The Project: Kuwait

Good For You Gluten Free With Jenny Finke Author of “Dear Gluten It’s Not Me It’s You”

March 08, 2021 Mahdi Al Oun, Jenny Finke Season 1 Episode 225
The Project: Kuwait
Good For You Gluten Free With Jenny Finke Author of “Dear Gluten It’s Not Me It’s You”
The Project: Kuwait
Good For You Gluten Free With Jenny Finke Author of “Dear Gluten It’s Not Me It’s You”
Mar 08, 2021 Season 1 Episode 225
Mahdi Al Oun, Jenny Finke

Breaking up with gluten was one of the best yet hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It was a messy breakup, and the split came with a roller coaster of emotions. In Dear Gluten, It’s Not Me, It’s You, I compare breaking up with gluten to breaking up with a boyfriend. Mr. Gluten, it’s over! While breaking up with gluten drummed up feelings of relief, it also created a slew of physical and emotional challenges. Breakups are complex, heartbreaking, and hard to get over. People suffering from a gluten disorder often feel betrayed by their bodies, abandoned by their doctors, and disowned by a society void of empathy for “gluten-free people.” 


Dear Gluten, It’s Not Me, It’s You is a comprehensive guide to breaking up with gluten for good. I take readers on a journey to understand how gluten damages their body (why break up), how they can split with the offensive bad-boy protein (how to break up), and what they need to do to repair their damaged bodies (how to heal and move on). I intertwine how-to advice with both my personal story and gluten “breakup” stories from celebrities I’ve interviewed including Dana Vollmer (7-time Olympic gold medalist), Beatie Deutsch (champion Israeli marathoner), Dr. Patrick Staropoli (NASCAR competitor), Shannon Ford (2011 Mrs. United States), Nichole Thomas (basketball player and wife of NBA player, Etan Thomas).

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Show Notes Transcript

Breaking up with gluten was one of the best yet hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It was a messy breakup, and the split came with a roller coaster of emotions. In Dear Gluten, It’s Not Me, It’s You, I compare breaking up with gluten to breaking up with a boyfriend. Mr. Gluten, it’s over! While breaking up with gluten drummed up feelings of relief, it also created a slew of physical and emotional challenges. Breakups are complex, heartbreaking, and hard to get over. People suffering from a gluten disorder often feel betrayed by their bodies, abandoned by their doctors, and disowned by a society void of empathy for “gluten-free people.” 


Dear Gluten, It’s Not Me, It’s You is a comprehensive guide to breaking up with gluten for good. I take readers on a journey to understand how gluten damages their body (why break up), how they can split with the offensive bad-boy protein (how to break up), and what they need to do to repair their damaged bodies (how to heal and move on). I intertwine how-to advice with both my personal story and gluten “breakup” stories from celebrities I’ve interviewed including Dana Vollmer (7-time Olympic gold medalist), Beatie Deutsch (champion Israeli marathoner), Dr. Patrick Staropoli (NASCAR competitor), Shannon Ford (2011 Mrs. United States), Nichole Thomas (basketball player and wife of NBA player, Etan Thomas).

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Sun, 3/7 8:31AM • 44:14


gluten, eat, foods, people, celiac disease, diet, gluten sensitivity, wheat, celiac, body, eliminate, bread, gut, detox, gluten free, free, heal, inflammation, doctors, world


You're now listening to the project to project to the project, where we stop at nothing to bring you the right backs on health, fitness and psychology, featuring some of the world's most experienced professionals. So you can learn and play with your hosts make dirty and messy. One other thing that I can't eat is chicken, why I have no idea whether it's the antibiotics that they pump in chicken in the Middle East, whether it's because they're grain fed, I have absolutely no clue. But I have noticed when I eat a lot of chicken, I get the same type of reaction that I get when I eat foods with high gluten in it. And it's the weirdest thing in the world. And it just comes down to the resource of food that we have at our disposal. I think


one of the challenges that we face is that people don't always take gluten free diets serious, right. And you have to remember for 1% of the population who has celiac disease, this is a medically necessary diet, you know, this isn't something I choose. It's something that I have to follow. And then on top of it, you have about six to 7% of the population that has a gluten sensitivity. So way more people way more people have a gluten sensitivity. And again, the gluten free diet is a medically necessary diet for them.


All this and more in today's episode. Hey, everybody, welcome to this episode of the project. And we are going to talk about all things gluten with Jenny living think, author of the title that I love, dear gluten, it's not me, it's you. And Jenny, welcome to the show. It's awesome to have you on. First off, how'd you come up with that title?


Well, thank you for having me on today. I really appreciate it. Well, the title is more of a kind of a play on words, you know, just thinking about my relationship with gluten and how much it's changed, you know, switching the status from you know, in a relationship to it's complicated, and really thinking about the whole gluten thing as a as a relationship and a breakup. And so that's sort of how you might start a dear john letter or how you might, you know, call your boyfriend and be like, Can we talk to you? No, it's not me. It's You are the opposite. You would actually say, right, it's not you. It's me. But in this case, it's really gluten that has caused me harm and is the reason I'm breaking up with him.


