So Let's Talk About Sleep

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How much sleep do you think you get each night? Odds are, it's not what you wish it was. 

Research has found that in patients with intestinal disorders such as Celiac Disease, Gluten-Sensitivity, and IBS, sleep quality was significantly less than that of the control group. 

Doctor's have also found that fatigue is the number 1 complaint from patients with Celiac Disease. More than that, I know from personal experience. 

I've spent almost half my life with debilitating sleep issues. For over nine years, I struggled to sleep more than 2 to 3 hours a night. It crushed me. 

I could tell that the lack of sleep was causing some really negative changes in my life including:

  • Skipping Classes
  • Lack of Attention
  • Huge Waves of Emotions (Both positive and negative)
  • Becoming a pretty negative person to be around
  • Weight Gain
  • Plus many, many more

Eventually, I managed to overcome crippling insomnia with the help of google, books, and a lot of trial and error.

Now, I've discovered how to make sleeping a repeatable process and noticed a huge change in my life! I'm getting more done, I'm enjoying my time awake, and a lot of my Celiac Disease symptoms have decreased or completely gone away!

By addressing both Celiac Disease and Insomnia with my diet, I'm killing two birds with one stone. When I noticed the changes in my life that came from improving my sleep, I knew I needed to get this information out there.

If you keep up with the blog and have been wondering where I've been for the last 2-weeks, I've been doing exactly that.

I decided that the best way for me to make sure that you were able to take full advantage of all the information was to develop a 3-Day course emailed right to your inbox at 7 pm EST every night.

This way, you can receive the tips, routines, and information and then immediately put it to use a few hours later. 

Naturally, this course is 100% free. There is no price that can be put on a good night of sleep. 

Sign up below to register for the course and start improving your sleep today! 

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As always, email me with any questions you might have and I hope you'll come on this journey to a better night of sleep! 

Daniel


Celiac Disease and Sugar: Here's The Scoop

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We all know sugar isn’t good for us. In fact, sugar is the current Public Enemy #1 and is being blamed for the obesity epidemic as well as other chronic diseases.

Yet, despite the mounting evidence of the health consequences of sugar, we continue to eat tremendous amounts of it every single day. 

In fact, according to the USDA the average American eats 160 pounds of sugar every single year. That is more than 5 times the recommended amount from the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The Gluten-Free Food Industry is full of added sugars. In fact, the amount of sugar you find in processed gluten-free food is so high, it convinced the Huffington Post to publish this article about how the Gluten-Free diet isn’t healthy.

When it comes to sugar, no one should over indulge. However, those with Celiac Disease and other autoimmune diseases may be causing themselves far more damage than they think.

Here are the 3 reasons why celiac’s shouldn’t consume sugar.


1. Decrease in Cognitive Function 

Oregon State University conducted a study in 2014 which found that high sugar diets cause an alteration of the gut micro biome that appears to be related to a significant loss of “cognitive flexibility”.

Celiac Disease and Sugar

Cognitive flexibility is your ability to adapt to new situations.

For example, let’s say you were heading to Starbucks to try out some of their new gluten-free foods but found out that your usual location was closed. If you had cognitive flexibility, you would be able to think of another location, map out a route in your head, and get to the next Starbucks with ease. If you lacked cognitive flexibility, that process would be much more stressful and slow. Plus, you probably wouldn’t even understand why you were so stressed out over nothing.  The Oregon study also found that sugar can decrease the ability to learn in both short and long term memory. 

 
 

A decrease in cognitive function should be no surprise, especially if you consider the link between sugar and Alzheimers. In addition, we know that bacteria in the gut release neurotransmitters, stimulate the immune system, and effect a range of biochemical processes. 

When it comes to those with Celiac Disease, any decrease in cognitive function is a bad sign.

Brain Fog is a typical symptom for those with Celiac Disease and anyone who has experienced it is well aware of the toll that a slow mind can take.

Typically, individuals with Celiac Disease already have an unbalanced micro biome and sugar can make it even worse by feeding the bad bacteria and starving out the good. Since we know that an altered micro biome is the primary cause of brain-fog, it makes sense that avoiding sugar is the right move. 


2. A Decrease in Gut Mobility and Increase in Inflammation

A study published in 1991 found that in subjects who consumed high sugar diets, digestion time within the intestines drastically increased. 

