Transcript: What is Gluten and Why Should You Care?
INTRO: Welcome to Healthy Sexy Nutrition with me, Michelle Fox, culinary nutritionist, health coach, and your host for this podcast. I teach busy professionals how to get more nutrition in their bodies and how to have more fun in their home kitchens. If you struggle with consistency, or sometimes forget to make your needs a priority, or you avoid planning your meals, you, my friend, are in the right place.
Join me each week for inspiration to increase your energy, discover new recipes, manage your hormonal woes, and so much more. You are a busy professional, but that does not mean your nutrition should suffer. You deserve to live in a body and have a life that you love. Let’s dig in.
MICHELLLE: Today's episode is a replay of a masterclass I taught earlier this year. I want to share it with you, because there are some juicy nuggets about gluten. I hope you enjoy it.
I am so excited to be here with you all this morning. I want it to be comfortable. I want you to get the information you came for and hopefully even a bit more.
At the end of this class, you will have learned all four of my masterclass promises. Let's start with masterclass promise one.
Number one, we will break down what gluten actually is. Masterclass promise number two, I will explain why you should avoid it. Masterclass promise number three, I will share sneaky places where gluten can hide and then masterclass promise number four, I will share the best way to get your sexy back as we share information about a really special group coaching program.
Can you picture me as your number one cheerleader? Hopefully.
Good. I got a smile from Laurel. Hopefully that's a yes.
All right. And I wanted to start a little bit first just by like a 30,000 foot view of the program that I will be talking about at the end. Because I imagine you might be similar to me when you come to a webinar or a masterclass. You're like you always have that little voice. Like, “what are they trying to sell me?”
Like, “what are we getting at?” So I just want to put your mind at ease because truly I do want this to be educational and helpful for your own health journey. So I'm gonna chat two minutes about Healthy Sexy May, which is coming up really soon. So that hopefully that will rest your mind. And then we can just focus on learning today.
So Healthy Sexy May. It is a group coaching program we're starting officially, May 3rd. Doors close April 29th, and it's a four week program. And every week we focus on mindset, we focus on nutrition, and we focus on fitness. And I hold your hand the whole way. We've got the daily check-ins, we've got weekly group coaching sessions for an hour. Similar to this setup on zoom, you will have access to your own private portal where you have lifetime access to program videos, resources, recipes, and we also—I show you how to do your personalized health assessment.
So again, we'll talk more details at the end of this presentation, but just wanted to give you the heads up. Hopefully that kind of relaxes that. So, you know, what's coming in at the end, but now we can truly focus on the masterclass at hand.
All right. Sweet. Thank you for showing up live. That definitely gets more energy. Gets me more excited to share what I wanna share.
So you are in the right place if you have struggled with belly bloat, if you have brain fog, if you get night sweats, if you get hot flashes and other hormonal imbalances. You're also in the right place if you wonder if there is a connection between your hormones and your diet. You are in the right place if you've decided that this is the year to decrease your midsection. And you are in the right place if you know it's time to make a change to your nutrition.
So whatever your motivation, I fully support you. I'm showing up today as your culinary nutritionist and your health coach. But I wanted to share really quick that I have other titles that I love equally, which is mom and wife.
I have a puppy dog, Chloe, you might get a cameo by her in a little bit. She's definitely my—she thinks she's my lap dog. We are a blended family. Steve and I just got married two years ago.
Another part of my journey is that I graduated from NYU in applied psychology. A few years later, I went to the Arvigo Institute in Belize and I studied with a shaman where I literally learned how to talk to plants. Which was an amazing experience.
A few years later, I went to the Inner Connection Institute and became certified in meditation. And most recently, about two years ago, I graduated from The Academy of Culinary Nutrition.
So now if you're multitasking, come back to me. What if I told you that there is a strong correlation between the foods that we eat and our hormonal systems. And that making small changes can increase our energy and help to balance our hormones.
