Monday, November 4, 2013

100 Day Gluten Free Challenge: Wheat Belly

It was a couple years ago that I decided to change my diet and go Gluten Free.  My reason was health related as well as wanting to lead a healthier life.  I had developed poor eating, sleeping and exercise habits in college and as the years went on I experienced less energy as well as always feeling bloated and heavy.  My twin sister was the one to take the leap first.  I noticed how well she felt when she made the changes and figured we are twins, I would probably see similar changes in myself.

Note:  I have not been diagnosed with celiacs disease or a gluten sensitivity. However, both do exist and this is a personal choice to change my health and life.    

Some might think that going Gluten Free is a fad, much like low-fat, low-carb or other popular fad diets. Its possible that some think sooner or later "Gluten Free" will go out of style.  However, for those of us who have gluten sensitivities or full blown celiacs disease, we know that isn't the case.  Gluten free is a new lifestyle, a new way of cooking, shopping and nourishing you and your family.

Recently, I have fallen off the wagon, if you will, and fell back into old habits of starchy carbs and processed foods with preservatives, food dye and other toxins that aren't good for our bodies.  I have experienced low energy, lack of motivation, even my skin looked dull, old and quit frankly like a teenager going through puberty with lots of pimples.

Due to a few illnesses I started eating better, taking my vitamins and drinking more water.  I started feeling better and avoided catching air born illnesses from the children I nanny.  I credit this to healthy eating, mainly fresh fruit and vegetable, little carbs and cutting out most things with gluten in them.  I also noticed that my body was trimming up. I really hadn't done much exercise, but still noticed the fat around my belly diminishing and my skin, WOW, it looks 100 times better.  It's true what they say, "You are what you eat".  I was becoming junk food and looked like the oily processed c$@% I was feeding my body.

Which brings me to why I chose to do this challenge.  I want to be healthier.  Healthy body, skin and life. I'm not getting any younger and my body doesn't bounce back like it used to, therefore I need to pay more attention to what I feed my body and mind.

My challenge starts here, today!  I am beginning by reading Wheat Belly, by William Davis MD.  Also along with the book is a cookbook.  This cookbook is amazing!  I have already tried a few recipes.  Think gluten free means no bread, no pizza, no more delicious deserts like cupcakes? Think again!  I highly recommend anyone who is considering gluten free, or has to eat gluten free to read this book.

Here are a few of the main points that have really stood out to me so far are :

1. The wheat (which contains gluten) that is put into our products today has evolved.  Basically it has become a big, harry, green, monster and is no good for us.  Don't believe it?  Read the book and decide for your self.

2. Gluten free will change your health for the better; lower blood pressure, diminish or rid skin rashes, diminish or rid IBS or Irritable Bowl Syndrome, help with symptoms and control of diabetes.  These are just a few things people have seen improve with a gluten free diet.

3.  Changes mood, especially in children.   This one hits home for me. I don't have children yet, however I am a nanny.  The children eat a lot of junk food, candy, and processed foods.  I notice their behavior changes after eating these things and its not pretty. From temper tantrums to attitudes, hitting and biting they can completely loose it!

My intentions with this challenge is to provide a personal account of a gluten free diet and share it with others.  This is still a blog about design and I will incorporate the two into weekly posts. Starting with a post about organizing and designing your kitchen for a gluten free lifestyle.

So stay tuned and cheers to a healthy lifestyle!

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  1. Hey Ali! i know you have been doing this for some time now but very interesting that you are! good for you! im not sure if you remember but i had a wheat allergy growing up (now i cut out all gluten) but your #3 was the #1 reason my parents took me off AND figured it out i was so cranky when i would eat it!! it is crazy how popular it has become and im sure you will see how easy it has become to eat out! good luck with your venture! if you have any questions let me know, i have years of experience :)

  2. I do remember that, now that you say something! So you are well rehearsed in how to eat out on a gluten free diet! Any tips are welcome:) I have had some great luck finding some amazing recipes to cook at home. It has actually made me enjoy cooking, knowing that I am going to feel better and be healthier! If you do a lot of cooking at home, you should check out She has amazing recipes, one of my family favorites are her banana muffins. It's hard to find good gluten free pastries!

    Hope you are doing well!