The Downside of Going Gluten-Free

Considering how often you see “gluten-free” plastered on everything from cereal to pizza, you might think gluten is a villain to be avoided at all costs. That’s not necessarily true.

Going gluten-free is a must for those with celiac disease, but recent research suggests there may be a downside to skipping gluten for everyone else.


People with celiac disease cannot eat gluten, a protein in a variety of grains including wheat, rye and barley, without severe consequences. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases defines celiac disease as a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine. If not properly treated, celiac disease can cause long-term digestive problems and lead to significant nutrient deficiencies. The plethora of gluten-free foods on supermarket shelves and gluten-free menus at restaurants may make you think the condition is common, but only about 1 in 141 Americans have celiac disease. Yet consumer surveys reveal that as many as 1 in 5 Americans have eliminated gluten or limit gluten in their diet.

Some people follow a gluten-free diet because they believe it will help with weight loss or it’s simply healthier. To be clear, eliminating gluten won’t necessarily lead to weight loss, although many people find eliminating  crackers, cakes and trips to the breadbasket helps them avoid excess calories and processed foods, which leads to weight loss.


New research suggests that going this route may not be the best bet in the long run. If you’re eating gluten-free and don’t have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you might want to take a closer look at what’s on your plate:

  • Poorly planned gluten-free diets often eliminate whole grains. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, this lower whole-grain intake may negatively impact heart disease risk.
  • Swapping gluten-free versions of junk foods won’t do you any favors on your weight-loss journey. Many gluten-free packaged foods are highly processed and may even be less nutritious since they often use lower-fiber grains and flours instead of whole grains.
  • Gluten-free versions of many foods often cost more.

The good news is that many whole and fresh foods are naturally gluten-free. So, there’s no need to shop the boxed and packaged gluten-free crackers, chips, cereals and pizza. Instead, focus on whole or minimally processed foods for the best nutrition.



Interestingly, eating whole grains may also help you to live longer. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine suggests that regularly eating whole grains is associated with lower death rates from all causes including heart disease in American adults.

Even if you are avoiding gluten, there’s room for whole grains. Choose gluten-free whole grains like certified gluten-free oats, buckwheat, brown rice and sorghum. Amaranth and quinoa,  technically pseudo-grains commonly eaten like grains, are also good options. Fruits, vegetables and lean proteins like fish, chicken and dairy products are naturally gluten-free, too.

If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, work with a trained health professional for guidance on what to eat to get the nutrients you need. If you are not sure you have a sensitivity, consult a health professional for proper testing, diagnosis and treatment.

There are plenty of options to nourish the body with or without gluten. The key is looking beyond the fads and buzzwords to make sure you’re eating what you need to live your healthiest life.

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What a Healthy Summer BBQ Plate Looks Like [Infographic]

Navigating summer barbecues may seem like a daunting task when you’re trying not to undo all the healthy eating you’ve been doing all winter long. Yes, you can still be swimsuit-ready and enjoy poolside parties without going overboard on calories. Below you’ll find examples of what a healthy, but satisfying, summer cookout plate looks like at four different calorie counts.

First, some quick tips: Make sure at least half your plate is filled with fruits and veggies, then add protein and a whole grain or starchy vegetable if you’d like. Grilled chicken and fish are great lean protein options, too, but don’t deny yourself that hot dog or burger if you’re craving it. Most important, pay attention to portion sizes. We won’t tell you to avoid potato salad at all costs or swear off any food you really love; just stick to reasonable portions and make sure you’ve got veggies and protein mixed in.

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This Londoner Might Be the Inspiration You Need to Lose Weight

All of her life, Olly Bey was overweight. “From the get-go,” she explains. “I even came out as a 10-pound baby.”

This is the story of how this London-based education project manager came to lose 110 pounds — through lots of stops and starts — and became something of a social media sensation … as told through her Instagram posts, of course.

“My journey’s been a lot longer than a lot of other people’s,” she says.

Most of Bey’s friends and family came to peg her as a heavy girl. And she bought into it. “I just assumed I was supposed to be fat,” she says. At her heaviest, she hit 259 pounds when she was 25 years old.

#transformationtuesday. – This was trip a to Spain I took with my friends, as usual I was fully clothed with a gurdle underneath in the heat. I honestly used to hate summer. My thighs would swell up from constantly rubbing together and I’d sweat like crazy because I insisted on wearing a gurgle instead of trying to do something about my weight. Let’s leave aesthetics aside for one moment. If your weight is causing you to be uncomfortable, messing with your quality of life and damaging your health then do something. I know how hard and overwhelming it is to start but do what you can before your forced to do something. You don’t have to start big but you have to start otherwise nothing changes. _ #bethechangeyouwant #changyourfatitude #startwhereyouare #youcandoit #youvsyou #itsnotarace #healthfirst #phukasthetics #chooseyoursmile #transformationtueaday #afrogirlfitness #changestartswithyou #positivevibes #exercise #extremeweightloss #over100lbdown #fitspo

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For years, Bey tried counting calories, which worked occasionally — her weight fluctuated. But it wasn’t until three years ago that she started using MyFitnessPal consistently and began viewing food as more than just calories. She asked questions on the MyFitnessPal forums and learned about macros: protein, carbs and fat. She started reading nutritional labels and logging the specific foods she was eating (instead of guessing), and weighing portions on food scales to get an accurate idea of what she was eating.

