28Jan
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Why go wheat free?

When wanting a definite diagnosis of a wheat sensitivity, your doctor will first do an in depth physical examination. There are five other tests they many perform to get an accurate diagnosis for you. These tests are blood test, skin allergy testing, food journals, and food testing in the hospital and the elimination diet.

A blood test would tell the doctor if you produce any antibodies that indicate an allergy to gluten. Doctors often use this test when they cannot do a skin test because of a skin infection or other skin disorder present. It is not the preferred test for a diagnosis.

When doctors perform a skin test on a patient they put tiny allergen extracts including the wheat extract on the top and pricked in your skin.   The usual location of the skin test is the forearm but it can be done on your upper back. The doctor and nurse watch your skin for fifteen minutes. If you are allergic to wheat, your skin will get red and raised. The most common side effect of this test is rash and itchiness.

A food diary is when the doctor instructs you to write everything you eat for a period of time. In this diary, you would also note how you felt after eating and any reactions you experienced.

An elimination diet is when you omit wheat from your diet. This is a common way to test for the allergy. If you remove the offending item (wheat), it is likely you will improve.  Then under your physician’s direction, you would add these items back into your diet, and making note of any discomfort.

The food challenge test is when they give you in a hospital setting usually capsules of the food item you suspect you are allergic to.  You continue to eat food in small qualities of the food suspected you are sensitive to, while making note of any reactions. This is for extreme allergies usually.

In today’s high medical technology field, it’s amazing to me that we can pinpoint our allergies to blood tests and skin testing. It is so useful as knowing your allergies for your comfort and your health.  If you are suffering or feel you may be allergic to gluten or wheat, it would be wise to contact your doctor for testing.

21Jan
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Reasons to Avoid Wheat

There are so many reasons to avoid eating wheat. Wheat is a grass like plant that produces kernels we grind to make flour and cereal. Wheat can cause such illness as celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. It can cause us to feel tired, bloated and damage our intestinal lining. If that is not bad enough, there are other reasons to avoid eating wheat.

Even before farmers plant the wheat seed the seeding companies they purchase the seeds from give the seeds an application of insecticide and fungicide. The fungicide is applied to help control the diseases from the seedling. The insecticide is used to control the pest while the seed is maturing. The insecticide contains hormones, derives of estrogen. It can cause a hormone imbalance to those who consume it. This hormone imbalance is suggested to be the reason girls and boys are entering into puberty much sooner today than they did fifty years ago. They also have linked this hormone imbalance to breast cancer and endometriosis.

After the grain is harvested, they are treated again with an insecticide. First they spray the storage bins inside and out. Then they transfer the new harvested wheat in the storage bin and are sprayed on the top again to 4 inches in the container. The reason they do this is while the container sit and wait to be packaged and sent to stores, they are in danger to be feasted on by pest.

The alternative to wheat bread is sprouted bread. It is flourless bread. Another alternative is to make your own with whole wheat berries. This is the best way to consume bread. The wheat available to us is not the wheat that Hippocrates suggested we consume in the ancient times. It is full of pesticides, insecticides, hormones and GMO’s. A GMO is a genetically modified organism. Wheat is one of the most popular GMO out there next to corn. GMO are said to be a contributing greatly to the obesity epidemic.

I know after learning all of this, I will be not eating wheat. I will figure out what alternatives are suitable for my family. I think the hormone problem alone is grounds for us to be careful with consuming wheat. Wheat, which was so good for us at one point, has turned into something that is bad for us yet marketed still as being a sound nutrition.

14Jan
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Foods to Avoid on a Gluten Free Diet

When adapting to a wheat free diet, it is understandable for you not to know what foods to eat. It is confusing to making the change from something that is marketed as a healthy white flour alternative to wheat is causing me harm. It will get easier with time. It will be helpful to know which foods to avoid. The general rule of thumb should be if you are in doubt about a food, it is best to avoid it until you clear that food with your doctor.

Generally, it is best to avoid bread and cereals. This is when you have to really examine the food label. Any ingredients on the food label that are farina, barley, malted milk, bran, durum, spelt or any ingredient with the name wheat should be avoided. Wheat is always to be avoided.

Baked goods should as a general rule is avoided. Unless the item is labeled wheat freeor gluten free,  it likely has wheat in it. This includes cookies, crackers, chips and pie crust. Baked goods are probably the hardest food item to avoid. Everyone loves to eat cookies, cupcakes and pies, but in order to get gluten out of your system you must not consuming any baked goods.  It is also important for you to abstain from eating them so your wheat allergy symptoms do not return.

