“Choose foods that represent what you believe in”
Dr. Veronica Anderson, Host, Functional Medicine Specialist and Medical Intuitive interviews Melinda Arcara about The Secrets to Beginning Your Gluten Free Life. Have you thought about giving up gluten but have no idea where to start? Melinda Arcara healed herself from non-Celiac, gluten intolerance and a severe Vitamin B and iron deficiency. Now, she teaches the secrets to beginning your gluten-free life by not eliminating foods in your diet but rather substituting them.
In this episode, Melinda will talk about her experience with the food elimination diet, being a healthy food advocate and the importance behind GMO foods. She will also suggest whether you should give up gluten and how to confirm your deficiency with blood tests. Listen to the end to hear how Melinda’s body reacted when reintroducing gluten back into her diet.
Listen to episode 4 on iTunes, or your favorite podcast app on your phone.
4: Show Notes
Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links
Melinda’s Acara: 3 steps to Gluten Free Living – http://amzn.to/2nSWbgI
02:50 – Why Melinda was nicknamed gluten free bebe
05:25 – Conducting a food elimination diet
06:45 – Becoming super sensitive to gluten causing leaky gut
08:30 – Food allergy vs. food intolerance
11:00 – Testing different group gluten sensitivity
13:50 – Being a healthy food advocate
17:20 – The dark bill and GMO foods
21:20 – Gluten free healthy food addict
23:50 – Should we all give up gluten?
30:50 – Blood tests to determine deficiencies
32:45 – Strategic eating and targeted supplements
34:40 – The 3 Steps to Gluten Free Living
37:25 – Every food has nutritional value
38:55 – Sugar and grain detox
43:20 – Non- celiac gluten sensitivity reaction
Female VO: Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex, and relationships. Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental, and spiritual health in their lives.
If you’d like to have access to our entire back catalog visit drveronica.com for instant access. Here’s your host, Dr. Veronica.
Dr. Veronica: Okay, here we are, another episode of Dr. Veronica’s Wellness Revolution. Here we are bringing in some more information to you. You know I always bring to you wonderful guests who are going to be able to help you live your life better. And everybody has a different idea of how to do it.
So I bring different people with different topics because there are seven billion people on earth that means there’s seven billion different ways to do health correctly. And there’s seven billion ways to do it wrong too. And judging by what’s going on in the health of America and the rest of the world, 60% to 70% of people are getting it wrong or they wouldn’t have so many diseases.
But here we are to help you get it right. So the beautiful lady that you’re looking at, not me but the one who’s with me is Melinda Arcara.
Melinda: Arcara, but thank you for that lovely…
Dr. Veronica: I was just like saying I didn’t ask for ahead of time the correct pronunciation. But you guys will forgive me because this is what happens when you do these podcasts. Arcara and Melinda, Gluten-Free Baby, Gluten-Free Bebe?
Dr. Veronica: Okay, Gluten-Free Bebe, which sounds very kind of like French. And I just came from France. But we’re going to talk obvious today about being gluten-free. And it’s become a fad to be gluten-free but everybody should not be gluten-free. I see people every day. They think, “I got to get out gluten. I can’t eat bread. I can’t eat wheat.” And I say, “Hold on a minute. That’s not where everybody should be.” And so we’re going to talk about who should be there and who should not be there with some medical terminology behind it. And we’re going to talk also about Melinda’s book. Because she has a book about it that helps break it down and make it simple.
Melinda went gluten-free by necessity. And she has it all throughout her family. First of all instead of me reading her background, we’re going to talk about her background and how she came to this. Melinda, welcome to Wellness Revolution. First I would like to tell you to give us all you got. And so start by going back to your childhood and telling us how you evolved and what happened that you got on you on this gluten-free path?
Melinda: First I’ll have to tell you, Gluten-Free Bebe, I was nicknamed Bebe by my dad because I was the youngest of 10 children. As the youngest of 10 children we were very… And I would say ethnic family but we’re very… My father was Ukrainian, my other was Slovak, so a lot of the food that we ate was Eastern European, so [Unintelligible 00:03:27] and Halušky, things that were made with flour and water. And maybe an egg in there every once in a while.
Dr. Veronica: Oh my gosh.
