was as an ingredient in serums and creams. However, this topical application is not backed by science as collagen itself is not found on the skin’s surface but deep in the layers of the skin. The fibers in collagen are too large to penetrate through the skin’s layers, the same evidence goes for the shorter chains of collagen called peptides. So I wouldn’t suggest buying anything that claims the collagen in their creams will help with signs of aging.

Oral collagen on the other hand, in the form of pills, powders, and certain foods is starting to show some scientific evidence that it can be effectively absorbed by the body. As long as it is not the natural molecule of collagen. It needs to be broken down into smaller peptides as they can easily pass through our gut barrier and into our bloodstream. In theory the body can use the collagen peptides in areas that need repair the most.

Look out for collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen, as these are the two forms of broken down collagen that can be easily absorbed by the body. Collagen supplements contain amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. As additional nutrients, some supplements may also contain vitamin c, biotin or zinc. Also look out for any companies claiming their collagen as “plant based” as there is only animal based collagen to date, so this product will not contain any collagen. However, you can consume supplements that contain the primary amino acids that are involved in collagen synthesis – glycine, lycine, and proline.

What Does The Science Say? Does It Work?

The research is showing that taking collagen for many months can help with signs of aging on your skin, improve the health of your gut lining, and even increase the density in bone that are weakened naturally by age. However, most of the research being done is by companies who directly sell collagen themselves – so the information may be biased.

“Most research on collagen supplements is related to joint and skin health. Human studies are lacking but some randomized controlled trials have found that collagen supplements improve skin elasticity. [3,4] Other trials have found that the supplements can improve joint mobility and decrease joint pain such as with osteoarthritis or in athletes. [5] Collagen comprises about 60% of cartilage, a very firm tissue that surrounds bones and cushions them from the shock of high-impact movements; so a breakdown in collagen could lead to a loss of cartilage and joint problems.” 1

The scientific proof on collagen is starting to rise, and more and more research is being done to prove it’s benefits. The great news is all research that has been done has not been showing any negative side effects of taking collagen as a supplement. 1

There are more and more people starting to share their own personal experiences with taking the collagen supplement and the benefits they are experiencing from it. But do keep in mind, if you are going to give it a try, you need to take it every day for at least 1-3 months before you can really see and feel the benefits of it.

How Much Do You Need For It To Be Effective?

As of right now, health authorities have not provided any guidelines for how much collagen to take in a day. This will all depend on what type of collagen you are consuming. There are three types of collagen: hydrolyzed collagen, undenatured collagen, and gelatin.

Hydrolyzed Collagen

This type of collagen is derived from cattle, marine, poultry, pigs and other animal sources and has been broken down into a more digestible and easier to absorb peptide particle. It is the most common form of collagen supplement as it is in powder or capsule form and can be added to smoothies, hot and cold drinks, soups, baked goods and other forms of food.

A 2019 study has found that taking anywhere from 2.5-15g of collagen a day may be safe and effective.

2.5g per day: could benefit joint pain, skin health, and hydration 11, 12, 13
5g per day: can improve bone density 14, 15
15g per day: can help with muscle mass and body composition 16, 17

Undenatured Collagen

This is raw collagen derived from chicken cartilage, some human studies have suggested that taking daily doses of 10–40 mg of undenatured collagen per day may improve joint health. 18, 19


As all collagen is, this is derived from animal sources and is a form of cooked collagen. This type of collagen is not really sold as a supplement as it’s usually used as an ingredient in gelatinous desserts or foods. There is limited research showing daily serving sizes for gelatin, so it is best to refer to the packaging for the products recommended serving size.

Can you eat too much collagen?

It seems as of right now that collagen is a relatively safe product to consume without any side effects. However, always refer to the product packaging for recommended doses of that particular collagen as there has been reports of feeling overly full, unpleasant taste, and other stomach complaints. 20

Where Can Collagen Be Found?

Collagen is a type of protein and it can be found in your muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, organs, skin, intestinal lining and other connective tissues. You can see why it is such an important component in our bodies as it helps to make tissues strong and resilient.

In food, naturally collagen is only found in animal flesh like meat and fish that contains connective tissue. However, there is a variety of both animal and plant foods that contain materials to help our bodies natural collagen production.

You can find easily digested forms of collagen in meat and seafood, supplements and even bone broth.

Lifestyle Habits That Can Help Collagen Production

Along with a well-balanced diet, here are some healthy habits that may help with protecting the collagen production in your body.

Reduce Stress: Chronically high cortisol levels in the body can decrease the production levels of collagen naturally in the body. So start mindful practices like meditation and breathing techniques to decrease the amount of stress you may have in your life.

Get A Good Amount Of Sleep: Among many other factors, sleep is extremely important for the human body. But not just any sleep, aiming for 7-9 hours a night of adequate sleep will help with many daily functions in the body.

Stop Smoking: There are many health concerns that we are aware of when it comes to a habit like smoking. But this also includes trying to avoid secondhand smoke whenever you can.

No Excessive Time In The Sun: Now this does not mean hiding from the sun. The sun provides the vital vitamin D that we need for many functions in the body including the immune system. So aim to get 10-20 min of daily direct sunlight 3-4 times a week, but the rest of the time be sure to use sunscreen or cover up with layers and hats.

Exercise Regularly: Exercise is hugely beneficial in so many ways, but some studies have found that exercise can slow down cell activity involved with aging.2

What Are The Benefits Of Collagen?

Helps with gut health

Collagen can play a key role in helping with the repair and strengthening of the gut lining in our digestive tract. This is due to the amino acids it contains, glycine and glutamine. There is research coming out showing the benefits of collagen on the gut and specifically leaky gut. However, do keep in mind all of the research as of right now is all based on animals, there has not been much if at all any human research on this subject.

Although this being said, a research paper published in 2017 has shown that among IBD patients, there was an imbalance between the formation and breakdown of collagen fibres, and this was connected to inflammation. An older study from 2003 showed that IBD patients do have a decreased amount of type 4 collagen. As we know, collagen is a part of connective tissue, and this makes up our colon and GI tract. Therefore, increasing your levels of collagen may be a supportive environment for your body to heal.

Even though there has not been much human research being done on collagen and its effects on the gut, there has been recent human research of l-glutamine on gut health! Since collagen contains glutamine, this could be a step in the right direction. It can help with inflammation, “Several lines of evidence indicate that glutamine has an anti-inflammatory property by influencing a number of inflammatory signalling pathways.”3 As promising as this is, more human research needs to be done to know its full potential.

It can help with what is naturally lost through aging

Your body starts to produce less collagen as we age starting in our twenties, and collagen peptides added to your diet may serve to replace what your body begins to lack as you age, and support your overall health.

Collagen is a good source of protein and is easily digestible

For some people digesting proteins like chicken or beef can cause digestive upset and may be hard on their body. Collagen supplements are hydrolyzed, meaning the collagen is broken down. This means that collagen supplements may potentially be a more comfortable way for your body to digest protein. The process of hydrolyzing also means that the collagen supplement can be easily dissolvable in water which then can be added to everyday foods like water or smoothies.

Collagen may help with skin’s signs of aging

This is by far the most researched when it comes to the benefits of collagen. In a 2019 systemic review, researchers analyzed 11 randomized, placebo-controlled studies of more than 800 patients who took up to 10 grams (g) per day of collagen with the goal of improving skin health. The results? “Preliminary results are promising for the short and long-term use of oral collagen supplements for wound healing and skin aging. Oral collagen supplements also increase skin elasticity, hydration, and dermal collagen density.”6

Collagen may help to decrease joint aches and pains

There is no doubt that when you have joint pain, exercise becomes a much harder habit to follow. A study from 2017 found that athletes with knee pain who took 5 g of collagen peptides daily for 12 weeks had less joint pain during exercise compared with a placebo group. Oral collagen may support cartilage repair and may also have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Final Thoughts

Whether you decide to start taking collagen or not, don’t forget to also work on other collagen-depleting factors such as sleep, smoking, pollution, stress and exercise as mentioned in this blog post. Taking a supplement is exactly as the name suggests, you supplement with everyday lifestyle changes. Be diligent with quality control and do your research into the company you are sourcing your collagen from. Check to make sure the company is doing their part to source good quality collagen and following safe practices in how they manufacture their products. Also, be sure to follow the supplement’s recommended dietary requirements (RDA) to be sure you are not taking too much of it a day. Any supplement in high quantities over the RDA is not good for anyone, always follow the package directions when consuming supplements.

A Collagen Product I Recommend:

After my diagnosis of celiac disease I decided to try taking collagen to help the healing of my gut lining. Along with following a gluten free diet, I found taking collagen helped to improve my bowel movements, bloating, inflammation in the gut and in my joints and helped my hair and nails grow back stronger along with helping to heal the rashes I had on my skin.

Was it the gluten free diet or taking collagen that helped? I believe it was both, as I stopped taking collagen for a few years and recently just started taking it again. After a few days of taking it I’m starting to see a few improvements in my overall health again.