Oh, that's awesome. And I love your work. Jenny has a plethora of recipes on her Instagram page. I love the work that you did on YouTube with going around and doing reviews on certain restaurants and actually having a testing kit and testing out whether they're non gluten foods had gluten in it. And I wasn't surprised because a lot of restaurants say it's gluten free, but it does get contaminated even if they change their gloves. So not a lot of people know that. But what's your story? Like? How did it start? And you know, can you start it off with telling people what gluten is exactly and how it does affect the body or how it affected you?


Yeah, oh, wow. Well, that's a great question. And so many so many directions it can go on but you know, gluten is a protein and it's a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and derivatives of those grains. And it is a protein that really doesn't have any nutritional benefits. But it's it's more functional. It gives bread that had a daily elastics feel and texture that you love, you know, you see a pizza being tossed into the air and then it comes back down and it doesn't break. That's the gluten, the protein holding it all together. And you know, I first found out that, you know, I had an issue with gluten when I was diagnosed with celiac disease. And I actually didn't know a lot about celiac disease. Nine years ago, when I was diagnosed, I really went to my doctor for my annual visit and told her I said, you know, I've got this painful bloating, you know, at the end of the day, it's worse, I can barely button my pants at the end of the day. You know, can you recommend some good gas medicine to kind of help with that bloating? And she, you know, asked more questions. It didn't really sound normal. Do you mind if I run a few tests on you? And I was so naive back then I didn't know much about any of anything. Nutrition food, any of that insists Of course, you can run some tests. And then sure enough, just a few days later, she you know, she called me and told me I had celiac disease. And she's like, you basically cannot eat bread, pasta, crackers, any of that stuff anymore. You can't eat gluten and it was just such a shock because like many of us, I have many warm feelings about gluten. Like I have an emotional attachment to gluten and it was a very hard thing to be like what I can't eat a big bowl of spaghetti anymore. Are you kidding me? I can't eat piece of crusty bread anymore. And so I had a lot of emotions go through my head and really a long journey to heal my body and actually feel well. So just out of curiosity.


I mean, and you know, gluten is pretty useless in terms of nutritional value, but have you ever tried to return Use it to see how your body would react. I know for me personally, I was telling you before the show I loved pasta. And it was it totally destroyed me. But when I tried to reintroduce gluten at a slower pace, it did a little bit better, but still can't really tolerate it as much. But have you ever tried that? And if so, what reaction did you have? And is it something that people can do as an option to go back to eating the foods you love? Or is it totally impossible?


Right? Well, people with celiac disease cannot go back to eating gluten.


I haven't at all.


Yes, at all. I have not purposely eaten gluten. I don't know if that's the right way to say it. I've not personally had a piece of gluten since my diagnosis that I know of what I know I have been when I call accidentally gluten cross contamination in the restaurant, which you brought up at the beginning. So I know I have possibly eaten low levels of gluten, and I do get very sick. My body does react to it. I do you know have to. You definitely want to be close to a bathroom when you don't when you get gluten, I guess you can say yeah, yeah. But you know, that begs a bigger question of, you know, what about people with gluten sensitivities can that change. And so really understanding that there is a huge, huge difference between the way gluten reacts and someone with celiac disease. And the way gluten reacts with someone who might have a gluten sensitivity to gluten intolerance, or what we're calling non celiac gluten sensitivity. So honestly, if you do have a gluten sensitivity, you can eat gluten, even just a little bit not even a bite if you want to experience the the health benefits of the gluten free diet. And truly I watched a lot of my friends and people in my community who have a gluten sensitivity. And they they maybe don't feel like it's taken a serious, but they'll say I accidentally ate a piece of gluten and it's serious. Let me tell you, you know, I have migraines, I'm on the toilet, I my joints hurt, all sorts of inflammation is happening in their bodies. And so they avoid gluten. And they sometimes even have to tell waiters and things like that I have celiac, I take this really serious, even if they don't just to be taken serious, at least Yeah, you're in the US. And I imagine in the Middle East as well, where gluten disorders are probably not known or has accepted quite Yeah, it just hasn't reached that massive appeal around the globe.


