Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

As one who lives a plant based lifestyle, I’m frequently asked this question:

“But…what about protein?”

Ahhh, protein. It is essential to our diet, along with fats and carbohydrates. Proteins are made of amino acids that the body breaks down to use for growth, metabolism and repairs.

How much protein do we really need though? The recommended average is 42 grams per day. However, on a typical American diet high in meat, eggs and cheese, the average person eats upwards of 80 grams of protein a day…way more than needed.

In addition, animal products are high in fats and cholesterol and contribute to some types of cancer and other diseases.

While important, we don’t need as much protein as we think we do. And it turns out, it’s not difficult to get the protein we need from plant based sources.

Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians

Top Sources of Protein for Plant Based Diet

Here’s a list of foods that are naturally high in protein and other good for the body nutrients. Adding these foods to the diet on a daily basis supplies all the protein that the body needs for health and wellness.

Green Peas

One cup of green peas contains 8.6 grams of protein, along with fiber, antioxidants and crucial nutrients such as vitamins C and K, and manganese. Try adding peas to soups, salads, hummus and stir fries or simply pair with a plain baked potato.

My favorite green peas recipe is Aloo Matar.

Lentils

With 18 grams per cup, these little powerhouses are packed with protein and also with fiber, iron, zinc and potassium. Lentils have less than a gram of fat and no cholesterol, making them a healthier source of protein than chicken, beef and fish. Add them to soups, curries and casseroles.

I love this curry dish…Madras Curried Lentils.

Quinoa

Quinoa, which is actually a seed, provides 8 grams of protein per cup and all 9 essential amino acids that the body needs. Substitute quinoa in recipes that call for rice or other grains or add to salads, stir fries and veggie bowls. I recently found a chili recipe with quinoa in it, that I’m excited to try.

Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians Quinoa

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds, which come from a variety of the cannabis plant, are excellent sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Their protein…3 tablespoons equals 10 grams…is considered perfect, as it provide all 20 amino acids and also the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce.

Sprinkle hemp seeds, which cannot make you feel high, over salads, gluten free pasta bowls, veggies or smoothie bowls. My favorite way to incorporate the goodness of hemp seeds is to include a couple of teaspoons in my morning smoothie.

Chia Seeds

These health boosting seeds provide 4.7 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. They are also rich in antioxidants, omega-3, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Add to smoothies and salads or make chia pudding. Replace an egg in a recipe by combining 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water and allow to set for 15 minutes.

Legumes

Beans are an amazing source of protein. Two cups of kidney beans contains a whopping 26 grams of protein. Chickpeas offer even more, with 29.2 grams in two cups. Beans are easily prepared at home, on the stove or in a crockpot or pressure pot.

Add to rice dishes, make chilis, or try out my new Stuffed Peppers recipe, with black beans.

Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians Legumes

Gluten Free Oats

Oats “stick to the ribs”, meaning they keep us full for a while. And it’s true. Oats provide 12 grams of protein per cup and offer 8 grams of fiber. Look for gluten free oats, to receive the most health benefits. Oats are naturally gluten free however they are often processed in facilities that also process wheat. Pick up a package of gluten free oats HERE.

Try these wonderful Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Spinach

Dark green leafy vegetables contain protein, with spinach coming in at 2.1 grams per 2 cups. Spinach is also rich in vitamins and iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. For the most nutrients, consume spinach raw. Add to smoothies, juices and salads.

And try out this delicious raw spinach soup, from Anthony William.

Broccoli

This green cruciferous vegetable packs 8.1 grams of protein in one cup. It’s also a great source of vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Broccoli is excellent in stir fries, veggie bowls and casseroles.

Try out this healthy macaroni and broccoli bake.

Other veggies that provide 4 – 8 grams of protein per cup include asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

And while fruits are not as high in protein, they do provide some. On the list, offering 2 – 4 grams per cup, are guava, blackberries, nectarines and bananas.

Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians

Other Healthy Sources of Protein

This list shows how easy it is to get enough protein by eating wholesome, healthy foods. I purposefully left soy products off the list, as much of the soy grown in the US is genetically modified. Like corn, GMO soy can cause inflammation in the body. Non GMO soy is a good source of protein. It is just more difficult to find.

Other excellent sources of protein include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts and nut butters. Nuts should be consumed occasionally, as they are higher in fats and calories. In nut butters, look for products that contain the nut only and sea salt. Avoid products with hyrdrogenated oils and sugar.

How do I get my protein? This is how. And I’ve never felt better.

What’s your favorite high protein food on the list?

Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Last week, I shared a post offering healthy alternatives for pain relief, rather than reaching for over the counter meds. Read 7 Natural Pain Remedies.

This week I offer, as promised, techniques for calming inflammation and soothing discomfort, with these 8 Pain Relieving Techniques. The remedies rely on alternative health practices that not only reduce pain, but boost general health as well.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is traditional Chinese medicine, used for centuries for health benefits. Long thin needles inserted through the skin at specific points balance the life force, or Qi, that flows through the body.

Acupuncture reduces back pain, relieves neck tension and headaches, and soothes joint pain.

I’ve not experienced acupuncture personally, however I know many who have. They shared positive benefits, after their treatments, including pain relief.

In the Joplin area, check out Aiming’s Acupuncture & Herbs.

Massage

At one time considered a luxury experience, massage is now recognized as beneficial for a variety of health reasons. Pain and muscle tension bring many people to a qualified massage therapist, seeking relief.

Massage eases the pain of headaches, fibromyalgia, myofascial discomfort and muscle tension. It is also effective for soft tissue strains and injuries, sports injuries, temporomandibular joint pain and nerve pain. Massage lowers anxiety and stress as well.

Typically a massage lasts for 30 – 90 minutes.

In the Joplin area, check out my amazing friends Margit at Massage Therapy in Motion and Cindy at Therapeutic Massage.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

Reflexology

This ancient healing practice is based on the principle that the feet contain reflex points that correspond to the body’s systems, organs and glands. When pressure is applied to the reflexes in the feet it relieves pain and other disorders in the affected area in the body.

Reflexology relieves pain throughout the body, and is especially beneficial for migraines, headaches, neck pain and back pain.

In the Joplin area, try out JJ Relax Station, Chinese Foot Reflexology & Table Acupressure. Or check out this Reflexology Chart and find a partner to exchange foot rubs with!

Essential Oils

Essential oils are gaining popularity for improving health and wellbeing, and for good reason. There’s an oil for everything!

