Brain Metabolism Predicts Fluid Intelligence in Young Adults

A healthy brain is critical to a person’s cognitive abilities, but measuring brain health can be a complicated endeavor. A new study by University of Illinois researchers reports that healthy brain metabolism corresponds with fluid intelligence – a measure of one’s ability to solve unusual or complex problems – in young adults.

The results are reported in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

“Fluid intelligence is one of the most useful cognitive measures available,” said U. of I. Ph.D. candidate Aki Nikolaidis, who led the research with Ryan Larsen, a research scientist at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and Beckman Institute director Arthur Kramer.

“This domain relates to an individual’s job satisfaction and salary level, among other real-world outcomes,” he said.

The researchers measured concentrations of the molecule N-acetyl aspartate, a known marker of metabolic activity in the brain, using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Nikolaidis then looked at the relationship between NAA concentrations in different regions of the brain and fluid intelligence.

“MR spectroscopy allows us to go beyond simply imaging the structures of the brain. It allows us to image the capacity of the brain to produce energy,” Larsen said.

Previous research relating MR spectroscopy data to cognition has been inconsistent. One explanation may be that researchers fail to account for all relevant factors that relate to cognition, including brain size, in their analyses, Nikolaidis said. One goal of the current study was to address these previous contradictions.

“We wanted to do a more definitive study with a large sample size and with a higher quality methodological approach of acquiring the data,” Nikolaidis said. The researchers were able to create a more detailed map of NAA concentration in the brain than previous studies had, he said.

Image shows a girl reading a book.

The team found that NAA concentration in an area of the brain linked to motor abilities in the frontal and parietal cortices was specifically linked to fluid intelligence but not to other closely related cognitive abilities. The brain’s motor regions have a role in planning and visualizing movements as well as carrying them out, Nikolaidis said. Mental visualization is a key element of fluid intelligence, he said.

The researchers concluded that fluid intelligence depends on brain metabolism and health. While overall brain size is genetically determined and not readily changed, NAA levels and brain metabolism may respond to health interventions including diet, exercise or cognitive training, Nikolaidis said.


Funding: This research was funded by the Office of Naval Research; Abbott Nutrition through the Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory at the U. of I.; and the National Science Foundation.

Source: Sarah Banducci – University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Image Source: The image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Abstract for “Multivariate Associations of Fluid Intelligence and NAA” by Aki Nikolaidis, Pauline L. Baniqued, Michael B. Kranz, Claire J. Scavuzzo, Aron K. Barbey, Arthur F. Kramer, and Ryan J. Larsen in Cerebral Cortex. Published online March 22 2016 doi:10.1093/cercor/bhw070

Multivariate Associations of Fluid Intelligence and NAA

Understanding the neural and metabolic correlates of fluid intelligence not only aids scientists in characterizing cognitive processes involved in intelligence, but it also offers insight into intervention methods to improve fluid intelligence. Here we use magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) to measure N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), a biochemical marker of neural energy production and efficiency. We use principal components analysis (PCA) to examine how the distribution of NAA in the frontal and parietal lobes relates to fluid intelligence. We find that a left lateralized frontal-parietal component predicts fluid intelligence, and it does so independently of brain size, another significant predictor of fluid intelligence. These results suggest that the left motor regions play a key role in the visualization and planning necessary for spatial cognition and reasoning, and we discuss these findings in the context of the Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory of intelligence.

“Multivariate Associations of Fluid Intelligence and NAA” by Aki Nikolaidis, Pauline L. Baniqued, Michael B. Kranz, Claire J. Scavuzzo, Aron K. Barbey, Arthur F. Kramer, and Ryan J. Larsen in Cerebral Cortex. Published online March 22 2016 doi:10.1093/cercor/bhw070

Dog and Cat’s nutrients

Animals have unique physiological and structural systems and, therefore, need specific food and nutrients to remain in optimal health. No longer insignificant, household pets are now considered family members who require special attention. Filling the need, the pet food industry has grown tremendously over the years. But you have to wonder if you are getting the best nutrients for your dog or cat.

Thought to be derived from several wild species of mammals, dogs are domesticated carnivorous animals that now enjoy pride of place in American homes. “Man’s best friend” is a perfect companion who can live a long active life if properly cared for. Just like human beings, dogs need carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water in a balanced diet to stay healthy. Unfortunately, most dog foods are not necessarily ideal. In fact, there have been claims that some pet foods contain meat and other ingredients unfit for animal consumption.

Dogs can tolerate plant-based food … but because they are essentially meat eaters, they need a good amount of meat protein in their diets for their unique systems. Like people, dogs suffer from the same conditions related to aging. So they may benefit from certain nutrients.

Carnitine is an essential nutrient biosynthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine and found in meat. It is required for the transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria for the generation of metabolic energy, and is especially important for the cardiovascular system.1 Vitamin E also has been shown to be important for your dog’s health.2,3

So how can you be sure that you are giving your pet the best nutrition? Besides high-quality commercial foods that are nutrient-enriched, food supplements are the best way to ensure your pets are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to live long healthy lives.

Cats have been domesticated since early times to catch rats and mice. Today, they are primarily household pets that, like dogs, require special attention when it comes to nutrition and care. Cats are carnivorous. But unlike dogs that can eat some plant-based foods, cats need animal protein to survive. Nutrients like taurine and arginine are important to a cat’s health,1-4 and without them cats could die. Taurine, for cats, is a must for heart, kidney, and eye health.5-8 Arginine detoxifies ammonia in cats’ kidneys and is also important for heart and pancreatic function and keeping the gut healthy.9-12 Arachidonic acid is an essential fatty acid for cats, since cats cannot convert significant quantities of linoleate to arachidonate.13 And, just like humans, cats need B vitamins to support the cardiovascular system.14 Cats also have problems metabolizing certain amino acids from other nutrients, like the conversion of niacin from tryptophan, or vitamin A from beta carotene. For that reason cats have more stringent nutritional requirements than such omnivores as dogs and humans.4

So how can you be sure that you are giving your pet the best nutrition? Besides high-quality commercial foods that are nutrient-enriched, food supplements are the best way to ensure your pets are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to live long healthy lives.

Email for more info.

Diet for the elderly

A personalised nutrition approach
Micronutrients such as zinc, copper and selenium play a pivotal role in a range of physiological functions and maintain immune and antioxidant systems (Eugenio Mocchegiani et al.). The complex interactions between micronutrients and genes could help in understanding how best to use nutrients as supplements in clinical practice. Further genetic and nutritional studies are required to clearly define the impact of these micronutrients.
Targeting the human gut microbiome (Sebastiano Collino et al.) is an emerging field of personalised nutrition. This approach could help to identify key molecular mechanisms affected by diet and inflammaging, and lead to basic profiles of health and diagnostic tools to address conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Three papers cover the interaction between diet and the gut microbiota (Candela et al.), the effect of an elderly tailored diet on cognitive decline and brain and gut connections, including the liver and pancreas (Caracciolo et al.). Nutritional interventions such as low calorie intake with nutrient supplementation can impact an individual’s cell epigenetic profile e.g. DNA methylation, microRNA and organs (Bacalini et al.). Better knowledge of gene interactions with nutrients and the environment may lead to earlier interventions of malnutrition in people (Yves Boirie et al.). And more genomic information may identify impacts of general health recommendation policies in at-risk, elderly sub-populations.
The effect of diet on immunosenescence, which is the functional decline of the immune system (Maijo´ et al.), and changes that happen in ageing fat tissue (Zamboni et al.) are both assumed to be major sources of inflammation. Nutritional interventions have shown some promising results in targeting some impairments of an ageing immune system; combining interventions with a whole diet approach could be more beneficial.
It is commonly known that physical exercise can benefit health and age-related decline. In one study (van de Rest et al.), resistance-type exercises, using a number of body techniques and workout machines, with and without protein supplementation, was undertaken to see the effect on cognitive functions in frail and pre-frail elderly people. After 24 weeks of training a beneficial improvement was noted in participants’ information processing speed, attention and working memory.

food pyramid

danish italian senior dietgut bacteria eats GABAkle1738GABAitaconateselenium rich foodalcohol stomach

Brain neurons can be stimulated to create more networks, re-hydrate brain by sleeping

What stops our brain from having this balance all the time?

  1. Injury
  2. Medications, including alcohol
  3. Fatigue
  4. Emotional distress
  5. Pain
  6. Stress

These 6 types of problems tend to create a pattern in our brain’s activity that is hard to shift.

In chaos theory, we would call this pattern a “chaotic attractor”. Getting “stuck” in a specific kind of brain behaviour is like being caught in an attractor.

Even if you aren’t into chaos theory, you know being “stuck” doesn’t work – it keeps us in a place we likely don’t want to be all the time and makes it harder to dedicate our energies to something else -> Flexibility and Resilience.


Next, let’s take a closer look at how neurofeedback can be used to change brain activity.

Rehydrate the brain by SLEEPING and detox waste from brain by getting better sleep.