No 100%. And for me personally, there's a well known restaurant that it's an Arabic food Lebanese restaurant that we always go to or order in from and you know, they're really good. And few times in front of my family. I'm like, I'm not eating their bread. And they're like, why aren't you going to have their bread? Like, look, if I eat their bread, my hands swell up, my joints hurt, inflammation goes all your crazy, I was like, Look, it's probably really high in gluten, it's high in something that my body just can't tolerate. And then I that's how I figured it out that it was gluten because then I pegged it to the pastas. I pegged it to everything else. And you know, my mother is an amazing cook. And you know, sometimes she'll make like a lasagna and the pasta has got gluten in it. And I'm feeling it for three days. because like you said, your joints are inflamed, your stomach is just bloated. I feel like crap The next day, it's almost like a hangover, right? It's definitely the equivalent of a hangover. And for some, it's, you know, you get, you know, violent diarrhea or whatever. And, you know, let's be realistic. It's something we all deal with. Or Personally, I get constipated for like two days, and it's just, it feels so bad. And it just everything hurts. So what are some of the things that some of the misconceptions that you've seen from we were talking about this a little bit earlier that, you know, certain schools are very dogmatic about what they believe, and I was telling you the story about vegans, which I think they are extremely dogmatic, and you know, they painted as a religion, some of them, not everyone. And the same thing goes for the gluten free camp, because I've met people that were hardcore, gluten free, and they tried to spread that wealth of knowledge on everybody and force it on them, how can you sort of maneuver around those aspects? And how have you learned how to maneuver around them?


Right. I think one of the challenges that we face is that people don't always take gluten free diet serious, right. And I know like you said, veganism, for example, like people really have certain strong beliefs about the way they eat. And it's like, you can't talk about food, religion or politics with people who are very stuck in their diet and have a certain way to eat. And gluten free in some respects has become that as well. But you have to remember for you know, 1% of the population who has celiac disease, this is a medically necessary diet, you know, this isn't something I choose. It's something that I have to follow. And then on top of it, you have about six to 7% of the population that has a gluten sensitivity. So where More people, way more people have a gluten sensitivity. And again, the gluten free diet is a medically necessary diet for them. And so it is very difficult when people dismiss it. I even I think the dedication of my book even says this is for all the people who have ever felt dismissed because they're like, Oh, well, gluten is not that bad. Can't you just have a little bite? Like, why are you so strict about it? And it's, it's really, because it makes me feel bad, but it also can lead to all sorts of inflammation. And something you had touched on is that celiac disease and even gluten sensitivity, you know, has become known as this digestive disorder, which it is, you know, but people having the bloated belly, the diarrhea, the constipation, the gas, those kind of things. But what we are seeing is that both celiac and gluten sensitivity, non celiac gluten sensitivity are having what we're seeing are non classical manifestations. And actually, more patients are being diagnosed with these disorders through non classical manifestations of these disease of this disease. And they're finding things like you said, joint pain, migraines, I even was doing a little research. And I found even in the Middle East, for example, that number one reason people are going to their doctor to get diagnosed with celiac in children is that failure to thrive. So these children aren't growing, they've stopped growing, or they're really thin that they're not holding on to any of the food, any of the nutrients they're eating. And that's because celiac disease is impairing their ability to properly absorb nutrients. And when you can't absorb those nutrients, and you can't get those nutrients to pretty much every cell in your body, you're not going to grow, you're going to have other things go wrong in your body. It's sort of like a cascade of things that can go wrong in your body.


I love that you bring that up, and especially about the nutrient part and how nutritious you know, certain foods are. And now gluten is derived from certain cereals and grains. And if we look at the evolution of grains over the past 100 years, you know, if you look at a piece of wheat from 100 years ago, or 200 years ago, it looks completely different today, do you think that has had an impact in you know, people developing celiac disease and, you know, let's be realistic, a lot of other food allergies, you think it's just the way agriculture is these days, and that's impacting our lives?


It could be it's definitely a huge factor. I think the influence of the Western diet in around the world definitely has impacted the wheat consumption around the world. And I found an interesting service of this, the Sahara population in Algeria has the highest prevalence of celiac disease. And it's due to both genetics and the introduction of wheat and Western foods into the culture. But there's a whole book on this topic, I think so fantastic book controversial, of course, by Dr. William Davis called wheat belly. I think it's been a best seller for over a decade. And he does talk about you know, what's wrong with wheat? Has wheat changed? And, and here in the US, we talk a ton about oh, well, you could stilly ancient wheat, you know, it's just that Yeah, maybe that you really can't that is ancient, we will not have as much gluten protein content in it, but it still has gluten. And I remember hearing Dr. Davis once talking to podcast, he's like eating an ancient, you know, wheat grain is like having a low tar cigarette, it's still a cigarette, right? It just may have a little less tar in it. So I thought that was a really great analogy. But wheat has been hybridized hybridized. I don't know if I'm saying that right and cross bred to become the wheat that we eat today. And it's sort of, you know, they they're growing it shorter, they're growing it faster, they just want to produce it quicker. And they're cross breeding these different grains. And that is affecting the content of wheat. And here you can find high gluten wheat. So we are actually eating so much more wheat in our diets. And we're eating these hybridized versions of meat, different versions of wheat and our diet maybe hasn't evolved as fast as the wheat has


