Sorry, my paleo friends!


Given the current anti-gluten craze, I decided to took a gluten-free 30-day challenge a few months ago. Last week I shared with you the first 5 things I learnt from it (Click HERE to find out more)… Let’s look at the last few things I took out this month without gluten:

  • The only crackers I eat!

    The only no-gluten crackers I eat!

    A delicious new permanent staple in my kitchen. Mary’s Crackers. A pure gem without gluten. Made of brown rice, quinoa, flax and sesame seeds, they have the best rich, nutty flavour and always hold their toasty crunch. Perfect with some grass-fed butter, some real cheese or with your favourite dips. They are of course organic and non-GMO.

  • My crowding-out method works. If you know my approach to nutrition, you’ve already heard of my ‘crowing-out’ method: when you eat more of the good stuff first, you simply don’t have enough room to eat other foods. By eliminating my usually substantial intake of bread, and occasional pasta and cakes, I ended up eating more leafy greens, fresh herbs, nuts, root vegetables, legumes, organic eggs and healthy fats (butter, coconut oil, olive oil). Great benefit for me from avoiding gluten!
  • I damaged the planet. I surprisingly craved meat so I added some more (grass-fed) lamb and beef in my diet. The livestock industry is one of the main causes if not the root of climate change… So I was not very proud of myself, not to mention moral issues that I sometimes have of animals being killed for unnecessarily food.
  •  Did I lose weight…? Yes. I did lose a bit of weight. But again it might be much more because of my increase of foods promoting weight loss than not eating gluten. By not having any bread, and occasional pasta or cakes, I ate a lot more leafy greens, fresh herbs, nuts, root vegetables, legumes, organic eggs, healthy fats and low GI gluten-free grains (see last week missive). I definitely feel lighter.
  • Grumpy Baker -my favourite bakery in Sydney, here I come! At the end of my gluten-free month I honestly couldn’t see any major benefits. One obsession: I can’t wait to have my organic wholemeal bread and a croissant (or 2!) from the Grumpy Baker again. But since then I made sure to eat more greens!  

Still feel like going off gluten? Please think twice!

1- Don’t panic! Even if Australia has one of the world’s highest reported incidences of food allergies, it only affects 2% of the adult population and 1% ONLY are gluten intolerant. Yes, all this fuss about the paleo madness, anti-grain war, carb phobia-  when only 1% of the population is potentially allergic. So please think twice before following the anti-gluten trend. Once again this is nothing but a fad, which ignores the most recent science.

2- Sorry paleo friends but strong evidence shows that humans used to eat grains more than 4 millions years ago, way before the Paleolithic era, which began about 2.5 million years ago! Then 125,000 years ago, when humans started to use fire and eat cooked grains, they started to get straighter: they literally ‘grew like grains’. The bulk of the science also clearly shows that grains don’t increase inflammation and are consistently found to be healthy: they can help prevent diabetes 2 and cardiovascular diseases while promoting weight loss!

3- Grains including those with gluten have served to fuel the development of civilisations throughout human history, have been central to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine and still provide superior nutrition, sustained energy, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, soluble fibre, insoluble fiber, lignins…

4- However all grains are not the same and industrial gluten consumption (which you can find in all processed biscuits, pasta, cereals, but also in ice creams and dairy) is actually directly related to our huge health crisis: the monoculture of mutated modern (GMO) wheat in high quantities and unfermented is at the root of the increasing number of people suffering from gluten intolerance and more importantly the epidemic of diet-related diseases including weight gain and obesity, diabetes, allergies, some cancers, heart disease.

5- The solution: always go for whole, organic grains (to avoid GMOs). And as always, avoid as much as you can processed foods. So remember one thing before deciding to give up all the delicious foods containing gluten: ‘gluten-free diet is unhealthy for the general population, except for 1% of the population!’ as nutrition expert Dr McDougall put it. So… Croissant, anyone?

6- Still feel like going off gluten? Just like I do with my clients when they think they are gluten intolerant but aren’t sure, I would encourage you to try the gluten-free month challenge. 

7- Finally, you might be interested in this great article from Michael Specter published in the New Yorker. Click HERE.

And you, what is you experience with gluten? Leave your comment or share this article if you liked it.

All the best and talk to you next week! 



PS: another delicious recipe – which happens to be gluten-free!

Parmesan polenta with prosciutto, tomatoes and goat cheese with asparagus

Ingredients: soft polenta for 4 (see first recipe), 4 slices of prosciutto, 400 grs cherry tomatoes, 8 asparagus, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

Pour the soft polenta into a baking dish and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Cut the polenta into pieces half the size of your palm and cook until golden and crisp for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Place on a plate. Use the same pan and briefly cook the prosciutto, the tomatoes and the asparagus (previously blanched). Top each piece of polenta with 1 slice of prosciutto, tomatoes, asparagus (cut in 4cm pieces) and some goat’s cheese. Add sea salt, pepper, dressing made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. You can serve with a refreshing green rocket salad and a glass of light red wine (or rose in summer).

And now close your eyes… Where are you? Yes you’re in Nice on the French Riviera…

Nice, French Riviera

Nice, French Riviera

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