Melinda: I was the Bebe of the family and just received tons of love and affection. But I was sick a lot as a child. I had migraines and I had GI problems. I had intestinal bleeding, I had focusing problems, I had sore throat. All of that kept progressing through my 20’s where I would have chronic bladder infections and yeast infections. My hair would fall out, I’d have anxiety, weight fluctuations. In my ’30s I suffered from infertility, and depression, and joint pain.
Nobody ever bothered to look at the food that I was eating as the source of the problems. And I would go to positions and everyone would try to figure it out. But it was unfortunate because I had lived on the West Coast and then the East Coast. And the doctors weren’t able to collaborate with each other to try to figure this out.
So I finally went more of a holistic route. I gave up gluten based on asymptomatic… looking at the foods that I was eating. Once I eliminated it it was amazing how quickly I started to feel better. I remember waking up after about two weeks of being off gluten and being able to breathe out of my nose.
And that’s all very strange but I think my entire childhood I had so much inflammation. And once you started getting down to that center of that onion of all of these problems and the inflammation started to go down I started to feel so good. That was really where I came from. It was a long journey to get there but I’m thankful that I did finally get to that point to figure out what the center of the onion was.
Dr. Veronica: I’m just going to ask a side question before we go back into the gluten. On your journey you found out that gluten was one of your issues, did you find out any other foods or problems also?
Melinda: It was suggested to me to do a food elimination diet where you eliminate all of the seven allergens, eggs, dairy, gluten, fish, peanuts, and eliminate all of those things. Really, I didn’t do it quite as well as the physician would have wanted me to in that I didn’t eliminate them all and just add them in.
The first thing I eliminated was gluten and I started to feel much better. Dairy and I, we’re on a trial separation. We’re not completely divorced yet. I do know I can tolerate small amounts of dairy but not in whole. Gluten is really my enemy. And dairy and I, we’re just not best friends.
Dr. Veronica: Okay. Did you notice over time when you were getting sicker and sicker? People find out, they say, “What’s the matter with me?” And a lot of times they have a problem with the food they don’t realize it. But what continues to happen is more and more foods continue bothering. And so maybe gluten bothers them, or they’re eating bread and that maybe bothersome.
But then they start finding out, “Well, when I eat this I can’t tolerate it. Or when I eat that I can’t… And it kind of mounts up to where they almost can’t eat anything. Did you ever get to a stage like that?
Melinda: You know what, that’s a really great question. What became worst for me is that I became so sensitive to gluten. It wasn’t really other foods but now any type of cross contamination where even a small amount of gluten. So it seemed like once I eliminated it, which might be kind of what you were talking about where you become sensitive to other items, I became so sensitive to gluten.
Even if there was French fries cooked in oil where other items that had been breaded were cooked in, that would bother my GI system and I would get migraines. And migraines are really the impetus of the diet. I had the flashing auras. And they just couldn’t figure out what that was. And really it was the leaky gut caused from the foods that I was eating. I become super sensitive to gluten and any type of grain that contains that.
Dr. Veronica: You’re throwing in some of those other terms like leaky gut. And I’m just going to give a little background. The reason that I asked you that question is because when people have a food intolerance, you may have something genetically that makes you not be able to utilize that food as well.
So, number one, there’s a problem and you ended up with a response in your whole body starting in your digestive system. But then it breaks down your digestive system and leaks out into the rest of your body and it gets worst and worst and worst over time.
What a lot of people will notice is that they start with one food and then they get to the point where they hardly can eat anything else. Or whatever they’re sensitive to like you’re talking about it becomes so hard that even though it’s not an allergy it seems like an allergy that you will die from.
What am I saying, it’s not allergy when you’re having such a problem because a food intolerance is mediated in a different place in the immune system than a food allergy. There’s IgG in the intolerances, there’s IgE in the allergies, very, very different. And you treat them very, very differently.
Leaky gut means that not only do you need to eliminate the food, you need to repair the leaky guy. And so for people who are out there and say gluten’s my problem but I have a lot of other food problems simply eliminating food and not eating anything is not the correct way to do it. And that’s what a lot of people do, they say, “I can’t eat this. I can’t eat that.” And they don’t do anything else. And those people are miserable for anybody to be around because they can’t eat anything. And we’re just like, “I don’t want to be around them, they can’t eat anything.”
But the answer usually is eliminate what you’re sensitive to repair your immune system and your digestive system, and then see what you can tolerate. And there’ll be more foods that you can tolerate doing it that way. That helps some people with gluten other people what doesn’t help with the gluten sensitivity.
