I used to have multiple food sensitivities – wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, etc., – and kept blaming the foods for my symptoms. Now I can eat anything I want again (including ‘evil’ wheat and gluten) without a problem.

Interesting piece on the wheat/gluten debate on CBC TV’s Fifth Estate last week.

Personally, I use to have multiple food sensitivities – wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, etc., – and kept blaming the foods for my symptoms. Now I can eat anything I want again (including ‘evil’ wheat and gluten) without a problem.

So, what changed? I started eating in a way that allowed my digestive system to heal and strengthen. And once it did, I was able to start enjoying those ‘problem’ foods again.

And that’s the missing component in this whole debate about wheat and gluten – the impact of a healthy vs weak digestive system.

When your digestive system is damaged or weak, foods that are inherently more difficult for the body to digest (like wheat, gluten and dairy) will naturally start causing problems. But when your digestive system is strong and healthy, you should be able to eat almost anything without a problem. (Barring a medically diagnosed allergy.)

So bottom line: Are you happy and healthy eating wheat and gluten? Then keep it up! But if you’ve eliminated them and would like to get them back in your diet, then start to learn about healing and strengthening your digestive system.

And that’s what You Are NOT What You Eat is all about. Worked for me. And read the testimonials to see who else it’s worked for.

See the Fifth Estate piece here


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Nature created just four seasons. And “Flu Season” isn’t one of them.

Nature created just four seasons. And “Flu Season” isn’t one of them.

In fact, the term was probably dreamed up by some marketing genius on the payroll of the pharmaceutical industry with the express intention of making you feel scared. Why? Because they sell a lot more drugs and vaccinations that way. (The stress alone probably makes some people sick.)

So next time you hear some shill yapping about “Flu Season”, have a laugh and remind yourself that only a small fraction of Canadians gets the flu every year (estimates go as low as 5%.)

And that with some very simple techniques (wash your hands regularly, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and don’t burn out your immune system with too much skiing, partying and work) you’ll probably be one of the 80-90% of Canadians who is flu-free this winter.

“Flu Season??” Ha! Bring on the snow.

PS And maybe reread the sections in the book on the link between digestion and your immune system! Part of an email I got recently from a reader:

“Hi Van,
I want to thank you for your book! A year ago I implemented the 2 principals from your book about water consumption in relation to eating meals and not eating until your stomach has emptied of its previous food. These 2 pieces of advice alone have made all the difference to my body! The only time I’ve caught a flu (or cold or anything) since then is when I stopped eating this way last Christmas. Although I have been surrounded in germs when the rest of my family has gotten sick, I have stayed well! I also have stopped suffering from food sensitivities that I had: …”

Full letter here: https://youarenotwhatyoueat.com/testimonials/


IS POOR DIGESTION MAKING YOU SICK? What if foods like gluten and wheat aren’t the problem? Can you get rid of food sensitivities and digestive problems by changing HOW you eat, rather than what you eat?

IS POOR DIGESTION MAKING YOU SICK? What if foods like gluten and wheat aren’t the problem? Can you get rid of food sensitivities and digestive problems by changing HOW you eat, rather than what you eat? Join the author of the acclaimed book You Are NOT What You Eat for this fascinating presentation, and see if you can return to fearless eating!

*Limited seating. Contact the library at 250-762-2800 for more information.  Van will be available for questions and book signing. (Books will be available for sale.)

Kelowna Presentation of You Are NOT What You Eat


One of my favorite charities is Playground Builders. They build playgrounds for children in war-torn areas of the Middle East, providing safe places for children to play. They always use local people in the building process, providing much-needed jobs and injecting money into the local economy. And their own administrative costs are bare minimum. (I know the founder and members of the board of this organization.)

If you feel inclined to donate, a benefactor is matching all funds up to $50,000, but only until midnight December 31st. So your $10 would become $20. You can learn more here: http://www.playgroundbuilders.org/what-we-do

Great way to start a new year!


“VITAMINS ARE A WASTE OF MONEY!” suggests the headline.

Very provocative. The author of the article, an MD, says most vitamins don’t help prevent disease and could actually be harmful. “Stop wasting your money,” we’re told.

Naturally, the article provokes rapid and passionate responses … from the vitamin/supplement industry, health care professionals of various sorts, and
‘just plain folks’ who feel they’ve benefited from their supplements.

