My blog today is about a question I have come across many times in the past. As I was walking my dogs one morning my neighbor pulled up in his car and asked me about gluten-free, and that reminded me that I should write about this question “should I eat gluten-free”? So many times, a gluten-free diet will be mistaken for a gluten-free fad diet. How many times have you heard someone say I am going gluten-free because they wanted to eat gluten-free, just because they heard other people doing it. Some people may choose to do this, and that’s completely fine. It is their choice. I do believe though that any kind of significant diet changes should always be confirmed with their doctors, as restriction diets can have drastic impacts on our bodies and may interfere with medications and in some cases can even become dangerous for some people. When people ask me though, my answers are something like this: “Why do you think you should be gluten-free”? Or: “what does your doctor recommend to you”? I don’t have the authority to diagnose or to make such life-changing suggestions to anyone. These decisions need to be made by a doctor. My job as a health coach is to help my clients during their transition after being diagnosed or having such a lifechanging diet suggested by a medical doctor.
Many people are doing fad diets right now or have tried them at least once in their life. It’s what’s trendy and what’s advertised to the daily consumer. I have been in that position plenty of times in the past. These diets worked temporarily for me, I was losing weight and I felt great, eventually, I relapse and most times I gained more weight back than I lost, to begin with, as old habits kept creeping back into my life. If I have learned one thing over and over again during my studies at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition is that Bio-individuality is the key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. I don’t do fad diets anymore!
A healthy lifestyle is so much more important than a skinny lifestyle while depriving yourself of certain foods your body needs may eventually come back to you. Our bodies need healthy fats. Fats are super important for brain development. We need healthy carbs, we need healthy sugars, just not refined sugars, but natural sugars from fruits and vegetables. We as humans have learned that we need to look a certain way through fashion models and superstar examples. This is not how we’re supposed to live though. We’re supposed to live a life that matches our bio-individuality, our DNA, our heritage, everything that makes us, us. All of our organs have certain jobs to do and need the right nutrients to do so, so when we take these nutrients away, our organs cannot perform to their best ability. We are all beautiful human beings; the problem is that some of us may not be able to accept who we are, but only can accept who we want to be, even if that means suffering through diets, even though we may naturally not be programmed to look a certain way. We need to be healthy and that’s more important than anything else.
I don’t eat gluten-free to lose weight I actually find being gluten-free is no fun, and there are many times where I wish I would not have to eat this way. Yes it has brought me an awareness of a much healthier diet, but it would be super nice to just have a delicious unhealthy pizza with tons of gluten flour and epic toppings and extra cheese, and not worry about on how it could affect my wellbeing. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love pizza or delicious bread or scrumptious pasta, and donuts, and Danishes and yeah so much more.
My personal experience was not that I woke up one morning and decided I wanted to eat gluten-free. My decision was made upon the diagnoses of my doctor, on me having a gluten sensitivity after suffering for years. I needed to change my diet and lifestyle otherwise things were going to continue to go downhill with my health. For me, gluten-free is a necessity, even though this diet has brought me to much more awareness and healthier eating habits. I would call this my Bio-Individual diet, personalized to my body’s needs, not towards any new or old diet plan. I don’t count calories, and I most certainly don’t deprive my body of certain foods.
See, when I first became gluten-free I had a big learning curve ahead of me. What I had discovered was that I needed to heal my gut to get back on track, so I could actually live the life I wanted to live. Without healing my gut my gluten-sensitivity would never get any better. You are probably asking yourself what I am talking about. Let me explain. At the beginning of my journey eating gluten-free, I exchanged one thing for a gluten-free thing, and I thought that’s all I needed to feel better. It worked for a short time, then I developed a sensitivity to dairy, then I developed heartburn and even water made my stomach bloated. My experience was just a big hoax, I felt. That’s when I figured out after researching my condition, I discovered the paleo diet which focuses a lot on organic humanely raised and sustainable eating, which is a big part of healing your gut lining. Not that I became completely paleo, but I took the paleo concept and applied it towards my body’s needs. This is why I mostly eat organic, GMO-free, humanely and sustainably raised foods. I also needed to add lifestyle changes focused on stress reduction as well on living a more non-toxic life. These things worked and are continuing to work for me. Bio-individuality means, that because it works for me does not mean the same concept works for you. We are all made of different compounds and DNA. Number one ingredient on how to figure out what works for you, what your body’s needs are, what makes you feel the healthiest? Listen to your body. Our bodies have the amazing capability of telling us exactly what it needs and most of all what it does not need. Most of us ignore the signs when our bodies speak to us by giving us hints such as headaches, brain fog, nausea….Learn to listen, make notations by keeping a journal for your food and your activities. Write it all down so you can reflect upon the signs your body gives you, and this will give you an idea of what you may need to change in order to feel better.
So, should you be eating gluten-free? I don’t know! Hopefully, now you can tell me the answer to your question. If you have a condition where it is recommended to be gluten-free then my answer is definitely a “yes”. Otherwise, I would never recommend such a drastic change to anyone’s diet, as this is not my call as a health coach. I am here to guide you through your gluten-free journey, help you with your struggles, create a plan that works for you and your body, I motivate you and give you the tools to continue living a great gluten-free life during and after my time has ended with you. I’m your health coach and your support system after the choice has been made for you to be gluten-free.
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Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog. I hope this blog helped you with the answer you have been looking for. Please feel free to share my blogs with anyone that you feel may benefit from my experiences. Till next time!