Try these essential oils for pain relief of these disorders:

  • Lavender – headaches, muscle tension, inflammation
  • Marjoram – muscle spasms, headaches, toothache
  • Peppermint – muscle spasms, headaches, muscle tension
  • Rosemary – joint pain, headaches, muscle soreness, rheumatism
  • Arnica – inflammation, swelling

As a general rule, dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, such as coconut or argon oils. Add 15 drops of essential oil to 6 tablespoons of the carrier oil. Massage onto temples for a headache or the affected area for pain relief.

Connect with my friend Marijo for pure, high quality Young Living Essential Oils.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

Ice/Heat

This is an old technique, however it is an effective one. I felt it must be included in the 8 Pain Relieving Techniques as I use it any time my darling left knee gets a twinge.

Icing and applying heat soothes stiff joints, relaxes muscles, eases pain and reduces inflammation and swelling.

Specifically, ice calms injuries and relieves pain, inflammation and swelling. Heat relaxes muscles, increases blood flow, and soothes pain and stiffness.

Use an ice pack or simply a bag of frozen veggies for icing. For heat use a heating pad or a damp towel heated in the microwave or oven. Wrap a dry towel around the ice source and the heating pad or damp towel, to protect skin.

Follow this routine:

  • Ice joint or affected area for 10 minutes
  • Apply heat for 15 – 30 minutes
  • 30 minute break with no ice or heat
  • Repeat process 3 times
  • Take a 2 hour break

Meditation

This mind and the body quieting technique eases stress and relaxes muscles, reducing pain caused by tension. Meditation is especially helpful for easing tense muscles in the back, neck, shoulders, scalp and face.

Reducing the inflammation response in the body is another benefit of meditation, which improves pain and calms swelling as well.

Check out my simple meditation to ease pain, relax muscles and improve overall health and wellbeing.

8 Pain Relieveing Techniques

Reiki

This healing technique taps into the body’s energy field, working at a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Reiki practitioners typically place their hands on or above the affected areas of the body that need a boost or relief from pain, offering energy to the body as needed.

Reiki encourages the body to heal itself, with practitioners serving as vessels through which the energy flows.

 Change in Diet

It is essential that I include this last suggestion. I suffered with chronic pain for more than 20 years, after a car accident. During those two decades I saw doctors, specialists, neurologists, chiropractors and pain management doctors, and I spent five years in physical therapy. I tried meds, injections and exercises, and I wore a TENS unit for a year. My condition continued to deteriorate, making walking nearly impossible. Not once did anyone suggest that I change my diet.

Margit helped, with massage and energy work on my left leg. I ultimately discovered, through Anthony William, that my sciatic nerves were severely inflamed due to the shingles virus. A virus can’t be eliminated with antibiotics, steroid injections or pain meds.

It can be starved by eliminating the foods that it feeds on and by supporting the body’s healing abilities with nutrient rich, plant based foods.

To heal chronic pain (and disorders) caused by shingles or Epstein Barr eliminate gluten, dairy products, eggs and sugar, as these foods feed inflammation and viruses.

Eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat, processed foods, canola oil and GMO foods such as corn and soy.

This blog, Journey With Healthy Me, was born from my desire to help people live healthier, more vibrant lives, free from pain and disorders. Read about the beginning of this Journey here.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

Healing Journey

It’s amazing what that change of diet, which quickly became a lifestyle, did for my health. My chronic pain disappeared. So many other disorders cleared up. It’s an ongoing journey.

When I occasionally experience pain, from a twisted knee or tight muscles or a headache from long hours on the computer, I brew a cup of herbal tea…and try one of the 8 Pain Relieving Techniques.

Do you have natural pain relieving techniques that you use, in place of over the counter meds, pain pills or injections? I’d love to hear about them, in the comments below.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

Check out my Amazon Storefront for healing herbal teas and Anthony William’s books.

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

CBD Infused Water

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

CBD Living sent me this product for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

When CBD Living contacted me about trying their CBD Living Water, I immediately answered yes. Healers have used cannabis for centuries because of its health benefits. The medical community is coming to realize that because CBD (cannabidiol) and other compounds in cannabis are similar to the chemicals created in our own bodies, they are integrated better than many synthetic drugs.

Missouri recently joined 29 other states, legalizing medical marijuana. Almost overnight, it seems, CBD stores popped up around Joplin, selling oil and other products. And sales are strong for good reason. CBD oils, tinctures and products are hot items that are helping many people feel better.

CBD infused water intrigued me. I agreed to try it and report my honest experience.

CBD Infused Water

What are the health benefits of CDB?

Before trying the water, I researched the health benefits of CBD.

CBD is not the same as THC, the psychoactive compound known for producing mind altering effects. You don’t get high from CBD. Instead, this component of cannabis acts as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant and antioxidant.

Health benefits of CBD include:

  • Reduces anxiety and may be effective for people with social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.
  • Helps to fight cancer by inhibiting cancer cell migration and invasion.
  • Treats neurological disorders such as epilepsy. Early studies show that CBD may be promising for treating resistant seizures. Other benefits include increased alertness, better mood and improved sleep.
  • Promotes cardiovascular health and lowers the risk of diabetes.
    Relieves pain and inflammation, which is the most common reason for CBD use. It is proving especially helpful for chronic pain and inflammation.

CBD Infused Water

CBD Living Company

With those facts about CBD out of the way, allow me to introduce you to the company and their CBD infused water.

CBD Living was established in 2013 and they are headquartered in Corona, California. Their hemp is organically grown in Colorado, at a state licensed farm.

CBD Living offers an array of products including CBD infused water, capsules, gummies, patches, soaps, bath bombs and more. The secret to their superior products, according to their website, lies in the use of nanotechnology that reduces CBD into nano-sized droplets, without the use of emulsifiers. This process allows CBD to absorb into the body more efficiently.

The proprietary technology increases the CBD bioavailability up to 90 percent, delivering CBD directly to the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors are located primarily in the brain, while CB2 receptors are predominately located in the immune system.

CBD Living pays above market rates to their extractors and manufacturers. Their products are all fair trade and never tested on animals.
For more info, visit their website at www.cbdliving.com.

CBD Infused Water

CBD Infused Water

I received six bottles of CBD Living’s CBD infused water to try. Each 500 ml bottle of water contains 10 million nanograms of highly absorbable and bioavailable CBD.

CBD Living Water is made with 100% organic, natural hemp CBD extracts using nanotechnology to infuse the extracts in 9+pH alkaline water. Vitamins, minerals and nutrients are infused as well. The bottles are BPA and BPS free.

