5 things you need to know about gluten


Unless you’ve been on a media-free diet, you probably saw Jimmy Kimmel Live’s hilarious ‘What is Gluten?’ video, in which none of the gluten avoiders interviewed could explain exactly what gluten is. The truth is, most of my gluten-freeclients don’t really know what it is either (check out my previous post Your 5 Worst Gluten-Free Mistakes), but they doknow that they feel better when they avoid it.

But there’s a problem: I noticed that some of the things people said in Kimmel’s video, like where they think gluten is found, were just plain incorrect. The video has more than 2 million views, so I thought it would be helpful to provide a primer. Here are five things you should know before starting a gluten-free diet, in order to reap the benefits and avoid the pitfalls.

Gluten is a protein

Yup, gluten is a type of protein naturally found in wheat (including spelt, kamut, farro, and bulgur) and other grains, like barley and rye. But gluten also lurks in many products, like salad dressings, seasoning mixes, vitamins, and even lip balm, so eliminating it completely is a big commitment. I’ve met many people who say they are gluten-free, but in reality they’ve just eliminated wheat-based foods like bread, pasta, and bagels, because they think wheat is the only source. If you truly need to banish gluten altogether, you need to become a gluten sleuth.

Gluten isn’t in every type of grain

I’ve heard many people say that gluten is found in grains period, but that’s not the case. There are several grains that are naturally gluten-free, including rice, corn and popcorn, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, teff, and oats (as long as they haven’t been contaminated with wheat during processing). In other words, gluten-free and grain-free aren’t synonymous, and I don’t recommend the latter. Gluten-free whole grains are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and as long as you don’t overdo it portion-wise, including them in your diet can help you lose weight, and protect your health. Unfortunately the gluten-free craze has given all grains a bit of a black eye, but refined white pasta and quinoa aren’t even close to being in the same category from a nutrition perspective.

Gluten-free foods can be processed, too

Some people are under the assumption that all processed foods contain gluten and no gluten-free foods are refined or processed, but that’s not accurate. Because gluten-free has exploded in popularity, there are more gluten-free products than ever, and many are highly processed, or made with refined versions of gluten-free grains, such as white rice. For the best nutritional bang for your buck, look beyond the words “gluten-free” on a package and read the ingredient list—it should read like a recipe you could recreate in your own kitchen. And if grains are included (some gluten-free products are made with other starches, like potatoes or beans), they should be whole, which means they haven’t been stripped of their fiber and nutrients.

Avoiding gluten may help you feel better, even if you don’t have Celiac disease

People who have Celiac disease must completely eliminate gluten, because consuming even small amounts triggers symptoms, including belly pain and bloating. This happens because in people with Celiac, gluten causes the immune system to damage or destroy villi, the tiny, finger-like outgrowths that line the small intestine like a microscopic plush carpet. Healthy villi absorb nutrients through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, so when they become damaged, chronic malnutrition occurs, which is typically accompanied by weight loss and exhaustion. In people with this diagnosis, avoiding gluten is the only way to reverse the damage.

However, people who test negative for Celiac may also benefit from going gluten-free if they’re experiencing a condition called gluten intolerance, or gluten sensitivity. While it’s not the same as Celiac disease, consuming gluten can cause bothersome side effects in many people, including flu-like feelings, bloating and other gastrointestinal problems, mental fogginess, and fatigue. Unfortunately at this time, there is no widely accepted test for gluten sensitivity, and the symptoms may be related to other issues, including stress, so it’s not black and white. If you think you may have a gluten sensitivity, avoid gluten and monitor how you feel.

What you eat when going gluten-free is as important as what you don’t

A lot of people who go gluten-free focus on getting rid of foods, but to balance your diet and ensure that you’re taking in a broad spectrum of nutrients, it’s also important to emphasize what you do eat. As I noted, there are several nutrient-packed whole grains that are naturally gluten-free. So if your old standby side dish was pasta, replace it with something like whole grain rice (brown, red, black, or wild), quinoa, or roasted organic corn.