The other thing that happens, we listened to you talking about your childhood and that you ate a lot of wheat. So what else is important to bring out about this is the more you’re challenged with any one food you will become sensitive to. I don’t care if it’s apples, you’ll become sensitive and you keep doing it, keep doing it, keep doing it, and you had too much. Why does that happen? Because food’s foreign to our body. And so we’re going to mount a response against it.
And then at some point something can trigger it to go awry and then it keeps mounting. But if there’s any one food that you eat a lot of it’s highly likely you would have a problem with. Hence, you see people from your background, and people from backgrounds like Italian backgrounds who end up with higher levels of gluten sensitivity because their diet is so wheat-based. And when you put it here in America we have all the genetically modified food which we really can’t tolerate, which makes the people who have the gluten problem worst.
I don’t know if you travel abroad, but one thing I’m sensitive… Let’s talk of something more about the gluten thing. There’s this whole group of gluten but everybody’s not sensitive to all the gluten. I’d be one of those kind of people. I’m sensitive to wheat, but not oats, barley, and rye. I’m sensitive to wheat specifically. I know exactly what it is. My son’s the same thing.
People also have to understand that it’s not just all of gluten. It’s easiest to eliminate all of the gluten. It’s not just all gluten, there are different proteins and you may be sensitive to one of the proteins and not sensitive to another protein. And so this is where I ask you, what role did happen in your life with testing because I think testing you can eliminate and find out… for me to know it’s wheat and it’s not morally wrong. It’s great because that means I don’t have to restrict myself as much. What is your role with testing?
Melinda: Going back to you were saying about the different… There are wheat allergies. There’s really three designations for a gluten-sensitivity or a gluten-related disorder. And you would know this better than anybody. But really wheat allergy where you have the response where you need an EpiPen which is very serious. And then there’s celiac which is the autoimmune disease which is caused when you have the villi atrophy. So the villi in your gut would get into atrophy and you can’t absorb the nutrients from the foods that you’re eating.
And then you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity which has like you were saying this wide range of symptoms where you have migraines and inflammation and those kind of things. For me I was able to figure out it was a non-celiac gluten sensitivity only because I stopped eating gluten before I got tested for celiac. You need to be actively eating grains and gluten to get an accurate test result for celiac. And you really need to find out which of those designations that you represent so that you can be treated correctly by a physician.
And also if it is the autoimmune disease then you are more susceptible to other autoimmune diseases, like I was telling you before the conference. I have been told in my life that I had three different autoimmune diseases, just unnamed ones where they were like, “You’re body’s fighting itself we just don’t know why. We don’t know what to call it.” And of course this was 25-30 years ago. To know if you have one is important because the incidence of having additional ones is very high.
Dr. Veronica: Absolutely. And so let’s move over and talk about healthy food because gluten has become the bad guy. And there’s reasons gluten has become the bad guy I admit especially in this country with what we’re dealing with the genetically modified food that’s really taken a toll a lot more. Plus our diet is heavily gluten and it’s very caloric food. But the calories plus the inflammation are what are making people have a problem with it. So let’s move over to you talk more about being a healthy food advocate. Tell me about healthy food advocate.
Melinda: Being a food advocate in general is choosing foods… someone who votes with their fork. Choosing foods that represent what you believe in. Like you were saying about choosing [Unintelligible 00:14:56] of foods. And then being an advocate for that, calling the Congressman, calling the President, asking them to vote against the DARK bill.
Choosing the local seasonal organic foods. Purchasing from local farms. Actually thinking about the foods that you’re putting into your body. It’s so easy. I’m a mom so I know it’s very easy to go to Target, Costco, all these large retailers and buy all these processed foods. But to consciously say I’m not going to buy seven dozen eggs from Costco, instead I’m going to go to the local farmer down the road, or I’m going to join the CSA, or I’m going to seek out a farmer’s market. Unconsciously choose foods for quality versus quantity. That’s really what a food advocate is doing out there.
Dr. Veronica: There’s a couple of things you mentioned in there. I’m picking up on this. We’re going to reveal all script here on Wellness Revolution because I want to pull out something. First I want to talk a moment about Costco because you mentioned Costco a lot. Yeah, you can go and buy unhealthy food from Costco. However, I will let people know that Costco has made the commitment to change their whole food supply. They are buying farms so they can switch over to being all organic.
