Category Archives: News Articles

“Gluten-ous” Deceit

It seems like those who try to eat gluten-free are the only ones who realize how prevalent gluten is in our society. It’s literally everywhere. Not only is it in the most obvious places, but it is also in almost every soup (as a thickener), sauce, and…..twizzlers?

 

The Huffington post recently released a great article detailing sneaky places that you wouldn’t expect to find gluten. Read onward on the Huffington Post’s website: 7 Surprising Foods Containing Gluten

You really should read this article. One of my a-ha! moments realizing that I had a gluten intolerance came from eating Pringles one night. I felt so miserable and had such an impossible time trying to sleep (which was one of my gluten side effects), I couldn’t fall asleep until 5 am. So stop reading this and go read the HuffPost’s article!

Stay gluten-free,  my GFAs!



Illness, Fitness, Wellness

As I continue along my journey of health and knowledge, I realize more and more how important our lifestyle is on our human bodies. In all seriousness, no one ever told me that exercise would get easier the longer I endured getting into shape in the first place. For example, the first month of trying to run a single mile was absolutely dreadful. If anyone would have told me that, only six months after making a goal to run a mile, I would run four consecutive miles…I would have told that person that they were crazy. But alas, fitness has found its way into my life. Combined with gluten-free, healthy eating, I have found nourishment for my body.

I have found fitness and wellness.

What can we do to prevent illness from finding us? Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel once sang, “‘fools,’ said I, ‘you do not know silence like a cancer grows…'” The lyric does resonate truth: we cannot always know what is going on inside our bodies, especially the growth of cancer cells. What can we use as tools to do the best we can in combating cancer, in defeating illness?

 

Today I am pleased to introduce an article by Melanie Bowen, a staff writer for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.  Melanie discusses the options and the power we hold within our own bodies to fight cancer through fitness and wellness.

 

Fight Cancer by Boosting Your Immune System With Fitness

Physical activity is a critical part of managing cancer. A cancer diagnosis can take quite a toll on a person. Every aspect of a person’s health from exercise to diet must be adjusted to ensure cancer patients heal faster and improve their overall well being. Energy levels tend to decrease when cancer patients are not consuming enough fruits and vegetables or are not exercising enough. Every cancer patient, even mesothelioma patients, should work with their physicians to develop a regimen to keep their energy levels balanced.

Ways the Fitness Can Help Relieve Cancer Symptoms
Physical activity not only helps to maintain energy balance, but it also plays a role in hormone metabolism and insulin regulation. People with colon cancer can particularly benefit from exercise because it helps to remove carcinogens from the colon faster. Exercise also makes the immune system stronger by reducing inflammatory and other immune factors.

Some cancer risks can be reduced by 30 to 40 percent through exercising. People who are sedentary are more likely to develop cancer than people who are constantly active and moving. Physicians realize that patients may get weaker during treatment or without proper nutrition. The exercise regimen can be modified to account for the days when patients are not feeling as up to it.

Fatigue is a common symptom experienced by cancer patients. A regular regimen of exercise can improve survival rates of cancer patients. Therefore, it is important to avoid sedentary activity to prolong life with family, friends, and relatives.

Exercise to Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Reduce the risk of cancer by exercising 30 minutes per day for five days per week or more. There are numerous types of exercise for patients, or anyone else, to participate in. Some common favorites among cancer patients include walking, light weight lifting, swimming and yoga. It is important to speak with your doctor about what regiment is appropriate for you and your diagnosis. There are patients who worked out before and were in great shape before they were diagnosed, and therefore are able to maintain a more strenuous routine during treatment. However, others may have to begin with lifting light weights while sitting up in bed, and others start with beginner yoga classes. Either way, it is very important to not over exert yourself. Start slow and light and gradually you will regain your strength and be able to participate in more advanced or longer sessions.

