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Friday, December 19, 2014

The Truth Behind The Gluten Free Trend

Gluten today is not the gluten from our ancient ancestors. It's common sense that we live in a different world and the environment and sciences have changed. Humans have done a lot of "stuff" to this place. The entire food supply, soil, animal grazing (or lack thereof), insects are dying, weather adjustments and science monsters who created GMOs (Monsanto) have altered the entire planet. 

"People Treat Their Mouths
Like Garbage Cans"
  • The Joke: People have been told to avoid gluten because you can lose weight fast!  Everyone loves to lose weight especially without doing any exercising. That's a lazy attitude, when you should be gathering a food education.
  • Let's Get Serious: Avoiding bread, pasta, pastries, and common foods with gluten is obvious because you are reducing your calorie, sugar and likely other inflammatory based foods such as dairy. However, are you doing enough research about food health and understanding why gluten is a real issue?
  • Reading Labels: People are not reading ingredients and making smart decisions.  Gluten is visible or hidden in most foods in this country. Just look at dangerous, highly processed and cheap high fructose corn syrup (GMO) which has been put in so many USA foods as a quick and simple sugar filler by large brands. Does that ingredient actually sound safe, c'mon.
  • Too Easy Food Replacements: Many gluten-free products seem yummy, have nice packaging and strike you with their claims, but they are not healthy. They're mostly using alternative ingredients and making them taste good with oils and sugars (bad solutions) that don't have nutrient dense ingredients that provide taste. This will inevitably put on the lbs or more issues. 
  • Dining Out Disasters: If restaurant choose to cater to people asking for gluten-free but don't take on the responsibility to ethically provide truly safe gluten-free food then consumers will get sick and/or continue to be uneducated about food safety and health. If a gluten-free brand or restaurant entree isn't safe for someone with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerant, wheat allergies and many other auto immune related and inflammatory health then guess what, that meal isn't gluten-free. The FDA finally took a simple step forward to help the public learn since people haven't been taking gluten-free labeling seriously. However there is not enough policing when most places still get people ill. 
Even A 3-Year-Old Would Tell You,
"Eating Healthy Is Smart, Not Caring Is Stupid"

Gluten-free lifestyles are incredibly sustainable and been proven to be satisfying and prosperous since the beginning of time. Albeit removing some foods from your life is tough, it's doable.  Lifestyle adjustment to avoid gluten (protein founds in wheat, barley, ryes, malts, etc) that are creating fans out of your parents, cousins, neighbors and hippies around around the block. But is gluten-free any different than low calorie, low fat, carb free, etc? Yes. It's actually completely different because it's backed by an auto immune disease, Celiac Disease, that effects every preson regardless of race, gender or religion around the entire world including Swedish, Italian and African nations. The treatment? 100% gluten-free living and that means avoiding contaminated foods from suppliers and manufacturers that have cross-contaminated products by people during the manufacturing supply chain.

What is Celiac Disease: Thanks for asking, it's the reason there is a gluten-free trend right now and not a fad. Most people don't know what Celiac Disease, do you? And if you do, how does that effect your everyday life when you choose to buy gluten-free packaged goods or at a restaurant? Start your education at today.

  • Great Benefits: Avoiding gluten is a positive lifestyle change, despite the haters in the world who live for bread, beer and 7-11 snacking. Remember that avoiding gluten should improve your awareness of other food ingredients that exist in the world, cultures and nutrient dense foods that you never had before. Don't be naive, the food in our world is not good for you and you should re-gain control. 
  • No Risks: There are no risks when avoiding gluten. The body doesn't depend on it ensuring that eliminating wheat, barley, rye, malts (common food such as bread, pastries, dressings, filled for many Rx, sauces and dressings). You can eat smarter,  take supplements and purchase so many new foods that provide nutrient rich and fortifying foods to be sure you're balanced, healthy and smart that are waiting for you in the grocery stores.  Athletes and every day people successfully live gluten-free... just like you and me. 

