Gluten-Free: Is it for Everyone?

Millions of people around the world have gone gluten-free in the last decade. A 2015 Gallup poll found that around one-fifth of Americans and many Europeans prefer gluten-free foods. 

So it makes sense to ask the question: should we avoid gluten? Is it bad for our health? Should everyone go gluten-free, or just certain people? 

Ordinarily, these questions would lend themselves to pretty straightforward scientific inquiry. Researchers would examine different populations, explore the biochemistry of gluten in the human body, and conduct randomized trials to see the results of different dietary patterns.

All this work is already out there — and we’ll talk about a lot of it in this article. But talking rationally about gluten has become difficult for a couple of reasons. First, there’s a lot of money in convincing as many people as possible not just to avoid gluten, but to purchase manufactured gluten-free analogues and substitutes. By 2020, the gluten-free foods market is projected to reach $7.59 billion in the United States alone.

Second, gluten has become a pawn in the culture war between vegans and meat lovers. Many in the Paleo and keto communities cite gluten concerns as evidence that plant-based diets are inferior to those containing large amounts of (gluten-free) animal products.  

When financial interests and cultural forces intersect, the truth often suffers. The “You’re-either-with-me-or-against-me” attitude can undermine the good-faith pursuit of truth, and the millions of dollars at stake can fund pro-industry propaganda at the expense of facts.

What to Expect in This Article

In this article, we focus on the actual evidence. We explore what the science says about gluten, who can benefit from avoiding it, and whether it might actually be beneficial for some people.

And we want to remind you upfront that you know more about your body than anyone else does. More than the marketers trying to sell you their products. More than the scientists searching for trends in large populations. And more than your social media friends and acquaintances sharing the latest blog post on why you should never touch wheat. Or why your so-called gluten-intolerance is nothing but a placebo effect. So read on, and consider what we’re learning from scientific inquiries, along with your own experience of what your body is telling you. 

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Ease that (sometimes) rocky road into Fall

You know how it is when you’re feeling like crap? It’s your body’s way of saying, look, we need a re-boot! Listen to me and just clear your books. We need a rest! You know it and I know it when that happens. The question is: do we pay attention?

I did when this happened to me recently, and I wanted to tell you how I wrangled self-care while feeling lousy.

Transition Time

It’s that time of year, September/October, when we’re transitioning into fall. We’re going from raw foods and the heat of summer to the precariousness of fall, that changes from warm or hot to rainy and cold in the blink of an eye. We’re a little more vulnerable. This is the perfect time to really pay attention to what your body is asking for, and what it’s rejecting! 

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Non-Dairy Ice Cream: Is It Better For You?

“I scream, you scream…” — you know how it goes. Ice cream is one of the most beloved foods in the world. The average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year. And with the plant-based movement in full swing, more and more consumers are opting for non-dairy ice creams.

You may know that my family is intimately familiar with ice cream. My grandfather, Irv Robbins, co-founded Baskin-Robbins. At the time, most folks seemed content with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry — the classics. But he thought there should be more flavors — 31, in fact! And he brought smiles to a lot of faces.

Unfortunately, in case anyone on the planet missed the memo, ice cream is not a health food. It turns out that despite its delicious flavor, eating a lot of ice cream doesn’t do any favors for your long-term health.

Why Ice Cream Isn’t Healthy

A young woman holds an ice cream cone on a yellow background
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Before your very eyes

Have you ever experienced that rare moment when you’ve been around long enough to see signs of system-wide transformation occur before your very eyes? Dear reader, such has been the case with the role of food and medicine in the span of my professional career, during which I’ve devoted myself and my talents towards this very end—bringing science to the table, and food to the treatment plan. 

The moment that filled my heart!

My foundation, Healing Kitchens, works with different hospitals and cancer centers to provide culinary content for their patients. We recently accepted an invitation to pay a call at Stanford Health Care. We’ve done some interesting work at Stanford in the past, including online, live and printed material for neuroendocrine cancer patients and for their survivorship program and website. We had modified my Cancer-Fighting Kitchen approach with specific protocols for neuroendocrine and carcinoid syndrome—two very specialized forms of cancer—and word got out. A colorectal surgeon at Stanford putting together a trial for pre-op prep for her patients suggested we meet and talk about the role food can play in patient preparedness and recovery. 

The surgeon and her team were curious: what would happen if we have people shift their eating to an immune-boosting diet full of anti-inflammatory foods and also include exercise? Would it help people recover faster and with less chance of complications? 