I am a proud affiliate with the Canadian company Organika, and I stand by their products as they are high quality, follow industry leading practices, they are backed by researched nutrition, mindful crafting and they really source out the best quality ingredients for their products.

They have won awards for Canada’s #1 collagen for a reason.

Follow this link to look through their wide selection of collagen to find the one that is right for you and be sure to use my code LEWSLIFE25 for 25% off site wide!

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

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The Best Gluten-Free Places To Eat In Penticton | Celiac Friendly

Penticton is a fantastic small town full of outside adventure, wine touring, water sports, winter sports, mountain hiking and biking among many other amenities! It also has a few places to eat that are celiac safe within Penticton and just outside of it as well! Be sure to check the list of places below out if you are looking for gluten-free delicious eats made for someone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance!


Wild Scallion

Picture from my IG account of the Fiesta Bowl

The first restaurant on the list is one of my go-to restaurants as EVERYTHING in the restaurant is gluten-free. They have vegan and vegetarian options but you can also add chicken to most meals as well if you prefer, or add and subtract from plates depending on your food preferences. Everything is fresh and made with wholesome ingredients. As a celiac, I have never had any issues with cross-contamination or a flare-up of symptoms after eating at this restaurant.

My personal favourites:

Fiesta Bowl: Jam-packed with veg, beans, and flavour. I LOVE this bowl, as your mouth is exploding with different textures and flavours. You can easily add Teriyaki chicken to your bowl as well, as this is what I personally do.
Pad Thai: Another classic and great option, the peanut sauce is so good! I also add chicken to this plate as well for more protein.
Vegan Alfredo: Super creamy without the “cream.” Jam-packed with mushrooms, so if you do not like mushrooms you can substitute for chicken.
Salad Rolls: A nice easy and light meal for those who are not needing a bigger plate of food. The peanut sauce that comes with this plate is what I’m always craving from this restaurant (I’m pretty sure it’s the same sauce found on the pad thai). They are light and fresh and like everything else you can add chicken to the rolls if you find fit.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Hazelnut Square: UNREAL, so good especially if you really like the combination of chocolate and peanut butter!

I honestly feel like all of their meals are fantastic, but I have a hard time moving away from one of the 5 mentioned above as I’m always craving them. However, I have heard from friends that their curries are also wonderful.

All of the choices at Wild Scallion are super filling and can sometimes be good for 2-3 meals unless you are starving…then eat the whole plate, I’m not judging.

**I’ve just been informed that this restaurant will be under new ownership, I’m pretty sure they said they will be keeping it all gluten-free – be sure to ask when you get there :)** Notified Feb 2022.

The full menu can be found here.

Photo from my IG account of some of my favourite treats


This restaurant is fully gluten-free and vegan. It has raw dessert options and has just started offering take and bake pizzas, wraps, cold and hot drinks, smoothies, and vegan ice cream. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough to anyone looking for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free wholesome food. Everything made with oats is made with gluten-free oats, as I went in and explained to them how celiacs cannot eat regular oats. The next day after our conversation they made the switch to gluten-free oats! Thank you for always listening and making the switch!

My personal favourites:

Peanut Butter Cups: Absolutely delicious, just the right amount of peanut butter to chocolate. The ingredients are Cocoa, Maple Syrup, Coconut Oil, Vanilla Extract, Natural Peanut Butter, Oats (certified GF), Coconut Sugar ($2.50 or 2 for $4.50).
Salted Caramel Pecan Bar: This one is like a turtle chocolate piece but in bar form and without the chocolate. The ingredients are Oat Flour, Pecans, Dates, Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, Coconut Sugar, Pink Himalayan Salt, Vanilla Extract, Maple Syrup, Water ($3.59).
Nanaimo Bar (coffee): A lovely twist on the original Nanaimo bar as they add coffee, and I’m not a coffee fan, but it is perfect in this bar! They also have the original Nanaimo bar as well which is just as equally delicious. The ingredients are Almonds, Shredded Coconut, Cocoa, Dates, Cashews, Coconut Oil, Maple Syrup, Coconut Sugar, Ground Coffee (Seis Cielo Coffee Roaster), Pink Himalayan Salt, Vanilla Extract ($4.75).
Cheesecake by the slice: Any of their cheesecakes are divine! I have not found one yet that I did not like, you cannot go wrong with any flavour that you get.
Soft Taco: If you are looking for a flavourful and light lunch, their wrap and soup combo are just for you! I personally really like the soft taco wrap, but all of them are a great choice. The soft taco is a gluten-free wrap, black bean spread & spinach, tangy taco “meat”, queso sauce, and pico de gallo – $9.95  (Small Soup Combo: $13.00, Medium Soup Combo: $14.75).
Take and Bake Pizza’s: This is a newer product at their location and I could not be happier! There is finally a good-sized pizza with a lot of toppings to take home for the celiacs in the community. I personally love how filling each piece is and how the toppings are basically overflowing off the pizzas. My personal favourite of the pizzas so far is the Mexican.

Gratify is a fantastic location for all things gluten-free and vegan. The owners are lovely as can be and it’s a fantastic local shop to check out!

Click here for their menu. And here for their website.

Photo is from my IG account of some of my favourite treats from Blissful Belly

Blissful Belly

This is a celiac-safe, gluten, dairy, and egg-free facility! The owner is celiac herself so you know every product in her shop will for sure be safe for anyone with celiac disease. They also have some products that are made without nuts in case there may be a nut allergy. I cannot explain enough how much I love this little bakeshop! The owner, Victoria, is an absolute gem and super friendly to speak with. She has a background as a whole food nutritionist so you know the food had some thought put into it.

My personal favourites:

“Just-Add-Water” Baking Mixes:
All of the mixes are delicious and super convenient for the days that you want to bake something up but you may not have all of the ingredients or you may be short of time. There are six mixes and you cannot go wrong with either one. She has Mocha Fudge Brownie Mix, Chocolate Chip Granola Cookie Mix, Chipotle Apple Cornbread Mix, Onion & Garlic Biscuit Mix, Gingerbread Scone/Cookie Mix (Seasonal), and Buckwheat Cinnamon Pancake/Waffle Mix.
Fresh Bake Shop Items: All her treats are delicious and are baked in-house with local and organic ingredients. You can have the choice from Biscotti Bites – Maple Ginger, Maple Walnut, Maple Chocolate, Macaroons – Lemon Maple, Cherry Lavender, Mocha Nib, Trail Bars – Peanut Butter Date and Cranberry Chocolate – 2/pkg, Cherry Date Oat Bars – 2/pkg, and Fudge Brownie – Turtle Caramel Pecan and Maple Walnut 2/pkg. I personally love her fudge brownie, peanut butter bars and cherry date oat bars.

This is definitely a shop you’ll want to check out and grab snacks for on the road or in your own home baking. She even has teas & hot cocao mixes! She sells her products in her Penticton shop but also has an online store where she will ship products across Canada.

You can find her website here. And menu and shop here.

This photo is from The Kitchen’s IG account

The Kitchen

This restaurant can be found at Da Silva Winery and is open from May 1 – Mid October, as they are only open seasonally, and open for lunch and dinner service Monday to Saturday. However, when they do open up, it’s one of the happiest days as this restaurant is beyond delicious. They have Portuguese tapas with a Mexican flare. I absolutely love this restaurant when I want to have multiple plates of food and cannot make up my mind. The tapas are smaller servings but they are jam-packed with flavour, and the best part is you leave the restaurant feeling satisfied but not overfull. If you are in Penticton I cannot recommend this restaurant enough, but be sure to call ahead and make a reservation as they book up fast!

My personal favourites:

Pork Belly Slow Braised In Port And Brandy: Extremely tender meat, and unreal flavouring.
Duck Leg Confit With Amarena Cherry Gastric: I never thought I would say that duck is good, but this was my first time trying it and I have to say, it was absolutely delicious!
Roasted Cauliflower, Dusted With Parmesan Cheese: I wanted to order this twice because of how good it was.

You really cannot go wrong with anything you choose off their menu as they have meat, seafood and vegetarian sections. You will also be dining with an amazing view of the winery and surrounding Penticton landscape. The restaurant is 99% gluten-free, the only reason it’s not 100% is due to the bread served before the meals arrive. However, when I told them I was celiac they assured me the chef cleaned down the preparation areas to be sure I did not get exposed. What are you waiting for? Book a reservation and experience The Kitchen for yourself!

Their website can be found here and their menu can be found here.

Ice cream sandwich

Poplar Grove

This is another restaurant at a winery in Penticton. It is a fancier restaurant, with an epic view and great staff and honestly even better food. I have personally eaten here a handful of times and every time I have had no reactions and the food I ate, I was craving more of. They do have gluten in their kitchen but they do work hard to decrease the amount of cross-contamination. I would just mention to the server that you have celiac disease and inform the chef.

My personal favourites:

I believe they change their menu every once in a while so just know that it may be different when you go.

