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Real Food

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Real Is Not What You Think It Is

Believe it or not, you can be human and make excellent choices.

Believe it or not, you can "be real" and crave real, organic, nutrient-dense food that nourishes the mind+body+spirit.

Believe it or not, I live the same way whether I'm with 10,000 people or by myself. I still eat real, organic, nutrient-dense food. I make my own toothpaste. I brush my teeth with a bamboo toothbrush. I cook the majority of my food from scratch. I crave organic veggies. I crave real organic foods that nourish me fully. I sleep on organic sheets. I use organic coconut oil as lotion. When I travel I bring the majority of my food with me (organic of course). I've never owned a TV. I've never had a Pepsi, Coke, etc. I can count on one hand the number of drinks I've had in my lifetime. My life doesn't revolve around "happy hours" (I want a happy life, not just hours). I drink 1-2 gallons of reverse osmosis water daily. My non-plastic reusable water bottle goes everywhere with me. Everywhere. I don't subscribe to junk magazines. I have reusable bamboo utensils in my bag at all times (I have 2 sets actually) so I never have to use plastic. 

This is my "normal". I don't really think about it. It's simply how I live life.  

For example: yesterday, I ate a raw organic cucumber while in the car driving. Today, I had a huge whole bowl of raw organic mixed salad greens while in the car again. 

My body craves what is good for it. The smell of disease is repulsive to me. Why would I put that in my temple (body)?!  

I honestly do not like candy or unhealthy junk. Why would I put junk in my temple (body)? If I want a "sweet treat" I MAKE sure it's organic, ethical, usually made from scratch and with ingredients that do not cause disease. 

I train daily- 20-30 hours a week in fact. [I'm a multi sport, ultra endurance athlete.] I rarely post on social media about this. My physical activity is not dependent on if I posted the latest update or not. 

I don't cheat on my mind+body+spirit.

I don't cheat on my health.

I don't "moderate" my life, what I eat. I eat real, organic food that NOURISHES by mind+body+spirit.

I don't "hack" my life, my health, my fitness. (There are no shortcuts to the top.)

I don't feel guilty about my life and the wellness/food/health choices I make!

Why don't I hack, moderate, feel guilty? Because I've developed and built discipline into my entire life. Discipline is one of the major components missing in our culture today. We have too many people living toxic junk-filled lives. From relationships to TV to magazines to "food" to drink, few are disciplined to remove the junk from their lifestyle. 

Am "I real"? You bet.

Am I human? You bet.

The difference is that my bulls eye, my center, my VERY laser focused belief that guides me day in, day out to make decisions that align with my ethics, morals, values. Every. Single. Day.

I do not live by the status quo that in order to "be real" I must be living a different life when no one is watching. Or that surely I must be craving junk! Or that I must only be posting the good choices I make and hiding something in the closet. I know this might rock your world, but I live the same day in, day out. Making excellent choices that align with my ethics, morals, values. Making choices that will make my health excellent. Making choices that will leave the earth, land, air, water excellent. Making choices that will leave a healthy legacy for generations to come. Making choices that I'm "proud" of vs choices that leave me feeling guilty or that need justification. [If a life choice requires justification then you know it's not a good choice. Excellent choices do not need justification.]

Believe it or not it is very much possible to live an organic lifestyle day in, day out, authentically, with integrity, with the utmost love in everything I do.

I despise the notion that somehow, in order "to be real" I must be eating/consuming junk in private or living a different life when no one is watcing. Nope! You can be real and still eat/live/move/breathe that honors your temple (body). You can be real and make choices that honor our only earth. You can be real and make choices that honor people.

I am real. 

My body+mind+spirit is a temple. 

I don't live the status quo. Join me! 

It's all organic all the time. 

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What Is Clean Eating?

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What Is Clean Eating?

farmer's market beet photo

What does “eat clean” mean? Chances are that you’ve seen this term thrown around on photos that don’t really mean “eat clean”. As I’m sure you know by now our food system is not what it was even just 100 years ago. Today we have Cappuccino flavored potato chips, dead animal parts in V8, artificial sugars in everything from bread to crackers to gum, and of course GMOs.

