Gluten Free 411
February 22, 2017
I’ve been gluten free for the last six years, and despite all the “hype” this diet has created, I still get a few confused looks when I tell people that I’m GF. When I order at a restaurant and ask the waitress if an item contains gluten, I’ll likely get a response such as “it doesn’t have any nuts in it” or “this dish is made without dairy” … clearly relaying the fact that they are unaware of what gluten is! Once you remember the basics, it’s hard to forget the gluten free 411. I’ll break it down…
For those of you who don’t know, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and a variety of other grains. Although most people think being gluten free is simply cutting out bread and carbs, there is so much more to it. Gluten, which is also a thickening agent, is hidden in a extremely wide variety of products. Salad dressing, cereal, power bars, alcoholic drinks, pasta, soups and many more items are packed with gluten. Reading labels becomes a necessity when you’re adopting a healthy lifestyle, gluten or not.
After suffering from a plethora of digestive issues as a freshman in college, I knew I needed to make a change in my eating habits. I was eating healthy grains, such as organic whole wheat bread and pasta, but my stomach couldn’t take it. It was very difficult to remove gluten from my diet at the beginning, but the positive results were immediate!
Today I’m going to share with you a few reasons why becoming gluten free changed my health for the better.
Regulating healthy digestion is like writing down the formula for a difficult math problem. You have to get all of the components lined up perfectly to get the correct answer, and in this case the correct answer is wellness! The minute I removed gluten from my diet my digestion drastically improved. Previously when I would consume gluten I would feel extremely bloated, looking like I was 7 months pregnant with my 4 foot 11 frame. It was so uncomfortable because the air in my stomach would push on my spine, giving me debilitating pain. There were multiple days when I would have to leave class early because I couldn’t even sit still. Becoming GF eliminated that problem immediately. Not only did my bloating go away, but I also felt lighter and healthier as a whole. I felt like a new person when it came to my fitness routine, simply because my digestion was on the right track.
If one in every ten people has a gluten sensitivity, then we’re all more susceptible than we think. If you’re dealing with a gluten sensitivity, your body is viewing gluten as a minor allergen and irritant. This irritant is then causing your body to go into “fight mode,” causing skin inflammation in the form of rashes, redness and even acne. After subtracting gluten from my daily diet, the redness in my skin drastically decreased. Even my friends noticed! I really didn’t expect this benefit, but the longer I remain gluten free the more I appreciate it! Just think about how gluten thickens foods… and then imagine what it’s doing to your health.
The inflammation that your body may be experiencing because of gluten could also be causing you to lose vital nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Once you reduce your gluten intake and decrease the inflammation within your body, you will begin to absorb the vitamins that have been missing all along! Instead of munching on crackers, rolls, sandwiches and chips, reach for the healthier options with your gut in mind! After I removed gluten from my diet I felt immediately more energized and driven. My body felt like it was finally operating the way it should’ve been all along. My motivation to workout increased because I just didn’t feel as tried!
So before you decide to run by the bagel shop for breakfast, access your symptoms. If you’re feeling great, by all means keep doing what you’re doing. If you feel lethargic and bogged down by unhealthy digestion, try it out for at least two weeks. The benefits are endless! Learn more Burn nutrition tips by signing up below!