I have tried many of the most popular diets out there, but going gluten-free has probably been one of the hardest.
When I embark on a nutritional regimen, I don’t see it as a diet, I see it as a way to get to know my body better and become healthier in the process. I try to stay away from fads or extreme diets where you can only eat a specific food all day, for example, the cantaloupe diet (yuck).
I think going gluten-free, in particular, was harder because so much of life’s great pleasures revolve around bread and gluten-based foods! Choosing not to be able to partake in eating some of those amazing dishes took some getting used to.
So Why Did I Go Gluten Free?
To be completely transparent, I don’t have celiac disease.
What is celiac disease?
According to MayoClinic.Org, celiac disease causes the body to trigger an immune response when gluten is eaten. That response can look like gas, bloating, diarrhea, anemia, and osteoporosis. Eventually, people with celiac can end up with inflammation of the small intestine, which can lead to further medical complications. For people with celiac disease eating gluten can be hazardous to their health!
My decision to stop eating gluten came from observations of how my body reacted when I ate bread, cakes, and pastries. You may be having the same reactions, but may not be aware that it could be a sensitivity to gluten!
Signs of gluten sensitivity I experienced, and you may too!
After eating bread, my stomach would bloat to about 1x bigger than it would normally be. This made it uncomfortable for me to wear certain clothes and to button certain form-fitting dresses. Not to mention unattractive!
When I used to look at my face in pictures it always appeared bloated, almost like I was retaining extra water weight all the time. It did not matter whether I was working out at the time or not I could not get rid of the puffiness In my face.
Whenever I ate crusty bread like a french baguette I would experience intense stomach pains. Almost like I could feel the bread was trying to move through my stomach (not fun). Sometimes the pains were not severe but enough to get noticed. When your body s trying to tell you something, listen.
Loud Stomach Noises
I experienced loud stomach noises during digestion after I ate gluten-containing foods. It’s pretty embarrassing when someone across from you can hear your stomach making noises, ugh…
In many instances, after I ate gluten, I would become nauseous after a meal. Nausea would last a few minutes to about an hour. The nausea was not severe but enough that I would wonder what had caused it.
This is a strange one, but it happens to many people with gluten sensitivity. Skin acne or skin breakouts specifically on the back of the arms (Karitosis Pilaris) is a known sign of gluten sensitivity. For me, most skin breakouts were gone once I stopped eating gluten.
BONUS: Decrease in PMS Mood Swings
I don’t know where this all came from, but since I have gone gluten-free my PMS mood swings are slightly more manageable, Yay! If only for that give it a shot!
A Few Common Questions
If I have convinced you, and you want to go gluten-free, read below for some commonly asked questions I get from family and friends:
What do you think of eating gluten-free bread and other foods?
I try to avoid many gluten-free types of bread and other gluten-free products. Many are full of trans fats and sweeteners. If you are going to eat gluten-free, try to avoid too many overly processed snacks. Again we are all human and we all need a treat every now and again, so choose wisely.
Will I lose weight by going gluten-free?
Maybe. Like with any other diet or nutritional regimen, if you are eating more calories than you burn you will not lose weight. You have to manage how much you eat and the quantities to ensure you don’t gain excess weight. If you are gluten-free and all you eat are cookies and cakes without gluten, you will gain weight!
How long before I start experiencing positive changes?
Everybody is different. For me, it took 1 month to start seeing significant changes. The first thing I noticed was that my belly was quiet for the first time in a long time. Use a journal to track any changes you see while eating a gluten-free diet.
Have you ever fallen off the wagon?
Yes, we all have our moments of weakness. Put a pastry in front of me and it takes a lot of will and motivation to turn it away. However, whenever I have given in to the temptation, I soon regret it. Within an hour, I will feel extremely bloated and have stomach pains and nausea. I soon realized why I started this journey to begin with.
I Can’t Find anything to eat?!
Lol, It feels that way sometimes. Fortunately, there are so many amazing companies with gluten-free products and flours that you can make your own foods and desserts simply by doing an online search!
If you are a baking enthusiast, don’t fret, check out Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Flour. Perfect for anything you can come up with!
Can I eat Any Grains?
Yes!, Corn, flax, Millet, buckwheat, Arrowroot. Gluten-Free Flours-Rice, Corm, Potato, and bean flours.
Check out Bob’s Red Mill Amazon Store for a great selection of gluten-free oatmeal, chia seeds, etc…
Any other advice for newbies?
Take it one step at a time. Going gluten-free is not easy but it is possible. Setbacks are also part of the process. If you have a moment of weakness, wipe yourself off and get back on. It’s going to be a ride but I am here to support you!
If you have any questions, please post them in the comments below. I love to hear from you!