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Gluten Free Fitness

The IPhone Food Scanner App

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I heard about this new Iphone App (and I don’t even have an Iphone-I am technically challenged) and my first thought was-wow, this is pretty cool.

According to the Daily Burn site:

The FoodScanner allows you to use your iPhone’s camera to scan UPC barcodes on the foods you eat. FoodScanner is the absolute quickest and easiest way to find foods and track how many calories you eat throughout the day. Backed by DailyBurn’s growing nutrition database of 200K foods and powered by Occipital RedLaser technology, FoodScanner is THE KILLER APP for tracking your caloric intake.

You can then track your intake on the Daily Burn site-I’m assuming it can upload from your Iphone. Pretty cool, right?

Well…I started thinking…

Honestly, do we really want the food we eat to have a UPC code? Last time I checked, an apple didn’t have a barcode.

Steak? Nope. Rice? Maybe, depends on how you purchase it. Potato? Not likely. I think you see my point, yes?

A very small percentage of the food I eat on a regular basis actually has a UPC code. There are a few, like my cottage cheese, and maybe some string cheese or yogurt. Maybe some frozen fruits and veggies. But by and large, nope. And if you focus your diet on mostly whole and natural foods, that will be the case.

I have been using Fitday PC to track my caloric intake for years now. It’s very user friendly it’s easy to re-enter things you eat on a regular basis using their history feature. For now, I will continue to use that.

Now if they start putting UPC codes on things like chicken and meats, fresh fruits and veggies, etc-then, maybe then, I will have to break down and buy an Iphone.

Top 5 reasons why you should exercise gluten free

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Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, right? With the obesity epidemic on the rise, related disorders and diseases such as diabetes and heart disease rapidly increasing, exercise is potentially one of our most potent weapons against these problems.

However, there are some special considerations that people with celiac disease should think about. Exercise should become a part of lifestyle for all of us-but here is why celiacs in particular can benefit.

Top 5 reasons why you should exercise gluten free

1) Weight Control

For some people with celiac disease, malabsorption may have been an issue to the point where they lost weight. For others, they may have gained weight. For all, the prevalence of processed, low nutritive but high calorie gluten free foods is a potential cause for weight/fat gain. Exercise can assist in maintaining a healthy weight, and the inclusion of weight training can also aid in achieving healthy body composition as far as muscle to fat ratio.

Our everyday lives for the most part tend to be very sedentary in nature. Adding exercise can boost the caloric burn you create throughout your day, which would allow you to maintain a caloric balance more easily.

2) Bone health

Osteoporosis and osteopenia are unfortunate and very common consequences of celiac disease and resultant malabsorption of nutrients. Weight bearing exercise such as walking, and running can aid in remodeling of bone.

Unfortunately, cycling and swimming have not been found to be as beneficial when it comes to bone health. Weight training has a very positive impact on bone health. You may not be able to reverse the weakening of bone you already have, but you can certainly keep it from worsening.

3) Improved mood

Certainly non-celiacs demonstrate this as well. Sometimes though, we celiacs get a case of the “why me’s?” or get frustrated with the challenges of everyday living gluten free. Walking into the break room at work and seeing crumbs all over the counter does it to me!

Step away from the kitchen, and go exercise. Exercise has been shown to release hormones known as endorphins which can boost mood. Also, the neurotransmitter serotonin is released which can also assist in maintaining a positive mood.

4) Improved overall circulation

This could also assist in keeping the gut healthy, or in healing damage already created from gluten in a small way. Blood flow to the gut is decreased during an actual exercise bout (and directed to the working muscles,) but overall the circulation to and activity of the digestive tract is improved with regular exercise.

5) Improved nutrition

Of course this doesn’t come directly from exercise. But exercising may cause you to make healthier nutrition choices. The “halo effect” or where the positive qualities of one thing transfer to another, may make you reach for the carrot instead of the gluten free muffin. Doing one good thing for your body may create a domino effect where you do a second and third good thing for your body. Improving your nutrition by eating more vitamin and nutrient rich whole foods will fill in any deficiencies you may have experienced due to malapsorption. Also you may experience weight/fat loss of that is your goal given an appropriate caloric intake level.

A couple of considerations to keep in mind.

You do want to be sure to get adequate levels of iron and calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D to sustain energy levels and maximize bone health. Also keep in mind, especially if weight training, that protein needs may be higher. Generally accepted levels for weight training athletes (yes you are an athlete) is approximately 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight.

So what will exercise do for you? Potentials are limitless-but looking better, feeling strong, keeping bones healthy, thinking positive, and eating well-sounds pretty good to me!

The Celiac Disease Foundation and Team Gluten Free™

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From the Team Gluten Free website:

Team Gluten-Free™, is a fundraising arm of the Celiac Disease Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public benefit corporation dedicated to building awareness and a supportive community for patients, families and health care professionals dealing with Celiac Disease. Team Gluten-Free™ provides a way for runners, walkers, and cyclists to raise awareness and funds through pledges for their participation in local and regional road races. The money raised by participants goes directly to research, awareness, and summer camp scholarships for children with Celiac Disease.

They are currently creating teams to compete in various races around the country. What a great way to help yourself with your fitness goals, and to help raise money and awareness for celiac disease? A win/win I say!!

For more info please go to the Team Gluten Free website.

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