Sports Nutrition by Dr Mercola

When scientists at the University of Florida realized their student athletes needed a quick source of energy and hydration, the carbohydrate-loaded sports drink Gatorade was born.

In the 40 or so years since then, a boatload of carbed-up diet plans and so-called performance-boosting drinks and foods have hit the market, all espousing the benefits of carbohydrates and the concept of carbohydrate-loading. The idea is to saturate yourself with carbs so your muscles will have plenty of glycogen to go on while you exercise.

This worked fine for really fit athletes that were intensely working out and sweating copiously, as they needed to replace those fluids and carbs. However, it is totally inappropriate to transfer this to the vast majority of non-athletes that exercise casually, or just to get healthy, in which they are typically losing large amounts of sweat or burning carbs during their workout.

In fact new research shows there’s more to it than just stuffing yourself with carbs. Proteins, glutamic acid, leucine, and other essential amino acids also play a part in energy and sports nutrition―and there’s a certain timing of consumption that goes with them to assure that you’re getting the best results for your efforts.

The featured article in Functional Ingredients discusses the use of carbohydrates, protein and amino acids, caffeine, beta-alanine and creatine in sports nutrition.

While I agree on many points, such as the importance of whey for stimulating muscle protein synthesis, I strongly disagree with the article’s stance on using multiple types of sugars to replenish glycogen stores. As I’ll discuss below, the focus on carbs is one of the most detrimental pieces of advice that is still widely promoted to athletes and non-athletes alike.

Additionally, the article does not review the exciting new research on the potential benefits of intermittent fasting to boost exercise benefits, which I will expound upon below. This is an oft-ignored factor that can have a potent impact, although it’s not necessarily recommended for everyone, or for every circumstance.

Sports Nutrition—Going Beyond Carb-Loading

The food you eat has an immense impact not only on your general health, but on the benefits you will ultimately reap from your workouts. What you eat can either add to or detract from your exercise benefits, and if you’re devoting the time to exercise, you’d be well advised to harness your meals to support your goals, not detract from them.

First and foremost, contrary to popular advice, to maximize the benefits of exercise, you’ll want to avoid fructose and other sugars unless you are engaged in intensive and prolonged cardio exercises that will allow you to burn these sugars, especially fructose, and not store them as fat.

This means that most casual exercisers and those seeking to improve body composition and optimize health and fitness rather than boost athletic performance or competitiveness, need to ditch the energy drinks, sports drinks, most energy bars and even “healthy” drinks like vitamin water, as these will effectively sabotage your exercise benefits. Fructose, which is found primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup, is particularly detrimental as it tricks your body into gaining weight by turning off your body’s appetite-control system.

This happens because fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”). The end result is that you end up eating more causing uncontrolled accumulation of sugar metabolites in your liver, which then leads to insulin resistance. Fructose also rapidly leads to decreased HDL (“good” cholesterol), increased LDL (“bad” cholesterol), elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure—i.e. classic metabolic syndrome. And if that’s not bad enough, fructose has shown to increase the levels of TNF-α, a pro-inflammatory cytokine known to inhibit fat burning and promote muscle wasting.

Exercise, which in and of itself improves insulin sensitivity will NOT compensate for excessive use of fructose.

Now, in terms of its impact on your fitness, it’s important to realize that consuming fructose, including that from processed fruit juices, within two hours of your workout (before or after) will also decimate your natural human growth hormone (HGH) production.

Increasing your HGH level is a major benefit of exercise, provided you’re using high-intensity interval training, which is the primary way to boost HGH naturally (you can also use super-slow weight training to accomplish similar results). HGH is also known as “the fitness hormone,” and some athletes pay a lot of money for HGH injections. There are significant drawbacks to doing that, and the combination of eliminating fructose and using high-intensity interval training while fasting is definitely the preferred way to optimize your HGH.

Three Factors of Effective Fitness Nutrition

Fitness expert Ori Hofmekler, author of Maximum Muscle Minimum Fat, and Unlock Your Muscle Gene, was responsible for first enlightening me to the curious paradox of boosting muscle building by exercising while fasted (meaning on an empty stomach). As it turns out, amino acids and protein serve not just as building blocks for tissues and muscle. Certain amino acids can also signal genes in your muscle to grow and to build protein, and they do that even during times of food deprivation as long as these amino acids are circulating through your blood stream.

Moreover, scientists have found that the ratio between protein and carbohydrates is critically important, especially as you age. Many make the mistake of eating too many carbs in relation to protein and fat. Research shows that high-carbohydrate diets fail to build muscle, even in younger people due to their detrimental effect on insulin. Again and again, it’s the high-protein/high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet that proves the most effective both for muscle building and weight loss.

To summarize, there are three primary factors involved in effective fitness nutrition, to which you can then add the strategy of exercising while in a fasted state to further boost results:

A high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Keep in mind that most people need between 50-70 percent healthy fats in their diet, which take the place of the carbs you’re eliminating. In order to build muscle, you clearly need calories, but there’s compelling evidence showing that calories from fat are far better than calories from carbohydrates

Certain amino acids, the most notable of which is leucine (others can also be useful. Beta-alanine/carnosine, for example, has been found to improve performance in high intensity exercise and can help reduce muscle soreness). But remember that it is crucial that you avoid amino acid supplements of leucine. It is far better to get it from whole foods. Note that as free form amino acids, leucine has shown to disrupt insulin activity and cause insulin resistance.  The highest source of leucine is high quality whey protein that is minimally processed and not whey protein isolate, which is overproccessed, and typically yields a  massive distortion of protein and a loss of nutritional co-factors.

Whether you choose to exercise on an empty stomach or not, your post exercise meal is crucial to stop the catabolic process in your muscle and shift the process toward repair and growth.

If you fail to feed your muscle at the right time after exercise, the catabolic process will go too far and can potentially damage your muscle. The correct time to eat is within 30 minutes after your workout. Your meal should include fast-assimilating proteins, such as high-quality whey protein with no sugar added. To learn more, please see this previous article that discusses the use of whey protein for optimal muscle building

If you cannot exercise in a fasted state due to fatigue, or simply opt not to for some other reason, you can also consume whey protein before exercise. It’s an excellent breakfast choice. A 2010 study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercisei demonstrated that consuming whey protein (20g protein / serving) 30 minutes before resistance training can boost your body’s metabolism for as much as 24 hours after your workout. It appears as though the amino acids found in high-quality whey protein activate certain cellular mechanisms (mTORC-1), which in turn promote muscle protein synthesis, boost thyroid, and also protect against declining testosterone levels after exercise.

In practical terms, consuming 20 grams of net protein from quality whey before exercise and another serving of 20-30 g net protein afterward will most likely yield the double benefit of increasing both fat burning and muscle build-up at the same time. Again, not everyone will need to eat something prior to exercise, but if you do, a high-quality whey protein is your best bet. It’ll curb your hunger while still optimizing fat burning.

The only exception is if you are doing strength training, as when you are fasting for 14-18 hours you typically deplete most of you glycogen stores so it is difficult to lift your maximum weight to failure. Hence, if you are doing heavy lifting to failure, you may want to avoid training while fasting on those days. In these cases it is likely helpful to consume some healthy slow releasing starchy carbs the night before working out so your glycogen stores won’t be depleted in the morning. Then, have whey protein as a pre-exercise meal to grant sufficient supply of branched chain amino acids for optimum muscle fueling during your workout.

Boost Fitness Results with Intermittent Fasting

Exercising on an empty stomach has been shown to have a number of health and fitness benefits. It may even be a key to keep your body biologically young. This is most easily accomplished if you exercise first thing in the morning, before breakfast. Part of the explanation for why exercising while fasted is beneficial is that this regimen complements your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) along with your capacity to burn fat. Your body’s fat burning processes are controlled by your SNS, and your SNS is activated by exercise, and by lack of food.

The combination of fasting and exercising maximizes the impact of cellular factors and catalysts (cyclic AMP and AMP Kinases), which force the breakdown of fat and glycogen for energy. This is why training on an empty stomach will effectively force your body to burn fat.

Regardless of when you choose to exercise, remember that you need to eat 30 minutes after your workout, which will effectively break your fast. If you exercise in the late morning or early afternoon, you could break your fast by including 20 grams net protein from a fast-assimilating source like a high-quality whey protein concentrate 30 minutes before you start your exercise, and then have another recovery meal 30 minutes after.

Exercise and fasting yield acute oxidative stress, which keeps your muscles’ mitochondria, neuro-motors and fibers intact. You may have heard of oxidative stress before in a negative light, and indeed, when it is chronic it can indeed lead to disease. But acute oxidative stress, such as occurs due to short intense exercise or periodic fasting, actually benefits your muscle.

