Tag Archives: Gluten-Free

Ask Holly: Is Gluten Unhealthy?

Given that barley is high in gluten, does that make it unhealthy? I made a delicious pot of barley and immune-boosting vegetables for my daughter, but I’m confused about what’s wrong with gluten? THANK YOU!



Hi Sarah,

Gluten is a protein found in grains, and it is only “bad for you” if you have a sensitivity or allergy to it.  Most people have symptoms and know they have a health issue they can’t identify.  For these people, it’s wise to try cutting out gluten to see if the symptoms go away.  Some of these symptoms are:  digestive disorders like excess gas, bloating and IBS,   Frequent colds and bronchitis, unexplained infertility, fatigue,  and seasonal allergies.  If you and your family aren’t experiencing any of these things, you don’t need to avoid gluten.

Can Foods Contribute to Infertility?

Are you having a hard time getting pregnant, and have no idea why?  I addressed one possible cause in my post Is Your Wheat Toast To Blame for Infertility? and it’s worth bringing up again.  The New York Times recently put a spotlight on this hidden factor in many couples difficulty trying to conceive.  My advice if you are experiencing unexplained infertility is to remove gluten from both you and your partner’s diets because untreated celiac disease is a contributing factor.  It might sound extreme, but if you’ve tried everything else, why not give it a shot?  It’s getting easier and easier to do, with most natural food stores dedicating entire aisles to gluten free foods.  It will probably open up your world to different grains and more fruits and veggies.

If you wonder what you can possibly eat if you’re avoiding gluten, check out this random list of gluten free foods:

  1. corn tortillas
  2. apples
  3. chicken
  4. rice
  5. coffee
  6. chocolate
  7. peanut butter
  8. milk
  9. cheese
  10. steak
  11. potatoes
  12. green beans
  13. salad
  14. eggs
  15. sunflower seeds
  16. mochi
  17. salsa
  18. corn chips
  19. nuts
  20. apple sauce
  21. yogurt
  22. beef
  23. cucumbers
  24. fish
  25. ice cream
  26. pears
  27. bananas
  28. hummus
  29. black beans
  30. pinto beans
  31. refried beans
  32. carrots
  33. corn
  34. lettuce
  35. cabbage
  36. wheat free tamari soy sauce
  37. tapioca
  38. bacon
  39. turkey
  40. rice noodles
  41. mushrooms
  42. sprouts
  43. zucchini
  44. peaches
  45. melons
  46. grits
  47. onions
  48. eggplant
  49. flour alternatives – sorghum, rice, tapioca, corn starch, buckwheat (technically a cousin to the rhubarb family), potato starch.
  50. raisins
  51. popcorn
  52. berries
  53. rice crackers
  54. peaches
  55. tomatoes
  56. fruit smoothies
  57. ketchup
  58. butter
  59. peas
  60. chick peas
  61. yams
  62. dried fruit
  63. pistachios

And the list goes on…

Is Your Wheat Toast to Blame for Infertility?

Many women who are having a hard time getting pregnant have no idea why. In fact, up to 8% of infertile couples have unexplained infertility. If this describes you, you might have a gluten sensitivity. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats, and it’s estimated that 1 in 133 Americans are sensitive to it. It would be worth you and your partner getting tested for it, which is called celiac disease in the medical community. Or, why don’t you just try cutting these things out of your diet for a few cycles, and see what happens! It’s definitely worth a shot and It’s easier than it sounds, because you can find many great foods completely free of gluten. I like the brown rice pasta by Soy Joy and the gluten free chocolate chip cookies by City Girl Country Girl.

Gluten free living isn’t a cupcake-free life.  Check out BabyCakes if you live in NYC, and if you don’t, they just released their cookbook full of secrets! Here’s a sample recipe for Big Apple Brownies : Continue reading Is Your Wheat Toast to Blame for Infertility?