Gluten Free Fitness

Gluten Free Athlete Profile: Caitlin Burman

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Caitlin is here in my neck of the woods in South Florida. It was a pleasure to learn her story!

Caitlin Burman

Caitlin Burman Gluten Free Triathlete

Caitlin Burman: Gluten free triathlete

Age: 21
Location: I’m currently at school at the University of Miami, Florida and live in Coral Gables. Originally from Severna Park, Maryland. I have competed in 10 triathlons, including two Collegiate National Championships.

I was diagnosed in March 2009. I was in the process of being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and was having unbearable stomach pains, headaches, and was always fatigued. After being told everything from it was stress to IBS, I did some research and found celiac. I insisted on being tested. My results were negative, but because my symptoms persisted, I insisted on being tested again. My results were still negative, but my stomach was bloated and I was still having pain. I decided to go gluten free anyway. Within 24 hours, all of my symptoms disappeared. I do not know my trigger, and in hindsight, I have probably been dealing with this most of my life.

Caitlin’s training schedule:
I swim four times per week, cycle twice per week, teach a Spin class twice per week, and run three times per week.

Nutritional philosophy:
I believe we are what we eat. If you eat large heavy meals, you will be large and heavy! I don’t believe in eating processed foods. I don’t think humans were meant to consume chemicals. I eat a balance of lean meat, fruits and vegetables, with very few grains. I prefer to eat locally grown organic foods, to help contribute to a sustainable earth.

Her favorite pre and post workout foods:
My favorite pre workout food is a Lemon LaraBar. After a hard workout, I like a guava smoothie.

Her favorite sports supplements are:
Orange GU chomps. They even guarantee gluten free on the box!

Caitlin’s current plans:
I’m currently training for USAT’s Collegiate National Championship in April. To prep, I’m racing Escape to Miami, Suncoast
Sprint, Miami Man, and Miami International Triathlon.

Advice to pass along to other gluten free athletes:
Get out there and compete! You’ve already gone gluten free, which requires the same type of diligence and commitment that athletics does.

Thanks for sharing you story Caitlin and best wishes on your upcoming races!

Follow up on the “Smart Choices” Program

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About 3 weeks ago I posted my thoughts on the new “Smart Choices” label. You can find that post here. Today I was directed to this online petition by Kim of Gluten Free is Life. Thanks Kim, for the heads up!

Posted on the CREDO Action website is more information on the Smart Choices label. They also have begun an online petition. Take this opportunity to educate yourself on what this program entails, and then make a decision based on your own beliefs. Do not accept any viewpoint, whether from me or another, without doing your own due diligence and making your own judgment call.

Article from CREDO Action site:

Need another example that the food industry can’t regulate itself?

How about an industry sponsored health label that declares Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Cocoa Puffs, Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms to be a “Smart Choice”? That’s the thrust of the new “Smart Choices” label, and it’s no accident that it has turned out this way. Though many healthy foods are indeed eligible, the overall structure of the program — with its industry-backed board-members, its burdensome application process and its relatively high fees — appeals to giant packaged food companies at the expense of unprocessed, unbranded foods like fruits and vegetables.

USDA guidelines warn extensively about the need to avoid consumption of added sugars from breakfast cereals, yet the Smart Choices board explicitly defined the label so that sugary breakfast cereals could qualify. That’s not really a sign that the label’s main concern is consumers’ health.

The American Dietetic Association and the American Diabetes Association have already walked away from the Smart Choices initiative, but food companies are maintaining their commitment to it. Meanwhile, in response to the program’s questionable decisions, the FDA has announced its intention to study front-of-package health labels and possibly develop its own, a process which, unfortunately, could take years to complete.

Please join with CREDO and sign this petition demanding that the group responsible for oversight of the Smart Choices label make immediate changes to the program including:

  1. Disqualifying sugary breakfast cereals;
  2. Allowing all fruits and vegetables without additives to carry the Smart Choices label through a simplified, no-fee application process; and
  3. Diversivying the Smart Choices board to include broader food industry and public represntation and to allow for direct FDA input.

Read everything, think it over, make your decision. Then take action.

Follow up on Nutrient Absorption and Importance of Vitamins in Celiacs

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You may have read my previous post on common nutritional deficiencies found in individuals with celiac disease. If not, go read it here.

Today I read a post by Mike at the Gluten Free Blog about the positive benefits of supplementing with the nutrients that are commonly lacking-Vitamin B6, B12 and folate. Specifically what they examined was the effect of these nutrients on homocysteine levels. High levels of homocysteine are correlated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Regular B Vitamin supplementation appeared to have a positive effect. It certainly appears to be something worth looking into.

To read the full post on the Gluten Free Blog, click here.

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