As explained by Ori Hofmekler:

“. . . it’s essential for keeping your muscle machinery tuned. Technically, acute oxidative stress makes your muscle increasingly resilient to oxidative stress; it stimulates glutathione and SOD production in your mitochondria along with increased muscular capacity to utilize energy, generate force and resist fatigue. Hence, exercise and fasting help counteract all the main determinants of muscle aging. But there is something else about exercise and fasting. When combined, they trigger a mechanism that recycles and rejuvenates your brain and muscle tissues.

Growing evidence indicates that fasting and exercise trigger genes and growth factors, which recycle and rejuvenate your brain and muscle tissues. These growth factors include brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), Insulin Like Growth Factor (IGF-1), and muscle regulatory factors (MRFs); they signal brain stem cells and muscle satellite cells to convert into new neurons and new muscle cells respectively. Incredibly, BDNF also expresses itself in the neuro-muscular system where it protects neuro-motors from degradation. This means that exercise while fasting signals your body to keep your brain, neuro-motors and muscle fibers biologically young.”

Amino Acids—Essential Building Blocks to Strengthen Muscles

As mentioned earlier, the amino acid leucine is one of the most important for fitness. It’s part of branched-chain amino acid found in certain foods, and serves multiple functions in your body, one of which is signaling the mTOR (Mammalian Target of Rapamycin) mechanism, which signals protein to be created and builds your muscle. But that’s not all.

Ori Hofmekler explains:

“Leucine has shown to promote the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 15 (IL-15), which has been regarded as the most powerful fitness promoting protein produced by your muscle. IL-15 acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, muscle-regenerating signaling agent with unmatching effects on body transformation and anti-aging.

Furthermore leucine along with calcium blocks the obesity promoting effect of excess Vitamin D calciferol in adipose tissues (excess of vitamin d in fat cells induces central obesity which can be blocked by calcium/leucine intake such as from dairy, particularly whey protein). Finally, leucine/IL 15 anti-inflammatory actions have been linked to mitochondrial biogenesis, increased thermogensis, and increased energy utilization efficiency probably via activation of the longevity gene SIRT-1.”

Leucine also indirectly promotes the increase of glutathione in your body, as its anti-inflammatory actions can help spare glutathione molecules that would have otherwise be recruited to counteract inflammatory processes.

However, in order to be effective, you need far more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of leucine. The reason for this is because even though leucine is relatively abundant in our food supply, it does not appear in high concentrations, and is often wasted as an energy substrate or used as a building block rather than an anabolic agent. This means that to establish the right anabolic environment, you need to increase leucine consumption beyond maintenance requirements.

That said, keep in mind that using leucine as a free form amino acid can be highly counterproductive as when free form amino acids are artificially administrated, they rapidly enter your circulation while disrupting insulin function, and impairing your body’s glycemic control. Food based leucine is really the ideal form that can benefit your muscles without side effects. The highest concentrations of leucine and other branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are found in dairy products; particularly whey protein. and quality cheese.

Based on nitrogen-balance measurements, the requirement for leucine to maintain body protein is 1-3 grams daily. To optimize its anabolic pathway, you need an estimated 8g – 16g of leucine daily. The following chart presents leucine content in common foods. As you can see, whey protein is ideal for getting sufficient amounts of leucine in your diet. You only need three ounces of whey protein, compared to a pound and a half of chicken to get 8 grams of leucine:

Leucine Content in food / per 100g

Whey Protein Concentrate 8.0g
Raw Cheddar Cheese 3.6g
Lean Beef 1.7g
Salmon 1.6g
Almonds 1.5g
Chicken 1.4g
Chick Peas 1.4g
Raw Eggs 1.0g
Egg Yolk 1.4g
Sheep Milk 0.6g
Pork 0.4g
Cow Milk 0.3g

What’s Your Goal? Fitness or Longevity?

In closing, I want to share some additional insights from Ori Hofmekler with regards to intermittent fasting. It’s important to realize that when it comes to diet and exercise, you actually have to tailor them to your end goal—either maximum fitness, or maximum longevity. You cannot accomplish both at the same time… This is even more pronounced for women, who also trade extreme fitness for their reproductive capacity. Below, Ori expounds on these issues.

By Ori Hofmekler

Gender is certainly an important factor in human and animal studies. Female-specific responses to fasting raise an interesting scientific phenomenon. Researchers have been finding evidence that there is indeed a tradeoff between virility and longevity of organisms. Apparently the same genes that promote human longevity may trigger biological mechanisms that suppress female reproductive capacity. Hence, fasting and intense exercise protocols, known to promote longevity, also lower estrogen level and thereby modulate body composition and suppress female reproductive capacity.

This is apparently part of an early adaption mechanism to primordial conditions of food scarcity and hardship, which requires increased strength and durability on the account of reproductivity. Hence, hard conditions are not biologically suitable times for pregnancy and child bearing.

I discussed this issue with Dr. Marc Mattson, Prof. of Neurosciences at Johns Hopkins University a few years ago. According to Mattson, women who fast or are on calorie restriction, have the tendency to get leaner, become increasingly addicted to physical exercise, and lose their menstrual cycle. Nonetheless, they seem to gain substantial improvements in all main biological markers of longevity – i.e. increased insulin sensitivity, increased GH secretion, improved lipid profile, improved anti-inflammatory cytokine profile, improved cognitive function, etc.

Note that fasting triggers the longevity gene SIRT-1, which regulates mitochondrial energy production along with the gene transcription promoter protein PGC-1α, which increases mitochondrial biogenesis and density in the muscle.

Yes, mitochondrial energy utilization efficiency is a key to longevity.

One of the most notable benefits of fasting is its profound anti-inflammatory effect. Fasting increases production of anti-inflammatory cytokines while suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-6. Note that pro-inflammatory cytokines produced by fat cells (adipokines) are associated with insulin resistance, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and a shorter life span; whereas anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as adiponectin and IL-15, are associated with improved insulin sensitivity, increased thermogenesis, decreased fat storage, increased muscle regeneration and increased life span (this probably deserves another article).

Finally, in view of the current epidemic of excess estrogen in females and males, caused by estrogenic chemicals and foods (such as petrochemicals and soy), fasting and IF can be used as an effective therapeutic strategy to balance estrogen and prevent related metabolic disorders and cancer.

To sum this up, the female-specific response to fasting or intermittent fasting is no different than the female response to intense exercise. There is indeed a tradeoff between benefits and side effects. And the question “should women fast” raises the same issues as the question “should women exercise intensely”.



Healing your body with Nutritional Food plan by Dr Mercola

Mixed Type Prime Nutrition Plan (Gluten free)

  1. Make a commitment to choose foods from the Mixed Type Nutrition Plan: Primary & Secondary food charts.
  2. Eat as much fresh and organic food as possible.
  3. Work toward a goal of committing a 90% focus on your mixed type meal plan as presented, while allowing your liberty of choice within the remaining 10%. If you are following the gluten free meal plan, simply avoid gluten within your 10% liberty choices.
  4. The prime mixed type meal plan is based on starting EVERY meal with high quality protein and fat together with your vegetable nutrition selected from the primary food list. It is important to consume your primary foods first prior to introducing any chosen secondary foods in order to achieve blood sugar stability.
  5. It is best to consume proteins marked with + along with vegetables marked with + or proteins marked with – along with vegetables marked with -. Please be sure to add appropriate amounts of fat to this meal.
  6. Aim for approximately an equal amount of protein and vegetable consumption and approximately one quarter of your meal derived from fat. Fine tune this based on the results of your daily meal diary.
  7. If you have a desire for any of the secondary foods feel free to consume it after your primary foods have been eaten. Once again this is to aid in blood sugar stability.
  8. Five days’ worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas are provided to get you started on implementing your meal plan.
  9. Always remember that this is a process. Make your best meal choice possible. Recognize that your best choice may vary.
  10. Remember that for at least the first 60 days you will remain gluten free. Please be sure to have complete compliance with this.
  11. At the end of being gluten free for 60 days, you will have two choices. One is to remain gluten free if you are having a positive response. The second choice is to reintroduce gluten to assess your individual level of gluten intolerance.

Join 25,000 people in helping redefine health with health concierge and precision medicine.