This was MUSIC to my ears! The notion of helping patients BEFORE they go into surgery with food!!!! We introduced her to my famous healing, nourishing Magic Mineral Broth. Oh my gosh, she said, is this a clear broth? I can give this to all my patients!!!  Long story short, we’re working on a package to go into this critical trial.

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Ditching Dairy? The Lowdown on Non-Dairy Milk — Plus a Look at 10 Popular Plant Milks

Non-dairy milk comes from plants — like soy, nuts, seeds, or grains like oats or rice — instead of cows. And with dairy in decline, the popularity of milk alternatives is at an all-time high.

One of the first American advocates for soy milk was Henry Ford, who opened a soy milk plant in his Michigan research center in 1934.

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Does a Good Sweetener Exist? A Review of 14 Popular Sugar Substitutes

Sugar is heavily ingrained in our food system today, but what can be even more overwhelming is the number of sugar substitutes you can choose from. Should you use sugar alternatives? Are they better than sugar? And how do you pick the best one(s) for you?


If there was an award for the most overused food ingredient with the least nutritional value, sugar would likely win in a cakewalk.

I’m not talking about sugars naturally found in fruits and vegetables. I’m talking about added sugars — mainly plain ‘ol white sugar and its troublesome twin, high-fructose corn syrup.

There’s really nothing beneficial about sugar — besides the temporary appeasement of your taste buds — but most of us eat way more of it than we should.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and nine per day for men. But the average American consumes 94 grams every day or over 350 pounds a year.

So, what about alternative sweeteners or sugar substitutes?

Approximately 145 million people in the United States are estimated to have used sugar substitutes in 2018. Sugar substitutes attract consumers because they’re labeled as being naturally derived, or calorie-free, or simply because they’re not sugar.

But what are sugar substitutes made of? And how do they rank in nutritional value? Are certain sugar substitutes better for you than others?

Before I get into all of that, let’s examine why sugar is not a health food.

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Everything You Need to Know About Avocados

Avocados are popular and loved by many. In fact, consumption in the U.S. has risen more than fourfold in the last 20 years. But how much do you know about the creamy green fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!)? Are there avocado health benefits you should know about? Where do they come from? And are they sustainable? Keep reading to find out!

You can find avocados almost everywhere — from grocery stores and farmers markets to chocolate pudding recipes.

Once considered a delicacy, this green tree fruit is now a common addition to tables and menus all over the world.

People’s love affair with avocados has gained traction in recent years. The growth in sales outpaces that of any other fruit. And in 2015, The Washington Post dubbed avocados “America’s new favorite fruit.”

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The Incredible Power of Diet in Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease + 15 Heart Healthy Foods

We now know the importance of lifestyle factors like diet in the prevention and reversal of heart disease. What are the best heart healthy foods? And what other factors contribute to heart disease? Read on to find out!

Do you know anyone, perhaps a friend or family member (or maybe even yourself), who has had a heart attack?

Chances are you do. According to the American Heart Association’s 2018 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, about 92 million American adults are living with cardiovascular disease.

And every 40 seconds, a heart attack occurs in the U.S. alone.

Heart disease has become a global epidemic. It’s the #1 cause of death on the planet.

It’s affected my family, too. I never even got to know my great-uncle, Burt Baskin, because he died of a heart attack six years before I was born.

How Heart Disease Affected My Family


You see, my great-uncle Burt was one half of the ice-cream company, Baskin-Robbins. And the other half was my grandpa, Irvine Robbins.

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The Surprising Truth About Antibiotics, Factory Farms, and Food Recalls

Antibiotics are powerful drugs. Medical professionals often prescribe them. But the truth is, factory farms use the majority of antibiotics. And the overuse of antibiotics is causing antibiotic resistance — one of the most serious public health issues facing our world today. Learn more about the dark side of antibiotic use — and what this has to do with food recalls. And most importantly, learn what you can do about it.

When I was three months old, I came down with a high fever. Up until that point, I had subsisted entirely on breast milk. Although I lived in a relatively unpolluted environment, I’d picked up contamination from somewhere.

Before long my fever was raging at 104 degrees, and I was so weak I was unable to muster a cry.I’m grateful that my parents took me to a doctor, who put me on antibiotics. Within hours, my fever was down, and my sickness had reversed.

That antibiotic prescription may have saved my life.

What Exactly Are Antibiotics?

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What’s the Best Diet for Humans? Surprisingly, Most Experts Agree!

In spite of, or perhaps because of, all the diet and nutrition advice out there, most people are totally confused about what the heck they should be eating. But modern science is actually pretty clear about the optimal diet for most people, most of the time. What’s the verdict? Find out the best diet for humans in this article. 

