Author: Marybeth Dickerson

Gluten intolerance…Some good info, but long.

check this one out:

Gluten intolerance, also called gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease- when it’s in its most severe form- can have symptoms that range from no symptoms to life threatening or debilitating chronic health problems and anywhere in between. Often, these symptoms are not consistent from person to person and this is part of what makes gluten testing or Diagnosing Gluten Sensitivity so difficult for medical professionals.

According to Dr. Amy Myers the following are 10 signs of gluten intolerance:

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and even constipation. I see the constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.

2. Keratosis pilaris, also known as “chicken skin” on the back of your arms. This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog, or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma or multiple sclerosis.

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS, or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine headaches.

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pinpoint the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling, or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees, or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, and ADD.

According to The below are five not-so-obvious signs of gluten intolerance that you could be missing:

1. “You’re a full-grown adult but you still have breakouts like a teenager: Your skin is the body’s biggest organ and provides a window into your internal health. That may be why Dr. Alessio Fasano, at the University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research argues that persistent acne is a sign of inflammation from gluten that can affect other organs.

2. You wake up feeling sluggish, you’re fatigued all day, and never feel rested: If you aren’t burning the midnight oil every night and you are still hitting the snooze button repeatedly ever morning, your diet may actually be to blame. A gluten-filled diet can not only induce fatigue in someone with gluten intolerance, it can actually disrupt your sleep patterns and create a feeling of general malaise, according to studies.

3. You suffer from mood issues, anxiety, depression, or ADD. A gluten intolerance or allergy might not create anxiety or depression out of thin air, but they can certainly make symptoms worse. A 2010 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cited “significant concerns about increased rates of psychological symptoms and mental disorders in celiacs” patients.

4. You mysteriously suffer from join pain in your hands, knees, or hips: Join pain can be signs of several different autoimmune diseases. If you’re not hitting the heavy weights, logging serious miles running, or suffering from arthritis, the inflammatory response from a gluten intolerance may be one reason your system is triggering a reaction in your joints.

5. You are plagued by frequent headaches and migraines: The causes of migraines are various and mysterious, but some studies have made a connection between an increased rate of headaches and migraines in Celiac patients, compared to the general population. In a 2001 study, Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in the UK documented patients actually lessening their migraine symptom by following gluten-free diets”.

And it gets worse, gluten has been linked to over 55 diseases! Yes, I said 55 diseases.

Gluten Sensitivity: One Cause, Many Diseases

A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)

According to Dr. Mark Hyman, “we used to think that gluten problems or celiac disease were confined to children who had diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive. Now we know you can be old, fat, and constipated and still have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different “diseases.” To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause–which is often gluten sensitivity–not just the symptoms.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone–but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.

By failing to identify gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, we create needless suffering and death for millions of Americans. Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with better medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating 100 percent of the gluten from your diet.”

So, what’s a person to do? Well, first get tested by your doctor have him/her do the run down to make sure that there is nothing else going on then try a gluten elimination diet.

Similar Articles

The following articles contain content that is similar to this article,10 Signs you are Gluten Intolerant:



(i) Ludvigsson JF, Montgomery SM, Ekbom A, Brandt L, Granath F. Small-intestinal histopathology and mortality risk in celiac disease. JAMA. 2009 Sep 16;302(11):1171-8.

(ii) Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93

(iii) Green PH, Neugut AI, Naiyer AJ, Edwards ZC, Gabinelle S, Chinburapa V. Economic benefits of increased diagnosis of celiac disease in a national managed care population in the United States. J Insur Med. 2008;40(3-4):218-28.

(iv) Farrell RJ, Kelly CP. Celiac sprue. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jan 17;346(3):180-8. Review.

(v) Sedghizadeh PP, Shuler CF, Allen CM, Beck FM, Kalmar JR. Celiac disease and recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a report and review of the literature. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2002;94(4):474-478.

(vi) Margutti P, Delunardo F, Ortona E. Autoantibodies associated with psychiatric disorders. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2006 May;3(2):149-57. Review.

