24 Hours of Being Gluten-Free

I am so glad that I broke down a month and a half ago and signed up for a gym membership at Planet Fitness. That place really is all that it claims to be. I feel so comfortable working out there and have noticed a significant difference in my appearance and self-esteem. My posture is getting so much better! I just needed some actual muscles in my upper back and boom, it’s better.  

I have officially not eaten anything with gluten for just over 24 hours.  This is one of the hardest lifestyle changes, next to working out on a regular basis, that I’ve ever undertaken.  I am not doing this to follow any perceived fads or “diets.”  I’m doing this because I honestly feel that I have a gluten intolerance and the only way for me to really see if I do is to just cut it out of my diet.  I have had all of the classic symptoms of gluten-intolerance for many, many years, but until just recently I didn’t make the connection. I’ve even heard that it could cause some anxiety. After searching some of my symptoms, I stumbled on an infographic here and it just made sense to me.  I have so many of the symptoms on that chart.  I’m not saying I have Celiac disease.  I can’t say that unless tested and evaluated by medical professionals, but I can try to make some lifestyle changes that could alter my life for the better.

Ok, get ready for TMI. For most of my early teens and on, I lived with chronic bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, chronic fatigue, irritability, and headaches.  More recently in my twenties I’ve also come to experience unexplained anemia, constant sinus problems and post nasal drip, low blood sugar, dizziness and weakness, chipping and discolored teeth, and intolerable acid reflux.  The list goes on and on really.  I’m not saying all of these symptoms are related to a gluten intolerance, but surely some of them could be and all of them are listed on that infographic.  For the better part of 10 years, I felt that it was just normal to feel bad all the time. It never occurred to me that what I was eating was playing a major part in deteriorating my body.  I didn’t realize that this was not normal until I started living with K and he started realizing that my body wasn’t functioning normally.  It’s strange how we get to used to the status quo that we don’t realize when it’s time for a change.

When you really start to think about it, there is gluten everywhere. It’s going to be pretty difficult for me to give it up, but I think it’s something I need to try. The long-term effects of gluten intolerance are frightening and I so desperately want to feel “good” and not crappy all the time.

Are any of you on a gluten-free diet?  If so, what are some tips you have for me? Have you noticed differences in how you feel and look? I’d love to hear from you!
Have a good night everyone.

Megan

PS Don’t forget to visit my friend Diana’s site!  She has some awesome Giveaways running now as well. You can visit her blog by clicking here, or check her out on PinterestInstagram,and Bloglovin!

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48 thoughts on “24 Hours of Being Gluten-Free

    1. I believe you are on the right track. There are also many other chemicals in wheat that can cause health challenges. I try to stay away from bread with the exception of Ezekiel which is not wheat but sprouted grains. Since eliminating a lot of grain, I have added all kinds of nuts and make a mix basically seasoned from Blue Diamond Almonds mix. Nuts help get the magnesium that about everyone is deficient in. I also take a magnesium supplement by Mega Food. It is also very important to switch to free-range-organic eggs, organic meat and butter as you venture the path of better nutrition, By switching to organic you are eliminating from your diet, antibiotics and hormones. You will definitely notice a spike in energy from these nutritious foods.

  1. Honestly, I think the gluten free fad totally covers up what I think is probably a much larger issue for the gut, which is the use of RoundUp. Unless a test shows Celiac, I think cutting out gluten is a really minimalistic approach when there are SO MANY inflammatory foods, and all cutting out gluten does is leave you with a plethora of foods that can be causing just as many issues… You’re basically working backwards, one small thing at a time, instead of starting a strict diet that cuts out all inflammatory foods and adds possible irritating foods back in one by one so you know what’s causing problems. That would be an extreme approach, except with all your complaints, that’s the way to go…

    1. Pesticides may be partly to blame but if you are worried about roundup, corn is more likely to be treated with it than wheat. My dad does not treat wheat with roundup, but corn when produced massively must be treated. It’s a bad cycle but it does exist.

      1. I rarely eat any non-organic food at home (and no corn or wheat, actually)! And when I’m out, well, I just take my chances! But I don’t eat out much!

  2. I have Celiac! Although just so you’re aware – Celiac and gluten intolerance are very different things. If you are seriously concerned that you have Celiac disease and not a combination of gluten intolerance/IBS, see a gastroenterologist!

