This is a guest post by Angela Berry from Ripped.me
While gluten-free diet has been one of the hottest topics in the nutrition world for a while now, we still keep getting raised eyebrows and a reluctance to accept the fact that gluten may actually be the problem behind our increasing health issues. As what you may easily call a fitness and diet freak, I’ve seen both sides of the coin. No, better yet – I’ve lived both sides and I can tell you for sure that gluten is not your friend. Not, at all.
Give me a G! … give me an L! … give me a U! ….
The usual drama behind gluten-speculations often revolves around either people not being aware of what gluten actually is nor what it does to our bodies or a blunt denial that – of all people – they are the ones being negatively affected by it. We’re all stuck in our initially formed nutritional believes and it’s pretty hard to let go. I remember it myself – it took some time adjusting, but once I’ve realized how dramatically my health has started to change for the better, I’ve let the nutritional prejudice go and enjoyed this gluten-free ride (I’m still happily on)!
If you’ve been experiencing health problems caused by gluten, I’ll give my best to guide you through a gluten-free life and diet, and help make that journey as effortless as possible. Just, bear with me, please.
I have a gluten problem? Me? No way
In my case, it all started 3 years ago when I finally gathered the courage to sit down with myself and be open about what’s going on with my health. Oftentimes, we get too busy with our hectic lives, careers, families and social life to take time and reflect. This is precisely why most (health) problems escalate before we even get the chance to eliminate their roots.
Every couple of weeks I had constipation and I even ended up in a hospital once. I’ve always had unpleasant sensations in the stomach, such as pain and bloating. I would always feel sleepy and tired, with my energy levels at the lowest point possible. Gradually, I started getting painful headaches which, to that point, I never used to suffer from. My skin stopped being soft and beautiful… Since the symptoms weren’t going away, I decided to get lab tested and seek nutritionists’ help. After having done all the analysis, I learned that the primary culprit for my poor health was gluten. I was stunned. Gluten? Really? To me, this was shocking as I’m a nutritionist by profession and I know very well what it means to consume gluten!
Okay, so I needed to make my health problems disappear
The first thing I did when I came back from the laboratory was go to the kitchen and pack all gluten-infused foods into a big box. Then, I brought it to my mother. I didn’t want to be tempted to use those foods, ever again. Following, I sat down and wrote a list of gluten-free foods and went shopping. I gave myself a little pep talk, though: “Okay, life goes on. Nothing’s changed except for gluten consumption. You’ll be okay.” And I was!
I learned that the kitchen is still my friend
You’re dead wrong if you think gluten-free eating is boring and tasteless. In fact, you can make all your favorite meals with adjusting the ingredients just a little bit. When you go shopping, it is very important to read the labels. These days, a much larger selection of gluten-free foods is available compared to 3 years ago when I was starting. What’s even more amazing is that today you have great options for gluten-free finger food catering and specialized restaurants that offer gluten-free bites. So – don’t sweat it for a second!
Be sure to get creative in your kitchen and enjoy the process; one of the key aspects of an awesome gluten-free menu is getting a set of kitchen supplies like the ones offered by KitchenAid. Once I bought mine, all preparations became easy and quick. Feel free to add spices that are rich in taste and add piquancy to your meals. You can make gluten-free pizzas and bread, your favorite kinds of pasta with sauces, lasagna, and pretty much everything else. There’s honestly no reason to panic!
I live a life without gluten and I’m happy
Today, 3 years after I’ve jumped onto the gluten-free wagon, I can genuinely say that I’m really happy with myself and the way I look. I no longer have health problems, I feel incredible, I am energized and rested! Take that, gluten! The important thing is to listen to your body and be open to potential changes. Put yourself and your health first, always.