What if I told you that networking could be a whole lot more fun and a lot easier if you learn to be natural and authentic and show the world just three qualities we are all looking for:  warmth, genuineness and empathy.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to work hard at being clever and witty – the simple truth is that positive energy and a friendly approach take away the fear and discomfort you may feel in networking.   Let’s talk about a few tips that will enhance even the lowest level of connecting…

Show Your Enthusiasm

When the first words out of your mouth are either a simple declaration of what you do, or a question about what your new networker does – you are not really inviting someone to make a meaningful connection.  Try to express what you do by showing your passion and purpose in what you do – get them excited with you just by the tone of your voice or the body language you use and make sure to include information about the fun things your day to day activities bring to your life!  Sharing your interests, as well as your career choice, inspires balance in the conversation and in your life and helps you connect with people on a broader level.

Think about it… if you spoke with one dentist and all you got from him was the name of his practice and the school he attended, and then spoke with another one who shared more about the boating he does on the weekends with his family – and you love boating!  Which do you think will have made a more enhanced connection with you.   Which do you think you will more naturally remember – whether he is the better dentist is no longer the issue… it is the natural connection you will have made.

Allow Others Their Moment in the Sun

It is not necessary that you have the floor at all times.  Sometimes you can connect at a much deeper level when you allow others to be all they can be at a networking event.  Sometimes those people give unsolicited advice that you weren’t prepared to receive, but if you do nothing more than make them feel helpful by being appreciative and diplomatic, you will have left a positive impression on what was previously a perfect stranger.  Rather than noting to an excited graphics artist that you already have all your branding under control, and shutting them down, try offering a different type of response, “Thanks for your interesting ideas.  I’ll have to give them some thought.”

There is NO Need to Compete!

You do not attend networking events to be the “best of show!”  Leave that to those who feel compelled to brag – while you engage in the more serious activity of building relationships.  Even if you run into someone who feels inclined to brag – have mercy on them.  Understand that people are there to promote themselves, and if they start bragging – it is a better course of action to understand their need to feel successful and warmly celebrate their success with them.  What an easy way to expand a connection when your response to some bragging is, “That’s has to be exciting for you.  I am impressed.”

Never Feed Into Gossip

The larger the group of people, the more likely you will experience those people who gossip to feel important.  Gossip creates mistrust and you don’t want to spend energy or resources trying to build relationships, only to have them dashed to the ground because someone wonders if you may sometime speak ill of them!  It is easy enough to change the direction of a conversation – and those who see you taking a stand for making that change, will see you as a role model of kindness and integrity; a person with whom they will now trust to connect with.

Dealing With Criticism

Ok, the more you network and the more you connect with people, the more you will be exposed to criticism.  The people who are negative tend to be labeled by others; that is not what you want in your life!  All you have to do to keep this a win/win situation is to share quiet empathy – and in turn allow others to step into a new place… one of being receptive and supportive.  Once again, you get to be the role model – helping those who criticize feel understood and more capable of being empathetic with others.  Those who have watched the interchange will trust you at a deeper level – sensing that if the occasion should ever arise – you would have their back as well.

And,  the most important…

Find some way to remember people’s names!  I have taken a few workshops on this topic – and realize how important it is that you connect the face and the business – only as secondary to the name. There are almost as many “tricks” as there are names to remember so my only suggestion is to find what works for you.  My own is to repeat their names several times during the conversation and when leaving the group, closing my eyes for a second to capture the vision of their face, as I use their name one last time to say my goodbyes.  I have a friend who uses the Cardscan program and frequently will go online and view the photos of a few people he wants to connect with at an upcoming event… just a quick little refresher that does wonders for his ultimate “connecting power.”

I trust these ideas are beneficial to you.  Each little shift we make in our thinking and the way we conduct our networking efforts makes a big shift in the quality of the connections we make at networking events.   Keep in mind… it is all about relationships – go build them!

Jan Vitale… building my business one great connection at a time.

Vital Enterprises, LLC – – where you can always find great tips, tools and resources about nutrition, vital document storage, disaster preparedness, identity theft, network marketing, networking, and travel…

NOTE:  I mentioned CardScan above – it you haven’t tapped into the power of this amazing product in managing your data and keeping your contact information up to date – I want to give you the opportunity to at least make yourself knowledgeable about its benefits.