Time and time again I see posts with the hashtag #eatclean or #cleaneating on images or copy that is NOT clean. So let's clear this up.

Clean eating
Clean eating

What is "eat clean"? 

Free from GMOs To put it simply, GMOs are dirty and not clean. Look at what’s in GMO corn. It’s not clean by any standards! Currently the corn on the market today is about 88%. So if you aren’t careful about reading labels you could every easily be consuming GMOs. Corn isn’t just plain corn on the cob it’s also HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) which is found in countless processed products. Take a look at this graphic- corn is being used in many different forms and ways. Additionally commercial and factory farm animals are fed GMO corn- remember you eat what they eat! So if you don’t buy organic meat you are ingesting GMOs that way too. Note: cows were never created to eat grains in the first place- buy organic, grass-fed meat! And lastly, conventional processed products are 80% GMO contaminated. Just one more reason to stop consuming processed crap!

So, if your dairy or meat (and veggies, fruit) isn’t specified as non-GMO and/or organic. It’s not eat clean.

GMO corn graphic
GMO corn graphic

A quick note about Roundup. Roundup is the main weed pesticide produced by Monsanto. The active chemical in Roundup is Glyphosate and the consequences of this chemical is devastating. A few health problems from this chemical include but not limited to: birth defects, gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Free from artificial flavors Eating clean means the food is free from artificial and “natural” flavors and sweeteners. Unless otherwise stated natural flavors are derived from beaver’s butts and other species that can cause severe allergic reactions. Read what you are about to eat very carefully!

Free from artificial sweeteners Real, clean food does not contain artificial sweeteners. All conventional processed products (note I didn’t write processed food) contains some kind of artificial sweeteners like Splenda (also goes by the name Sucralose), Equal, NutraSweet, etc. There are over 257 names for sugar and most of them are made in a lab and not found in nature. Raw honey, 100% pure maple syrup, organic coconut sugar, organic blackstrap molasses are acceptable forms of sugar.

Free from additives Clean food does not have additives or preservatives. Did you make an organic beef burger and then spread commercial mustard or mayo on it? Be sure that even the “little things” you use are made with clean ingredients- including condiments! Processed products have to contain additives and preservatives so they have a long shelf life. Translated: a long shelf life means a short life. You want to buy food that goes bad quickly. Nature knows best!

Here is what clean/real food is: - organic (or grown without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides) - unprocessed - real food in whole form - mainly raw

Some examples of clean/real food: - Hemp Hearts - Nuts - Seeds - Vegetables - Fruits - Raw Cacao (not to be confused with processed cocoa powder) - Maca - Quinoa - Chia - Coconut - Legumes

Finally, let’s bring back integrity to how we live, eat, and what we post. Ask yourself if the hashtag you are using really describes the photo (or copy). By the way, Chobani is not eat clean- they use rBGH/rBST dairy. If you are a health professional know that people are watching what you post and be mindful of what you hashtags you use. There are many, many people out there who don’t know what #eatclean is and we are doing them a disservice when we use that hashtag on photos that have nothing to do with clean eating.

Be diligent to feed your body good, organic food. Have integrity in all that you do, say, write, live, eat, drink, think.

Sources:GMOs in animal feed

Monsanto Roundup

Roundup and health dangers

GMO corn

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at MIT, reveals how glyphosate wrecks human health

Learn more about GMOs

“Natural” flavoring

Sugar

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Why Going Meatless Is The New Black

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Why Going Meatless Is The New Black

272830803_76eb6fbda0_b.jpg

Monday health lesson! Since Monday is known as ‪#‎MeatlessMonday‬ let's tackle the issue of meat!

1) Let's talk about the sustainability of consuming meat. It takes about 2,500 gallons of clean water to produce one pound of beef. Already 780 million people do not have access to clean water! See point number 4 for more on this sustainability issue of consuming meat. California is in record drought. How can we continue to do nothing about this crisis? Not having water is a life/death issue. Eating meat is not essential to life. (Amazing Race aside!) 