By Ocean Robbins • Adapted from Ocean Robbins’ soon-to-be-released book, 31-Day Food Revolution (February 5th, 2019). Get your copy here now.

We have access, today, to more information about diet and disease than any population that’s ever lived. We can review the findings of tens of thousands of studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals, from any laptop or smartphone.

Thousands of nutrition and diet books are published every year, while billions of websites tell you what to eat and what to avoid.

Unfortunately, many of them are wrong.

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Winter Wholeness - How To Achieve Balance Through The Winter Months

Winter is when all life force burrows deep in the bosom of the earth and it can certainly be a trying time both mentally and physically. The days are darker, shorter and not to mention colder. Your body naturally wants to hibernate, you feel the need to sleep and eat more. Inevitably, finding balance can be a little more trying during this time (it’s so temping to stay inside and hide from those grey skies) but being proactive about your health and wellbeing is an important goal during this time. Ensure you take time to replenish, so that when spring comes, the gathering energy will burst forth with new growth and you and your body can enjoy those active, sunshine filled months of spring and summer.

I am going to show you how to find balance during the winter months by tuning into this dormant season, aligning yourself with the magic of Mother Nature and the chakra energy system. My recipe book titled ‘The Yoga Kitchen’ follows the 7 energy centres within your energetic body known as the chakras. This invisible energy is vital life force, which keeps you vibrant, healthy, and alive. Each of the seven chakras, has an important part to play in your overall balance and have long been the traditional method for yogis to understand the anatomy of the subtle body.

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The Top 3 Healthiest Snacks You Should Be Eating

Almost everyone snacks at some point. And as it turns out, what you snack on can have a huge impact on your health! These healthy snacks will help you stay on track.

By Ocean Robbins • Adapted from Ocean Robbins’ soon-to-be-released book, 31-Day Food Revolution(February 5th, 2019). Get your copy here now.

The journey of a thousand miles, the old saying goes, starts with a single step. Over the course of a lifetime, steps add up to shape destiny — for good or ill.

Of all the small steps we take, the cumulative impact of snacks may be the most deceivingly significant.

So having some healthy snacks onhand is an excellent way to stay on track.

How Much Do You Snack?

I have a friend who eats carefully for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then figures it’s okay to cheat a little around snack time.

She has a point. After all, it’s what you do most of the time that matters. A doughnut now and then won’t kill anyone whose overall dietary pattern is sound.

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8 Nutrients and 16 Foods to Boost Your Mood — What to Eat to Increase Happiness

As it turns out, what you eat can have a massive impact on your mood. Making a few simple changes to your diet can make a difference for your mental health. Discover the stunning power of mood-boosting foods and nutrients.

Can you remember a time when you weren’t in a good mood?

At a Food Revolution Network retreat, I asked team members to say three words about how they were feeling. When it was my turn, one of the words I used was sad.

Looking at me, you would have never known that’s how I felt. On the outside, I looked happy — I was even laughing not long before we started the exercise. But how I looked was a far cry from what was going on in my heart and in my mind.

Can You Boost Your Mood Naturally?


The truth is, we’ve all felt sad or even “down in the dumps.” And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it’s hard to turn that frown upside down.

If you ever feel down, or lonely, you’re hardly alone. We live in a world where depression is at an all-time high. Worldwide, depression affects 322 million people.

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7 Tips To Help You Survive Christmas Healthily

Christmas is upon us! As well as being a joyous time of eating, drinking and being merry, for many the festive season can also be one of the most stressful and unhealthy times of year. So what can you do to survive the season and come out the other end actually feeling you have had a break, rather than feeling in desperate need of one?

I have compiled my top 7 tips to ensure you get the most out of the festive season and make it through relatively unscathed…

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Nutrition Takes Another Spin - Why Can't the Experts Get It Straight?

Fad diets come and go, but officially the subject of nutrition is guided by science. The public stubbornly thinks in terms of "good" foods and "bad" foods, so when the government's nutritional experts issue scientifically based advice, any attempt at a nuanced picture generally gets lost. Recently there were headlines when the highest board for dietary protocols, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Council, reversed a government warning about avoiding foods high in cholesterol, which has been in place nearly 40 years.

The public is likely to shrug off this about-face, or else decide that eggs, the most common food high in cholesterol, is no longer a "bad" food but has moved into the "good" column. This ignores the council's message, which weighed one thing against another. For people in a normal state of health, saturated fats from animal products pose a higher risk than high cholesterol. This finding is more a shift in focus than an about-face. It's still unhealthy, the majority of nutritionists agree, to eat too much red meat as opposed to eggs, but eggs are high in saturated fat, too, so you shouldn't overdo them, either.

