Keep Austin Weird
Those words flowed from many a T-shirt and echoed in my ears when I visited Austin. We stayed with my friend, who is close enough to be a sister.
You immediately notice the difference between Phoenix and Austin; My friend lived in front of a forest of dense trees, or as they call it- a greenbelt. It was home to mosquito’s, mice, snakes, foxes, hares, scorpions, and even coyotes. Most of these animals would very often stray into their backyard.
My friend had recently completed six weeks of being on an AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) diet that consisted of only meat, selected fruits, and selected vegetables. In her case, this was necessary because of an auto-immune disorder that affected her, but now she eats pretty much everything except gluten (wheat protein), soy protein, and dairy (milk protein). In the course of her research into her condition and the relation between diet and auto-immune disorders in general, she learned quite a few things which are applicable to all us. I have been already Gluten free for last 1.5 years and have been able to maintain this life style by choice. It has helped me loose weight and also helped with other stomach issues.
I am listing the three most interesting ones here.
Why Go Gluten-Free?
Almost all the wheat in the world has now been genetically modified, meaning Food Inc. has modified plant seeds to make them cheaper, larger and sweeter at the expense of valuable nutrients. The wheat flour today has six times the amount of gluten than found in wheat flour a few decades ago. Since gluten is an inexpensive food binder, it is also used in pretty much everything you can imagine- most sauces, ketchup, dressings, baked items, heck- even in your toothpaste and shampoo. The Functional Medicine experts maintain that this results in serious problems in people with autoimmune disorders of all kinds. Keeping the gluten low in your diet may save you a lot of trouble in the future. In the tradition of keeping Austin Weird, my friend lets her perfectly healthy kids eat gluten only once in a while. The organic sprouted wheat bread that those kids eat is actually not bad at all, but she would rather her weirdo kids eat white gluten-free bread because it is not enriched. If you do not suffer from Celiac, she maintains that the bread made from organic sprouted wheat flour is better for you. Weird- these Austinites.
Kombucha, if you haven’t heard of it before, is a fizzy drink made by fermenting tea with sugar. It is high in probiotics and helps with digestion. Apple Cider Vinegar contains the “mother” of vinegar which occurs naturally as connected strand-like chains of protein enzyme molecules. In 400 B.C. Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, used it for its amazing natural cleansing qualities. My weird Austinite friend drinks an Apple Cider Vinegar drink in which she puts honey, cinnamon powder, and lemon in warm water with two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar. She drinks it because it helps with indigestion, bloating. Definitely weird- these Austinites.
I have seen Synergy Kambucha at Sprouts Farmers Market
on the two weekends I was there, they took me to the Farmer’s Market each Sunday morning and we got local produce from the farmers at the market. This is their family ritual! Ha! But I got smarter on the second weekend they took me there. While the entire family was checking out organic teeth whiteners, I stole away for a few minutes to a stall selling organic and natural skin conditioners. Now you are talking -that’s my kind of store. And I would rather be doing some photo shoots on weekends than sipping Buddha’s Brew Kombucha, and outdoor shopping for pasture fed free range chicken and organic, gluten free cheesecake in Austin’s hot and humid weather. Certified weird- these Austinites.
But then I ate the food that she cooked and I was amazed at how much better it tasted when it was fresh and had not been frozen, preserved, or precooked. And to top it all off, my friend has shed several pounds and looks great. And seemed to be in good control of her auto-immune disorder. It was then that I decided to buy a Keep Austin Weird T-shirt and write this blog. Weird but healthy.
I am so grateful to have a friend who is like my sister, kids had lot fun together. I had great time catching up and eating healthy on my vacation!!!