It's true. But I'm guessing you already knew that. So let's dig in and talk. What's the deal with gluten? It's gonna be your turn now, like who knows? What is gluten? I am gonna share a poll and I already know how smart my peeps are. So let's see.
Oh, we've got a lot of menopause hell in the room. Okay. You're in the right place. We want to heal this menopause. And I don't see any male body people in the room, but if there are, and if there are people that have male bodied people in their lives, just know that manopause is very similar and it is a real thing and it does happen to men over 40 as well. All right.
So let's see. Is gluten a bean? Is it a protein? Is it a potato? Is it a made up concept to scare people?
All right, let me end the poll. Share the results. See what my crew says. Okay, nicely done. Yes. This crew knows exactly what gluten is.
Yes, glutenin is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt. And why it's been popular over the years, is because it acts as a binder. So often, like in baking products really any cooking where you're using gluten. It binds things together. Sadly, because gluten is not farmed the way it was, you know, 50 years ago, gluten attacks more people than we are aware. And it attacks our immune systems. It attacks our lower GI tracts. It attacks all different parts of our guts, which by the way, our guts are what heals and gives messages to our brains. Our brains, by the way, are what control our hormones. And so it's all related. So if we can get that gluten out, we're gonna have a much better chance of healing the gut, supporting our brain, and eliminating those hormonal issues.
All right. So according to Harvard Medical School, gluten triggers an immune response that damages the lining of the small intestine. This can interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food. It can cause a host of symptoms and lead to other problems like osteoporosis, infertility, early onset menopause, which sounds like a few people in this group might be dealing with, and more.
It also, as I mentioned, it affects our brains. Many people incorrectly assume that gluten specifically attacks the gut that it's a gut disease, but it actually attacks our brains as well. And it's responsible for our hormonal communication. I cannot say that enough. So don't worry. I'm not going to be policing your gluten intake, but today, I truly do want you to understand what you may be consuming.
So also as a warning, gluten free does not necessarily mean healthy. You can easily buy these highly processed foods. I pause. Cause I just had this thought about these gluten free Oreos, which I will admit, I have tried, they're addictive. If you haven't tried them, do not try them, because you might get addicted. And they may taste good but they are so not healthy. They are so not brain supportive or gut supportive. So read your labels. Just because it says gluten free, does not make it healthy. Just as a heads up. A lot of the processed foods, even if they are gluten free, they still can spike our blood sugar. So as you consider this gluten free journey, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, just consider just check your food labels. And check all the food information before you're ingesting that food.
So gluten causes inflammation. This is why I suggest, offer up, recommend that you should avoid it. The celiac disease foundation estimates that gluten actually does affect one in 100 people worldwide. Personally, just because I've seen some of the results in my friends and my family.
And of course myself, I think that number's a lot higher, but that's what they have been able to document. And speaking of my story, just so you know, not everybody knows me yet. Hopefully one day we’ll change that around. But just in case you don't know, I tried to get pregnant about 20 oh almost 25 years now.
And we tried everything and nothing was happening. And so about a year later, my doctor was like, well, let's just try those little blood tests. So I'm like, okay. And this, you know, 20, 25 years ago, nobody had really talked much about gluten. No, there wasn't a lot of research around and maybe if there were it wasn't about in the public field.
So I didn't know what that was, but turns out the blood test came back. I am gluten intolerant. Whether I have celiac disease or not, that's yet to be determined because my doctor said, why go through the invasive process of, you know, getting a biopsy when the solution is the same, whether you have celiac or just gluten intolerant or have hormonal imbalance, the solution is just get the gluten out.
So that is what I have done 25 years later. I can live to tell that life is so much better on this side. I will tell you that in the past, and even now I will say sometimes when we go to a restaurant and i’m not completely careful. The next day I can wake up with foggy brain. I can have debilitating stomach aches. My skin breaks out like right around my forehead. I get this bloating, I get these vicious headaches. And then I have this like onset depression for like two or three days. And usually by the second day, I'm like, oh, Okay. I can think back to two or three days, I'm like, okay, I know exactly what I ate and I know exactly how that happened.