2) Ninety-nine percent of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms (pack animals into tight or confined spaces, caged, no outdoor air, unclear air inside the pens, unnatural reproduction, short lifespan). In addition, these factory farms use hormone and antibiotic (the meat industry uses 80 percent of all the antibiotics in the U.S.) injections (make the cows fatter to slaughter faster to get paycheck faster). When a person eats this kind of "meat" they are ingesting those hormones and antibiotics which leads to many health problems and diseases (early puberty, hormonal issues), It's ironic to me that people don't like when athletes/humans inject steroids but seem to have no problem when it comes to meat and dairy. You can't have one and not the other. Why is it okay for animals to be injected, but not humans? It doesn't make sense.

3) Most people aren't even eating "real meat"! As the above point states, 99 percent of meat is factory farm meat which is fake meat. So if a person chooses to eat meat, they MUST know where it came from, how it was raised, what it ate, if given hormones/antibiotics. It must be real meat on a stick. Not hormones on a stick. Lesson: you eat what it eats. (Think about it.)

4) Here's a great way to see how much water your eating lifestyle uses (i.e. consuming meat). Many times we just go about our day without evening blinking or breathing- we're just going through the motions. Life is about connecting to whatever you are doing, eating, living, breathing! By getting back to the basics and making a connection to what you are about to eat, drink, move, etc, you will life will begin to make sense.

5) If you decide to keep eating meat, please make sure it is local, raised humanely, grass-fed, NO hormones/antibiotics, and always, always, organic. You can't make something unhealthy, healthy. Someone recently asked me if homemade pulled pork made in a smoker or chicken on a smoker was healthier. When I asked what kind of meat he was buying he replied "Costco". Health starts from the ground up - literally. If the soil is dead [GMOs from RoundUp, no crop rotation, no field rest], the food will be dead. If the animal is dead (hormones, antibiotics, caged, etc), the meat is dead. No amount of "healthy" BBQ sauce or dressings will make something healthy. Really, really look at what kind of meat you are buying. Is it really meat to begin with? Remember, your purchases say so much about you and what you say you stand for!   

6) Make fresh, organic, real plants the main attraction on your plate. If you must, make meat a very little side portion. There is no compelling reason to make meat the center of attraction. If you eat meat 3x a day, start by eating 1x a day and then a few days a week. Switch from meat protein to beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, Hemp Hearts, quinoa...see how many wonderful options there are?!

7) Vegetarian lifestyles reduce greenhouse gases by 33 percent and mortality by 20 percent (see link below). A plant-based lifestyle is more than just not eating meat, it's about caring for the earth, land, air, water, people. If we don't have an earth we have none of those things.

8) Going meat free helps prevent cancer (red meat is directly associated with colon cancer), heart disease, obesity, diabetes to name a few. Meat

9) Lunchables, hotdogs, McD's, Burger King, etc products are not meat but disease in wrapper. Lunchables ingredients: - Hydrogenated Oils - Artificial Flavors - Mechanically Separated Chicken - MSG - Sodium Nitrites

I probably don't have to tell you that these ingredients lead to disease, cancer, obesity...not cool.

10) Compassion. I think most of us say we are compassionate people but I wonder if that's really, really true? Like I've said many times our purchases say a lot about what we stand for, what we believe, and how we live. If we're eating fast death (aka, fast "food"), Big Food, etc, we're not having compassion for our earth, land, air, water, animals, people. It's high time that we look at what we are buying and make adjustments.

So, what do you eat? Plants! Lots and lots of organic plants! Check out Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts. Quinoa, chia seeds, kale, nuts, seeds- the earth is full of protein- without eating animals.

As in the above points, if you must eat meat, make sure it meets (meats?!) these criteria: - local - organic - pastured raised (especially with chickens/eggs) - grass fed - no added hormones or antibiotics (organic will take care of this)

And begin to eat less meat and more fresh, local organic plants! Your health, earth, air, water will thank you!

Note:

I (Sarah) am a strong, healthy ultra endurance athlete on a 100% organic, real food, plant-based lifestyle. Proof that (organic) plants really are awesome!