Mixed Type Meal Ideas

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
2-3 Applegate Farms turkey sausage links, 2 soft boiled eggs served over sliced tomatoes & baby spinach leaves. Top with fresh chopped basil & olive oil. If desired end with ½ cup of oatmeal, with ¼ cup of raw milk, cinnamon and 1/8 tsp real vanilla extract. 2-3 Amy’s or Applegate Farms chicken sausage links. Eat with lightly steamed cauliflower. Lay strips of raw cheese on top after turning off heat. Top with diced tomato and chopped fresh or dried oregano. If desired finish off with ½ cup of buckwheat (buckwheat groats in bulk from Whole Foods) topped with a small amount of diced green apple and cinnamon. 2 soft boiled eggs, 4 oz smoked or lightly baked salmon topped with chopped fresh dill, sliced tomato, 2-3 chopped shiitake mushrooms & chopped green onion. Top with 2 oz crumbled raw feta cheese. Add in 2-4 fresh kalamata or green olives. If desired finish off with 3-4 cantaloupe slices. 2-4 slices of hormone free turkey bacon, ½-1 cup cottage cheese w/ 1 T chopped fresh chives. Eat with lightly steamed cauliflower and fresh tomato. Top with 1 T olive oil. If desired finish off with a small amount of pear with nut butter. Veggie omelet (3 eggs) with asparagus, mushrooms and 2 oz of raw cheese. It is ideal to bake your omelet in a glass Pyrex dish at 225 until formed. If cooking stovetop use ½ tsp coconut oil and a low flame. Top with 1 T raw butter (allow to lightly melt on top) Add Italian seasoning and Himalayan salt to taste. If desired finish off with a handful of organic strawberries or fresh peach slices in raw cream.
Spinach salad w/ slices of hormone free rare roast beef and turkey breast slices (4-6 oz total), sliced mushrooms, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, & 1 sliced hardboiled egg. Dressing made with 2 T olive oil or walnut oil, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. If desired finish off with a small handful of organic raspberries. 1-2 turkey burgers (mixture of dark and light meat) w/ 1 tsp chopped parsley, 1 tsp chopped red onion, tsp mustard. Bake in glass Pyrex at 225 for 20-30 minutes. After baking top with raw cheese. Eat w/ a  mall salad of red leaf lettuce, ½ chopped avocado, sliced mushroom and tomato. Dressing with 2 T olive oil and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (add in 1 T of raw cream or yogurt with chive, garlic or green onion for a creamy dressing). If desired finish off with a small handful of blueberries. 4-8 oz total of hormone free rare roast beef slices and turkey breast slices wrapped around sliced cucumber & celery sticks & stuffed with sunflower or other sprouts, 2-3 oz of raw cheese & horseradish mustard. Dip in 1-2 T raw cream or yogurt with chopped dill, chive, garlic or herb of choice. If desired finish off with corn on the cob topped with raw butter, paprika and Himalayan salt. 5-6 large romaine lettuce leaves, 4-6 oz of hormone free rare roast beef and black forest ham slices. Lay romaine leaves on plate & top w meat slices, sliced tomato, mushrooms, cubed avocado, grated raw cheese, sliced tomato and cucumber. Top with dressing made of 2 T olive oil, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (add in 2 tsp raw cream or yogurt with fresh garlic and/or chive if desired). If desired finish off with apple slices slathered with raw almond butter. Sear 4-6 oz of Ahi tuna steak (1-2 minutes on each side.) Thinly slice and add to a romaine and red leaf lettuce salad w/ cucumber, tomato, red pepper, chopped green onion & cubed avocado. Dressing w/ 2 T of organic sesame oil, freshly squeezed lime, pinch of cayenne pepper, freshly grated ginger and a dash of low-sodium tamari or shoyu. If desired finish off with 2 small apricots.
4-6 oz of wild caught salmon topped w/ Italian seasoning and lemon wheels. Bake at 225 for 15-20 minutes. Add 1-2 T of olive oil when done baking. Have with ½ cup of cottage cheese w/ fresh chopped chives. Eat w/ lightly steamed asparagus and red pepper topped with 2 tsp raw butter. Add in ½ of a cubed avocado. If desired finish off with a small organic sweet potato with skin. 2-4 oz of wild caught salmon along with 2-4 oz of flounder (total of 4-8 oz). Top with paprika dried sage, 1 T fresh dill and thinly sliced lemon wheels. Bake at 225 for 20 -30 minutes. Top w/ 1 T olive oil when done baking. Eat with a salad of arugula, spinach, 3-4 cherry tomatoes and ½ oz of raw cheddar cheese. Dressing with 2 T walnut oil and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. If desired finish off with baked or steamed acorn or delicata squash with 2 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice, cinnamon and 1-2 tsp raw butter lightly melted on top. 1 whole chicken fryer (3 lbs) with fresh rosemary and whole garlic cloves (form slits in chicken & stuff with rosemary and garlic). Bake in glass Pyrex at 225 for 2 ½ hrs. Eat w/ lightly steamed broccoli & cauliflower topped w/1 T raw butter (allow to lightly melt on top). Chicken will be good for 3 or 4 meals. If desired finish off with watermelon dusted with cinnamon. Steak tartar made with 4-6 oz ground bison or beef (it is ideal to grind meat in food processor at home or ask butcher to freshly grind the meat for you) 1 tsp chopped red onion, parsley, mushroom, paprika, ¼ tsp dijon mustard, Himalayan salt and pepper to taste. Top with 1 raw egg yolk or if preferred mix yolk into tartar. Eat with ½ cubed avocado, 3-4 cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped spinach & grated red cabbage. Dressing w/ 2 T olive oil & 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. If desired finish off with a papaya banana shake made with 1 T raw cream and/or 4 oz raw milk, fresh papaya & ½ green tipped banana. Blend and top with cinnamon. 1-2 sirloin burgers served rare (bake at 225) with raw cheese (allow to lightly melt on top), avocado & tomato slices & capers. Eat w/ lightly steamed broccoli & cauliflower. Top w/raw butter or olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. If desired finish off with pear slices slathered in cashew butter.

Mixed Type Daily Tips

Always chew your food thoroughly.

Get in the practice of putting your fork down until you have swallowed your previous bite of food. This will aid in the absorption and assimilation of your foods as well as increasing the transition time through the colon. This is one factor that is a substantial advantage to all Nutritional Types.

Always eat your protein, fat, and carbohydrates together at every meal.

Remember that it is very important to never exclude one of these macronutrients. An equal amount of protein and carbohydrates may be best. The ratios and types of these macronutrients will vary from person to person.

Do not snack on carbohydrates

Even if they are so-called good carbs such as fruit. Fruit will fit into your meal plan, but as dessert. It is important to remember that even though fruit is a natural sugar, it is still sugar which leads to blood sugar instability and health challenges if used in excess. This is especially true if fruit is eaten alone.

Always include a protein source with your breakfast.

A typical carbohydrate heavy breakfast is not a good way to start the day for your assessed nutritional type. Try to also think out of the box with breakfast by eating non-breakfast type foods such as leftovers from the prior evening’s dinner. You may be pleasantly surprised on how much better you feel after this breakfast.

To the best of your ability purchase your vegetables from an organic source or from a local farmers market (seasonal).

Remember that it is not only the types of foods and ratios but also the quality of the foods that is important. While better quality generally means a higher cost, it is important to remember that consuming higher quality foods generally leads to a need for less food. Our bodies are not starving for quantity, they are starving for quality.

When preparing meals, work towards achieving equal amounts of protein and carbohydrates.

This is an adjustment for many since we have become accustomed to a large salad with a small protein source. Remember that large quantities of carbohydrates are not best for your assessed Nutritional Type. Please don’t leave out the fat since that macronutrient is also very important for you.

Work towards achieving approximately 20 – 25% of your meal from quality fats such as raw butter, cream or cheese, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, and olives.

Always remember to use Krill oil to get your much needed omega-3 fatty acids. If you are struggling with weight challenges, it is important to remember that fat consumption does not create weight gain. It is the consumption of high glycemic carbohydrates which leads to high insulin that is the true culprit in weight gain.

Optimal meals for your Nutritional Type would include, but are not limited to: small salads with a protein and fat source, stews, soups with heavy meat and vegetables/topped with cheese, and a meat chili without beans, topped with cheese.

These types of meals create a good balance of all the necessary macronutrients for your assessed Nutritional Type.

Only use higher glycemic foods such as fruits, gluten free grains, potatoes, and legumes at the end of your meal and in small amounts.

These foods create blood sugar instability that can lead to multiple health challenges including weight gain. If your goal is to regulate blood sugar or to lose weight, it is best to use these foods sparingly or not at all. Adding a bit of fat when consuming these will slow the release of glucose.

When making sandwiches use large romaine lettuce leaves filled with your protein source such as roast beef, chicken or turkey, fat such as avocado, raw cheese, or olives, and vegetables such as tomato, mushrooms, or bell peppers.

This will provide a much more refreshing vehicle for your protein and fat than the use of bread. It also eliminates a known high glycemic food that creates challenges for most of our population.

If you are looking for a vehicle for your favorite marinara, meat sauce, or alfredo, steam green beans or use spaghetti squash in place of pasta and add your favorite sauce and shredded Romano or parmesan cheese.

This is just another example of providing a low glycemic option to a regular challenging food in our culture. What most of us do not recognize is that the pasta is not really what we enjoy, but the sauce and grated cheese that we are truly craving.

When making a fresh vegetable juice, it is best to add raw cream and a raw egg to create a complete meal.

This can be used as a meal replacement for breakfast. While introducing fresh veggie juice into your meal plan does require some work and the cost of a juicer, it is the best way to introduce a natural source of vitamins, minerals, and enzyme activity to aid in creating your optimal health goals.

