Why I go Gluten Free….Sometimes.

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I read about every new diet fad as soon as the book hits the shelves. Curious? Yes. Mostly because I love new information and having this information when I client asks me about it. Most diet fads pass right by me. I read about it, I decide how I feel about them, and I move on. Most of the time I don’t agree because at the heart and soul of SunshineFIT programming is my belief in these 6 essential ways to choose your foods:

1. We should eat whole foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. 

2. We should eat organic and local whenever possible. Know the “dirty dozen” list for fruits and vegetables. Any meats, eggs, fish, or poultry you consume should be organic. Shop at farmers markets to eat local.

3. We should know where our food comes from. This ties into number two a little bit. Mostly though it means if you choose to eat products from animals you should read about factory farming and understand where the meat you are eating has been and what it has been through. Same goes for your vegetables. Again, eat as local and organic as possible.

4. Don’t eat processed foods or eat as little as possible. If your food can be on a shelf for more than 3 months it’s probably loaded with ingredients you can’t pronounce and don’t have the time to research. Read ingredients in food. If you can’t pronounce what you are eating, don’t eat it.

5. Do not eat Fast Food. Meaning McDonald’s, Burger King, etc. Just don’t eat it. There is nothing nutritious about it.

6. If you are not a vegetarian than try Meatless Mondays. I never preach vegetarianism but I do believe that if you do choose animal products that you should have one day a week you go veg. It’s good for you. It’s good for the environment.

Okay, I digressed… so back to Gluten Free.

On a normal basis I don’t eat a whole lot of carbohydrate heavy foods like bread, pasta, cakes, and cookies. Bread and pasta is a trigger food for me. Meaning once I start I have a hard time stopping. Most of these foods are “empty calories” (calories from fats and sugars that have no nutritional value). This is the root of the reason I choose to go Gluten Free…sometimes.

A gluten-free diet will not always help you lose weight. It is not the answer to your fat loss prayers. If you have an intolerance to gluten or you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease than it is necessary to go gluten-free. If you don’t, it is not necessary but here are my 6 reasons that SunshineFIT advocates Gluten Free…sometimes. 

1. Even if you do not have an intolerance or Celiac you still may not digest Gluten well. Gluten can cause irritable bowl syndrome, bloating, and fatigue. You just ate a regular portion of pasta and all of a sudden your stomach feels like you ate the whole box. This happens to me at times so therefore I pick and choose the gluten containing foods I eat and when.

2. Foods that are naturally gluten-free are good for you whole foods. These foods are fruits, vegetables, (organic) meat and fish, (organic) dairy products, millet, quinoa, brown rice, cornmeal, buckwheat, oats (if you are celiac check the processing information), popcorn, amaranth. This goes right back to my SunshineFIT essential ways to choose your foods.

3. Food differential. I got this from Bethenny Frankel (I know we love her, we hate her, but her SkinnyGirl rules are actually pretty helpful.) She says if there isn’t much difference to you between eating a burger and eating a veggie burger than eat the veggie burger. Go for the healthier choice. This is how I feel about some gluten-free alternatives. Such as baking with Cup 4 Cup, a gluten-free flour. It tastes the same to me and it’s an easy adjustment. Another example is that at home the pasta we eat is Quinoa pasta, again, it tastes the same, the differential is small so we choose the quinoa pasta that is more nutritious. We also choose gluten free Soy Sauce, you won’t notice the difference. On the other side of this is PIZZA. At home I do have Amy’s Organic Gluten Free pizza in the freezer. It’s an easy Friday night go to if we are staying at home. However, when we go out for Pizza I do not get Gluten Free. I get the real stuff.

4. I consume fewer calories when I pick the gluten-free option. As I said earlier, bread and pasta are my trigger foods. I can probably eat 1,200 calories of it in one sitting and not blink twice. If I choose quinoa pasta it fills me up faster and contains protein.

5. Some studies are showing that gluten can cause mental cloudiness, poor focus, and mood swings. This is due to an inflammatory molecule  called cytokines (cytokines also contribute to inflammation in other body tissues as well). Gluten may also contribute to headaches. I figure if what I eat can possibly help to eliminate these things, than why not?

6. I just FEEL better. 

I need to add a disclaimer that while I advocate for eating NATURALLY gluten free foods, I DO NOT advocate packaged foods that haven been processed to be gluten free. 

My gluten free…sometimes journey began with eliminating gluten from my diet for 2 weeks about a year ago. I’d suggest to anyone to try this and just see how you feel than decide if gluten free…sometimes can work for you!

In health and with grace,

Tricia

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