Sources cited plus resources:

>> 2,500 gallons of water: http://www.vegsource.com/articles/factoids.htm >> John Robbins on water and meat:http://www.earthsave.org/environment/water.htm >> Clean water: http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water/ >> What is a factory farm? http://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/farm-animal-cruelty/what-factory-farm >> Hormones in meat: http://www.sustainabletable.org/258/hormones >> Health and added hormones:http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_5543.cfm >> Vegetarian lifestyles: http://grist.org/list/vegetarians-live-longer-pollute-less-and-you-no-longer-have-to-take-their-word-for-it/ >> Preventing disease and certain cancers with plant-based lifestyle:http://plantbaseddietitian.com/plant-based-diet-benefits/ >> How to go plant-based: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/go-plant-based/

>> Meat industry uses 80% of all the antibiotics in the U.S.

>> Facebook pages to like and follow: Moxie DietitianNo Meat AthletePlant-Based DietitianSarah Stanley Inspired LivingBrendan BrazierMy Kind of Life

Cheers to a healthy life!

Cover photo credit: Nicholas Tonelli

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Make It A Meatless Summer

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Make It A Meatless Summer

meatless-summer.jpg

  Summertime is a great time to explore more meatless meals, especially with the abundance of fruits and vegetables in the Farmer’s Market! Over the past few months, I have written several blogs about the many reasons to cutback on eating meat and adopting a plant-based lifestyle.

  1. HEALTH. Meat, especially red and processed meat increases the risk of cancer. A new report on the cancer guidelines suggests cutting back on meat. Eating more whole, plant-based foods not only decreases your risk of chronic diseases like cancer, but it also can increase the amount of fiber and phytochemicals in your diet (My blog on Cancer).
  2. COST. I took a grocery store tour several months ago and decided that I could feed about 60+ people quinoa and lentils for $18.48 vs. a 3.5 pound bag (about 6-9 breasts) of organic chicken at $20- $21. Swapping expensive meat with economical plant-based proteins can help save money and/or increase spending on organic fruits and vegetables! Farmers markets or CSAs are great ways to support your local communities and take advantage of great prices on fresh food! (my blog on myths about protein).
  3. ENVIRONMENT. Livestock and animal products are not sustainable; at least at the rates Americans (and other “developed” countries) eat them. Not only do meat and animal products contribute to green house gases, larger farms have also created astronomical environmental impacts, such as dead zones in the oceans and rivers from manure runoffs. (My blog on stewardship).
  4. INCREASE FOOD PRODUCTION FOR HUMANS TO EAT. Lowering the production of meat and dairy, Round River Farmers in Minnesota discovered that the region of Western Lake Superior would be able to produce enough food to feed the entire community. A Standard American Diet (SAD) would require over 500,000 acres of land and would only produce enough food for 83% of the region. Conversely, a diet lower in meat and dairy would require about 375,000 acres of land and would feed 100% of the region! Shifting towards a plant-based diet would decrease the supply and demand of animal products. means less land needed to grow feed for animals and less land needed to house animals in Factory Farms or land for grazing. Instead of using the land for soy, corn, and animals, the land could be used to grow enough organic fruits and vegetables to meet dietary recommendations for Americans...... because currently, we fail at that. (My blog from the Healthy Lives Conference).

Learning about healthier meatless options and exploring new recipes can be an exciting adventure! Reframe your perspective--- think about it as adding flavor and health to your life!! 

Great plant-based sources of protein: beans (chickpeas, black beans, soybeans, edamame, kidney beans, mung beans…..), lentils, split peas, tofu, nuts, seeds (chia, hemp), quinoa, nutritional yeast, and tempeh!

Here are some meatless-meal ideas to get you started:

1. Swap the Burger for a bean burger or a Portobello mushroom.

Portobello Mushroom and Cashew Cheese Burger

Italian Bean Balls

Black Bean Quinoa Burger

Spicy BBQ Chickpea Burgers

Quarter Pounder Beet Burger

2. Grill  fruits and veggies rather than meat.

Grilled Veggie Kabobs

3. If you don’t have celiac disease, try some homemade seitan!

Seitan ribs

Seitan Negimaki

4. Try a quinoa salad!

Quinoa salad with black bean and mango

Grilled Asparagus and chili orange quinoa spring rolls

Curried Coconut Quinoa

5. Almond or pistachio crusted tofu instead of fish

My pistachio crusted tofu recipe

6. Tempeh instead of chicken

Sweet and Sour Tempeh

 7.  Bean or Lentils for a fiber and protein packed meal

Lentil Tacos

BBQ Chili (my brothers love this one over baked sweet potato fries!)