I’ve been a member of Costco for about five years and when I first did it it was because my new husband had the Costco membership. And I didn’t like going there. I said, “Baby, I don’t like the food here. They don’t have what I like to eat here.” And I knew this more and more, they had more organic choices. And so I got happier and happier. Wonderful.
Costco has made a commitment that if you got to Costco you will notice that if you look in their freezer section they have organic non-GMO. They have all kinds of other things but they have that. In their produce section they have that. They have grass-fed, they have free range. They have detergents that are free and clear.
In places like Costco they’ve made a commitment that we believe in the health of our customers. And so therefore we’re going to do something to change our supply. Costco is transitioning. I want people to know if you’re thinking about joining a food club and you think, “Oh my god, this stuff is expensive.” There’s been a wholesale club that has made the commitment that we want to go all healthy food. That’s one.
Second, you mentioned the DARK bill. I know what the DARK bill is. You got to tell everybody else what the DARK bill. Because it’s very appalling and this is something where you really have to vote with your feet and be loud about it. Because I think that food and access to it, and what food you can get is the human rights and civil rights issue of the day. What people are allowed to eat is a human rights issue. And our legislators are trying to do a bait and switch on us. Tell us about the DARK Bill.
Melinda: What it is is it’s not a bill that is against genetically modified organisms. GMO is genetically modified organism. What that means is that they take the genome of something else to combine with another food item to try to make it either more shelf-stable, to help it with growing, to produce more. There’s a multitude of reasons why GMO’s are out there.
The DARK bill is not to prevent them or stop them, all it is is to provide information to consumers so that they can make a choice. What they were asking is that products be labeled as containing genetically modified organisms.
I’m surprised but I picked up a box of cereal from General Mills. General Mills has already put that on many of their cereals. If you read the ingredient list it’ll say, “Made with genetically modified organisms.” And people are still buying those products. That is their personal choice.
Now with the DARK bill what they’re saying is that you have to use your cellphone. Every time you want to know if there’s a GMO in this product you have to take your cellphone and you have to scan the bar or those scanners…
Dr. Veronica: QR codes.
Melinda: Yes. You would have to scan each individual item. Imagine here’s a mom with two kids. I’m going along. I’m looking in the cereal aisle and the granola aisle and I want to know if these products contain GMO’s. And I have to go take each package, scan it with my phone, and search it. All we’re asking is that it be labeled easily so that we can read it so we can know and make a conscious decision. Whether you buy it or not that is your choice. But without the information you can’t do that. That is what really we’re asking for.
Dr. Veronica: Thank you for explanation. It’s important. The DARK bill have the information available but you have to be able to look for it. If you don’t have a smartphone and you don’t know how to work with QR scanners, and you want to run through and you want to do things quickly and know from looking just like there’s other information on labels, you’re not going to be able to do it.
You talked about General Mills. They had it right there. What happened is Vermont has the law that went into place. And so food companies have been becoming compliant with all their products because it’s easier to label all their products versus doing it just for one state, Vermont.
Now you’re going to start to notice that there are more labels on food because people want their food [Unintelligible 00:20:48] and so therefore the labels are there. It’s fabulous because you can tell what’s what much easier including gluten-free on a lot of things. We’re going to get back to that.
But we want to fight against this DARK bill. When I go in the store I don’t want to have to walk around with my phone all the time. I got a smartphone. What about people who don’t have a smartphone? What about people who technology is difficult for them? What about people who are older? There’s so many areas where this DARK bill is really just discriminatory.
Melinda: I agree.
Dr. Veronica: If you don’t have an iPhone or an Android, or some other phone that is a smartphone you’re not going to be able to know what’s in your food. And that is discriminatory. Food is the human rights issue of the day. Healthy food advocate. Let’s go with on the gluten-free healthy food addict. What does that mean?
Melinda: When I went gluten-free seven years ago it was a medical necessity. When someone said something about eating gluten-free nobody knew what it was. You had to explain to them about the three designations of gluten. Talk to them about leaky gut. Then all of a sudden books came out, Wheat Belly.
Great book. Tons of information. But actually took the name of gluten-free and kind of took it hostage and said, “Now, we’re going to take this. It’s no longer a medical necessity. Now it’s going to help you lose weight.” This has become a fad now.
As a gluten-free healthy food advocate my goal is to take that name back. What I want to tell people is that eating gluten-free is a medical necessity. After you see a physician and after you get the designation and find out what it is that a gluten-free diet will help then you have to adhere to all the same requirements that someone with celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, all of that that they have to do.
