Amy After

Tips, motivation & advice for a gluten-free lifestyle

Archive of ‘Gluten Free’ category

da Vinci Knows Best

“Gluttony, sleep and idleness in bed have banished every virtue from the world. So that our bewildered nature is almost overcome by debauchery. Henceforth, it would be well to rouse yourself from sleep, the Master said, because lying down will not bring thee to Fame; nor staying beneath the covers. He who, without Fame, burns his life to waste, leaves no more vestige of himself on earth than wind-blown smoke or the foam upon the sea.”

Leonardo da Vinci

Isn’t it funny that da Vinci was complaining about how lazy people were in his day? And that was 500 years ago! I guess it is just our nature to veg out. There is no escaping it. It is just fun to flop into bed or onto the couch and space out watching T.V.

We all have goals and dreams that we want to achieve.  If only there was more time, if we had more energy, or less demands being placed on us.              Sigh…

What do you want the most, right now? At this time in my life the thing I want most is to get my formerly neglected body into the best shape possible. As shedding 170lbs is quite an undertaking, I’ll just have to let becoming fluent in French and making my first million slide for a little while longer.

If you haven’t already – just observe the people in your life. This includes the people you come into contact with personally and those you feel you know because you follow them so closely through various media (not judging, just saying). Compare the behavior of the Haves and the Have-nots. What do the people do who have what you want? Do they work consistently every single day, even when it’s hard? Do they sacrifice? Even though we like to believe that the wealthy, powerful, beautiful people have everything handed to them on a silver platter – I have yet to find one single example of that really being true.

In the morning while I’m still sleeping, Gwyneth Paltrow is putting in the first of her two daily workouts. In the evening while I’m draped across the bed in an altered state of consciousness, Tamara Mellon (founder of Jimmy Choo shoe empire) is still at the office burning the midnight oil (saw that on Oprah). I see pictures of these women at the parties hobnobbing with other rich beautiful celebrities and I want what they have.

So, I guess that is the puzzle each of us has to figure out on our own. What do we yearn for enough to be willing to challenge our human nature hard enough to get? Once you figure that out, find the people who are making it happen and do what they are doing. We all have to answer this question for ourselves, but we don’t have to do this alone. Another part of human nature is the desire to support and help our fellow man in our common journey.

A Cow Says…




Do you want strong bones? Do you want health, happiness and vitality? Then you’d better be getting your dairy! If you think you’re getting enough then think again. It’s never enough – if you believe the numerous celebrity filled ads and commercials. Why does the dairy industry care so much about our health? The broccoli industry sure doesn’t seem to. And I feel totally ignored by the artichoke people.

The Dairy Industry is ju
st that – an industry. Why does any industry exist? To make money – period.  Don’t misunderstand; being in business to make money is fine with me. But if your business means brainwashing and misleading the population at the expense of their health then I have a huge problem with that. This issue is now where the tobacco industry used to be when cigarette ads were done by doctors declaring smoking to be healthy. (Find some of those commercials on the internet, they’re wild!)  Nowadays if someone chooses to smoke then that is their decision to make. They are well aware of the consequences and voluntarily choose to take the associated risks.  Do you know the risks of consuming dairy? There are huge side effects and warnings should be printed on the side of every jug and carton.

Few people have seen or heard anything other than what The National Dairy Counsel has paid hundreds of millions for them to hear. But let’s block out their message, from which they make astounding profits and use our common sense for a minute. Which other being in existence drinks milk past the age of weaning or drinks the milk of a completely different species?  Humans have no resemblance to cows whatsoever. They have four stomachs! We don’t possess the enzymes to break down the proteins in cow’s milk. But since we begin our children on cow’s milk from infancy then a tolerance is built to try to handle this substance. Some handle it better than others but it is just not something our system should have to deal with. The main problem with dairy is it is mucus forming. Walk into an ear nose and throat office and count the number of children in the waiting room because of chronic sinus problems, allergies and clogged ears (chronic ear infections).  If dairy was removed from the equation then there would hardly be a need for the allergy medicines and tubes for the ears. Calcium – we don’t absorb all the calcium from dairy. If cows make all this calcium filled milk, where are they getting their calcium? Are they drinking orangutan milk? They are eating grass! We absorb more calcium from eating greens and other vegetables than we ever could from drinking cow’s milk. That is what humans were designed to do. Many people are able to digest yogurt who have problems with other forms of dairy. The only way to know if you are one of them is through experimentation.

Growing up I had ear infection after ear infection. My sinuses were a mess. At one point a doctor recommended that I have my tonsils taken out.  As a young adult I ate decongestants like candy to relieve the pressure in my ears. Then I began hearing this information and, always willing to experiment on myself, I gave up dairy. I mourned for the loss of my ice cream. I tried to substitute with a rice milk version – blech! I made my own pizza with non-dairy cheese which was actually amazingly good. I got used to living without dairy for eight months and did not really miss it. Then one night I was making pizza for my son and his friends when I convinced myself that eating one piece was no big deal and it was just a few bites of cheese, for crying out loud! So I ate the slice and it was GOOD!!!  I then spent several hours that night in the bathroom while my body did a perfect stomach flu impression.  My body had not had to tolerate the offending cow sludge for eight glorious months and let me know loud and clear that it wasn’t going to stand for it again.  I haven’t had a sinus infection or earache in over a decade. I’ve read about too many other people with the same results to count. Since I haven’t consumed cheese regularly for many years now I can and do allow myself to have some occasionally.

I know that this is a touchy subject. People feel very strongly about their dairy. Won’t their bones break without it? Won’t their children fail to thrive and grow? All I am asking is to have an open mind about the possibility that those are lessons given to us by people who are filthy rich because of our willingness to believe them. Entertain the idea of letting go of the dairy for a month or two and just see what happens. Then reintroduce it and see how you feel.  You might be surprised.

To Supplement or Not to Supplement?

That is not the only question. Back before the world’s population explosion and industrialized farming became the norm, people were able to get all the necessary nutrients from their food. Crops were rotated,  pesticides were blissfully absent and the soil was allowed to rest and rejuvenate between growing seasons. Now that our farming practices have moved in ways that go against nature rather than with it, the soil is bereft of vital nutrients and our food can no longer meet our daily requirements of vital nutrients.

Since we know that we must supplement, many questions remain as to which ones are best. Is a multivitamin enough? Are they all equal? Is spending a lot on the expensive ones a waste of money? One of the first things I learned in my studies is that buying your supplements from the drugstore or grocery store is indeed usually a waste of money. Many of the common brands we’ve all heard of are so coated that they pass through your body unabsorbed. These products are mass produced with profit margin as the primary (if not only) goal. Most of the well known health food store brands are more expensive but will actually serve their purpose. Everyone needs a great multi-vitamin as well as an oil supplement, such as an Omega-3 fish oil supplement. A knowledgeable store owner or person on staff at your local health food store should be able to help you decide which choice is right for you.

There are hundreds of supplement choices that can help transform your life, but don’t start thinking that the more you take, the better. Nutritional supplements are very powerful and there can be drug interactions with some and dangerous levels reached with others that are fat soluble as opposed to water soluble. Do your research and get advice from someone trained in natural medicine, if possible.