Editor's Note: With consumers' increased interest in foods for sensitive diets, WholeFoods Magazine is debuting an online column about  Gluten and Specialty Diets: Science and Solutions, written by best-selling author and nutrition expert Jaqui Karr, CGP, CSN, CVD. Each month, Ms. Karr will give retailers a unique and fact-based perspective on topics related to gluten-free foods and special diets. Here, she tells readers why these issues are so near and dear to her heart.
How To Express My Enthusiasm for this Column?!
It’s nearly impossible because YOU are exactly the person I want to reach. You’re on the front lines and can change lives with the decisions you make and information you share. What a privilege for me to bring you what I’ve learned.
How I Came To Be Here
All my life I thought I was healthy. Athletic, energetic, glowing skin. Three colds in 38 years made me “bionic” to everyone. That in itself was a sign of something wrong. My immune system was in hyper-overdrive, which is why I never caught colds. But there were other signs...
  • Eczema. The doctor said it was due to moving from the Mediterranean to Canada. We believed him.
  • Headaches. My mom said I inherited it. She got headaches, so did her mother, grandmother, great-grandmother. Who am I to argue with five generations of bad genes?
  • Insomnia. See “Headaches.”
  • Never-ending dental issues despite oral care and a sugarless diet. The dentists had no explanation, but filled my mouth with toxins.
  • Temper.“You’re hot headed, just like your dad.”
For someone who was the healthiest person anyone knew, I sure had a lot going on and no one thought anything was wrong. Not even me.
At 38, disaster struck. I went from bionic to the E.R. and on an I.V. week after week. Within four months I had lost 32 pounds, was in constant pain, and wallpapered with test results that all read “normal."
Fast forward to the culprit: gluten. I thought it was surreal that anyone could get that close to death’s door due to food. They do. And worse. They lose precious quality of life, often cradle to grave, never knowing how they might have lived. It seems I don’t have a temper at all, but am quite the calm (headache-free) Zen Girl.
So, What Will Be Behind Each Article I Write?
Same as what is behind how I spend every professional moment of my life: for five generations of women in my family who suffered unnecessarily and possibly generations of yours to come. For the 13-year-old frustrated version of me that battled with headaches, insomnia, and teachers who pegged me as short-fused and treated me differently for it. For the ADHD child who may need a diet modification. For the person suffering from depression, scanning the retail aisles for the miracle fix they’ll never find.

In French, we have an expression, a philosophy of life really, called Joie de Vivre. Translated literally it means “Joy of Living.” But it means something different to each individual: “happiness,” “pleasure,” “a celebration of spirit”…

So while I live in the world of science and facts, which is what I’ll bring you in every article, what I’m passionate about is deliveringJoie de Vivreto you and every person you can pass it on to.

JaquiJaqui Karr Karr, CGP, CSN, CVD, is a best-selling auhor, speaker, and corporate consultant who specializes in educating about gluten, celiac disease, specialty diets, and health through nutrition. Her popular "NakedFood" brand has helped thousands include more power raw and healing greens in their diet. Ms. Karr is a certified gluten practitioner, certified sports nutritionist, and certified vegan/vegetarian educator to dietitians. http://jaquikarr.com


Published in WholeFoods Magazine Online, 7/28/16