“I didn’t realize my old eating habits were bad,” she says, recalling eating two breakfasts or drinking two liters of Coke daily. “I just thought it was normal.”


Portion size was the biggest problem: “I was eating cereal for five,” she jokes. She also didn’t want to miss out on enjoying family events, which usually centered on Nigerian food. It was a shock for some of her friends and family to see her go from partying to planning her meals.

So I’ve had a few people ask me how to make healthy Nigerian meals. Firstly YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE UP naija food in order to eat healthy. It’s all about making the right swaps with ingredients and watching portion sizes. . . If you want nutrition advice and examples for healthy Nigerian meals then check out my fitsis @fitmrsfats. Her page is packed with meal ideas, especially Nigerian food. We connected on IG some time ago, she has an amazing spirit and is full of support . . . If you want to chop efo riro and not feel guilty then my girl @fitmrsfats will show you the way without the palm oil #healthyfood #nigerianfood #eattolive #youcanatilleatthefoodyoulove #practicemoderation #portioncontrol #fitchick #nutritioniskey #weightloss #mealplansundays #instafit #foodie

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Sure enough, the weight began to come off. But she still wasn’t happy, she says, because she still wasn’t in shape. That’s when she reached what she calls “phase two of being sick and tired.” Enter her exercise regimen, which didn’t come easily either.

Bey bought a Beach Body DVD, but it sat on the table in her flat for four months until she finally tried it. When she went to the gym, she didn’t know where to start or what to do. It was all men in the weight room, and she had to Google videos of the machines to learn how they worked. After trying basic aerobic exercise for a few months, she found weightlifting a year ago and her routine evolved. “It made me change my focus not on how I look, but on how I feel,” she says.

The desire to lose weight forced me to get active but it has not been what has kept me going. I talk about ‘getting waisted’ etc but my drive for showing up goes way deeper than that. I remind myself that fitness has been the one thing that allowed me to strip back all the background noise in my life and make me wake up. The discipline required made me stop indulging in certain things that were taking me no where. It made me stand still enough to realise I needed to start praying. It has shut down alot of the negative self talk and made me realise anything is possible if your willing to work for it. Getting fit is deeper than aesthetics. The lessons you learn will have a compounding effect on your life. When you start to view it this way, working out no longer becomes a chore. It becomes such apart of your lifestyle that you question why you left it took you so long to make it a priority. #ourbodiesaremadetomove #healthiswealth #healthybillonaire

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Soon she began to share her journey on social media. Her sister encouraged her to set up her Instagram account. And Bey began to develop a new routine: getting up around 5 a.m. every morning to head to the gym and post: a selfie in the weight room, a motivational quote, pictures of her workout or a video of her talking through some of the challenges.

Very quickly, people began flocking to her for inspiration. It’s only been a year, but Bey now has more than 9,000 followers — though she doesn’t call them followers; she calls them “slayers.”

“When I don’t post, people message me,” she says. “Actually, my story’s not my story if I can’t help people.”

She also started a blog with a name to match her Instagram handle — Changing My Fatitude — and began offering a two-week package to help people get started, dispensing some of the basic advice she needed to get her on her way: home workouts, how to use reminders on MyFitnessPal, tips on logging food and meal planning, recipes and even a beginner’s shopping guide.

Bey says she gets emotional notes and comments from people who are struggling with their own journeys: exercise, food, even self-esteem issues, like not wanting to be in photos with their kids. She theorizes that many of her followers — women also trying to lose weight — respond to her struggles and want to share their own.

Bey also grew up in a Muslim household, but had never practiced. As she got more discipline in her life and moved away from her old partying lifestyle, she says, “I realized I was missing something.” It’s still a process, she says, but she’s building her relationship with her spirituality. A number of her followers are also young Muslim women who want tips on how to incorporate their practice with healthy eating and exercise, or have logistical questions about how to train during Ramadan.