My whole thing is balance. Choosing quality foods like we talked about, local, seasonal, organic, non-GMO, and combining them with the convenience of pre-packaged products. It’s hard to make a cracker. To buy a gluten-free cracker and eat some local cheese. Or buy some pre-packaged humus and eat it with some fresh carrots. Try to keep that balance between the two.
All these articles that are coming out now, we’re talking about how unhealthy gluten-free eating is. I’m trying to debunk that and say no, it’s not. If you choose healthy gluten-free products and combine them with whole, clean, local, and seasonal products then no, it’s not. I want the name gluten-free back to being a medical necessity.
Dr. Veronica: Okay. I get that. But isn’t this gluten something that everybody should just give up because first of all it’s heavy in carbohydrates and it’s a big thing with the weight. I asked people, “What makes you lose weight?” “I gave up the bread.” It’s becoming in the weight loss category. Why isn’t it good for us all to be gluten-free? What do you say about that?
Melinda: I think with the pre-packaged products you have a lot of sugar. In order to make it taste good and taste familiar for people they have to add a lot of ingredients in there. But eating things in the whole form and eating whole grains, eating quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, and taking those and eating them in the whole form you’re still getting fiber and nutrients in those kind of things from the foods.
The whole thing with gluten is you have the glutenin and the gliadin. And those to combine to make it sticky and fluffy. And that’s what gives all of our baked goods all this rise. But when those two proteins come together that stickiness can go in the gut as well. People who have digestive problems or who have other problems that are undiagnosable by physicians, it might be a good idea to try a gluten-free diet and see if it works.
But you can also choose healthy alternative grains, teff, amaranth, there’s a lot of really unique grains. Or if you don’t have an allergy to nuts you can use almond flour, you can use pecans. There’s just a lot of great lower glycemic grains out there that are good replacements for gluten.
Like you were saying, eat the same thing day after day after day, hey, throw in some quinoa. Why not? Kind of mix them a little bit. It’s delicious and you can be very creative with it. You just got to have to take a little bit extra time to learn what’s available and what is gluten-free.
Dr. Veronica: There’s one piece that you said, undiagnosable biophysician, and I want to just clarify it. Because I am a physician and one of the physicians is able to diagnose some of these problems, why does it happen. My practice right now is not traditional. It’s coaching people. But part of coaching people is listening to what’s going on and saying, “You know what, you might benefit from this out of the other tests.”
Here’s the rub. Most of these tests are not happening at LabCorp and Quest. If you get it at LabCorp and Quest it’s likely that it’s not going to tell you anything. And that’s why you think your disease is undiagnosable.
The labs that those of us in holistic care use are specialty labs that you have to belong to that know exactly what they’re looking for and they don’t just look for everything. And so you go to a particular lab you know I want an organic acid test, I want an IgG test by serum or by blood spot. I would like a digestive analysis and I want to look at the saliva and stool.
And so realize that there are so many different ways to be able to ferret out what’s going on with people. Digestive analysis to figure out if somebody has celiac, I don’t necessarily have to submit them to an endoscopy or a colonoscopy to figure that out. There are tests you can do where you can send it off. And most physicians who are traditionally Western-trained they haven’t been taught that.
I’m going to say we haven’t been taught that. I’m traditionally Western-trained from the back end and I can tell you what we’ve been taught. However, there’s functional wellness practitioners who understand what’s going on and know what lab to go to, what tests to get. And let me just tell you this, a lot of this is unfortunately now, and this is not my doing, not going to be covered by your insurance because it doesn’t into medical diagnosis.
We’re doing it because we’re listening to it. We read the research. We’re on the forefront. There’s no medical diagnosis with it upfront. And so we have to stab in the dark and get a bunch of things from different labs and so it’s not going to necessarily be covered by insurance.
And so why do I make that point? Because people, you’re just going to have the investment in yourself. You’re going to have to make that investment in the time of figuring out what’s going on. But after you’ve gone to the university of Google and part of you watching this podcast is being at the university of Google, you’re going to have to go to somebody who knows what they’re looking at and listening to because my half a million of dollars of education and training is not going to compete with a few blogs, it just is not.
