Gluten – whether you’re eating it or not, can impact your life.
Studies show that 1 in 133 people are diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease where your body experiences a reaction to eating gluten, damaging the small intestine’s lining, and causing other possible medical complications. Yet, even more people may be gluten-intolerant, which means you experience a reaction to gluten but do not test positive for Celiac Disease.
Both situations, Celiac Disease and gluten-intolerance, require living a completely gluten-free lifestyle, which as we know can be life-changing.
So how does gluten really change your life?
#1 First of all, eating gluten can cause multiple reactions.
The truth of the matter is that many people eat and just don’t feel well. Yet, they don’t attribute those feelings to their food.
Dr. Tom O’Bryan, an autoimmune and gluten expert, states that most people just can’t digest gluten.
When you don’t feel well, pay attention to what you have eaten and see if there is a correlation – you may be surprised.
Having such a wide range of reactions is what makes it so difficult to diagnose Celiac Disease, which on average is about ten years. And, if you talk to anyone who has Celiac Disease or is gluten-intolerant you will find that different reactions vary from mild to severe and from person to person.
If you have a problem with gluten, typical reactions can be belly issues such as gas, bloating and diarrhea, running to the bathroom where you may be parked all day! You may experience brain fog, neuropathy (numbing of the hands and feet), dizziness, low energy, or possibly a silent reaction where your body is just not absorbing the nutrients you need.
Think about what you eat
I clearly remember an evening out to dinner with my husband’s boss and his wife. After about two bites of salad, the reactions hit hard. My husband was in mid-sentence as he looked at me and stopped, “Are you OK” he said with concern.
I’d turned two sheets of white and was shaking. Heading to the ladies’ room, I stayed there for a bit before the boss’ wife came looking for me (talk about embarrassing moments).
Had I known I would react to food, or what foods bothered me, may have changed that whole situation.
That evening, blue cheese dressing covered my salad, an old favorite – full of gluten.
There was also the double whammy – gluten and dairy in that Blue Cheese Dressing – both of which I cannot eat today. Now, it’s clear that I cannot eat gluten. Yet, that night I sure didn’t relate food to my reaction.
Pay attention to what you eat and how you feel. It may make all the difference in the world.
NOT eating gluten impacts your life even more!
#2 A gluten-free life makes you think about every bite you take.
When you’re first diagnosed you may be consumed by what you’re eating as well as what‘s safe and how you feel. It’s a roller-coaster of emotions on the safety of the food you’re choosing.
Yet, once you gain a good understanding of what your safe gluten-free foods are, you can lighten up and relax a little. You’ll still find yourself thinking about each bite but it gets better over time.
Learning to read labels and where to find hidden gluten help quite a lot.
#3 A gluten-free life may expand your food options and healthier eating.
Once you start to feel better, you may find that you expand your food options. We were shocked at how many foods we discovered from living gluten-free.
Quinoa, buckwheat, and teff were not foods we had on our radar, never mind eaten before going gluten-free. They’re all delicious and nutritious.
And, there are tons of options of gluten-free flours. For years I had only used all-purpose (wheat) flour- wow! Today we use multiple flours baking each week.
We have truly upgraded our plates just from living gluten-free.
#4 A gluten-free life helps regain health and energy
Once you’re gluten-free, the reactions start to diminish. Your body gets stronger as it stops wasting all of your energy fighting off intruders (gluten).
With more energy and no reactions from eating, you start to feel great. It’s definitely amazing once that belly bloat is gone!
Gluten changes your health, and the food itself changes everything.
Change your plate, change your health,
change your life!
When you eat and then feel bad, you end up feeling lethargic, lose the desire to do anything, and miss out on living a full life.
When you eat real, whole foods, you have good energy and give your body the nutrition and balance it needs. You’ll feel better, which definitely changes how you go through your day.
This can give you more motivation to continue feeling better, which in turn encompasses healthier living overall – incorporating a healthier lifestyle with exercise, drinking plenty of water, and even getting good sleep. These all go hand in hand with creating a healthy lifestyle and living a thriving gluten-free life.
#5 A gluten-free life can be expensive
Gluten-free food is definitely more expensive than sticking to a gluten-filled diet.
At first, I was shocked by this. A loaf of gluten-free bread can cost anywhere from $4.99-$8.99! A big difference from a regular loaf found at the grocery store.
I quickly realized that this doesn’t have to be!
I took all the tricks my dad taught me about spending and saving money – which have all helped me diminish my gluten-free food bills. Learning how and where to shop can truly make a difference.
Today I have proven ways to save money without breaking the bank for this lifestyle we need to live in order to keep our health.
You can grab your own cheat sheet: How to Save Money Being Gluten-Free and start saving today!
Being gluten-free changes your life, more than just changing your food choices.
As you can see,
gluten impacts all of us
– eating it or not!