(vii) Ludvigsson JF, Reutfors J, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of mood disorders–a general population-based cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):117-26. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

(viii) Ludvigsson JF, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of schizophrenia and other psychosis: a general population cohort study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb;42(2):179-85.

(ix) Hu WT, Murray JA, Greenaway MC, Parisi JE, Josephs KA. Cognitive impairment and celiac disease. Arch Neurol. 2006 Oct;63(10):1440-6.

(x) Bushara KO. Neurologic presentation of celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2005 Apr;128(4 Suppl 1):S92-7. Review.

(xi) Millward C, Ferriter M, Calver S, Connell-Jones G. Gluten- and casein-free diets for autistic spectrum disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD003498. Review.

(xii) Green PH, Jabri B. Coeliac disease. Lancet. 2003 Aug 2;362(9381):383-91. Review.

Sources for Article:

Huffington Post Dr. Mark Hyman

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Cool weather, warm kitchen and new store partners



It’s been pretty foggy, windy and rainy on the island this week…Very primal weather.  But the kitchen is warm and toasty thanks to our ovens…and it smells wonderful!

We have two new retailers this week.  Yelm Food Co-Op  ( in…Yelm and Mountain Community Co-Op ( ) in Eatonville.

If live or wandering around in these lovely places, be sure to stop in, say “hi”.

Stay warm and dry…and eat granola

Search “Primal Island” on youtube…

and you get this:

Three intrepid treasure hunters seeking out two-century-riches.  Too bad those pesky dinosaurs keep causing so many problems.  Maybe they could run faster if they had knees!   Some crossfit might help…

Help Primal Island WIN Best-of 2013!!

Paleo Magazine is doing their “Best-Of” issue and Primal Island is nominated for “Best Paleo Snack”.  Help Primal Island WIN Best-of 2013 by going here: and voting for us!

The competition is stiff, but we’re going for it!  People like you who have tried our grain-free granola LOVE IT.

Now you can buy it in more places than ever!

Thanks for all your support!  Keep Paleo!

New Market and other great stuff

MB and Janell, Janell's Gluten Free Market, Everett, WA

MB and Janell, Janell’s Gluten Free Market, Everett, WA

That’s Janell on the right.    She owns and operates a market in Everett, WA called Janell’s Gluten Free Market.  Her store is dedicated to providing gluten-free foods… And she’s our most recent retailer!

From National Guardperson to market owner, hers is a really inspiring story of how one person overcame her body’s gluten intolerance and is helping others with similar issues.  Read more about Janell here:

Her store is at 7024 Evergreeen Way, Ste A, Everett, WA.  Stop by and say “hi”.

I braved the first really wet storm of the season and caught the ferry off the island to do a tasting over there.  I even put on my “city clothes” for the event!  (A girl’s gotta put away the down coat and mud boots every once in a while!)

We also had a really fun day at the last farmers’ market of the year in Langley.  Even though the wind was blowing unsecured awnings all over town, lots of folks, both regular islanders and visitors from afar, were ignoring the gusts and enjoying the market.  A stage was set up in front of the old fire station.  My daughter stepped up to the mic for an a cappella set as well.  She sounded great, of course…and, no, I’m not the least bit biased!

Visitors from Idaho Falls, Portland and lots of other places stopped by the booth.  A couple of good friends bought bags as host gifts for upcoming travels!  These markets are always fun!

Another exciting thing happened this week:  As the previous post says, we’re on ‘s “primal post-it” contest.  That prompted quite a bit of website activity and two inquiries from Great Britain.  Ben, your granola is on its way to your place in London.  Enjoy!

We also got on Amazon this week.  The reviews are coming in…all the support is great…and a little overwhelming!

Win 8 bags of Primal Island Toasted Coconut Granola!

Mark’s Daily Apple is having a really great contest.  The short version:  place a Post-It note, with a Paleo-oriented message on it, on an item and snap a photo.  Photo-shopped photos are ok as well.  Send it to

Here is the link to the contest page:

If you win, you’ll receive 8 bags of Primal Island Toasted Coconut Granola and six of each treat from Paleo Treats… Mmmmm.


Grain-Free Granola Goes International!