Fresh veggies and fruits, beans, lentils, and nuts are also gluten-free, so if you used to nibble on crackers, pretzels, or cookies, trade them for wholesome snacks, like veggies with hummus, berries with nuts, or roasted chickpeas. One of the key benefits of adopting a gluten-free diet is that it’s an opportunity to reinvent the way you eat. Take it on it by seeking out superfoods, so in addition to getting rid of gluten, you’ll also be embracing a wide variety of nutrients that will help you look and feel your best.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Chat with us on Twitter by mentioning @goodhealth and @CynthiaSass.

Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. Connect with Cynthia on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help Workshop „To Create Body Mind Awareness, Prevent Stress, Fatigue and Burn Out“

Saturday May 31 – June 1, with Waltraud Riegger-Krause 
in Copenhagen, Room 430 in Nørregade 41

About the workshop
A weekend of relaxation and regeneration.
During the two days we will learn and understand the mechanisms in our lifestyle that lead to stress and burn out.
We will practice self help sequences and body mind meditations to bring back inner calm and peace.
We’ll also learn daily routines to harmonize our life energy and promote spiritual, mental and physical regeneration, which can be repeated daily in a regular way.
How can we enhance our creativity and „be the inner fountain of youth“?

About Jin Shin Jyutsu

Jin Shin Jyutsu® is an ancient art of harmonizing the life energy in the body.
It brings balance to the body’s energies, promoting optimal health and well-being, and facilitating our own profound healing capacity.
Jin Shin Jyutsu employs twenty-six “safety energy locks” along energy pathways that feed life into our bodies. When one or more of the paths becomes blocked, the resulting stagnation can disrupt the local area and eventually disharmonize the complete path of energy flow.
Holding these energy locks in combination can bring balance to mind, body, and spirit.
Jin Shin Jyutsu does not involve massage, manipulation of muscles, or use of drugs or substances. It is a gentle Art, practiced by placing the fingertips (over clothing) on designated safety energy locks, to harmonize and restore the energy flow.

About  Waltraud Riegger Krause
Waltraud Riegger-Krause was born in the Black Forest in Germany. After studying Social Work and working for an environmental protection project, Waltraud went on an extended journey through the U.S. in 1985. There she took her first class with Mary Burmeister, where she felt the impact of Mary’s words: “The journey lies within Myself to seek that which has no beginning and no ending.” Waltraud was touched by Mary’s teaching and her way of being. In the same year she also met her spiritual teacher, who taught her the Natural Path of Raja Yoga Meditation, which she is practicing till today. After remaining in the U.S. and studying with Mary till 1989, Waltraud returned to Germany to start her JSJ practice. Since 1995, Waltraud has been an instructor for the 5 day, Special Topic, Now Know Myself and other Special Classes. She is also author of the book: “Jin ShinJyutsu, Die Kunst der Selbstheilung durch Auflegen der Hände”, which was published at Irisiana Verlag in Germany in April 2005. Waltraud’s classes are reflecting her deep love for Jin Shin Jyutsu and her 29 years of meditation practice.

Practical Information
Nørregade 41, Room 430. (Elevator is available).
Detailed explanation of how to reach the Room 430 will be sent to attendees. There will also be signs at the building to indicate the way. Don’t worry you won’t get lost ;o)


We start at 9 am and finsih at 5 pm both days
There will be two tea breaks during each day and a 1½ hour lunch break.


Early Bird until April 30th Kr. 1.500
After April 30th the fee will be Kr. 1.700.

To be paid via bank transfer to this account:
Karin Schurian Rosenø
Merkur Bank: 8401-0001160938

Your place at the workshop will be reserved once the full fee has been paid.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be made no later than 20 May. The size of the refund will be determined immediately after the event and will depend on both the timeliness of the cancellation and the number of attendees at the workshop.


The workshop will be taught in English.
When needed some terms will be translated into Danish. Please don’t hesitate to ask!

Snacks and Food

During breaks there will be gluten and dairy free options available, included in the workshop fee. For the lunch you are welcome to bring your own lunch box or ask Karin Schurian Rosenø to reserve a place for you in one of the cafés in the vicinity, where most of the attendees will have lunch together (at own expense).

