Gluten Free. Gluten Free. So…it’s over between Gluten and I.
Well… sort of. Over the years there have been dozens of fad diets that have come and gone. You hear about them through friends, on tv and in magazines. One of the biggest “fads” as of late has been a gluten-free diet for weight loss, but most people don’t know what gluten even is let alone why it might help you shed excess pounds.
Gluten is a protein that is found in many grains like wheat, rye, barley and more! The name gluten itself comes from the Latin word that literally means glue. Yuck! (That’s just what I want, a bunch of glue in my body). Long story short, because of how genetically modified wheat and other grains are in the US, our bodies no longer recognize a once natural part of the grain. Now, when gluten reaches our digestive track our bodies go on the defensive, trying to fight it off like a bacteria, and all that work can destroy our intestinal wall.
Although I have never been officially diagnosed with a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, I am really good at listening to my body. I have suffered from digestive issues my entire life so finally, about a year ago, decided to cut gluten out of my diet. Not as a “diet” in the lose 10 pounds sort of way, but really to see if I noticed any changes. And I did! When I was about 10 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which along with other things, for me, meant a slow metabolism, general fatigue, chronic digestive issues and headaches. Not only did my digestive issues subside when I ditched gluten, but I also started to notice a decrease in the other symptoms like headaches, fatigue and even allergies. It was pretty crazy.
For the first time in years I think my body could finally relax a bit and it felt great. To really test it out, after a few weeks I began introducing a little gluten back in here and there. It was a great and terrible idea. After the first night, I woke up with belly cramps and a headache. It was like a bad period! Right then and there I knew that, regardless of what people said, gluten, at least in America, was NOT really good for ANYONE. You pretty much only find it in overly processed foods, which should be sign number one. It was hard coming off years of believing I should eat whole wheat everything because Dr.’s said that would help with my digestive issues (which it didn’t). I now finally realized it was just the opposite and was actually probably making my problems worse!
The more I cut the gluten out of my diet the better I felt. Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t start loosing weight like crazy though. Of course if you eat breads and crackers regularly and then cut them out you will most likely lose weight, but that is not necessarily a gluten factor as much as a result of less carbs/sugars. That being said you will likely feel better and be more conscious of the things you are putting into your body. Now don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not the girl who will refuse to eat something made for me at a dinner party or send a meal back because it might have traces of gluten in it. I give props to those people, but it’s just not me. I love going out to eat and socializing way too much to get crazy! At the same time, I do not buy or cook foods with any trace amounts of gluten and when I go out I try to choose options that don’t have glaring gluten such as; breaded items, pastas and creamy dressings or sauces. (Again, these things aren’t healthy choices anyway regardless of your feelings about gluten).
Think what you like about gluten. I too get annoyed by people trying to use it as a new way to seem like they are being uber healthy when out in public, but I’ve gotta say, it can definitely help keep your diet in check. Here is a list of common foods that contain gluten: You tell me if these are healthy or not.
- Pasta Couscous
- Bread Flour
- Cookies Cakes Muffins
So ya…. Maybe it is simply better to try to avoid it. You know what doesn’t have gluten? Real whole foods! Try cooking at home as much as possible using fresh ingredients like chicken, fish, fruits and veggies. Check out some of my recipes for more ideas or grab a copy of the nutrition guide. As you know, I am all about balance. You will find some recipes with options to make it gluten free or visa versa. I know not everyone will agree with living a gluten free lifestyle; it’s not always easy. I do my best to avoid it and realize that a little here and there is better than what I was doing before!
Great site Katie!! I love the article you wrote about Gluten. So informative and easy to understand.
I’m really proud of you and all you have accomplished.
Thank you Jill!
Hi! I just reader your article and had the same experience. Tested on gluten but the result was, according to the docters, that I don’t have an intollerance. But like you I have the same reaction and I am better off not eating gluten!
Very good article!
Hi Sandra! I couldn’t agree with you more, it doesn’t matter if the doctors say “you are gluten intolerant”..most of our bodies still are negatively impacted! Like you, my body feels and looks better without gluten, which is all I need to know 🙂
You should also check out the book Grain Brain to find out all the other issues caused by gluten. It was a great read with yummy recipes.
Thanks! I always love a good read, I will absolutely check that one out. Have you read Wheat Belly? I really liked that book as well
I am continuously looking online for articles that can help me. Thanks!
I’m so glad this did! I would love to know more about topics you are looking for!
Learned something new! Thank you. I have been going back and forth about “breaking up” with bread (wheat) and today I’m going to “just do it”!
Couldn’t agree more! I’ve said good bye to gluten as well this past year 🙂
xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.
Have you felt your body change? 🙂 Some people don’t notice much, but I definitely did!
After reading this article I decided to take the plunge and go Gluten Free and I have seen a massive improvement! Thank you. Are all your recipes Gluten free??
Hey Sam! I’m soooo glad to hear that 🙂 It really does make a huge difference. A majority of my recipes are gluten free yes and for any that aren’t, it would be an easy substitute to make it 🙂
Hi Katie, Your posts are really encouraging to me! I’m a huge bread lover and I know that being gluten free would kill me! But, I honestly think that it’ll help me be healthier, loose weight, and make me feel better about myself. How did you stop eating gluten? Like all at once or gradually? Right now, I don’t feel very good about my body and I really want to. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better me. 🙂 I think I emailed you but I don’t know if it went through or not. Anyway, thanks a lot… Read more »
Oh I am so glad! Ya I LOVED bread too and totally get it, but it honestly is a lot of wasted calories and usually quite overly processed. I just slowly started cutting things out like snacks (crackers, toast etc). None of those typical gluten filled things you eat are doing you any favors 🙂 The best grains to keep in your diet would be things like rolled oats, brown rice and quinoa. Once in a while I will have sprouted bread like Ezekiel bread, but in general I steer clear. The great thing is if you gradually get it… Read more »
Okay, that sounds good! You’re so clear with everything! Thanks a ton Katie! You’re a blessing! 😀
I know that whole wheat pasta gives me horrible stomach cramps. By copying what you eat I’ve cut out gluten, I think. I always wanted to experiment with cutting out gluten but wasn’t ready to change my diet. Then I just kinda did it with out noticing it. I think I’m better without it. I love learning new things!