The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, it also becomes a time when you need to be extra careful to avoid cross-contamination of gluten. Here are some tips that will help you have a healthy, gluten-free holiday season.

  1. Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Look for foods that are breaded or marinated with gluten- containing ingredients. For example, vegetables might have been stir -fried in soy sauce or chicken could have a light breading.


  1. Wheat flour will also most likely make its way into the potato latkes at Hanukkah dinner. If you are making the latkes or your host is willing, it’s easy to substitute gluten-free flour or cornstarch in that favorite family recipe.
  1. Don’t be afraid to tell the host of a party you will be attending about your gluten intolerance.


  1. If you have a gluten-free child make sure you bring plenty of gluten-free options to a party in someone else’s home. It can be especially hard for kids to pass on breads and desserts.


  1. Avoid dips. Even if you think you are OK by dipping raw veggies into guacamole or hummus it can be very unsafe! Someone else might have just dipped their gluten-containing chip into that same dip leaving crumbs that you could accidentally ingest!
  1. If you are going to a restaurant, call ahead to ask if they can prepare food to accommodate your needs. I find that some restaurants are more understanding than others and will modify their recipes to meet your dietary restrictions.
  1. If you are asked to bring something to a potluck party make sure to bring food that you can eat. Find out what others are bringing so you know if you need to bring an entrée or a dessert that will work for you. You don’t want to be in a situation where you don’t have enough gluten- free food to satisfy your hunger. It is especially important that there is a healthy choice for your entrée.





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Xanthan gum derives its name from the strain of bacteria used during the fermentation process. This bacteria is known as Xanthomonas campestris and is the same bacteria responsible for causing black rot to form on broccoliand and cauliflower. The bacteria form a slimy substance which acts as a natural stabilizer or thickener. When Xanthomonas campestris is combined with corn sugar, the result is a colorless slime called xanthan gum.

Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide used as a food additive and theology modifier. It is produced by fermentation of glucose or sucrose by the Xanthomonas. Xanthan Gum is considered a polysaccharide in scientific circles, because it is a long chain of three different forms of sugar. What’s important to know is that all three of these natural sugars are present in corn sugar, a derivative of corn syrup. It does not contain gluten.

Xanthan Gum is also used as a substitute for wheat gluten in gluten-free breads, pastas and other flour-based food products. Those who suffer from gluten allergies should look for Xanthan Gum as an ingredient on the label.

It is used by people who are allergic to gluten to add volume and viscosity to bread and other gluten-free baked goods. It is a natural carbohydrate. Xanthan Gum helps replace the gluten in a recipe and aid in binding and thickening recipes. It is an essential ingredient in gluten free baking.

Many people with Celiac disease and gluten intolerance have reported an allergic reaction to Xanthum Gum. Symptoms include bloating, gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, skin rashes and itching.

If you have an issue with soy or corn, it is likely you will have a problem with Xanthum Gum   as well. Safe alternatives would be karaya gum, agar and carrageenan.


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Bloating can be painful, embarrassing, and might limit your wardrobe choices to pants with elastic waistbands. It is a myth that bloating in the stomach is caused by fluid accumulation in healthy adults, because the abdomen is not a place where fluids accumulate first. The following are the ten most common causes of belly bloating:


  1. Not enough water intake. If a person is not drinking enough water they do not have enough liquid to help with the elimination process. This can result in blosting.
  1. Consuming carbonated beverages. the fizzy bubbles created by carbonation are gas, which can temporarily get trapped in your belly, leading to a poochy look. So if you want to keep your midsection looking a little flatter stick with plain water.


  1. Inflammatory bowel disease. Such as colitis and crohn’s disease.
  1. An overgrowth of bacteria in the small bowel.
  1. Weight gain. Too much body fat can lead to belly bloating.
  1. Intolerance to lactose. A substance found in dairy products. Talk to a nutritionist to find out if you are lactose intolerant.
  1. Gluten intolerance. Gluten contains a toxic protein that causes symptoms in millions of people. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye. Your nutritionist can teach you how to make gluten-free food choives.
  1. Acid reflux. A common digestive condition. According to the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), more than 60 million Americans experience acid reflux at least once a month.
  1. Constipation. Too little fiber, fluids, and physical activity can lead to constipation, which can result in bloating.
  1. Overeating. Americans say they suffer from bloating regularly, even when they haven’t eaten a large meal. Eating rich and fatty food can make you feel uncomfortably stuffed.




