Being the inquisitive person that I am, I love experimenting with new things and analyzing their results; What would happen if I slept an hour longer per day? what if I woke up and made my bed each morning for a month? What if I had regular chiropractic care for a few months?how will this effect my life? How will it effect my mood? my anxiety level?
There has been an ever increasing hype about the lack of gluten in ones diet. A few people I know have told me GREAT things about it! Lots of energy, feeling more alert, feeling less bloated, less bowel issues! So I decided to give this whole gluten-free thing a whirl and see how it affects my life. So, for the past couple of weeks, I have been gluten free (besides a couple of hiccups - my roommate is an amazing baker!)
So what wonderful things typically contain gluten?
Beer, hard liquor, crackers, bread, meatballs, pasta, practically all baked goods (that includes pies, cakes, muffins, tarts!), gravy, anything breaded/dusted such as wings, breaded fish, schnizel, veal parmigiana and MUCH much more.
Gluten refers to two proteins (Gliadin and Glutnenin) found in wheat endorsperm and is found in Wheat, Rye & Barley. 1 in 133 people in developed nation are affected by gluten (sometimes life threatening).
Sooooooooooooooo what did I eat exactly?
I must say, being gluten free is tough for a bread lover. If I could live off of one single item of food my entire life, it would probably be bread (or potatoes). Gluten free bread is very dense - almost like a banana loaf. It's actually pretty good comparatively but definately not very versatile. I tried making grilled cheese with G-Free bread and it just wasn't the same. It is absolutely delicious with PB&J for breakfast though!
Having gluten free pasta was probably one of my favorite lunch/dinner meals. Why? Because there was no difference in taste; If anything, I may have convinced myself that gluten free pasta noodles are tastier then regular pasta! This is definitely something I will buy from this day moving forward on a regular basis.
My colleague at work is allergic to everything, including gluten, so she's been instructing me on what to eat/refrain from. She mentioned Bunner's in Toronto is a great place for gluten free baked goods. Needless to say, if you set aside the fact that you are paying twice as much for everything, then everything looked exceptional. I ordered 4 things off the menu and inhaled everything almost immediately. Truly a great place!
I've also had gluten free pancakes and pizza which I found had a bit of a "cardboard" taste, but, I could definitely get used to it. There are also a whole bunch of gluten free goodies you can purchase at Homesense & Winners too!
There are a lot of unhealthy foods that contain gluten also... such as most types of lays and ruffles chips! Lays should come out with new packaging that says "Gluten Free" and see how their sales may increase!
how did it affect my life? how did it affect my energy levels?
All in all, I do think that 2 weeks is not enough time to feel the full boar of what it means to be gluten free. I didn't have any mood changes or didn't feel significantly more energetic (one of the things people notice about being gluten free). One of the more meaningful differences I did see was that I was slowly starting to loose my belly fat! Yay right? I also felt less bloated which is awesome because we know what feeling bloated does to our productiveness (Gilmore Girls marathon anyone?). I also noticed that I felt hungrier throughout the day. Hungry when I woke up, hungry at lunch and hungry in the evening!
So how do I really feel?
Other then the fact that I should probably try this gluten free thing for a full month, I'm not so sure its the best thing for me. I would be loosing the nutritional benefits that whole wheat products provide my body as well as the nutritional benefits that I get from other foods that contain gluten. I think eating healthy is one thing - and if you can limit your intake of eating gluten-enriched products by substituting them with other foods such as quinoa and veggies - then that is the way to go!