And so we’re going to be able to listen to you quickly, those who know, and say, “No, you’re not crazy. That’s very common in people who have [Unintelligible 00:28:48]. Notice how Melinda said, “I had migraines. I have this. I have that.” A lot of it wasn’t necessarily digestive.
I had a person come to me last night in my seminar and say, “Do you use any bleach…?” They don’t want to come to me or they were afraid to come in the office because… And I’m saying, “You’re liver’s toxic. You’re liver’s toxic. You’re liver’s toxic. We need to figure out what’s your toxic problem and clean you out.” But another doctor would just be like, “They’re just sensitive to everything.” But I’m saying there’s something that’s making your liver toxic. There’s something that make your system over grow. We can fix this. We can figure out what it is.”
Going and getting your knowledge, reading books like Melinda’s to figure out what can you do on your own. Because you may do something on your own that works. But if it doesn’t work, or if you want to be very clear. You realize there are other ways to do a diagnosis. There’s other surveys. And you have to go and build your team. Don’t throw the doctors that you have. It builds your team and put more people in it so that you can get better and have a better health.
Now, you gave up gluten because you are having major problems with it. Let’s talk a little bit more about is there a reason people should eat gluten. Do you ever say, “It’s okay to eat gluten. I think people should eat gluten.”
Melinda: I will tell you that gluten-free foods are not fortified. When it comes to nutrient deficiencies gluten-free people are the masters at it. You’re already suffering from a leaky gut. And then the gluten-free foods that are on the market because they’re not fortified with riboflavin and niacin and iron you really need to be conscious about what you eat.
By eating grains that you can tolerate like wheat, barley, and rye, and in eating them in different forms you are getting those extra nutrients. Going back to what you’re saying as a patient you have to have a good relationship with your physician. Like you were saying you have to pull your team together. You need to have blood tests. Because as much as the holistic person who helped me she did not have a medical degree like yourself.
I had to have a good relationship with my general practitioner so that I could have the tests to find out how iron deficient I was, how much B vitamins to have. To alienate Western medicine 100% only go with Eastern medicine I think is a really bad choice as a patient. I think you need to have that balance of east and west. And if you can have someone like yourself who already provides those services that’s a win-win for your patients.
Where I live we have some integrative medicine positions and some functional medicine positions. But otherwise you have to seek that out and build your team like you were saying. You can’t say you’re never going back to a Western medicine doctor again because you need to have those relationships. So it’s a really great thing that you said there.
Dr. Veronica: Absolutely. My colleagues are there to put out the fire and most people come on with a three alarm fire. And so you’re going to have to use the Western medicine that is great at putting out those three alarm fires before you can really go into the holistic care to get rid of me.
For me at this point in time I use strategic eating and targeted supplements, and homeopathics, and herbs, and all that. I do nothing pharmaceutical. Why do I nothing pharmaceutical? Because you have your other doctor there. I want them to decide are you getting better or not getting better. And manage your medicines and things like that. And so therefore when you go back and your weight’s down, and your blood tests all look better and they say, “What did you do? I haven’t done anything with your medicine,” because I said don’t stop anything. I’m not dealing with that. We’re going to deal with only. So there’s no conflict of interest.
That’s why I do it this way. I’m coaching you to figure out how to do it as naturally as possible. I’m telling you how to get it and putting together formulations from my background training. I know about that other stuff. So if I see you and I think you’re on fire write back to your doctor. You’re not going to be on fire with me because you need to go back and do that.
And so I build your team so that you don’t have somebody that says all medicine is bad. And then other side, “Why are you listening to all those quacks over there and trying to get you off the medicine.” You have to have a team that understands that everybody has a role. And it’s not alternative medicine, it’s complementary medicine. Complement means it all goes together.
Part of it also is going down the road, and because we have so much information and authors like Melinda, let’s talk more about your book. You have the three steps to gluten-free living. Look at over those three steps and I’m saying, “Uh-uh, this is where people need to start.” Let’s talk about your book.
Melinda: Thank you. I’m so excited about this book. I think it is very unique and very different than the books that are out there. There’s a lot of cookbooks on the market but there’s nothing to help someone. After they come to see Dr. Veronica and she says, “Now you need to adapt a gluten-free lifestyle and you need to go out there and put this in your home and make it work. There’s not books out there and I feel like this book really does that.
It’s a three-step process, elimination, how to get gluten out of your diet, how to transition emotionally and physically away from gluten, and then substitution, what products that you can safely substitute back into your diet.
