How to be Gluten-free while on a Tight Budget

Going on a gluten-free diet is an extreme lifestyle change. It is by no means easy. You will not be able to consume the foods that you love. Any food that contains gluten or traces of it is out of the question.

Many gluten sensitive people suffer withdrawal symptoms and many quit the gluten-free diet because of the sacrifices that are required. They’d rather put up with the discomforts of gluten intolerance than give up their comfort foods. This should never be the case because in the long run, the toll on their health and well-being will be heavy.

gluten

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, you realize that most gluten-free products that are sold are much more expensive than the normal products. This is due to the extra processing time required to remove the gluten. Of course, there is also the issue of economies of scale.

The gluten-free food market is much smaller than the market for normal food. So, everything gluten-free is produced at a higher cost which needs to be borne by those who are already suffering from gluten tolerance. Life is not fair indeed. Yet, we must roll with the blows and make the best of a bad situation.

There are several ways you can cut your costs when living a gluten-free lifestyle. This article will offer you a few tips. You can discover more ways as you go along.
First and foremost, a gluten-free diet should only be adopted by those who are gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant. It is not a trend or “healthy” choice. The gluten-free diet is not like the Atkins, paleo or Mediterranean diet. It is not healthier. It’s a solution to a health problem. If your body can handle gluten, you really need not be forking out money for gluten-free foods.

Since there are a wide variety of symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity, it would be best to go to a doctor and get a blood test done to confirm that you’re gluten sensitive. Just because you’re feeling bloated and lethargic for a few days in a row, it doesn’t mean you’re gluten sensitive.

You need to get a positive confirmation before committing to the gluten-free lifestyle. You doctor is the best person to consult.

If you are indeed gluten intolerant and you’re the only one in your family who is, don’t automatically assume that everyone in the family needs to go on a gluten-free diet. Of course, you will need to segregate your food and utensils but that’s about as far as you should go.

Making everyone in your family go on a gluten-free diet will skyrocket the food budget and not to mention, cause unnecessary hassle and irritation to the rest.

There are many foods that are gluten-free. In fact, the best and healthiest foods are gluten-free. Dairy, meat, eggs, poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruits, rice, quinoa, etc. are all foods that have no gluten. If you adopt the Mediterranean diet and keep it gluten-free, you will have tasty food at a decent budget. It doesn’t get better than that.

Another thing you can do is make your own premade gluten-free products. There are many premade gluten-free baking mixes sold in the market. Most are relatively costly. You could buy the ingredients separately and make your own mix at a fraction of the price. It will be cheaper and most probably, healthier.

Buying in bulk will also cut your costs. Contact the supplier and cut out the middleman. Find out if any of your neighbors or friends are on a gluten-free diet. A few people ordering the same items at the same time could definitely get a good price from the suppliers.

These are just some of the ways you can keep your costs low. The fact of the matter is that most gluten-free products are unnecessary if you learnt how to eat and season your food naturally.

Pick up tips on paleo cooking and Mediterranean style cooking. Using natural ingredients to flavor mouth-watering dishes. Once you know what to do, you may be able to spend even less than a normal person would on food. It’s all a matter of being well-informed and making wise decisions.

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Whey Protein Problems

A quick recap on our biology lesson would tell us that the amino acids are the building blocks of protein. This is a long established fact that almost everyone would readily bring to mind. Next to water, protein makes up the large fraction of the human body, critically needed in the growth and development of nails, muscles, hair, among other body parts. Hence, it is quite important to maintain the proper amount of protein in the body.

Up until recently, whey protein was discovered to contain the highest percentage of protein levels and can easily be absorbed in the body. This is especially great news among athletes and body builders who are working tirelessly to build muscle mass.

protein

This created quite a sensation, with almost everyone grabbing his or her own whey protein supplement. However, there are some people who are quite skeptical about the efficacy of whey protein, and have raised serious health concerns with regards to the possible whey protein problems that could arise.

Aside from building muscle mass, they are a host of benefits that can be derived directly from the increased consumption of whey problem. Its instant popularity prompted health enthusiasts to cast doubts, and bring up whey problem problems and health complications that could be attributed to an increase in the protein levels in the body. Some of the whey protein problems that have been brought up are ailments in the kidney and liver.