Beef Burger:
I had this for lunch one day and they gave me a lettuce wrap to eat it with. It seems like a simple option on a menu, but it was delicious!
Ice cream sandwich:
UNREAL. It’s made with ice cream and the “sandwich” part is chocolate and puffed rice.
Risotto: I believe they special made this for me as they didn’t have anything on the dinner menu that was for sure gluten-free at the time. But I remember this dish being absolutely delicious!

If you want to go to Poplar Grove, be sure to call ahead and make a reservation as they book up FAST.

Lunch Menu | Dinner Menu | Website

This picture is from their website of the Dolmathes Avgolemono


An amazing wholesome family-run Greek restaurant. This is one of my go-to restaurants in Penticton all year round. If you are craving or just want to try authentic Greek food, this is definitely the place for you! They have a specialty vegetarian menu along with a gluten-free menu as well. Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure one of the owner’s family members has celiac disease so they usually take extra care. When I have gone in to eat at the restaurant I have never had any issues, however, I did have one time with take-out that I didn’t feel too great after eating their food. So I would suggest going to eat in person instead of take-out if you are celiac. I’ve never had an issue when I have gone into the restaurant itself to eat.

My personal favourites:

Mediterranean Ribs: This is my go-to meal at Theo’s. You get a decent-sized rack of ribs with delicious herbs and spices on them cooked to perfection. Charbroiled pork back ribs glazed with oregano, lemon juice and fresh garlic. There is also a side of rice, veg and the best lemon potatoes.
Rack of Lamb: This is the next plate I go for. A fantastic cut of lamb with the best flavours. New Zeland rack of lamb crusted with Greek Vlahotiri cheese and baked in the oven with fresh herbs and a little garlic. It is also paired with rice, veg and lemon potatoes.
Dolmathes Avgolemono: If you are in the mood for an appetizer, guys, you need to get these. I crave these, it is hot stuffed grape leaves filled with rice and ground beef, fresh herbs and topped with a creamy avgolemono sauce. Also available as Vegan.
Souvlaki: A delicious lighter dinner or lunch. Undoubtedly the most famous Greek dish, bite-size pieces of beef, chicken or pork are seasoned in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and oregano then skewered with onion and green peppers and grilled to suit your taste. Also paired with veg, rice and lemon potatoes.
Moussaka: A classic Greek entree and a house favourite of Theo’s guests since 1976. Alternate layers of sliced roasted eggplant, potatoes, zucchini and ground beef spiced with cinnamon and herbs.  The topping itself, created by Mary Theodosakis, features Béchamel sauce enhanced with nutmeg and other distinctive islands of Crete spices. **BE SURE TO ASK FOR THIS TO BE GLUTEN-FREE IF CELIAC**
Ice Cream: They also have the best inhouse made ice cream that can be dairy-free if needed.

The lamb shoulder is unreal, however, I ate that one before I knew I was celiac and unfortunately it is NOT gluten-free. If you cannot tell from the list of my favourites above, I’ve gone and continue to go to this restaurant a lot. It’s by far a Penticton favourite, so be sure to call ahead for take-out (as they will only do it to a certain time), and if you want any reservations.

Website and Menu

The picture is taken from my IG stories of the GF fish and chips

Ships A-Hoy

This restaurant is not in Penticton, but I had to add it to the list. If you are looking for the BEST gluten-free fish and chips, you’ll want to drive out to Peachland. The owner’s daughter has celiac disease, so she has separate fryers and sections of her kitchen for gluten-free and non-gluten-free. I have NEVER had any issues eating at this restaurant and the fish and chips are honestly unreal.

Along with fish and chips, they also have ice cream and gluten-free waffle cones to boot!


The high tea closest is gluten-free and the one furthest is not
A glimpse of the atmosphere here

Neverland Tea Cottage

If you are wanting to have gluten-free high tea, head on out to Naramata! I could not explain to you how excited I was to see a gluten-free high tea. Just be sure to call ahead and inform them that you are celiac and need the food to be prepared away from gluten in the kitchen. It’s a lovely restaurant with a stunning atmosphere, great tea, and delicious treats. They also have other food choices than high tea.

Website | Menu

If you are coming into Penticton and are celiac, be sure to check out the restaurants mentioned above!

The Symptoms Of ‘Glutening’ As A Celiac | And What To Do When It Happens

When you are diagnosed with celiac disease, you typically do everything in your power to not eat gluten. Unfortunately, sometimes this is inevitable and will happen at some point in your life, especially if you eat out.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the tissues in the small intestine in response to gluten. One crumb is sometimes all it takes to flare and cause symptoms in an individual who is celiac. However, how every individual person reacts to gluten when they have celiac disease differs in severity. Some may not feel any symptoms at all, others may get all of the symptoms associated with the disease and others it depends on how much they have consumed.

In my experience with the disease, it seems to be changing as time goes by and my gut continues to heal. When I was first diagnosed, a year later I was given 2 slices of gluten bread and I had awful symptoms that lasted about 8 months. However, now 5 years into my diagnosis, a week ago I was glutened again at a restaurant but this time I had stabbing sharp pains in my gut immediately after eating along with instant bloating. The pain lasted for about 3 hours and I was fatigued with my stomach feeling a bit off and bloated for about 3-7 days after and I seem to be back to my regular self again. Was it less gluten than before? Is it because my stomach has healed more that it did not hit me as hard or last as long? Only time and experience will tell me for sure as every individual reacts differently. However, listed below are some symptoms to look out for if you have eaten out or eaten something new and seem to be having a reaction.

How do I know if I have eaten gluten?

As mentioned above, depending on your severity and how long you are into your healing journey, what you will feel when you have been glutened will vary.

For myself, when I ate the two slices of bread a year after diagnosis at a restaurant, it was within 30-40 min after eating there I started getting symptoms. I felt like I was going to be sick, the typical signs and symptoms you get just before you’re going to throw up. I did throw up and immediately after I had sharp pains in my gut which feel as if I just swallowed a bunch of razor blades. That pain happened on and off, along with distended bloating. The pain was on and off for about a week, and the bloating lasted for about 2-3 months. However, the mental and physical symptoms I got (most of which are listed below) lasted for about 8 months. This exposure shot my TTG blood levels (anti-body blood test for celiac) back up to greater than 300. For those of you who do not know, this is very high and a good indication that I definitely ate a lot of gluten that day.

However, recently I believe I had just a smaller exposure at a restaurant and I had the sharp pains instantly after eating, this was my first sign. They progressively became worse as the night went and lasted for about 3 hours if I had to guess. I bloated instantly and was left feeling very fatigued that night. The next few days I had a few sharp pains when I ate anything but not like the night before, more just a reminder to take it easy on the food that day. My appetite was lower and my stomach felt sore and inflamed for about 3 days, but the bloating lasted for about 5-7 days along with some digestion upset. I did not have as much brain fog or mental health issues pop up, but I did have a few skin conditions pop up minorly. I had a very red sore pop up on my chin and small red bumps on my arms. But no dermatits herpetiformis on my hands like I usually get. Now, 2 weeks after, I’m seeing that it may have had an effect on my digestion just a bit longer than a week and it has thrown off my menstrual cycle as well. However, all of my symptoms did not last as long as the last time which is really encouraging. I was also told by my dietician that a once in a while exposure to gluten does not reverse all of the healing you have done in your gut, that will only happen when you have multiple exposures in a row (as if you are eating it on a regular basis).

Depending on how you individually react to gluten, one or more of the symptoms below can occur. Remember that everyone reacts differently, and it also depends where you are in your healing journey to know how you will react to gluten. It seems like the more your gut heals over time, the quicker you will heal when you are exposed to gluten. Hurray for our superhuman healing powers!

What are the symptoms of gluten exposure?

Listed below are just a few of the symptoms one can experience when they have celiac disease and have eaten gluten. Keep in mind that there are more than 300 known symptoms of celiac disease. So this is the short of the long list of them all.

  • Anemia
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Brain Fog
  • Irritability
  • Bloating or Gas
  • Sharp Abdomen Pain
  • Depression
  • Delayed Growth in Children
  • Diarrhea
  • Discoloured Teeth
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Infertility
  • Irregular periods
  • PMS
  • Itchy Skin Rash (Dermatitis Herpetiformis)
  • Joint Pain
  • Mouth Sores
  • Poor weight gain or loss
  • Thin bones
  • Neropathy suchs as tingling and numbness into the arms and legs
  • Vomiting
  • And so much more

What do I do if I think I have been glutened?

