Monday, April 14, 2014

Intrigued: Should I go Gluten Free?

Eating a healthy diet isn't easy, especially when I'm so tired by all my teaching and mega-commuting to feel like cooking. So I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes I haven't been very good about feeding my family well-balanced meals. It's hard enough to try to be mostly vegan at home (when we don't have guests), but lately something else has presented itself and, because of my parents, I'm intrigued.

After reading the Wheat Belly book my parents have gone gluten-free and my brother's wife is not feeding any gluten to their kids. My dad has actually lost some weight and they feel great, so mom and dad have been kind of gently nudging me towards checking this out.

I have friends who are celiac (severely allergic to gluten), so I understand how serious of an issue gluten can be for certain people. I am also aware that parents of kids in the autism spectrum think that going gluten-free benefits their kids (and I know it may benefit people with ADHD too), but I was pretty skeptical of the benefits of gluten-elimination in "regular people's" diets.

I also have to confess that I've been feeling pretty irritated by this whole "gluten-free fad" (as I used to call it) for years now,*  so for me to be even considering it is a breakthrough. It's just annoying to realize the bad timing of this because I finally learned how to make amazing no-knead crusty bread (I promise to post some photos). :-(

I don't like to be extreme or radical in anything (so we do eat dairy once in a while and, much more rarely, fish), but maybe I'm wrong and in order to reap the full-benefits of any dietary choices we should be more strict... In any case, I'm not a big "bread person" so I think I would be OK and not crave it too much (now, not eating rice or potatoes, as the paleos do, I think it's going a bit too far!!).

I'll keep you posted as to whether I decide to give it a try. Maybe it will help me with ADHD, who knows?! Do you have any experience with a gluten-free lifestyle? Please share.

P.S. And there are more recent books like the Grain Brain, by a neurologist who claims that carbs and sugars actually cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, depression, etc. Sigh...

*and as a believer in the benefits of an animal-products free diet I've been particularly irked by the "paleo" diet)

1 comment:

Heidi said...

I have many friends who are celiac, and so I have some experience cooking and eating gluten free. In fact, I did a test run on myself for a few weeks, and found that I did fine once I introduced gluten back into my diet.

What I did learn, though, was that I had way too high of a proportion of grains in my diet, and eating gluten free for a few weeks helped me focus more on the fruits and vegetables...which helped unclog my system and feel healthier in general.

I think it's also good to have a balance in the different kings of grains, and eat lots of whole grains and all that.

Everyone is a little different, so I think it just takes a little experimentation to find out what works for you.