It is said that by increasing the ingestion of whey protein, it would put unnecessary strain on the organs of elimination such as the kidney and the liver. Claims have been made that an individual will actually unknowingly put extra force on his kidney to do extra work to excrete the excess proteins that the body will not need.

However, most of the cited whey protein problems are largely unfounded and have been dispelled by health experts. Studies conducted over the years have proven that there are no direct relations to any kidney or liver ailments in the increased intake of whey protein. Nevertheless, despite the category dismissal of the whey protein problems that were mostly rumors and misconceptions, experts are still reminding everyone to take within the normal required protein daily dietary recommendations.

Even though many have extolled the virtues and benefits of whey protein, like any other things in life any excess can be detrimental in the long run. That is why whey protein supplements are a much better options to ensure that you are within the daily protein limit.

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How Do I Make My Kitchen Gluten-free?

This is an excellent question. It shows that you are aware of cross-contamination and how gluten ingredients may accidentally end up in your gluten-free food. Food storage and preparation is one of the key components in ensuring that the food you consume has no gluten in it.

Since most food preparation is done in the kitchen, making it gluten-free is essential. If you live alone, you will be able to keep it gluten-free quite easily. If there are other family members in the same household, you will need to explain to them the importance of keeping the kitchen gluten-free.

gluten-free

There will be rules to abide by and any errors that may occur will affect the gluten intolerant person’s health. Since a family’s health is at stake, most family members will walk on eggshells when it comes to complying. Even then, mistakes may happen. So, you will need to be watchful and alert.

The first two things you will need to do are elimination and segregation. You will eliminate any gluten containing products in your kitchen. Give away your flours, baking supplies, etc. Any flours and baking ingredients you use should be gluten-free. If you are living alone, you can eliminate every single gluten containing product in your entire house.

If you have family members, you will need to segregate your food from theirs. You will need separate containers to keep foods such as butter, jams, etc. It would be an excellent idea to use different utensils and store them in a separate place too.

All this might seem like a hassle and it is. Yet, it’s the only way to ensure that gluten doesn’t accidentally get into your diet.

Get a toaster just for gluten-free bread. This is not an area to compromise regardless of your budget constraints. Grills, toasters, etc. that are used to prepare gluten containing foods will always have remnants left behind. Since you can’t wash a toaster thoroughly, there is absolutely no way to toast gluten-free bread and keep it in pristine gluten-free condition if other family members are using the same toaster to toast their normal bread

The crumbs from the normal bread will definitely end up on your gluten-free bread. If you eat it, you might as well be eating normal bread because the cross-contamination will be negating any attempts at living a gluten-free lifestyle.

Get different pots, pans, chopping boards, bread boards, etc. for your food preparation. You may think that you can use the same pots and pans as long as you wash them thoroughly. What many people don’t realize is that over time, there are scratches and little dents in the pots and pans. No matter how well you wash them; there will be some residue in these miniscule cracks. There will be gluten containing residue which will end up in your gluten-free food if you’re using the same pots and pans to whip up your meals. The same applies to cutting boards, bread boards, etc.

Initially, it may all seem troublesome and even a little expensive since you will have to have two sets of utensils, toasters, etc. However, once all is settled and you have your own items, you’ll not have any other issues as far as food preparation or cross-contamination goes. Put in the initial effort and expense. Over time, you will reap dividends many times over.

 

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The Right Start: Running Tips For Beginners

Running is an enjoyable, low-maintenance sport that it is no surprise many are enticed to get into it. Many beginning runners, however, initially find running somewhat injurious and exhausting and so give up. Truth is, it can be, especially if the novice runners have not been properly educated.

To get the most out of running, it is important that every beginning runner knows everything about the sport and is prepared enough for it. Following are some running tips for beginners that will make an otherwise rigorous sport into a pleasurable activity.

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  1. Consult with your physician. Remember that running is an intense physical activity and requires a great deal of your strength. Therefore, it is wise to ask your doctor if your body is up for the challenge. Your physician will consider your age, weight, fitness level, and special conditions (breathing or heart problems) to derive a sound decision. Having accurate information on your body will also help you in choosing a running program.

