I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding gluten free diets and whether it is actually necessary. I never in a million years thought I would ever have to worry about eating gluten free. But after experiencing a turn around in my health after removing gluten, I can honestly say that it worked for me. Due to my interest in health & nutrition, I had heard of “gluten” and eating “gluten free,” although I was not 100% as to what it meant exactly. I started to have issues with my teeth that led me to do some research and allowed me to learn all about gluten intolerance. After reading the symptoms, it was as if a light bulb went off. Prior to turning 30 I would hear others say everything starts to go downhill once you turn 30. “You don’t have the energy you used to, it’s hard to get out of bed,” etc. I refused to believe that because in my eyes 30 was still young! But, unfortunately I did notice a difference the closer I became to my 30th birthday. I was always energetic and wanted to be on the go, but it slowly became harder to go as hard – and as long – as I used to. I would have aches and pains off and on in my upper and lower back and I constantly felt achy and sore. At times, I just didn’t feel good, although some days were better than others. I would have great energy and feel like the “old me” and then 1 day of poor eating and I didn’t want to get out of the bed. I would also have occasional “head fog” where it was hard to concentrate and stay focused. I had other health issues off and on as well, (psoriasis flares, anemia, to name a few) and I assumed that it was just me getting older.
Once I started to research gluten intolerance and becoming gluten free, I started to wonder if my diet was the source of my health issues. I reluctantly decided to give it a try. After reading everything I could not eat, I was near tears. After realizing focusing on what I could not eat was doing more harm than good, I started to focus on what I could eat. Once I did that, I realized going gluten free wasn’t as intimidating as I was making it out to be. My biggest fear was letting go of two of my diet staples – whole wheat pasta and oatmeal. They were two of my favorites and they were going to be sorely missed. But I was more interested in becoming healthy than pleasing my taste buds.
I initially set out to do a trial run to see how I felt once the forbidden items were removed from my diet. I felt so good after I started that I have never stopped! That was four months ago and I haven’t looked back since. There are days where I am tempted to eat a gluten filled treat but when I think about how I felt and how I feel now, I realize it is not worth it. It feels good to have energy, a clear head and not be in constant pain. Who would’ve thought what I was eating was causing me so much pain? I am just happy to know the culprit and I am busy working to restore optimal health.
I had great help in turning my health around thanks to the following blogs, Wellness Mama and the Health Home Economist. I highly recommend them! In a following post, I will share my list of favorite gluten-free friendly restaurants, grocery stores and some of my fave gluten-free foods in Hampton Roads.
Are you gluten free? Are you thinking about going gluten free? Share your experience below!