What’s missing on the “Gluten Free” train?
What’s missing on the “gluten-free” train?
We all see people who are jumping on the “gluten free” train. They see those two words on any packaged, processed food in the grocery store, they toss it into their cart, and think they are making healthy choices.
Are they healthy, vibrant and full of energy? Popcorn, potato chips, tortilla chips, rice crackers, etc. are all technically gluten-free.
The problem I see with some folks is that they are still lacking a diet with nutrient dense whole foods; therefore they are still struggling to lose weight and may have low energy levels throughout the day.
More importantly, they are still eating conventionally raised animal meats. This is by far the worst choice we could make if we want to address any weight, sleep or hormonal issues as the hormones and anti-biotics affect our endocrine system and digestive system.
This can leave us feeling anxious, irritable, unable to lose belly fat, and/or unable to sleep.
The solution is simple! We need to get back to the basics of eating healthy food as it is found in nature, not on a shelf.
The solution is REAL FOOD. That means not packaged, not in a can or box, or processed in any way. It’s fresh vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and clean (hormone and anti-biotic free) protein.
There are 3 potential pitfalls on the “gluten free diet”. Here is a few tips that you can take to avoid a plateau with your weight loss below and sleep better at night.
1. Many gluten-free products on the shelf continue to weaken the gut lining and our intestinal permeability and cause symptoms like allergies, gas, insomnia, anxiety, and skin rashes. A lot of packaged, processed foods contain hard to digest fillers and flours that can continue to break down the intestinal lining.
A gluten free diet, for me means more whole foods EVERYDAY, no gluten (breads, pastas, crackers, etc.) and occasional packaged gluten free crackers or bars as a treat.
The gluten free diet was originally created for people with compromised immune systems and more specifically autoimmune conditions that have likely been a result of the deterioration of their gut lining.
The concept was to move towards real food and away from processed foods, including gluten, to rest the digestive system and rebuild the gut lining with anti-inflammatory foods, amino acids and collagens from grass fed beef and chickens.
But we know now that gluten is not the only culprit in breaking down our microbiome (our community of microbes: good and bad bacteria in our digestive system) and causing intestinal permeability. All symptoms of bloating, gas, constipation, cramping, diarrhea and belching are all telling signs of a leaky gut.
Many gluten free foods are made with many other hard to digest ingredients such as refined flours, oils, soy lecithins and starches.
2. A gluten free diet can sometimes mean a diet high in nuts, corn, soy, brown rice, quinoa and beans. All of these contain anti-nutrients and make it harder for your gut lining to heal and continue to break it down.
So what’s missing is more anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, wild caught salmon, dark leafy greens, extra virgin olive oil, etc. Stay tuned for a complete list of these foods coming up!
I often see my clients make simple changes like: moving from salt-water crackers to nut or rice crackers. And while this is a baby step and certainly a celebration, we discuss how moderation is the key to having these foods in your diet.
Bio-individuality is an imperative part of creating a successful plan for someone committing to changing their diet and lifestyle. I don’t believe in just taking things out of the diet, but how can we start to make different choices – alter the taste buds?
Our healthy lifestyle and meal plan is different for each one of us.
We can flood the digestive system with healthy foods that can start to help the client make long-term healthy changes because their body will naturally crave more of the healthy foods!
We take baby steps. We push out the gluten and add in more whole foods. We increase nutrient dense foods like kale and spinach through delicious options like smoothies so you can actually implement without tasting the veggies (as many struggle with a variety of greens in their diet because of taste factors).
3. Good fats can be missing from a gluten free diet.
This is an area that really needs more attention. It is really looking at your blueprint and noting what works for your body. EVERYONE is different, and everyone benefits from identifying what works for them.
Learning what works for your body is the key to taking charge of your health. We are all different. Maybe you do great on beans and gluten free grains like quinoa and brown rice.
Or, maybe you don’t, and you don’t get any energy from these foods.
Have you been gluten free for a while eating gluten free grains like brown rice and quinoa, and still feel bloated and tired all day?
Do you feel road rage if you wait more than 3-4 hours to snack? Are you waking up like clockwork at 2am?
These are all symptoms of not giving your body the fuel it needs. And that includes your brain, your emotions, your sleep, and your waistline.
So gluten free is great, but make sure you are implementing clean protein (make the splurge financially it’s your best investment), eating more real food found in nature and not in a box, and use packaged processed “gluten-free” foods for entertaining or as a special treat…. not what you eat on a daily basis.
Your life, waistline, brain and body are counting on you!
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