    It’s tough, and I honestly continue to eat gluten (although much less than in the past) because it is so difficult for me to make dietary restrictions in my current living situation, and the awful symptoms don’t subside for me when I eat GF because I have such terrible IBS-D. I take hyoscyamine and it has helped a lot with my GI discomfort, as does Citrucel. Hope you start to feeling better!

    1. Thank you for all the info! I am aware of the differences between them and doubt I have celiac disease, but an intolerance is more likely for me. It’s awful living with those issues. I feel for you for sure 😞

  3. I have been gluten and dairy free for about 4 years. It has made all the difference in my skin. Also I am working on healing my gut. The gluten and dairy along with sugar made my gut permeable and I got lots of allergies. Do much better just eating real whole food–fruits, vegetables and meat or fish. No processed foods. The difference in how I feel is night and day. It is important to eat what is healthy and not let social pressure dictate what you eat!

    1. I haven’t been the best about keeping up with my GF changes, but I have certainly cut back. I don’t eat gluten in the morning for breakfast anymore and honestly, that makes a huge difference. Thanks so much for your encouragement and tips!

  4. Started on a paleo way of eating some weeks back. No gluten, diary, refined sugar. I have more energy that ever, particularly noticeable when exercising. I have also had less water retention and bloating by miles; my moods are more stable as I’m not sugar-crashing. So yep, I’m with you on this xx

  5. I’ve been gluten-free since the end of 2014. I tried it out because apparently there is a link between gluten and psychological problems. It hasn’t helped much in that aspect, which is disappointing but I think it has helped my anxiety a little bit.
    Gluten-free food can sometimes be expensive, especially from the health-food aisle so look for “normal” food you can have which is gluten-free, like rice, rice crackers, corn chips or popcorn (check the ingredients though.)
    Gluten-free bread can taste a bit funny but if you put it in the toaster it’s usually okay (except the crusts are always icky in my opinion!)
    Eating out can be difficult. Apparently Mexican food is a good option if you get corn tortillas. Most cafes have gluten-free options but if you’re a picky eater like I am then it’s best to eat at home.
    My only other advice is be careful because I found myself getting really obsessive about gluten and becoming kind of afraid of it. I’m a bit more relaxed with it now and will eat food that may contain traces of gluten but I am scared to try anything like pasta, or normal bread again.
    There are heaps of food gluten-free apps. I have one where you can scan barcodes to see if products contain gluten and there are others that have recipes or can tell you which restaurants are gf-friendly.
    I hope it helps your symptoms go away.

    1. I’ve heard eating out is difficult, so I’ve been avoiding it lately. Our favorite restaurant is a Mexican restaurant and I always get corn tortillas anyway because I like the taste better, so that’s awesome to know. Thanks for your advice!

  6. I’ve been gluten free for close to 8 years, but it’s because I have a wheat allergy and it’s easier to maintain “wheat free” by going gluten free.

    It’s difficult to maintain the GF life, and we hardly ever eat out anymore. You learn to make things at home that you crave by learning the substitutions for GF items. After a while, eating GF at home becomes easier (and expensive, unfortunately), but being able to eat anywhere else becomes way more difficult. Going to a restaurant, going to a friend’s house, going to family occasions…even well-meaning friends and family can end up glutening you. Restaurants are terrible for GF because cross-contact potential is almost impossible to eliminate in commercial kitchens that offer both standard and GF free foods.

    I never saw a difference in how I looked, but the allergic reaction I was having to wheat went away (unless I accidentally ingest wheat again). Be aware, most of the GF items in the grocery store are just processed junk food. Cooking at home for yourself will allow you to be as healthy as you can on a GF diet. And don’t anticipate losing weight on a GF diet…it’s not a “diet” per se, it’s a lifestyle. What you can anticipate is a relief from those symptoms you described, if you do have a GF intolerance, sensitivity, allergy, and/or Celiacs disease.

    Be aware, there’s hidden gluten EVERYWHERE. You’ll have to read every label on everything you buy. And some of the international foods that you enjoy may not be required to label that they have gluten in them, so be careful. If you are extremely sensitive to gluten, you’ll need to start checking your make-up, lotions, shampoos, soaps, etc. for gluten products, too.

    For some people, ingesting even small amounts of gluten can affect them. It’s going to take you some time to really be confident that you’re gluten free (and to get the gluten out of your system), so be patient with yourself and your body as you transition. Good luck! 🙂

    1. I’ve definitely cut back on the amount of gluten I intake. I check everything now. My breakfast is gluten free now, which has made a huge difference for me. Not sure I’m doing it all right, but things seem to be changing for the better.