  1. Don’t Panic: First step is to not panic. The more you stress, the more your gut will become affected through the gut-brain axis. I’ve learned to sit with my symptoms for a bit and see what pops up, because it could be gluten, but it could also very well be something else.
  2. Wait it out: Continuing my point from above, it might be something else causing your symptoms. I’ve learned over the last 6 months working with a dietician that there are a wide range of reasons why you may be experiencing symptoms. Try to not think that it is always gluten that is out to get you, believe me, I know this is a hard mindset to get to. However, if your symptoms do become worse over time or more start to pop up, then I would either make an appointment with you doctor to see if they feel you need to be tested for gluten exposure, or ride it out and try the tips listed below.
  3. Listen to your body: Our bodies have an amazing way of letting us know what we need. If you feel you need to eat more plain food after a glutening, then go for it. Eat foods that are easier to digest to help your body out when it is already working hard. However, if you feel you need more food than you can do that too.
  4. Hydrate: Keeping yourself hydrated will help to flush out the gluten but also to help keep your systems running efficiently. Your body is already working hard to get everything back to equilibrium, give it a little help in return. For the first few days after the last glutening I had I was drinking elecrolytes once a day and about 10-12 cups of water a day along with some bone broth as well for the vitamins, minerals and collagen to further help my body out. But if you don’t have the others, plain old H2O is a fantastic help.
  5. Rest: This is probably one of the most important steps when you’ve been glutened. Your body is going through a lot when this happens, a full autoimmune reaction can occur which means all of your systems in your body is working in over drive. Help your body out and don’t put any unneccessary stress on it until you start to recover and feel better. You’ll most likely recover faster if you listen to your body and give it what it needs. Grab a book, relax with a nice tea and a blanket and relax.

Final thoughts

Don’t be hard on yourself, things happen and unfortunately, it’s almost inevitable to happen when you’re not eating in your own kitchen as a celiac. Take it easy and try the tips above for hopefully what will be a faster recovery. That way you can get back to doing what you love and enjoy in life.

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

We do not collect any personal information or store cookies.  You can turn off cookies on your web browsers.

A Book I Highly Recommend For Gut Health: Love Your Gut

I have to start off by saying if you have gut issues or even if you don’t but you are interested in learning more about gut health, this is the book for you! If you have been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I have celiac disease, you will also know that I’ve been struggling with ongoing gut and full-body symptoms even with following a strict gluten-free diet. This is the book that changed my mindset on gut health and had me start working with a registered dietician.

Dr. Megan Rossi is, “a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist with a Ph.D. in gut health from the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia. Megan’s Ph.D. was recognized for its contribution to science receiving the Dean’s Award for excellence. Megan leads research at King’s College London investigating nutrition-based therapies in gut health, including pre- & probiotics, dietary fibres, the low FODMAP diet and food additives.1″

She starts the book off by explaining about her grandma who was diagnosed with bowel cancer, and how when she started working in the hospital as a dietician she had a lot of patients with kidney disease who were complaining of gut issues. She then went on to work with Olympic athletes and company CEOs who got her thinking about the link between the gut and the brain (the gut-brain axis). From here she went into research to make a difference, but she found that even with the research that was being done and that was available, there were false and dangerous fad nutritional messages being passed to the public. She educates the public that restricting diets and taking expensive supplements can destroy people’s gut health. Her mission is to now spread true information about gut health and nutrition through evidence-based research. She also talks a lot about getting enough “plant points” in your diet every day by eating a wide range of plant-based foods.

When I say this book is jam-packed with exceptional information, I mean that I have post-it notes all over this book to the information I have referenced back to time and time again. The book is full of evidence-based information from the gut microbiota to food intolerances and irritable bowel syndrome, plus so much more. She explains the information in a way that anyone would understand and in a way that really sticks with you as well. She wrote the book in a way that as you are reading about the information given, you will also have the opportunity to take her assessment quizzes to find out the state of your individual gut health. By the end of the book, you may have a better understanding of what is going on in your own gut and have a better idea of what to do to correct it. It’s like having a dietician right there in your own home!

What made me pick up this book

For a short personal story, I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2017. I went on a gluten-free diet immediately after being diagnosed. After a few months of continual symptoms even with following a strict gluten-free diet, I started reaching out for help. The walk-in doctors were of no help as they kept telling me to continue eating a gluten-free diet and I would be fine. This is when I started reaching out for help from other healthcare providers like naturopaths, acupuncturists and nutritionists, all of which were helpful in their own way but something did not add up. I was placed on extreme elimination diets like the hypoallergenic diet and I was told through a muscle food intolerance test that I was intolerant to certain foods and needed to avoid them. I was not told that I could eventually reintroduce those foods back into my diet, like what Dr. Rossi explains in her book, but instead, I was told to eat restrictively and avoid those foods for the rest of my life. This was not the lifestyle I wanted for myself and I eventually started to develop anxiety over food. This past year I started wondering if the anxiety I felt over the foods I was told to avoid was contributing to my ongoing gut health issues. It turns out, I was right.

Fast forward to last year when I started reading Dr. Rossi’s book, Love Your Gut, after listening to her speak over many podcasts and on her social media platforms. After reading her book and completing the self-assessments, I decided to give working with a dietician a try. I cannot emphasize this enough, I wish I started working with one sooner, as I have noticed more difference in my gut over 6 months of working with one than in the 4 years with other healthcare providers. This is not to say other healthcare providers do not help, but be sure you are working with the right ones for your individual needs.

I feel like I could write a book-length reason why you should read this book. Definitely pick up a copy for yourself or a friend or family member you feel may need it, I’ve bought this book for many people in my life. She even has delicious recipes to try at the end of the book, they will definitely help you get your ‘plant points.’

I personally cannot wait for her next book, Eat More Live Well, to be available in Canada, but in the meantime check this one out!

Thank you Dr. Rossi for all that you do, you’ve helped to transform my life and I’m sure many others as well!

Click here for her Instagram page. Click here for her amazing blog.

This review was in no way sponsored – more a way to spread the word on a great book and human being!


Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

We do not collect any personal information or store cookies.  You can turn off cookies on your web browsers.

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Diagnosed With Celiac Disease

Today is my five-year anniversary of being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I look back on that day and think about how relieved I was to finally have an answer of why I was not feeling great and why I had the symptoms that I did. I left that doctor’s office and immediately started researching everything I could about Celiac Disease. However, now that I’m 5 years into my diagnosis, I’m going to write about 5 things I wish I was told when I was first diagnosed. This was a hard list to make, as there are hundreds of topics I wish I knew about, but that’s the simplest part of life, we need to take it one step at a time. All of the answers will come with experience and time. There is more to the disease than just going gluten-free. Celiac disease, for those who do not know, is an autoimmune disease of the small intestine, and gluten is its trigger.

First off, go gluten-free, right this second, if you have been diagnosed with celiac disease and DO NOT look back. I hate to tell you, but this is a life-long disease that will never go away, I’m just going to be straight with you. There is no cure for celiac disease as of yet, other than following a strict 100% gluten-free diet. I have met some people who “cheat” on their gluten-free diet even though they have been diagnosed with celiac disease. This is a hard no, just one crumb can cause an autoimmune reaction in your body and have you not feeling your best again. So just avoid the stuff as much as you physically can in your own home and out to eat.

When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease I was told by the doctor to “just follow a gluten-free diet.” And even though he was technically correct with this statement, over the years I have learned there I so much more to healing your gut from celiac disease than ‘just going gluten-free.’ Here are 5 things I wish I was also told when I was first diagnosed.

  1. Give Yourself Time To Heal

    This is my first point for you because I did not realize just how long it takes the gut to heal from something like the damages of celiac disease. Depending on how long you have had symptoms and how long it took you to get diagnosed, there is damage in your gut that needs time to heal. Your doctor may have you do a TTG test every 3 or 6 months to see where your progress is, but do not get discouraged if it’s taking a bit longer than you thought to get your TTG levels to fully drop to a normal level. Typically it takes anywhere from 6-18 months to heal, however, if you have had the symptoms longer or had a high TTG test result (such as, greater than 300), it can take up to 5 years to get your TTG levels to fully drop. For example, when I was first diagnosed my TTG blood result was greater than 300. Now 5 years later my TTG result is now 17.5, and continues to drop with a diligent lifestyle. Nothing happens over night, so try to be patient and kind with yourself as sometimes there are things in life that we have no control over.
  2. Be Wary Of Cross-Contamination

    If you have on-going symptoms, cross contamination of gluten may be the cuplrit. I had no idea this was even a possibility when I was first diagnosed. This is an important point to make because as I have mentioned, it just takes one crumb to cause you symptoms and that one crumb can be hidden in the most sneaky places. I have written a whole blog post on cross contamination and celiac disease which you can find here, however here is the quick version of it.

    It is not just the act of eating wheat, barley, rye or oats that can cause your TTG levels to rise and cause you symptoms, but you can also get small contaminations of gluten that may not rise your TTG levels but can definitely still cause your on-going symptoms. Gluten can be hidden in ingredients, products, and kitchen equipment just to name a few. Now before I continue, this is not a fear mongering point, more one just to make you aware.

    Be sure to go through your kitchen equipment and replace what could have come into contact with gluten before your diagnosis. Equipment such as chopping boards, toasters, rolling pin and wooden spoons, pasta strainers, sifter, old plastic utensils, waffle irons, teflon pans that are heavily stratched, baking sheets, loaf pans and muffin tins are all objects that can conceal gluten in them. Even looking into your condements to be sure there is no ‘double dipping’ of a utensil from a slice of gluten bread into that condiment jar as it can leave behind gluten crumbs. Finally, products like toothpaste, lipchap, mouthwash, and dental floss should also be looked into.

