Pizza, cookies, cakes, and pasta all contain one common ingredient— gluten. Meaning “glue” in Latin. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
The protein helps to bind breads, pasta, and desserts to create a denser product. Eating gluten free has become pretty popular. Some people simply have a gluten intolerance while others have celiac disease.
I actually was diagnosed with celiac disease 6 years ago this October. When someone has celiac disease, and they have continuous consumption of gluten, they will experience a progressive deterioration of the villi, hair-like projections in their small intestine. The villi actually help absorb vitamins and nutrients to nourish our bodies and sustain energy for our everyday activities. When these villi begin to flatten as a result of gluten consumption, malabsorption can occur, and when this does you can experience a number of symptoms.
Symptoms of Possible Gluten Intolerance
1. Digestive& Stomach issues— gas, bloating, constipation, queasiness, abdominal cramping, irritable bowel syndrome
2. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal with gluten
3. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease— Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, lupus, etc
4. Dizziness or feeling off balance
5. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained fertility
6. Migraine Headaches
7. Chronic fatigue
8. Inflammation in your joints— hands, knees, feet
9. Mood issues— anxiety, depression, mood swings, ADD
Where is gluten found:
Wheat is commonly found in:
* baked goods
Barley is commonly found in:
* food coloring
Rye is commonly found in:
* rye bread, such as pumpernickel
* rye beer
Gluten can be found in broths, marinades, sauces, dressings and more. It is key read food labels prior to purchasing.
Testing for Gluten Intolerance
You can ask your primary care physician to schedule a test for this issue, which is more invasive and time consuming, or you can simply try an elimination diet and see how you feel as you start to remove these foods from your diet!
If you feel better, it means that your body operates better without those in your system. You may not have celiac disease but the goal is to get you to feel the best you can feel.
Gluten Free Diet Details
Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change, and like anything new, it takes some getting used to. You may initially feel deprived by the diet’s restrictions, especially if you weren’t having troubling symptoms before your diagnosis.
When I first found out that I had celiac disease 6 years ago October, I originally thought I couldn’t eat anything. The bread was so hard you could pound it off the table and going out to eat was nearly impossible.
Nowadays, there are amazing products, recipes, and restaurants that have really done a fabulous job at catering to the needs of those looking for gluten free.
Many Healthy and Delicious Foods Are Naturally Gluten-Free
It’s important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives. Many grains and starches can be part of a gluten-free diet, such as:
Tips for Shopping
* Learn to read labels— you will need to turn over the can and it should be labeled “Gluten-free”
* If something doesn’t carry a gluten free label than it could possibly contain barley or rye or subjected to cross-contamination.
* Wheat free does not mean gluten free.
Tips for Eating Out
Don’t feel bad or embarrassed if you have to ask a few extra questions. At first it definitely was a pain in the butt to ask, but quickly you learn that so many restaurants in the area are really accommodating.
* Do you have a gluten-free menu?
* If NO— than ask— What items can be made gluten-free?
Foods to avoid if you’re not sure
* Croutons, wontons, crispy noodles
* Salad Dressings
* Marinated foods
* Fried or breaded sautéed foods
* Foods coated with flour— french friends, tempura, etc
* Imitation crabmeat or seafood
Make sure to go to my FREEBIES section on my website to get gluten free recipes. (Right now there is chili, cranberry protein balls, chia seed banana pudding and apple crisp. Recipes go up on a weekly basis). If you need personal coaching, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.