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If you're looking at a food that's completely processed, it is not healthy.

I've had clients who went along with my recommendation to pull all the gluten out of their diets, and all of a sudden they're gorging themselves on gluten-free bread, muffins, cookies and cakes. I say, “Hey, you didn't eat this stuff before! Why are you eating it now?”

I don't care where you found it or what the label says, if you're looking at a food that's completely processed, it is not healthy. A rice cake, bread, cookie, muffin or cracker might be gluten-free, but it's processed, so leave it, all right?

Do you want some real gluten-free goodness? The very best gluten-free foods come in their own natural packaging. Some of my favorite examples are apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes and avocados.

GLUTEN-FREE GOODNESS

When you remove the gluten from the diet of someone who is gluten-sensitive, you can get near-miraculous results. My client Petra had suffered for a year with chronic tendinitis. She had seen numerous physical therapists, plus MDs, acupuncturists and pain specialists. None of them could make much of a difference in her condition, and in fact, the pain was getting worse.

Then, she gave up gluten for 1 week, and suddenly all of her pain was gone. If I hadn't seen it myself — and if I hadn't experienced a miniversion of her experience with my own gluten-induced swollen fingers — I'm not sure I would have believed it.

Petra is not my only client to experience such dramatic responses to a gluten-free diet, not to mention the countless men and women who simply feel better when they don't consume it. George, my client who couldn't bear to give up bread, was actually delighted to discover how much better he felt on a gluten-free regime.

“I just feel clearer and more focused,” he told me when we last met. “And I've definitely got more energy. Plus, I have to admit, cutting out gluten made it a lot easier to lose weight!”

“It's hard to get in trouble when you pull gluten out,” I agreed. “No pizza, no baked goods, no pasta, no bread — a lot of weight-loss obstacles are just out the window.”

George laughed. “I remember how I thought I could never live without gluten,” he told me. “And now, to be honest, I can't even imagine eating it again. Who could have thought that gluten-free would feel so good?”

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