June 13, 2011

gluten free, week two

i don't even know how long ago i started the gluten-free thing and i could go back and check but i think this is day ten.

even if i hadn't made some very minor digressions, i may not be living strictly GF because i recently learned that lunch meats and blue cheese likely have trace amounts of gluten. i don't eat lunch meats often but i think that it's time to stop getting turkey or chicken salads from my favorite pizza place since they're sure to be chock-full of sulfites and sulfates, regardless of whether there is any gluten in them.

other than that, it's been easy, i feel great and i'm going to keep going. i never did weigh myself and i can't say that i've noticed a huge shift in my weight but i do wish i had a starting point.

i saw a gluten-free "diet" cookbook at sam's club yesterday and i guess because it's become a dieting fad the cookbooks and "guidebooks," so to speak, seem much more appealing than all the books i checked out from the library five years ago. they seemed as bland and uninspired as what i believed GF-living to be.

i want some cookbooks now, though, so that i can incorporate meals for the whole family. i don't necessarily think that everyone should be GF but i do think it is beneficial to avoid wheat (and barley and rye, i suppose) in its modern, hard to digest form. our family does rely too heavily on wheat-based products (breads, flour tortillas, crackers, breaded food and pastas). perhaps some day we will have a solid foundation of whole, healthy foods that it won't matter when there are gluten elements but i would like to incorporate more GF meals we can all enjoy together rather than my staple of rice with whatever. i'm also sick of corn tortillas as a flour tortilla substitute already. it doesn't work.

i've done a lot of recent "google research" on the topic and there are definitely two strongly opposed camps. some people think that everyone should be GF and like i mentioned above, it is some apparent dieting-fad now. there are also people that are strongly opposed to avoiding gluten because they believe it is a healthy, integral part of the human diet. because i've read nourishing traditions and other similar books, i have believed that the value in wheat and most other grains is only found when they are properly soaked/sprouted so i'm taking the moderate, non-biased approach and think dr. oz's website contains a wealth of neutral information compared to most other websites i came across.

this article is well-written and reasonable. it claims that there are absolutely no ill-effects to going gluten-free, or trying it out, but that there is a gluten-free junk food trap. however, if you're making a switch to whole foods, or already eat a diet consisting mostly of whole foods, than eliminating gluten doesn't have to seem like deprivation in anyway and doesn't put you at risk for weight-gain.

and finally, i came across a very interesting article (though it was on my ipod and now i can't find it). it was a first-hand account but written almost as if it were an academic research paper so it was thoughtful, full of sources, and intelligent. it stated basically what i've always suspected - that gluten-intolerance could possibly be linked to improper weight distribution and even obesity. while most celiacs that get an early diagnosis are underweight and the malnourishment actually cues their doctor to test for celiac in the first place, there are some staggering statistics for overweight americans also suffering from gluten intolerance or celiac disease. it is suspected that 99% of people with gluten sensitivity in any form go undiagnosed. that is insane to me. it doesn't suggest that 99% of the population is gluten intolerant, just that 99% of the people with a gluten problem don't realize it. according to another article, it may be responsible for so many various symptoms that are often attributed to other things. here's a rundown:

Dr Rodney Fords Book: "Going Gluten Free, How To Get Started"
lists the following Gluten Sensitivity Symptoms

•Bloating and Gas troubles

•Diarrhea or Constipation

•Gastric reflux or Heartburn

•Tired, Exhausted, Lethargic

•Uncomfortable Tummy

•Eating Problems

•Lack of Energy

•Not Growing Well

•Unhappy With Your Weight


•Chronic Iron Deficiency

•Dermatitis, Eczema or Bad Skin


•Runny Nose and Sinus Problems

•Osteoporosis, Bones and Joint Pains

•Feel Depressed And Moody

•Find it Hard To Think Clearly

•Headaches or Migraines

•Poor Sleep

•Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


•Hyperactivity or Cranky

•Mental Health Problems

if i'm honest with myself i current have or have experienced in the past 15 or 16 of those issues. when they occur together they are major issues to contend with on a daily basis. since going GF i'd say i've noticed an improvement across the board. my joint pain, bloatedness, energy levels, and mood have been the greatest areas of improvement and i might argue, some of the most important. i see how some of the above categories can overlap. for instance, if you're in pain and exhausted, that in and of itself can lead to depression or mood instability but for the most part, this is a comprehensive list that encompasses a wide variety of ailments that some people may not attribute to a single cause.

gluten-free living, for me, started as a way to get my health and body re-aligned. i sought to balance other things but without going this route, it was hard to remain on the spoke of the wheel. next big change/challenge will to finally incorporate yoga on a frequent basis and having breakfast, first thing in the morning, instead of coffee. breakfast is a must. this is another one of those things that i know, but don't do. i only got off the breakfast track a few years ago, though, so it should be easy to get back on :)

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