So I just offer that up to you again, as you might consider the gluten-free lifestyle, but, you know, just try it, see what might balance out or how your body feels without the gluten in your diet. Another big thing that I noticed when I took the gluten out is I slept so much better.
All right. So let's talk about some of the sneaky places that gluten exist. I think most of us are aware of some of the obvious places like the bread, the crackers, bake goods, pretzels, ect. But just another warning. Always check the labels. So if you are going to try this gluten free experience. There are everything I just mentioned nowadays, there are so many delicious options, but make sure the package says gluten free. So I said the bread, the crackers, the bake goods, the pretzels. I do indulge in those on occasion, but I use those as, you know, once in a while, like once or twice a week versus every day.
And I don't have any of those What would you say? I hate using the word. Good and bad. So how about the, those annoying, those annoying menopausal symptoms? I have found out, I have figured out how to balance my menopausal symptoms. All right. So I think this is a great time for another poll.
Which item is naturally gluten free. Let's see community knocked it outta the park the first time. Let's see what you guys think on this one. All right. Four people have voted. Five people have voted. Can we get another one? Anybody else wanna vote? Is it beer? Is it corn tortillas? Is it bananas? Is it soy sauce? All right, let me show you the results. Oh yes. This is a community of rock stars.
Absolutely. So bananas. And that was kind of a gimme cuz it's a natural ingredient found in nature. The two that I think throw people off on occasion, even people that have committed to the gluten free lifestyle is corn tortillas. Cuz you hear, oh, it's just corn. Well, sadly, a lot of corn tortilla manufacturers use wheat flour for that binding. So you definitely have to ask, especially when you go to restaurants, just ask the chef. They typically know at this point, whether or not there's flour and the easy alternative is just to put your ingredients in like a, a lettuce wrap. So oftentimes I'll put taco meat in a lettuce wrap if they don't have gluten free corn tortillas. Another one is soy sauce, which still blows my mind 25 years later, because I'm like, why do you need to put wheat and soy sauce? Because tamari, the wheat feed version literally tastes, tastes exactly the same. So tamari is an awesome substitution for those of my friends who love to indulge in the soy sauce.
All right. So here are some other interesting, I'll just say places that gluten hides, so envelope, sealer, you know, just like the regular envelope that you're like licking to get it to stick. There's a gluten contain contaminant in there. So I always recommend using either the, just the sticky that you can buy from the, the office supply store or, you know, wet a little paper towel and seal it that way, but don't, don't lick envelopes, whether you're gluten intolerant or not, it's just gross. Who wants those chemicals in the body?
Sounds like Kendra agrees. No chemicals. Keep 'em out.
All right. There are some chewing gum brands that actually use flour to coat their sticks to make them—actually, I don't even know why they use the flower, but I use pure gum, P U R. I find it at Sprouts, Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, they sell it. So that's a great brand. The other brands I don't trust at this point, salad dressings again, just read the labels. A lot of ground spices, people put flour in as an anti kicking agent. So make sure your spices are pure. Instant coffee. I mean, that's just gross. So just don't drink the instant coffee. That's an easy one. Drink the real stuff if you're gonna drink it. But we talk about the pros and cons of coffee in Healthy Sexy May, just as a heads up. So I'm, I'm not pushing coffee. I'm just saying if you're gonna drink it, maybe just stick away from the instant.
And then a lot of hard liquors also have the gluten. So. Again, when in doubt, read the labels, go to Dr. Google as I like to call it. Because at this point, there are so many resources to find alternatives, to have the deliciousness that you might crave, but also have the health benefits that will support your body, increase your energy and balance your hormones.
