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Here’s Why You Should Try A Gluten-Free Diet

Here’s Why You Should Try A Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten-free eating is the new health fad nowadays. While there is debate on whether gluten-free diets are necessary for people who aren’t suffering from a disease which is directly correlated to gluten, like celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, people are adopting the diet nonetheless.

There are anti-gluten arguments that opine it can be detrimental to your health if you eat too much gluten. For that reason, gluten-free foods have been springing up all over the place in order to promote a healthier alternative. Anyone, whether they are suffering a gluten-induced disorder, can benefit from a gluten-free diet.

There are others who oppose this logic because they feel ridding your diet of gluten is not a healthy step to take. There are vital nutrients in gluten that can’t be replaced with non-gluten foods. Additionally, the gluten-free foods in stores, especially the snacks, are often filled with more sugar than foods containing gluten. So realistically they might not be a healthier alternative.

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Despite the support for gluten, there seems to be a lot one can gain from undertaking a gluten-free diet. It is also important to remember that many people who have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease don’t always display the symptoms right away.

Before you begin a gluten-free diet, it is important to make sure you test yourself for the various gluten disorders. Do your homework and ensure that your new diet won’t lack the beneficial nutrients found in gluten. Here are five reasons you should consider going on a gluten-free diet.

Celiac Disease

More people are being affected by celiac disease, although currently only 1% of people suffer from the affliction. People who have celiac disease are unable to eat foods that contain the protein composite without serious issues. People with celiac disease who are exposed to gluten will experience an attack from their immune systems against the gluten proteins, but they also experience an additional attack against the intestinal wall. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the intestinal wall is broken down if gluten is consumed. The effects of this disease are most apparent in the stomach region.

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Even though only 1% of the population is affected, there are many people who have gone undiagnosed because they don’t have serious symptoms. Over time, eating gluten can be very damaging to the intestinal wall. So, it is important to get tested for the disease if you suffer any unusual stomach ailments. You can also experiment with a gluten-free diet to see if it has a positive effect.

Gluten Sensitivity

Perhaps you don’t have celiac disease but your body still reacts adversely after eating gluten products. If you have bouts of diarrhea, stomach pain, or bloating after eating gluten, then you may have a sensitivity to gluten. In this case, you should change your eating habits and introduce more gluten-free foods into your diet.

Keratosis Pilaris

This is a skin condition, also known as chicken skin, which is common in many people, especially adolescents. It has been reported that as many as 50% of adults and 80% of adolescents have this condition that is very difficult to treat. It often appears on the arms in the form of small bumps that look similar to acne. The bumps are usually white, not red, and in most cases, they aren’t painful and they don’t itch.

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Many people who have been afflicted with this condition have tried gluten-free diets with a lot of success. It might be worth a shot to try a gluten-free diet if you suffer from this skin condition or another one like it.

Autoimmune Diseases

Besides the ones already listed, there is a growing problem with autoimmune diseases. Whether it is cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, osteoporosis, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or even multiple sclerosis, gluten is linked to these afflictions. Dr. Mark Hyman, a leading doctor in this field, warns about the dangers of the diseases which are directly related to the foods you are eating — which are most likely loaded with gluten. He argues that the effect gluten has on autoimmune diseases is rapid and needs to be ratified immediately. Americans in particular are killing themselves with gluten because there is such a high level of gluten used to produce bread, bagels, donuts, and other gluten products.

Not every autoimmune disease is caused by gluten. If your diet is high in gluten and you are experiencing any kind of unusual ailments, try testing out a gluten-free diet for a couple of weeks. Observe how you feel. Then go back and eat gluten to see if there is an effect. This is the best way to determine if you have an autoimmune disease caused by gluten.

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Neurological Diseases

If autoimmune diseases weren’t enough to be concerned with, Hyman also believes that many neurological diseases, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, and epilepsy, can be linked to gluten. Introducing a gluten-free diet could be a preventive measure against these kinds of diseases, especially if the link between them is strong.

Featured photo credit: Ed Greory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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