CardScan Executive Contact Management System


Coffee… you either love it or hate it!  I know of friends who were not allowed to drink coffee as a kid – because her parents believed it stunted growth.  Is this fact or fallacy?  What you can pretty much count on is that from time to time – new studies and new technology will invalidate previous beliefs – and create new ones.  How about a few…

Coffee Consumption Statistics

The National Coffee Association and The Specialty Coffee Association of America conduct annual surveys regarding coffee consumption each year. The gathered data below can be extremely beneficial to anyone wishing to start a business or just have an insight on coffee consumption.

Results of Gathered Data:

  • Nearly 52% of Americans over 18 years of age drink coffee every day.
  • This represents over 100 million daily drinkers.
  • 30 million American adults drink specialty coffee beverages daily; which include a mocha, latte, espresso, café mocha, cappuccino, frozen/iced coffee beverages, etc.

Average Beverage Price:

  • The average price for an espresso based drink is $2.45
  • The average price for brewed coffee is $1.38.

Coffee Cup Consumption per Day:

  • Men drink as much coffee as women; each consuming an average of 1.6 cups per day.
  • Women seem to be more concerned about the price than men.
  • Among coffee drinkers, the average consumption in the United States is 3.2 cups of coffee per day.

Average Cup Size:

  • The average coffee cup size is 9 ounces.
  • 30% of the population drinks coffee occasionally.

Time of day:

  • 65% of all coffee is consumed during breakfast hours
  • 30% between meals
  • 5% with other meals


  • 35% of coffee drinkers prefer black coffee
  • 60% prefer to add sugar and/or cream


  • Women indicated that drinking coffee is a good way to relax.
  • Men indicated that coffee helps them get the job done.


  • The United States imports in excess of $4 Billion worth of coffee per year.
  • Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day making the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world.
  • On an average, 250 Cups of espresso and coffee drinks are sold per day at almost any espresso drive-thru business with a great visible location. (500 cups per day is extraordinary.)
  • Independent coffee shops manage to sell 31% of espresso-based drinks, while the rest is brewed coffee.

There you have it – as a nation we consume more coffee than probably anyone could possibly imagine!  Is coffee your “thing?”  If so, you will want to check out a great gourmet coffee that has been combined with an amazing natural ingredient to create a great-tasting beverage that offers a cleaner, more sustained energy, as well as revitalization for your entire body.
We fittingly call it — Café 2.0!

Jan Vitale,

Vital Enterprises, LLC – – where you can always find great tips, tools and resources about nutrition, vital document storage, disaster preparedness, identity theft, network marketing, networking, and travel…

I have long been an advocate of healthy living – always seeking out products that give me the edge on being personally responsible for making the best nutritional choices.  We all know the damage of sugar on our systems; we also know how difficult it is to counter that “sweet tooth.”  I went in search of a healthy alternative…

I personally turned to the Stevia sweetener once I found the FDA had finally given it the green light, and having compared it to other similar products which did not fare so well in the being fully “healthy” test.  The following is information you may not have that will help you make better sweetener choices for you and your family.  I dug up as many facts as I could – and share them with you here…

What is stevia?
Stevia Rebaudiana is an herb in the Compositae family that grows as a small shrub in parts of Paraguay and Brazil. The glycosides in its leaves make it incredibly sweet, a property that is unique among the nearly 300 species of stevia plants. Stevia has been used to sweeten beverages and medicines since Pre-Colombian times. A scientist named Antonio Bertoni first recorded its usage by native tribes in 1887.

Is Stevia safe?

Yes. Scientific research from around the world was exhaustively reviewed when the makers of SweetLeaf Sweetener® presented their case for GRAS status (a rigorous FDA designation of food safety). An independent group of outside scientists concluded that SweetLeaf Sweetener® met FDA standards for safety. In an unprecedented move to ensure the product’s safety, the makers of SweetLeaf Sweetener® consulted with a second set of independent experts. These scientists confirmed that SweetLeaf Sweetener® met FDA standards for safety. The comprehensive review included studies on toxicity, cancer, reproductive health, long-term use, use at high-volumes, the effects on blood-sugar levels and more. Furthermore, after more than 30 years of high volume use in Japan and other countries, as well as more than a decade of use in America as a dietary supplement, there have been no reported cases of ill-effects. Recent scientific reviews by the World Health Organization (2003 and 2007) support these findings.

What are the benefits of using this sweetener?
It has a delicious sweet flavor and is the only sweetener in the world that is 100% natural, with zero calories, zero carbs and a zero glycemic index.

Where is Stevia cultivated?
Stevia is cultivated primarily in China, but the leaves of SweetLeaf Sweetener® come only from South America. There are other growers scattered across the Pacific Rim. Stevia is also being cultivated in Canada, Israel, Africa, Japan and China.