Each bottle contains two servings, taking the guesswork out of dosage. Bottled water means convenience and portability. Grab a bottle and go…to the gym, on a walk, or to tackle the errands on the to do list…and stay hydrated while experiencing the benefits of CBD.

CBD Infused Water

My Experience with CBD Infused Water

I’m drinking half a bottle of CBD Living Water a day. And this is what I notice.

I immediately feel more relaxed, without being drowsy. It’s a mellow feeling. Or what I call an overall sense of blissful wellbeing. I sleep well at night. And I love that the water is alkaline and infused with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It feels healthy for me on multiple levels.

The biggest impact I’ve noted is pain relief in my neck. After a horrific car accident in 1995, I suffered with years of chronic neck pain. The twisted, messed up vertebrae freak out doctors and chiropractors when they look at my x-rays.
Switching to a plant based diet helped tremendously, eliminating the nagging chronic pain. Lately however, long hours spent on my computer during the day aggravates my neck, resulting in moderate pain and stiffness by bedtime.

I drank my first half bottle of CBD Living Water at the end of a long day working online. (The taste is great, like good quality water.) Within 15 minutes, I realized I had no pain in my neck. None. The discomfort completely disappeared. Ten days later, sipping on half a bottle of water a day, I am still pain free. I seem to have greater range of motion in my neck as well, without the cracking and popping that normally accompanies turning my head.

That’s exciting to me. That’s encouraging to me. And sipping on water is such a simple and easy way to ease pain and improve health and wellbeing. Thank you CBD Living, for letting me try your product!

CBD Infused Water

Purchasing CBD Living Water

Click this link to order CBD Living Water, available through the company’s website. Then check out the many other products, from CBD dark chocolate to pet products to cough syrups.

Sign up on the website to receive their newsletter and enter for a chance to win a care package. You’ll also get a 10% off code for signing up.

CBD Living Company
Worldwide Shipping 100% Natural 0% THC

 

 

 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Smudging Sage for Health

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Smudging is a Native American custom, used for centuries in spiritual practices and purification rituals. I’ve used a smudge stick, or sage stick, for years to clear negative energy from spaces and objects. Recently I discovered that smudging provides health benefits as well.

Sage, an aromatic herb, is typically used for smudging, although cedar and sweetgrass may be substituted. The Latin word for sage, salvia, means “to heal”. Discover the ways that smudging can improve health and create space in your life and home for positive energy to flow.

Smudging Sage for Health

What is Smudging?

Smudging is the process of burning dried herbs, usually white sage, and using the smoke to cleanse the body, a space or an object. Three common types of sage create a smudge or sage stick: white sage, white prairie sage and garden sage. Most smudge sticks available for purchase are made from white sage or a blend of the three.

Sage is a great anti-fungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial herb. Consuming sage heals fungal infections such as athlete’s foot from within the body. It also clears fungus, mold and heavy metals from the intestinal tract.

Plus, sage offers healing properties when burned.

Purifies the Air

A study from 2007 found that burning sage for an hour decreased airborne bacteria by 94%. And the cleansing effect lasted for more than 24 hours. The smoke also repels insects.

Neutralizes Positive Ions

Burning sage releases negative ions capable of neutralizing positive ions that fill a space due to allergens and heavy emotions. Common allergens include pet dander, pollution, dust and mold. A build up of positive ions, not to be mistaken for positive high level energy, also occurs due to anger, stress and tension.

As the sage smoke changes the ions from positive to negative, a sense of clearing fills the room, along with a lightening of mood.

Dispels Negative Energy

Past traumas, bad experiences, abuse, great sorrow and strongly spoken words can linger in a space, creating a heavy negative atmosphere. The accumulation of positive ions can almost be felt. Think of the expression, “The tension was so thick in the room you could cut it with a knife.”

Smudging clears the air, literally. And into that cleared space, fresh higher level energy can flow.

Smudging Sage for Health

Cleanses Items

Items can accumulate negative energy too, just as rooms and houses can. Bathing a vintage piece or a yard sale find in sage smoke neutralizes the energy surrounding them. I am sensitive enough that I can pick up a candlestick at a flea market and tell immediately if there is negative energy clinging to it. I can feel sadness or anger or despair. If the energy is too strong, I won’t buy the item. I don’t want to bring that low level energy into my home.

However, a cocoon of mild negative energy can be dispelled with smudging. I’ll smudge as soon as I get the item home, and then smudge the house, for good measure.

Improves Mood and Soothes Stress

According to a 2014 study, sage is rich in compounds that stimulate certain receptors in the brain. These receptors elevate mood levels, reducing stress and anxiety, and easing depression.

These compounds also help with insomnia. Improved sleep results in increased energy and greater alertness. The compounds also improve brain function and cognitive abilities. Additionally, smudging heightens intuition and raises awareness.

Materials Needed for Smudging

The list is short and simple:

Smudging Sage

To smudge using a stick:

  • Light smudge stick and allow it to smolder. If the stick flames up allow it to die down before using. The stick should have embers and smoke, rather than burn with flames.
  • To smudge yourself, carefully waft the smoke around the body, using your other hand or a feather. Start at the feet and work up to the head and then move back down the body again. You are cleansing the energy around your body.
  • To smudge a space or a room, start in one corner and move slowly around the room, wafting smoke into all corners and closets. Make sure you move smoke over doorways and windows and over furniture in the room. Carry a fire and heat proof bowl or seashell with you, to collect ash.
  • To smudge an item, move smoke over and around the item. Start at the base and move to the top and then back down again.
  • When finished, allow stick to burn out naturally or hold smoldering end under running water, making sure all the embers are out. Allow sage stick to dry thoroughly before storing.

To smudge a room with dried sage leaves:

  • Light a small circle of charcoal, in a fire and heat proof bowl, and allow it to turn ashen.
  • Crumble dried leaves into bowl. Smoke will rise as the leaves smolder.
  • Add more leaves, as needed, allowing sage to smoke for an hour or more.
  • When finished, allow charcoal to turn to ash and cool completely.
  • Do not leave smoking sage unattended.