Instead of coffee in the morning drink hot water, two tablespoons of raw cream, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

It’s a very satisfying warm drink in the morning. Most individuals crave the warmth of their drink with some fat, so this provides a welcome alternative to coffee. If you are going to indulge in an occasional cup of coffee, please be sure that it is organic. If you are using decaf, please be sure that it is naturally decaffeinated with water.

One of the goals of Nutritional Typing regardless of your individual Nutritional Type is adjusting the correct fuel mix for your individual needs.

In accomplishing this you will work towards consuming the smallest portions that would still provide you with strong, consistent, and lasting energy throughout the day. This is less taxing on your gastro intestinal tract which is an energy intensive system. It will leave you with increased energy for your bodily processes and more energy for your daily life.

Gluten Sensitivity
A Commonly Overlooked Health Hazard
by Dr. Dan Kalish

There is no more contention around any health issue than the subject of how to choose foods that are right for you. People who want to eat healthy, nutritious foods are frequently confused about what to do. Many follow what they assume are healthy diets with the best intentions, only to unwittingly be causing health problems by eating foods that are harmful to them.

The following discussion of this complex and misunderstood issue provides a starting point for making sensible food choices based on science, not opinions.

The focus of this discussion will be on food intolerance and food allergies with a special emphasis on the newly discovered condition referred to as sub-clinical or hidden gluten intolerance.

The purpose of this discussion is to help you understand the importance of eating foods that are well-tolerated and to teach the value of avoiding those foods that can lead to health problems.

When it comes to eating the right foods, it is difficult for even the most well educated person to understand all the different opinions presented by doctors, nutritionists, fitness experts, magazine articles, etc. It is clear that there is little to no consensus on what constitutes a healthy diet or how to go about choosing foods wisely.

There are dozens of diets to help a person lose weight, enhance athletic performance, or incorporate foods such as soy products to help hormonal balance; in fact, there are diets for every imaginable purpose, but sorting through the contradictory advice has become so challenging that many people simply give up.

Each week the media reports more and more information about the beneficial aspects of certain foods and harmful attributes. Even the official government recommendations changes recently and the new “food pyramid” has replaced the old four food groups. The challenge is wade through all the available information and find what is right for each of us as individuals.

First and foremost, any diet-related advice must be based on sound physiological principles, not on personal experiences, preferences, current fads or product marketing. Science can guide us in terms of explaining the basic requirements for normal human physiology and function when it comes to how to eat.

Additionally, there are sophisticated laboratory tests available that screen for food intolerance and food allergies to determine what specifi­c foods are right for you. These lab tests can be used by anyone seeking to determine reliable, science-based dietary recommendations.

There are two general topics to investigate in determining the best diet for you.

The first subject is coming to an understanding of the basic physiological principles around food and diet that apply to all of us. Scientists have known for decades that proper blood sugar control is absolutely required for maintenance of appropriate fat levels, to have good cognitive function, and to stimulate healthy immune function.

The second issue each of us must investigate is what specific foods are harmful and which foods are well-tolerated and health promoting for our unique body chemistry

The Functional Adrenal Stress Profile tests cortisol and DHEA levels, revealing valuable data on how well you have maintained your blood sugar control over time. Similarly, there are diagnostics tests available to evaluate your unique biochemistry and how you react to specific foods.


I will now address the subject of sub-clinical or hidden gluten intolerance. This recently discovered health problem is at epidemic proportions in certain populations in the United States and sadly is largely unrecognized. Later in this section, I will discuss lactose intolerance, sucrose intolerance and the subject of food reactions in more detail.


Sub-clinical means hidden. In other words, there are often no obvious symptoms that would direct a doctor or patient to suspect subclinical conditions. Since symptoms aren’t obvious and sub-clinical gluten intolerance often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, many people can suffer from the health consequences related to sub-clinical gluten intolerance without understanding the true cause of their problems.

By their very nature, sub-clinical problems are hard to recognize and frequently go undetected despite the best efforts of health professionals and patients.


The condition of sub-clinical gluten intolerance was first documented in the United States by Dr. William Timmins’ clinical observations as well as those of other physicians involved in treating patients with chronic fatigue, weakened immunity, and environmental illness.

Over the course of many years, there has been continual work to uncover the nature and extent of this problem in the United States and Europe. In 1994, a technological breakthrough in the form of a highly specialized salivary test for sub-clinical gluten intolerance made more comprehensive investigation into this problem possible.


The first tests for sub-clinical gluten intolerance in the United States were run on a large group of chronically ill patients. These patients had been previously unresponsive to all known treatments. Through laboratory research of this patient population of chronically ill individuals, it had become evident that they all suffered from some hidden inflammatory condition that had yet to be identified.

The observation that there was a genetic component to the condition narrowed the range of possible explanations. At one point, Dr. Timmins realized there could be a connection with the diets of this select group of patients and their unknown condition.

When the initial salivary tests for sub-clinical gluten intolerance were run on several hundred people from this population, 80-85% tested positive. This outstanding discovery has now been demonstrated time and time again with a wide range of patients.

In the last five years through testing thousands of patients the subtleties of this condition have been gradually understood. The evaluation process has become even more comprehensive and many of those people with this condition who may have gone undiagnosed in the past can now be accurately tested.

Sub-clinical gluten intolerance is often confused with a medical condition called celiac disease, celiac sprue or non-tropical sprue, sometimes referred to as gluten enteropathy or gluten intolerance. The reaction to gluten in celiac disease is similar to sub-clinical gluten intolerance, except as to the degree of intensity.

Comparing sub-clinical gluten intolerance to celiac disease is like comparing first-degree sunburn from a day at the beach to a third degree burn from a fire victim. They are both burns, but vastly different based on the severity or degree of damage.

Celiac disease is not hidden, or sub-clinical, and as such it is easier to diagnose. A person with celiac disease may have blood in their stool or experience disabling pain when they consume gluten-containing foods.

Other symptoms of celiac include steatorrhea, which is undigested and unabsorbed fat in the stool, and dermatitis herpetiformis, a skin condition. These obvious symptoms often lead doctors to recognize those with celiac in childhood when grain is first introduced in the diet.

Other with celiac disease are not diagnosed until the adult years. In addition to the clinical presentation, celiac disease can be detected by a blood test and confirmed with a biopsy of the small intestine. The clear signs and symptoms of celiac disease make its identification relatively straightforward. Sub-clinical gluten intolerance, however, is difficult to diagnose based on symptoms alone.


What exactly is sub-clinical gluten intolerance? Sub-clinical gluten intolerance refers to exposure to the gliadin molecule and to a specific inflammatory reaction taking place in the small intestine of afflicted individuals.

In fact, gliadin intolerance would be more scientifically accurate term than gluten intolerance to refer to this condition. Gliadin is a polypeptide, a long chain of amino acids, which is present in the gluten protein portion of certain grains and also in soybeans.

This subject is confusing, and there is much misinformation about gluten and gliadin. To clarify, gliadin, the molecule that causes the problem, is present in some, but not all gluten-containing foods. People with this problem must avoid glutens from grains of wheat, rye, barley, kamut, spelt, teff, and couscous.

Some of these grains have lower concentrations of both gluten and gliadin than wheat does, but any food containing this specific gliadin, even from a lower concentration food source, is not well-tolerated by people with sub-clinical gluten intolerance.

This dietary restriction eliminates bread, pasta, bagels, and cereals. There are rice and almond-based breads available, usually found in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. There are also rice, yam, and corn-based noodles, and cereals, crackers and other gluten free substitutes on the market.

Safe Glutens

Rice, corn, buckwheat, and millet have glutens, but the glutens in these foods do not contain the gliadin molecule that can provoke the inflammatory reaction, therefore they are usually safe. Other safe grains include quinoa and amaranth. In some cases people are allergic to rice, corn, buckwheat or millet, independent of the reaction to gluten/gliadin.

Reading labels can be very misleading; don’t trust them. Some companies list their products as gluten free, without understanding the scientific basis of the problem with gliadin. For clarity of communication, sub-clinical gluten intolerance will be used to refer to this sensitivity to giladin in the rest of this discussion.


Soybeans are another food that many people with gliadin intolerance react to. It is best to avoid all concentrated forms of soy protein such as soy protein powders, tofu, and tempe while you are first eliminating gliadin, and then to reintroduce it back into the diet at a later time to see how reactive you are to soy.

Even though soy has gotten a lot of attention in terms of its ability to help women with hormonal imbalances and bone loss, this does not hold true for those women who are gluten intolerant as soy can actually cause inflammation and ultimately exacerbate hormonal imbalances and accelerate bone loss.

Soy products can be very helpful for women who tolerate gliadin and have no allergy to soy. Much of the original research on the benefits of soy comes from Japan and China where gluten intolerance is not as common as it is in the United States. Additionally, the traditional diet of these Asian countries is rich in foods that help balance the negative issues associated with soy consumption.

So, if you have sub-clinical gluten intolerance — what can you eat? As already mentioned, rice, corn, millet, quinoa, amaranth, oats, and buckwheat are OK, unless you are allergic.