If you want more resources, I actually have a blog article that I wrote. I called it “The upside of living gluten-free.” So you can go to michellefox.com. Go to my blog, click the link, and read that article when we get done here. Hopefully that will give you some ideas on perhaps some fun ways to approach a gluten free lifestyle.
All right. So to recap, if you have belly bloat, if you have brain fog, if you've got the night sweats, hot flashes and other hormonal imbalances, It may be gluten because it can be inflammatory. I will tell you, in our group coaching program, we talk about the sugar and the dairy as well.
And we talk about how to manage that so that you can live realistically in the world, but also you can manage all of these yucky for lack of a better word, just yucky symptoms. Cause I want you healthy. You deserve to find the answers so that you're feeling good in your skin. And, you know, I don't think it's too much to ask for us to be able to feel healthy and sexy in our skin as well.
So as you take in all of this information, I just ask that you keep an open mind and also don't just take my word for it. I would love to offer, to invite you to perhaps just choose three days. Like anybody can do anything for three days. Just take three days, avoid all the gluten for those three days. And just notice how you feel. Of course, my intuition tells me you're gonna notice a positive difference, but maybe not, but a lot of us have to see that for ourselves. So I just invite you for three days. And in fact, I'm gonna pause and look into the chat. Is there anybody brave enough that can, that will tell me that they're gonna commit to a minimum of three days zero gluten.
Yay. Denise is in. Kendra's in. Woo woo. Nicely done. All right.
And if you find some fun meals and or if you would wanna show off your gorgeous face and post something on social media, please tag me because I would love to celebrate your journey and you’re good health choices.
So nice. Okay. So one last poll and this one is anonymous. Actually. They've all been anonymous, but you'll see why I mentioned that once I pull it up, the great gluten experiment. Here we go.
And again, I won't call you out unless you want me to. But you can choose. I will experiment with avoiding gluten for at least three days, or, nah, you have not convinced me to put down this cupcake.
Let's see. We've got three people that said yes. Oh yeah. You guys get the happy dance.
Yes. Okay. Love this group.
Let me know. And if you're not a social media person, send me an email. I sincerely would love to cheer you on. And of course, if you have questions, always find me. I'm happy to share more resources.
I'm happy to share support. You deserve to feel good in your body. And I'm happy to do what I can to help you.
So doesn't it feel powerful to know that you have the ability to choose health supportive foods? So now I have a question for you. Would you like my health? Are you ready to make new choices around your nutrition?
Would you like me to help you increase your energy? Would you like me to help you decrease your belly bloat? How about understanding how to balance your hormones, feeling sexier in your skin? I can help you find a community of support. So at this time you have two options. You could try to alleviate your hormonal symptoms on your own, but you'll run the risk of being in this same place this time, next year, with similar issues, or of course my fave you 100% commit to learning new habits and to finally feeling sexy in your own skin.
So now from my people in my back, Come back. Do I have your attention? If you are ready to finally feel amazing in your body, then I would sincerely like to invite you to join us for Healthy Sexy May. It's a 30 day group coaching program through the power of nutrition. So reaching certain goals can take a village. As most of us know here, I think from what I've seen. In the chat looks like most of us are over 40. So most of us are grown. We know when it is time to make a big choice. It's so much easier when we have that support. So by the end of this 30 day program, you will have more energy than you thought was possible.
We actually have a couple people on the call now who can attest. If you wanna ask anybody personally, we'll see. Don't mean to put you all on the spot, but you might be called on at, at the end. You'll have more confidence in your food choices. You will have a new support system. You'll have an understanding of your own hormonal profile.
