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8 signs that you are gluten intolerant celiac-min

8 Signs That You Are Gluten Intolerant

The Paleo diet is completely gluten free, since it omits grains entirely. When going Paleo many people (who previously thought that had no issues with gluten) find that many symptoms they used to have completely disappear. It also seems common for a rare gluten exposure to have quite an impact, even though the person may have consumed gluten everyday previously. Are you gluten intolerant?

8 signs that you are gluten intolerant celiac-min

What’s the difference between celiac disease & being gluten intolerant?

Celiac disease is a severe, sudden immune reaction to the protein gluten, which has immediate autoimmune reactions. It prevents the sufferer from absorbing essential nutrients. Gluten intolerance is on the same spectrum, but the reaction to gluten is not so sudden – and even harder to clinically diagnose. Unfortunately tests for celiac disease and being gluten intolerant are not as advanced as you might imagine – and it can be very difficult to get a clinical diagnoses. The best way to find out how gluten affects you is to undertake a strict elimination diet – luckily the Paleo diet does just this.

8 signs that you are gluten intolerant

  1. Gastrointestinal (GI), stomach and digestive issues; perhaps gas, bloating, cramping, constipation, diarrhea or IBS
  2. Headaches or migraines
  3. Fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue
  4. Sudden mood shifts, irritability or depression
  5. Dizziness, balance problems and tingling or numb hands and feet
  6. Another autoimmune disease diagnose (perhaps as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Ulcerative colitis)
  7. Hormone imbalances or unexplained infertility
  8. Inflammation, swelling or joint pain

If you’ve got any of these symptoms and still consume gluten, it’s definitely worth strictly excluding gluten – and going strict Paleo – for 30 days.

And why you mustn’t go “gluten-free”…

You can’t fail to notice the commercialism of “gluten-free”. There is a gluten-free version of everything – and often the ingredients are quite frightening. To achieve the properties that gluten provides in things like break and cakes, the manufacturers often have to use dozens of ingredients that you probably haven’t heard of. Not Paleo – and not good for you either. Whilst gluten is a particularly problematic protein, lots of other grain proteins are believed to have similar reactions. The healthiest way to go gluten free, is to avoid substitutes – and eat real, whole, Paleo foods! Instead of buying gluten-free bread and cakes, find alternatives to bread – and change your diet completely!

How does gluten affect you? Do you completely avoid gluten? I’d love to hear your comments, below!

Gluten Free Athletes paleo primal diet nutrition celiac sport athletics-min

Gluten Free Athletes

I was very interested to read that the top Tennis Player Novak Djokovic has a gluten-free diet – and credits it with making significant improvements to his performance. Given that gluten intolerance can manifest as aches, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, it makes a lot of sense for athletes in particular to avoid gluten. Especially as it is not possible to have a gluten deficiency – why wouldn’t you cut it out of your diet?

Gluten Free Athletes paleo primal diet nutrition celiac sport athletics-min

It turns out several of the Olympians from the London 2012 Olympics did so on a Gluten-Free diet. Initially I assumed this was due to a Coeliac diagnosis, but it appears to be becoming common knowledge that ditching the gluten can improve performance and stamina. I wonder if at the 2016 Rio Olympics we’ll see even more Athletes going Gluten free – and perhaps taking it one step further and adopting a Paleo Diet?

US Swimmer Dana Vollmer went gluten (and egg) free due to an intolerance, but apparently found it made a significant difference to her performance. She went on to win Gold (twice!) at the Olympics – I wonder how much of her win can be attributed to her diet?

Pole Vaulter Jenn Suhr went gluten-free just last year after being diagnosed with Celiac disease – and also won a gold medal…

Canadian Swimmer Nare Brannen went gluten-free on the advice of his coach last year – and has had minimal injuries, he believes, as a result.

If you’re an athlete, amateur or otherwise, I’d be very interested to hear what differences you noticed going gluten-free. Do you think there’s going to be a big increase in gluten-free (or better still Paleo) athletes by the time of the 2016 Rio Olympics? I’d love to hear your comments, below!

Paleo or primal diet what's the difference-min

A Primal Diet, Or a Paleo Diet?

This way of eating, this lifestyle, is given so many names. You might follow a Paleo Diet or a Primal Diet – or perhaps you eat an Ancestral Diet or eat like a Caveman?

Does it matter what it’s called? And do the different terms even refer to the same way of eating?

Paleo Diet

The term “Paleo Diet” was coined by Loren Cordain and originally had a far less liberal stance on Saturated Fats. He has now updated his books on this and on the use of sweeteners, to the popular “Paleo Diet” followed by many today. Robb Wolf has also played a significant role in popularising the Paleo Diet as it is today.