Smudging Sage for Health

When to Smudge

These are ideal times to smudge with sage:

  • When moving into a new living space
  • Before and after having guests in the home
  • During and after an illness
  • After an argument
  • When a house feels heavy or full of negative energy
  • When unusual things are happening in the home or it appears to be “haunted”
  • After leaving a negative situation…a bad job, an abusive or emotionally draining  relationship or an angry person
  • Before an extended time of prayer and meditation

I smudge at the beginning of a new year, change of seasons, after any negative experience and when I’m staying in an unfamiliar space. I can’t always carry a smudge stick or dried sage. Flying, for example, is not a good time to pack sage in my suitcase. However, when I stay in a vacation cottage or an Airbnb the first thing I do is smudge the entire space. I don’t know who has been there before me. And I don’t know what their state of mind was or what emotions they carried. Clearing the space means I will sleep better and have greater peace of mind.

Beyond being a spiritual practice, smudging sage clears the air, on so many levels. It contributes to health and wellbeing while raising awareness and increasing intuitive abilities.

Feeling out of sorts at home or fighting allergens? Unsure about the history of an antique you just purchased? Grab a smudge stick!

Smudging Sage for Health

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Is Milk Making You Feel Bad?

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out my Disclosure Policy for details.

The average American consumes a whopping 600 pounds of dairy products a year. And no wonder. Generations of children grow up, encouraged to drink their milk. We are taught that milk is good for us.

But…is it? Does milk do a body good?

There are signs and symptoms that indicate whether a dairy, or lactose, intolerance exists. Additionally, there is more to be aware of, whether there is an intolerance or not.

Check out these reasons why cow’s milk can be a health concern.

Is Milk Making You Feel Bad?

Milk Lactose

Lactose is a type of sugar found in the milk of most mammals. The enzyme lactase functions by breaking down lactose. Children usually fare well with milk, although dairy sensitivities seem to be occurring at earlier ages.

However, by adulthood 70% of the population no longer produces enough lactase to properly digest the lactose in milk. Symptoms of lactose intolerance begin to appear, ranging from mild to severe.

Is Milk Making You Feel Bad?

Common Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Digestive Disorders – Digestive distress is the most common sign that the body is not tolerating milk. Symptoms include stomach pain and bloating, diarrhea, increased gas, indigestion and, more rarely, constipation.

Digestive problems, due to lactose intolerance, are often material for jokes. (Think of the character Leonard, on Big Bang Theory!) However, the discomfort is no laughing matter.

Abdominal pain and bloating occur when the lactose, that cannot be broken down by lactase, ferments in the gut. As it ferments, the lactose produces fatty acids and gases, creating a host of problems. Those fatty acids increase the amount of water in the gut, which can cause diarrhea.

Other Symptoms – While digestive disorders are the most well known signs of lactose intolerance, dairy can contribute to other health issues as well. These include headaches, fatigue, loss of concentration, muscle and joint pain, mouth ulcers, eczema and an increase in mucus production and/or a thickening of mucus, causing congestion.

How do you know if milk is making you feel bad?

Typically milk related symptoms begin 30 minutes to 2 hours after drinking or eating food with dairy in it. As with testing for gluten intolerance, it helps to keep a daily food diary and note when symptoms occur, to see if there is a connection.

Try removing all dairy products from the diet for at least 10 days, and see if health improves while symptoms abate. It can take 10 to 21 days to eliminate cow milk protein from the body and experience changes. Give it some time.

Is Milk Making You Feel Bad?

Other Dairy Concerns

The symptoms of lactose intolerance are unpleasant. However, there are greater concerns connected with consuming dairy products.

Cow’s milk contains the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are necessary to keep the cows lactating. These increase the risk of hormone dependent diseases such as ovarian, uterine, breast, testicular and prostate cancers. Casein, the main protein in milk, actually facilitates the growth of cancer.

In addition to hormones, milk contains pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli, pesticides and antibiotics. The high level of antibiotics in cows contributes to antibiotic resistance in humans. Because cows are fed GMO corn and soy, and gluten, those health busters are passed on to people, in the milk. These in turn create heightened allergic responses to allergens.

The fat in milk is hard on the liver, bogging down its functioning, while putting stress on the pancreas. Those who consume dairy products are more likely to develop Type 1 Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis. That dairy fat feeds inflammation throughout the body, and it is a favorite food source for viruses and bacteria living there. When trying to heal from any major illness or chronic disease, eliminating dairy helps the body to recover.

Cow’s Milk is for Cow Babies

All female mammals, including humans, produce milk for their babies. Each mammal produces a specific milk that is perfectly created for their offspring. It is designed to help the babies grow. Human milk is for human babies. And cow’s milk is for calves, which grow at a more rapid rate than humans.

No other species continues to consume milk past the weaning period, and certainly not from other species, except for humans. It is something to think about, in the quest for better health and well being.

Fortunately, for those who love their dairy products, there are healthy, plant based alternatives.

Watch for my blog post next week, comparing plant based milks that available.

Is Milk Making You Feel Bad?

Check out my Amazon Storefront for herbal tea blends to drink.

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

This time of year, with cold temperatures outdoors and hot dry air circulating indoors, many experience dry winter skin. For many years I slathered on additional moisturizing lotions during the winter months, and applied tons of lip balm. And yet I still struggled with skin that was so dry, it itched and burned. The corners of my lips would crack and get painful as well.

Since adopting a plant based lifestyle I learned an important truth about dry winter skin. Healing my skin begins on the inside. All that fancy, expensive lotion did little good in my battle against dryness.

A radical approach, to me at the time, included less moisturizers and more fruits, veggies, water and herbs to combat a yearly reoccuring condition. Check out my lists of healing foods to combat and heal dry winter skin, naturally.

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

Healing Hydration

  • Water – We all know how important drinking an adequate amount of water is, for health in general and for the skin. Eight glasses of water is a good guide, just don’t guzzle it down. The body quickly eliminates excess water. Instead, sip on water throughout the day, allowing it to be absorbed more slowly. Fill a large water bottle, keep it nearby, and have a goal of emptying it by day’s end. Hydrating the body goes a long way in keeping the skin hydrated and supple, which helps to combat dryness and aging.
  • Herbal Teas – These healing drinks count as water as well. See the list below for the best herbs to help ease dry skin. Two drinks to avoid, if dry skin is an issue, are coffee and alcohol. Both dehydrate the body, and the skin, contributing to aging the skin’s appearance.
  • High Water Content Foods – Fruits such as watermelon and veggies such as cucumber have a hydrating effect on the body and therefore the skin. Check out the list of healing foods below. A very common food to avoid, to keep the skin supple, is processed sugar. It negatively affects proteins in the skin, aging it as well.

Heal Dry Winter SkinWater with cucumber makes a very hydrating drink.