There has been some debate about whether or not oats are “safe” and while they do contain a small amount of gluten, it usually does affect most gluten sensitive people and can therefore be tolerated unless one experiences any adverse symptoms.

With sub-clinical gluten intolerance, you can also safely eat any type of meat, poultry or fish, including chicken, turkey, beef, pork, lamb, tuna, salmon, etc. Any kind of vegetable and any type of fruit is OK, as are all beans, except in some cases, soybeans may be a problem.


Obviously, the main treatment for this problem is total avoidance of the offending gluten containing foods. In addition to this dietary change, you can help decrease the inflammation associated with the gluten reaction with several natural products.

Hawthorne Berry extract can be used for the first 30 to 60 days of being gluten free to reduce inflammation and soothe irritated tissue in the intestinal tract. Deglycerized licorice root can also be used to assist in the healing process by further reducing inflammation and helping protect irritated tissue.

Most people don’t feel better immediately after eliminating gluten from their diets, as it may take 30 to 60 days for the inflammation to subside and up to 9 to 12 months for the lining of the small intestine to heal.

On rare occasions, an individual may experience significant improvement within weeks of beginning on a gluten free diet. In certain cases people may feel considerably worse upon initially starting a gluten free diet. This is usually due to unidentified food allergies. For most people with this food intolerance, by around 6 to 9 months of being gluten free, noticeable changes have taken place.


Following are some of the physiological changes that result from sub clinical gluten intolerance. In those with sub-clinical gluten intolerance, gliadin causes a mucotoxic inflammatory reaction as it comes into contact with the wall of the small intestine.

This reaction usually goes unnoticed at first. In fact, this low-grade inflammation may go undetected for years or even decades before it results in the expression of symptoms.

The ultimate effect of this hidden wear and tear is the slow destruction of the healthy mucosa, or lining tissue of the small intestine. In some cases there may be symptoms in childhood such as allergies, asthma, reoccurring infections, a constant upset stomach, or milk intolerance.

Often these symptoms fade in the early adult years only for the problem to reappear when a person is between 30 and 60 years of age.

Inflammation comes from the Latin root inflammare, which translates as “to set on fire” or “to flame within. “This” setting on fire” is a literal description of the actual destructive process gluten initiates. Inflammation is your body’s way of reacting to injury.

When exposed to gliadin, the inflamed small intestine undergoes significant structural changes. Inflammation is a familiar experience to everyone. For example, the reaction of the sinuses during a bad cold or flu is an inflammatory reaction.

Other examples of inflammation are from the response to physical trauma, like pain from a low back injury or from hitting your thumb with a hammer. In all these situations the inflammatory response is activated.

This response is the body’s attempt to repair tissue damage and prevent infections by quickly bringing our own internal 911-response team to the injury site. This physiological protection includes the immediate activation of a complex system that takes place regardless of the initial source of inflammation.

The purpose of this physiological mechanism is to handle the insult, whether it is physical trauma, a viral or bacterial infection, or the gliadin molecule in those who are gliadin sensitive. In each case the body attempts to remove the harmful substance and quickly control the damage that has been caused.

With a mucotoxic reaction to gluten in the gastrointestinal tract, initially there will be heat, redness, swelling, and importantly a change or interruption in the normal function of the small intestine.

On the cellular level, a series of events take place including dilation or enlargement of blood vessels with increased permeability and blood flow. This brings more blood to the site of injury to provide greater protection in the form of white blood cells and other immune system cells.

There is also an exudation, or leaking of fluids from the blood vessels into tissues with an accompanying swelling. This is followed by movement of leukocytes, or white blood cells into the tissues for enhanced immune protection.

Additionally, there is also fibrin formation. Fibrin is a thin white filament structure that aids in the physical repair process. We are all familiar with fibrin in its role in helping blood clot this being a critical part of wound healing. In this case, fibrin helps plug up any areas in the intestinal wall that require structural support.

Twelve to 14 hours after this series of physiological reactions, the body’s response to gliadin fades provided there is no further exposure. At this point, the physical regeneration and repair process can begin.

If you eat gluten again, the gliadin exposure is repeated, there is no let-up in the inflammatory cascade and the damage to the lining of the small intestine continues. Assuming there is no further exposure, the blood vessels return to normal size and normal blood flow is reestablished.

Then the protective white blood cells degenerate or reenter the blood circulation, and cellular disintegration or proliferation takes place in which injured cells are replaced and swelling disappears with resorption of tissue fluid and breakdown of fibrin. The “911” response team cleans up, packs up and goes back to wait for the next emergency call.

Under normal conditions, the inflammatory response eliminates the insult and removes injured tissue components. This process accomplishes either regeneration of the normal tissue architecture and return of physiologic function or the formation of scar tissue to replace what cannot be repaired. This whole sequence of events can take place each time a gluten sensitive individual eats gluten-containing food

This inflammatory reaction goes largely unnoticed simply because it is not severe enough to cause immediate symptoms. If a gluten intolerant person eats gluten-containing foods for extended periods of time, over and over again, the low-grade inflammation can lead to a variety of problems.

With long-term exposure, the results of this low-grade response to the gluten/gliadin molecule can be devastating to a variety of body systems. Its effect on the digestive system is the most immediate.

I will now talk about some of the effects of gluten intolerance on the digestive system.


Good health requires proper digestion and absorption. Digestion is the mechanical and chemical breakdown of the food we eat. As food is digested, it needs to be absorbed.

Absorption is the process of bringing the nutrients from our gastrointestinal tract into the rest of our body’s tissue. Digestion is initiated when we chew food and begin to break it down with digestive enzymes. Food then enters the stomach where further breakdown occurs from the presence of stomach acid, called hydrochloric acid, and pepsin, which together begin the breakdown of proteins.

From the stomach the products of digestion enter the small intestine. The small intestine is called “small” because it is smaller in diameter than the large intestine. However, it is in fact longer and in many ways more crucial to our health than the large intestine.

The lining of the small intestine consists of villi, fingerlike projections that stick out from the wall of the intestine into the lumen or center. These villi are between 1/2 and 1 1/2 mm long, just barely visible to the human eye.

On the ends of the villi are microvilli, sometimes referred to as the brush border. These two adaptations, villi and microvilli, increase the surface absorption area of the small intestine up to 1,000-fold. It’s estimated that the entire absorptive area of the small intestine is roughly the size of a basketball court.

This total area for absorption can be compromised by any condition that irritates the lining of the small intestine. In gluten intolerance, there is a destruction of the villi referred to as villus atrophy. This, leading to poor digestive function affects many vital structures on the intestinal wall.

This poor intestinal function caused by improper digestion of food is referred to as maldigestion or literally “bad digestion.” Inadequate absorption of nutrients is referred to as malabsorption. In other words — the inability to get the vital nutrients your body needs delivered to your cells.


One system significantly impacted by maldigestion and malabsorption in the small intestine is the hormonal/immune system. Sub-clinical gluten intolerance creates a significant stress on the immune system and can lead to a compromised immune system. The mechanism of action occurs in several different ways.

There are specialized immune cells that line the small intestine called immunocytes. These immune cells produce secretory IgA, a critical component of the thin, healthy mucous that is makes up your first line immune defense.

The inflammatory response produced in individuals who are sensitive destroys a certain percentage of these cells, and this in turn can lower your immune defense thereby opening the door to intestinal infections.

Therefore, parasites, bacteria, viruses, and yeast or fungal organisms can more easily infect someone who is gluten intolerant and suffering from a weakened first line immune defense. This lowered immune defense is commonly referred to as depressed secretory IgA, which also can result in many other food reactions. This is because secretory IgA also helps the body handle food antigens.

Food antigens can create significant health problems. An antigen is a marker that is recognized by our immune system as OK or not OK. Antigens mark substances as foreign to the human body. The recognition of what is an OK antigen and what is not an OK antigen allows our immune system to attack and destroy harmful substances.

For example, when you have a viral infection like the common cold, the viruses that infect us have antigen markers on their outer surfaces and our immune system recognizes these antigens and then makes antibodies to destroy the virus.

Food is also foreign to the body and so has antigens. Typically we don’t react to food antigens. However, in some people, food reactions do occur because of an inappropriate response of the immune system to antigens in food.

Other people may be sensitive to pollen antigens or mold antigens and so have reactions to these substances, The overall weakening or depression of our first line immune defense called SIgA, makes us more susceptible to antigens of all sorts.

This can make a person highly reactive to food antigens who might not otherwise have this problem. This is another link between gastrointestinal stress and the immune system.

Another avenue through which sub-clinical gluten intolerance affects the immune system is through the inflammatory response. Many people have heard of corticosteroid medications such as prednisone or cortisone. They are used for a wide variety of medical purposes.

Corticosteroid injections are used for joint and muscle injuries to reduce pain. Corticosteroid sprays and inhalers are used by people who suffer from asthma and allergies to improve function of the airways.