Where is it manufactured?

I was excited to find that the primary manufacturer in the U.S. is an Arizona owned company!  Its founder, Jim May offers significant credentials, having previously held positions as Vice President of United Healthcare Association (UHA), Inc. and President of the United Dialysis Services (UDS), Inc. Jim has participated in numerous professional organizations and activities, including Director of the Artificial Organs and Transplant program at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Kidney Foundation and consultant to the Chief of the government’s End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program in Washington, D.C.  He obviously shares my passion for healthy living.

What is the brand name?
SweetLeaf™ is the brand name for the first and only great-tasting, natural, zero-calorie, stevia-based sweetener offered in America. It was first introduced in 1996 as a dietary supplement. Then, after some of the most stringent scientific research on its safety and its unique, ultra-pure formulation, SweetLeaf became the very first stevia-based product to achieve GRAS status. It remains the only stevia-based product with zero calories, zero carbs and zero glycemic index.

What sets SweetLeaf apart from all other sweeteners available today?
It employs a process of extraction that uses only pure water to collect the finest, sweetest parts of the stevia plant. Other companies use chemicals, alcohols or even enzymes that actually change the make-up of the naturally occurring substances.  It has a fresh, clean sweet taste without a bitter after-taste, which is often found in other brands. Finally, the makers of SweetLeaf Sweetener®have been working with the stevia plant for 25 years, so they have decades of experience and a brand name you can trust.

What is the FDA’s position on SweetLeaf Stevia™?

In August 2009, SweetLeaf™ received a “no questions” letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in regard to the findings of the FDA expert panel of scientists, which concluded that the whole leaf steviol glycosides with rebaudioside A and stevioside, used to formulate the company’s SweetLeaf Sweetener® extract, are granted Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status.

How has Stevia been used in food applications?

Stevia is used mostly in beverages, but is growing in other food industry applications. First, it has been used as a prepackaged replacement for sugar and artificial sweeteners. Second, it has been used in various food products, including sugar-free versions of Wrigley’s gums, Beatrice Foods yogurts and even Diet Coke. It has also been used in pickles, dried seafoods, fish & meat products, vegetables, condiments, frozen foods, beverages of all kinds, confectionaries and a host of other products.

How sweet is Stevia?

High quality stevia leaves are up to 30 times sweeter than table sugar. The purified extracts of stevia (called glycosides) can be 250–300 times sweeter than table sugar.

Can Stevia replace artificial sweeteners in the diet?
Yes! For the past 30 years other countries have approved the use of Stevia as a sweetener and their populations have integrated stevia into their diet. Stevia-based sweeteners have a nearly 40% market share in some of these countries.

How many calories are in SweetLeaf Sweetener®?
None. And it is also the only stevia-based sweetener with no carbs and no glycemic index.

Will Stevia raise my blood sugar levels?
Not at all. It is ideal for diabetics, weight-watchers and everyone else too!

Is Stevia safe for diabetics?
Yes. SweetLeaf Sweetener® can be a part of a healthy diet for anyone with blood sugar problems since it does not raise blood sugar levels. If in doubt, ask your doctor.

Can Stevia be used in cooking and baking?
Absolutely! Research shows that stevia extracts are extremely heat stable in a variety of everyday cooking and baking situations. Look for the SweetLeaf Sweetener® baking formulation soon!

Where can I buy SweetLeaf Sweetener®?

The company has a store locator at http://www.sweetleaf.com/store-locator – just put in your address and find the nearest Frys, Aj’s, and other health food stores carrying this amazing product; a product that I feel may change how America looks at sugar consumption!

Jan Vitale… the Nutrition Nanny

Vital Enterprises, LLC where you can always find valuable resources for nutrition, disaster preparedness, identity theft, insurance, networking, network marketing, vital document storage and travel.

Success starts with who you know…

Building relationships is an integral part of success in your personal and professional life.  It is essential however that you connect with these people at some point and that happens through some type of networking – whether it is through a professional referral, in attendance at networking events, social engagements, or through the ever-so-popular social media.  You simply cannot grow your business without engaging in the networking process at some level; it is a key strategic development process and the lifeblood of new business.

It is never about you…

If you have been “in the field” for very long, you know that you simply cannot attend any function, collect a handful of cards and go home to wait for the phone to ring.   It just doesn’t work that way!  When you are engaged in meeting new people, keep in mind that your conversation must be focused on them, embracing that your mission is to determine what you can do for them.