You'll have newly discovered pleasures. You'll have a solid plan to succeed with your health goals and you'll cultivate an appreciation for your body. So here's just a peak at what you'll get, we already looked at this earlier, but just to get a little bit more in depth. I shared before every week we work on our mindset. We work on our nutrition and I always throw in a fun fitness challenge. And yes, I promise I keep things fun, but I also keep things educational. Cause I truly, truly, truly want you to have the resources that you need to improve your symptoms and to have, and to build the body that you love. With that said, we do have daily check-ins in our very private, personal Facebook group. You also have a private portal where I share recipes and other resources. And then we have a one hour weekly group coaching session that is gonna be Tuesdays at 5:30 PM mountain. But if you can't make that time, no worries, because we record every single session and it will be uploaded to your private portal and also to the Facebook group within 24 hours.
We won't leave anybody hanging. Nobody gets left behind.
All right. I just wanted to share that I am still on this journey as well. So. Yes. I have learned how to balance out my hormones, but I still don't have all the answers for your particular health challenges, but I do have a proven roadmap to empower and to inspire your choices.
There's also this unique magic that occurs with every group that we've assembled so far. I just, I've never been able to find the words to explain it, but you just, you have to experience it to understand.
So just as a reminder, you are in the right place if you have struggled with belly bloat, brain fog, night sweats, hot flashes, and other hormonal imbalances. You're in the right place if you wonder if there is a connection between your hormones and your diet. You're in the right place if you've decided that this is the year to decrease your midsection and you know it's time to make a change with your nutrition.
So right now you might be asking yourself, “is this the right time for me to commit to a program? Can I really reach my goals this time? Is this going to be hard?” Bell's like me. I had a little temper tantrum this morning about some tech issues. I'm like, this is hard. So if any of that is going through your head right now, just know.
You are not alone and especially having a support group that you could have in Healthy Sexy May. We've got you. So I believe you are here for a reason, and I would love to chat about it. Let's chat about anything I talked about with gluten. Let's talk about anything I chatted about with hormones. And of course, let's talk about Healthy Sexy May.
So if you have questions, please put it in the chat for now. I'm gonna answer a few questions that have already come through.
So one of the questions is “How long will it take me to get through your program?” So it is a four week program, but you do have access to me for much longer through social media, through emails. And also we, in our group, I was about to say our team. It feels like a team as we get to know each other, you have each other as a resource as well.
“I am going to be out of town next month. Will I be able to keep up?” Absolutely. And that is one of the beautiful things about technology. Everything will be in your private portal, which you can access through your laptop, through your iPad, through your phone. I run my portal through Kajabi, so you can get the Kajabi app. You have everything right there.
I believe Natasha says she watched and listened to some of my videos as she was cooking dinner, doing dishes. So I do my best to make this information accessible to my community.
All right. “Will I be able to ask you questions if I feel stuck?” Absolutely. So again, you will have daily access to me in our private Facebook group. You'll also have my email. You can DM me. I definitely make myself more accessible during our Healthy Sexy group coaching time.
And then the last question that I had ahead of time was will you be offering this program next? And that answer is yes and no, cuz the way that's answer is a little tricky. So I would, I am offering it for the month of may, so Healthy Sexy May, but I will not—it will not be back until later in the fall. So my goal in offering it this time is that my community will be feeling healthier and sexier as we step into the summer. I know that can be kind of a tricky time. So if we can get our nutrition together for May, hopefully that means just that much more confidence in June, July, and August.
All right. So Natasha, I see your hand. I will grab you in a moment. It looks like. So Kendra with your, it looks like your comment in the chat. Do you want me to read it out loud or you want me just to answer? Yeah. Okay. Great.
So Kendra says “I've been suffering from acid reflux, but lately I've been vomiting.” Oh, I'm so sorry. “And having massive stomach pains, I need to switch my diet again. So I need help with this. And I do have night sweats and Billy bulge.” Yes, Kendra. So. Full disclaimer I am not a doctor. I'm a nutritionist. However in my research and in my experience, I do know that gluten definitely contributes to acid reflux.