As well as avoiding grains and legumes, Paleo also avoids dairy. In the Paleo community strict adherence to a Paleo diet is recommended for at least 30 days. After this period foods can slowly be re-introduced and any impact assessed to determine which foods have a detrimental effect and should be avoided in the future.

Primal Diet

The Primal BluePrint way of eating is from the book, written by Mark Sisson – and is much more than just nutrition. The plan places as much importance on movement, lifting heavy things, reducing stress, sleeping properly and getting some sunshine as it does on nutrition. Nutritionally Primal is very similar to Paleo in the avoidance of grains and legumes; dairy is where they differ. A Primal way of eating includes dairy – though it is recommended that it is raw dairy; from grass-fed Ruminants, un-pasturised and ideally fermented. Lacto-Paleo is another term used to describe eating a Paleo style diet, but with the inclusion of dairy.

The jury is still very much out on dairy. The growth hormones such as IGF-1 and the insulin response are behind the refusal of many, to include dairy in their diets. A lot of people find they don’t tolerate dairy well, which is reason enough to avoid it!

Paleo or primal diet what's the difference-min

Ancestral Diet

This term can apply to any form of Paleo, but I hear this term used more amongst the scientific/ research pockets of the community.

Caveman Diet

This is the term almost exclusively used by the mainstream media when talking about any type of eating that touches on Paleo. The term “Caveman Diet” is usually accompanied by photos of cavemen, Fred Flintstone or semi-naked people eating raw meat! When people talk about a Caveman Diet, they seem to assume it’s required to act like a caveman too and don’t realise it’s about science, not re-enacting cavemen! I would never refer to a Paleo or Primal way of eating in this way, but ultimately if it raises awareness amongst more people, I guess it doesn’t matter what it’s called!

There are a lot of descriptions of ways of eating that have similarities to Paleo. I think a gluten-free diet could come close (though I think many people avoid gluten, but replace it with other undesirable refined grains and processed foods). The Atkins diet is also commonly assumed to be Paleo – and whilst there are similarities, it’s very possibly to follow Atkins eating nothing but junk food; not Paleo! A Weston A Price way of eating also has many similarities.

How do you describe how you eat? Do you avoid using labels like “the Paleo diet” or “the Primal diet”?

low gluten cakes paleo primal celiac gluten free-min

Low Gluten Cakes

Well this was a new one for me.  I walked past a Gloria Jean’s coffee shop today and noticed this sign for a “Low Gluten” Hazelnut Chocolate Torte.

Gluten-Free-Cakes low-min

From what I’ve read about Gluten, it really is an all or nothing protein. Nora Gedgaudas spoke a lot about Gluten in her recent seminar, particularly about how gluten takes months to leave the body.  Going 100% gluten-free seems to be the only way to avoid the negative effects gluten can have.  Of course going strictly 100% gluten-free is also the only way to identify whether gluten has a negative impact.   The significant numbers of people who are intolerant will be effected even by a cross contamination – so “low gluten” just isn’t going to do it!

Gluten-Free-Close low-min
“Low-fat”, “low-calorie”, “low-carb”, “low-cholesterol”; “low” seems to be the word signalling a healthy product.  I can almost guarantee anything with the word low in the title isn’t Paleo.

I’ll have to keep a look-out for “Low Trans Fat” cakes, I’m sure they’ll be good!

low gluten cakes paleo primal celiac gluten free-min

Gluten Free in WA expo Coeliac western australia

Gluten Free in WA

Gluten Free seems to be becoming an increasingly popular way to eat – which can only be a great thing.  Gluten appears to not be tolerated well by a significant number of people – far more than realise they have an issue with it.




A Paleo diet is gluten-free, so would seem to be the ideal solution for Coeliacs.  I was disappointed by the complete lack of Paleo food at the Sydney Gluten-free expo – everything was processed and contained grains and legumes.

Another Gluten Free expo has been announced for 17th & 18th March 2012, in Perth, WA.  Hopefully this one will be a bit more Paleo friendly?

Gluten Free in WA expo Coeliac western australia

making flight food paleo primal gluten free qantas emirates options low carb-min

Making Flight Food Paleo

I’ve just booked my flights back to the UK for a long awaited Christmas visiting my family.  Australia couldn’t be much further from the UK, which means almost 24 hours of flying each way.  One of the things I hate the most about flying is the very limited Paleo food options.  Often airports limit what you can take through security and onto the plane – which makes it very hard to guarantee good Paleo options. Why can’t they make Flight Food Paleo?

