Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Gluten Free experiment

Here’s an update on my gluten free experiment that lasted a little less than a month. The back story on why I decided to avoid gluten is that one day, after eating two whole-wheat tortillas, I felt a major loss in concentration and found my brain was a bit foggy. Randomly, I researched the connection between gluten and “brain fog.” I found some resources regarding a possible connection but mostly websites were dedicated to people suffering from celiacdisease. Many people are affected by gluten and don’t even know it. They can go many years attributing problems to other things like a weak stomach or a misattributed food allergy without realizing it’s gluten that’s the problem.

With all this in mind, I decided to embark on a no gluten experiment for a month to see how it would affect me mentally and physically.

For almost a month, I was replacing gluten with substitutes like gluten free bread, pasta, pretzels, cookies, etc. It wasn’t very hard avoiding gluten, but there were some temptations. Two examples jump out in my mind—one being the bread basket at restaurants and the other pita bread with classic Middle Eastern or Indian food. What do you dip in hummus when you can't eat pita bread? It can seem very trivial at first glance but I discovered when you’re deprived of something, it’s when you miss it the most. It's also when you decide to replace it with other equally calorific things such as sweets, chips, and crackers. I normally like to snack here and there but I found myself eating a disproportionate amount of snacks during this time.

To be honest, in the end, I didn’t notice too much of a difference. My stomach reacted no differently to avoiding gluten than it had when I was eating it.  I felt my “brain fog” was slightly better than before but that's highly attributable to a placebo effect. Either way, I decided that it’s better for me to be gluten aware than avoid it all together. Life is back to "normal" again :)

After teaching zumba last night, I called the husband and convinced him that ordering Papa Johns was the right thing to do. That warm, cheesy, salty pizza with garlic dipping was calling my name all day! It easily could have been because I got a text message from them saying it was TWO for Tuesday… and no, I don’t know how they got my number, but yes, I am not complaining. 
veggie pizza

veggies plus smoky chicken, spicy beef, and pineapples- surprisingly it works!
These two slices on my plate turned into about 5 slices in total. Urgh... and I wonder why my stomach is hurting this morning.
I snagged the chewy and delicious chocolate with white chocolate chips cookie but was too full after all that pizza for the chocolate cake. I'm sure the cake will taunt me as I sit on the couch tonight.

What's better than cinnamon and all-spiced eggs? Nutthin!

The eggs tasted wonderfully cinnamon-y and warm. T'was delicious! 

Gym, afternoon Dietetics informational meeting (sad because I have to miss my usual boxing class!!), teach zumba, RELAX!