For Celiac’s this is a big problem for 2 reasons. 

  1. If you have been glutened and your intestinal epithelium is permeable, you spend more time digesting the same food allowing for an increased number of contaminants to enter your blood stream. 

  2. More water is removed from your feces, resulting in bloating and constipation. 
Celiac Disease and Sugar

In addition to these uncomfortable symptoms, sugar can increase inflammation both locally and systemically. Sugar increases inflammation by depleting cells of their energy. Sugar has been strongly linked to inflamed intestines, IBS and Chrohns. 

Inflammation within the gut is something that almost all Celiac’s suffer from and it is important to try and reduce that inflammation as much as possible. 


3. Sugar Depresses Your Immune System

Celiac Disease is categorized as an Auto-Immune Disorder, meaning we already have compromised Immune Systems. Recent studies suggest that when we consume sugar we could be doubling down on that weakness. 

 
 

A study conducted at Loma Lina university found that eating 100 grams of sugar (just under the current avg. daily intake) decreases the ability of your white blood cells to kill invasive pathogens by 40%. With our immune systems already working at less than 100%, we are essentially halving our immune systems ability to do it’s job. 

In 1970’s, Linus Pauling found that sugar and vitamin C have a similar molecular structure and occupy the same space in our white blood cells. When we flood our body with sugar, that sugar also floods the white blood cells. With the white blood cells full of sugar, Vitamin C cannot enter the white blood cells and be utilized in an immune response which weakens your defenses. This reduction in your immune response can last for up to 8 hours after consuming sugary foods or beverages. 


The Sugary Takeaway

Sugar is delicious, no one can deny that.

But once you swallow it, it doesn’t do your body any good.

I hope that you learned some information that might help you make a decision on whether or not to remove (or limit) sugar from your diet. For me personally, the risk far outweighs the reward.


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Sensory Deprivation and Celiac Disease

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And there I was, floating effortlessly. And in this case, I’m not speaking metaphorically.

I was 35 minutes into my 90 minute float session and I was entering the ultimate state of relaxation. All the tension in my shoulders and neck, both which cause me frequent pain, was gone. The churning sensations from inside my gut had also subsided. My body had entered a deep meditative state and physically, I felt nothing but calmness. 

For those who don’t know, Floating is the term used to describe Sensory Deprivation Therapy.

Sensory Deprivation?

Yes, sensory deprivation. Many people associate sensory deprivation with torture and punishment but they couldn’t be more wrong. 

 
 

Sensory Deprivation allows users to reach a deep, meditative state with no effort. In fact, it would take most yogis decades of daily practice before they could reach this mental state during their meditation practice. 

The idea for Sensory Deprivation Therapy (or floating) began with a scientist by the name of Dr. John C. Lilly. In 1954, Dr. Lilly developed the first “Float Tank”. The tank was designed to be a place where people could experience sensory deprivation for extended periods of time without any stressors.

This is the room I was in when I did my session

This is the room I was in when I did my session

Float Tanks contain between 9-12 inches of water heated to the same temperature as your skin (~93.6 degrees) and around 800-1400 pounds of Epsom salts. With the water at the same temperature as your skin, you are neither warm no cold while in the tank and this helps you dissociate the sensory receptors on your skin. 

The Epsom salts increase the density of the water in the tank. Thanks to the salts, when you lay in the tank you float effortlessly as though in zero-gravity.

After you get into the tank, you close the door and enter complete darkness. As time passes and you begin to tune out each of your senses, you enter a state of deep relaxation.

It is at this point that the tank begins to do it’s work. 

In the Float Tank, your brain begins producing Theta Waves. Theta Waves promote vivid memories, creativity, inspiration, and feelings of serenity. Theta waves are generally emitted in the moments right before we fall asleep and, as a result, we often don’t remember them. 

While you are in the tank, you remain alert while these waves are being produced and can observe the images and thoughts as they appear. This is the deep meditative state that I was talking about earlier.

If you already know the benefits of meditation, then you can imagine how beneficial a float session would be with regards to dramatically improving your quality of life. 

However, for Celiac’s the benefits go far beyond meditative benefits. 

 
 

So You’re Magnesium Deficient?

One of the greatest risks going on a gluten-free diet is becoming deficient in one or more micronutrients. 