    Getting little micro contamnations consistently can cause your symptoms to stick around and keep your TTG levels raised. So being sure you are reading food labels correctly and replacing what you need to in your home along with asking all of the right questions when you are out to eat can help you prevent getting glutened. This actally brings me to my next point…
  3. Start Working With The Right Healthcare Providers Right Away

    I cannot emphasis this point enough! Over the years I have worked with a list of different healthcare providers and there are two of which I would suggest to see.

    A Gastroenterologist

    I wish the doctor I saw at the walk in told me to go and see a gastroenterologist right away. I was not sent to see a gastroenterologist when I was first diagnosed as I was told it would take up to 2 years for me to even get in with one (that’s here in Canada). So I was not referred to one until I was given the wrong sandwich bread at a restaurant a year after my diagnosis and my now family doctor started the referral process to get me in with a specialist. When I did get in to see her a year later, she saw my first test results and said I should have seen her at that point, and not 2 years later. I’m also suggesting to see a gastroenterologist right away as the blood test alone is not the ‘solid’ diagnosis of celiac disease; you need to get a gastroscopy and biopsy completed to know for sure if you are 100% celiac. The reason for this is the blood test that can be a false positive or vice versa, and the only way to know for sure is testing your small intestine directly. Your specialist can also take a look at your test results and decide if any further testing needs to be done.

    A Dietician

    The second professional I highly suggest working with right away is a dietician. But not just any dietician, one that specializes in celiac disease. I started working with one that specializes in celiac disease because the first dietician I worked with did not, and she taught me the basics but did not continue to work with me to help me with my on-going symptoms. I am now working with a dietician that does specialize in celiac disease and it has made a world of a difference, so much so that I wish I had started to work with her sooner. They will be able to work with you and let you know if you are eating the correct foods, meal portion sizes, meal spacing, how to eat balanced meals, teach you how to read food labels correctly, and so much more. I personally have had on-going symptoms even with following a gluten free diet for the last 5 years, but she has taught me information I’m not sure I would have figured out without her help and guidance. And I’m happy to say I have less symptoms than I did when I first started working with her.
    This is not a promotion or plug in anyway, but if you’d like to work with the same dietician I am, she can be found here. She also has celiac disease and can relate with what you are going through.
  4. Continue To Live Your Life Without Fear And Speak Up For Yourself – Some tips on how to do this

    This doesn’t seem like a big one for most, and it didn’t seem like one for myself, but it’s a important part of the healing process. When you are first diagnosed it can be daunting to know that you have to avoid gluten for your physical and mental health, but it can be hard to avoid it when it is a main ingredient in a lot of products and foods. However, if you follow a few simple lifestyle changes, it will be smooth sailing. Here are a few examples:

    – Read labels of foods before you buy them and eat them to be sure they do not contain gluten
    – Ask the right questions when you are out to eat or at a friends place. Do not be afraid to speak up for yourself, this is afterall your health and you are the one who will suffer the consequences, so please do not feel embarassed to tell people what needs to be done to keep you safe. This is personally one I’m still working on myself but with time it will become easier and more natural.
    – Prepare for road trips and always carry a snack on you. This is something I learned the hard way, I’ve hit hangry Lauren way too many times but this can all be stopped by preparing ahead and being sure you always leave your home with a snack. Having bars, fruit or veg, nut and seed mixes, etc on you can be life changning when you cannot find somewhere safe to eat. This can also decrease the anxiety placed on yourself when you are hungry.
    – Along with the last point, travel your little heart out! Do not be afraid to travel, there are so many places you can go to eat safely now, and if there is not, bring snacks and prepare for the trip. You can also travel with health cards that are typed out in the language of the country that you are going to explaining your condition and what needs to be done to keep you safe. Go see the world!

    Just know that if you are doing your best and continuing to educate yourself, you’re already way ahead. I know it can be scary with a new condition, but take it from me, it’s livable and it can become your new adventure in life!
  5. The Mind-Gut Connection

    Okay last but certainly not least, the mind-gut connection. There is more and more research coming out showing how closely the mind and gut work together. Celiac disease does not just effect the gut, it affects every system in the body due to the fact that it damages our main organ that absorbes the nutrients from the food we eat, the small intestine. Therefore, it won’t just cause symptoms physically but also mentally. When the gut is damaged, it will cause a domino-effect throughout the rest of the body. All the same, if the brain is damaged it can do the same thing.

    The following is from the book, The Mind-Gut Connection: “We know today that 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is actually contained in specialized cells in the gut, and these serotonin-containing cells are influenced by what we eat, by chemicals released from certain species of gut microbes, and by signals that the brain sends to them, informing them about our emotional state.” Essentially, if our gut is unhappy, so will our brain be and vice versa.

    The reason I am bringing this point into view is due to my own struggles in this department over the last 5 years. I did not realize until 6 months ago just how anxious I was about my gut and just how much it was affecting my over all physical and mental state. If you are anxious, nervous, fatigued, or scared, your gut will act up. But if you make this chronic, over time more and more symptoms can occur. Those symptoms are very similar to a celiac eating gluten, in whichcase you may be thinking you are eating gluten when your stomach is upset but sometimes it might be due to your menal state causing those symptoms. Breathwork and meditation has been a saving grace for me, and thankfully in this day and age there are a lot of videos, tutorials, apps, books and people out there that can help you get started.

Those are the first 5 tips that I would give anyone who has just been diagnosed with celiac disease. All in all, know that you are a rockstar and this is an amazing opportunity for a lifestyle change that will better suit you. There are many positives to being celiac which I wrote about, and now there are so many amazing communities to be a part of as well. Know that you are never alone and there is always help out there.

As I have mentioned there is so much more that I would love to share with you, as I truly believe that experience is knowledge and knowledge is power. Stay tuned for more helpful tips coming in the near future on this blog and more!

Much love coming your way,

LEW oxox

If you are interested in reading my story here are some blog posts I wrote about my journey with celiac disease:

Part 1: The beginning of a positive lifestyle change

Part 2: The first year after diagnosis

Part 3: My first accidental exposure to gluten that lead to a gastroscopy

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

We do not collect any personal information or store cookies.  You can turn off cookies on your web browsers.

How Tea Can Help With Mental Health: Featuring The Genuine Tea Company

There are not enough words in the world for me to write about how much I love this tea company.

Genuine Tea is ethically sourced, free of artificial flavouring and colours, and the best part for people who may have celiac disease, they are 100% gluten free! This Toronto, Ontario based company hand packages their tea with love, care and excitement to all orders of their super flavourful tea.

Another big reason I support Genuine Tea, is for every cup of their tea that you enjoy, 1% of proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

With the uprise in mental health awareness, it is really refreshing to see a company that supports such an important cause. Recently there have been many studies showing the many major benefits of tea with overall health. Some of these benefits are listed below.

The Benefits of Tea on Mental and Physical Health:

Tea not only tastes great, but there is a lot of research backing the many health benefits found within the nutrients in tea. The bioactive compounds found in tea are called flavonoids, which are plant compounds with a variety of health benefits. Researchers have found a decrease risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, and some cancers with a diet rich in flavonoids. If this was not reason enough to add more flavonoids into your diet, they also have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects that protect your cells from oxidative damage that can lead to disease.

The amino acid, L-theanine, which is found in tea has been found in some studies to alter the attention networks in the brain and also has clear-cut effects on brain waves. This then leads to a feeling of relaxation without having any drowsiness. A placebo-controlled study was done to show how the people who drank tea were better at doing an attention task than those who drank the placebo drink. Green tea for instance has been shown to help with concentration and relaxation without having the jittery side effects that can occur with coffee. Even more fascinatingly, there have been studies showing that theanine has some success of reducing anxiety and other symptoms in people with schizophrenia!

There are also polyphenols found in tea that can contribute to better cognition and working memory. There have been many studies on people with Alzheimer’s disease that shows drinking green tea can lead to promising results with improving a decline in memory, cognitive impairment and dementia.

Tea has also been shown to help with a decline in stressful situations. One study showed that drinking 4 cups of oolong tea everyday for a week helped to decrease the symptoms of stiffness in the shoulders and neck, fatigue of the eyes and headaches. Black tea has also been shown to decrease stress hormones if consumed regularly.

It is safe to say, when we are in and out of stressful situations we can all learn a lesson from those in England who have a cuppa close in hand!

Regardless of the type of tea you like to consume on a regular basis I can “guarantea” that it will have many positive beneficial outcomes for your overall health!

If you are considering adding tea to your daily routine or looking for another company to try and enjoy, check out Genuine Tea and support their amazing Canadian small business!


