Gluten – Friend or Foe?

I am not a picky eater. I will eat pretty much anything. I have never had any food allergies (other than maple syrup).  But a month ago I did an experiment.  I started avoiding gluten.  Here’s why and what the results were.

For awhile I knew something had to be up. After some unofficially tests, I figured my body was having issues with one of two food groups – dairy or gluten. I knew I had to try to change something after I hadn’t used the bathroom for over 4 days (scary!).

I decided to try an elimination diet and track how I felt.  In hopes that I would not have to go the rest of my life without cheese, I started by eliminating gluten. To me, a life with out cheese sounds really depressing.  Look how happy it makes me!

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein composite, composed of the proteins glutenin and gliadin (in wheat), secalin (in rye) and hordein (in barley), which are elastic proteins in the protein family known as prolamins. Gluten exists in the grass-like grains wheat, barley, rye, kamut and spelt. Gluten provides an elasticity and glue-like capacity to hold its flour products together and provide them with a chewy texture. (Source)

There really is still a lot you can eat while avoiding gluten, you have to think about what you are eating a little bit more. Luckily I don’t eat a lot of processed foods, so it is fairly simple to know if something I am considering contains gluten or not. However, gluten hides in some tricky places like sauces. Bread and beer have been the hardest for me to avoid, but it just takes a little planning.  Thank goodness for corn tortillas and wine!

I started writing down what I was eating, how I was feeling and what other things were going on with my body (we will leave it at that)! You know what happened? I almost immediately started to notice a difference.

  • The stomach pooch I thought I just would always have and never be able to crunch away seemed to go away because it was inflammation and bloating.
  • I have been extremely regular for a month now which never used to happen.

A couple times during this experiment I did eat gluten – cake at my bridal shower, bread and cookies and cupcakes at our wedding tasting, etc.  Afterwards I almost immediately felt symptoms that I always thought were just they way I was supposed to feel after eating:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Stomach cramps

While I do not believe I have an allergy to gluten (Celiac disease), I am convinced that I have a sensitivity. The only way to test for sensitivity is elimination diet as I have done. So since I feel better avoiding gluten, that is what I plan to continue to do whenever possible.



4 thoughts on “Gluten – Friend or Foe?

  1. bridgette says:

    This is so strange you posted this today…I had lunch with a friend today who has eliminated gluten from her diet over the last month and has seen the exact same results. I agreed that since I have reduced my gluten I have felt so much better! Who knew? Gluten is no friend of mine!

  2. lindayoga says:

    I really love your attitude toward yourself and your body. Thank you for spreading the goodness!

  3. […] life-changing food moment – Going Gluten Free. Bye-bye headaches, runner’s trots, bloating, cramps and […]

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