Stop the Gluten-Free Madness

How many Paleo recipe books are there these days? How many out of these books contain paleo cookies, brownies, cupcakes, waffles, pancakes and other forms of the fake food the masses still crave that are now deemed healthy because they are gluten-free?

paleo desserts

As of November 2013, Amazon shows 216 Paleo Desserts Results.

Update in February 2014 shows 315 results for the same search.

We need to proceed with great caution here.

I will open this article with an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Tom O Bryan and my friend and Holistic Health Coach Wendy Myers. The full interview is here.

Short Bio on Tom O'Bryan

Dr. Thomas O'Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN is an Internationally recognized speaker and workshop leader specializing in Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease. He is a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ for chronic disease and metabolic disorders.  He is a clinician par excellence in treating chronic disease and metabolic disorders from a Functional Medicine Perspective.  He holds a teaching Faculty position with the Institute for Functional Medicine. Dr. O’Bryan is always one of the most respected, highly-appreciated speakers.  Dr. O'Bryan's passion is in teaching the many manifestations of Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease as they occur inside and outside of the intestines.

My friend and Health Coach Wendy Myers and Dr. Tom O'Bryan Discussing this

Wendy Myers: So what do you think about gluten-free products? One thing my husband loves to do. We have our daughter on a gluten free diet. But he, like many other people, just goes to the gluten-free aisle and buys all these cookies and wafers and all these processed foods. And I say, “honey, those aren’t necessarily healthy”. Haha. What is your idea on gluten-free products?

Tom O’Bryan: Some doctors and nutritionists and registered dieticians are saying that a gluten-free diet can be dangerous for you. Gluten-free diets are not bad for you. Bad-gluten-free diets are bad for you. You would stop every morning at a coffee shop to get your coffee on the way to work and you normally get a blueberry muffin. But now you’ve been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, so you stop getting the muffin. You get your coffee and you just feel that craving but, no, I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to have that muffin. Well, you’re taking care of yourself. But one day you order your coffee and you see that sign that says, Gluten-free blueberry muffins.

Wendy Myers: There you go.

Tom O’Bryan: You immediately say, oh, I can have that. That’s healthy for me. As a matter of fact, I can have two.

Wendy Myers: Haha.

Tom O’Bryan: It’s not healthy. It’s just not as bad for you. But it’s not healthy for you. There’s nothing wrong with having a gluten-free muffin every once in a while. Who cares? There’s nothing wrong with it, but let’s get a bigger picture here for a moment. The biggest epidemic in our country today is obesity which will then cause insulin resistance that progresses on to diabetes. It’s a huge problem. It is massive. When I came out of school we called it Adult onset 2 diabetes. We don’t call it adult onset 2 anymore because kids are getting this now. They just published some statistics a few months ago that show if the increase in diabetes  continues as it is now getting worse and worse and worse by 2044, the cost of taking care of the diabetics just on medicare will be more than all the taxes collected in the entire United States.

Wendy Myers: Woah.

Tom O’Bryan: It will bankrupt us. We need to wake up. You can’t be obese. We can’t encourage obesity. Our doctors say, “give them more exercise”.  And their patients are packing in an extra 30 pounds in there. They need to get a bigger picture. There’s an article in New York Times I saw about four or five years ago the mortuary industry is in great distress because people don’t fit in the caskets anymore. They need to go double wide much more frequently now. As a civilization, we’re killing ourselves off. I don’t know if your listeners know this, but there’s a study eight years ago. It’s true today and worse than it was even then. And that is, your newborn children have a shorter projected  lifespan than you do. Kids are going to die earlier than you. You live to 68, your kids won’t live to 68. They’ll die early. And it’s the first time in history this has ever happened. Ever. And we’re just blindly going ahead, eating our muffins every day, eating all our pasta and bread. Bill Davis’ book Wheat Belly is an excellent read on this topic of how breads and wheat in general fatten you up. We can’t continue to fatten our kids; they’re going to die early.

