10.9.2016 | 00:47
When Debra and I adopted a gluten-free lifestyle several years ago, it changed everything.
And we weren’t even strictly gluten-free at the beginning – we were wheat-free, but still used spelt flour for baking (and ate spelt-flour products from the grocery store).
Sometimes we ate whole-grain rye bread too.
Even those baby steps had huge results.
We started losing weight – without dieting.
Our chronic cycle of diarrhea –> constipation –> diarrhea disappeared.
Debra’s motion sickness vanished – it takes a roller coaster level of turbulence to turn her green on an airplane now….
These things may not seem like a big deal, but they were major improvements for us.
I’d alternated between diarrhea and constipation my whole life.
Now I only tend to get diarrhea when I have a serious pathogenic gut bug or eat something that violently disagrees with me – like, say, when I accidentally get “glutened.” (It happens to the best and most careful of us – and for the first few years, we weren’t the best or most careful….)
We’ve now been entirely gluten-free for quite a few years.
I know there’s been a lot of discussion and buzz about what’s really the problem with wheat.
Some people argue that it’s not the gluten, it’s the lectins.
Or the FODMAPs.
Or the glyphosate….
(Wheat isn’t technically a genetically-modified crop, but it is sprayed with glyphosate – the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Round-Up herbicide – before harvest.)
But does all of that really matter?
Is it just a matter of semantics?
To be perfectly honest, my opinion is that it’s most likely a “perfect storm” of all of those things coming together.
But that doesn’t mean that the gluten aspect isn’t important.
There are a lot of knowledgeable people who believe that no human being can digest gluten. Or wheat.
Dr. Alessio Fasano and Dr. William Davis, respectively, immediately spring to mind.
The main thing to remember is that all of these components add up to a toxic “food.”
They’re all problematic.
Yes, even gluten.
Have I ever been tested for Celiac Disease? Has Debra?
No, and no.
If someone is still eating wheat, and having symptoms that cannot be explained by their doctors, it is definitely worth getting tested.
The problem is, if you’ve already been on a gluten-free diet, you have to ingest gluten for the test to be effective.
No, thank you.
I don’t really want to go back to the vicious cycle of diarrhea, constipation, diarrhea, constipation….
I don’t want to feel ill after eating.
It can be hard adjusting to life without wheat – there seems to be a mindset surrounding bread that is hard to get beyond.
“People have been eating bread for years.”
“But it’s the ‘Staff of Life’ – it says so in the Bible. Jesus ate bread!! And what about ‘manna from Heaven’?”
I don’t want to argue religion with anyone, but wheat has changed since Biblical times. That may not be the whole problem, but it is a real one, and one that everyone should consider, especially if your bread is making you ill….
Dr. Tom O’Bryan has talked about a case where a woman claimed to have gotten all of the gluten out of her diet, but still had unresolved symptoms.
It turned out that she was a nun – and the tiny amount of wheat in the communion wafer was enough to set off her immune system.
These aren’t easy issues, or easy-to-make decisions.
For me (and Debra), it was easy:
We felt so much better when we eliminated wheat from our diets, and we didn’t want to return to the days of feeling … not so great.
It hasn’t always been easy to avoid gluten – we travel quite a bit, and have other social engagements where we can’t always control what sort of food is provided.
(Hint: If you’re flying, take some gluten-free stash with you. Some airports have options, some don’t. Be prepared!)
But if you’re willing to make the commitment, it can be done.
And it doesn’t always have to be hard.
Worst case scenario, you can always start by substituting gluten-free products for gluten-containing ones.
We don’t believe that this is the best solution long-term, but it can be very helpful at the beginning, when you’re faced with the question: “But what am I going to eat???”
Start slow, if you need to.
Eventually, you won’t want to eat the processed gluten-free junk – it’s not healthy for you, and a lot of it doesn’t taste that great.
But start wherever you are.
And if you need help, that’s why we created our program: “Gluten-Free … Easy as 1, 2, 3.”
Our goal is to help you navigate social situations, restaurants, families who may not readily accept your choice.
We’re providing a step-by-step system, to help you understand good substitutes for gluten – and better ones … and the best ones in our opinion.
We’ve been living this way for a long time, and we made quite a few mistakes in the beginning.
That’s why we want to help shorten the learning curve for YOU.
Later this month, Debra and I will be presenting a FREE webinar: Top 3 Mistakes People Make Going Gluten-Free. Be on the lookout for an email announcement closer to that time, so you can be sure to sign up to attend.