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

V/NO Alcohol Removed Wine Product Review

Wine For Anytime, Anywhere 

Introducing V/NO 

Alcohol Removed Napa Wine

Just like you, I couldn't believe what I was reading at first. I was intrigued by their unique logo, taking on the word vino, but with a slash through it.  What could alcohol removed wine taste like? Would it be taste-less, good, or great? Is it expensive? And most importantly is it going to be gluten-free? So I contacted V/NO company and decided to put their product to the test through my new favorite EZ Gluten Test Kit from Elisa Technologies.  

I kid you not that V/NO red wine was delicious and I was pleasantly surprised that it would have a nice light flavor. It's not going to taste just like wine, but it's fairly close. As someone who enjoys wine and liquor socially,  I would certainly drink this as an alternate to when I'm driving, or to simply share it with friends at a party or holiday dinner for people who are striving for a social non-alcoholic cocktail. It's Napa wine after all!  The packaging was uniquely created to include a flute for on the go pouring. Simply  unscrew the top and flip the plastic flute right side up and pour. To close it again you screw it back on top. 

How Is V/NO Wine Made?

     Traditional Wine Making: Napa grapes are crushed, fermented & aged in stainless steal.

     Reverse Osmosis:
    • Water and alcohol are removed through a unique filtration process. 
    • These ingredients are distilled to separate the elements. 
    • Water is recombined with color, flavor and tannins to the original wine.
     Bottling: Just prior to bottling, alcohol is cold filtrated leaving less than 0.5% alcohol content. 

Is V/NO Gluten-Free?

Since red wine is my favorite, I started pursuing this instead of the rose and white wine options. After looking into the ingredients, which seemed all naturally gluten-free, I called their company. Their team had not gone through any 3rd party gluten verifications nor did claim it gluten-free at this juncture so I looked into it myself. I found the Gluten-Free Elisa Test <10 ppm home kit that are available for purchase online. I followed the simple instructions to sample product, add to a test tube, and apply the strip to test the product and it was indeed clearly negative for gluten cross contamination!

Is It Healthy?

  • About 1/2 the calories and sugar of traditional wine
  • No added sugars or chemicals
  • Less than 0.5% alcohol per serving (Per the FDA, less than 0.5% is determined as a non-alcoholic product)
  • Powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols

Note: I hope V/NO wine for anytime, will conduct their own 3rd party gluten verification as they grow as it seems like a smart decision.  I did not test their other products yet (rose or white wine) but I am considering it. 

Where To Buy
V/NO is available at select NYC retail locations (health food stores, groceries, fine wine shops and restaurants), but mostly V/NO is available online shipping directly to your home. You can by them today for your pre-holiday parties giving yourself and others an option of being social and having fun without the alcohol. They sell individually or in bulk and I bought the red wine since that's what I tested for gluten and have had no health issues. Contains Sulfites. Serve cold. 

  • $2.99 each (187ml)
  • $29.99 / 12 pack

Gluten Free G Approved 

Celiac Disease: 4 out of 5   (Needs more consistent testing)
Gluten Intolerant: 4 out of 5   
Everybody Else: 5 out of 5 
All Events & Parties: 5 out 5

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Save Money on Gluten-Free Food

Find More Local Stores

Since gluten-free products tend to cost higher than traditional food (cheap mass produced food) you'll need to shop around to protect your wallet. This may be annoying at first, but you should first look for large grocery chains that may just be a few extra miles away, in addition to the many local health food stores that are in existence because they know something you don't! Get to know these people and ask them questions. Talk, learn, share and try new things.

Food Education The Mainstream Won't Teach

Now that you're avoiding gluten (amino acid/protein) that is found in wheat, barely, rye, malts, etc it's time to learn more about improving your health today and long term. A gluten education is the stepping stone to learning about the corrupted food supply domestically, worldwide and about nutrition. First, gluten is typically found in everything (because wheat is a mass produced cheap ingredient used to fill various types of products) or gluten-free food is contaminated in the manufacturing process (cheap and dirty) because chefs, line staff don't separate and clean equipment and now you need to be smarter. 

