A few years back, while I was in medical school, I decided to completely eliminate gluten from my diet. It wasn’t too hard as I was in a very supportive environment and lived in a progressive city that had numerous stores offering an assortment of gluten-free food items. I began in September and avoided all grains until the December holidays. I spent Christmas with my family and from the moment I arrived, I indulged in all baked goods.
I actually didn’t notice anything different in my health until my husband pointed out that I hadn’t blown my nose for months and now was. I decided to be more aware of how I was feeling: I was yawning more than usual and was drinking an extra cup of coffee ( i.e I was tired).
This awareness became a pivotal shift in my approach to patients deciding to do food allergy and food sensitivity tests. I now give them options: spend a great deal of money on a lab test or do a food elimination diet. Most people to decide to do the elimination diet; they stop eating all grains ( except for rice) for at least 2 weeks ( 6 is ideal) and then have a “party day” eating grains all day long and observing how they feel for 24 to 72 hours ( symptoms include: stuffiness, headache, fatigue, irritability, digestive upsets). Most people are very surprised to see the results – like I was. This gives the best picture on how your body reacts to foods.
gluten side note: I have been tested over and over for celiac disease ( autoimmune digestive disease that damages the small intestine thus creating a less than optimal absorption of nutrients from food) but I always end up with normal labs; however, I know my body does not digest wheat/gluten properly. It;’s important to be aware of how your body feels.
There are 100s of fantastic gluten-free, gluten-free girl and the chef – click here for her cookie recipe, blogs and websites out there to help support a gluten- free living. It really is not that difficult; it basically goes back to a whole foods diet – veggies, fruits, meats and legumes. My good friend and colleague, Dr. Jean Layton has wonderful options too. Click here to journey over to her site.