Well, since we live about 50 miles (80 km) from the Canadian border, someone has probably smuggled a bag or two into another country already, but today, at one of the farmers’ markets on Whidbey, we sold 20 bags to a lovely person who is taking them to Saudi Arabia…Granola in the Desert!  The dry air is sure to keep the coconut flakes crispy!

Fun.  If you’re ever on Whidbey, come see us at the farmers’ markets in Langley, Bayview and Tilth on Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the end of September.

If you can’t make it to Whidbey, you’ll find us on the shelves at Central Co-op on Capital Hill in Seattle, Port Townsend Co-op in (wait for it…) Port Townsend!  We’re working on other stores.  Ask your people to stock it in the stores where you shop.   Or order online and we’ll send it to you…

But we’ll have to charge a little more if you want it sent to Saudi Arabia. 🙂


A Paleo Success Story

Hi there! I’d like to introduce you to our latest paleo success story, Karen. I heard Karen’s story and, as politely as I could, approached her to see if she’d be interested in inspiring and encouraging others with her story. She graciously agreed and sat down to answer all my questions. Thank you, Karen!

Here is Karen’s summary:
Time on paleo: 7 months
60 lbs (goal) down in 5 months, 67lbs down total
Essential advice: 
Give it the thirty days they recommend.

paleo success story, paleo diet, paleo

Karen, tell us a little about yourself.
I am 45 yrs old and I live in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. I am a federal government employee and I am required to travel occasionally. Some of my hobbies include walking, reading, house-sitting and spending time with friends & family.
How long have you been paleo?

I started my paleo journey on November 13, 2012.  I had been reading about paleo since late October 2012 and felt that it was the right choice for me but I was going out of town and thought it might be hard to start it off with that challenge (I did try it out at a couple of restaurants!).

What prompted you to make the change?

I have made the weight loss journey a couple of times in my life and had always fallen back to old bad habits.  With both prior journeys, I had always become obsessed with the exercise part but never really developed correct eating habits (‘I can have that cupcake because I’ll just work harder tomorrow at the gym’) so when I wasn’t able to maintain my gym routine my eating habits were still the same and the weight came back.

This time I wanted to work on my eating habits before doing the gym/exercise obsession.  I had gained back almost all the weight I had lost on the prior journey and was in a real ‘funk’ so I decided I wanted to get out of the funk and get healthy.  I had already started being more conscious of what I was doing in my life (got into the housework routine again and making sure I puttered around the house each evening after work rather than sitting watching TV all evening) and was starting to feel good mentally.

Then one day I was getting my daily dose of news off MSN and I saw a blog about the paleo diet.  I read it and thought it sounded like something I could do.  My doctor told me years ago to stay away from bread so I thought maybe this was the answer to how I was going to do this.

What problems were you experiencing before you went paleo that you wanted to address?

My biggest concern was to lose weight.  I have always battled my weight and this time I wanted to do something that would be more of a lifestyle change and something I could do for the rest of my life. I had also noticed lately that I had been experiencing bad heartburn and just generally felt uncomfortable in the evenings.  After reading about paleo I was really excited about trying it to see if I could start feeling better.

It wasn’t until I was about four months into my paleo journey that I found out more about how this diet helps people with autoimmune disorders.  I have Polycystic Ovarian Sydrome (PCOS) and there was a booklet in the Primal Kit that was recently on sale and it was an eye-opening read for me.  I should have read it 22 years ago when I was first diagnosed.

How did you do it – gradually or cold turkey?

Cold turkey, I jumped right into the paleo way of thinking.  A lot of people asked me why I didn’t wait until after Christmas and I told them that there is a switch that goes off in me and I was not going to ignore it.  I did, however, tell myself that I would enjoy some of my mom’s turkey stuffing because no one makes it better, plus it helped that my 30 days would be completed by then.  I have tried hard to be faithful to my new lifestyle (no birthday cake at work, no Yorkshire puddings, no lasagna or other old favorites). The cravings are definitely gone (I don’t crave the salty snacks like I used to).

What do you feel has been central to your success?

