One of the best parts of changing my diet has been learning a vast amount of information about nutrition. It didn’t take long for me to learn that what I was taught in school was not necessarily correct. Learning the basic food groups and the food pyramid early in life, I didn’t really call anything into question. Times change, so did how we eat over the years. Now I feel I have a much stronger grasp of nutrition, but like with life, I am always learning. Yesterday in Stop the Struggle, Lani Muelrath cites 4 steps to get going with your workout, but these steps I feel also apply to eating. Over the next 30 days I will take on a Gluten Free Challenge.
“Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale. It is used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as “dextrin” (Wikipedia).” While I don’t have an intolerance to gluten or celiac disease, it has been reported that maintaining a gluten free diet can make you feel better. “Growing awareness of gluten sensitivity has led some people who struggle with gut problems but have tested negative for celiac disease to take matters into their own hands and try a gluten-free diet, even though it’s an extremely difficult diet to follow (CNN).
While it might be challenging, I don’t see this 30 day challenge being difficult. Instead of looking at what I cannot eat, I look at all the other grain options I have; corn, potato, rice, tapioca, amaranth, arrowroot, millet, montina, lupin, quinoa, sorghum (jowar), taro, teff, chia seed, and yam! Fact is, outside of baking my own wheat bread, I am probably close to a gluten free lifestyle now. As Chef AJ told me, “Many items have hidden gluten like soy sauce but you can use raw coconut aminos or miso for a salty flavor.”
I can see many readers shaking there heads and asking “why?” Isn’t it enough that I have given up meat, dairy and all oils, but to toss in gluten now. Some must think I am a glutton for punishment. Truth be told, if I happen to have more energy and feel healthier, why not? It’s only a 30 day period and I see it as another goal on my road to health. Along the way, I hope to learn more about gluten, as it relates to nutrition and cook some new recipes. “In fact, experts now believe that celiac disease represents just one extreme of a broad spectrum of gluten intolerance that includes millions of people… celiac disease affects about 1 percent of the U.S. population, experts estimate that as many as 10 percent have a related and poorly understood condition known as non-celiac gluten intolerance (NCGI), or gluten sensitivity (CNN).”
In the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Hopefully I will have “strong” report at the end of this 30 day challenge.