Tackling Food Allergies & Sensitivities Part 2 with Shirley Plant

In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Shirley Plant tackles the three biggest food sensitivities: gluten, dairy, and sugar!

Shirley is the author of “Finally…Food I Can Eat” – an inspirational dietary guide and cookbook for people affected by food allergies and intolerances. She is recognized as a menu-planning expert. Shirley has given seminars on food allergies, cooking, and menu planning.

As a nutritionist and dietary designer, Shirley offers her clients and their families a rare understanding and unique expertise that few people can match. Her pleasant and caring manner, her own experience as a food-allergy sufferer and her creative design flair, helps offer hope for people struggling to find the light at the end of a dark dietary tunnel.

Main Questions Asked:

  • Is gluten just a fad diet? Do we really need to stop eating gluten?
  • Are gluten free foods healthy for us?
  • What about dairy sensitivities?
  • Is ghee, or clarified butter, considered dairy or not?
  • What are three tips for going dairy free?
  • Are there any easy ways of stopping sugar?
  • Are natural sugar alternatives healthy for us?

Key Points made by Shirley:

  • Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
  • Wheat today is not the same as wheat of yesteryears.
  • 1 in 3 people is sensitive to gluten.
  • Gluten creates inflammation – and if you’re not feeling it now you will feel it later.
  • Celiac disease is very different from gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is an autoimmune reaction that destroys the intestinal lining.
  • If you suspect you might have Celiac disease you need to be tested for this before eliminating gluten from your diet.
  • Pre-packaged gluten free foods are NOT necessarily healthier for us – they are mainly empty calories that do nothing but spike your blood sugar and insulin.
  • Most gluten free foods are made with corn and soy which are genetically modified foods.
  • There are hundreds of foods that are naturally gluten free.
  • Work on mastering one meal at a time and within a month or two you will be on a gluten free diet.
  • The proteins in gluten and dairy are similar, so if you have a problem with one you’ll often have a problem with the other.
  • Take all dairy out of your diet for 3 weeks, and then introduce ghee, or clarified butter, and see how you feel. If you get symptoms then you are sensitive to ghee and it isn’t good for you.
  • There are many dairy free options: almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, flaxseed milk, rice milk. Look for the unsweetened, unflavored versions.
  • Cheese alternative: try Diaya cheese – it’s made out of pea protein, tastes good, and melts really well.
  • Sugar is as addictive as cocaine and heroin, which makes it difficult to get off of.
  • Sugar is in every pre-packaged food. Start reading labels and become aware of how much sugar you eat on a daily basis.
  • When baking consider using fruit, like applesauce, to sweeten your baked goods.
  • Stevia is a great natural sweetener and it doesn’t create blood sugar spikes.
  • Xylitol may or may not be good for you. For some people it creates digestive upset.
  • Shirley offers her 21 day challenge every November.

Resources Mentioned:

Podcast – Tackling Food Allergies & Sensitivities Part 1

Book – Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Book – Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers

Shirley’s course – The Gluten Free, Sugar Free Way

Shirley’s book

Shirley’s website

Shirley’s Facebook page

Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again

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