evolved in our in our world. 100%. Now before we dive into how to break up with gluten, and we're, you know, that question is definitely on the menu. I wanted to ask you about what about the gluten free alternatives? You know, I'm someone that absolutely loves spaghetti. You know, that's like, since I was a kid spaghetti and pizza that was my go to and something else not a lot of people know is that gluten can also cause acne and I believe if I think I was dairy and gluten intolerant when I was a teenager and if I had known that I probably would have gotten rid of my acne and do my dermatologist never asked me what was in my diet. He never once said Oh, what are you eating? And through my research later, I found out that that could also cause you know, acne Severe Acne at that point. And I was like, wow, you know, there's so much that goes into the diet and there's so much that goes into our bodies and especially when it is gluten free. so to speak, what are they substituting in there? And are these substitutes good for us? Like, can we tolerate these? Or will we start to develop an intolerance again?


Oh, it's that's there's so many great questions in there too. I'd take a little notes here I first about attack like the the acne because again, like a non classical symptom of a gluten disorder or some sort of inflammation in your body would be on the surface of your skin. It's, you know, the largest organ in your body. Yeah, and actually, a lot of people are diagnosed with celiac disease through their dermatologist there's, it's called dermatitis performative, I'm not sure if I'm saying


something like that. I read an article A while ago, so yeah, sorry. Oh, I


don't know. I have, like, I struggle with pronunciation sometimes. But it is a skin manifestation of celiac. And when you actually do an intestinal biopsy of someone with d h, they're finding they have this same destruction on their small intestine as someone with celiac. So yes, there are many skin manifestations of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity. And just in general, if you have a gluten, if you're intolerant to gluten, it's a form of inflammation. acne, acne is a form of inflammation. And so that could be where your body is manifesting this disorder. But in terms of substitutes, and that is hard. It's definitely hard especially I'm imagine where you're living at. there's not as many gluten free flours and bread options and things like that.


Got a lot over the years. I mean, not right now. Like even with COVID we're still getting the imported stuff. It's still at a ridiculous price. But it's still, you know, it's good. But when I go to the States during the summer, and I walk into a whole foods, I'm like, wow, like they have places got everything. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Oreo cookies that are gluten free to, you know, whatever it is. So yeah, sorry, go on.


Well, we definitely have those alternatives. And you're seeing, like you said, with Oreo cookies, we're seeing mainstream brands create gluten free alternatives, for better or for worse, because at the end of the day, it's still junk food, right? It's just gluten free junk food. And that's sort of why I named my whole platform good, free, gluten free, because sometimes we can get things into thinking that gluten free equals good free, but really, there is a way to eat healthy and gluten free and then enjoy those treats. Like Yes, of course, I tried the new Oreos, the gluten free artist, right, but I don't eat gluten free Oreos every single day, you know, or I balance it, you know, having an apple and then an Oreo, right. That's what I call balance in my life. But one thing that I noticed when I when they went gluten free, that I didn't feel well for a long time, and I am depriving myself of this gluten and going through this like gluten withdrawals and away and really having intense cravings for gluten and depriving myself of gluten for so long, but still not feeling great. And it's it's mainly because a lot of people don't fully heal on the gluten free diet. And it's a real challenge. And you know, we're finding that like, up to 40 to 60% of adults who have Si, like, Don't ever fully heal this lining of their small intestine. And it's really, it's hard work to heal it. And it's not just about swapping Oreos, for gluten free Oreos, or pizza for gluten free pizza that that you know, and you talk about all the time with nutrition is that really it's about making great choices. And we're eating foods that are going to heal your body and then are center in good for you. And looking for foods that don't have labels, you know, steak and potatoes. For example, I think you you know, they don't have a label on it. They're naturally gluten free foods, right, and avocado and egg and Apple naturally gluten free foods, and they're good for you. And so the cleaner you can eat, the less things with labels, the better off you're going to be. But obviously, we live in a world where we like to go out to eat, of course, we want to eat a piece of bread, we want to be able to create these alternatives to so I feel like you have to be able to find that balance in life of eating healthy, but still not depriving yourself of everything just because you're gluten free.