Our body also makes its own corticosteroids, the most abundant of which is the hormone called cortisol. When under chronic low-grade inflammation from gluten intolerance, or for that matter, any stress that inflames the digestive tract, our bodies produce increased levels of cortisol.

Since cortisol is also one of the major modulators of immune function, this suppresses our immune response. As a matter of interest, this immune suppressing role of corticosteroids is used in medicine in certain circumstances when immune suppression is the goal.

With organ transplants and in some serious autoimmune diseases, large doses of corticosteroids are used therapeutically to suppress immune function. However, in other situations this immune suppressing role of cortisol and corticosteroid medications works against our health.

When cortisol production becomes abnormal, our entire hormonal/immune system is affected. While elevated cortisol suppresses our immune response, it also causes a catabolic (or breakdown) state to exist in our body. Symptoms of adrenal exhaustion will eventually appear such as fatigue, depression, loss of libido, allergies, frequent illness, etc.


There are also many connections between subclinical gluten intolerance and other intestinal problems. To describe this connection in more detail, I will review the structure and function of the small intestine.

The small intestine is constructed like a tube. The inside of the tube is the healthy mucosal lining. Mucosal tissues also line the sinus passageways, the lungs, the urogenital tract, the mouth, throat, and vaginal tract. These lining tissues act as vital barriers to defend the body from infectious organisms. The small intestine lining tissue also performs the crucial function of absorption of nutrients.

Under chronic inflammatory stress, this healthy mucosal tissue breaks down and a condition called increased permeability (also known as leaky gut syndrome) occurs.

Leaky gut syndrome refers to the loss of integrity of this mucosal or lining tissue. Having leaky gut syndrome is like having a screen door with large holes in it that allows flies and other insects to get through.

With leaky gut syndrome, the lining of your intestine becomes overly permeable and molecules that were not intended to cross into your blood stream enter, or leak in. This leads to a great deal of immune stress as your body tries to handle all these uninvited guests.


Gluten reactions also cause other problems. There are structures called lacteals that are located in the tips of the villi, which can be destroyed by reactions to gluten. These lacteals are responsible for helping in the absorption of fats by breaking them down into fine droplets. If this process is compromised, it can result in healthy fats/oils not being absorbed that are critical to your health.

This depletes the body’s source of fat-soluble nutrients leading to essential fatty acid deficiencies, low levels of vitamin A and vitamin E. Even if taken in supplements, the full benefit of fat-soluble nutrients will not be realized.

Deficiencies of these nutrients depletes nutrients critical for the function of every cell in the body and negatively effects blood sugar control, burning body fat, nerve cell function, steroid hormone production, antioxidant formation and many other processes.


It is common for people with sub-clinical gluten intolerance to develop blood sugar problems, sometimes referred to as hypoglycemia. This is due to the negative effects on digestion and absorption in sub-clinical gluten intolerant individuals

The lack of normal absorption in the small intestine leads to predicable nutritional deficiencies. Calcium absorption can be poor and this nutritional deficiency coupled with abnormal corticosteroid production can lead to accelerated osteoporosis.

Iron, B12 and folic acid deficiencies are also commonly observed. This can lead to fatigue, mild depression, memory loss, and greater risk for elevated homocysteine levels, a key factor in development of heart disease.

Poor digestive function leading to maldigestion and malabsorption of protein will be reflected in amino acid deficiencies. Amino acids are the building blocks of our body and are vital for normal brain function.

Our brain utilizes many different chemical messengers called neurotransmitters to communicate. They are made from amino acids found in protein-containing foods. So improper digestion and/or absorption of protein generates amino acid deficiencies, which directly affects how we think and feel.

The prevalence of this problem can be seen in the numbers of people benefiting from Prozac and other anti-depressant medications.  These new generation of anti-depressants are called SSR1s, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These medications prevent your brain from reabsorbing the serotonin naturally produced. So, in effect, you experience higher serotonin levels.

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, is manufactured from an amino acid. Therefore, a deficiency in amino acids can lead to a serotonin deficiency. And, conversely, restoring normal amino acid levels can help restore normal serotonin levels.

If you either (A) do not eat adequate protein, or (B) cannot digest protein well, or (C) cannot absorb the amino acids from protein, you will develop amino acid deficiencies that ultimately affect brain function and other body processes.

The approach taken in natural therapies is to look for causative agents, such as maldigestion and malabsorption and treat the cause of the deficiency directly, thereby improving the outcome. In this case, addressing dietary intake of protein, the ability to digest it with sufficient stomach acid and digestive enzymes and the ability to absorb is critical to optimal health.

In certain people who have food sensitivities, this one factor can prevent recovery from chronic fatigue, recurrent infections and a cycle of chronic illness.

Depending on the extent of the problem, a person may need to use extensive nutritional supplementation to restore normal levels of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids. These natural therapies can be used with great success, provided the appropriate foods are being eaten and normal gastrointestinal function has been restored.


Lactose intolerance is defined as the inability to digest the carbohydrate portion of milk products. The carbohydrate portion of milk is referred to as lactose or milk sugar. Lactose intolerance frequently accompanies gluten intolerance.

Lactase, a specialized enzyme that aids digestion of lactose in milk products is usually lacking in people with sub-clinical gluten intolerance. Lactase breaks down lactose or milk sugar in the same way sucrase enzymes breaks down sugar or sucrose.

Damage to the architecture of the intestinal wall and the subsequent decrease in enzymes for lactose and sucrose digestion leads to problems in digesting dairy products such as cheese, ice cream, and all types of milk products as well as sugar containing foods.

This enzyme deficiency is why people with subclinical gluten intolerance need to avoid cow’s milk products. As the villi on the intestinal lining heal from a gluten free diet, some individuals will be able to tolerate dairy products again in nine months to a year. In other people, there will be a more or less permanent sensitivity to dairy products.

However, in the initial 6 to 9 months of eliminating gluten, it is absolutely required to avoid all lactose-containing milk and dairy products because they will inflame the intestine lining just like gliadin does and prevent healing. This includes the complete elimination of cow’s milk products such as cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk.

Goat’s milk yogurt and goat or sheep’s milk cheeses such as feta cheese and others are usually acceptable alternatives. In this instance, eggs are not considered to be dairy products.


Some people, even in the absence of gluten intolerance are lactose intolerant and simply do not produce lactase enzymes and so cannot digest dairy products containing lactose. Other people may be allergic to the proteins of milk and not be lactose intolerant. Many people will be milk protein allergic and lactose intolerant at the same time.

There is a simple home challenge for lactose intolerance. While this test may not reveal every case of lactose intolerance, it will help to identify many people who are. You may be allergic to the proteins of milk even though you are not lactose intolerant.

HOME TEST: Upon awakening, drink a large glass (8-12 oz.) of whole milk on a completely empty stomach. Do not eat or drink anything else for 3 to 4 hours.

If you experience bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, mucous in the throat or abnormal bowel habits, you are likely lactose intolerant. In some cases, the symptoms may not appear immediately, but will be noticed within 24 hours. If you experience no reaction whatsoever, you probably are not lactose intolerant.


There is a home test for sucrose intolerance also. First thing in the morning, add two teaspoons of pure sugar to a large glass of water. Stir well and drink. Do not eat or drink anything for three to four hours and check for any abdominal discomfort, bloating, gas or other digestive symptoms. If present, suspect sucrose intolerance.

Sub-clinical gluten intolerance often leads to the development of multiple delayed food allergies. Leaky gut syndrome and the accompanying premature leaking of food antigens into the bloodstream cause this. In time, this overexposure to food antigens causes the immune system to react, and foods that would otherwise be tolerated can become allergenic.

Although the problem with food allergies is generated by the damage from gluten, removal of gluten and milk/dairy from the diet is not always sufficient to remedy this problem. Depending on your circumstances, your doctor may recommend a 4 to 5 day food rotation diet. Many books are available from your local bookstores on food rotation diets.

There are different types of food allergies: some are immediate and some are delayed. Immediate food allergies are usually easy to recognize – for example, you eat a strawberry and get a rash. These don’t usually require testing to determine.

However, delayed food allergies are hard to identify because the reaction may not appear for hours or days after eating the offending food. For example, eating an allergic food on a Monday night could generate a migraine headache or cause fatigue on Tuesday or Wednesday. Due to this difficulty in identification of delayed food allergies one of two strategies should be followed.

The first choice is to follow a four to five day rotation diet. By doing this, even though the exact foods to which you are allergic have not been identified, you will be rotating all your foods, so that any delayed allergic responses will be significantly reduced, This reduces the stress on your hormonal/immune system.

The second option is to pursue additional testing for delayed food allergies. Multiple pathway food allergy testing is designed for this purpose. This testing is done from a blood sample and identifies exactly which foods you are reacting to. You will then know what foods to avoid and what foods are safe.


It is important to employ one of these options, since eating foods that you are allergic to every day can interfere with healing of the intestinal tract.