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Should You Eat Organic Foods to Reduce Your Cancer Risk? A New Study Says Yes

A 2018 study examined the link between organic food and cancer. And it came to some remarkable conclusions. Researchers found that eating organic foods can help cut overall cancer risk due to the reduced exposure to dietary pesticides.

By Charles Benbrook • A version of this article was originally published on Environmental Health News

More than 1.7 million Americans will be newly diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and 35% of these cases will prove fatal.

A little less than $150 billion was spent fighting cancer in 2017.

Imagine the excitement that would accompany the discovery of anything — a new drug, therapy, diet, or lifestyle change — that promises to cut overall cancer frequency by 5%.

Every year, such a discovery would spare 87,000 people this most-feared diagnosis and reduce deaths by 30,000 and cancer-related health care costs by around $7 billion.

Such monumental benefits would justify major investments and significant policy change.

Well, not necessarily.

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Give Thanks for Your Digestion!

The holiday season brings feasts, parties, merry-making and heavy foods. Big meals complete with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy leave us sleepy and ready for an afternoon nap on the sofa in front of the fireplace. If you're concerned about increasing your immunity during the flu season, you'll want to avoid overeating.

Instead, take time to savor each bite and stop eating when you are satisfied. Before each meal, pause for a moment and be thankful for your digestive system, the food, the cooks and the Creator. Digestion is the process of taking in and assimilating Intelligence from the universe to feed and nourish our own Inner Intelligence.

Through our digestive tract and our senses, we digest and metabolize our food and our experiences. If we digest well, we maintain good health. If we don't digest so well, ama is formed (ama is the ayurvedic term for impurities, the sticky stuff that clogs the srotas, or the channels of flow). Ama is defined by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as, "the product of unripe digestion of food and experiences." Ama is fertile ground for viruses and bacteria to multiply and cause disease.

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Plant-Based Protein: Here’s What You Need to Know

Protein is a buzzword these days, but what is protein? And how much protein do you need? What are the ideal plant-based protein sources? Can you have too much protein? And what is protein deficiency? Here’s what you need to know about this critical nutrient.

“But where do you get your protein?”

Anyone who adopts a plant-based diet or even considers going vegetarian is likely to hear this question with alarming frequency.

You don’t have to look far to see what can sometimes border on something of a protein obsession. From protein shakes, bars, and powders to cereals, cookies, and protein-focused diets and meal-delivery services, attention to protein seems to be just about everywhere.

But what is protein? How much protein do our bodies really need? Is more always better? Or is it actually possible that some people could be getting too much?

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6 Science-Backed Reasons to Drink Matcha Tea

Is matcha tea good for you? How is it different than other green teas? And are some types of matcha better than others? Get answers and discover some incredible health benefits of drinking matcha tea.

Matcha tea comes from the same plant that originates all green, white, and black teas: the camellia sinensis bush. The name “matcha” literally means “powdered tea.”

The process of turning tea leaves into a powder is not new. Matcha was the primary way to consume tea in China during the Tang Dynasty (600-900 AD).

In the 1100s, a huge transfer of knowledge and culture from China to Japan occurred, and that’s how matcha made its way across the ocean. Matcha and Zen Buddhism flourished together, and the two were often considered inseparable.

By the 1500s, matcha took hold as part of the formal Japanese tea ceremony, which celebrated stillness and simplicity. It grew in popularity in Japan, even as it lost its appeal in China.

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14 Top Foods to Boost Your Immunity Now So You Can Stay Well During Cold and Flu Season

As temperatures get cooler, do you want to know how to boost your immune system? Discover some of the best foods to boost your immune system and which supplements you might want to take. The right foods can help you avoid falling victim to colds and flu this year!

Do you sometimes get colds or the flu, particularly in the colder winter months? If so, you’re not alone. In the U.S., the average adult gets sick two to four times per year, and the average child between six and eight.

You probably know the basics of cold prevention, like practicing good hand washing and avoiding contact with sick peers. But have you ever wondered why two people could have exactly the same exposure to a sick friend — and one of them gets sick, while the other doesn’t?

The difference is often their immune system.

So how can you boost your immune system? It turns out that one of the most powerful tools for a strong immune system can be found right inside your own kitchen: the food you eat.

Let’s take a look at what your immune system does and how to boost your immune system with food, so it can protect you from nasty, cold-weather bugs.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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