 

Most cancer patients feel more energetic and improve their quality of life when they include exercise in their regimen. Patients who feel more energetic have a better outlook on life and this prevents stress hormones from releasing into the blood stream and exacerbating the situation.

 

Exercise helps to boost the immune system to help fight free radicals. When free radicals are reduced, the chances of developing cancer are lowered. Get your family, friends, and support group together and go out and exercise.

 

 

 

A truly special “thank you!” is extended to Melanie for this article. For more information on the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog or ways to contact Ms. Bowen herself, please feel free to browse the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance website. Please forward this or any of Ms. Bowen’s articles onto anyone who you think (or know) might need it. Today I encourage you to take this knowledge and both literally and metaphorically run with it! Now get off the computer and get out there!



CNN Gets in the Game with Fitness

I recently found a series of articles on CNN’s website that amazed me- “Fit Nation” is a special set of stories, encouragement, and facts all centered around becoming healthy in the United States. They are so worth a read.

 

You can find them all if you click on this link here. 

 

 

My favorite article so far was called “Get Fit and Others Will Follow”. The story follows a woman who has been travelling on her fitness journey for about a year now. She really did not think anyone noticed her going to the gym or losing weight…until she had developed enough focus and determination to go to the gym and be active six times per week. Her family members noticed not only her weight loss, but that she was a happier, more optimistic person. There were even people at the gym who told her that she was an inspiration to them.

 

Sometimes I think that, as people, we don’t perceive the effect our actions have on others. But the truth of the matter is, the positive energy and focus one can have in their life can create a ripple effect around your entire life’s actions: the people you meet, the decisions you make, the way you perceive a situation, etc. Being in shape needs to lose this stigma that only some people need to do it. But this world, especially the United States, needs to just be active. Just go out and do things!

 

How can this happen? You need to start it. I challenge you to change. Yes, I said it! I was inspired by others to share my stories, and I hope that one of you out there is inspired by me. You can lead by example, you can lead by positivity and ambition. It gives focus to your life and meaning to your days. It can give you structure at a time when all is lost. It can afford you thirty or sixty minutes, all to yourself, on a morning that threatens every ounce of your sanity. I challenge you to make a small change towards your health. Because when you work on the inside, the outside changes all around you.



Huffington Post talks Gluten-Free!

The Huffington Post recently released an article discussing that about 30% of adults surveyed now want to cut back on gluten in their diet. This contrasts with the 25% of adults who wanted to go gluten-free back in 2010. Although a 5% increase does not seem like too much, but going gluten-free has made insurmountable growth in the American perception in the past decade alone. According to the Huffington Post, the gluten-free industry is now a $4.2 billion industry and continues to grow.

 

What does that mean for us, GFAs? Well, you might be reading this as a Celiac’s sufferer. Or a mom who has a child with Celiac’s disease. Or you who have a gluten intolerance. Or you who just want to eat healthier! The increase in gluten-free demand means that more options continue to be developed and offered for us. Who knows? Soon we may have a gluten-free restaurant chain so we can find gluten-free options wherever we go.

 

You can find the Huffington Post article here and read it for yourself!



Food for Thought on a Monday Morning

Good morning, GFAs! I hope the past weekend has treated you well and you received the rest and relaxation that you need.

I recently found an article in the Huffington Post that says 30% of cancers can be reduced or eliminated by eating correctly. Furthermore, one’s cancer risk can be reduced by an additional 30% if they do not smoke. The article goes on to discuss different vitamins as well as dietary restrictions that should be considered and a healthy diet. The article overall is definitely worth the read.

You can check it out yourself here:

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lorenzo-cohen-phd/diet-cancer-prevention_b_2665176.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living
  • In light of all that we have learned through technology, it amazes me to know that we have the knowledge and the power to control our healthy bodies. It may have used to be an excuse to not eat healthily because of ignorance or lack of information, but in today’s society, there are so many other options to eat healthier: In all seriousness, why wouldn’t we? We invest so much money in concocting medications and supplements that are supposed to help us live until we are 100. But, really, if we invested enough time and consideration into our diet, we wouldn’t have to invest in such supplements. It seems like people want to be cutting-edge, and vegetables may seem passé to some. However, simply eating the vegetables that are accessible and easy to prepare (and reduce your risk of cancer) can be the best medicine.