Other foods that according to the experts it is best to avoid are fried foods, gravies and salad dressing. If the item says gluten free than it is safe to eat otherwise it is best to refrain from eating it. Fried foods are often fried with a flour batter, which is  full of gluten.  Chocolate and other candies often have wheat in them so it is best to be avoid if at all possible.

I know the list seems overwhelming. Eating gluten free  will get easier in time. In time, it will be like second nature in knowing what to eat. And you will feel so much better for making the change.  Taking charge of your health is like having a superpower. Become the health person you were meant to be.

Beginners guide to eating clean

Eating clean is a term that is used to describe eating little to no processed foods. A big part of America’s obesity epidemic is directly related to the fact that we eat so much processed foods. A general rule to follow is if you cook your meals from whole food items, you are eating clean.  If your diet is filled with fast foods, microwave dinners or candy then your diet is full of processed foods.

The first step to eating clean is to not consume chemicals, sugar, artificial flavor and preservatives. To quote the celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels ‘If it did not come from the ground or have a mother, don’t eat it’. If we eat mostly clean whole foods, the calories we consume are good calories generally, and do not have to worry about counting so many calories.

The next step of eating clean is to figure out how much food you need to consume daily. It may not be necessary to count calories when eating whole foods, but be mindful of calories. For example, an avocado grown in Florida has 470 calories if you eat the whole avocado. For an average sized person that needs approximately 2000 calories a day, nearly 500 calorie is quite a bit.  If you keep in mind each meal should be about 500 calories and snacks about 250(2 of them), you will do great.

Lastly, the kinds of calories you eat do matter. It is important to make sure you get enough carbohydrates, protein and fat throughout the day. Cheese, nuts and beans are not considered to be high quality protein sources. High quality protein sources are meat, chicken, turkey, egg and protein shakes to name a few.

These steps will help you get on the way to a healthier you. Eating a clean whole fresh diet is vital to being a healthy, fit and mentally alert person.  Eating whole natural foods are the building blocks of a fit healthy person.

31Dec
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How to Begin a Gluten-Free Lifestyle

Beginning a new way of eat will seem overwhelming at first. Rest assured after eating wheat free, it will only take you a few weeks and you will be a professional at it. It would be helpful to you first to have a list of which grains are safe for you to eat. Those grains are rice, corn, quinoa, soy, buckwheat and montina.

Fruits, vegetables, corn, rice, fish, meats and legumes are all part of the wheat free diet. It is generally not advised when eating wheat free to consume oats. Oats have cross contamination from the factories until labeled gluten free. They have also concerns of cross contamination in the fields of wheat.

At your local grocery store, there are many types of bread and cakes now offered that are gluten free. Sprouted bread is a safe bread alterative. In the baking section of the grocery store, they showcase many cakes and cookie boxes that are advertised to be gluten-free  The most important part of living the wheat free lifestyle is reading food labels. Checking label to make sure you do not have an adverse reaction to the wheat product is very important.

For cooking ideas, gluten free cookbooks are readily available. An internet search will show many gluten free recipes that will likely not taste any different than you are used to. Cooking gluten free will just take some meal planning and research. There are many apps now available both free and paid in Iphone and Andriod platforms.

As overwhelming as it is now to eat gluten free, it is so rewarding when you take your health back. Once you start to feel better, eating gluten free will be easier and easier as time goes on. Remember that something that is challenging now will be easy and effortless later.

24Dec
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Top Yoga Poses

Not many exercises are like Yoga in that it creates a following. People who do practice Yoga are very dedicated to the exercise. They claim it helps them in every aspect of their lives not just their fitness level. Yoga can help your concentration. It has been credited to help in your interactions with other people. It teaches you to be one with yourself. This lead to self-esteem and self-worth. Once you master the beginner poses, you will be ready to tackle the advances poses.

Mountain Pose

You can practice the mountain poses alone or in between other poses. The mountain poses can help you improve your posture greatly. In most advance poses, the instructor will ask you to return to mountain pose.

Uttanasana

This pose is also called Standing Forward bend. This is a pose where you touch your toes basically. It is a pose used to reduce tension, pain, and fatigue. You can do this pose with your knees bend or straight.

Cobra Pose

Rodney Yee, whom is a famous Yoga instructor, list the cobra pose as one of the top ten vital yoga poses. This pose sis used to warm up your core and back muscles. Instead of trying to get your back to be lifted off the floor, it is helpful to focus on keeping your shoulders down and elbows to the side. This concentrates on form instead of the ability to do the pose perfectly.

Downward Facing Dog

This pose is one of the most common yoga poses. Many other routines implement this pose into the routine because it is such an important pose. Many experts state it is a staple in many exercise routines. In this pose you place your hands about 5 feet apart on the floor with legs at the same distance. This exercise literally stretches every muscle in your body.