  2. Set attainable goals. Do you want to lose weight? Or lower your cholesterol level? Or join a marathon perhaps? Whatever your goals are, make sure to see them through. To keep you motivated, it is helpful to have a timeframe. If the goal, however, is not met at the appointed time, it’s okay. Don’t fret, but continue to try working on it. The key here is to avoid stressing yourself over a goal your body is not ready for.

  3. Have a running program. Three things you need to consider in selecting a running program: age, fitness level, and goals. These three will determine the distance you can handle. You have to realize, however, that as a beginning runner, you are not expected to run a mile. In fact, you won’t do much running at first. Especially if you are untrained, running a distance may make you an easy target for injuries. Run/walk program, which includes alternate walking and running for a particular time, is ideal for starters. As you progress week by week, you can increase the time for running and decrease the time for walking.

  4. Make a running log. Detailing all the basic information on your run, a running log will serve as a record of your progress. You can write the type of workout for the day, time, and distance. For instance, Day 1, you did a tempo run for 20 minutes, 3 kilometers. Day 2, you had long run for 45 minutes, 8 kilometers. If you want your log to be more detailed, you can also record your weight and pulse rate.

  5. Check your pace. This is perhaps the most important among the running tips for beginners. This is because many beginning runners injure themselves by breaking into fast running too soon. As a beginning runner, your goal is not speed, but increasing your running time. Maintain your running at a pace that enables you to keep a conversation; anything more than that is not advisable. When you go for slow, easy running, you are actually building your stamina, which will eventually enable you to run faster and longer distances.

 

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5 Ways to Prevent Cross-Contamination with Gluten

A person suffering from celiac disease will react very unfavorably when gluten ends up in their diet. There are millions suffering from various degrees of gluten intolerance. Avoiding gluten and leading a gluten-free life will solve most of their problems.

However, this is easier said than done.

gluten

For starters, there is inconvenience involved. You will need to make sure your food does not contain gluten. You’ll have to read food labels, find gluten-free substitutes, etc. Then there is the problem of giving up many comfort foods that you are used to such as cakes, ice-creams, potato chips, etc. These foods may contain wheat based flavoring or fillers.

It’s definitely going to affect many people when they discover that their favorite foods may be off limits to them because of their gluten intolercance.

There is also the issue of extra hassles involved… and that’s what this article is about. Preventing cross-contamination of foods. Cross-contamination occurs when gluten containing foods end up mixed with gluten-free foods. This can occur and it does occur.

  1. Thouroughly wash and clean utensils, bread boards, chopping boards, etc. Anytime one particular object is used for both kinds of foods, the probability of cross-contamination goes up.

For example, a knife that was used to cut some whole wheat bread may still have miniscule crumbs stuck to it. If a gluten intolerant person used that same knife to cut an apple, it would be inevitable to get some crumbs on the apple which they will end up eating.

So, all utensils must be washed before use.

  1. Separate containers should be used by gluten intolerant people. These containers should be sealed and only contain foods that are gluten-free. You can’t share butter, jam, etc. because of the very high probability of someone else contaminating them.

  2. Label all foods in your refrigerator. Especially, once they have been removed from their original packaging. It’s very easy to lose track of who is eating what and how the food has been handled. If you live alone, you do not have such problems. However, if you have family members and they are not gluten intolerant, their actions may affect you.

  3. Toasters, ovens, grills, etc. should be cleaned thouroughly before using. If a grill has been used to grill some sausages, the wheat based filler in the sausages may still be lingering on the grill. Of course, marinades, flavoring, etc. will also be there and most of them will have wheat based ingredients. Wash them all well before use.

  4. Use separate oil for frying. This is one of those things that people forget. They resuse oil and think that it’s harmless. If someone in the family fries a burger patty in oil, there will be breadcrumbs, fillers, etc. that will end up in the oil. There is a very high chance that these contain gluten.

If you then proceed to fry your gluten-free burger patty and think that all is ok, you’re sorely mistaken. The oil already contains gluten products and it will contaminate your food. Use separate oil for your cooking.