The Positives of Celiac Disease and Having a Chronic Illness

When some one hears the word “disease” it is automatically seen as an awful thing. Even though no one is ever wishing and praying for a disease to pop up in their body, life does happen and you cannot choose your genetics. So instead of only ever seeing the awful side of the disease you have, why not see the positives.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease just over 3.5 years ago, and in spite of having my ups and downs I have decided to change my mindset and start seeing the disease not as a blessing or a curse but something I am in control of (excluding going out to eat and being cross contaminated with food). I believe that my diagnosis of celiac disease has changed my lifestyle habits for the better, and here is why.

  1. My diet has improved immensely.
    I’m not sure about you, but before I knew I had celiac disease I could eat the whole kitchen, including the sink. What’s even funnier, I never felt full, my stomach was a black hole. So when I saw a box of donuts I would eat the whole box, or go for seconds with dinner – sometimes even thirds. Even though I had a pretty well balanced diet, I still had the urge and craving to eat fast foods and sugar. All I wanted was the simple fast carbs and sugars to give me the quick energy because my body needed it after not absorbing any nutrients.

    These days, I eat less processed foods (try to not eat too much of the processed gf products as most of them have a huge amount of sugar in them – you will learn how to make things gf in your own kitchen soon enough!). I eat a more whole food diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some beans (be careful of lentils as wheat can sometimes be found mixed in them), and lean meats. I’ve never eaten better, and I no longer have the urge to eat any fast foods or junk food as it usually is not gluten free.

  2. I take sleep much more seriously and have so much more energy!
    I was always tired, really tired, taking naps in the day or falling asleep once 2pm hit. Growing up I was anemic and could never get my levels any higher no matter what I did. After going gluten free my iron levels are the highest they have ever been and I no longer feel the need to take a nap in the middle of the day. I usually have energy to last me the entire day now.

    Before I knew about my celiac disease I was also having awful nights sleep. Not only was I exhausted throughout the day, but my body was not allowing me to sleep at night. Sleep is a huge component to increasing one’s immune system amongst many other functions within the body. I now take sleep very seriously as it helps my body heal from the damages within my gut. But also because I realize just how important it is for every day function and life.

  3. I have picked up my meditation practice where I left it.
    I started meditating back in university to help me be more calm getting through my classes and exams. Once I passed and became a certified athletic therapist, my meditation practice slowly became something of the past for me.

    Having a chronic illness can become exhausting, especially with having to think about what you are eating on a regular basis. As we all know by now, stress causes havoc on the body and it’s systems. Anything that may stress you out with your health, job, relationships or just life will have an effect on your bodies immune system along with all other systems. One way I have found to decrease this stress is through meditation, I really feel it on the days that I do not meditate. I can think clearer, make better decisions and my anxiety has decreased.

  4. I have learned what real patience is.
    I have developed so much more patience for finding, waiting and making food. I have more patience for letting my body heal from it’s symptoms. I have more patience for not having as good of a day as yesterday knowing that next great day is just around the corner.

    Everyone’s healing time is different, and because of this you will learn your very own patience with allowing it to heal in it’s own time. As I mentioned, I am 3.5 years into following a gluten free diet after my diagnosis and I still have symptoms pop up here and there. This may not be the same for you, but depending how long you were an active celiac before you found out, this may make your healing time a bit longer or shorter then someone else. Remember to be kind to yourself, you will make it over every hurdle, and every speed bump in the road.

    Repeat after me: “My body will heal in it’s own time. Everyday is better than the last. My body is amazing.”

  5. I no longer take the simple things in life for granted.
    I think back to the days when I went to a restaurant and would be so picky with the food options. If I could tell my younger past self to eat everything off the menu I would. One of the simple things I’m referring to is going to a restaurant and being able to order whatever you would like off the menu, and not have to worry about how it is being made in the kitchen. Simple things like going to a friends place or a party and not being nervous about how the food was made or what everyone else is dipping into the salsa while you are not watching it. Or even being able to go traveling and not have to worry a head of time about where you are going to eat when you get to your location.

    The simple things I absolutely adore now is when I have food made for me by a chef and they bring it to me themselves, or having a friend or relative clean down the entire kitchen before they make me anything as a sign of love and respect. I get really excited when traveling and find a certified gluten free product in the store, or when I get to a restaurant and they tell me that everything on the menu is gluten free. If there is one thing that celiac disease has taught me in a great way is to never take anything for granted, so now even life events outside of food, I enjoy fully.

  6. I am more aware of my body and listen to it more.
    I have had aches and pains before, but I never used to listen to them. When you have celiac disease and it feels like 20 small kittens are inside your gut scratching away at the lining of it, you begin to listen. I have learned what claws feel like and I know what my gut should feel like now on a gluten free diet. I do not see every symptom I feel as an autoimmune reaction to gluten anymore. I have calmed down and have started to take a few seconds to think through what it is that I am feeling and why it may be there. Then I do what I need to do for what my body is asking. My mindfulness practice has helped immensely with this one.

    I have also started to learn to listen to my hunger cues through intuitive eating. This seems to be a trendy word now a days, but this is an important part of digestion and a happy body. As I mentioned, before I knew I had celiac disease I would binge eat everything in sight as I never felt full. I now know this was because I may not have been getting the nutrients my body needed. Until a few months ago, I kept up with this same habit, and it has brought on some other health issues because of it.

    With the good news that my gut is healing, this means that my villi within the small intestine are able to absorb nutrients and my body can now become full. I have learned the hard way of listening to this cue, I was eating until I was overly full and to the point that my stomach was distended and very uncomfortable. I believe this has brought on the acid reflux I have been experiencing the last few months. Learn to listen to your hunger cues, your body will let you know when it needs food and when you need to stop. This comes with practice and I am no where near an expert at it as this can take a few years to truly perfect.

  7. I have learned a whole new way of cooking and baking that is fun and delicious!
    I grew up working in a bakery and I would always stick to the baking and cooking rules of gluten. However, going gluten free threw a curve ball I was not expecting right at my gut but I have learned a whole new way of making food. To be honest, it’s so much fun! Experimenting with different GF grains, different fruits and vegetables that I had never heard of before 3.5 years ago, and experimenting with vegan, vegetarian, paleo and every cultured food there is. I have learned a new and great respect for all types of foods from all over the world, now that I cannot be choosy and picky with the food I eat. My diet is so much more varied, so much more interesting and delicious. The best part is that my gut microbiome is loving all the different nutrients it can digest now. Just wait, your taste buds are going to explode into happiness!

  8. I have learned, and am still practicing, how to change my mindset from negative to positive.
    This is so unbelievably hard to do. Day in and day out I will have multiple negative thoughts run through my head. Mental health issues can be a part of celiac disease, but learning how to over come them is so very important. When a negative thought comes in I instantly tell myself, no. Then think of the positives of every situation or conversation I am in. Consistent negative thoughts everyday will have a long term effect on your mental health. Your body is going through enough as it is healing, there is no need to add more for it to think about. One way you can tackle this is by wearing an elastic band around your wrist and every time a negative thought comes in, snap it against your wrist lightly to stop your thinking process. Then replace it with a positive thought.

  9. I have more of an understanding for anyone in pain, especially chronic pain.
    Regardless if you have an autoimmune disease, a chronic injury, or something your body is currently going through, being in pain everyday will wear on you. With what my body has been through so far, I have so much more respect for the people in the world that have not found the answer to no pain just yet. This has made me a better and more understanding therapist, friend, sister, daughter, niece, partner and stranger. Until you have been through it yourself, you will never truly understand what someone is going through. Not to mention everyone experiences the same thing different ways. Just always know that the end is near and your answer will come to you soon enough. You are feeling what you are feeling for a reason, it is not all in your head and you are not alone.

  10. The most important one, I feel so much better! And you will too.
    I never knew what it was like to feel “normal” until I felt normal. I thought everything I was feeling was how it was supposed to be, and now that I know it is not, I am on cloud nine. I can think clearly, I’m not bloated everyday, my hair has never been so thick, my energy is back, my strength is coming back, and I’m starting to become motivated again. I truly cannot think of a better way to live and I wouldn’t trade it for the world because this is my world and I have worked so hard to learn how to navigate through it. Now I have the opportunity to maybe help just one human find their way through it too. And that is such an empowering feeling.

I know being diagnosed with a chronic condition at first can seem scary, unbelievable and leave you saying, “why me?” But once you start to live your new life, you will see and feel how much better you are and start to see the positives of having celiac disease or any chronic condition you may have. Don’t loose hope, there is always a rainbow after the storm. You will come to see it soon, and you will kick ass when it does.

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

We do not collect any personal information or store cookies.  You can turn off cookies on your web browsers.

My Health and Wellness Plan Back to Strong and Happy

There are a lot of blogs out there that are or have shared their wellness journey’s and I realize some of them can be construed as not health and wellness or they don’t need to be doing this journey because from the outside they look healthy and happy. Key phrase here is from the outside, we never know what someone is going through on the inside because we cannot see it. 