There is a great deal of confusion and misinformation about food allergies and gluten. Gluten intolerance is not a food allergy. It is an inherited condition that leads to a mucotoxic, or inflammatory response due to the reaction to the gliadin molecule in gliadin sensitive individuals.

Sub-clinical gluten intolerance has a genetic basis, meaning it passes from generation to generation. Gluten intolerance is found most frequently in those with Irish, English, Scottish, Scandinavian, and other Northern European and Eastern European heritages.

A study published in the British Medical Journal in November of 1998 found previously unheard numbers of people suffering from celiac disease, the medical condition related to gluten intolerance. They found approximately one in 150 people with this condition.

It is suspected the levels of sub-clinical gluten intolerance are much higher. Sub-clinical gluten intolerance and celiac occur less frequently in non-European populations.

It is important to note that many people who are gluten intolerant do not test positive on food allergy testing for wheat, rye, barley, and other gluten-containing grains.

Do not be misled by the fact that you do not test positive to these gluten-containing foods. You still must avoid the offending gluten foods if you are gluten intolerant. Many people live for thirty or forty years with sub-clinical gluten intolerance and do not experience obvious symptoms.

Some people who are constitutionally strong and have good adrenal function and eat moderate amounts of gluten containing foods may never experience obvious symptoms. With or without obvious symptoms, intestinal damage is still taking place.

Along with food allergies come food cravings, and it has frequently been observed that people crave that which they are allergic to.

There have been many theories postulated as to why this is the case; at this point they are all speculative, as there is no definitive scientific proof of any one theory. Please take note, if you crave certain foods all the time there is a high probability that you are allergic to them.


A special note about alcohol and gluten: Hard alcohol and beer are made from grains that contain gliadin and are to be strictly avoided. Wines on the other hand, are made from grapes and therefore do not contain gluten/gliadin.


However, if gluten/gliadin is ingested along with any alcohol, the gliadin is immediately put into solution and can amplify the inflammatory response up to 100 fold. Therefore, if you are gluten intolerant you must be 100% sure your meal is gluten free if you are to have any form of alcohol with your meal.

The structural changes to the environment of the small intestine from gluten intolerance create the perfect habitat for development of pathogenic infections.

Inflammation in the small intestine causes a structure called the crypts of Liberkuhn to deepen. The elongating of these crypts, referred to as crypt hyperplasia and deepening of the crypts, makes for a deep pocket where a pathogen such as a parasite can survive by evading the usual immune surveillance that occurs in the lining tissue.

Inflammation also slowly destroys the immune cells that help protect this area and these two factors taken together create a situation where parasite infections can take hold and become chronic. Parasites deeply embedded in the intestinal lining can even be resistant to powerful antibiotic treatments.

Because of this, people with gluten intolerance need to rule out the possibility that they are harboring a chronic parasitic infection. Eliminating gluten from their diet can be the first step in getting these chronic infections cleared.


There is a relationship between Candida, an opportunistic organism in the gastrointestinal tract, and food intolerances.


Inflammation caused by sub-clinical gluten intolerance and/or lactose intolerance weakens the immune response in the intestinal lining. This weakened mucosal immune defense can open the door for Candida to overpopulate and become invasive Candida (invasive means to invade and attach itself to the healthy mucous lining of the intestines).

Gluten intolerance causes multiple nutritional deficiencies, including inability to absorb fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Malabsorption of fats leads to deficiencies in the fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and E and K and importantly, the essential fatty acids from which we manufacture all our reproductive hormones, and adrenal hormones including estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol and DHEA.

Other nutritional deficiencies that appear early in the disease process include lack of calcium, folic acid, iron, and vitamin B12. Lack of reproductive hormones leads to disruption of the normal menstrual cycle, causing PMS or menopausal symptoms.

The combination of calcium deficiency and female hormone imbalances leads to osteoporosis, or weakening of the bones. Even if women take estrogen and calcium supplements, they may not be adequately absorbed.

Folic acid, B12, and iron de­ficiencies lead to anemia, depression, and increased risk of heart disease and neurological diseases. Lack of antioxidant vitamins E and A compromise our ability to ­get free radicals and can further contribute to degenerative conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

Wheat Beef, pork, lamb, any type of meat
White flour products (baked goods, cookies, pastries) Poultry – Chicken, turkey, duck, any type of poultry
Rye Poultry
Kamut Fish and Seafood – tuna, salmon, trout, halibut, swordfish, shrimp, clams, mussels, crab, any type of fish or seafood.
Teff All vegetables
Spelt All beans except soybeans
Soy Corn
Pasteurized cow’s milk products Rice, including wild rice, basmati rice, brown rice, white rice, rice flour
Rice Bread
Rice crackers
Buckwheat (not a wheat)
Wheat and barley grass (has no protein)

Gluten Free
Meal Preparation and Recipes

We understand that it is a challenge to remove gluten from your diet, so instead of focusing on the negative and giving you a list of what to remove, we will focus on the positive and provide examples of what a gluten free meal looks like. At the very end of these examples are recipes for some non-gluten baked goods and a flour replacement recipe to be used only sparingly during those times that you are looking for a baked treat.

Please remember that gluten free does not necessarily equate to good health. Most gluten free products bought in our markets today are still an over processed poor carbohydrate that creates blood sugar challenges, and may eventually lead to poor health. A veggie type may be able to use these products on occasion, a mixed type more than likely will struggle with these, and a protein type should still avoid these foods. There are some very effective marketing strategies when it comes to gluten free packaged products like cookies, crackers, beer, breads and the like. Please don’t be fooled into believing that gluten free makes them “good” for you. Quite simply, they are still very poor food choices for you, so please partake of them sparingly, or not at all.

Some of the meal ideas below incorporate low temperature cooking. It is recognized that cooking your food at higher temperatures will have an adverse effect on the nutrients within the food. To utilize low temperature cooking, use a glass casserole dish such as a Pyrex pan, and always use a lid on this dish for the cooking process. Cook at 225 degrees at 4 minutes per ounce for fish and seafood, and 5 minutes per ounce for all other meats. This will not only aid in maintaining a higher nutrient content, but will enhance the taste of your food.

As a part of the initial 60 days of becoming gluten free, it is also recommended to remove pasteurized dairy from your meal plans. Dairy products are listed in some of the meal plans below, but it specifically mentions raw dairy. Raw dairy can be used during this 60 days generally without any challenges. Please visit to find a raw dairy connection in your area.

We are pleased that you have made the choice to educate yourself not only on the aspect of a gluten free lifestyle, but also regarding your own bio-chemical nutritional needs with nutritional typing. We welcome you to the wonderful world of balanced optimal health! This is the beginning of a journey that can last a lifetime.

Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas

2-3 Applegate Farms turkey sausage links, 2 soft boiled eggs served over sliced tomatoes & baby spinach leaves. Top with fresh chopped basil & olive oil. If desired, end with ½ cup of oatmeal, with ¼ cup of raw milk, cinnamon and 1/8 tsp real vanilla extract.

2 soft boiled eggs, 4 oz smoked or lightly baked salmon topped with chopped fresh dill, sliced tomato, 2-3 chopped shiitake mushrooms & chopped green onion. Top with 2 oz crumbled raw feta cheese. Add in 2-4 fresh kalamata or green olives. If desired finish off with 3-4 cantaloupe or honeydew slices.

2-3 Amy’s or Applegate Farms chicken sausage links. Eat with lightly steamed cauliflower. Lay strips of raw cheese on top after turning off heat. Top with diced tomato and chopped fresh or dried oregano. If desired finish off with ½ cup of buckwheat (buckwheat groats are sold in bulk at Whole Foods) topped with a small amount of diced green apple and cinnamon.

2-4 slices of hormone free turkey bacon, ½-1 cup cottage cheese w/ 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives. Eat with lightly steamed cauliflower and fresh tomato. Top with 1 tablespoon olive oil. If desired finish off with a small amount of a pear with nut butter.

Veggie omelet (3 eggs) with asparagus, mushrooms and 2 oz of raw cheese. It is ideal to bake your omelet in a glass Pyrex dish at 225 until formed. If cooking stovetop use ½ tsp coconut oil and a low flame. Top with 1 tablespoon raw butter (allow to lightly melt on top) Add Italian seasoning and Himalayan salt to taste. If desired, finish off with a small handful of organic strawberries or fresh peach slices in raw cream.

Use ½ -1 cup oatmeal with one egg white stirred in while piping hot. Top off with a few apple slices and cinnamon.

1 cup of raw plain yogurt with ¼ cup of blueberries stirred into yogurt.

2-3 Applegate Farms turkey sausage links, 1 soft boiled egg, ½ cup of baby spinach leaves, 1 T grated carrot, 2 oz raw cheese, 4 fresh olives

2-3 Whole Foods brand bacon slices, 1 poached egg topped with 2 oz. grated raw cheddar cheese over a bed of ¼ cup of chopped spinach and chopped avocado. Eggnog with 1 tablespoon raw cream, cinnamon and vanilla extract.