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!
I had the same issues 5 years ago. I was eating healthy, but still felt awful (skin issues, rashes, digestive problems, exhaustion, body aches, stomach pain, etc)…you name it, I had it. I was desperate – went to 8 different docs searching for answers – when I never go to the doctor. None of them could figure it out, so I decided to figure it out on my own. I changed my diet, removed ALL gluten and soy. It took my body almost a year to heal, but since then, I have never felt better!
Thanks for sharing your story. I think so many people deal with these same issues and don’t realize why.
I recently have become gluten free. I was having “chest thumps” and have had IBS my whole life. I had to become my own advocate. But I want to point out it’s not easy going Gluten Free…not just because of giving up warm bread but because of all the products out there. If you go GF and switch to GF food you have to read the labels. The food is mostly made from corn and rice and has high carb amounts and high glycemic counts. They make great healthy alternatives….like black bean pasta or chickpea pasta that are lower carb and high protein with lots of dietary fiber. Going GF has changed my life for the better because my body needed that but I also have to be careful what I substitute and read labels.
And for me….I can have food that has touched gluten….I just can’t ingest food that has it in it. So I can take meat off my sons sandwich and be fine. With that being said there are lots of foods that don’t have gluten in them but are processed where gluten is. Figure out your body and then read labels. You’ll be surprised at how many good food are available to you! Including the indulgent snack food (every once in awhile)!