For More Information

Karin Schurian Rosenø
+45 40296909
karin.schurian@gmail.com or kariunkola@yahoo.it

Ian Harris 5 day class in Uppsala May 2014

So, now the Jin Shin Jyutsu 5 day class with Ian Harris is over – and I’m always amazed when I am in a class how many new things there are to be learned! I have been in quite a few 5 day classes by now, and there’s always those “aha” moments, but also some new gems, maybe I didn’t hear them before, just didn’t pay attention – but there’s so many wonderful things to learn!
And there was a lot of laughter, we had very much fun, so you really missed something, if you weren’t there 🙂

But as always, there’s more 5 day classes to sign up for, and as for Ian, he will teach a special topic class about the depths in Freiburg, this coming weekend, and a 5 day class in Switzerland 28 May to 1 June – check out his classes here:


And here are some photos from the class in Uppsala, at Shendao Hälsocenter:



Excerpt from a Jin Shin Jyutsu video with Nancy Recant (and even Mary Burmeister herself)


You can find an excerpt from the video at Nancy Recant’s website, I haven’t met Mary Burmeister, it’s so nice to finally be able a little glimpse of her anyway!

Video: Sweet suicide, or how sugar ruins your health

Another post about sugar… the video is in English, but the text below is in Swedish.. (an advice is to use translate.google.com) 

and this is the website adress mentioned in the end of the video:


and this is the Swedish link, and text:


Det konstiga som vi upptäckt med den här frågan är att många sk experter inte anser att socker påverkar barn eller att det är försummande litet. Däremot är vittnesmålen skrämmande många från föräldrar om hur deras barn personlighetsförändrats efter sockerintag eller stora sockerintag.

För oss är det inte konstigt att det är stökigt med trötta okoncentrerade elever i skolan idag. Sockret flödar i kosten och lättprodukter förekommer fortfarande som också driver på sötsuget. Kioskerna på högstadium och gymnasium flödar över med måltidsersättningar som allt från Risifrutti och tekakor till godis och läsk. Så har det varit i många många år. Att vi har problem med inlärningen i skolan är för oss ingen som helst överraskning. Socker ger dimhjärna och koncentrationssvårigheter och extrem trötthet och eller hyperaktivitet. Det går väldigt upp och ner och oerhört snabbt.

Den här filmen visar ett barn som får fri tillgång till sockerbitar och vad som händer då? Det är väldigt längesedan denna film spelades in.

Hur ska vi efter den här filmen tolka barns känslighet för socker? Hur hanterar vi det? Vilken är din erfarenhet av barn som äter socker?

Bör socker förbjudas för barn? Kan vi föräldrar verkligen ta ansvar för våra barns sockerkonsumtion eller vill vi unna våra barn det söta? Struntar vi att göra något åt det för att vi skäms för att vi gjort fel mot våra barn under lång tid? Orkar vi inte med detta för att vi vuxna själva inte vill att någon skall röra vårt socker.

and the Swedish website:


Jin Shin Jyutsu 5 day class with Ian Harris

So, the class with Ian Harris in Uppsala, Sweden is coming up in just a few days, it’s still possible to sign up, last minute, if you have a chance – it’s a 5 day class, but since he is a musician i hope we can be able to get some insight in how to combine and relate music to Jin Shin Jyutsu, I hope to see you at the class! 14 – 18 May, it is!

Course Title: 5-Day Basic Seminar (in English) Start Date: May/14/2014End Date: May/18/2014
Description: (Wed.-Sun.)
Organized by Claire Boelhouwers
Phone: (011) +46-18-425046 or (011) +46-733-906259
Email: claire_jsj@hotmail.com
Lilla Ålbo 19, S-74020 Vänge, Sweden

10 Reasons to Give Up Diet Soda

I don’t drink sodas, if I can avoid it… water and tea is the best for me!
This is an article about sodas, by Mary Squillace:

Bubble trouble
by Mary Squillace

When taken at face value, diet soda seems like a health-conscious choice. It saves you the 140-plus calories you’d find in a sugary soft drink while still satisfying your urge for something sweet with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. But there’s more to this chemical cocktail than meets the eye.

