GFree & Smarter than Bee!

April 18, 2011

This is a continuation of my Step 1 in combating infertility with food: Goodbye Gluten!

Don’t take my word for it…take these people! Recipes and studies that is. Here are a smattering of the cool things you can find on the internet about G Free cooking and the gluten/infertility link.

Bloggers with great recipes:

The Gluten Free Homemaker:


Elana’s Pantry: I’m not sure I could love this gal more. She blogs about utterly amazing G free food from her kitchen on Boulder, CO. Growing up, I spent my summer vacation & some Christmas’ in Boulder and the surrounding area. It feels a lot like home to me. I want to go to Boulder & convince Elana to be bff. That’s not Nutty at all, right?

Articles that Reference Gluten Sensitivity and Infertility:

Gluten Free Society: Article on Gluten & Infertility:

Newsweek Article: Waiter Please Hold the Gluten:

Living Without: A discussion on a Study Linking Gluten Intolerance and Infertility:

Happy cooking/baking/reading!

Breaking up with G- The How.

April 3, 2011

…with Gluten

I was on a swim team on and off from elementary through high school. On of my events was the 50 meter free style, which is a sprint to the end of the pool and back. You wait for the starting gun longer than you actually swim. Through high school I would try to do with without breathing, hoping to go faster. My head sounded like this:

Gun/Buzzer…Dive…. Go, go,go…. I need air. I need air. Air. Air. Air. AIR. NOW. BREATHE. (give in and breathe) … worthless pathetic wimp. worthless pathetic wimp.

Pretty right? I bring this up because I think going gluten-free can either be this physically and mentally painful OR it can be like a well planned race, focusing on strengths and setting yourself up for the best possible success.

So here are some strategies to make the transition from G-full to G-free as smooth as possible.

  1. Meal Plan: fail to plan and plan to fail or something. This one takes time, but you’ll be glad you did. Think through your entire week, then brainstorm out what you would like to eat in those occasions. Random hunger attack? Have a plan. Cheese sticks or apples with nut butter are great and way more nutritious than pretzels. Aunt Millie’s 90th Birthday party? If its going to be nothing but cakes, cookies, and bread?Eat before hand, untill you are full. The compliment the hostess on her great party throwing/shoes/kindness. She’ll never notice you are skipping the donuts.
  2. Be Full: Many an excellent intention has been felled by an empty belly confronted with a bread basket.
  3. Eat enough carbohydrates: this is complicated, as most carbs you are used to eating contain gluten. Start by adding lots of starchy veggies and fruits to your diet. Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, apples, pears, etc. Secondary options include things like rice or quinoa. For example: breakfast could be eggs with oven roasted potatoes (make a double batch at dinner) instead of toast, lunch could be turkey, sweet potato, and rice, instead of a turkey sandwich, dinner could be any combination of meat/veggies/and perhaps a non gluten grains like quinoa. Snacks could be yogurt with fruit and g-free granola, cheese slices with grapes, or jerky and dried fruit.
  4. Give up (most) white sugar. If there is a sugar/gluten combo (and just about all the them are) that’s a definite skip. Bridal shower brunch? Skip the zucchini bread and load up on fruit salad. Your gut will be so happy.
  5. Indulge! There are some amazing food that have no G. How about steak and veggies on the grill? Jalapeno’s stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon? Baked potatoes stuffed with toppings? Sweet potato oven fries? Yes, it is a sad, sad lifestyle having to eat all this goodness, but someone’s got to do it!
  6. Tweak your recipes: I adore the Pioneer Woman’s Comfort meatballs. The recipe needed a tiny tweak (with no flavor change whatsoever) and I had G-Free Comfort Meatballs. Get creative, you’ll suprise yourself with what you can do.
  7. Try new things! Quinoa for breakfast? With berries and whole milk, its amazing. Get a little crazy.
  8. Read, read, READ your labels. Gluten and wheat sneak into the darndest places. Like your store-bought granola bars. Look for words like hydrolyzed vegetable protein, flour, malt/malt flavoring, modified starch/modified food starch, vegetable gum, to name a few. Soy sauce, unless otherwise noted, contains gluten.
  9. Beware of deep friend stuff. Why do you think they call it “breading”?
  10. Allow yourself a sweet treat. Yes this sorta goes against #4. But I don’t mean drown yourself in a sea of cell altering white sugar. I mean, have a great piece of dark chocolate, or melt it and dip some strawberries into it. Or some fresh pineapple and raspberries. This is a great way to reward yourself for another day well done and one great step in the right direction.

