Monday, January 28, 2013

Why Gluten Free?

My journey to gluten-free living began almost three years ago. People often ask me how I knew I was gluten intolerant, what symptoms I had, and some even comment that it's not really "real." My suggestion to them is give it a shot for 2 months...they will soon change their minds! ;)

I was always a sick child and I never remember ever being "full" of energy. As I grew up through college and after my exhaustion seemed to just get worse. Even when getting plenty of sleep, I would feel like I was hit by a truck and couldn't seem to catch up on sleep. When Matt and I were married my problems began to get increasingly worse. I continued to be exhausted all of the time! I would fall asleep all the time, even during Avatar! Who falls asleep during 3-D movies?!? I went to my general practice doctor in April of 2010 to tell him my symptoms (exhaustion, achy joints and muscles, headaches). He quickly did the whole work up of blood to test vitamin levels, thyroid, etc...everything came back fine. I was SO frustrated because I did not want to live life feeling this way. As the year went on stomach symptoms soon appeared. I could not eat a meal without getting a throbbing headache or some range of stomach problems. A friend at work suggested doing a test for gluten intolerance...after putting it off for about a month I did the test. It came back POSITIVE!

I had a sense of relief/fear/sadness about the positive test results. I was glad to finally have an answer, but sad to think about ALL of the foods I cannot eat! :(  I IMMEDIATELY could tell a difference in my energy level after removing gluten. However, it did take a dedicated 2-4 months to finally see results. I cannot explain to you the change in my body's energy and overall health!

Going gluten free is not necessarily a "diet." Honestly, most gluten free products are higher in calories and very starchy! If you are a junk food eater prior to going gluten-free, you can easily continue to be a gluten free junk food eater.

-Avoid ALL wheat, barley, rye, msg, and modified food starch.
-Become a label reader!! You will be SHOCKED to discover how many products wheat is in (candy, soups, marinades, etc)
-Be careful with "gluten free" foods. Some still have chemicals in them. For example, Chex cereal is gluten free but has BHT...I get a headache every time I have them!
-Eat clean and fresh foods
-Start somewhere! You won't do it perfectly at first!
-Don't think you have to get totally new recipes! Just replace the "gluten," with a gluten free alternative!
-Be careful at restaurants! I still order my favorite sandwiches...just no bun!
-Give it time! You get use to not being able to say "yes" to everything. The pros outweigh the cons!
-Find new favorite foods and places you love with options!
We have a local all gluten free bakery! Check out their website! It is AMAZING! I recently had a wonderful chocolate birthday cake. My family LOVED it and couldn't tell it was "gluten free."


  1. oh my word. you just described my life story. the energy-headaches-exhaustion-wowzers. and every test comes back negative/fine, I've never had the gluten one though. I'm now wondering why they never thought to test that. I'm so nervous to try G-free though. gah!

  2. I am gluten intolerant as we'll, but I'm worried about you just replacing everything gluten with those alternatives. They totally spike your blood sugar and are very fattening. I'm afraid you will get diabetes and other heath problems and then you are self defeating. Your goal was to feel so much better. It's not easy, but I do try to go without the wheat and very limited substitutes. I do feel so much better this way.