5 Reasons Why You Should NOT Eat Gluten-free

reasons you should not eat gluten free

While eating a gluten-free diet can be life changing for people who have certain conditions, it can be less meaningful for others. Gluten-free is an ever expanding movement in the natural health community. There are some good reasons for this and some bad reasons. Eating gluten-free can save a person’s life, seriously. A person with Celiac Disease must follow this diet to save their own life and prevent serious diseases down the road. This is the reason why the gluten-free movement has evolved into what it is today. There seems to be some serious confusion on why people choose this diet. For a Celiac sufferer, it is not a choice.

Personally, I am not diagnosed with Celiac disease. Natural health and nutrition is my life (obviously!) so I am pretty in tune with my body. I’ve experimented with hundreds of different diets and put a lot of thought and energy into understanding how I feel when I eat a certain way. Out of all this experience I found that I react to gluten. Can this be reversed? Maybe, maybe not. What I do know is that I am considered non-celiac gluten sensitive. Research is still being done on this condition, some studies have even shown that this is not a real thing but being a person of this group I beg to differ. I’ll tell you a story…

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Is “Gluten-free” Always Healthy?

two slices white breadWith Celiac Disease on the rise, and a growing intolerance to gluten, there are more and more people who are avoiding wheat. This expanding movement has created a whole new industry for gluten-free foods. Anyone who has gone to a grocery store in the last couple of years has seen the influx of new gluten-free products on a monthly basis. People with Celiac Disease often seek out gluten-free alternatives that are wheat-like in taste and texture and food companies have picked up on it.

So here’s why this isn’t always a good thing…

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Could Avoiding THIS Get Rid of Diabetes Symptoms Once and for All?


Did you know that, according to the American Diabetes Association,  an estimated 10% of people with type 1 diabetes also have Celiac disease? Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and a few other common grains. The fact that there is a good number of people with both of these conditions shows that there is a strong link between Type 1 diabetes and gluten intolerance. This number does not even include people with gluten intolerance or people who have not been diagnosed with Celiac Disease yet which means that an even larger percentage of type 1 diabetics are likely experiencing symptoms of gluten sensitivity.

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Mason Jar Oatmeal Cookie Mix – Gluten-free & Vegan

oatmeal cookie mix

Hand made gifts are always extra special. This cookie mix is easy enough for a small child to help make and they can even decorate the jar or the card to go with it. A lot of people on our gift list have different diet restrictions so it is sometimes challenging to find a recipe that fits our needs. Since this cookie mix is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, sugar-free, and soy-free it was a winner for anyone on our list.

This cookie recipe is not only delicious but super healthy since it contains ground flax seeds and coconut oil for lots of healthy fats. It also has no sugar since the sweetener it calls for is maple syrup. It’s a great gift for children, parents, and anyone who is health conscious but still likes a healthy treat. I also like to give this gift to anyone who may have recently found out they need to avoid one of these allergens and is just learning about allergy-free cooking. This is a great way to show your friends and family that healthy eating can also be delicious.

Here’s how to make it.

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Healthy Real Food School Lunch Ideas

This year is my first experience packing lunches for school. My daughter is 3 1/2 and has just started pre-school. I have to admit it’s a little overwhelming at first. The school lunches I had as a kid mostly consisted of sandwiches. Since we eat a low-grain and gluten-free diet, a sandwich everyday doesn’t really work. As a real food school lunch newbie, I started searching the web for ideas…

The Lunch Box

First I was on the hunt for a lunch box that would suit our needs. The lunchbox needs to be…

  • Eco-friendly, meaning it replaces the need for plastic bags or plastic wrap. 
  • Non-plastic, preferable stainless steel. I don’t feel comfortable sending my 3 year old with glass.
  • Easy to open, something a young child can open and close on their own.
  • No mess (or low mess), if I were to pack something like applesauce I don’t want it to get all over everything else. 
  • Easy for Mom to pack quickly, the less parts the better, easy to clean
After searching through my options and reading some reviews from other Moms, I settled on the Planet Box. At first glance it seems a bit pricey for a lunch box which was my initial reaction but after more research it didn’t seem so bad. I had to purchase a zipper lunch box case either way which would be around $20-25 and then I would need containers. All my containers at home are glass and I don’t want to send that with my 3 year old. The individual containers cost anywhere from $8-$20 and I would need a few of them to pack different items. After adding up the individual things I had to buy it was almost the same amount of money as just buying the Planet Box. The Planet Box also supposedly lasts very long so it can be used multiple years. It is a no fuss lunch box because it is only one thing to open, everything is separated in its own compartment, and it is super easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher. Some of the other options I considered:

What to Pack

Packing a non-sandwich lunch is almost like packing multiple different healthy snacks consisting of different proteins, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. This is helpful to keep in mind because the things you are packing can’t be heated up at lunch time so snack type items work well. Some simple ideas include hard boiled egg, cut up carrots & cucumber, sliced apples, nuts, etc. To make things more interesting, there are a number of recipes that can be made ahead of time on the weekend and used in lunches all week.