You can’t start going out like I did. And buying all kinds of books, I was buying cookies, and crackers, and cereals, everything that was labeled gluten-free. And I put on 10 pounds immediately because for one thing I was very nutritionally deficient. And the other reason was I started consuming all these sugar-filled food.
Until you know what gluten is, where it’s found, how to read labels, the FDA labeling, the different needs of gluten, all of the things that are in the elimination section, you can’t jump to the substitution section. It’s a natural progression. The transition section of my books is really unique because it talks about the emotional part of it. When I was talking at the beginning about my family and all the ethnic foods, and as a Roman Catholic the importance of having even a communion host which has to have wheat in it and how to talk to people about it.
Dr. Veronica: I never thought about that. Wow.
Melinda: These are all real-life things that you have to tackle. But the great thing about the book Veronica is every page is a different subject so it’s super easy to read. You can read it in two hours and fifteen minutes and have enough information on every subject. And then what did you say, university of Google?
Dr. Veronica: Yes.
Melinda: You can go back on. You want to know more about the specific protein gliadin. You can take the information that I can give you. Go in to the university of Google, search more, or you can just take the information that I give you, go to the next page and learn a little bit more. It’s enough information to get you started but not enough to overwhelm you.
And then at the end of the book I give you a dozen recipes to kind of get you on your way. It encourages eating local, seasonal, organic, and trying to keep that balanced that you and I talked about with the food advocacy. I’m very proud of my book and I really think it’s not about the number of books that I sell it’s more about the number of people that I help. And I really think that this book can help a lot of people.
Dr. Veronica: I agree because I never thought about communion. Oh my gosh.
Melinda: Yeah, you don’t think about that.
Dr. Veronica: I’m just going to bring out for people again, you made a really important point about people eating gluten-free and what can happen to people if they just… “I’m just going to cut out gluten but I’m going to put in everything else.” I tell people why don’t I advocate for everybody to be gluten-free as a physician? Because every food has nutritional value and that includes gluten.
And so if you can eat it and you’re eating the healthy kind it’s good to have it in your eating strategy. Not too much but you’re supposed to have everything there. What I find nice about people who end up going having to go gluten-free, first there’s of course the weight benefits. But all of a sudden they expand their food repertoire.
And so they thought, “I don’t like anything. I’m not going to like it. I’m not going to like it.” I said we’re going on an elimination. Say something else about elimination. When on elimination there’s going to be a time where you have to eliminate this. It’s not going to be forever. If we find out that you’re sensitive to it it might be long-term. But if you’re not sensitive too you’ll be allowed to have it again. It’s important because even that group of food that everybody has vilified now has nutritional value and you should have it in your eating plan.
This is what I tell people. I don’t tell people go gluten-free forever. I do not do that. And so most people are very happy to hear that because all they could think about is they can go back to those dinner rolls. But most people don’t go back to eating those dinner rolls like crazy because they realize what it was doing to them. Even if they weren’t super sensitive to it they realized that there’s an importance in having a little bit of everything.
Elimination, I’m assuming when you did the elimination you did it on your own and you just said, “I’m cutting out all these things cold turkey.” Is that how you did your elimination?
Melinda: Yes. [Unintelligible 00:39:17] was. And actually in January my husband I did, it was a detox where you don’t eat sugar, and grains. It’s only 30 days. And actually harder than getting off gluten is getting off sugar. It took two weeks to get off sugar and I haven’t eaten it for two weeks. And it’s amazing how good I feel. But when I did gluten originally it was like, “I can have a little bit of gluten. I can have a little piece here.” But you really have to eliminate it 200%.
I don’t know if your viewers know, but a quarter of a fingernail will cause the autoimmune response in a celiac. A quarter of a fingernail of flour or gluten will cause the autoimmune response in a celiac. So you really have to eliminate it 200%.
Dr. Veronica: Yes, it’s true. For people also to know it takes five minutes for your body to break down. You put it in, you’re a celiac, you’re sensitive, you’re intolerant, you will get the immune response. It takes about five minutes for that to happen.
Melinda: I did not know that.
Dr. Veronica: To build your body back up, six to nine months. And you’ll be 75% back six to nine months. You won’t even be all the way back. So the reaction happens very quickly but it takes a long time for your body to get over that reaction. And so you’re thinking, “I can just cheat a little.”