Learn to focus on their needs first as you seek to recognize opportunities where you are able to help support their success journey – whether that be in products or services you can provide – or in valuable connections you may be able to make for them in the way of referrals. I have peers I met over ten years ago that I have never done business with, but… I am always mindful of sending along a new product or service I think they would enjoy or a referral of a potential client whose needs I think they can support.  Over the years, their reciprocity has proven that my attention has been recognized and appreciated.

Thank God for technology…

I remember in “the day” when keeping track of networking contacts was a nightmare!  You had hundreds or thousands of cards with all kinds of notes scribbled on them so you could remember important information, and then you had to find a way to catalog and organize them so you could easily retrieve the information when needed.

Computers and the Internet have taken care of that little headache.  Current software enables you to create databases of contacts, helps you manage your communications in multiple ways, and all those little scribbles are easy to add to and retrieve so your client, power partner, or referring person feels that you know them intimately.  Add auto-responders to the power of the database and you have a consistent flow of communication to the most important people in the world – your clients, those who are thinking about using your product or service, and those whose referrals you count on to expand your growing success.

Hang out with the right crowd…

Things aren’t a whole lot different than in grade school when your parents told you to hang out with the right crowd!  In this particular instance, the focus on that statement is that you should join professional organizations which support your target market so you are hanging out with the people who best fit your ideal client.  You will also want to join a few other associations such as the Chamber of Commerce so that your “crowd” will be those other professionals who share a common niche.   For example:  as a Business Strategy Coach, CPA organizations and Banking associations are a perfect place for me to be… I get to refer my clients to them, and they find their clients are better prepared to work with them after a few sessions with me!

Don’t forget the follow-up…

Your efforts in building a large list of followers will be wasted, wasted, wasted if you don’t realize how crucial it is to keep the lines of communication open with the people whose trust you have worked so hard to gain.  I see far too many people placing all their focus on adding new people to their “network” at the risk of losing the ones who are there because they fail to keep the relationship in a “building” mode.  Think of your marketing follow-up as you would dating.  I mean… do you think anyone would go out with you or be interesting in building something more than a casual relationship if you didn’t take the time to connect with some frequency?  Neither would you be inclined to walk up to someone you just met and ask them to marry you… you simply have to get through that courtship period – and it requires connection and communication!

Once you have developed a rapport with a contact, the following rewards come from consistent follow-up:

  1. It helps to build the relationship by establishing a comfort level.  The more you communicate with someone, the more they are open to sharing with you exactly what they need.
  2. When you are privy to those needs, you are in a much better position to provide the support they need, whether directly with your own products and services, or with connections with others in your network who can best handle the job required.
  3. Finally… when you have that rapport that develops because someone knows, likes and trusts you – you are a much better position to not only be helpful to them, but to remind them of your goals as well.

Want some more simple, yet effective tips for succeeding in today’s working world?      Look to the right of the screen and subscribe to my blog!

Jan Vitale


May is National Celiac Month

May 1 – 31 Check it out at info@americanceliac.org
And I am happy to be sharing more information and resources for those of you who are too busy to find the time to research it for yourself.  If you are impacted by this disease – diet and nutrition are critical to your managing and minimizing the negative impact it will have on your life.

Living a Gluten Free Lifestyle

I would like to share with you today a way to begin a gluten free LIFESTYLE.  Notice I did not say DIET!  This mental adjustment in itself will help you increase your ability to make best food choices for your long-term best health.

At the foundational stage you will need to restrict your choices more closely – primarily to train yourself as to what is good for you and what will bring you nothing more than grief and pain if you succumb to the temptation.  However, first a word of caution:  the first – best choice is to discuss your choices with a physician or dietitian who understands the dynamics of these dietary needs

As you assess the following list, make a mental note that you are not necessarily committing yourself to a lifetime of doing without – food manufacturers are responding at an increasingly higher level in providing similar products free of gluten.   Your task, then, becomes the sorting out of what those items are and where you can most easily find them to ensure you consistently apply the knowledge in your daily meal choices.

Alcoholic Beverages: Wine and brandies without preservatives and added dyes.

Potato vodka; rum and tequila.

You might also want to check on the availability of gluten free beer.


Commercial gluten-free breads and mixes made from gluten-free ingredients found in white or brown rice flours.

Food starches such as arrowroot, potato, tapioca.


Begin with gluten-free cereal grains present in your current diet. Hot cereals made from corn meal; cream of rice; hominy;  and rice.