Yeah, no. And that totally makes complete sense. And you know, I've always said it to my clients and I've said it to people whoever asked me about nutrition, and if they're like, the first thing they always ask is How do I lose weight? How do I lose as much weight as possible? What can I do? And you know, I'm like, dude, first things first, man, don't eat anything out of a bag. That's my first response is cut out anything out of a bag, anything out of a can, and you're good. I guarantee you, you'll lose at least five to 10 pounds, you know, within a month or two. They're like no, no way. I'm like, Yeah, you're gonna eat whole natural foods that are good for you. Right and most likely, you're not going to consume as much because all these other foods are hyper palatable. We know that they are designed in labs. I Worked for Taco Bell for a couple of years, you know, I worked in fast food, you know, as a marketing manager, and I know they're hyper palatable, they design these. So you love them and you consume more of it. But how many potatoes Can you eat in one sitting? You can't, you can't like, for me, it's a max of like to bake potatoes, you know, with some salt and pepper. And then I'm just like, I'm done. Like, I can't eat any more potatoes for the rest of the day. But a bag of Doritos, you can eat bags and upon bags of Doritos you can do I can sit down and eat a whole bag of them. But if we go into how to break up a gluten, I'm sure this is gonna come up. And this is probably a good segue into it. So how did you break up with gluten? And how can someone break up with gluten? If they have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease? Mainly, I would say for our listeners a gluten intolerance because I think people are still coming to grips in the Middle East, you know, with gluten sensitivity. So what are some of the things that we can do to test out if we have a sensitivity to gluten? And then sort of eliminating it out of our diet and maybe incorporating it sometimes? I mean, what's your take on that? Right?


Well, there's tests here in the USA don't know if they're available worldwide that you can test for a gluten sensitivity. And I think some people do need that diagnosis. And we do find that when there is a diagnosis, people are more adherent or more compliant with the diet, I think that would be the better word compliant. And so if you are going to be gluten free, and you are going to give this data for shape, you must be all the way you know, you can't just be a little gluten free, if you really want to see the benefits. But really the first thing is, is the shift in your mind and your habits because we are so used to just grabbing a bag of food, right a grab bag of chips that may not be gluten free. And we have to understand where gluten is we have to read those labels. And so we actually have to just really get it out of our house, the first step to breaking up is just getting rid of all remnants of that that X ray. And so you know, I remember when I first had to go gluten free, I hired someone to help me a health coach who specialized in celiac and gluten disorders, clear out my pantry really understand how to read the labels and get it out. So I wasn't tempted, I think we're just so tempted, I think people see it as a diet versus this really medically necessary lifestyle change that they have to make. And so you have to really, it can really mess with you. If you're breaking up with gluten, but you're not you know, you're kind of on the fence or you want to I talk about my book, you know, you want to go back and have a one night stand with gluten, what's gonna undo everything that you have worked so hard to to do, you really have to say goodbye to gluten, and you really have to get it out of your kitchen, you have to get out of your pantry. When you go out to eat, you have to make sure you're going to the right restaurants and communicating your needs. And you need a support system, you may need nutritional help, you may need a really good friend who is gone through it, you do need a support system. And that's going to help you stay gluten free especially when you are I don't want to say just gluten sensitive because like I said it's a very serious and real disorder. And we never want to confuse lack of research with lack of disorder. It's definitely a real disorder. And people are really suffering with gluten sensitivity. But because it is so misunderstood, where people don't take it as serious Li or strict. They're, they're not complying in the same way with the diet, and then they're not seeing the same results. And then they're going to kind of flip flopping back and forth eating gluten free and not gluten free. And they're not seeing any results.


That makes total sense. And now when we do eliminate all the gluten from our household and everything and you know, I love the fact that you're like look bringing a health coach, bring in these people to influence your life a little bit and help you and guide you through it. Because so many people say I can find information on the internet, I'll do like that. But in reality, you know, just like when I found my way into fitness again, I had a support group I had, you know, friends that were supportive, I had friends that came with me to the gym, I had a coach the same coach for the last three years. And it's because you need that system to keep you in check. In my opinion, you know, especially for me, now, what about for the people who can't afford a health coach or can't afford anyone, anything of that sort, or they can't actually afford to go gluten free because to go gluten free? Let's face it, it is kind of expensive. And if you are on a limited budget for the month, it's always cheaper to go towards, you know, the fast foods or anything. Do you have any experience to guide people that are on a more limited budget? Right? Oh,


that's such an amazing question because so many people are struggling right now with what's in their wallet.


You know, and that's a big question. You know, there are a lot of people that are struggling and you know, in their life they come up with an epiphany of Oh shoot, you know, I am gluten intolerant. But wait, I can't afford to go and buy gluten free okay, but maybe I can afford to buy the vegetable And you know what not so how could someone maneuver around that,


