Celiac disease is a malabsorption syndrome and chronic digestive disorder. The intestine is not able to absorb vital dietary nutrients from foods containing gliadin, an alcohol-soluble portion of gluten. This condition which is often hereditary means the sufferer has a serious intolerance to wheat (including durum, semolina and spelt), rye, oats, barley, and related grain hybrids such as tritaclae and kamut.

Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joint. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is characterised by joint degeneration and loss of cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis which is also an autoimmune disorder. In this case the body's immune system attacks its own cartilage and tissue surrounding the joints.

Some detoxification experts advocate fasting, while others do not. It is known that the components of any well-designed detox program will stimulate the body to cleanse itself, but people who are underweight, are undernourished, have weak hearts, have blood sugar issues or are ill should avoid fasting. Some studies have shown that restricting food intake can actually lead to bingeing.

Hemorrhoids are extremely common in industrialised countries and it is estimated that fifty percent of persons over fifty years of age have symptoms of hemorrhoidal disease. Although most people may begin to develop hemorrhoids in the twenties, the symptoms do not become evident normally until in ones thirties!


Reprinted by permission from the book by Maria Middlestead;
'The Shape Diet' , Penguin Publishers

We highly recommend this book

  • Vary your choice of vegetables, fruits, grains and flours, legumes, nuts and seeds for enhanced pleasure and nutritional variety.
  • Each day eat some raw vegetables or fruits for their enzyme and micronutrient content. The highest enzyme levels are found in avocado, pawpaw, mango, kiwifruit, pineapple, and banana. Other sources include unheated honey, bee pollen, and additive-free wine.
  • Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables daily. A serving is 1 piece or 1 handful – about ½ cup e.g. 1 raw carrot, 1 baked potato, handful each of salad, steamed vegetables, and vegetables simmered in stew or soup.
  • To obtain the broadest palette of nutrients, eat from all 5 colours of vegetables or fruit daily. Emphasize what is seasonal and of peak quality. If unsprayed, do not peel. Prolonged exposure to light, air, moisture and heat – especially once the surface is broken - will diminish many nutrients, so handle, store and prepare carefully.
  • With non-organic produce, thorough scrubbing can eliminate considerable agrichemical residues. DO NOT soak fruits or vegetables or water-soluble vitamins are lost.
  • Peel, slice or grate as close to serving or cooking as possible.
  • Cook only as long as necessary and eat as soon as cooked. Heat sensitive nutrients will be destroyed if held at a high temperature for prolonged periods. Keep pots covered.
  • Instead of lots of frying and boiling, cook vegetables primarily by steaming (use the remaining water for stock), simmering in soups and stews, ‘stir-simmer’ in a work with seasoned liquids such as soy sauce, or bake, roast or fan grill.
  • Purchase wholegrain, unbleached flour, crushed or flaked grains in sealed packets not from bulk bins (such packaging helps prevent spoilage and nutrient loss). Purchase nuts and seeds whole rather than chopped, or buy as butters packaged in glass jars.
  • Minimize all highly refined and chemically treated grains, flours and sweeteners. For further information on selecting and using different flour, sweeteners – and milk choices – (see Food Options and Substitutions in Maria's book).
  • Buy bread from bakers who specify slow-rise ferments and slow-rise sourdough products. Try sprouted grain breads such as Essence. Try home-made oven and bread machine loaves made with rice, millet and other flours.
  • Legumes and grains need to be thoroughly cooked. Nuts and seeds should be soaked overnight or cooked before eating. Bean and other sprouts can be served lightly cooked. Add to a stir-fry, mixed steamed vegetables or soup, in the last minute of cooking. With all the above examples, these processes will lower both the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitor levels. However, sprouting does increase vitamins B and C which readily diminish with heat, so alternate cooked sprouts with raw. Just as food choices should be varied, so should preparation styles.
  • Regularly have naturally fermented (or cultured) foods, ideally these should be unpasteurised, low in sugar and additive free. Examples include yoghurt, other soured milks and cheeses, tempeh, miso, soy sauce, fish sauce, sauerkraut, Korean kimchi and Japanese pickles.
  • Choose a few priorities for new behaviors. Institute these gradually and comfortably before adding further changes. Fanaticism is not functional – it encourages tension and tunnel vision which weaken health and intuitive skills. The process should be one of exploring and enjoying new flavors, textures and the enhanced health which results.