Thursday, February 12, 2015

My Journey to Gluten-free

Five years ago, I felt my weight was out of control. I had recently gotten engaged, moved up north, and had just started taking daily thyroid medicine. A couple of months living in upstate New York and I was pushing 147 lbs, and I am only 5'1! I thought I was doing everything right. I had my gym membership, used MyFitness pal and I ate home cooked meals during the week day. I switched to whole grain bread, skim milk, and loaded up on fat-free groceries. To no avail, my fiancee and I started digging around on the net. Seems there was some correlation between gluten intolerance and allergies to the Hashimoto's Disease, the immune system disease which caused my thyroid issue.

While I wasn't necessarily loosing weight from a gluten-free diet (and I'll get into that later) I did feel remarkably better. I wasn't as fatigued, or bloated. Four months into my new regimen, I traveled to Latin America and thought I could "cheat." That was my first and last time. My awful reaction to gluten offset the satisfaction of eating freshly baked bread by a long-shot and I've been gluten-free since.

As it turns out, the percentage of Americans who said they were trying to cut back or avoid gluten is about 29%. Recently, General Mills even announced that it was going to stamp it's staple product, Cheerios, as being gluten-free.

Five years ago I might have jumped in excitement about Cheerios being officially gluten-free, but I have a much different perspective today.

Cheerios is still highly processed, and high in sugar. See, when I went gluten-free, all I did was swap my processed carbs for gluten-free carbs. I was having gluten-free pasta, bread, salad dressings etc. - totally blinded to the nutrition content. And when I did look at the nutrition content I was trying to remember which one was the "bad" fat. Was it saturated, or mono or wha?

While I'm not at my optimum physical state (around 134 lbs) I'm feeling more lucid, healthy and fit.

Moral of the story is, stay away from processed foods especially carbs, and stay away from sugar! Our societies abuse of sugar deserves a whole other post...more to come on that topic.

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