Gluten Intolerant? Is Your Diet Killing You
Is What You’re Eating Making You Sick?
Whether you’re gluten intolerant and following a gluten-free diet or you’re a typical American eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), I’m concerned that your diet is causing you ill health. We have discussed the value of a gluten-free diet but today I wish to talk about other aspects of what you eat.
How Does this Happen?
Americans, gluten-free or not, don’t consume enough fruits, vegetables, and water. Is that it? Is that the only thing that is wrong with our diets?
No, far from it I’m afraid, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. But what is interesting about consuming high-quality vegetables and fruits is that the nutrients they contain help the body to detoxify and ‘handle’ to some degree the negative effects that are coming from the rest of your diet.
This is no ‘license’ to cheat, but I want to keep this challenge simple. We have found that our patients who do this are so much better nourished that they have fewer cravings for the ‘junk food’ and high sugar foods.
Here’s the Challenge
What I do want to do is challenge you to do something for just two weeks. Now, this doesn’t mean abandoning any successful dietary changes that you’ve already adopted such as gluten or dairy-free if you have celiac disease or another condition. This is an additional step. Are you ready? Read on!
All I want you to do for 2 weeks is the following:
1. Drink half your weight in ounces of water each day.
e.g. if you weight 200 lbs you would drink 100 ounces of water throughout the day.
Here’s what you need to know about drinking water:
a. drink well-purified water, not distilled
b. don’t drink more than a glass (8 oz) in an hour. Otherwise, the water will be excreted from your system too quickly and won’t perform the detoxification that it should.
c. don’t drink a lot while eating. As a matter, a fact doesn’t drink much of anything while eating. Before and afterward is fine, but drinking during a meal dilutes the enzymes needed for adequate digestion.
2. Consume 7 to 9 servings of vegetables and fruit every day.
Here’s what you need to know about eating fruits and vegetables:
a. men require 9 servings of vegetables and fruits per day – 5 veggies, 4 fruit.
b. women require 7 servings of vegetables and fruits per day – 4 veggies, 3 fruit.
c. all fruits and veggies are not created equal. Organic is vastly, vastly super to commercial. I realize that eating organic isn’t possible for everyone but keep in mind that non-organic (or pesticide-laden) is safer in some produce compared to others. Please see the following list:
Avoid the ‘Dirty Dozen’
The Environmental Working Group has a ‘Clean 15’ and ‘Dirty Dozen’ list. The Clean 15 have more durable skins and seem to be less susceptible to the effects of pesticides. The Dirty Dozen absorb more of these chemicals and therefore are thought to be best avoided unless you can consume them organically.
2. Sweet corn
6. Sweet peas
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
13. Sweet potatoes
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
10. Blueberries (domestic)
12. Kale/collard greens
d. the size of a serving is important to know. A small piece of fruit, 1/2 cup of cut-up fruit or hard veggies, or 1 cup of leafy veggies are all a single serving.
e. if you’re wondering how you can possibly fit all the servings in a day, let me share a little secret with you. The only way to accomplish it is to begin at breakfast. I have a recipe for my breakfast smoothie here. You can easily get 3 to 4 servings packed into that smoothie which gives you a great start on the day.
f. another reason the above smoothie is excellent is that liquefying veggies and fruits makes their wonderful, healthy antioxidants more readily available for the body to absorb – the whole point of this exercise.
g. since it’s summer a nice big salad for lunch or dinner is another great way to easily get these veggies ingested. In the colder months, soups are a great way to get a lot of vegetables into your diet.
h. another important point is to pick your fruits and veggies wisely: meaning eat the ones that are highest in antioxidants and healthy nutrients.
What are the Very Best Vegetables?
ANDI stands for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index. An ANDI score shows the nutrient density of a food on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content. ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating a range of micronutrients including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals (healthy chemicals coming from plants), and antioxidant capacities. The higher the concentration of these elements in a food per calorie, the higher the score. For instance, kale, a dark leafy green, scores 1000, while soda scores a 1.
The top 10 on this list includes:
1. Collard greens – 1000
2. Kale – 1000
3. Watercress – 1000
4. Bok Choy – 824
5. Spinach – 739
6. Broccoli Rabe – 715
7. Chinese/ Napa Cabbage – 704
8. Brussels Sprouts – 672
9. Swiss Chard – 670
10. Arugula – 559
You might notice that there are only vegetables on that list. Good for spotting that! The more vegetables you eat the happier your body will be. In fact, if fruits are too sweet or you have a reaction to them, feel free to skip them, and just concentrate on the veggies.
And the Best Fruit?
But if you want to include fruit, the best are:
- Berries, all types – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries
- Currants (black or red)
- Oranges and tangerines
- Macintosh apples
- Sweet-and-sour cherries
Don’t ‘drink’ your fruits and vegetables unless you’re liquefying them yourself as we spoke about above. In other words, a glass of juice, be it fruit or vegetable, in no way replaces a fruit or vegetable eaten in its entirety.
As an example, imagine drinking a glass of orange juice. Now imagine eating the 3 or 4 oranges that it took to make up that glass. You certainly wouldn’t be able to easily consume that many oranges eating them whole as you would drink the juice? Why?
The reason is that all the fiber has been removed from the juice and usually it’s so purified that most of the nutrients are gone as well.
So drink water and eat your fruits and vegetables in their native state.
Are You Ready to Start the Dr. Vikki Challenge?
Are you ready? What might you expect to feel during these two weeks? More energy, weight loss, clarity of thinking, less pain – there could be a host of positive changes that you experience. If you feel more tired or have a headache initially, don’t give up – it likely means that you’re detoxifying. If you’re already a patient feel free to call your doctor with any questions that you have. Let me know how you do!
Here at Root Cause Medical Clinic, in our clinical nutrition department, we see such incredible changes in our patients’ health that begin with simple steps. Whether you are gluten intolerant or not, the changes I’m suggesting will benefit you. I would really love to hear what you notice from doing this exercise. If you need help improving your health please feel free to contact me.
Do you need help with your health?
We have the tools to discover why you may be having trouble with a weakened immune system. It’s not difficult as long as you’re ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We will hold your hand through the changes and make each step of change an easy one.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.