Lemon dill bean salad

Spicy Lentil Sloppy Joes

Chickpea “tuna” Salad

8. Zucchini "pasta" salad with a peanut sauce

Zucchini noodles with a peanut sauce

9. Sarah and I also dig these Mung Bean and Black Bean pastas. 23-25 grams of protein per serving!

mung beans
mung beans

Super tasty with a peanut sauce, tomato sauce, homemade pesto, cashew "blue cheese" dressing, or homemade salad dressing!

10. Check out my Pinterest Boards or the Meatless Monday Pinterest Board for more Meatless Summer ideas! 

kAD
kAD

In good health,

Kristina

To learn more about plant-based living, find me on Twitter and Facebook!

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Real (Fast) Food

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Real (Fast) Food

Today's fast "food" is not food at all but fast disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, ADHD and ADD, mood disorders, headaches, autoimmune diseases....the list is long. Ingredients can either give you life+health or disease. Read this just released by Food Babe about Taco Bell.  I had fast food today. Yes, you read that correctly! Real, fast, fresh food as in organic raspberries, organic mushrooms, organic avocado, organic garlic, organic bee pollen, organic hemp hearts, organic walnuts, organic apple. And all arranged nicely on a breakable plate!

Each of these real fast foods contains essential nutrients the body needs to fight disease and free radicals. Just another thing Taco Bell, Wendy's, McDonalds, Silver John's, Red Lobster, Chili's, etc is lacking! What they serve will actually age you. It's not a coincidence that people think I'm at least 10 years younger than my current age! Organic real food promotes healthy, youthful skin! Who doesn't want that?! :)

In addition, fast "food" creates trash and pollution. There is a reason I use breakable things like glass. :)

This plate took about 4 minutes to prepare and cost around $9.55. (Keep in mind that I ate this after a morning of training.)

Menu:

Organic avocado ($2.00): anti-inflammatory, essential healthy fat, heart health, fiber, vitamin K, B6, E, C, copper, folate, regulates blood sugar

Organic raw garlic ($0.25): manganese, B6, vitamin C, heart health, selenium, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial

Organic raspberries ($1.50): antioxidant, fights fat cells, fights cancer (we all have cells that can turn to cancer when we eat the wrong things), anti-inflammatory, high in vitamin C, manganese, fiber, omega-3. (note: organic raspberries are higher in antioxidants than toxic pesticide raspberries)

Organic hemp hearts ($1.75): essential fat, protein, omegas, helps heart health, digestion, energy, regulates cholesterol, balances blood sugar, contains all the essential amino acids

Organic walnuts ($0.75): vitamin E, omega-3's, copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, magnesium, protein

Organic bee pollen ($0.80): contains all the essential amino acids, protein, energy, anti-inflammatory, skin enhancer, helps digestion, immune booster, heart health, more about this superfood here.

Organic apple ($1.50): antioxidant, fights cancer, promotes heart health, anti-asthma, vitamin C

Organic mushrooms ($1.00): one of the most beneficial natural medicines, manages weight, vitamin D, boosts immune system, helps those suffering from autoimmune diseases (i.e. RA) and damage from stroke, anti-inflammatory, helps with asthma, antiviral, antibacterial

---

When I choose foods to eat I think about the nutritional and health benefits they will provide my body. I think about preventing disease. I think about future generations. Because what I eat today doesn't just impact me it also impacts the next 5-6 generations! I want to leave a healthy inheritance! In addition, I also pick foods that are local (low carbon footprint) and that support local, organic farmers. The foods and nutrition profile I listed above all contain essential nutrients to prevent disease, fantastic blood work, clear skin, energy, etc. There is no nutritional profile with "fast food". It's a wrapper that will give you and generations to come, disease. Now, that's not a very kind thing to do is it? Commit to making real, fast organic food your meals from now on! I know you can do it. :)