Here are some recipes that I have used so far for lunches that were successful (meaning they were eaten)…

Recipes on my list to try for lunches…

More helpful posts on Healthy School Lunches

Join Our Spring Real Food Challenge!

The 7 Day Real Food Challenge is back! Many of you participated in our first challenge in January 2013 which was super successful. We had an amazing group who made some huge changes in their diet and lifestyle. Some I would like to share with you…

Some of our participants such a great experiences that they want to share it with others. One member actually landed a new blogging gig just telling others about what she learned! Others who were already in the blogging scene also shared on their blogs like this one Mama Making Changes. The community we built during the week in January was so inspiring and really helped everyone stay motivated. If you were thinking about joining us last time but missed out I encourage you to join us this time! Spring is a great time to make diet changes and detox from processed foods.

One of the biggest challenges I have heard from you as my readers is the transition from eating packaged foods to only eating real food. In the end of last year, I sent out a survey to my subscribers and the responses I got all showed very similar concerns. One of the most common challenges that was expressed was the ability to provide a healthy real food diet for your family that doesn’t take up too much time or too much money. In my experience, the key to making this work is planning and practice. This 7 day Real Food Challenge is designed to jump start the process in making a lifestyle change because we’ve done the planning for you.

Do you think you can eat only real food for 7 days straight?

To some of you this might sound nearly impossible and some of you may be thinking – I already do.  This challenge is designed to help those of you who really want to live the real food lifestyle but might need a little guidance to get started. This challenge is also for all of you who have already figured it out, but you have fallen off the bandwagon. Sometimes life gets hectic and our diets seem to suffer. It’s never too late to get back into the healthy food routine!

So, What is the 7 Day Real Food Challenge?

There is a big group of us following this challenge. Everyone who joins this challenge is making a pact to eat only real food for 7 days – specifically on April 21st – 27th. Already there are 28 bloggers who have committed to this challenge and are here as a support team for everyone who joins us. Here is your support team:

Todd Dosenberry from Primal Toad
Amanda from Natural Living Mama
Erin Odom from The Humbled Homemaker
Janey McKeever from Consistantly Sporadic
Jaime Reid from Jaime Reids Kitchen
Anne Simpson from Authentic Simplicity
Laura Broach from Mama Making Changes
Mike Lamitola from MikeLamitola.com
Alix from Blessed in Homemaking
Stacy Karen from A Delightful Home
Nina Nelson from Shalom Mama
Melissa Joulwan from Well Fed
Kimball Young from Heavy on Wholesome
Laura Prevost from Head over heels in Health
Victoria Moore from Yogi Mami
Carol Lovett from Ditch the Wheat
Katie Stanley from Nourishing Simplicity
Jami Leigh from Young Wifes Guide
Andrea from Homemade for Elle
Sarah Warren from Unorthadox Momma
Amanda Anderson from Chef Amanda Anderson.com
Sara Roylance from Sara Roylance.com
Sara Shay from Your Thriving family
Jennifer from Hybrid Rasta Mama
Marillyn Beard from Just Making Noise
Nichi from My Healthy Beginning
Michelle Elnycky from The Crooked House Blog

So for those of you who think this might be way too hard to do – you have all these experts here to back you up and help you meet the challenge. It’s not only these bloggers that will be doing the challenge but many of our readers will be following along. We will have a special Facebook group for discussions about the challenge and a place to reach out to everyone for help and support. There are two ways you can participate in the challenge:

Option # 1 (Free)

Join us and make the commitment to eat only real food for 7 days starting on April 21 – April 27, 2013.  You will receive:

  • An e-guidebook on “What is Real Food?”
  • A chance to win one of our fabulous real food prizes

To enter this challenge for free click here

Option # 2 ($29)

If you want to get really serious about this challenge and take full advantage of the support you can get from this group – this is for you. Making a big lifestyle change can be difficult on your own but with a huge group of people doing it along with you it is a lot easier – and a lot more fun!  As a member of this challenge you will receive:

  • An e-guidebook on “What is Real Food?”
  • A full real food Paleo meal plan for 7 days – three meals a day and snacks
  • Recipes for all of the items in the meal plan (37 Delicious recipes!!)
  • A shopping list to help you prepare for the challenge
  • Tips on how to prepare your kitchen for this event
  • Membership to our private Facebook group which is a place to reach out for help and ask questions
  • A chance to win one of our fabulous real food prizes – worth over $600+

PLUS these fabulous Bonuses (worth over $237+) for everyone who buys this package…

The meal plan for this challenge is a Paleo menu! This means that all the recipes are grain-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free. If you have ever thought about trying the Paleo / Primal diet and thought it was too hard this is the perfect chance to try it out. All of these done for you planning items and the built in support are designed to make this challenge much less of a challenge to complete. What do you think – are you ready to take the 7 Day Real Food Challenge?

Click here to join us and get the plan, recipes, and support now!