It confuses your body

Artificial sweeteners have more intense flavor than real sugar, so over time products like diet soda dull our senses to naturally sweet foods like fruit, says Brooke Alpert, RD, author of The Sugar Detox. Even more troubling, these sugar stand-ins have been shown to have the same effect on your body as sugar. “Artificial sweeteners trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain,” Alpert says.

It could lead to weight gain, not weight loss

Diet soda is calorie-free, but it won’t necessarily help you lose weight. Researchers from the University of Texas found that over the course of about a decade, diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater increase in waist circumference compared with non-drinkers. And get this: participants who slurped down two or more sodas a day experienced a 500% greater increase. The way artificial sweeteners confuse the body may play a part, but another reason might be psychological, says Minnesota-based dietitian Cassie Bjork. When you know you’re not consuming any liquid calories, it might be easier to justify that double cheeseburger or extra slice of pizza.

It’s associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes

Drinking one diet soda a day was associated with a 36% increased risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes in a University of Minnesota study. Metabolic syndrome describes a cluster of conditions (including high blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, raised cholesterol, and large waist circumference) that put people at high risk for heart diseasestroke, and diabetes, Bjork explains.

It has no nutritional value

When you drink diet soda, you’re not taking in any calories—but you’re also not swallowing anything that does your body any good, either. The best no-calorie beverage? Plain old water, says Bjork. “Water is essential for many of our bodily processes, so replacing it with diet soda is a negative thing,” she says. If it’s the fizziness you crave, try sparkling water.

Its sweetener is linked to headaches

Early studies on aspartame and anecdotal evidence suggests that this artificial sweetener may trigger headaches in some people. “I have several clients who used to suffer from migraines and pinpointed their cause to diet soda,” Bjork says.

It’ll ruin your smile over time

Excessive soda drinking could leave you looking like a Breaking Badextra, according to a case study published in the journal General Dentistry. The research compared the mouths of a cocaine-user, a methamphetamine-user, and a habitual diet-soda drinker, and found the same level of tooth erosion in each of them. The culprit here is citric acid, which weakens and destroys tooth enamel over time. (Related: 20 Things That Can Ruin Your Smile)

It makes drinking more dangerous

Using diet soda as a low-calorie cocktail mixer has the dangerous effect of getting you drunk faster than sugar-sweetened beverages, according to research from Northern Kentucky University. The study revealed that participants who consumed cocktails mixed with diet drinks had a higher breath alcohol concentration than those who drank alcohol blended with sugared beverages. The researchers believe this is because our bloodstream is able to absorb artificial sweetener more quickly than sugar.

It’s associated with depression

A recent study presented at a the American Academy of Neurology meeting found that over the course of 10 years, people who drank more than four cups or cans of soda a day were 30% more likely to developdepression than those who steered clear of sugary drinks. The correlation held true for both regular and diet drinks, but researchers were sure to note that the risk appeared to be greater for those who primarily drank diet sodas and fruit punches. Although this type of study can’t prove cause and effect, its findings are worth considering.

It may be bad for your bones

Women over 60 are already at a greater risk for osteoporosis than men, and Tufts University researchers found that drinking soda, including diet soda, compounds the problem. They discovered that female cola drinkers had nearly 4% lower bone mineral density in their hips than women who didn’t drink soda. The research even controlled for the participants’ calcium and vitamin D intake. Additionally, a 2006 study published in theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that cola intake (all kinds, not just diet) was associated with low bone-mineral density in women.

It may hurt your heart

Just one diet soft drink a day could boost your risk of having a vascular event such as strokeheart attack, or vascular death, according to researchers from the University of Miami and Columbia University. Their study found that diet soda devotees were 43% more likely to have experienced a vascular event than those who drank none. Regular soda drinkers did not appear to have an increased risk of vascular events. Researchers say more studies need to be conducted before definitive conclusions can be made about diet soda’s effects on health.

May 2014