Healing Foods

  • Celery – With its incredibly high water content, and vitamins A, C and K, celery, and specifically, celery juice, is so healing and nurturing to the skin. This green elixir is actually healing to the whole body. Don’t overlook what it does to keep the skin clear and vibrant. Drink celery juice every day, and watch what happens.
  • Watermelon – All melons have high levels of water that hydrate the body. They also reduce puffiness around the eyes.
  • Root Vegetables – These veggies, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are high in vitamin A, which is crucial for healthy skin. Plus they regulate oil production and prevent early aging.
  • Avocado – This superfood is rich with vitamins A, D and E, and good fats that give skin a healthy glow. Used as a mask on the face, avocado penetrates skins cells, helping to renew them.
  • Almonds – This nut contains vitamin E and has powerful antioxidant, anti-aging and even anti-cancer properties that support skin health.
  • Red and Yellow Bell Peppers – These veggies, high in vitamin C, diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Berries – All berries are antioxidant, helping to nourish the skin while preventing signs of premature aging. They counter free radicals, which damage skin cells.
  • Cucumbers – This veggie has a very high water content, hydrating the skin and improving elasticity. Add sliced cucumber to water and sip on it throughout the day.
  • Walnuts, Hemp Seeds & Flaxseed – These are valuable as they provide plant based Omega 3s, which are vital to healthy skin.

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

Healing Herbs

  • Dandelion – This plant is edible, from roots to bright yellow flowers. Dandelion is especially important as it detoxes the liver, and the health of the liver greatly affects the health of skin. When the liver is sluggish, toxins can show up as dry, dull or itchy patches on the surface of the skin. Use dandelion essential oil or brew tea from the leaves. The roots, which are more bitter, make a great substitute for coffee.
  • Burdock – This herb balances the liver and helps to move lymph fluid throughout the lymphatic system, which results in clearer, healthier skin. Drink as a tea or take as a capsule supplement.
  • Calendula – One of my favorite herbs to grow, this plant has bright yellow blooms that fight inflammation in the skin and promote skin cell repair. Use as an essential oil or drink as a tea.
  • Comfrey – A common herb, comfrey contain allantoin, which heals and repairs dry, damaged skin. Use as an essential oil or in tea form.
  • Lavender – Well known for its healing properties, lavender is soothing to the skin and helps to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Use in tea form or as an essential oil, adding it to skin serums and lotions.
  • Rose – This traditional flower has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiaging properties. It nourishes as it hydrates. Rose water is a gentle alternative to washing the face with soaps.

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

Additional Tips to Combat Dry Winter Skin

  • Use a Cold Water Humidifier – The heated air in homes, during the winter, is very drying, and damaging to skin. Use a cold water humidifier while sleeping, adding a few drops of lavender essential oil.
  • Avoid Hot Water – Don’t wash the face with hot water. Instead, use warm water. And don’t wash the face in the mornings. Doing so strips the skin of natural oils that the body creates overnight. We think of this oil as a nuisance, however it is the best personalized moisturizer for our skin, as we created it. Smooth the natural oil over the face and neck. If you are prone to breakouts, or the thought of not cleansing your face in the morning bothers you, try using a gentle cleanser such as rose water. A microfiber cloth and water gently cleans the face, without using soap.

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

My Results

I stopped using expensive lotions and moisturizers last winter, with a bit of trepidation I admit. Also, I switched to plant based shower soaps, shampoo and conditioner, and chemical free laundry products.

In the evenings before bed I use a Norwex microfiber cloth and warm water to cleanse my face, and apply a homemade skin serum that contains lavender, frankincense and calendula essential oils. Recipe HERE. I use BOOM makeup, with is made with simple, all natural ingredients. Review HERE.

The skin on my arms and legs used to get so dry during the winter months that I’d scratch them until I created painful welts. However, this is the second winter that I haven’t used any lotions on my body.

As a result of staying hydrated, eating foods with high water content and using healing herbs, I don’t need the lotions. My skin is healthy, supple and not a bit dry. For the first time in my adult life, I have not had dry cracks in the corners of my mouth, or chapped lips during the cold winter months.

My skin glows, with a health that begins with a nourished, healthy body. And that feels very good to me.

Heal Dry Winter Skin Naturally

Check out my Amazon Storefront, for herbal teas and other healing products.

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Answering Questions About Celery Juice

This post may contain affiliate links. Please ready my Disclosure Policy for details.

I’m coming up on three years, drinking freshly prepared celery juice. This daily practice is the first I adopted, based on the teachings of the Medical Medium, Anthony William. Drinking celery juice is a global phenomenon. Thousands and thousands of people start their day with a glass of this green elixir.

Why?

Because celery juice delivers amazing health benefits.

Answering Questions About Celery Juice

Answering Questions

These are the questions I get asked the most, about drinking celery juice:

How do you prepare celery juice?

Celery juice can be prepared two ways.

Trim the base off of a bunch of celery, wash, and run through a juicer. Try one of these juicers: centrifugal or masticating .

Or, place cut up celery in a blender, blend on high speed until smooth, strain juice into a glass. I love this blender.

Answering Questions About Celery Juice

Why drink celery juice on an empty stomach?

Drinking this juice first thing, or 30 minutes after a glass of lemon water, allows the healing nutrients to be absorbed quickly. And, celery juice first thing in the morning strengthens the digestion of the foods eaten during the rest of the day. Finally, straight celery juice on an empty stomach deeply heals the digestive system and restores the stomach’s hydrochloric acid.

Can celery juice be prepared the night before?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions that I get about celery juice. It’s best to drink it fresh, immediately after juicing, so that it doesn’t oxidize. I know is takes a few minutes to prepare in the morning. It is worth the trouble, prepping the celery and then rinsing the juicer after use.

Can I get the same benefits if I eat the celery?

It is much easier to drink 16 ounces of celery juice, rather than eat a whole bunch. Plus the nutrients are delivered quickly to the body, through the juice. Of course, add celery to salads and recipes. It is a very healing food.

What if I don’t like the taste of celery? Can I add other fruits/veggies?

It’s best to drink celery juice plain, to get the most benefits. However, if the taste is a challenge, Anthony suggests adding half an apple to the juice. Gradually decrease the amount of apple, until it’s plain celery juice. Another idea is to start with a very small amount of juice, and gradually increase the ounces until you can drink 16 ounces. I tell people to just do it. The benefits of celery juice are so many, and so powerful, that I’d recommend drinking it, even if you don’t care for the taste. I know people who started out not liking celery juice, however they continued to drink it, day after day. They love the green juice now.

Answering Questions About Celery Juice

Can I drink more than 16 ounces?