Warrior Poses

Warrior one, Warrior two, and Warrior Three all are very popular poses. The warrior poses stretch the legs, hips and glutes. They also open the hips so you can complete the more advanced poses. Warrior poses help you become much more aware of how to stretch your body  in every direction simultaneously.

Triangle Pose

The triangle pose is both challenging and beautiful to see. It can be a difficult pose but once you are able to do it correctly it is rewarding. The Yoga Journal recommends this pose to relive stress, backaches, ad to stretch the hips, pelvic areas, and legs.

Supported Headstand

A headstand is a pose that is very hard to master. When training yourself to do this pose, you should use a chair or wall. It is important to support your head well to avoid injury and to use your core muscles. Once you have the confidence that you can complete this pose with ease, try doing it without any support.

Yoga is not only a exercise for many people it is a way of life. Those who practice it will apply yoga to their daily life. For this reason many half jokingly claim, yoga is their religion.  These poses list will help you decide if yoga is right for you. Expert encourage everyone to try yoga, and if not yoga to implement another stretching routine.

17Dec
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Simple Steps to Loving Yourself

The fact is the most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself. You must feel valued to yourself so you can demand other treat you with respect. The fact is if you do not love yourself, you will never be able to truly love anyone else.

The first step in loving yourself is to write down all the quality you have that you are happy with. You may start with either physical qualities or emotional. When you start this list, it may be pretty small. It might be helpful to carry the list with you wherever you go, that way when you find something about yourself that you love about you, it is easy to write down. Within a few weeks, you will see that your list will be pretty long. Read the list often when you are feeling like you do not like yourself. It will be a constant written reminder that you are loved.

The second step is to write down what you feel in your heart you deserve out of life. This could be career related, emotional, or even relationship related. Many therapist recommend those who are dating age to do this exercise so they know what they want in a spouse before meeting them. This will also let you know what kind of treatment you are not okay with. It really helps define your self worth. Your self worth is something that no one can take away without your consent. It is so important for your fitness goals, your life goals, and family life that you know your worth and enforce those around you to treat you well.

The last step is to write down how you would like others to see you. Do you long to have others say you are a wonderful mother or wife? Maybe they already see you this way, but it is you who isn’t seeing you like you should? Writing down how you would like others see you helped you define who you would like to become. If these qualities are written down, they become much easier for you to work on these issues.

The dream board is a great concept as well. The dream board is a poster board of all the things you would like to accomplish. It may have the perfect body, a nice car, or big home. You place this board in a place in your home that you can see it daily. The theory in making a dream board is you make it happen by seeing it daily. Another thing you can do is to put post notes in your kitchen, computer room, or bathroom. They may say “You are gorgeous”, “You are a great friend, or “ You are a great writer.” Say the phrases out loud.

Self love is a tricky subject. If you love yourself to much others say you are selfish, conceited or vain. If you do not love yourself enough, they say you are a doormat. The trick is the balance. Love yourself enough to know what you are truly worth and enforce those around you to treat you accordingly. Remember you are the most important relationship in your life, so take care of yourself.

10Dec
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Kickboxing: The Ultimate Cardio Workout

Kickboxing is one of the newest trends. The reason it is so popular is it is so much fun. Who doesn’t like punching, kicking, twisting and getting out aggression build up through our daily lives. Experts claim that kickboxing can also help you burn tons of calories, up to 700 per hour for the average 150 pound woman. This number will go up if you weigh more. So the question is, how do you begin a kickboxing workout?

Technique of Kickboxing

Kickboxing combines the techniques of boxing and all forms of martial arts. It uses jabs and counter punches like in boxing. It uses front and side kicks, you would see in martial arts. Completing these exercise will deliver a total body workout. It will place your heart rate in the zone which will cause you to burn a lot of calories.

Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing is when you visualize an opponent in front of you. Kickboxing classes use this technique often. You would deliver punches, jabs, and kicks to the opponent. The most commonly used shadow boxing routine is a jab, punch, cross punch, and front kick. The classes usually will have music in the background. It will be high energy music that will encourage you to move.

Heavy Bag Workout

Another way to develop your kickboxing skills is to use a heavy bag. You would punch, jab, kick the bag as you would an opponent in the ring. In order to use a heavy bag, one must first use the right athletic shoes and gloves to protect your hands. During the workout, you can deliver a series of kicks or jabs. You can practice the roundhouse kick to the bag or a front kick. The bag will help you see if your technique needs improvement as well as improve your footwork and endurance for a fight.