Believe it or not, the most common deficiency amongst Celiac’s isn’t B12 or Vit D. 

It’s Magnesium.

A recent study found that “magnesium deficiency was present in all patients with classical celiac disease, 1/5th of persons with silent celiac disease and 1/5th of persons with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet.” 1

image courtesy of serenedreams.com

image courtesy of serenedreams.com

Although we don’t talk about magnesium as much as some other key nutrients, it’s far more important than you might think. 

Magnesium is an enzyme co-factor. Basically it acts like a key to turn on and off enzymes in over 300 different reactions throughout the body. Without Magnesium, enzymes cannot be activated. This means that reactions would have to take place under extreme heat which could damage the more fragile tissues in the body. 

Magnesium is a cofactor for a bunch of crucial reactions such as:

  • Glucose and fat breakdown
  • Production of proteins, enzymes and antioxidants such as glutathione
  • Creation of DNA and RNA
  • Regulation of cholesterol production

On top of regulating enzymes and chemical reactions in the body, magnesium also drives production of ATP, protects our genetic information (DNA and RNA), causes muscle fibre contractions and regulates our bodies electrolyte balance. 

 

How Floating Can Help Celiacs

When it comes to supplementing with Magnesium, there are a few ways to go about it. You can take a pill, you can apply a topical spray, or you can get in a float tank. 

The primary component of Epsom salts is Magnesium Chloride. When you have a float session, that magnesium is absorbed through your skin and contributes to the relaxed feeling that you experience during your float session.

While toxicity from Magnesium supplementation is possible, it’s incredibly unlikely that you would absorb such an excess of magnesium through a float tank. You take in exactly what you need and the rest stays in the tank thanks to passive diffusion.

 

My Experience With Floating 

I had tried everything to stop my churning stomach in the days leading up to my float session to no avail. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. After the float session, I felt 100%. No churning, no cramping, no pain. 

When I went to my first float session, I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous and didn’t know how I would handle extended periods of time without any sensory stimulation. 

Who knew it would dramatically improved my quality of life.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you should definitely give floating a try. 

1. Krause’s Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy. 10th Ed. W B Saunders Company, 2000.


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YesYouCan Bread Mixes (A Product Review)

Gluten-Free baking mixes have been around for years and they aren’t that bad. 

Unfortunately, most of them aren’t all that good either. 

When I first got to college, I tried all the brownie, cookie, and pancake mixes that I could find. To my chagrin, most of them just weren’t up to the same standards as the treats my mom used to make me through her Gluten Free bakery. 

But then, just a few weeks ago, everything changed. 

I received an email from a company called Saldoce Fine Foods asking if I would try out one of their baking mixes. After a few emails, the baking mixes had arrived and, though I was excited to try them, I was still skeptical. 

The products literally blew my mind. They were so delicious and easy to make. Plus, they had that unmistakeable “home-cooked” taste that I have never been able to replicate with other GF baking mixes. 

I have never done a product review before (other than GF Beer), mostly because I’m less than impressed with a lot of gluten-free products that are out there on the market today. 

But like I said, now everything’s changed. 

A Brief History of the Baking Company

Saldoce is an Australian, family-owned company founded back in 2000. They’ve introduced over a dozen of baking mixes to the international markets, all of them designed specifically for individuals with diabetes and gluten, dairy, and nut intolerances. 

When they released their YesYouCan Artisan Recipes line (which is the one I got to try), they expanded on that notion of good health. Their products are reduced sugar, reduced sodium, non-GMO, dairy-free, soy and nut free, egg free and full of high-quality fiber. 

With a Health Star Rating 3 times higher than other baking mixes, I can barely believe how good it tastes. 

It’s amazing.

The Products I Tried

Now, the company has only recently expanded to the U.S. and, depending on where you are located globally, they have different products available. 

I got to try their Pancake mix, Multi-Grain Bread mix, and the Raspberry and Coconut Bread Mix

Pancake Mix

I love pancakes. They are God’s gift to mankind and so, I judge them as such.

After going gluten-free, I missed the fluffiness of regular pancakes. A few brands have come close, but they are always just a little too dense. 

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Not Saldoce. Saldoce nailed it.