It's now important to avoid GMOs, genetically modified organisms, as they're found in more than 70% of the traditional grocery store fresh and packaged foods. GMOs are un-proven, un-tested and believed to be dangerous because they're not actual food, in fact, the seeds are labeled by the FDA first as toxins. How? The DNA of GMOs are entirely made in a laboratory to help them resist insects (a natural predator in the world) and yield more harvest, and that's unproven, while killing too many insects, like bees, and people along with damaging the eco-system because pesticides are over used since the GMO crop can resist the pesticides and prosper. And it's a business, Monsanto, a tech company has patented the seed (life) resulting in horrid business politics of big business and small - large farmers. Its' a mess and it's a heavy corrupted lobbying practice in rich America that you can personallly void with a food education... We 100% recommend that you avoid GMOs and avoid gluten to maximize a legitimate and credible natural and healthy life like our ancestors prospered just fine.

Don't Replace Comfort Foods

Your first step is to finding smarter and healthier real food is to avoid your comfort alternatives such as the pretzels, chips and easy microwavable alternatives.  That would be the opposite of what you should be doing. Focus on organic and nonGMO fruits, vegetables, wild fish, hormone and antibiotic-free meat and poultry, because the mass produced packaged food industry typically have less nutrients and is not healthy or sustainable and now you're in control of living longer and healthier, so minimize the easy alternatives and start cooking, slicing, dicing, baking and sauteing, real nonGMO and organic food. You are given a second chance so don't let what you thought you knew was good, safe, or comfortable get in your way of the new tasty and healthy options ahead to re-train yourself, that's what I did.

Donate Your Microwave

Get rid of it, seriously. There is nothing smart or healthy about putting your food or liquids in a box, pressing a few buttons and it comes out 'ready to eat' unless you have to! The would be fine for an astronaut, if the world ended and you had no choice, or if someone put a gun to your head and said to do it. Eat real, living, raw foods first and slice, dice, cook and bake them like real people have done for thousands of years. Using a microwave everyday is lazy and I highly recommend that you stop. If you can't stop, I'm mad at you, then at least commit to using it only 1x per month or less because planning ahead is part of real challenges in life. Easy to heat and cook foods typically lack nutrition, too.

Don't Pay More For Gluten-Free Products

Research food price, just like the smart shoppers! And don't pay for a crappy product marked up with a gluten-free label. Buy legit natural and credible products from brands you can trust and found in health food stores. They go on sale sometimes or just have legit quality ingredients that you can pronounce and have the certifications on the labels to feel good paying for. Healthier products are worth trying and then you can learn more about how to find them at the best price. Don't be enticed by some mainstream brand with a gluten-free label, that's the easy and dangerous solution, go with a brand that has proven to you their all about health alternatives, not just a band-aid gluten-free text on the bottle.

Plan Ahead, Not Just For Tomorrow

In order to be smarter and healthier, you'll need to plan for what you do today, tomorrow and the next day, just like everyone else. However, now you're not like common people, you have a second chance to gain health and make improvements long term in your life. Have ample fresh organic and nonGMO fruits and vegetables, nuts, etc that you can have handy for when you are on the go. Cook enough left overs for more than the same day and plan ahead to cook, and clean as you should be making food fresh, just like everyone else who is committed to being smarter and healthier. 

When Gluten-Free Doesn't = Gluten-Free Safe

In today's society, gluten is one of many ingredients that contaminate the food supply because it's a cheap filler. It's added to almost everything. Therefore, when you see a gluten-free label you can't trust it unless there is a certification label or they provide transparency into their verification process they do themselves regularly to ensure it's safe. The truth is food often has insects, urine, dead rats and traces of stuff in them and brands are not forced to label that unless someone catches them or if there is a high enough traces if they're tested and somebody catches them! I'm saying, mo money mo problems, in the food industry, got it? The food supply my friends, is a bit wild! FDA passed a gluten-free guidelines in August 2014 about testing <20 ppm for all labeled gluten-free products, but there still is no official policing, except the people :)