Mixtures of gluten-free cereals from pure sources without malt.


All aged hard cheeses such as cheddar, Swiss, Edam, and Parmesan.

Carefully check ingredients listed on cottage cheese, cream cheese, and all pasteurized, processed cheese.

Avoid cheeses with vegetable gum, food starch and preservatives not defined by a gluten-free source.

Crackers and Snack Foods

Rice wafers and chips that are potato or cornstarch based.

Pure cornmeal chips and tortillas.

Popcorn; vegetable and gluten-free nut based chips.


Gelatin desserts; selected pudding mixes; ice cream, sherbet or yogurt, – all of which have been clearly identified as not including gluten based additives, wheat flour or gluten stabilizers.

Custard; junket; homemade or commercial desserts from gluten-free ingredients.

Drinks and Juices

Fresh brewed coffee, tea, chocolate made with cocoa, fruit juices, carbonated drinks and some nut and rice drinks.

Evaluate ALL Instant or processed drinks to determine whether malt, additives, stabilizers, or emulsifiers have been added..

Note:  A few root beers qualify.

Fats and Oils

Assess those already in your diet.

Olive oils, soy, safflower, grape seed, sunflower, corn oils, canola, margarines, butter, lard, cream, cottonseed, pure mayonnaise, peanut butters, and hydrogenated soy oils

Evaluate low fat combinations.


Use only gluten-free flours and starches from foods already common in your diet.

Use fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits.
Check for thickeners, additives or preservatives that are not gluten-friendly..
Grains and grain substitutes

Any gluten-free grains already in your diet – – starting with brown rice; rice, corn and popcorn, tapioca, sorghum, flax and wild rice, yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, soy
Meats or Meat Substitutes and Eggs

Meats, meat substitutes, fish, minimally processed poultry and eggs prepared without the non-allowed grains.

Evaluate all marinades and coatings.

Evaluate wieners and sausages for ingredients that may contain wheat or other cereals.


Herbs; spices; nuts; coconut; chocolate; pure cocoa.

Shop for well known brand names known to be gluten free.

Potatoes, Pasta or Starches

Potatoes and sweet potatoes; yams; hominy; rice and wild rice and gluten-free pastas.

NOTE: In the U.S. the single word “starch” on a food label “is … made from corn; or the word cornstarch may be used.” (Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Title 21, Sec. 578.100 Starches, Oct. 1, 1980)


Label of ingredients should reflect the product to be fully gluten-free.
Soy Sauce & Teriyaki Sauce

Read ingredient label carefully; they may contain wheat.

Sugar; honey; maple syrup, non-buttered syrup; molasses; most jellies and jams; plain hard candy; marshmallows; gumdrops; and homemade or commercial candies made free from gluten-based products.

Check all fresh, frozen, dried or canned vegetables to verify they do not contain gluten-based thickening agents.

NOTE:  Canned products may contain emulsifiers, preservatives, stabilizers, and food starch not defined by source.


Balsamic, apple cider and wine vinegars.

NOTE: In the U.S. when the terms Vinegar, Cider Vinegar, and Apple Vinegar are on a food label they must be made from apples. (Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Title 21, Sec. 525.825, revised March 1995.)

This is intended to be a quick-start guide only.   If you are interested in a complimentary cook book… skip on over to my website and subscribe to Gluten Free! your digital download will be sent to your email post haste! It is 145 pages of information about Celiac Disease (CD) and recipes to help you manage the transition to a gluten free lifestyle.  Keep in mind – this shift is simply about making different, better food choices for an empowered healthy life.

One last quick tidbit!   You know how all these “applications” are being made to maximize the use of your internet connections – especially our wireless phones.   Well, I just found information on one that is even more awesome than the GPS I count on…

iEatOut™ Enables Safe Dining and Traveling – Anytime and Anywhere

AllergyFree Passport® and GlutenFree Passport®, internationally acclaimed health education firms, have launched the iEatOut Gluten & Allergen Free™ application.  iPhone™ and iPod® touch users can now experience instant access to safe eating out around the corner from their homes or around the world.

How much easier could it be that individuals, families, friends and restaurants can tap into the resources based  on the seven-time award winning Let’s Eat Out!™ book series.  What could be better than finding  peace of mind with ‘cuisine-specific’ choices that have been dynamically configured to one or a combination of allergens: corn, dairy, eggs, fish, gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat.  Another key benefit is that the color-coded columns immediately indicate whether a particular dish ‘contains’ or ‘may contain’ allergen(s)…

This absolutely amazing application is a collaboration of international business and technology consultants, restaurant industry professionals and individuals impacted by celiac / coeliac disease and food allergies.  Just goes to prove that “necessity” truly remains the mother of invention!