Yes! It’s okay to drink up to 32 ounces in the morning. Add another glass of celery juice in the afternoon or evening, if desired. Feel free to create a blended juice in the afternoon, for a health boosting pick me up. Add other fruits and veggies, ginger, cilantro, or other herbs. Have fun creating your own blends. Try this Apple, Ginger Celery Blend.

Does the celery need to be organic?

Organic celery is great, however, regular celery can be used with the same healing results. Make sure that the celery is washed well, using a dishwashing soap such as Seventh Generation.

How Long Should I Drink Celery Juice?

The simple answer to that question is, for the rest of your long and healthy life! This juice will continue to bring healing and restoration to the body. I crave it. As I prepare the juice, my body responds by vibrating at a higher frequency, in anticipation. I know…that’s wild. When I travel, or if I have several packed out days in a row and miss my morning celery juice, I can feel the difference. I don’t like to go very many days without my green elixir.

The Biggest Question

The biggest question I get is,
“So what are the health benefits?”

Which is another way of asking,

“If I’m going to go to the trouble of making celery juice every morning, is it WORTH IT?”

Yes, it is so worth it.

Celery juice delivers these healing benefits to the body:

  • Lowers inflammation
  • Heals the entire digestive system
  • Reduces bloating
  • Supports weight loss
  • Helps to heal eczema and psoriasis
  • Fights infections
  • Heals acne and other skin conditions
  • Prevent UTIs
  • Lowers and prevents high blood pressure
  • Lowers high cholesterol
  • Prevents ulcers
  • Supports liver health

That’s a lot of healing! And it is ongoing, and cumulative.

My Celery Juice Healing Story

I began drinking celery juice, March 2016, hoping to calm the inflammation that was raging throughout my body. By July of the same year, I had read the book, Medical Medium, and switched to a plant based lifestyle.

What a difference celery juice made. It led me to the realization that my body does better when I eat plants only. I have healed, in so many ways

The immediate improvement I experienced, thanks to celery juice, was a healed digestive system. At one time, I kept Tums in my purse, car, and in multiple locations in the house, due to severe acid reflux and indigestion. Plus, I took a variety of over the counter antacids. My whole digestive system was a mess. I suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, gallbladder inflammation, stomach and abdominal pain, and what I called a sensitive gut. Later I discovered that’s a real condition. The nerve ending in my intestines were hyper sensitive, causing me pain when I ate high fiber foods.

All of this has healed, thanks to celery juice

And I feel better overall. My skin is more clear and vibrant. And I no longer take meds for high blood pressure

I will drink celery juice for the rest of my life. When I get up and move into the kitchen, I just fix my juice. I have a routine that works for me, prepping the celery, juicing, and then immediately cleaning the juicer while I sip my green drink. In case you are wondering, I follow celery juice with a fruit or detox smoothie.

What Other Questions Do You Have?

Do you have additional questions about preparing or drinking celery juice, or about its amazing health benefits?

Ask away in the comments. Or visit this website that Anthony William has dedicated just to celery juice: www.celeryjuice.com

Cheers! Here’s to optimal health, vitality and wellbeing, for us all.

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Guide to Gluten Free Flours

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Avoiding gluten doesn’t mean I don’t ever bake or cook with flour. It means I use gluten free flours, and fortunately, there is a wide variety to choose from. They don’t all have the same properties, and most are not interchangeable with wheat flour, one on one. Knowing what flours to use, for which purposes, and how much to use, prevents baking flops and catastrophes. And trust me, I’ve had a few of those.

Check out 8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance, to see why some people avoid gluten.

One thing I learned early in my plant based journey is that it’s best to use a combination of gluten free flours, for the best end results.


Below are great gluten free options, and the best ways to use them.

Guide to Gluten Free Flours

Gluten Free Flours

The flours can be divided into three categories: starches, medium density flours and heavy density flours. It’s best to use a combination of the three, and to experiment occasionally to see which blend suits your baking needs the best.

Starches

Arrowroot Flour

Arrowroot flour is a very fine flour that is derived from the arrowroot plant. It is also called arrowroot starch or arrowroot powder. The flour resembles corn or potato starch.

Best used as a thickener, in place of corn starch, it can be substituted 1:1 for other starches. Arrowroot flour is helpful when combined with other gluten free flours as it helps the dough and finished product to hold together.

Use up to 25% of arrowroot flour in a mix of gluten free flours.

Potato Starch

Different from potato flour, this starch adds wonderful moisture to baked goods.

Best used for all types of baked goods.

Use up to 25% of potato starch in a mix of gluten free flours.

Tapioca Flour

Also known as cassava flour, this product is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. It is also known as tapioca starch, and should be used in combination with other gluten free flours.

Best used for mixing in gluten free flour blends and thickening soups, sauces and fillings.

Tapioca flour can be substituted for corn or potato starch. Use no more than 25% when combining with other gluten free flours.

 

Medium Density Gluten Free Flours

Sorghum Flour

This flour is closest in texture and taste to traditional wheat flour. It is high in antioxidants and in many instances, can be used as a 1:1 substitution for regular flour.

Best used for muffins, breads, pancakes, cookies and cakes.

Swap sorghum flour 1:1 for wheat flour or use up to 50% in gluten free mix.

Quinoa Flour

This grain has a nutty flavor. However, as a flour it can be slightly bitter. Use sparingly in a mixture of other gluten free flours, to add protein.

Best used for biscuits, flatbreads, herbed breads or muffins.

Only use 25%, or less, in a mix of gluten free flours.

Oat Flour

This flour is made by grinding oats. You can grind your own gluten free oats, in a blender or food processor. Otherwise, make sure the package states that this is a gluten free product. Oats are naturally gluten free, however, they are often cultivated and processed with wheat products, leading to cross contamination.

Best used for breads, muffins, cookies, cakes, crusts, fruit crisps and scones.

Use up to 50% of oat flour in a gluten free mix.

Millet Flour

This mild adaptable grain is rich in magnesium and also completely gluten free. Millet flour adds a crumbly texture to breads and muffins.

Best for breads, muffins, cookies, cakes and crusts.

Use up to 25% of millet flour in a gluten free mix.

Bean Flours

Beans can be ground into flour, just as grains can. All are naturally rich in protein and fiber. Available varieties include chickpea, or garbanzo, black bean, white bean, lentil and fava. Bean flours have a robust flavor and can leave an aftertaste, so experiment with these. I use garbanzo flour most often, of the bean flours.

Use bean flours in sweet treats such as pancakes, muffins or zucchini bread.