Strength Training

One cannot ignore the importance of strength training if you want to be a successful kick-boxer. Most kick-boxers will use pushups to tone their shoulders, arms and chest. Another exercise used very often in kick boxing class is a squat combinations. It is common to see a squat punch combination be used. Squats will help tone gain strength in your legs and glutes. In fact,many say squats when combined with weights for your arms, are a total body exercise. Another way to implement strength training in your kick boxing routine is to use weighted gloves when doing heavy bag workouts. This will add one more pound of resistance to each one of the jabs and punches.

Kickboxing is a fun exercise that for some will help shed weight, tone their body, and be a source of almost therapy for a highly stressful life. Kick boxing techniques will take time to master however , once you master them, it will be a sport you love. You may feel odd and awkward at first, but keep practicing, you will love it once you master the moves. Kickboxing can truly change you life in getting into shape and teaching you self control.

How does Carb Cycling Work?

Carb Cycle is a technique used by many body builders. They claim it helps them define their physique faster than any other way of eating can. The theory is you eat more carbs on the days you need them most, and more protein and low carbs on the days you do not need some many energy calories.

To eat in a carb cycle eating plan, you would eat low carb usually for a period of three days. How low your carbs would be are depending on your fitness and nutritional goals. Some people go as low as 50 grams per day. The general recommendation for a low carb diet is between 100-150 grams per day.

After deciding on a carb goal per day, on days you want to eat higher carb increase your carbs slightly. The recommendation is 50-75 more grams than you eat usually. This will be enough to give you more energy from those extra carbs. The theory behind carb cycling is the increase in carbs every few days will give you enough energy that you will be able to go a few days of low carb eating.

Another reason this method is usually recommended is it works. It is so much easier to eat say two or three low carb days when you know you have two or so more day until you can eat more carbs. It is considered one of the more sustainable way of eating.

You can expect when you first start to eat low carb to be hungry often until you get used to eating much less carbs. You can also experience moodiness and irritability while getting used to low carb eating. Experts claim that no one should consume more than 50% of their calories from carb sources. A good rule of thumb would be 50 grams of carbs on your low carb days and 40% of your calories from carbs on high carb days.

Carb cycling is a plan that will help you diet more effectively and learn that ‘cheating’ on diets can actually help your weight loss. It allows you to let go of the diet plan and embrace eating a way for the rest of your life. This will help you stop yo-yo dieting and start a life of being fit, healthy, and most of all happy with your weight.

26Nov
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Wheat free comparing to Gluten free and finding hidden Gluten in Foods

Many who decide to eat gluten free think it is the same as wheat free. They are different in a few ways. Gluten free eating is wheat free eating, but includes omitting other foods as well. If you decide to eat gluten free, you would not eat: any food that is made with wheat or white flours including pizzas, cakes, breads, pastas and pancakes.

Wheat free is avoiding only wheat and wheat products. Not eating wheat can be a challenge since some foods ‘hide’ wheat in them.  Food labels have to clearly mark on the label ‘gluten free’ when the item has less than 20 parts per million to it. This is level safe for those who have celiac disease to consume.

There are many gluten free bread and pancake recipes so you can still enjoy your favorite foods. You can even order specialty items like crackers, breads, cakes and waffles. They are all gluten free. When dining out, restaurants have begun to develop a gluten free menu to service their customers.

If you wish to eat gluten or wheat free, you must learn to read food labels. Labels will clearly tell you first if the item is gluten free. Then you are able to read ingredients to make sure there is not any wheat in the food.

If you are like me, you were confused as well about gluten verses wheat free. Remember gluten free includes wheat but more. It would include anything made with wheat flour or white flour.  Adapting to this lifestyle is pretty easy to do if you read labels.

When deciding to not consume wheat or gluten in your diet, the hardest part of the diet is being able to detect hidden wheat in food. The easy part is reading the label seeing gluten free or wheat free. There are many foods that contain wheat or gluten. I learned this when I decided to become a vegan. The hidden dairy really shocked me.

Some of the foods that contain gluten I was surprised by. A few of the foods that contain gluten are beer, hot dogs, soy sauce, meat substitutes, and ice cream.  When ordering out, consider not ordering any fried foods. Fried foods are breaded usually with flour so do contain some gluten.

It is important to know the hidden sources of gluten or you could find yourself suffering from symptoms of eating gluten but not knowing where the gluten came from. One thing that really surprised me was if you share your toaster with someone who eats regular bread, you could get traces of gluten from sharing the toaster. It could be enough to alarm you with the effects of the gluten. Baking items that have gluten also have the same effect. Particles from food that contains gluten can linger in the air for as long as twenty four hours after baking.

A wheat free diet can take some getting used to, but if you are sensitive to it your comfort level is worth the learning curve. Two things that are helpful to remember: there are obvious wheat source and many hidden wheat sources. The trick is to learn them both.