My life revolves around testing out healthy food, drinks, products, you name it. It’s like a constant science fair project in my home, and in my body. Admittedly, I’ve put coconut oil everywhere! My husband thinks I’m crazy sometimes, but fortunately he’s totally onboard; he now eats quinoa for breakfast and has cut soda completely! He’s my star pupil.
As with any experiment, some things work and some don’t. I’m willing to try anything and everything to help make me more knowledgeable about diet and lifestyle trends. I’ve found that just reading something isn’t really effective, you have to try it first hand to really know what’s up. No body is the same! What works for me, may not work for you. At Integrative Nutrition we call that BIO-INDIVIDUALITY, and I love working with people from that standpoint, they are a completely blank canvas.
Let me start by saying I am not 100% gluten free, I’ve been a range of gluten free since I began seeing a naturopath several months ago. One of the things that I love about Chinese and alternative medicine is the idea that we can’t treat individual symptoms, it’s so important to understand that our bodies are very complicated and that everything works together very meticulously. Much of this stems from the health in our gut, if things are a mess in that area, you can bet you’ll have a situation all over the place!
I began seeing a naturopath, primarily for my skin, which has been problematic since my teens (more on that and recipes for my home made skincare in a future post) but my doctor advised me to cut out all gluten, along with the usual nasty suspects- refined sugar, processed food, and alcohol. The latter three were fairly easy, I’ve been working at cutting down on that nastiness for awhile, but the harder change to make was and is losing gluten. I love bread. I love sweet things. I love pizza. But I also love clear skin, a clear brain, energy and better digestion. Unfortunately, you can’t have them both.
Health is a choice. I always find it so interesting that we take such good care of our ‘jobs’ health but when it comes to self care we have a weird double standard. Taking care of your body is your primary ‘job’! Treat it that way. If you do, you’ll be better at your job, you’ll be better at your relationships, you’ll be better at life. Trust me on this one! Anyway, end rant…
Here’s are my observations thus far:
Going GF should push you to try out Whole Foods– you know, the stuff the Earth makes. As you start to add this good stuff in, the bad stuff really falls by the wayside. Once again, my husband and many of my friends are shining examples of this, they have made dramatic changes just by eating more good stuff.
Ultimately, the overprocessing of wheat isn’t good for anyones body, imagine trying to process information that is translated into a different language and then written backwards on a white board. Sound hard? That’s how your intestines responds to this alien wheat. It’s not pretty.
So what can you do? I recommend adding in organic whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, millet, and buckwheat. This stuff rocks and it’s fun to try out new foods with friends and family.
The good news is there are a lot more resources around Gluten Free living these days. My friend Amanda started an awesome blog that you can check out HERE for great advice and recipes. You can also read ‘Wheat Belly’ by cardiologist William Davis, its a great look at what going gluten free can do for your body, however, be cautious about the foods that Dr. Davis reccomends cutting, it’s basically everything. If you think you can live on vegetables alone, great, if you’re like the rest of the normal World, keep some healthy grains and eat some gluten free products now and then.
Here’s a good list of tips for going Gluten Free as well on Gluten Free Gourmand.