right? There's a study that said that gluten free foods are anywhere between 159% to 242% more expensive than regular foods, it just depends on what you're buying. And a gluten free loaf of bread, you're going to get a much smaller loaf of bread, and you're going to be paying three times the amount in many cases, bread flour, some of those harder to make items are definitely going to be more expensive. When someone is really struggling to eat gluten free and stand budget, I tell them to eat as naturally gluten free as possible. And really stick to things like eggs, beans, rice, these are potatoes, these are very inexpensive things. And you can obviously find sales on meats and things like that as well that you can add to your diet. But again, anything in a bag is going to cost more, right. So really eating is naturally gluten free as possible. But I understand that I get it, that's not always possible. And there's many things that that you actually end up saving money when you go gluten free, because maybe you're going to eat out less. Yeah, and the restaurant meal, it's going to cost more I also have this philosophy of and I don't mean to be dismissive to anyone, but it is sort of a pay now pay later or pay later kind of thing. Because when you eat healthy, and you make a decision to maybe spend a little more to eat foods that are promoting health in your body, you are going to be healthier, longer, you're going to be less dependent on things like pills, and medical procedures, and doctor visits and things like that, that are so costly. And so I always say like true healthcare is really investing in, you know, what's on your plate, that's health care, that's true health care, not going to your doctor to tell him you have this and this symptom and and he or she gives you a pill to fix it. That's true health care. And I'll tell you an interesting stat. Let me find it here about doctors. So here in the US, this was really a little upsetting. It was a report from the academic medicine. And they found that doctors receive only 19.6 hours nutrition education in four years of medical school. Yeah, and it's really just messed up. So messed up. And there's other stats as well. And that, but these, the doctors are not necessarily trained in nutrition. But yet, that's where we go when we're sick. And so the doctors are trained more in pharmacology and they want to fix you, right, they want to help you feel better and give you some sort of magical pill to make that you know, skin itching go away or whatever it is. But the truth is that there's usually an underlying cause to that. And so removing gluten can be very helpful for people to do, you had asked about how to remove gluten. Obviously getting a diagnosis will help you comply. But if you want to test if how gluten makes you feel and remembering it's not just a digestive thing, it might help you with your skin, or joint pain or things like that. You can go on an elimination diet, I do recommend working with an expert, but you can also you know if you want to do it on your own or whatever, I think you're your best scientist. You're your best detective. And you know how food makes you feel? So maybe eliminate gluten for four to six weeks. be strict about it. Not No. Oh, I'm just a little bite just this one since my birthday, whatever. No, no, no, no.


No cake, cheesecake, none of that stuff. Yeah, just


eliminate gluten, give it a fair shake, and then reintroduce it and see if your skin issues come back. If your gut issues come back, if your migraines come back, anyone who experiences any sort of inflammation, autoimmune, all of these people, these are people who are susceptible to any sort of gluten disorder.


No, that makes sense. And I mean, it's funny you say that about elimination diets, because that's something I think we've never really touched on on the show. We've never I think we talked about it, maybe in our earlier episodes, you know, something like 200 episodes ago, but I mean, elimination diets are highly beneficial. And I found out that, you know, not only did I find out like I was gluten intolerant, I found out that I you know, I was sensitive to egg whites. And mainly because being in the fitness, you know, being within the fitness industry and field, you know, you have so many things that have egg whites in it and you have so many eggs, you know, when I was in my 20s it was like eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs, being that protein and get as much in as possible that I develop sensitivities to certain foods. And it's like now I know I can have eggs, maybe twice a week, but if I overdo it, I know I'm gonna pay for it. And the only reason why I know is because my wedding ring, my fingers swell up. And I know that okay, I did you know, I had something a little too much whether it was gluten, dairy or egg, you know, those are the three things that I've pegged it to. And when I stick to eating red meat, the I'm a very big red meat eater. Whatever cholesterol fat, I don't care. I love steaks. I will always eat a steak. I feel the best. It's funny because when I eat red meat with vegetables and a potato, I feel great. I feel like that's exactly what my body needed. And what do you say to that? When we talked about certain things with the elimination diet and going that route of, you know, going into that realm of without glue and and how to start preparing foods without gluten, because you do it a lot on your Instagram page, you have a lot of recipes. And it's awesome, because I found a lot of recipes that I'm going to try myself. So what do you do? How do you get into that? And how do you start to figure that part out? Because, right, let's face it, it's a monster on its own, especially if you don't know your way around the kitchen.


Right? Well, I think there's two questions here, you know, how do you know how do you do this elimination diet? And then how do you, you know, stick to it in a way and eat in a way that does eliminate gluten from your diet. And so I say everyone is bio individual, you know, what feels good to you is poisoned to me and vice versa, right? Like, who knows, right? We all are bio individuals. So it's so important that we all do the work on ourselves and put the work into figuring out what makes our body feel good. And like, even if it is red meat for you, you know that that makes your body feel good. Of course, you're not just eating red meat, you're eating other foods as well. But you know that that is something that feels good to you, and maybe egg whites don't. And one thing that I have noticed that is just a potential pitfall in a lot of this food sensitivity world, and maybe rightfully so is that, you know, I don't know if you guys have this in the Middle East. But here we have these food sensitivity tests. And you can take these blood tests or saliva tests, and you can find out what foods you are sensitive to. And what we're finding is that a lot of people who are sick and not feeling well are taking these tests, and then they come back with 30 foods that all of a sudden they can't eat. And it's usually the foods they are eating. And so what we're seeing is that it's not indicative of foods you can't eat necessarily, it's indicative of the foods that you are eating and are leaking out of your gut. And therefore you probably have a leaky gut. And if people actually put in the time to heal their gut, and seal their gut and make it strong again. So you know, literally, there could be holes in your gut. And these food particles are leaking out into your bloodstream and wreaking havoc at different weak points throughout your body, wherever that is in your body. Wherever you're genetically predisposed to something saying that wrong.