I usually fly with Qantas, which offers the following meal options:

  • Diabetic: High in complex carbohydrate and dietary fibre; low in fat; no added sugar; low salt.
  • Fruit Platter: Consists of fresh, tinned and dried fruits.
  • Gluten Intolerance: Do not contain wheat, rye, oats, barley or malt or any milk or milk products.
  • Hindu: Do not contain beef, beef derivatives, veal or pork. Meals may contain fish or lamb.
  • Kosher Meal: Prepared to comply with Jewish dietary laws.
  • Moslem (Halal): Do not contain pork, or pork by-products. All meats come from ritually slaughtered animals.
  • Vegetarian (Asian Indian Style): Contain egg and diary products and are suitable for Hindu vegetarians.
  • Vegetarian (Lacto Ovo): Do not contain meat, fish or seafood but may contain dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese and eggs or foods containing these.
  • Vegetarian (Oriental): Contain vegetables, fruit, rice noodles and can contain nuts.
  • Vegetarian (Strict Indian): Do not contain any eggs, dairy or bulbous vegetables and are suitable for Hindu vegetarians.
  • Vegan: Contain fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and pulses and do not contain any animal products such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs milk or honey.

On my last two international flights (to PrimalCon and the AHS), I’ve tried different approaches, in the hope that I could stumble upon the best Paleo friendly meal option.

In my option, Diabetic people should follow a Paleo approach, to stabilise their blood sugar levels, so when I went to PrimalCon in April, I ordered a Diabetic meal.  I don’t understand why this is a low-fat, but hoped it would come with some good meat and some alternatives to the processed, sugar filled snacks that often go alongside plane meals.  Some of the actual meals weren’t too bad, for instance a breakfast of eggs, tomatoes mushrooms and spinach and a main meal of chicken, broccoli, carrots and white rice.  Some of the food however, left a lot to be desired.  Rice crackers served with a soy based spread (whilst everyone else on the plane got proper butter) and a breakfast of cereal and soy milk (remember, this is aimed at diabetics).

plane-food-gluten-free-flight_food-min

In August when I went to the Ancestral Health Symposium, I thought I’d try my luck with a gluten free meal.  My Paleo diet is completely gluten free, so somewhat optimistically I’d hoped for a good equivalent here.  I actually found the gluten free option considerably worse than the Diabetic option.  As I noticed at the gluten free expo, gluten free seems to be a huge industry of franken-foods.  Gluten is omitted – but replaced with lots of processed ingredients I don’t want to consume.  They still serve biscuits, deserts and other junk food, it’s just had the gluten removed.  Not Paleo.

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On the way back, I therefore changed my meal preference and went with the standard option, which was actually much better.  Yes, there was a lot I wouldn’t eat, but most of the food was closer to “whole” food.  Butter was butter and I was lucky to have an option of a “meat and veg” style meal, instead of a pasta based meal.

So for this trip, I think I’m also going to try my luck with the standard option.  It appears I can bring small amounts of packaged food onto the flight, so I plan to try my luck and bring some jerky, raw nuts and avocados.  These foods, along with any reasonable looking meat and vegetables I can salvage from the plane food should be plenty to keep me going.  There’s also the very Paleo option of a coinciding intermittent fasting, should my food get confiscated at security!

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Paleo meal option of organic, grass fed meat and not a processed product in sight?  Perhaps one day…

I’d love to hear your plane food hacks.  How do you keep it Paleo during a long flight?

making flight food paleo primal gluten free qantas emirates options low carb-min

Gluten Free Expo Conference Paleo Event

The Sydney Gluten Free Expo

I went along to the Gluten Free Expo yesterday, at the Sydney Showground.

Gluten Free Expo Conference Paleo Event

I’m not sure why now, but I expected it to be very Paleo friendly and full of Vibram clad feet. Surely going completely grain free would be the natural conclusion for those with Coeliac disease? Ditching the bread and refined carbs in favour of real, whole food?

The Gluten Free event was sponsored by Coles and the stands were almost all offering packaged, processed food. Crisps, pasta, processed meats, ready meals, breakfast cereals, cakes and sweets. They all seemed to have removed gluten and replaced it with more sugar, other grains and lots of chemicals. I studied the ingredients on every stand and managed to find one little jar of spices, that would get the Paleo seal of approval! One product!

Gluten Free expoPerhaps a Paleo stand at next year’s expo beckons!

Going Gluten Free?

It’s well worth trying to remove Gluten from your diet. So many people don’t tollerate it well, without being full-blown Coeliac. When constantly exposed to Gluten, it’s hard to even realise what impact it has on your body. It isn’t until all traces of Gluten are out of your system that you can begin to understand how it affects you.

Gluten intolerance seems to be strongly correlated with inflammation issues such as IBS, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, autoimmune diseases, HD, ADD, ADHS, Autism, indigestion, stomach complaints and many other health complaints.

If you’re looking to go Gluten Free, the Whole30 is a great program to use to kick this off with! I haven’t ever heard of anyone regretting going Gluten Free!