Gluten Free

My "g free" story began during the summer of 2012. I began Arbonne's 30-day detox. As a part of the detox, common food allergens are eliminated. This includes, peanuts, soy, dairy, and gluten. I knew very little about gluten at the time, but I gave it a shot. I felt AMAZING that month. Honestly, that was probably the best I had felt in... well, I don't even know how long! I learned a lot about clean eating during this time, which is an amazing habit for everyone to pick-up... for life.

I carried this new found knowledge passed the 30-day detox time frame. I was eating clean, but now including peanuts, soy, dairy, and gluten in my diet. Many gastro problems (that will go unmentioned :) ) started happening. Since I learned so much about the direct link with food and health (not just calories, fat, etc), I immediately started looking at what I was eating. I began to track how I felt after eating certain foods. With this, I suspected gluten was the culprit. I knew I still had to do an "elimination diet" to know for sure.

With this, I spent another month gluten free. Again, I was feeling great with no crazy problems from what I was eating. Once the 30 days was up, I tested myself - a couple bites of macaroni and cheese, and a slice of bread. The result? I was doubled over in pain. I have been tested for Celiac Disease, but the results were negative. I was diagnosed with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

I still have so much to learn about gluten, nutrition, and such effects on the body. I have embraced this lifestyle, and honestly I don't find it as difficult to deal with as many suspect. Many think that being gluten free is expensive and too hard to do. If you choose to subsitute your gluten full products with gluten free versions, then yes it is expensive. They do have gluten free pastas, oreo-like cookies, waffles, brownies, etc, but I consider these subsitutions to be "treats." Considering the price, and the fact they may not offer much in the line of nutrition. I tend to choose naturally gluten free alternatives, such as quinoa, brown rice, vegetables, and legumes. These are normal, natural foods that shouldn't break the bank. If I am going out to eat with friends, I try to check out the menu ahead of time. Many restaurants (local and chain) offer gluten free menus and meals. Also, there are apps for the iPhone that gives you information at your fingertips. My favorite is "Gluten Free Fast Food," (free app). I don't eat fast food often, but that's the only time I really feel like I'm in a pickle. Hungry me is not nice. Just sayin'.

Gluten free does not mean it is better for you! Many people automatically assume that the gluten free label, and the use of the word diet means that gluten is bad, it will make you fat, etc. That's not the case at all. If you do not have a problem with gluten, then there is no reason to eliminate it from your diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, so you can find gluten in cookies, cakes, breads, etc. If you eliminate cookies, cakes, breads, etc from your diet, then of course you will lose weight.

My tips

  • When in doubt, don't eat it!
  • Learn to read labels, there are 754098234 names for gluten. Not really, but there is a lot. Just try to be familiar with it.
  • Google is your friend. I've been known to Google products or brands in the middle of a grocery store to make sure I didn't get gluten-ed.
  • Keep gluten free snacks in your car, desk, or purse. Again, hungry me is not nice. 
  • If a product is gluten free, it may not necessarily state "Gluten Free" on the packaging. Read the labels.

Gluten Free Resources

Here are some of my favorite g-free resources