Everything I read in the beginning talked about planning your meals.  I decided that if I was going to succeed I had to master this technique.  I am a fan of soups, stews and other ‘prepare ahead of time’ type meals.   I decided I would cook a batch of turkey soup and chicken stew to freeze for my lunches.  Not being known for my cooking skills caused me to request tips from my sister (she makes awesome stews) and brother-in-law (soup master).  I am also a person who likes routines so I found a breakfast option that works for me.  I know that the paleo lifestyle allows you to think outside the traditional breakfast box but for me eggs, raspberries and a banana work.

What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

I love my family dearly and knew that I could not convince them to change their eating habits along with me.  I live with my sister, brother-in-law and niece and we try to eat dinner as a family.  My sister has been supportive and tries to include things that I can have but there have been times that I feel tested.  My brother-in-law is a trained chef and he likes to cook.  I remember one afternoon coming home and he had made lasagna and it was sitting on the stove.  Damn, it looked good but I did not have any.

We are going camping this summer and two month ahead of time, I am already thinking about what will work for me. If I know about the events early enough, I can plan for it and that is so important.

What does your average day look like?

As I mentioned earlier, I am a routine person so breakfast is two hard-boiled eggs, a cup of raspberries and a banana, lunch is either turkey soup, chicken stew or paleo cottage pie (from Well Fed) and dinner is usually a stir-fry (my sister laughs at me for being able to make any meat into a stir-fry).  I don’t eat out nearly as much as I used to but my favorite is a local Chinese restaurant that makes a great Almond Guy Ding (altered a bit to exclude the peas, corn and much less sauce).  If I snack, it’s an apple or a small amount of almonds.

Are you at goal or do you have further progress to make to achieve your health goals?

On April 23, 2013, I was at my goal weight of 180lbs.  Everyone tells me that I don’t need to lose anymore but I would like to lean out a bit more and maybe try for 170lbs.  I am now working on my strength training (although purchasing a pedometer in January has helped me walk more and definitely take more stairs) and my weekly totals for steps and stair climbing are well above the goals I set. I recently received my 500 mile badge from Fitbit. (Yay!)

How have those around you responded to your changes – both your lifestyle changes and your results?

As I mentioned earlier, my family has been very supportive (that includes my ex-husband, who looks forward to my updates and hasn’t seen me since September 2012 so he hasn’t observed the transformation, only read about it) and my co-workers have noticed the change in me.  When I see someone that I haven’t seen in a while they are shocked at the change because it has happened so quickly.  When I lost 60 pounds in the past it has taken almost a year and this time around it has taken just over five months (23 weeks).

Where have you got most of your information?

The first information I got was from Loren Cordain (I ordered his books) and I have also gotten information from Robb Wolf, Nell Stephenson (Paleoista), Sebastien Noel (Paleo Diet Lifestyle), Neely and Jason at Paleo Plan, Melissa Joulwan (Well Fed cookbook) and most recently Bill and Haley at The Food Lovers Kitchen and yourself at Paleo/Non-Paleo.  I signed up for meal plans but found that I wasn’t quite ready to be that strict with my planning.

paleo, paleo diet, paleo success story, weight loss

To anyone reading this who is facing similar problems, what would you say?

You’ll never know if it works for you if you don’t give it a try.  Remember, new habits take 3-6 weeks to form so make sure you give it the thirty days they recommend.

What three strategies can you give us that have helped you stay the course?
  1. Plan, plan and plan some more
  2. Give it the full thirty days before you say it’s not for you
  3. Adopting paleo is a lifestyle change, not a diet and if you are in it for weight loss, do not go back to your old habits once you reach goal.  I have decided that once I am at goal, I will still not be eating grains, rice, potatoes, dairy and legumes.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

I haven’t really craved any of the salty snacks I used to eat daily and I don’t miss the potatoes, rice, pasta, and processed sides. BBQ season has begun and green salads are my friend.  I am below my goal weight and have not been a slave to the gym. Walking has been my only form of regular exercise but I do want to work on some yoga and strength training.