This is why people don’t necessarily get a result. But on the other side this is why it ends up being important to get some type of testing. The testing that you get at LabCorp and Quest is not necessarily considered adequate testing unfortunately. I hate to let you know that. What your insurance covered is not going to necessarily be adequate.
The testing so that you know what you’re really sensitive to or not because if you find out that you’re really a celiac or you’re really super sensitive to it then it’s going to need to be eliminated for a while. But if you find out you’re not, oh holy night, it’s great. Because that means that I’m going to be safe and I could still have that in my eating plan safely so I won’t be having the symptoms. That’s why.
Why did I ask you about the cold turkey elimination? I asked you about that because there is a definite strategy to do it. An elimination guide doesn’t just mean going cold turkey and taking everything out. There’s a strategy to taking it out. You came across it the way you did so it’s not a criticism.
Most people, you do what you have to do. But there’s a strategy to taking out and a transition to even eliminating which gives clinical information to practitioners. But the transition of elimination also makes it easier on people. When you go cold turkey this is why it was really difficult.
You do a transition elimination diet where you slowly and the clinician’s getting information as you’re eliminating stuff. And the right questions are being asked, because you got to go to a symptom survey to figure out are you having symptoms. And you don’t even necessarily know all the symptoms that are coming from it. But your practitioner who’s well-versed will know symptoms that could come through this.
When you do an elimination there’s a strategy to the elimination. It’s not just cold turkey. But if you’re with cold turkey, it worked for you, fabulous. But did you do a food re-challenge? Did you challenge yourself with those foods? Because the cold standard of figuring out whether you have a food intolerance or not is what happens when the food’s in your eating plan.
Now, your husband who’s a celiac… I’m on the podcast, I can say that, all hell’s going to break loose. Somebody who’s intolerant, it may not be so obvious what happens. Did you do a food re-challenge and then find out the migraines came back, the aches and pains came back? Did you do that?
Melinda: Yeah. The interesting thing about my husband and myself, and even my son, when my husband eats gluten he feels it probably within 24 hours. I could tell he starts to get very nervous. He kind of gets a little bit anxious. That’s when you can see, like you were saying, I didn’t know that Dr. Veronica about five minutes the reaction starts up. For him it starts very quickly.
For myself what I eat on Sunday I feel on Wednesday. And for my son who actually had developed a tick where he would move his head, he eats the same way. He and I have the same reaction time. If we eat pizza on Friday, on Monday he’ll move his neck. And for me I have ice around my head with a migraine.
It was very difficult to figure out because you would eat it and you’d go, “I feel great.” Next day, “I feel great.” Second day, “I feel fabulous.” Third day I’m like, “What did I eat immediately?” You always think the food that you eat causes an immediate response. But with a non-celiac gluten sensitivity it can take several days. It was very difficult reintroducing the food to figure out what was causing my problems.
Dr. Veronica: You brought out exactly what people also have to understand about re-challenge and a sensitivity that’s important. With an allergy or with something like celiac a reaction is going to be so close temporally there will be no doubt. When people have sensitivities it could take 48-72 hours.
Think about it. She said, “I ate it on Friday. I didn’t know it until Monday.” That’s common with the food sensitivity. And this is why people have no idea what’s going on and what it is. And so that was a perfect point to bring out. We’re going to wrap up. Three steps to gluten-free living, go to Gluten-Free Bebe.
Melinda: It’s also available on Amazon as well.
Dr. Veronica: It’s available on Amazon, so you can get it on Amazon. You go to Gluten-Free Bebe and you could find out more information Gluten-Free Bebe. Melinda, I thank you for giving us those information. And I thank you for writing this book because you got to make this simple for people. Want simple steps that we can go through. We’re very reductionist. After we find you on the university on Google we want to know what do I do, what can I do right now. You can go to Amazon. You can download it. Is it on Kindle?
Dr. Veronica: Okay. It’s on Kindle, because I’m a Kindle reader. I like to download stuff. So no matter where I am, my [Unintelligible 00:46:13], I’ll never be bored if you keep me waiting because I always have something to read. If you’re thinking about transitioning to gluten-free, if you suspect that you’re having a problem with it, these three steps are the important steps and simple that everyone can follow. Melinda, thank you for being on The Wellness Revolution.
Melinda: Thank you Doctor.
Female VO: Thank you for listening to the Wellness Revolution Podcast. If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into your life visit drveronica.com. See you all next week. Take care.
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Dr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.