I can tell you for most of my twenties, I was on is that purple pill? What's, it's been so long now, but I was on a purple pill for the acid reflux. And I'm telling you, as soon as I got off of gluten and dairy, I mean, you see, I can't even remember the name of the pill cuz I don't have it. I don't remember the last time I've had issues in that way. So I'm gonna be really curious to follow up with you if you're willing to follow up with me after your three day experiment, just to see if you notice any difference. So that's one thing to keep in mind, but yes, it's the gluten. I would also experiment with eliminating the dairy, the sugar.
Well, I will share, I mean, this sounds like we're getting more into personal coaching, which of course I'm definitely open to. And I I'd love to work with you if, if that's what you're interested in. But from a high level, I would just offer the complete elimination diet. Cause it sounds like there might be a lot of things maybe playing off of themselves in what you're eating right now and maybe going off of everything for three days, and then maybe slowly adding things in that might show you or give you some clues as to what might be causing that.
Yeah. So but yeah, I'd love to talk to you after if you want more resources, cuz I do not want you in pain. That, that sounds miserable.
All right. So somebody asked “what is gluten listed as in the ingredients list? Gluten if I read ingredients on packaging.” Ah, that is a great question.
Yes. So that's also where gets a little bit trickier as well. So for instance, MSG is a gluten product, but it doesn't come out and say gluten. I would say if you're going to be buying package products, then just automatically, it has to have a GF with a circle on it, or it has to say gluten free.
Otherwise there's a great chance there is gluten in it. I would also kind of push you back to Dr. Google and just Google. Like where is gluten? What is gluten? What has gluten in it? And that'll give you a whole host of resources with that said also, I talked a lot about paying attention to your intuition, cuz your intuition will tell you like you—I think all of us know when we get quiet with ourselves, like we all knew that a banana is gluten free because it's coming from nature. We all know that, you know, the fruit in Kendra's shakes are probably gluten free. They come from nature. And there, I will say, we'll say there are way more foods that are gluten free then are not.
So I definitely wanna caution you from thinking, “oh, I have to be in this box.” You don't, there's so many gluten free foods that can support our brains and support our help. All right. So Natasha, you put your hand down. Did I answer your question?
NATASHA: Yeah. When you look at packaging, is it another name or does it just say gluten or should I just make sure it says gluten free. Is that the best way to go?
MICHELLE: Yes. If you're doing the package foods, of course, my first recommendation is always to make your food from scratch.
With that said, I know that all of us have very busy lifestyles, so that's not always possible. But yes, if you're buying anything in a can, anything in a package, we want it to say gluten free on that package.
All right. Do we have any questions about the masterclass with the gluten and or the hormones? Do we have any questions about Healthy Sexy May? Do we have anybody who wants to win this kale yeah! T-shirt. All right. Kale yeah! Woo. Okay, here we go. So my very scientific way of doing this, I'm just gonna do a eeny meeny miny moe in these squares.
So eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by her tail. If she hollers, let her go. My mother said you are it? Ah, so Laurel is the winner. Nicely done.
All right. Well, anything else before we close down today?
“Kale Yeah”, Natasha says.
I love it. Well, you guys have been amazing. This has been a beautiful session and I'm so grateful you showed up for yourself. I'm so glad you show up for this masterclass. And if there's any way I can be of more support, honestly, please don't hesitate to let me. You deserve to feel good in your body.
So there you have it. Thanks so much for listening to Healthy Sexy Nutrition.
Have you been driving, doing laundry or walking around the neighborhood? Sweet. I've got show notes on my podcast page at michellefox.com. Click over there when you are ready. On the page, you will find resources to support what you just learned on today's show.
And, you know, you can grab some health supportive, freebies as well. If you enjoyed this episode, please share a review on whichever podcast platform you are listening on. It will help us with our mission to build healthier communities. And your support would mean the world to me. If you have feedback on how we can improve, then of course send an email to [email protected] michellefox.com and let us know.
Big love from your favorite culinary nutritionist and health coach, until next week.
Keep showing up for yourself and know that you and your health matter. You deserve to live in a body and have a life that you love.