I recently began my journey on a gluten free diet. I am not suffering from some of the debilitating diseases affected by eating gluten such as Celiac Disease but I do know that I suffer from food allergies especially to wheat. Do I sense some nodding heads as you read this?
What is Gluten; a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).
Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines especially with people whom suffer from Celiac Disease. So what symptons did I suffer from? I found my energy levels to be low especially after eating a food that contained gluten (bread, cereal), poor digestion, bloated belly and sometimes even headaches.
I have known for a long time that gluten is a food allergen and not all humans are allergy free from this protein critter.
When I first began my gluten free journey, I was pleasantly surprised at how many foods were available that did not contain gluten. And although I was making a food lifestyle change I knew this was going to take some getting used to and may at times feel food deprived. Eating out certainly became a bit of a dilemma, no more pasta for me (unless they offer a gluten free menu). Breakfast on a sunday at Milestones oh yum!! would involve me taking more care in my food choices that were available (Milestones do offer a gluten free menu lucky for me!!).
But like any new habit or lifestyle choice I always say START SLOW "SLOW AND STEADY ALWAYS WINS THE RACE - BETTER STICKING POWER" long term!.
With this new food adventure that I have embarked on, I found that I had to re-look at what purchases went into the grocery cart, explore the grocery store through different eyes and eating fresh seemed best. I started noting that most packaged foods i.e cereals, crackers, bread, cookies, energy bars will state Gluten Free on their packaging, oh fantastic!! BUT again more importantly I realized that (note to self) FRESH FOOD is THE BEST FOOD.
8+ servings of different fruits and vegetables every day, 2-3 servings protein, 3+ servings carbohydrate (fibre is key). Shop the outside aisles first and then make your way through to the inside aisles to pre-packaged goods.
I am sure your next question is "So what changes did you feel physically"? this is an important question it is why we make a food lifestyle change, correct! ENERGY, yes I felt a huge change in my overall daily energy levels. No more morning or mid afternoon slumps after having a complex carbohydrate or energy meal replacement bar, bloated belly gone, allergy headaches gone...(although I do sometimes stray and pay for it after)
The internet is a superb source to answer all your questions pertaining to a gluten free diet. I highly recommend it to individuals who find that they suffer from energy slumps after eating wheat, derivatives thereof or suffer from poor digestion. Give it a go, your health and well being is key and you have nothing to loose.
Till next time, Remember Your Health is a "Tidy Business"!!