I like this does not sound right coming out of my mouth.


With pronunciations of things,


I'm half Arab. So it's all good. I'll mispronounce all day, don't worry about it. If you hear the podcast that I do in Arabic, I get friends that call me I like to just don't do that, again. My Arabic horrible compared to English, so don't worry about it at all.


My English is horrible compared to my English. Anyway, I will say that just really a lot of it is about having a healthy gut. And we might be able to tolerate many more foods than we think we can. So that's sort of the point of that discussion is like put in the hard work to really heal your gut. And there's a lot of ways to do that. It's probably a whole other discussion. But when you have a healthy gut and your food is probably digesting and breaking down and absorbing nutrients, then a lot of you know the foods aren't leaking out into your bloodstream and being picked up by some food sensitivity test that tells you to stop eating eggs when I eat eggs every day. What do you mean stop eating eggs, it's really the food that's leaking out of your gut, not necessarily the foods you can't tolerate. We are finding that gluten is actually a fascinating study by Dr. Fasano who's one of the leading celiac doctors in the world. And he had a team of researchers and they found that gluten causes intestinal permeability, leaky gut in every human that it's and so sometimes, many humans are strong enough, they get this intestinal permeability and they heal every time they eat gluten. And then at some point, there is a breakdown and many people. And so it is interesting that gluten could be causing that leaky gut. Once you remove the gluten, you might find you can eat eggs again, for example, who knows? Yeah, kind of an interesting thought food for thought. I guess


that is really interesting. I just want to ask you about leaky gut. So now that's when you know all the toxins basically, or the foods will leak into our bloodstream and get in there. And that's really the source of probably what caused the inflammation and you know, like you said, wreaks havoc. Now you're saying this doctor, he found in his research that gluten actually destroys our stomach lining, so to speak,


right not to strike but cause intestinal permeability, it caused some sort of reaction.


So that reaction, if we do eliminate gluten, we can you know, sort of get rid of that reaction if gluten is the cause for the permeability,


right, right. Like gluten is the cause of that permeability in people. with celiac, for sure, because that every time you eat gluten, the body attacks, it's an autoimmune condition. So the body launches the immune system launches this attack on the small intestine. And all of a sudden, you're seeing this damage to the small intestine, you're seeing the micro Villa, which is the the little finger, if you imagine like little fingers floating around your small intestine, they are shortened, they're flattened, they're damaged. And that is essential to distributing nutrients throughout your body and absorbing nutrients to every cell in your body, you're seeing holes in the gut. And also when people eat gluten too, a lot of times, it's definitely a hard to digest protein. And so a lot of those on digested protein molecules, I guess you could say, are trying to bust out of your gut, literally bust out your gut, and into your bloodstream without properly being broken down and absorbed or eliminated from your body and another way. So yeah, gluten is causing intestinal permeability. In most human beings. Now, most human beings can actually in all human beings, I should say, they found it in inflammation, and all human beings who ate gluten, they found inflammation in the gut. But most people can recover, you know, just like you cut your skin, it heals pretty quickly and papercut heals within a day, your gut is sort of programmed to heal over and over and over again, it's when maybe you do have a sensitivity or that continued assault, you'll start to see the breakdown. And I think most people, this is my opinion, I think most people have some sort of leaky gut. And it's due to just poor diet that we maintain. Around 100%.


No, you're 100%. I mean, you hit the nail on the head. And it's poor diet and poor resources for food, to be honest, one other thing that I can eat his chicken. Why? Because I have no idea whether it's the antibiotics that they pump in chicken in the Middle East, whether it's because they're grain fed, I have absolutely no clue. But I have noticed when I eat a lot of chicken, I get the same type of reaction that I get when I eat foods with high gluten in it, like the bread from that specific restaurant or other breads that I know of to stay away from. And it's the weirdest thing in the world. And it just comes down to the resource of food that we have at our disposal. And, you know, even if you go with, you know, farm bread chicken, you know, it's it's still like hit or miss, in my opinion. And it's chalked up to everything that's going on the industrialization of food is just I think it's really impacted the human race. And I think we really haven't really seen the full impact yet. I mean, we're seeing a little bit in the baby boomers, but I think we're going to see it a lot more. The younger generations growing up. So to wrap things up, what are some of the best tips that you can give people on their diets in general? And I saw that you did some things on the whole 30. You talked about the whole 30 in one of your videos, I think, yeah, it was a while ago, I saw that. And I really liked that, because that's what I've always preached not the whole 30 because I think it became sort of a trend. And I was like, Hey, I was like No, and they're like, yeah, you said, You're telling me to do the whole 30 I'm like, no, it just, you know, foods that are good for you not out of a bag. So with that what you ended on in terms of good tips for people to follow,