Cheers! xo

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The Gluten-Free Travel Guide

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The Gluten-Free Travel Guide

suitcases

With summer quickly approaching (yay!), that means vacations and traveling are right around the corner. If you are dreading trying to find gluten free food, never fear! Here are eight tips for you to set your mind at ease while on the road and eating real food gluten free lifestyle. #1) Use technology

Yelp is one of my personal favorite apps when I am on the road. I typically type in the search field ‘vegan' or ‘plant-based'. I've found that both of these usually result in finding some pretty neat places that serve delicious, naturally gluten free food. This also lets you explore parts of town you are visiting that you wouldn't otherwise. And of course, you can always ask questions on the Udi's Gluten Free community page. There is sure to be someone who knows where you are traveling to!

#2) Be prepared

One of my must-dos when I travel is to always pack real food. Real food that is naturally gluten free is a great way to start off any trip on the right foot. If you are traveling in a car pack a cooler with all kinds of real foods! Simply refill it with ice along your road trip. Hummus, organic Greek Yogurt (Wallaby Organic Yogurt is a good choice), made-from-scratch guacamole, almond butter or sunflower seed butter. Pack these goodies in glass containers (avoid plastic whenever possible).

#3) Eat real "fast" food

The best gluten free foods are those that are naturally free. Not surprising, eh? Hemp hearts, coconut butter, almond, walnuts, sunflower seeds, goji berries, kale, spinach, arugula, carrots, celery, mushrooms, bee pollen, acai, herbs- the list of naturally gluten free foods is endless! You can find them at local health food stores, farmer's markets, and CSAs. And of course be sure to buy organic real foods too!

#4) Go local

Local farmer's markets are a great place to try new gluten free foods and also give you an insiders look at the town you are traveling in. These two sites are a great resource for traveling and also in your hometown as well. Bookmark these sites Local Harvest (also includes a list for CSAs) and Pick-Your-Own. Pressed Juice Directory is another great site to find organic juices wherever you go. I hope you refer to these sites frequently! Shopping local is a great way to give back and support the local community you are traveling in.

#5) Carry snacks with you at all times

If you know you'll be relaxing on the beach or visiting a museum for many hours, be sure to always pack some snacks with you so don't have to look up the nearest place that might have gluten free options. Nut and seed bars, dried fruit, nut and coconut butter packets are all great real foods to have on hand.

#6) Pick where you go to eat out

If you can pick where everyone goes out to eat you will have peace of mind. (And everyone is happy!) This might require a little research on your part but will save you much heartache in the long run. If you have Celiac calling ahead and asking about their meal preparations and how they prepare their gluten free meals is always a good idea.

#7) Keep your immune system happy

This might sound like an odd tip when traveling but it's probably one of the most important ones on this list! Gluten sensitivities and Celiac disease are a sign of leaky gut and/or a compromised immune system. Eighty percent of the immune system lives in the gut, so one of the best things you can do for your health on road (and at home too!) is to take a quality probiotic. Traveling is a stress and added stress increases inflammation in the body which doesn't make for a happy immune system. Help boost your immune system and keep your gut flora happy by taking a probiotic daily. If you are taking a road trip pack a refrigerated probiotic such as this one. If traveling by air use a dry ice pack. Probiotics are highly perishable so handle with care (hence the keeping cool part). Keep your gut happy while on vacation this summer! (Tip: find a local made sauerkraut at farmer's market or at a local food store. Organic Sauerkraut is a great probiotic. Note: always buy sauerkraut in the refrigerated section, NOT shelf stable.)

#8) Skip the alcoholic drink

Alcohol is inflammation and, as you just read, inflammation doesn't make for a happy gut or immune system. So drink with a lot of caution if you do decide to drink. One healthy alternative is kombucha. This effervescent drink contains a tiny bit of naturally occurring alcohol so you can still say "cheers!" with your friends. It can be found at local health food stores, Whole Foods Market and even on tap at some farmer's markets (so delicious). Cheers to that!

Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/community

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi's Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.