Going Gluten-Free is NOT A DEATH SENTENCE!

Consistently I hear people complaining about being Gluten free, concentrating on what they can’t eat and feeling sorry for themselves.  It is rare I hear happiness surrounding gluten free.

I’m happy and you know why? BECAUSE I AM NOT SICK ANYMORE!  If not being sick is not a good enough reason, then I don’t know what is!

2 years ago, most people didn’t know what gluten free or Celiac Disease, or gluten sensitivity was. Now, Gluten-Free is on the top ten list of the most overused words that people are sick of hearing. Yet I wonder, how much further are we along in educating the masses about Gluten, about what exactly having a gluten issue means?

  • what involves having gluten issues?
  • Should I get tested before going gluten-free?
  • what are the benefits of living a gfree lifestyle?
  • what are the consequences of not living a gfree lifestyle?
  • Should I be living a GFree lifestyle?

These are important questions to ask yourself, to ask your family and to ask your doctors or health professionals.  When was the last time YOU felt really good?  Not tired, crabby, achy, depressed, bloated, migraine, can’t sleep, or the many other symptoms you think are small but none the less are on-going?  There are 300 OTHER immune diseases that having an undiagnosed gluten issue may cause.

People hear on the news, in a facebook post or in a tweet, that they shouldn’t eat gluten, but how many really know why? Gluten issues are starting to become a food epidemic in this country, but it’s not just gluten.  Our food system as a whole is to blame and so many refuse to believe it. To be willing to correlate our rising health issues with the 60,000 pounds of food the average person consumes in a lifetime filled with vending machines, McDonalds and Taco Bells that have reclaimed our kitchens. The GMO’s, food additives, aspartame and dyes, that have reclaimed our farm style whole ingredients.  We have a whole young generation of kids that have grown up completely consuming, for the better part of their short lifetime,  a diet full of processed and manufactured foods.

Is it really so hard to believe that food, what you consume day in and day out, 365 days a year, for (insert age here), is at the root source of your mental or health issues?  Clean oil runs a clean car, dirty oil jams it up and eventually the car stops working.  Same concept with food here.

I know people do not want to give up their GMO cheetos, their fakeDonalds and diet ‘aspartame filled’ Coke, but this stuff is seriously BAD for you.  There has been plenty of documented research to support these facts.  Now, are you ever going to receive a news-flash from McDonalds saying their food is bad? No, you won’t.  And if that is what you are waiting for in order to convince yourself, then you should probably stop reading this article right now.

Recently a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, who does not have breast cancer in her family, she is the first.  A year ago her mammogram was clean and less than a year later she had multiple masses covering over half her breast.  When the doctor tested the masses, the main ingredient was formaldehyde.  Crazy, right?!  Turns out, it is most likely from the artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, she was using all these years, trying to be healthier.  According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer.

Now, what does this all have to do with gluten, right?  I’m getting there…

Bad food is Bad food, there is no going around it.  We know what bad food is and we don’t need a bunch of researchers to tell us this. Unless you are in complete denial, you know McDonalds is just not right… There is no way you can sell food that inexpensively, with good ingredients, and make that big of a profit on such a conglomerate scale.  Unless of course you are IN&OUT, those of you on the west coast, but they are not a conglomerate.

IN&OUT cares more about their ingredients then opening its billionth store and their customers appreciate that.  It is one of the only ‘fast food’ places I know, where at any given time from open to close, the drive thru and inside are packed.  People are willing to wait 10-20 minutes for their order, because it is good.  Nothing comes in frozen, it’s all fresh.  The potatoes are real live whole fresh potatoes they slice right there and put in fryer and they are gluten free.  As are their hamburgers that are made on a separate grill than the buns and can be made in a tasty lettuce wrap instead of the bun.  McDonalds french fries:

 Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]*, Citric Acid [Preservative]), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt. Prepared in Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid added to preserve freshness), Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

And you need a researcher to tell you this sort of potato is bad for you?  No, you don’t, you know it’s bad for you and choose to still eat it as we go from one fad diet to another, wondering why they don’t work.

Going gluten free is the same thing.  It is a lifestyle, it is not a diet or a fad and cheating for whatever reason, only does you more harm in the long run.  It may be one of the most overused words for 2013, but it saved my life and to me, that is no joking matter.  Gluten Free is overused because so many companies jumped on the bandwagon to make money while the education of gluten free, was left mostly at the way side.