As Ramadan approaches, I’ve had many questions from Sisters regarding exercise and nutrition during the Holy month. I’ll do my best share advice from my own experience and also point you in the direction of some other sisters who will have various tips and advice for you. Firstly Ramadan is about worship and improving ones spiritual self, we should not lose ourselves in our fitness goals and miss out on benefits of this period. Equally it does not mean that we have to over indulge in food or completely step back from physical activity. Lets talk exercise in this post, many of you have asked if you can still workout whilst fasting. Yes, you can HOWEVER you will need to make adjustments to your usual intensity and the timing of your training. Everyone is completely different, for example I prefer to train 1 hour or so before Iftar because that works for me however I know some people prefer to train just after Iftar or before Suhoor. There is no perfect time to exercise during Ramadan; Instead – listen to your body and whenever it is ready for a workout you should go for it and perform a moderate workout. Regardless of the time you train, you will need to drop the intensity (number of days and lengh of session). I drop the number of days I train to 4 days and I don’t do more than 40 to 45 minutes, the aim is to get in and get out. For example if you train just before Iftar then heavy weights or a HIIT session is not ideal because by that time you will be heavily dehydrated and tired. Opt for light weights, more reps and low intensity cardio. If you plan to train after Taraweeh prayers or before Suhoor then you may be able to train at your usual intensity because you would have eaten and have the added benefit of being able to drink water at that point. You don’t need to completely drop your fitness goals but you need to be flexible and focus on maintaining instead. You will find multi articles and advice suggesting A is the best way to train during Ramadan or B is the best way to train during Ramadan. Personally the key is to listen to your own body, because everybody responds differently. Stay tuned…

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Despite her newfound notoriety, Bey doesn’t necessarily want to be a personal trainer or a nutrition coach. She thinks her value is in connecting with people who are going through challenges similar to what she’s experienced.

“I see myself as an ‘agony aunt,’” she says, using a British term for advice columnists. Her next plan is to do more Q&A videos, where she answers follower-submitted questions and asks other followers for their input.

“In my ideal world, I would love to be Oprah,” she laughs. Right now, it takes a lot of time just to answer people’s questions and to stick to her own training and food plans.

She still struggles to keep up, she says, especially in social settings, but that’s part of the journey. And it’s one of the messages she wants to pass on to others: It’s OK to make mistakes. That’s part of the journey, too.

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Yogasan For PCOD And Hormonal Imbalance

Yogasan For PCOD And Hormonal Imbalance – Check it out!

PCOD OR PCOS is an endocrine disorder mostly occurring among females between the ages of 18 and 44. When in the ovaries, several fluid-filled sacs known as follicles develop in the form of cysts, it is called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or disorder (PCOS OR PCOD).

The women having PCOS / PCOD struggle with irregular or infrequent menstruation, Obesity, Acne, and Excess Hair Growth. If not treated in time it may lead to infertility issues.

PCOD/PCOS and weight gain are two interrelated things like the hen and egg story. Bad lifestyle, wrong eating habits and weight gain are considered to be the basic reasons for this health issue. There is medical treatment for it but the best way to cure PCOS/PCOD is to lose weight.

Yoga and walk are two easiest ways to control PCOS weight gain. Of course diet plays an important role too.

Here are a few Yogasan For PCOD or PCOS and hormonal imbalances,


Salamba Sarvangasana, Yogasan For PCOD

Salamba Sarvangasana

Benefits of Salamba Sarvangasana

  • Relieve stress and mild depression
  • Calms the brain
  • Stimulates the thyroid and prostate glands and abdominal organs
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Reduces fatigue and alleviates insomnia
  • Therapeutic for asthma, infertility, and sinusitis



Initially it might look difficult to do but there are various ways to perform this asana with chair and wall support.



  • Improves menstrual irregularities
  • Elevates mood
  • Invigorates the heart
  • Stimulates organs in the abdomen
  • Relieves stress and fatigue
  • Improves circulation of blood and oxygen, especially throughout the spinal and pelvic regions
  • Improves digestion
  • Strengthens the spine
  • Soothes sciatica
  • Helps to ease symptoms of asthma




  • Effective in weight loss.
  • Improves digestion and appetite.
  • Cure menstruation disorder.
  • Helpful is stimulating reproductive organs.
  • Helps to cure dyspepsia (obesity), rheumatism and gastrointestinal problems.
  • Cures constipation.
  • Improves blood circulation.
  • Strengthens back muscles.
  • Improve the function of liver, pancreas, small intestine and big intestine.
  • Act as a stress reliever.
  • Strengthens ankles, thighs, groins, chest, and abdominal organs.
  • Improve function of kidney and liver.
  • Releases back pain.
  • Cures respiratory disorder like asthma.
  • Improve function of the pancreas and it is beneficial in diabetes.




  • Strengthens the lower back and massages the pelvic organs.
  • Releases tension in the pelvic area and tones the buttocks



  • Calms the mind and relieves mild depression and stress.
  • Kidneys, liver, uterus, and ovaries are activated.
  • Helps improve digestion.
  • Eases menopause and menstrual discomfort
  • Anxiety, headaches, and fatigue are reduced.
  • Cure for High blood pressure, insomnia, infertility, and sinusitis
  • Cure diseases, increase appetite, and reduce obesity.
  • This asana works particularly well for women after they have delivered a child.

So if you have PCOS or PCOD, remember to practice these yogasanas on a daily basis for maximum benefits.

Hope you liked this post ‘Yogasan For PCOD And Hormonal Imbalance’.

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