The plan and recipes require basic kitchen tools. A good set of knives is the best thing you can splurge on in my opinion – even better you may win some in the giveaways that go along with this challenge!

Speaking of giveaways…Don’t forget about all of the fabulous prizes from our amazing sponsors!! We are giving away $600 worth of products! The Giveaways (over $600+ value)…

Ergo Chef Knife Company, makers of ergonomically-designed professional chef knives, is giving one participant of our challenge their Pro-Series 7” Santoku knife, Come Apart Kitchen Shears and a 9” & 12” Duo Tongs (Retail value $132) Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube


Taza Chocolate company, makers of traditional stone ground Mexican Chocolate, is giving one of our participants a package of their salted almond discs, their chipotle chili discs, a jar of chocolate covered hazelnuts and their 87% chocolate bar. Taza chocolate has a direct trade cacao program that cultivates face-to-face relationships with farmers. (Retail value $ 30.47) Follow them on Facebook and Twitter

Alive & Radiant, superfoods for delicious living, is giving one participant 5 bags of their delicious Kale and Veggie Chips, great for healthy snacking and a few $1.00 coupons (Retail value $ 10) Follow them on Facebook



Yogi Tea, products inspired by Ayurveda  is giving one participant of our challenge 4 boxes of a variety of our top selling teas and a Yogi tea mug. (Retail value $40)Yogi tea is committed to providing healthy, natural teas that are accessible to as many people as possible. Follow them on Facebook.



Applegate, Organic & Natural Meats, is giving away a gift pack of products. (Retail value $ 25) Applegate meats are free of anti-biotics, growth hormones, nitrates, artificial ingredients and fillers which makes them far surpass the quality of conventional sliced sandwich meats. When buying Applegate products you can be confident you are eating a high quality product. Follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter


Trilight Health, makers of fast-acting, great tasting liquid herbal supplements, is giving one participant a $50 gift certificate to order products on their website! For over 20 years now, TriLight Health have supplied their customers nationwide with their high quality line of liquid herbal products. They specialize in great tasting, alcohol and sugar free, liquid herbal formulas for pregnancy, children, and the family. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter


Eco Lunch Gear, eco friendly reusable lunch gear, is giving one participant a a reusable sandwich wrap (Retail value $10.50). Eco Lunch Gear was started by a Mom who saw a need for an alternative to plastic and aluminum foil, her products can be washed and reused over and over to save money and our environment. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.


Erin Odom from The Humbled Homemaker and creator of Real Food, Real Easy the eBook is giving one participant a copy of her eBook to help you continue with your Real Food journey (Retail value $$9.95) Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest


 Health Coach, Mike Lamitola, is giving one participant free entry to his Tele-seminar on Cravings. Do you have a sugar habit you’ve been trying to beat? In this tele-seminar, Mike will explain how. (Retail value $25.00) Follow Mike on Facebook and Twitter



Alix from Blessed In Homemaking offers organic and all natural body care products, gentle baby care products, herbal products, crocheted items, and more, for your healthy lifestyle in her Etsy Shop. She is giving two participants a one ounce bag of loose chamomile tea (Retail value $8.00) Follow her on Facebook


Stacy Karen from A Delightful Home is giving one participant of this challenge a copy of her eBook, Simple Scrubs to Make and Give. Start making your own scrubs at home for yourself and others (Retail value $3.99) Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest


Nina Nelson of Shalom Mama, is giving one participant of the challenge a healing balm and lavender mint lip balm from her etsy shop (Retail value $19.50) Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest


Melissa Joulwan from The Clothes Make the Girl, is giving one participant a copy of her Paleo eBook called Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Like to Eat (Retail value $14.95). This is a great resource for anyone interested in Paleo diet, whether you are just getting started or you are just looking for some new recipes to try. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter

Health Coach, Laura Prevost is giving 10 lucky participants one of her Dynamite Coaching sessions. If you are looking for some support around breaking a bad habit, or getting yourself motivated, Laura will work through it with you in this session (Retail value $20.00/session) Follow Laura on Facebook or Twitter

Jami from Young Wife’s Guide, is giving one participant a copy of her eBook, Apartment Gardening, which is a great resource for getting started growing food in small spaces (Retail value $2.99) Follow Jami on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest


Jennifer from Hybrid Rasta Mama has also offered to give away two copies of her eBook, Cooking with Coconut Oil (Retail value $19.95). The 68 recipes in this eBook are all simple to make and the ingredients in the recipes are all readily available. This eBook is a great way to start getting more coconut oil in your diet to get all the amazing health benefits. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

You will have the chance to win all of these prizes by joining is the challenge with either Option # 1 or Option # 2 detailed above!

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May 2013 UPDATE: The original dates of this program are over but you can still join us! We have a strong community built and we are helping each other to eat REAL FOOD.  You will still receive the meal plan, recipes and the support community. The giveaways and bonuses are now expired so the cost has dropped to $19 (from $29)

Do you have questions about this event? Please feel free to comment on this post with any questions or concerns.