Up to 25% of a gluten free mix can be comprised of bean flours.

 

Wild Blueberry Scones

Heavy Density Gluten Free Flours

Almond Flour

This product is made from raw, blanched almonds that have been ground to a fine flour. Almond flour, and other nut based flours such as hazelnut, walnut or seed flours, add a punch of protein and a slightly nutty taste to baked goods.

Almond flour is best used for cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes and crumbles.

Use up to 25% almond flour in a mix of gluten free flours.

Buckwheat Flour

This flour, made from ground buckwheat, is 100% gluten free, and has a rich nutty flavor.

Best used for muffins, cookies, pancakes, waffles and breads.

Use up to 50% of this flour, in a gluten free mix.

Coconut Flour

This very dense flour is created from dried coconut. It is the most fibrous of all gluten free flours, which means it soaks up liquids. Plan to use at least 1/4 cup of extra liquid in recipes, when using coconut flour, or use a different flour. My mother had several failed recipes, before figuring out that coconut flour absorbed too much of the liquids, resulting in a dry and crumbly baked good.

Coconut flour is best used for pancakes, cookies, waffles and crusts.

You can use 1/4 cup of coconut flour, in place of 1 cup of other gluten free flours. You’ll still need to add at least ¼ cup of extra liquids.

Brown Rice Flour

This flour is made from rice that still contains the germ and bran from the rice grain. It is an excellent gluten free flour, suitable for a multitude of uses. White rice flour is available as well. It qualifies as a medium density flour.

Best used for all gluten free baking and cooking, thickener for soups, sauces and fillings.

Use up to 50% in gluten free mixes.

Creating a Gluten Free Flour Blend

When creating a blend of gluten free flours, to bake with, use a mix of starches, medium textured flour and heavy textured flours, for great texture and flavor.

I typically use a blend of oat flour, almond or brown rice flour, and arrowroot or tapioca starch. In a recipe that calls for 2 1/2 cups of flour, I use 1 cup of oat flour, 1 cup of almond or brown rice flour, and 1/2 cup of arrowroot or tapioca starch. Some gluten free bakers use a 2:1 mix of flours to starches. For every cup of flour, they mix in 1/2 cup of starch.


Create this blend of gluten free flours, to have on hand, ready for use:

3 cups sorghum flour

3 cups brown rice flour

1 1/2 cups potato starch

1 1/2 cups arrowroot powder


Combine all ingredients well and store in the fridge. Makes 9 cups.


Or try out Bob’s Red Mill packaged flours. They have a 1:1 gluten free flour blend that can be used in place of wheat flour, without having to mix your own. I’ve used Bob’s several times, with excellent results. This company also packages many of the above mentioned flours individually.

Most grocery stores carry gluten free flours. Natural Grocers carries a large assortment of bulk packaged flours under their own brand, plus the Bob’s Red Mill brand.


Guide to Gluten Free Flours

Creating Healthy Treats

I don’t bake nearly as often as I used to. After eliminating dairy products, eggs, sugar and gluten from my diet, I at first thought baked goods were a thing of the past. Occasionally, however, I prepare a special treat, such as the wild blueberry scones, or wonderful chocolate wacky cupcakes, all prepared without dairy, eggs, refined sugar…I use organic coconut sugar or 100% pure maple syrup…and with gluten free flours.

These goodies are special treats, indeed.

Guide to Gluten Free Flours
Gluten Free Flours that I frequently use.

 

Journey with Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra charge to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Premium Bamboo Foot Pads

This post is written in exchange for products from Careness Foot Pads. The genuine and honest opinions expressed are entirely my own.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

When Careness contacted me about trying their Premium Bamboo Foot Pads, I responded with interest. I’ve heard of foot pads, having read comments that scoffed at whether such items benefitted the body, or not. Believers and non-believers weighed in with a variety of opinions.

This is what’s true about me though. I form my own opinions, after giving products of all kinds a try. I’m grateful that I make up my own mind. Where would I be, if I had not begun the then unheard of practice of drinking celery juice almost three years ago? Or what if I had decided food must not have healing properties, since not one of my doctors ever mentioned that possibility to me? I would not be the healthy, vibrant person that I now am.

The Premium Bamboo Foot Pads arrived in the mail, and not only did I try them, several of my family members tried them as well. Below are our results.

Premium Bamboo Foot Pads

What are Bamboo Foot Pads?

Foot pads, also called detox foot pads, cleansing foot pads or foot patches, have been used in Chinese medicine for many, many years as a way to naturally draw out toxins from the body, through the soles of the feet. There are other reported benefits as well, from improved sleep to stress relief to increased energy.

Careness uses all natural ingredients in their bamboo foot pads, including:

  • wood vinegar extract
  • bamboo vinegar extract
  • chitin and chitosan
  • tourmaline
  • vitamin C
  • vegetable fiber
  • minus ion powder
  • dextrin

The pads attach to the bottoms of the feet, which are rich with nerve endings and pores. Other practices, such as reflexology, bring healing to the entire body by focusing on the soles of the feet. The bamboo foot pads are worn while you sleep, drawing out toxins, increasing circulation and stimulating the feet to improve health and well being.

Opening the package. The ingredients are in paper bags, similar to tea bags. They affix to the adhesive sheets.
Premium Bamboo Foot Pads
A foot pad ready to be attached to the bottom of my foot.
Premium Bamboo Foot Pads
Bamboo foot pads attached, in the center of each foot. I’m ready to try these out!

Bamboo Foot Pad Results

For many years I took sleep aids or allergy meds, to put me to sleep at night. Since becoming plant based, I have not had trouble going to sleep. However, I wake up throughout the night, every 1 to 1 1/2 hours, roll over, and usually go back to sleep. Occasionally, I wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty sleeping after that. I use the time to think or meditate and eventually doze again.

After attaching a bamboo foot pad to each foot, I was ready to go to bed, and see what happened. The pads should be worn for eight hours. I admit to feeling very curious!

The soles of my feet felt slightly warm and a bit tingly, pleasantly so. I became drowsy right away and fell asleep quickly. Rather than waking up every hour or so, I slept soundly until 5:00 am. I woke briefly. My feet still felt warm, in a cozy kind of way, making me smile. I felt very relaxed, almost as if I had taken a sleep aid. In a few moments I had slipped back into sleep, and rested well for a couple more hours.

