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Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 | 0 comments

Why I’m Gluten Free

Why I’m Gluten Free

Gluten Free pic

Whenever I’m in a social eating situation, it will undoubtedly come up that I’m gluten free. People ask:

Are you allergic to gluten?

What is gluten anyway?

Or…Man that really sucks, so you can never eat bread or pancakes again?

The short answer to why I’m gluten free is…I don’t feel great when I eat it. Simple as that. I feel bloated, sometimes get a subtle headache, and my brain is foggy and slow. So to answer all your burning questions about gluten, I thought I’d write this post just for you.

Gluten: What it is, What it has to do with your health, and How you can still be a normal human being without it.

Gluten is a composite of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut. It’s the stuff that gives bread and pasta that chewy texture. You’re probably thinking…

HUMANS HAVE BEEN EATING BREAD + PASTA FOR CENTURIES. WHY ALL OF A SUDDEN IS EVERYONE TURNING UP GLUTEN INTOLERANT?

Great question! It’s not just a fad, science shows the number of people allergic to gluten (which means they have celiac disease) and those sensitive to gluten (which means they have an intolerance) is rising rapidly. While no one knows the exact reason, there are a couple of theories out there.

  1. WHEAT IS BEING HYBRIDIZED. Modern wheat has been tinkered with for decades in order to yield more with less fertilizer and water. It’s not the same wheat our ancestors ate 100 years ago and may contain more gluten.
  2. INCREASED CONSUMPTION OF PROCESSED FOOD. Ever notice that a lot of the processed foods out there are wheat-based. Cookies, crackers, etc. Even worse, a lot of the stuff you wouldn’t think of as a wheat-based product contains gluten. Things like soy sauce, cottage cheese, marshmallows. Who knew? We as a society are eating more and more processed food AND more and more processed foods contain added gluten.

Think You Might Have A Gluten Issue?

If you or someone you know are having symptoms (mild or otherwise) that you just can’t explain, like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, weight gain…even migraines, eczema, acne or other skin problems, you may have a gluten issue.

It’s important to understand that a gluten allergy creates an autoimmune response and will usually show up in a test done by your doctor. A gluten sensitivity usually won’t show up in any test; you have do what I call RESEARCH to find out if you’re intolerant! Take it out of your diet for a little while, introduce it back in slowly and pay attention to what happens.

Don’t be Scurred

If you’re scared to find out you have celiac or just discover you have an intolerance, don’t be. I promise you can still be a normal person!

  • For one thing, it’ll make you a healthier eater because you’ll have to pay attention to what you put in your body.
  • Eating out is not so much of an issue anymore as a good majority of restaurants have gluten-free options.
  • You can STILL EAT PANCAKES (see recipe here)!
  • And the best part of all is you’ll feel sooo great!

Just think, you could finally shift your health into OPTIMIZE mode just by doing a little experiment.

I’ll confess, I’m not gluten free 100% of the time…last weekend after a wedding reception I raided the mini bar in my hotel room for some cheesy, crispy snacks. A total gluten-bomb! I enjoyed every minute of it and I chalked it up to “research.”  The next day I couldn’t tell if it was the alcohol or the gluten, but I wasn’t operating at full Shanny Power :)

Whether you are new to being gluten free or an old hat, follow me on instagram and pinterest @shannon_vigil where I post free meal ideas and recipes, most of which are gluten free. Or contact me if you want more guidance on transitioning to a gluten-free lifestyle.

Now wish me luck with my gluten-free diet; I’m headed to Switzerland and France in a few days. How do you say “gluten-free croissant” in French?

Here’s to you feeling great!

Shannon

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