I think it's really comes back to just being very in touch with your body and what you can eat and what feels good to you. And I do you know, like, the whole 30. You know, I was very on trend A few years ago, and I did it, you know, and it's very hard to do. And I think the spirit of the whole 30 days is to, you know, eliminate all of those processed foods from your diet and certain foods that are harder to digest and believe you can eat gluten and beans and things like that. I'm trying to remember exactly what was the restricted, it's a very restrictive diet, and you do it for a month. And then when the month is over, you start to reintroduce things back into your diet, you start you know, reintroducing a piece of gluten and seeing how you feel the spirit of the diet is there, I think it's a very, almost radical thing to do. I think most people intuitively know just like you intuitively know that there's a few foods that just don't feel great when I eat or when I eat an access. And I think those are foods that you can eliminate and think of it as you know, a marathon like I'm gonna eliminate dairy or gluten for the whole month of March or whatever month it is. And then I'm going to reintroduce that food at the end of the month and then see how I feel okay, it is it is eggs, eggs are making me feel sick, I'm good. Or, you know what, I still don't feel great. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the chicken maybe it's something else. And so really eliminate those foods and then reintroduce them back and I think the whole radical of eliminating so many things at once and reintroducing them slowly is why most people fail, right? I think a lot of people are misusing things like whole 30 as like an everyday kind of diet when it really is meant to be that sort of ultimate challenge elimination diet. But truly the way to to good health is just really getting in touch with your body, figuring out what foods feel good to you. What foods don't feel good to you, can you heal your gut? Can you put in some hard work to actually heal and seal the intestinal lining, so you're properly absorbing nutrients, and you're feeling good. And these things take time, you know, we don't heal overnight, you know, it's going to take time, we can't see the damage in our digestive system, but it's there. And we need to give it time. And there's a lot of tips that I talked about on my blog in my book and things like that about just really how to, you know, rest your digestive system, restore it back to its sort of factory settings and things like that. So there's a ton to talk about here. But really, it is about investing in your own house being in touch with what is good for you and what feels good to you.


Sorry, I do have one last question that I wrote down. I totally forgot to ask about detoxes. What is your take on detox is you know the teas and I don't really buy into detoxes that you can buy off the shelf. I'd rather just detox my body, like you're just saying by eliminating certain foods. So what is your take on the tea detox industry? Because that's what it's turned into. Right?


Right. Yeah. And I don't know if gluten would be considered a detox. I don't know a ton about detoxes, I actually don't do them. And they don't promote them to people in my community. I think like really, the principles of good eating are really about eating healthy, well balanced diet filled with plenty of fruits and vegetables and plant proteins and a few animal products here like eating less meat, things like that. There's just a lot of ways that you can promote good health in your body. But yeah, I don't know about like, juice cleanses and detoxes and things like that. I don't know much about them. And I don't promote them. I you know, sort of a anti diet culture, even though I'm sort of in the diet world with the gluten free diet. This is more of a medically necessary change for my community.


Yeah, versus


let me detox my body and feel better. So


I don't know a ton about


100% I had a friend who is doing the whole juicing for a month. He would run away from his wife when I was eating in the kitchen, and just start eating off of my food. I'm like, Dude, what are you doing? He goes, man, all I've had today was juice. And I'm like, why are you juicing it? I gotta detox my body. I'm like, but Dude, that makes absolutely no sense. Like, even know what's in the juice. He's like, yeah, it's a company. I'm like, No clue, man.


We have our body naturally detoxes. Exactly. digestive system that naturally detoxes.


No, exactly. But I mean, thank you so much for coming on the show. It was definitely a great segment. And hopefully, I'd love if we could do this again. Maybe Meg can join us next time. She's you know, she's my co host. And yeah, she does a lot with gut health also. So it would be awesome to bring you back on maybe some follow up questions from our listeners also.


Oh, I'd love that. I


definitely want to help people eat in a way that's good for them. So thank you so much for having me on.


I appreciate it.


How can people find you? What can they look out for? Do you have any projects that you're working on that they can, you know, sort of dive into or, you know, books online or programs, right.


So the best place to keep in touch with me is to look me up online. My website is good for you gluten And that's also my Instagram and Facebook handle. And that's a great way for us to keep in touch. And if you you know, get on my newsletter and things like that, you'll find out about all my upcoming events, speaking opportunities, I put on a quarterly webinar and educational webinar that's free for the gluten free community. And then of course, I have my book, which you can find on Amazon as well.


Awesome. That's great. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Hopefully, we'll bring you back on soon.


Amazing. Thank you.


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