This is actually a very vulnerable post for me, but I think if I am up front and honest about how I have been feeling the last few years then maybe it will help someone else have the strength to do the same. For those of you who do not know, I was diagnosed with celiac disease just over 3 years ago from this post date. The first year after being diagnosed I was relieved, and had a great year of feeling better then I have ever felt – I finally knew what it felt to be “normal.” But then I went out to eat one day and long story short I was given the wrong bread and I became ill for 8 months after. Since this incident I have not been able to get myself back on that high feeling, and instead I seem to have hit a plateau of, “things are the way they are and this I just how it is going to be from now on.” It seemed like no matter what I did my symptoms would get a bit better but then come back, for a lack of better words, in a raging shit storm.  I have not been able to get my TTG levels to drop in my blood (antibody test for celiac disease) for over 2 years. This has discouraged me and made me unmotivated because it just seemed like, no matter what I did, my levels were not going to drop any lower and I would always have symptoms appear out of no where. One day I’d be happy go lucky and feeling great and the next it was like I had eaten the wrong bread again.

I guess the best way to describe this is by explaining what I used to be like. I was very active and loved it, I loved going to the gym and playing sports, I never stopped moving. I woke up excited about life and used to get up around 5:30-6:30am on my own without an alarm and never hit the snooze button. I would wake up and think, I’m going for a walk or just excited about what it was I was going to eat that morning.

Now, as I’m sure you can guess, it is the opposite. Over the last 2 and a bit years I have lost motivation and drive, I was always physically and mentally exhausted or not feeling well. It became very hard to get out of bed and I was always hitting the snooze button. I stopped being active and doing the things I used to live for, I became lost. I know having a physically demanding job that I absolutely love did not help with my motivation to be active, but I used to be able to look past this and still get to the gym and do something for me. 

I really feel as though it took the pandemic and being forced to stop working for me to realize where I had brought myself. When I was forced to stop I then started to feel all my aches and pains in my body. My left shoulder keeps going numb with neck pain and my right hip will scream at me if I do too much sitting or moving. The kind of pain that will make you wince and look as though you have aged 50 years over night. As an Athletic Therapist I know and have seen this all too often with my patients and know that I have lost my strength, mobility and flexibility. Once I build these back up and correct my muscle imbalances, I will live up to my last name of Walker and be an unbeatable Jedi again. I have been on again, off again, bloated with mental challenges and brain fog, anxiety, decreased motivation and drive, and decreased focus. If there is anything I have noticed over the last few years it is that the gut brain connection is a true and serious thing.

However, with all of that being said, I am happy to state that as hard as things have been in the past they are improving and from this day forward I will not accept anything but. It is going to be challenging and I will of course still have off days – but I will not let them drive me away from my goal of becoming strong and happy again.

So you may be thinking, how are you going to do this? Excellent question, here is how:

  1. Fitness: I will be working on my muscle imbalances and correcting my biomechanics. I will be doing this through mobility, flexibility and strength. There needs to be an equal amount of all of these to have a well balanced musculoskeletal system. So I will be making myself a fitness plan that will include all three of these components. 
  1. Nutrition: I have been dabbing into this component for the last 2 months already and I am happy to state that following the diet I have been doing has helped to decrease my TTG antibody levels in my blood and increased my iron. There is still a lot to improve in this department but it is a start! For the first 3 weeks I followed the hypoallergenic diet without consuming any grains. I was to cut out processed foods, dairy, certain meats, eggs, soy, peanuts, corn, tomatoes, artificial butters and sweeteners, refined sugars, and glutinous grains (obviously for me) but the naturopath had me cut out all grains just for the first 3 weeks. I followed this to a T and even continued it past the 3 weeks because of how much better I felt, but then, my digestion started to go wonky again and my energy has dropped. This is why I feel these full on restrictive diets are not meant to be eaten forever (other than the food you have to avoid for health reasons).

    Science actually shows that if you are under eating you will have immune problems and digestion issues. It may seem like you have a food intolerance but in reality your restrictive eating will cause digestive issues because the digestive system is not receiving enough energy, and if it does not get enough energy it cannot properly extract the nutrients your body needs to function. Mind.Blown. Therefore, I have decided that following a very restrictive and paleo diet long term is not the way to go for me. I believe my TTG levels being high is due to cross contamination in food that is processed and made in restaurants that are not careful. Also, having a very restrictive diet has made me very anxious around food, I’m always afraid whatever it is that I am eating will cause food intolerance symptoms. I know I do have some food intolerances because after eating certain things like corn and oats, I instantly have full body autoimmune symptoms. However, I do wonder, if I get my TTG levels to lower to zero, will these intolerances go away? Because technically once I get those levels to zero, that means my gut lining has finally healed and it will be able to digest food properly again. So as long as I stay away from my kryptonite, gluten, I should be okay to eat a variety of food again without feeing sick. That thought actually makes me so excited and pumped to get my gut lining healed.

  2. Mindfulness: This one is HUGE! I have been trained in transcendental meditation and started doing it back when I was in university as I used to have a huge amount of exam anxiety. This technique helped me get through my certification exams, and to be honest, I stopped doing it, and that was a big mistake. I told myself I was way too busy and did not have the time to sit and meditate for 20 minutes twice a day, but this is the exact person that needs to make time for exactly this as they typically need it the most. Since I have started meditating again, I cannot even begin to explain the benefits I have experienced in my everyday life. My thoughts are clearer, I do not snap as much if at all, I’m positive, focused and motivated. Mindfulness does not just have to do with meditation, it also includes living intuitively. If you have a negative thought come into your head, change it right away for a more positive one. If you are overworked, cut your hours. Our bodies need us to start living more intuitively because we all need to start listening to our bodies and giving it what it wants and needs.

These are the three ingredients to not just my wellness journey, but I believe everyone’s. If the health of our mind, nutrition and fitness does not exist, then we are more likely to develop muscle imbalances that will cause injuries. We may have a leaky gut or improperly functioning digestive system because we are not fuelling it properly or moving to help stools pass through your bowels or have a horrible gut brain connection where now the health of your gut effects your mental health and vice versa. All three of these components are absolutely essential for an overall well balanced health and wellness plan, you cannot do one without the other. It only took me siting down and writing this blog for me to truly make this connection. I always tell my patients to include all three but it has really clicked with me as to why.

Regardless if you are on a wellness journey of your own or want to see me through mine, I hope you find what it is you are looking for, because the sun really is brighter on the other side.

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

We do not collect any personal information or store cookies.  You can turn off cookies on your web browsers.

What is Celiac Disease?

Here is a video of me on my YouTube channel talking about what celiac disease is and highlighting some of the main facts that I think everyone should know about it.

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

We do not collect any personal information or store cookies.  You can turn off cookies on your web browsers.

Cross Contamination and Celiac Disease

This is a bit of a controversial but very important topic to bring up in the celiac community and to the rest of the world. This is important because when I was first diagnosed I was not told of the possibilities of cross contamination and how it would effect my overall healing. 

It does not take very much gluten to make a celiac very sick, only one crumb to be in fact. One crumb will start an autoimmune response in the body, and the symptoms could or could not be present. Cross contamination could possibly be one of the hardest things to keeping a 100% gluten free diet for someone who has celiac disease as there are so many hidden places gluten can possibly be found.

I did not know of all the places that could be an issue and I am still learning over 3 years later. Places such as a cutting board, wooden spoons, or even kissing your boyfriend after he dinks a glass of beer or eats one of those massive kebabs he loves so much . Coming up next are all of the places I wish I knew to be careful of sooner, including some possible problems with the FDA (this will be a post all on it’s own, coming soon).

Where can hidden places of gluten be found?

  1. Kitchen:

Cutting Boards: Any cutting boards that have cuts in them could be hiding unknown gluten, especially wooden cutting boards. Replace these for a cutting board that does not produce deep cuts, like a wood fibre cutting board. I bought one of these a while back and love them because the cuts in them push out rather then in. This is not affiliated, but the cutting board I found is called a Epicurean and can be found here. But also, when you get new cutting boards – label them gluten free specific just like anything in the kitchen so it cannot and will not come into contact with gluten.

Wooden Spoons: Gluten can become stuck to porous products in the kitchen, one of which can be wooden spoons.

Pots and pans, colander, panini press, waffle maker, bread maker, BBQ racks, stovetop, tabletop, iron pans and pizza stones: This may seem over the top, however gluten is very good at hiding in equipment with any scratches, small holes or crevices. Therefore, scratches in non-stick pots or pans will be a perfect area for gluten to hang out, same with a porous rock pan or pot. Small crevices on a stove top or inside a panini press or a waffle maker along with a bread maker (ie. imagine a pot of pasta water over flowing onto the stove top – I know we have all been there). No you do not need to go buy a new oven, however I would scrub every inch of the top and inside of that oven before you use it again for a gluten free meal, and replace any other equipment you can that was originally used for gluten containing food. Use a designated countertop, and if this is not possible, then wipe down and clean the area of any flour or gluten containing left overs of another meal or food preparation.

Note: Although this doesn’t fall into the cross-contamination area, it is worth noting that celiacs should take precautions against breathing in flour dust when using flours with gluten. Flour dust in the nasal passages can be swallowed and end up being digested. So be careful walking into gluten containing bakeries.