These are just 5 ways that cross-contamination may occur. There are many more ways. So, you will always need to be alert to the possibility of it occurring. In this way, you will be better prepared and reduce any chances of getting gluten in your diet without realizing it.

 

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Seven Psychological Benefits Of Running

Running has been recommended by many doctors and therapists to people who are in the quest to improving their mental health. This is because running, like other exercises, unquestionably takes care of the mental health as efficiently as it does to one’s physical well-being.

There are many psychological benefits of running, but here are the seven most cited:

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1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Runners are known to be less stressed and are more able to deal with their daily stressors effectively. This is attributed to the fact that running refreshes their thoughts, keeps their minds off worries, and gives them ample and non-distracted time to think, reflect, and concentrate. In addition, according to some reports, running is more efficient in addressing anxieties better than medications.

2. Enhances mood

When running, the body produces a substance called endorphin (endogenous morphine) that creates a different sense of euphoria. This state of euphoria is called runner’s high basically because after running, individuals are in a good mood, are happier, and indescribably feel better. Runner’s high is also believed to be responsible for the runners’ seeming “addiction” to running: Because they are always intensely post-euphoric, runners keep running every chance they get.

3. Improves confidence

The sense of achievement after finishing a run or completing a target distance boosts the runners’ confidence. This is especially true of people who are naturally competitive they regularly sign up for marathons and other running events. Improved confidence also comes to people who have noticeably lost weight and achieved more toned and firmer muscles through running.

4. Fights addiction

Running is conceived to be a natural tranquilizer, which is why therapists recommend it to those who are battling with their addiction. Many successful stories have been documented, saying that recovering patients use the time they would otherwise spend to satisfy their addiction in running. Through running, patients also become mentally stronger to resist the urge of alcohol, drugs, or anything they feel addicted to.

5. Develops mental alertness and focus

Because running keeps the mind on the “now,” the mind is trained to focus and concentrate. Running also relieves mental fatigue, sharpens memory, and improves overall mental stamina. Runners, in effect, are found to have better problem-solving skills and are more mentally alert than before.

6. Relieves depression

Running is found successful in treating clinical depression. The act of running, according to therapists, serves as a psychotherapy, which gives the patients their own space to heal and connect with their selves better. They also say it is a good distraction from all depressing things. Other than depression, physicians also find running an effective therapy for people with other types of psychological disorders.

7. Enhances coordination

The coordination of mind and body is improved with regular running. Whether running on a flat, paved surface or on an uneven trail, the mind is trained to harmoniously work with the body to prevent stumbling and tripping over. Like the other psychological benefits of running, better mind-body coordination is important in daily activities.

 

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Whey Protein Facts

Aside from casein, what is another primary ingredient found in a product extracted from a cow? It is none other than whey protein which can also be obtained from plenty of processed items fresh from the farm. For example a cheese, from the time of manufacture, the liquid portion is divided from the curd. Afterwhich, purification follows in order to come up with a wide variety of concentrations beneficial for other food merchandise.

In the composition of milk, whey protein facts would say that there is only twenty percent present while the rest of the eighty percent belongs to casein. However, the figure is not all true with the rest that are available in the market. There are variations based on the factors such as source, method, type and distributor.

whey protein

Source would speak about where exactly did the processed items fresh from the farm originated.
Method would talk about what was the particular technique applied in production.
Type would speak about what is the certain classification of the food merchandise.
Distributor would talk about who is responsible of the specifications being set.

Upon studying whey protein facts, you will be able to learn about isolate and concentrate. Whey protein isolate is more expensive that has a percentage of 90 to 95 of building blocks. Whey protein concentrate is less costly that has a percentage of 25 to 89 of natural nutrients. There is actually not much difference between isolate and concentrate however, like other things, there will always be a demarcation line that will set each other apart.

Whey protein facts also suggest that the manner of hydrolysis smashes down the building blocks into little pieces known as peptides. This kind of building block does not give any hassle in digestion and will even help in reducing the reaction to allergies. The quality of this natural nutrient has been constantly high which is among the reasons why there is a mixture in the formulations specially created for athletes and infants.

