This is the first of my Healthy Habits posts. Though I am not perfect (I don’t work out enough, I snack, too many tortilla chips, etc etc), I am kind of obsessed with being healthy. So I thought I’d start sharing my experiences and tips with some of today’s mainstream healthy habits!
Gluten free eating is a prevalent way of life in the US now, but many people still do not understand it. Some people truly suffer from eating gluten, whether they have been diagnosed with Celiac, or have an intolerance. Some people tend to be annoyed by the idea, or think it is all in peoples’ heads. I can say, without a doubt, that it is not just in my head. And I only have an intolerance, or sensitivity to it. Though it is not an effective way to lose weight or diet, I do believe it can be a healthier way to live. I have personally experienced the benefits of living gluten free.
I am certainly not a scientist, but I can lead you to some research about the subject of gluten. Modern wheat is grown using vastly different methods than it was even a few decades ago.
The enormity of ways that food in America has been tampered with, and changed from its original state, is astonishing. GMOs, additives, preservatives, dyes, pesticides, and so on, have heavily affected our health…but that is a soap box for another day.
The main point here is that wheat has changed, therefore gluten has changed, and our health has suffered.
If you’re looking for a list of which foods have gluten, look here.
How did I realize that I have a gluten intolerance?
- (I am fairly certain that I do not have Celiac, but I haven’t been tested. Celiac signs are more serious stomach and digestive issues, and my stomach issues were not severe).
- I have had:
- infertility (may not be related, because I’m still dealing with that)
- joint & muscle pain
- decaying tooth enamel
- keratosis pilaris (“chicken skin” on my arms)
- bad PMS
- hormonal imbalance
- mood issues (ask my husband ;))
- depressed thoughts
- BRAIN FOG
In December 2013 I was researching gluten, and when I read the symptoms, I knew I had to try eating a GF diet. I started in January 2014, and besides a handful of times, I have kept it up. I “cheated” in NYC, and felt like I was coming down with the flu the following day. I cheated recently on our beer and ramen date night. The symptoms of brain fog, joint and muscle pain, moodiness, feeling unhappy, and breakouts, started occurring the next day.
If you think you have an intolerance, but are in denial, here is a funny article about the vicious cycle of gluten intolerance that can relate.
Having Celiac or a gluten intolerance, and continuing to eat gluten can do severe harm to your health. It can cause leaky gut, or make an existing leaky gut worse, and hamper your immune system drastically. You can become malnourished because your body is no longer able to absorb the proper amounts of nutrients. Think vitamin deficiencies (B12, D, etc), thinning hair, pale skin, and weight loss.
What do I miss?
- real beer (we’re at the beach, and I’d love a Miller Lite)
- some desserts
- breakfast foods (pancakes, biscuits, cinnamon rolls)
- ordering any type of sushi (regular soy sauce contains wheat)
How do you know for sure?
- Blood test for Celiac (not always 100% accurate, but it can give answers)
- Elimination diet. Read this article for tips on the correct way to do an elimination diet
- To be gluten free, you cannot have any gluten. Any trace can trigger these symptoms
What will I eat?
- other grains (rice, quinoa, GF rolled oats, corn) – sometimes grains are cross-contaminated, so be careful!
- legumes and beans
- starches – potatoes, tubers
- protein (eggs, meat, fish) – be careful of sauces and avoid breading
- GF snacks (in moderation!)
If you switch to a gluten free lifestyle, and simply buy all of the GF processed food products available, you will be eating far too much sugar. Many GF products are made with starches that have a higher glycemic index than traditional flour. Please eat these in moderation!
Practically all of the recipes I post on my blog are gluten free. With Pinterest and blogs, recipes for meals without gluten are readily available. I also like the book Against All Grain for gluten free and paleo recipes.
- Bustle.com: The Vicious Cycle of Gluten Intolerance; 5 Surprising Signs You May Have a Food Intolerance
- How to Find Out Which Foods Are Making You Sick
- 10 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance in Babies & Toddlers
- Healthy Holistic Living