And as a civilization, we’re going down. I don’t like to be a prophet of doom. Just read the studies. I don’t know that there’s anyone in the world today who argue that the environment is changing and the greenhouse effect is real. Two years ago there are still some scientists that worked for this big corporation. “Oh there’s no evidence” Nonsense! Nonsense. We all know and we are experiencing every day with the floods and the increased storms and the heat waves and the cold spells that are worse than ever. There’s no question that our planet is in great distress. Well, the human body is in the same type of distress because of obesity.

So how does this relate to gluten-free diet? The flours that are used in gluten-free diets have a higher glycemic index. If you eat two slices of whole wheat bread, your body is thinking you’re eating as much sugar as a Snickers bar. From two slices of bread. How about a plate of pasta? It’s much worse. The glycemic index is how much sugar your body thinks you’re eating and how much insulin it produces in response. The higher the glycemic index, the more insulin your body makes. Wheat is very high on the glycemic index. Bill Davis talks a lot about that in his book. He’s also in our summit, and you’ll hear him explain that in great detail in the gluten free summit. The glycemic index in some of these gluten-free flours is higher than wheat. So you eat a gluten-free blueberry muffin and your body thinks you’re getting more sugar than a Snickers bar.

Let's go over that point again. The flours used to make gluten-free items have a higher glycemic index than wheat itself.

I covered the glycemic index and some of the more problematic foods.

The main thing to remember is that meat has a GI of zero.

The problem

The ancestral community has been derailed. I hold no grudges against the many stay at home paleo chefs that have spread throughout the community. However, the incessant production of books geared towards treats and cookies is a much bigger problem than it seems on the surface. It's not innocent at all.

I wouldn't have worried about the proliferation of Paleo treat books and such a year or two ago, but these items are slowly being slipped into the same category as real food that we should be eating.

It's the blurring of the lines between paleo treats and the paleo eats that I'm referring to.

The focus on real food is falling to the back burner compared to the popularity and trendiness of the more "pretty foods" that we can create.

I urge us to not forget about our principles. That's why I wrote the Beginner's Lifestyle Checklist, 25 Ways to become more efficient at Paleo and Paleo Terminology Explained.

Let's not forget the NJP principles either. Without a focus on stress reduction, elimination of artificial light at night, breathing exercises, mobility exercises, consciousness expanding, immersion in nature and a passion for life itself, we will fail.

Instead of focusing on extracting money from the millions of people that are still addicted to sugar (or the thought of sugar), we should be building a psychological support system for these people. It's almost like leaving a bowl of ice cream out for your dog, of course they're going to go for it.

The current obesity epidemic is on the verge of collapsing the health care system. Many doctors are not even sure they want to continue their practice after the current US health care laws are enacted. In fact, 83% of doctors have considered resigning after the Obamacare laws go through.

I'll let you paint the picture of what happens then.

Nora Gedgaudas who joined our podcast agrees that we have less room for error in our diets than ever. With the amount of environmental toxins and poor lifestyle factors including mass amounts of night time use of artificial light that's giving you cancer, paleo cookies are just one more stick to add to the fire.

The solution

Am I saying that we should all become Paleo Police, Paleo Nazi's or some other term that the defensive term that people use who feel bad about eating sweets every once and a while?

Absolutely not.

I'm just wanting to draw attention to this topic. Everyone is turning a blind eye to these items because they are deemed safe by the others in the health community. In fact, these items are doing just as, if not worse harm to their bodies, metabolic pathways and insulin resistance than the original Oreo they wanted to eat.

If the number of paleo dessert books is directly correlated to the number of people struggling on the Paleo template, maybe we need to help them, not profit off them. This is a much more complex problem to tackle than I can handle solely, but I will tell you my goal.

My goal is simply to increase consciousness.

Once consciousness about this information is understood and accepted, my job is done! I have no right or intention on telling people they shouldn't be eating these items, that's why we have free will after all.

Listen or read the full interview with Dr. Tom O Bryan who covers this sensitive subject better than I can!

Note: Please send the hate mail for not supporting your high definition pictures and recipes for your paleo cookie recipes to

It's time to focus on truly helping our people.

Let's talk about:

And I'm just getting started folks!

What do you think about the Paleo and Ancestral eating community? Have we distracted ourselves from the real issues and problems? Are we in denial of our deep addictions and longing for the food we ate before our transition? Comment below