Gluten is this generation’s tobacco. – David Perlmutter
So what is this “gluten-free, wheat-free” hype all about? Let’s make this short and sweet. There are 3 very important underlying reasons/theories as to why many people, including myself, are finding themselves sensitive to wheat and gluten containing products (which can eventually lead to a Celiac diagnosis):
- Hybridization – wheat is being bred to contain more gluten for shelf-life and texture
- Introduction of the cancer-causing chemical Glyphosate (Round Up) – This chemical is used on GMO crops–corn, soy, wheat, etc. Thank Monsanto!
- Eating too many wheat containing foods – Example: Breakfast=cereal, Lunch=sandwich, Dinner=pasta
*Any combination of the above could potentially lead to a wheat/gluten intolerance.
You may read more about the commercialization and history of wheat in the book “The Third Plate” by Dan Barber.
Conditions Connected to Gluten Intolerance
I want to mention the ailments connected to Celiac Disease (sensitivity to gluten and gluten containing foods/products). The list of issues is so long that I will just highlight a few. I urge you to do your own research as an intolerance can cause immunological reactions in the body. In fact, most celiac patients have no gastrointestinal symptoms at all because the immune reaction is directed at the nervous system (i.e. headaches, seizures, depression etc.). Gluten and wheat sensitivity have been linked to the following conditions (Genova Diagnostics, 2005):
- Anxiety and Depression
- Crohn’s Disease
- Irritable Bowl Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Systemic Lupus erythematosus
- Type 1 Diabetes
Again, this is the short list. Visit Genova’s website for the full list of conditions related to gluten intolerance.
Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity
- Recurring abdominal bloating and pain; gas
- Chronic diarrhea
- Pale, foul-smellling, fatty stool
- Weight loss/weight gain
- Bone or Joint pain
- Behavioral Changes
- Missed menstrual periods
- Loss of tooth enamel
- Itchy skin rash – dermatitis
If you suspect that you may have a sensitivity to gluten, some simple blood tests can usually help to rule this out: Food Allergy (IgE) and Food Sensitivity (IgG) testing. Also, MRT or ALCAT for other foods. For Celiac testing, Immunoglobulin (IgA) and Anti-Gliadin Antibodies (AGA-a class of IgG). IgA can be derived from a serum, saliva, or fecal samples. Stool IgA may have the best accuracy. You may request these from your doctor or naturopath.
On with the fun stuff…the recipe…
Quinoa Pizza Recipe
Yields one 8 inch Pizza (inspired by Deliciously Ella’s recipe)
- 1 cup quinoa soaked/sprouted
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
- 1-2 pinches of sea salt
- coconut or olive oil for greasing the pan
Ideas for Toppings:
- 1/4-1/2 cup organic (sugar-free) tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- black or green olives
- cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- 1/2-1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
- shredded organic chicken/organic pastured ground beef
- wild anchovies
- leafy greens like dandelion or arugula (for garnish)
- Miyoko’s Vegan Cheese
- Soak your quinoa for about 8-9 hours in water. (I find 9 hours works best). You may want to do this the night before your meal or at breakfast time, so it will be ready for dinner preparation. Put the quinoa in a large bowl and cover it in water, making sure the water is about one inch over the quinoa. Then leave this to sit.
- When you’re ready to make your pizza, pre-heat the oven to 425F. Next, drain the water from the quinoa and place into a food processor with the apple cider vinegar, herb and sea salt. Blend until a smooth pancake-like dough forms.
- Grease the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil or coconut oil, then pour the dough on the sheet making sure to spread evenly.
4. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes, until the base is firm and golden brown.
5. Remove crust from oven and add your toppings, except your leafy greens.
6. Place pizza under the broiler for 3 minutes to warm and get crispy. Then add your leafy greens, extra herbs, a drizzle of EVOO or even some hot pepper flakes for an extra kick! Bon appetite!
In divine health,
Genova Diagnositics (GDX). (2005). Celiac profile support guide. Retrieved from https://www.gdx.net/uk/product/coeliac-gluten-sensitivity-test-blood
Bauman, Ed. & Friedlander, J. (2015) “ Therapeutic Nutrition.” Bauman College: Penngrove , CA.
Recipe inspired by Ella Woodward from Deliciously Ella. http://deliciouslyella.com/