One thing I’m struck by is the push back of people willing to try a gluten free diet to simply see if they feel better. Perhaps people are turned off by the trendiness of the gluten free diet – watching celebrities boast about weight loss after going g-free. I, too, am turned off by people using it as a fad diet to lose weight. The truth is, going gluten free isn’t a fad nor a “diet,” per se, it’s a way of life for 30% of the population (a figure that is growing every day!) who use it to treat and heal a slew of chronic illnesses, such as fatigue, migraines, digestive discomfort and more!
While the idea of going gluten free is an inconvenient truth for many people, and many people will resist getting tested or doing an elimination diet for one month for fear of having to give up that delicious, addictive bread and pasta, it’s something most people can no longer ignore or brush aside as crazy-talk.
Just what if your painful migraines went away? Just what if your bouts of depression and panic attacks lessened or disappeared? What if you no longer lived day-in and day-out with digestive discomfort, IBS, and other leaky gut issues? What if you could feel vibrant vs. fatigued all the time? If someone told you all you had to go was give up gluten, why wouldn’t you at least try it? It may seem like an inconvenient thing to do, but let me tell you, getting your health (and life) back is worth not eating a piece of bread. Plus, you’ll be joining a community of experimental home cooks and bakers (like me) who can share with you delicious, healthful, gluten-free recipes that will change your perspective on eating for the better. You won’t be alone, and I promise, you won’t ever feel hungry!
I’d like to share two stories with you of people completely reluctant to give the GF diet a try.
First, I had a friend resist going gluten free for a long time. She suffers from all sorts of autoimmune and thyroid issues, but more importantly, her daughter was struggling with ADHD (undiagnosed for a long time, another inconvenient truth), and other behavior issues. After many years of denial, the family got the diagnosis they needed to put the wheels in motion. The entire family went gluten free and guess what? My friend’s thyroid levels have normalized, she feels great, and best of all, she has her daughter back again. I physically see a change in her daughter – she looks healthy and vibrant – and her behavior issues have vastly improved. Was going gluten free an inconvenient truth for this family? YES! But what is worse, giving up gluten, or making yourself miserable dealing with a laundry list of health and behavior issues? It’s not about what this family GAVE UP, it’s about what they GOT BACK! By the way, I am really really really proud of my friend and her family – they finally got to the root cause of what ails them, and are on now on a path to mending their guts and getting back their lives!
On the flip side, I have another friend whose daughter suffers from bouts of depression and panic attacks. Her mother works hard each and every day to help her daughter through therapy. Her daughter is medicated, and I just found out she put her daughter on birth control (at age 14) to help control her depression. I really want this mom to be more concerned about finding out the root cause of her daughter’s ailments vs. medicating her symptoms and inflating her hormones. I would love to see this mom realize that even if her daughter has to give up gluten (or other autoimmune triggering foods), she will be gaining so much more. Her daughter’s health, for one, will likely vastly improve. No more schlepping to therapists and paying for those costly sessions too! And no pumping her daughter with depression medications and high levels of estrogen! I gave my friend a little unsolicited advice. I could sense the discomfort in this conversation so I stopped. I know the idea of giving up gluten or other foods is an inconvenient truth and everyone moves at their own pace. People would rather not know because it’s easier to take a pill than change the way you eat for good, right? A sad truth more like it.
While having Celiac is an inconvenient truth for me, it’s also one of the best things that ever happened to me too. I’m slowing feeling better, getting my life back, and exploring a new chapter in my life as a gluten-free blogger and holistic health coach. I don’t wish this horrible disease on anyone – but I now feel like I’m a better person in spite of it.