    If you get the chance to read the article, I highly suggest you do. What did you think of it? How do you try to live a better life?



    The Huffington Post talks Healthy Comfort Food

    I recently found an article on the Huffington Post website that offers healthier alternatives to our favorite, tried-and-true winter comfort food staples. For example, HuffPost suggests trying boiled cauliflower as mashed potatoes, seasoned with Parmesan cheese. They even offer a Quinoa-style mac and cheese recipe! Some of the other recipes are quite elaborate, but I appreciate their creativity. Granted, some of the items aren’t gluten free, but we can absolutely adapt to make them gluten free at home. It makes you re-consider how you can make some of your favorite comfort foods and add healthier options to your menu.

    What do you think? Would you try any of the recipes found on the Huffington Post article? Do you have any tips to make simple comfort foods healthier for you and your family?



    Coconut Oil: A Tropical Topic

    I’ve been discussing the use of oils with my healthy eating co-workers lately. Like many cooks, our first go-to ingredient for pan cooking is olive oil. However, we recently tried coconut oil while making my chickpea/tomato/mushroom dish last week. It definitely changed the taste a bit (truthfully, it probably isn’t best suited for such a dish) but it made me consider which oil is truly best for you. I read an article from the New York Times (published about one year ago) about the love/hate relationship that the health food world has with coconut oil. This oil was once on the black list from health food recommendations due to its very high levels of saturated fat and, somehow, it is back in the world’s good graces again. Why??

    To some people, coconut oil is a great vegan option for cooking: for those who may have multiple allergies, coconut oil is a suitable baking alternative, making pie crusts flaky and delicious. (I myself have not tried this yet but I’ve heard from multiple sources that it’s true.) There are also some studies that those who use coconut oil reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Some people claim that coconut oil has reversed their loved one’s dementia or settled seizures.

    To others, coconut oil is not the healthiest oil in the books. As I mentioned before, it is extremely high in saturated fats, specifically, Lauric acid, which not only increases your HDL levels (the “good” level) in your cholesterol, but also the LDL levels (the “bad” level) as well (although many say that increase is somewhat proportional).

     

    What do you know about coconut oil? Do you use it, or do you stay away from it? I’m truly interested and look forward to hearing your thoughts about it!



    “Berry” Good News for the Ladies

    My father would be proud of that wordplay.

     

    Anyways, the Huffington Post recently published an article that declared a lesser risk for a heart attack for women if they eat strawberries and blueberries regularly. According to the article, the flavonoids found in blueberries and strawberries combat the build-up of plaque in heart disease.

    Rejoice, women! Let’s stay heart healthy.

    The Huffington Post article can be found here.

     

    Have a great day, everyone! Stay warm in these winter months.



    My Pinch of Human Weakness: Chips and Snacking

    I will admit to you, my GFA readers, that some of my weakest eating moments occur in the evening. I consistently long for a salty, crunchy snack, and most of the time I am too lazy to make something complicated. Lay’s potato chips are gluten free and, with the right portion control, they are an okay snack once in awhile, but one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to find a better, healthier snack on which to munch late at night.

     

    Active.com recently posted an article about this issue. Some of their suggestions may not be the norm (Kale chips? What?) but others simply give you a different option for the same idea (Terra Chips’ Terra Blues Potato Chips offer triple the fiber and half the fat of normal potato chips and are made from only blue potatoes, oil, and salt). There are also a few sweet snacking options if your sweet tooth gets the best of you instead!

    You can check out the article for yourself here.

     

    Do you have a specific weakness food? What do you do to combat it?