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natural sugar refers to sugars that occur naturally in foods. Fruits, vegetables and honey all contain natural sugar and a pile of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. The fructose in these foods does not effect your blood sugar levels.

Refined sugar is crystallized sugar that has gone through processing. This type of sugar contains glucose. Glucose effects your blood sugar levels. Too much glucose, and your body sends out a distress signal and your pancreas may overproduce insulin and actually cause low sugar levels. This is why after eating a lot of candy or sugar, you typically crash.

Sugars are a type of carbohydrate, and each gram offers 4 calories of energy. Carbohydrates provide fuel for your body’s processes, including your brain and nervous system. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, by your body. Simple carbohydrates are very quickly broken down by your body and create spikes in your blood sugar, unlike complex carbohydrates (fruits & vegetables), which take longer to process.

Fruit contains relatively small amounts of fructose that provide your body with just a little bit of the sugar, which is very easily handled. If people continued to eat fructose only in fruit and occasionally honey, the body would easily process it without any problems. Unfortunately, the traditional Western diet is extremely high in fructose, which is present in many processed foods, soda pop, baked goods, crackers, canned goods, and many others. The result is a toxic load and weight gain.










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Cucumbers belong to the same plant family as squash, pumpkin, and watermelon. They are light and easy to eat. Taste great added to a salad or sliced and used to dip into guacamole for a nutritious gluten-free snack.


  1. hydrating properties. Made of 95% water. full of important electrolytes, cucumber is a perfect food to have on hand during the hot summer months to prevent dehydration. Adding cucumber to water is a great way to increase water consumption as well. When used topically, cucumber has a cooling and soothing effect that decreases swelling, irritation, and inflammation. Cucumber slices can be placed on the eyes to decrease morning puffiness or placed on the skin to alleviate and treat sunburn.


  1. Provides Vitamin K (one cup of cucumber provides 11 percent of your daily needs of vitamin k. Vitamin K is important for building strong bones and preventing heart disease.


  1. help lower the inflammatory response in the body Andrew Weil, MD, the Harvard-trained natural and preventive medicine physician, say the anti-inflammatory diet is ideal for overall good health. 


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But there is a difference between mechanical processing and chemical processing.

A Food that is put into a jar and only contains one ingredient is still a real food as long as it has no added   chemicals.

However… foods that are made solely from refined ingredients and artificial substances, are known as “processed food and have been chemically processed.

Processed foods are usually loaded with sugar or high fructose corn Syrup. Refined sugar has no nutritional value and is harmful when consumed in excess. Excess sugar consumption is linked to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

processed foods stimulate such a strong reward response in our brains that it becomes very easy to overeat. One of the guiding principles for the processed food industry is known as “sensory-specific satiety.” This leads to overeating and obesity.


sugar (typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup) is not found in junky snack foods or sweets; it’s also common in many processed foods.


Processed foods may contain dozens of artificial chemicals that are in not real “food.” These include:

  • Preservatives
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavors (the term artificial flavor on a label may include 10 or more chemicals)

Texturants (chemicals that add a texture to food)


Eliminating processed foods from your diet will result in improved health and quality of life!






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Gluten-free dining is on the rise. It is estimated that about 1 in 5 adults actively try to include gluten-free foods in their diet. People with celiac disease need to avoid gluten because it damages their small intestine. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, one in 133 Americans has celiac disease. Research estimates that 18 million Americans have gluten sensitivity. That’s 6 times the amount of Americans who have celiac disease.

The gluten-free diet is a lifestyle that must be properly managed. For many people, eating just a tiny amount of gluten can result in serious health consequences. A growing number of people are realizing that they are sensitive to gluten. Dining out gluten-free can seem difficult but it is a relief to know that many restaurants in Orange County, CA offer gluten-free selections on their menu and avoid cross-contamination in their kitchen. The following is a list of restaurants that offer gluten-free options:


Costa Mesa, CA


Newport Beach, CA


Old Towne Orange, CA


At the Ritz Carlton hotel

Laguna Niguel, CA


Costa Mesa, CA


Newport Beach, CA


Laguna Beach,CA


Dana Point, CA


Orange, CA


San Clemente, CA



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