This is definitely a different topic than what I normally talk about on this blog, but it’s something new that I’ve incorporated into my life and I figured I might as well feature it on here. I have been loosely gluten-free for almost a month now (I’ve had a few days where I ate pizza because I was at friends’ houses and such), and it’s been an interesting experience since I’ve never been on any other sort of “diet” or had food restrictions. I had a couple different motives for deciding to make this change, so I wanted to share my reasoning and experience.
My first and main reason for attempting a gluten-free diet was my constant stomach issues. I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with my stomach or if it’s a digestive issue, but I had been having burning stomach pain and discomfort as well as issues in the bathroom, and my mom suggested I might have some sort of gluten intolerance. At the time the stomach pains were so intense that I was willing to try anything to make them go away, so we went to the grocery store to get gluten-free bread and pasta, among other things.
I quickly realized that gluten was not the root of my stomach issues. I felt a little better since without eating gluten, I was less bloated by the end of each day, but I still had the burning sensations. However, I decided to stick it through with eating gluten-free because it wasn’t that bad or that drastic of a change, and my friend who went through a similar thing said it takes more than a couple weeks to get all the gluten out of your system.
Before this little experiment, most of the food I ate in a day included gluten, since I eat a lot of carbs and I have a major sweet tooth. This was the second big reason I wanted to play around with being gluten-free; I figured it would force me to eat a little healthier since I couldn’t eat all the cookies and treats that I normally would eat for dessert or go with my friends to get on weekends. It was an easy way to also cut a lot of sugar out of my diet, and I saw results from this; my skin cleared up for the first time in a couple months, and I felt like I looked a lot less bloated everyday.
It was definitely difficult since I did normally eat so many carbs, but it was easy for the most part during the school week. I’ll be making a post shortly about all my favorite gluten-free snacks and meals, so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested. I wanted to mention that going gluten-free isn’t necessarily “healthy,” as you can make it as healthy or as unhealthy as you want to. There are definitely lots of gluten-free substitutes and recipes for cookies and cakes, I just chose not to go that route since one of my main goals was cutting out some of those treats and impulses I normally have. I used the strategy of mainly just avoiding foods with gluten, but there were a few substitutes I got like gluten-free bread.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my gluten-free experience thus far. I’m going to continue monitoring how much gluten I have and trying to avoid eating foods with gluten, but I’m not going to continue a strict gluten-free diet. I think it always helps to try out new things to see if they work for you, but I’m still searching for the cause of my stomach problems. Let me know if you have any recommendations 🙂