If you aren’t an iPod person… I just found out that Amazon carries Kim Koeller’s , Let’s Eat Out! which is her Passport to Living Gluten and Allergy Free… or as the Nutrition Reporter posted, “a defensive guide identifying hundreds of often unexpected sources of food allergens in restaurant meals.”

Jan Vitale
The Nutrition Nanny
Vital Enterprises, LLC

Attention:   Network Marketer!

If I could leave you with just one key shift in your thinking it would be to impart the message that Network Marketing is a business endeavor just like any other.  The primary purpose is to create a business that can sustain the lifestyle you desire and that can only be accomplished if you make a profit!

Your decision to create a work from home business was probably inspired by what is frequently promoted as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with having hundreds or thousands of people either purchasing your product or being recruited by you.  The reality becomes how to survive the first six months to two years.  I don’t want to cast a cloud of doubt over your motivation – I want to have you stand in the face of reality, knowing what you have before you so that you can best work with that… to your ultimate benefit.

The reality is that virtually every new Network Marketer in a new industry goes through at least a six-month trial period where the biggest challenge is sustaining adequate cash flow while you work through a serious learning curve.  The failure rate for traditional start-up businesses is 98% at two years of operation; that figure is no more favorable in Network Marketing ventures.  Far too many people become involved in Network Marketing because they are already close to or at the end of the proverbial “financial rope.”  Unfortunately, they come into the game strapped for cash and are often enticed to spend more than they earn and at the end of three to six months they have no reserves to sustain their business building efforts.  The next step – they quit and experience no success – which they might have if they had approached that beginning differently!

If you are interested in more of Network Marketing: Giving You the Edge, click through to my website and subscribe to my 52-week complimentary eCourse Network Marketing 101. When you get to the page, click on the first hyperlink, Check out my ROLODEX and you will be taken directly to the submission form.

It is my job to keep you informed, engaged and entertained throughout this year-long program; however, if I don’t – with our automated system you can quickly and easily unsubscribe.

One last note… I applaud you as a Network Marketer – I believe this business model, when worked in tandem with basic best business practices and principles, will be the key to a future when we once again have a thriving economy.   My passion is that I help you keep burning the passion of the Entrepreneur that will drive you forward on your journey to success.

Jan Vitale
Vital Enterprises, LLC

Eating gluten free is becoming a more common factor in people seeking natural healthylifestyles, but it is essential for people diagnosed with Celiac Sprue…

Celiac Sprue is a genetic disease known to impact 1 of every 133 people in the US.  Because it is genetic, each generation seems to have a much higher risk and should be tested early on so that proper health care can be initiated at an early age.

Celiac disease presents itself in people who eat foods containing gluten,

Celiac Sprue

setting off an autoimmune response that causes damage to the small intestine.  The damage later causes the small intestine to lose its ability to absorb the nutrients found in food… leading ultimately to potential malnutrition and various other complications.

The symptoms vary from chronic diarrhea to chronic constipation, and may include depression, anemia, inability to gain weight and the early onset of osteoporosis.  Some patients present with anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder, diabetes or Autism.  For more information about this disease, please visit www.celiac.com or www.celiac.org.

Unfortunately, everything that is known about Celiac indicates it is incurable, but is manageable by strict adherence to a gluten free diet.  When the body experiences gluten in the digestive tract, it engages in serious battle with the gluten – – damaging the tiny hair like projections known as villi which are found in the small intestines.  The normal job of these villi is to absorb nutrients from the food that passes through the digestive tract.

Over the course of time, the intestines can become damaged so badly they simply fail to absorb any nutrients; the person eats and eats and eats… yet are actually starving to death because the food nutrients pass right through them.  Because the nutrients the body fails to absorb differ from patient to patient, some doctors fail to properly diagnose a patient who may happen to present with extra body weight.

If you are concerned you may be experiencing a gluten intolerance, what is your next best step?  Research the disease and become personally knowledgeable about it so that when you take your next step – that all important visit to the physician, you can talk openly about your concerns and participate in your own well-care at the highest possible level. If your test results come back negative, but you still have some concern, don’t hesitate discussing a gluten free diet with your doctor and try it for a while to see what changes you experience in your health.   Continue reading… for more information, resources and subscription to Gluten Free!

Jan Vitale,
Your Nutrition Nanny