Kitchen Wash cloths, sponges, rags, brushes and dish towels: HUGE spot for cross contamination, be sure to be using a gluten free only sponge or cleaning utensil for washing dishes in your sink. The gluten will soak and stick to the wash cloth, sponge, brush, towel or rag. Label one that is gluten free and keep it away from anything gluten.

Toaster and Convection Oven: This was one of the first things I replaced in my kitchen when I first learned of cross contamination. The gluten crumbs will sit on the side, top and bottom of the toaster and oven and will then make its way into your gluten free toast. Remember: it just takes one crumb to cause an autoimmune response in your body as a celiac, have a dedicated gluten free toaster and convection oven.

Utensils: For forks, knives and spoons – be sure to wash these in warm soapy water and scrub well to decease the chances of a gluten meal transferring to your gluten free meal by mistake. I’ve looked into getting a travel set of utensils for out at restaurants – may seem like a bit much, but sometimes I get a utensil with left over food on them.

Pantry and Fridge: Spills or damaged packaging can spread all over a pantry or fridge (ie. flour). Be sure that if you do not have a gluten free specific cupboard or fridge to put all gluten free products on the top shelf so nothing can spill or spread from above down into your food. Best practice is to have a separate pantry and fridge, if you can, that is a dedicated gluten free space. 

Spices, processed foods, teas, condiments: These are sneaky areas that can and usually do contain a hidden source of gluten. Always be sure that you read the label of any processed foods you buy and be sure to buy the ones that do not have any gluten containing ingredients, it can be hidden as an ingredient that does not necessarily say “gluten or wheat.”

My rule of thumb, if the package says “may contain gluten” “processed in the same facility as gluten” I stay away from them. Being 3 years into my diagnosis, my TTG levels are still higher then they should be, and I have recently just been able to get them down lower than I have been able to in the last 2 years. My secret? I have cut out processed foods, and if I need to use them, I will only buy them if they say or have a “certified gluten free” label on it. Do your research on the product you are going to buy, contact the seller and find out where that food is being processed, you are not being a pain for protecting your health and asking questions. I know for me, the reasons I could not lower my TTG levels is because I was going out to eat at restaurants and eating processed foods. Do what you feel is right, but be sure the food you are buying is certified gluten free or do your research into the company because not all good companies have the certified symbol on their product.

Butter, margarin, jam, condiments jars; Avoid ‘double dipping”: Another huge area of cross contamination, when one uses a knife or other utensil and spreads the jam or condiment on to a gluten containing piece of toast then puts that utensil back into the jar, there will be crumbs going into that same jar. As I have mentioned, it just takes one crumb to make someone violently ill with celiac disease. The crumbs that have now been transferred into that jar or onto the slab of butter, can now make its way onto a piece of gluten free toast later. Be sure to label all condiments gluten free, to avoid any crumbs from getting mixed into them.

Lentils: This one deserved a mention on it’s own because a can or bag of lentils is known for having kernels of wheat or oats (or pebbles) within the product. Be sure to buy certified gluten free lentils only.

2. Other:

Body products like soap, shampoo, conditioner, tooth paste, floss, mouth wash, face wash, makeup, hand lotion, lip stick and lip balm, sunscreen, moisturizers for face and body: First things first, there is not a lot of research showing that gluten is absorbed through the skin. HOWEVER, using gluten free body products can decrease the chances of gluten mistakenly getting into your body. Lip chaps, tooth paste, floss and mouthwash is not an area of argument – all of these products NEED to be gluten free as they go into the mouth and can be swallowed. Shampoo and conditioner is to your discretion, however, if a kid sucks on their hair, or you are sweating from a good workout and it makes its way into your mouth, there could be a reason for cross contamination. Same goes for face products, sunscreen, hand or body lotion, or nail polish, if it contains gluten and you eat with your hands, or rub the lotion on your lips and you lick them, or again, you are sweating and the sweat goes to your lips, there could be a chance of cross contamination.

Playdough: This was one that shocked me as I work as an athletic therapist and would use playdough for hand exercises and rehab all the time. This fun dough to play with contains gluten, be sure to look for ones that are labeled gluten free or make your own at home. Another option is if you work as a therapist, you could wear gloves to avoid it making contact with your hands.

Envelopes and stamps: “Web site after web site, story after story, and book after book about celiac disease, repeat the statement that gluten can be found in envelopes and stamps. But it’s not true. Tonya Muse, senior vice president of the Envelope Manufacturers Association, states that adhesives used on envelopes do not contain gluten.” -Gluten-Free Living. This is an ongoing debate and I think there needs to be more research done in this area to get a definitive answer.

Plastic in orthodontic retainers: This was another area that shocked me as I have a retainer I used every night (thankfully mine does not contain any gluten). There is a plastic called, “plasticized methacrylate polymer,” this is a plastic additive that is sometimes used in plastic and contains gluten. Be sure to check with your orthodontist that your retainer does not contain this plastic.

Friends and family in your kitchen: Even though they can mean well, they may not know the nitty gritty on exactly how to keep your food and kitchen gluten free. Just be sure to be there when they are preparing food to help them along the way if they need it.

Kisses from a loved one: Regardless if it is your other half, your parents, a sibling, an aunt or uncle or a friend, if they have just consumed gluten of any kind, there can be a chance that they will transfer it to you. Generally, I think if they brush their teeth and use mouthwash, it should get the gluten out of there and be safe to accept a kiss from them, but I think more research needs to be done in this area.

3. Cross contact away from home:

Bulk Bins: The utensils used in bulk bins can be transferred from bin to bin and with that gluten can be transferred as well. Gluten can be transferred also by hands if someone is not using the utensils and uses their hands to grab the food instead. I would recommend not eating or purchasing any foods out of a bulk bin, and be sure to only buy foods in a separate certified gluten free package.

Deli-counters: Because some processed meats can contain gluten, the equipment they use can also contain gluten when they slice the meat. Be sure that the processed meats you are buying are certified gluten free and sliced on dedicated gluten free equipment.

Buffet: Another great place for possible cross contamination due to the utensils used. There is always a chance that someone who doesn’t know any better, could have used the same spoon to pick up pasta then used that same spoon in the salad next to that pasta. Or someone is grabbing something that contains gluten and the crumbs of it falls into your gluten free food as it passes over it. If you are at a buffet, I would personally ask to talk with the chef about your options. When I went to Vegas, the chef at the buffet was absolutely amazing with me, he walked me around the whole buffet explaining what I could eat and at the end of it saw that I was still uncomfortable so he personally made me food in the back and served it to me. Always speak with the owners or chefs before you eat at a restaurant or buffet.

Gluten free products: Products that are labeled gluten free (without being certified) could possibly still contain gluten. The product itself could be gluten free, however if it is processed in the same facility as something with gluten, it can contaminate the food. If there is not a dedicated line or equipment that is 100% gluten free, the processed food can become contaminated with gluten. So be sure to contact the company to know more about how the food is processed and where it is processed. If they cannot 100% guarantee the food is gluten free, do not eat it or purchase it.

Fried foods: When ordering fried foods, such as French fries, out at a restaurant, be sure that they use a dedicated gluten free frier, as a frier that is used for gluten containing foods will contaminate your gluten free food if used in the same frier. Always be sure to talk with your server about how the food is prepared in the kitchen.

Airplanes and traveling: Always travel with your own food from home or certified gluten free bars or products that you can easily travel with. If this is not possible, be sure to contact the airline ahead of time to sort out gluten free meals for you on the plane. You do not want to be stuck on a plane without a meal for 11+ hours, believe me, I’ve been there.

FDA and Gluten Free Labeling

This is a controversial topic that needs a post on it’s own, which I will begin writing and get up on this blog very soon. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the US states: “The rule specifies, among other criteria, that any foods that carry the label ‘gluten-free,’ ‘no gluten,’ ‘free of gluten,’ or ‘without gluten’ must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This level is the lowest that can be reliably detected in foods using scientifically validated analytical methods. Other countries and international bodies use these same criteria, as most people with celiac disease can tolerate foods with very small amounts of gluten.” They state that ‘most people’ with celiac disease can tolerate these levels which means not all can tolerate it. Also, not all countries use the same labeling criteria, take Australia and New Zealand for instance, they have a 0% tolerance of gluten found in gluten free foods, probably why I felt great while eating over there. I’m not trying to pick a fight with the FDA, I just believe more research needs to be done on this topic. Blog on this coming soon, I need to do more research into studies on this topic to give you the right information.

There are more and more studies coming out on the cross contamination of gluten with celiac disease. Some studies showing that cross contamination does or does not happen in the areas I mentioned above. However, I believe more studies need to be done to know for sure, so in the mean time, it doesn’t hurt to follow general rules and guidelines given to you by your dietician, nutritionist or doctor on what foods to avoid and where cross contamination can occur. 

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

We do not collect any personal information or store cookies.  You can turn off cookies on your web browsers.