I do think certain gluten-free products and sprouted/soaked grains have their place. However, when your starting out I feel they should be avoided, because often they just remind you of what you’re not eating. Every now and then I love a bowl of brown rice pasta. But if I went straight from traditional white pasta to brown rice I would feel dissatisfied and frustrated and miss my “normal” pasta. Many gluten-free products contain a lot of hidden sugars, which send your blood glucose on a roller coaster, often leaving you hungary and cranky. Hungary and cranky are not your friends in wise decision-making.

I’ll be posting some of my favorite G-Free, but in the meantime check out All Recipes extensive selection of G-Free recipes. Let me know what was good and what was not!

Breaking up with G is hard to do… not. The Why.

March 30, 2011

Gluten Free

The words send tremors through the general public. But going G-Free is actually not that hard to do! I’ll show you how, but lets talk about WHY.

You have probably heard about celiac disease, made somewhat famous by Elisabeth Hasselbeck. If you have not I highly recommend you read this. A very small percentage of the population is actually diagnosed as celiac. However, quite a bit of the population is somewhat gluten sensitive.  What happens when your sensitive? The theory in its simplest (and we could get very complex people) explanation is that the gluten (found in wheat, barely, rye, some oats and tons of processed food) damages the cell bindings in the lining of the intestines. This allows some nasty things to leak through. You immune system is called in for clean up creating an inflammation response.

More precise explanation (from wikipedia, there are more scholarly sources on this, but I thought this summed it up quickly)

Health care practitioners who diagnose this syndrome explain that intestinal inflammation which may originate from intestinal dysbiosis or other sources of irritation, widens the junctions between the cells of the intestinal lining, allowing endotoxins and incompletely digested particles to be partially absorbed. These are targeted by antibodies, forming immune complexes which cause a semi-infectious state and can be carried by the bloodstream to distant sites where they may stimulate the release of cytokines. Low grade fever, transient gut pain, and a sense of inability to absorb nutrients are some reported symptoms in otherwise undiagnosed patients.

Now, to those of you struggling with infertility (or anything): who wants a lot of nasty inflammation in your body? In addition, your immune system is now tackling the inflammation. It can’t do the rest of its job as well. It needs more energy to keep you from getting sick. Your body becomes Kate Gosselin trying to hold down the chaos.  It cannot do much else, but you want to make a baby.  Following this logic, I feel the first thing anyone dealing with any type of physical issue should do it get rid of gluten (and sugar), be it ADHD, cancer, migraines, problems going number #2, etc.

Kate Gosselin and your immune system need a break.

One woman and one immune system can only handle so much!

Another theory is that gluten cause the villi (finger-like hairs that push stuff through your intestines) to flatten. This blocks nutrient absorbtion in the intestine wall (and makes it hard to go #2). If your body knows it can’t get the vitamins to care for itself, chances are slim it’s going to throw another body into the mix.

But, as Reading Rainbow would say:

Don’t Take My Word for it!


Research for yourself. Google. Read. To get you started google:

infertility and Gluten Sensitivity/intolerance

Infertility and Leaky Gut

Leaky Gut and Vitamin absorption

Gluten Intolerance and Vitamin absorbtion

Leaky gut and inflammation response

inflammation response and fertility

remember doctors often look for gluten sensitivity last. It takes a true celiac on average 10 years to get a diagnoses and most of us are not true celiac, we are just sensitive.

Read. Reasearch. Give it a try I’ll show you how to make it easy in the next post. Your intestines need about 2 full weeks to heal. What will you lose? A bread stick? What could you gain?

Perhaps the chance to be a parent?