All you have to do is add water, shake it up in the bottle it came in and it is ready to go. I threw 'em on the griddle and cooked them up. Here are my impressions of the Pancake Mix, recorded live via pen and paper during the pancake process.
 
    •    Damn, these pancakes are really rising. 
    •    Damn, these pancakes look really really good. 
    •    Holy shit, these pancakes are incredible. 

The biggest thing that Saldoce nailed with this pancake recipe was a slightly crispy outside to the pancake, while the inside of the pancake remained fluffy and soft. 

Is it possible that my professional pancake cooking skills had something to do with the high-quality pancakes? Sure. 

But I have to say, this is the best pancake mix I’ve ever had. Gluten-Free or not. 

Multi-Grain Bread Mix

Here’s the thing with bread mixes. Like I said earlier, I’ve had homemade gluten-free bread courtesy of my mom since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. 

It was amazing and a staple in my diet all the years I was growing up. When I got to college, I fell off the bread train because I had begun buying some frozen gluten-free breads and they just weren’t quite right. 

They were good, don’t get me wrong, but they were often dry and I didn’t always feel so great after them. However, I know that there are so many people looking for delicious, gluten-free bread and so I thought that this would be a good one to test out. 

Again, Saldoce nailed it. I had the entire thing mixed and put in the oven within 2 minutes of opening the bag. When it came out of the oven, I couldn’t help but salivate at the smell. 

Slicing through the bread for the first time was an experience all on its own, but actually eating it was the next level. 

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A pleasantly crunchy crust complimented the wonderfully soft and moist inside. Many multigrain bread mixes taste overtly grainy and clumpy, but not this one. 

And, unlike most gluten-free bread, it filled me up for an extended period of time. In fact, I ate it for breakfast for the next 3 days with butter, jam, and a cup of tea. 

Raspberry and Coconut Bread Mix

This the one I was most excited for. Just typing the name now makes my mouth tingle. Raspberry and Coconut pair so well together, I don’t know what I did to deserve them in a delicious Gluten-Free bread mix. 

Just like the multi-grain bread, I had it out of the box and in the oven within just a few minutes. This is super important to me (see next section for reasons). 

Out of the oven, and again I just can’t describe to you how amazing my kitchen smelled. 

When I first tasted the bread, I honestly didn’t think it was gluten-free. It was so fucking good. 

The sweet, almost slight tang, of the raspberry paired with the smooth mouth-feel of the coconut, was a match made in heaven. 

I ate the entire loaf in 9 minutes. 

I wish I had more to tell you about this mix, but honestly, there are no words to describe how it felt to eat such delicious food, confident in the fact that it really was gluten-free. 

So What’s My Final Opinion

All of these recipes had high marks on the 3 things that are most important to me when it comes to baked goods.
 
1. Ease of Use

Time is valuable, it’s a non-renewable resource. For this reason, I can’t justify making awesome baked goods for myself because it takes a fair bit of time. 

These mixes were quick and easy to prepare, allowing me more time to do other things that needed to be done. 

2. Quality of Gluten-Free Certification

Different countries have different requirements for Gluten-Free certification. In the United States, it’s meh. Gluten-Free products can contain up to 20 ppm of gluten according to FDA regulations. It’s alright, but there is a lot of improvement to be made. 

In Australia, it’s awesome. In fact, in order for a product to be labeled gluten-free, it has to test at 0 ppm of gluten. That is absolutely positively ZERO GLUTEN in the foods. Most American GF foods can’t even be imported into Australia because they don’t meet the labeling requirements. 

With all of Saldoce’s mixes being made, and tested, in Australia, I’m supremely confident in their products. 

3. Taste

These mixes are the best tasting, non-homemade, gluten-free food that I’ve ever had.

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The multiple textures in a single bite, a just sweet enough taste, and the feeling of fullness that you get from each of these products cannot be given high enough praise. 

It’s like when someone tries to explain how amazing the pyramids in Egypt are to someone who has never seen them. Until you experience it, you just can’t really appreciate the magnitude. 

If there was one baking mix company I was going to recommend to every single Celiac I’ve ever met, it would be this one. 

The Giveaway

Since this is the best bread I’ve ever had, I wanted you to be able to try it as well. 

In order to make that happen, I’m hosting a giveaway contest! If you want to try out 5 of these mixes for 0$, click on the button below and you can learn more about that. 


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