Whey protein facts also indicate that there should be sufficient amount of intake in a daily basis. People that are required to have more medical attention have to initially consult their physicians for a personalized program. Remember that when you consume rich amounts of this building block, it is a must for you to drink a minimum of six to eight glasses of water each day so you would not be dehydrated.

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What are the Causes and Symptoms of Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease has a few other names such as gluten sensitive entropathy and celiac prue. All these are scary names but the disease is not life threatening. It is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestines lining.

While this may not seem like a big thing, it does cause many other health problems that are far worse than Celiac disease.

celiac disease

Gluten is just a protein found in wheat and is actually what causes bread dough to rise. Gluten can be found in most commercial foods these days due to the extensive use of wheat based oils and additives.

A person who is extremely sensitive or intolerant of gluten is said to have Celiac disease. There is no known cause or cure. Some people are just more sensitive to gluten.

When these people consume gluten, the villi (hair-like structures in the intestinal lining) get damaged and as a result, the small intestines are unable to absorb nutrients from the food consumed. That is why celiac disease suffers can appear malnourished despite eating a lot.

The symptoms vary from person to person. This is what makes gluten intolerance so difficult to diagnose. Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, excessive flatulence, irritability, migraines, rashes, iron deficiency, unexplainable weight loss, inflammation, seizures, PMS and PCOS, etc. are just some of the health problems that affect people suffering from celiac disease.

People with this disease are also more prone to osteoporosis due to the lack of calcium absorption. Women are also more prone to infertility and if they do get pregnant, the chances of a miscarriage are higher than that of a normal woman who is not suffering from celiac disease.

All in all, it is not a pretty picture. The best way to combat the ill-effects of celiac disease will be to avoid gluten completely. You will need to examine your diet and food preparation with fastidious care. This will be very challenging and to a certain extent, time-consuming. Yet, there is really no choice.

A doctor will be the best person to diagnose celiac disease. He or she will conduct a physical exam on you, check your health history and probably do a blood test to measure the level of antibodies in your system.

In some cases, you doctor may do a biopsy on you where an endoscope is inserted into your mouth all the way down to your small intestine to check if there is any damage to the villi. The procedure is done while you’re sedated. Don’t panic yet.

Now that you know that there is no cause and the symptoms vary with the individual, you probably know that you have no control over the cause or symptoms.
So, what do you have control over?

Your diet. That’s what.

You know what is the best part? If you control your diet, you have control over the entire problem. You’re sensitive to gluten? Then make it your goal to avoid gluten like the plague. It is anathema to you.

Educate yourself on gluten and all that you will need to know about it. Make the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle. Once you make the changes, stick with them. You will need to avoid gluten for the rest of your life. So, you will have to get used to it.

Once you can do this, any problems associated with celiac disease will slowly diminish. In some cases, the damage may take years to rectify. In some cases, they may never be rectified. Whatever the case, if you have celiac disease, you need to go gluten-free and you need to have started yesterday.

All is not lost. Start today.

 

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The Many Benefits Of Running

For most people, running is exhausting, boring, and sometimes painful. However, you see today so many people running as if their lives depended on it. (That is actually true to a point.)

There are many reasons why people engage themselves in running these days. Foremost of which is to stay in shape or to reach their ideal body weight. Studies show that the potent combination of correct diet and the right exercise is the most effective method in losing weight.

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Weight loss

For all its boring features, running is very effective in allowing a person to burn an average of 100 calories for every run mile. Biking and walking, on the other hand, only burn a fraction of these calories in the same amount of time.

While we burn around 2000 to 5000 calories every day doing nothing, running 5 miles a day burns an additional 500 calories.

The speed in running has little or no effect on the number of calories burned. Rather, it is weight that counts. A 220-pound person running an 8-minute mile burns 150 calories. A person weighing 120 pounds running the same pace burns a measly 82 calories.

Understand that a person needs an excess of 3500 calories in order to gain a pound. This means you need to burn that much number of calories in order to lose a single pound.

