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Gluten-free is the way to be - for someone else

By Emily Shockley

It's been awhile since I wrote anything here and it's because I'm not doing what I said I would do. And I'm OK with that.

Quitting is a dirty word in diets, but here it is: I quit. About three weeks ago. After two months of going gluten-free, I was not impressed with the results. I didn't set out to lose weight (although that's always nice) but I gained three pounds - not cool. I was eating stuff that was good for me but also more sugar than usual. Sugar is a culprit in making making gluten-replacement items tastier but I wasn't really using a lot of substitutes, just found myself craving more sugary foods and more food in general. Despite beans and quinoa and fruit making regular appearances, I wasn't getting enough fiber to make me feel full. And it was giving my stomach pains on top of it - the exact opposite of my goal.

I was also tired more often. When I eat gluten, it's often in whole grain form, not crappy kids' cereals or white bread. That stuff made me feel full, gave me energy and well, helped move things along to put it delicately.

The fact is, I had had enough time to compare my gluten-free self and my gluten-eating self and I liked the latter better. I didn't quit because it was hard - it really wasn't when cooking for myself. I quit because it wasn't for me. If anything, less sugar, not gluten, would probably do me some good, especially to detox from the last two months.

So it's back to whole grain bagels, granola, and normal, non-$6 bread. It didn't pan out but if there's a take-away from this experiment, it's to keep the parts of the diet that were beneficial. The fruits are still there in my morning smoothie. The veggies are still present as often as possible. I found out during this I love kale (sorry Rachel!). It's trendy so I really didn't want to like it but I enjoy the texture and the fact it's not as bitter as some greens (boo arugula).

Good health is about balance. I cut something out and I tried to fill the void with good stuff and bad stuff. Hopefully the good stuff will stick around - black beans and quinoa lunches are still a go - and I won't even want the bad (gluten-free cupcakes, you are not my friend) because I get to feel full and energetic by picking what's best for me, not what fits into a tiny, arbitrary category.

COMMENTS

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I’m with you on the argula.  BLECH!  I think moderation is key when it comes to foods…a little bit of everything, not too much of any one thing.  Kudos for trying it though!




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