  7. My doctor had me go further with a grain free diet two years ago. Lost 40 pounds–now at perfect height weight ratio. Blood chemistry now normal. I was pre diabetic and now I am normal. I had severe asthma and now it is almost gone. It is the hardest task I ever did, but the results outweigh the sacrifice. Yes, on the rare special occasion I cheat a little!

  8. In terms of looking better when abiding by a gluten free diet, just remember that GF does not mean healthy. Be weary of food products that are manufactured to be GF. They are filled with other additives. Try to stick to things that naturally contain no gluten. Doing so made me feel much better.

  9. Follow your instincts and keep at it. I’ve been gluten free for 15 years. It was hard back then, but much easier now.

    Tips: body changes, adjustments and improvements will take time. Stick to it. The stricter you are now, the quicker you will see improvements. It may take years for some of the more delicate symptoms to improve. I can now tolerate a small accidental dose of gluten with little more than a bad headache, whereas it used to wipe me out for a day or two.

    Exercise helps the body rebuild. Glad you already have benefits there.

    Eat as much real food cooked from fresh ingredients as you can. Watch out for thickened sauces and flour coatings. Wishing you well!
    Peter

    1. It’s definitely not easy! I haven’t been perfect with it, but I’ve been doing much better. I haven’t had gluten in the morning for over a month now and that has helped tremendously. Thanks for all your advice and sharing about your experience living G-free 🙂

  10. Just as an FYI, I thought I had gluten intolerance because I had those same symptoms. Turns out it’s also the symptoms of a rare form of milk allergy. I’ve done an article on it. I don’t like spamming unsolicited links in comments but if you want to read about it I’ll link you because when I thought it was gluten, I felt a bit better for about 2 weeks off gluten and didn’t realize it was because all my fave gluten dishes were also full of milk/dairy (pizza, mac and cheese, pasta bake, I even put butter in my couscous), and that all the gluten free stuff I was eating was co-incidentally dairy free as well, and my milk allergy was irritating my digestion so much that I don’t think I could tolerate gluten very well until it healed. After 6 months off gluten AND dairy, I gradually introduced gluten again and I don’t eat much of it but it’s ok when I do now. It might not be remotely helpful to know this but if the problems creep in again, it could be dairy. Lactose intol. is not the only digestive milk disorder; there’s 5 in total (and it can feel the same in your stomach as anxiety).

    1. No it’s very helpful! Actually, I’ve been off almost all dairy products for years now and my issues have gotten much better, but maybe I should cut them out totally. I love my yogurt though! It used to be so bad that I couldn’t even eat cheese, but once I stopped with milk, it seems to have really gotten better. the other issues I have, I’m just not sure what’s up with them 😦

  11. Hi Megan

    We follow a completely gluten free diet, not even substituting GF versions of otherwise gluten-filled food. We highly recommend looking into the paleo diet, which is essentially gluten, legume and dairy free. Take a look at the writing of Robb Wolf and Loren Cordain to start – their books are the easiest to read and then implement into everyday life.

    We’ve just started blogging, and we’re going to be writing about following this lifestyle and posting recipes. We already have one up (frittatas) and we’ve got one that we’re going to post in the next couple of days.

    If you have any questions about the paleo diet or generally living GF, please feel free to contact us on Twitter, email, or leave a question on our site.

    Good luck!

  12. I believe you are on the right track. There are also many other chemicals in wheat that can cause health challenges. I try to stay away from bread with the exception of Ezekiel which is not wheat but sprouted grains. Since eliminating a lot of grain, I have added all kinds of nuts and make a mix basically seasoned from Blue Diamond Almonds mix. Nuts help get the magnesium that about everyone is deficient in. I also take a magnesium supplement by Mega Food. It is also very important to switch to free-range-organic eggs, organic meat and butter as you venture the path of better nutrition, By switching to organic you are eliminating from your diet, antibiotics and hormones. You will definitely notice a spike in energy from these nutritious foods. Also, if you cut down on foods with Omega 6 will help inflammation. A balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 is very important. Peanut butter is high in Omega 6….there are many nut butters to switch to.

  13. I just started GF diet, I’m 26 and ive felt depressed and anxious for almost 10 years. Now I’m starting to think i might have schizophrenic and OCD symptoms. I also take allergy meds for almost 10 years for skin inflammation nasal congestion and i use inhaler for breathing problems. I never figured out what I’m allergic to but now i hope it’s gluten. Because if it is my symptoms might go away and i can love my life.

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