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Gluten free me?

Friday, May 17, 2013

My brother and his family is in town for the month, and we've been having all kinds of fun, and also some educating conversations. They have recently went gluten free as a family, and were talking about all the good things that have been going on for them since doing it. This spurned some personal searching and self educating, and I think it is something I'm going to try for myself. I did it years ago for a month or so, and did feel noticeably better. But I didn't stick with it. Today I was googling info about gluten intolerance and read a bit about symptoms, and admittedly, I have 75% of the symptoms related to gluten intolerance. I worked at a health food store years ago, and I heard while working there that most people have some level of gluten intolerance, some more noticeable and debilitating than others. So, with all of the variety of gluten free products out there now, I think making the switch could be easier now, than it was when I tried to years back.

I was reading that even a very small amount of gluten could throw of your system and that countless items have gluten in it. I am a little overwhelmed with the amount of effort it will take to be totally gluten free. One article went as far as to say that kissing someone that has eaten gluten could lead to an imbalance in your body!! Wow, that is pretty extreme! I am hoping that just a few steps in the gluten free direction at a time will lead to noticeable improvement in my daily energy levels and digestion issues. I also have to be wise about eating a variety of other grains and possibly taking nutritional supplements to make sure I am getting that right amount of vitamins and minerals, while cutting out the gluten items from my life.

I'm interested to see if this is something that will benefit me. One of the things it said is "do you feel tired after eating a meal with gluten", and for me the answer was yes. Also unexplained infertility was one of the things that occur in gluten intolerant women, which is the situation I am in. I have been told many times that there is no reason I shouldn't be able to have children, but alas, I can't. So, I'm going to move forward with the gluten free diet and see if it leads to any positive improvements in my life.

If any of you have any experience with eating gluten free will you please let me know anything you can about what you've learned about eating this way.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I cut out gluten in November, for about a month. It was an amazing feeling! I had a ton of energy, less headaches (I have awful migraines that have required a trip to the ER), and I lost more weight in that one month than I had in 4 months of dieting. Unfortunately, I decided to start eating gluten again because gluten is EVERYWHERE. Finding restaurants that cater to the gluten sensitive was too much of a hassle, especially when I was 22 years old and often popped into restaurants on the fly. No preplanning for me! Once I started eating gluten again, I knew that I was gluten sensitive and I knew to watch my gluten intake. IE I avoided gluten for breakfast because it left me feeling malnourished and nothing could take away that feeling. I also tried to make sure that either my lunch or dinner was gluten free. Basically, I had one meal a day containing gluten. In April I stopped caring and had gluten with every single meal. If I wanted a snack, I had pretzels. In two months I'd gained almost 20 pounds. I noticed that most days it was exhausting even thinking about leaving my bed. My migraines were back. I've started eating gluten free again as of Monday! Already, I've dropped 8 pounds and I feel better.

    A lot of people say to not replace gluten products with gluten free products, like gluten free pasta/gluten free flours/etc but, as an extremely picky eater, I admit that I still eat the same foods, they just are made with gluten free flour instead of wheat. Some people complain of the taste/texture difference but I haven't really noticed a big difference. It takes some patience, but eventually you will get it. If going gluten free seems overwhelming, try taking it one meal at a time. One week, cut out gluten in your breakfast, the next gluten in your breakfast and lunch. Eventually you will be gluten free. Just remember lean meat, fruits, vegetables, and beans are your best friends! :) Good luck!
    1794 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/23/2013 12:28:30 PM
    I've been playing withthe idea of going gluten free for a while, but haven't really stuck with it long enough to see any results. If nothing else, as other commenters have posted, cutting refined wheat flours out of your diet won't cause you any harm :) Keep us up to date on how it goes.
    1794 days ago
    I've heard many good things from people who have gone GF.. it seems like the health benefits are numerous and vary widely from person to person. My thought is that going GF totally eliminates refined white flour which, any way you slice it, WILL bring you health benefits. You can expect to see results in just weight loss alone any time you remove an entire category of food from your diet. It's a great way to cut out a ton of food that consists mostly of empty calories, so you are bound to feel better, more energized, and all around healthier just because of that.

    I'm a little skeptical about all the other claims those who try to sell the GF lifestyle make though (unless they are true celiacs who have been diagnosed as such by a doctor) but cutting wheat products out of your diet is certainly not going to hurt you, so if it sounds like a good fit for you, give it a try! Good luck!
    1796 days ago
    Know all about it. It is necessary for some. Go with your gut emoticon
    1797 days ago
    Eating at home makes being gluten-free easiest but it can be done when eating out too. (I orders sandwiches without the bread a LOT. I get fish tacos on corn tortillas.)

    I didn't eat a lot of bread prior to going gluten-free, but it's in so many other products that you might not think about. Take a look at what you do eat that contains gluten, then see if there is a suitable substitute. I use lentil crackers and almond crackers to make bread crumbs. When I do eat bread, I buy the brand Whole Foods makes. Rudi's brand makes a good cinnamon raisin bread. If I want cornbread, I get gluten-free corn bread mix from Bob's Red Mill. There are many foods that are naturally gluten-free - legumes, vegetables, fruit, potatoes, etc. Rice and Quinoa are good grains, but be very aware of serving sizes. American Oatmeal products tend to have cross-contamination issues, but Irish oats tend to be safe. A lot depends on your sensitivity level too - tortilla chips are usually made from corn tortillas, but can be fried in the same oil as some gluten-containing products.

    Good luck! If you have questions, just let me know.
    1797 days ago
    I've read and heard that replacing whatever gluten products you *are* eating with gluten free products is not the best way to go.

    What if you just stop eating wheat? I don't eat wheat anymore and I don't find it difficult to satisfy my need for grains by eating brown rice (I like basmati and especially short grain brown rice) and oatmeal, and quinoa. As far as I know all of those grains are gluten free. Except for maybe oatmeal. I have millet in the cupboard too but haven't eaten much of it, if any at all. I'll come across a recipe one day.

    I agree that reading the book "Wheat Belly" will give you a good idea of how to handle weaning yourself off of wheat.

    Best of Luck!

    1799 days ago
    I've cut wayyyyyyyyyy back and feel so much better.
    1799 days ago
    my hubby tries to limit his gluten. I probably should.

    Best of luck to you.
    1800 days ago
    Check out the book, "Wheat Belly." That is the most informative book on gluten-free living. Try to stay away from all those packaged "gluten-free" snacks. They are just more junk food in disguise.
    1800 days ago
    I've been 100% gluten-free since Nov 2012. And I've never felt better! Good luck!
    1800 days ago
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