Update: As of today I am seven months strong on paleo and I can’t see myself going back to my unhealthy eating habits. Since I originally wrote this piece, I have continued to lose another 7lbs, making a total weight loss of 67lbs. :-)


Courtesy of:

Benefits of a Paleo Diet

Everyone gets into Paleo for different reasons and experiences different results and changes in their bodies, mood and energy levels. But pretty much everyone agrees that eating the Paleo/Primal way makes you feel pretty damn awesome. Let’s go through a list of reported and known benefits (taken from multiple success stories, studies, books and articles).


You eat unprocessed, real food

Paleo and primal diets consist of real, whole foods – except for some natural but bottled or packaged sauces, condiments and ingredients –  so you automatically eliminate a whole range of preservatives, hidden sugars, sodium, additives, colouring, artificial flavouring and who knows what else. As a result you eliminate unnecessary toxins and consume more nutrients, plus the food tastes so much better.

Paleo diet is rich in nutrients 

One of the misconceptions about the Paleo diet is that it’s all about protein and fat. What many don’t realize is that by eliminating nutrient-void processed carbs – I call them fillers – we supplement with loads of vegetables, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, berries and fruit, all of which are full of minerals and vitamins. Combine that with the improved gut health and increased nutrient absorption which happens through avoidance of irritating grains and legumes, and you get a very balanced diet. You’d be surprised that we can get pretty much all required nutrients from animal, seafood and plant-based foods.

Sustained weight loss

Most people experience weight loss and muscle growth while eating a paleo diet and keeping an active lifestyle. Improved metabolic processes and gut health, better sleep, stress management, sufficient Vitamin D and a healthy ratio of Omega-3/6 fatty acids all aid in burning off stored body fat.

Reduced bloat (and gas)

Paleo diet provides lots of fiber, which together with adequate H2O intake and a smaller intake of sodium help to decrease the bloat many people experience on a Western diet. Plus, paleo diet helps to improve the gut flora which is essential in keeping a healthy digestion.

Say goodbye to Hangry 

Hangry is a combination of hungry+angry, which is a common symptom for many people suffering from acute or chronic hyperglycemia. This also happens when the blood sugar drops and the person gets a rapid onset of hunger accompanied by irritability, fatigue, disorientation, and a foggy mind. Meals consisting of protein and fat are very satiating. The energy your body gets from fat, protein and some glucose from low GI carbs is released slowly and evenly throughout the day. As a result, the blood sugar levels stay stable and you rarely experience energy drops; hunger develops gradually without the crazy mood swings.

It’s rich in healthy fats

Paleo diet promotes healthy saturated fat from grass-fed meat, poultry, seafood, ghee, butter and coconuts; lots of monounsaturated fat from olive oil, nuts and seeds and a small amount of polyunsaturated fats; no trans fats; a healthy ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids.  The right types of fat are essential in maintaining healthy arteries, brain function, and healthy skin, as well as decreasing systemic inflammation.

People following the Paleo/Primal diet experience many of the below benefits:

Increased and more stable energy levels
Improved sleep
Clearer skin and healthier looking hair
Mental clarity
Improved mood and attitude
Improvements in those suffering depression or anxieties
Less or no bloating, decreased gas
Sustained weight loss
Muscle growth; increased fitness
Lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
Higher immune function and a general feeling of well being
Improved glucose tolerance; decreased insulin secretion and increased insulin sensitivity
Improved lipid profiles
Healthier gut flora
Better absorption of nutrients from food
Reduced allergies
Paleo diet is anti-inflammatory, most people experience reduction of pain associated with inflammation
Improvements in those with respiratory problems such as asthma

Are there any negative long-term effects of the Paleo diet? Robb Wolf sums it up pretty well in this video.

How long before I see results? Again, I will let Robb Wolf give you the answer.

Additional reading & references:

What’s the difference between Paleo & Primal diets?

– Robb Wolf’s What is the paleo diet?  and his book The Paleo Solution

– This study looked at base (usual) diet vs Paleolithic diet

– Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fullon

– Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

– The Weston A. Price Foundation website has lots of fantastic info

– Wheat Belly

– Grass fed meat health benefits

Paleo Diet testimonials from Robb Wolf’s website can be found here and success stories of living the Primal life can be found on Mark Sisson’s website here.

*Courtesy of