Doctors know little about it, aren’t sure how to diagnose it, and from so many horror stories I have read, aren’t thinking gluten may even be at the root of many people’s health or mental issues.  Yet, it is amazing when people alone make the choice to go gluten free, thousands upon thousands are feeling better.  Strange isn’t it, that a simple ingredient like wheat can impact so many lives in such an awful way.  A little interesting fact is,

80% of a bodies serotonin is made in the gut.  A few things Serotonin is involved in:

  • appetite
  • sleep
  • memory
  • learning
  • temperature
  • mood
  • behavior
  • depression

And let’s face it, it’s not like most people are eating those average 60,000 pounds in a lifetime in healthy ways.  When a person who needs to be gluten free makes the choice to eat gluten anyway, that choice not only affects you, but all the people around you, your work, your life.  People are willing to pay billions for pills that don’t work, diets that are uncomfortably painful, gyms they never go to, all in order to protect their addiction to processed foods, even though they are putting themselves at risk.  How is that any different then a drug addict?  In truth, it’s not.  Addiction is addiction, no matter what your poison is.

What it comes down to is, people do not want to have to give up their comfort, convenient foods, no matter the risks.  This is exactly what most bottom line profit companies are hoping for.  Of course they don’t want you to believe me or the many independent studies proving time and again, gluten, GMO’s, processed foods, sugar, aspartame, etc, are toxic to the human body.  They call us terrorists and radicals for speaking out against them, they call our data meaningless and do everything in their power, like paying for their own researchers, to prove us wrong.  But the truth is right there in front of us, and we know it’s true, as do those lobbying against us.  We can demand better food and get it, if we really wanted to.

The truth is, we are not living off the farm anymore, our bodies know it and are having a hard time adapting.  One of my favorite quotes is from Sayer Ji:

“View Celiac Disease not as an unhealthy response to a healthy food, but as a healthy response to an unhealthy food”

Change starts one person at a time.  That person is me and you.  Strive for a better future and not just a better now.

Sources:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-key-statistics
http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf
http://www.pbs.org/pov/foodinc/fastfoodnation_03.php
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/page/dark-side-wheat-new-perspectives-celiac-disease-wheat-intolerance-sayer-ji
 
About Kirsten Berman GlutenFreeGal

GlutenFreeGal living with Celiac Disease and Changing the American Food System
one person at a time

Comments

  1. Whenever I get frustrated with my food choices, and the lifestyle I now lead, I remind myself how fortunate I am that 1) it’s not life-threatening, and 2) it’s forcing me to be more healthy, which I should have been doing anyway.

    Like

  2. Thank you for this article! Great information and wonderful spirit. I, too, am happy being gluten free. I laugh (and get a little sad) when people act like, “oh, your poor thing!”. I wish I could spread the word about the difference it has made in our family’s health and well being, and to let people know that far from a “death sentence”, it has saved our lives and our sanity!

    Like

  3. P.S. and we LOVE In&Out! We are so fortunate to live in CA where we can grab fast food on the rare occasion, and know it will not make us sick!

    Like

  4. Thank you for this article! Short and succinct – it’s what I think about everyday…
    I have been gluten free for 3 years, and it has litterally saved my life, (and my marriage). It has led me to the path of whole foods, organic and non-gmo living. Life has never been better.
    It’s like having a secret that I want to shout from the rooftops for everyone to know and make the choice for better health for themselves and their families!
    Thank you glutenfreegal for your share of shouting! Keep it up!

    Like

  5. Thank you Kirsten for your passionate article.

    Even though I share your frustration sometimes about how can people eat this fast food crap, I have to remind myself that:
    1. These people have been brainwashed since childhood with powerful fast food ads.
    2. Fast food is cheap – in the short term. For some people, that is all they can afford.
    3. Fast food is loaded with highly addictive ingredients: sugar, fats, MSG, aspartame, etc.
    4. Most people do NOT know how to cook from scratch (I know, from my own clientele).
    5. Some people don’t know and don’t care to know.
    6. Some people are lazy or brain dead ;-) and NO ONE can help them. Not you, not me.

    We can scream in the wind about how bad processed food is but not a lot of people are listening.

    Sincerely, Chef Alain @chefalainbraux

    Like

  6. Brian Robinson says:

    When I got diagnosed with Celiac I was being tested for Cancer. I did not have cancer and luckily had a GI dr. who did the upper GI test and found the sprue that was giving me anemia. My wife and I were so happy I did not have cancer that the GI dr. called the house several times to make sure I understood I needed to change my diet.

    Like

  7. Good article. Although I still get issues, the GF lifestyle is becoming more doable every day. The closer igetto ‘real’ the better it feel!

    Like

  8. Sue Watson says:

    I have had breast cancer twice with no history of it in my family. I blamed in on HRT the first time. The second time sixteen years later with no hormones I was puzzled, but now I think it could have been the gluten. I am 100 % gluten free from now on.

    Like

  9. Great article !
    Any food allergy or intolerance should be seen as an opportunity to discover new ways of cooking and eating, a new start. I know that blogging about my food experiences when I had to change my diet and being part of a larger community of food bloggers has helped me through this and it still does everyday.
    Thank you for your article !

    Like

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