When I woke fully, I felt rested, alert and settled, I think would be the proper word, more grounded. I had a slightly dry mouth. Peeling off the bamboo foot pads, I found them to be brown in color and a bit gooey. Whether this was from detoxing, or simply moisture from my feet interacting with the ingredients, I can’t say. However, I can attest to experiencing an excellent night of rest. I tried the bamboo foot pads the next night, and was rewarded with the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a very long time. I slept straight through the night, without waking at all, until 7:00 am, which is something I have not done for years. The second morning, I did not note a dry mouth.

My family members…Greg, Mom, and my stepdad…all reported a more restful night’s sleep as well. Each also said that the pads changed to dark colors overnight. Greg, who is a very restless sleeper, felt his body relaxed and was more quiet.

Premium Bamboo Foot Pads
The foot pads after being worn for 8 hours, as I slept.
Premium Bamboo Foot Pads

Where Can You Find Bamboo Foot Pads?

Careness Premium Bamboo Foot Pads can be purchased through this Amazon link and includes a 20% off coupon. And, the package comes with a bonus lavender foot mask to try.

I will definitely use these again. With their ease of use and natural ingredients, the foot pads are a great alternative to sleep aids. Plus, I felt energetic after those great sleeps. And oh, what I can accomplish after a wonderful night of rest!

Have you ever tried bamboo foot pads? What was your experience?


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Gluten intolerance? I never gave those words a thought.

In fact, I used to say, a bit smugly too, that I could live on soup, bread and Diet Pepsi. Those three favorites were the foundation of my poor diet. And for years, I attempted to live by that motto. I gave up the Diet Pepsi first, more than a dozen years ago, and experienced an immediate improvement in my health. Soup can stay, minus dairy products and unhealthy toppings. Bread, though? I love it and thought I could not live without bread. I craved it, from gooey cinnamon rolls to thick slices of sandwich bread to pizza crust to those big soft pretzels.

What I did not realize, until I switched to a plant based lifestyle, was that bread did not love me. In particular, gluten did not do my body any good. I grew up in the 60s and 70s, eating a typical American diet that relied on white bread as a staple. Never once did I consider that my digestive problems and skin rashes might be caused by a substance found in wheat products.

Maybe you haven’t considered that possibility either. Here are eight common symptoms of gluten intolerance.

8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley, rye and spelt, which is a form of wheat. Oats can be contaminated by gluten grains, so if eating them, look for the words “gluten free” on the package. Some people do not have an allergic reaction to gluten. Those that do experience inflammation, especially in the digestive system. Gluten compromises the immune system and can trigger diseases such as Celiac Disease, Crohn’s, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, colitis and a host of other disorders throughout the body.

8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

  • Digestive distress tops the list of gluten intolerance symptoms. Disorders include upset stomach, bloating after a gluten heavy meal, abdominal pain and discomfort, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and Crohn’s disease. Celiac disease, considered an autoimmune disease, is a severe form of gluten intolerance. It can adversely affect the digestive tract, damaging it. Bloating, which is a feeling of fullness after eating a meal, is one of the most common symptoms of a sensitivity to gluten.
  • Headaches, and especially frequent migraines, are another indicator of gluten intolerance. Those who are sensitive to gluten may be more prone to headaches than others.
  • Irritability, depression and anxiety can be very debilitating and can be accompanied by feelings of sadness, despair or hopelessness. Surprisingly, those with a gluten intolerance are more susceptible to depression compared to those without the sensitivity. One possibility is that gluten creates changes in the gut microbiota, increasing bad bacteria and decreasing good bacteria. This change may affect the central nervous system, increasing the risk of depression.
  • Muscle cramps and bone and joint pain can be a result of inflammation, caused by gluten. This pain can be widespread throughout the body and accompanied by tiredness and extreme fatigue.
  • Tingling or numbness in arms and legs is common in those with diabetes or B12 deficiency. It can also affect those with a sensitivity, perhaps because of a reaction to certain antibodies in gluten.
  • Brain fog refers to a feeling of not being able to think clearly. It has been described as forgetfulness or mental fatigue or feeling foggy headed. Such a condition is a common symptom of gluten intolerance.
  • Skin rashes and disorders are another common ailment among those who are sensitive to gluten. These tiny blisters or bumps are often found on the upper arms, elbows, knees and torso. A gluten free diet can clear rashes up and also help other skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
  • Canker sores in the mouth or digestive tract are another symptom of gluten intolerance. Chronic mouth sores are almost always an indication of sensitivity and a condition that can be greatly improved or eliminated completely on a gluten free diet.
8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

Healing a Gluten Intolerance

The first step toward healing sounds simple but can be difficult for people who love their bread, like I did. Stop eating grain products that include gluten. This involves more than passing on the bread. Gluten can be found in pastas, desserts such as pie, cookies, cake and doughnuts, cereals, pancakes, waffles, bagels, gravies, sauces, soups and the bread coating on veggies. Anything made from wheat, barley, rye, spelt and sometimes oats has gluten lurking in it.

Surprisingly, gluten can be found in foods that are not easily identified as a grain product. It becomes very important to read labels. I checked out the label above, for veggie burgers. They appeared to be a healthy choice. However, listed in the ingredients are wheat and gluten…and several other things that I do not eat. Eliminating gluten from the diet involves awareness and determination.

The rewards are great though. I had most of the symptoms listed above and have had them my whole life. They ranged from minor to troublesome and I never connected them to the same source…gluten. In my quest to eliminate inflammation in my body, I decided to stop eating gluten products and see if it made a difference. The change in my health was amazing. The rash I’d had on my upper arms since childhood disappeared. My gut healed, indigestion stopped, pain and swelling in my joints went away. I stopped getting mouth sores and headaches, and my irritable bowel syndrome cleared up.

I’d suggest keeping a food diary and then begin eliminating gluten laden products from your diet, a few items at a time. Read labels. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Look for “gluten free” substitutions. I enjoy pasta still. It’s just made from brown rice instead of wheat. There are many gluten free products available in grocery stores. Typically these items are grouped together in their own section. I bake using almond or oat flour that is gluten free. Check the labels of gluten free products too, however. Those crackers or that cereal that is gluten free may contain sugar or other surprise ingredients.

Gluten free bread is available, often in the frozen food section. You know what though? Since changing my diet I don’t crave bread anymore. I rarely eat a gluten free roll or slice of bread. And I don’t miss it. I can live on healthy soups, fruits, veggies and water…and really live, while experiencing optimal health and well being.

8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

 

Discover which Gluten Free Flours to use and how to create your own blend in Guide to Gluten Free Flours.

Find gluten free recipes on Pinterest, or check out this plant based gluten free cookbook!

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.