Some of them mention that pharmaceuticals they were taking previously caused much more harm than any supplement they’ve taken.

And others offer links to recently published research that contradicts the claim that supplements are a waste of money.

Like an article in the New York Times in October 2012 that points out that “… one of the largest long-term clinical trials of multivitamins in the United States — encompassing 14,000 male physicians 50 and older, and lasting over a decade — found that taking a common combination of essential vitamins and minerals every day decreased the incidence of cancer by 8 percent, compared with a placebo pill.”

No wonder we feel so overwhelmed by all the contradictory advice!

What are you gonna do? Well, as those of you who’ve been to one of my presentations know, I’ve got one gold standard for what you’re doing: Are you happy and healthy? Then keep doing it! If not, try something else.

The phrase I love is “Effectiveness is the measure of truth.” (A phrase coined by Serge Kahili King in his book Urban Shamam on the Hawaiian healing system
of Huna.) In other words, if what you’re doing is working for you, who cares what anyone says about it!

We are each unique – genetics, lifestyle, stress levels, fitness, etc.. So find the routine that works for your body. Don’t let the ‘experts’ wrap you up in their agendas or fear … whatever ‘side’ they’re on.

Vitamins And Supplements A Waste Of Your Money?

Vitamins & Supplements Decrease The Risk Of Cancer


Frozen food: How to keep it safe


A great summary here on safety issues around freezing and thawing food. Because it doesn’t matter how strong your digestion is if the bugs are really wicked!

C.difficile, for example, and other antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria make toxins that peel the lining of the colon right off the organ and can lead to fatal diarrhea. Yikes! (See chapter 11 in You Are NOT What You Eat; Better Digestive Health In 7 Simple Steps)


Food is shown in a freezer in North Vancouver, B.C., Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. You reach into your freezer and pull out an ice crystal-encrusted meat product of dubious origin. You have no idea how long it's been there. Is it safe to eat? Some freezing experts explain the rules of food safety, freezer style. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Photo by Jonathan Hayward

New Testimonial Interview

Interview with reader of “You Are NOT What You Eat; Better Digestive Health In 7 Simple Steps”

Just before my presentation in Campbell River last month I was approached by a vibrant elderly man holding a copy of my book who introduced himself and said (with a twinkle in his eyes), “I just wanted to thank you for this book and tell you that if I was gay I’d kiss you on the lips.”

Listen to an Interview recorded a few days later:

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://youarenotwhatyoueat.com/wp-content/uploads/Jim-Doucet-Testimonial.mp3″]

I wasn’t quite sure what the ‘politically correct’ response to that was but we chatted for a few minutes before my talk began and tears started to come to my eyes as he told me his story.

About 90 minutes later as I was finishing my presentation the gentleman stood up and shared his story with the rest of the audience and it was clear he had the same effect on them as he’d had on me.

In fact, his story was so moving that I wished I’d had a video camera to record his brief talk (I don’t even carry a cell phone with me, let alone a camera 😉

But he readily agreed to share his story with others (although he admitted he was quite nervous about being interviewed and said he’d need to write everything out first) and we did a phone interview a few days later. And that’s what I’ve posted here. It’s about 8 minutes long and includes Jim (his name) reading his ‘script’ but mainly it’s just us chatting about his experience.

As I mentioned to Jim, these moments of hearing from readers touch me very deeply and are the greatest reward for my efforts writing You Are NOT What You Eat.

So I’d like to thank ALL of you now for the emails, kind comments, and phone calls you send my way.

And to congratulate you once more on what YOU have accomplished by making some of the changes suggested in the book. The steps I outline certainly changed my life, and it is wonderful to hear when they have changed yours.

As always, with every good wish,


*If the Player above doesn’t work in your browser, click this link: https://youarenotwhatyoueat.com/wp-content/uploads/Jim-Doucet-Testimonial.mp3


Whatever the cause of autism, families face tremendous challenges. An inspiring documentary follows a unique approach.

Some researchers believe there is a link between digestive problems and autism. What is certainly striking is the dramatic increase in autism in the last 30 years.

In 1980 it was relatively rare with only one in 10,000 children being diagnosed with it. The rate today? One in 150.

For a unique and inspiring look at what families face and can do, check out the documentary Autism: The Musical and follow 5 LA kids through the writing, rehearsing and performing of their own full-length musical. Very cool.