Overall health

Another motivation that drives runners is the health benefits they get. Running helps lower blood pressure by maintaining the elasticity of the arteries. During a run, the arteries get exercised as well, what with all the blood moving about.

Running also maximizes the lung’s potential, keeping it strong and powerful. Deep breaths force the lungs to use more tissues, but half of both are unused. Running makes the lungs use almost all of its tissues.

Running also strengthens the heart and helps prevent heart attacks. During a run, the heart muscles are exercised, thus keeping it fit and strong by itself.

The heart of an inactive person beats 36,000 more times every day compared to that of a runner. The reason is simple – the runner’s arteries are wider and blood flows smoother.

Endorphin

Most runners keep this secret to themselves: running gives an intense exhilaration and euphoria right after a run. And they are addicted to the feeling and it motivates them the most.

Science had already found out the nature of this natural high: beta endorphins. These are released by the body’s neurons intended to relieve the pain after a run. It creates a feeling of extreme happiness and exhilaration and can be so intense it often can replace other addictions to drugs, alcohol, including appetite for food.

Natural tranquilizer

There is a trend for doctors now to recommend to their patients suffering from clinical depression and other psychological disorders to try running. This is based on studies that show running as a natural tranquilizer. Patients are reported to be less tense, less confused, less depressed, and less fatigued.

Whatever your reasons for running are, it is a safe bet that it is one of the best natural disease-fighters man had discovered. What’s more, it’s free and it’s delirious as well.

 

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What Can I Eat and What Can’t I Eat If I’m Gluten Sensitive?

The above question can be answered in just line. You can eat foods that don’t contain any traces of gluten. That’s it. All you need to do is eat non-gluten foods. Isn’t that easy? Of course it is. Conceptually easy. In reality, it’s extremely difficult to execute in practice.

We live in a world where most commercially produced food contains gluten or gluten based additives and ingredients. A bottle of tomato sauce may have gluten based starches in it. A sausage may have gluten based fillers in it. Gluten is everywhere. How do you avoid it?

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Very carefully. That’s how. You will need to check and re-check your food. You’ll need to see if there was any cross-contamination from manufacture down to retail. To make matters worse, major food companies lie on their food labels too. This is well within the laws since the FDA rules are a little lax.

Your best bet will be to cook your own food and use healthy wholesome ingredients. The healthiest and natural foods such as meat, eggs, poultry, vegetables, and fruit and many grains and legumes do not contain gluten. You do have a wide variety of choices.

The problem occurs when people wish to eat foods such as cakes, breads, etc. Foods that usually contain gluten. These are the normal comfort foods that they are accustomed too. In order to eat such foods, you will need to find gluten-free substitutes.

All this is troublesome to say the least, but that’s how the cookie crumbles. There is no other way to say it… and the cookie needs to be gluten-free too.
Below is a general list of foods you should and should not eat. Use it as a general guideline.

Foods with Gluten

• Breads, cookies, pizzas, pies, pastas, croutons, cereals, crackers
• Sauces such as soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, teriyaki sauce, marinades, BBQ sauce, salad dressings
• Curry powder, mustard powder, food flavoring
• Brewer’s yeast
• Canned vegetables may contain traces of gluten additives
• Yoghurts, puddings, processed cheese
• Most processed meats such as meatballs, sausages, meat jerky
• Beer that is produced with wheat or barley

Foods without Gluten

• Seafood, poultry, meat
• Eggs
• Vegetables and fruit
• Dairy products and unsweetened yoghurt
• Rice, oats, legumes, gluten-free grains
• Wine
• Corn
• Natural spices

These are just some of the foods. The list is by no means exhaustive and only serves as a general guideline. You will need to do more research so that you are better informed and can make wise food choices. If you’re gluten intolerant, do switch to a gluten-free lifestyle.

Many people know what they need to do but they don’t do it because it takes too much effort. If you’re gluten sensitive, unfortunately you don’t have much choice in the matter. You really do need to switch to a gluten-free lifestyle.

It will keep you healthy and prevent many ailments and health issues from taking root. It will require sacrifice on your part. Just remember that nothing worthwhile was ever achieved easily. You can do it if you take it one day at a time.

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