Monday, February 25, 2013

The Gluten Question? The simple way to find out if you're sensitive to it.

I've been totally not into cleansing this past year... I found them to be much too much like little diets. No This, That, and the Other for 3 weeks! After a lottta lotttta years working through my tendency to deny myself foods I had deemed as "bad" I think I just needed some time off. To eat and explore and listen to my body. And it's worked.

Now as I'm learning to listen to and notice the way my body sends me all kinds of signals about my health, I'm starting to get more alert and sensitive to what's going on. I'm suspecting something is still off... some minor digestive flairs still happening, some skin eczema (dry patches) still rearing up now and again...

I was talking with my friend and colleague, Gina who helps women clear up all sorts of symptoms, usually by eliminating gluten. The Gluten Question is totally something I've been dodging. Me? No, I'm totally fine. I grew up Italian. It's in my blood to eat pasta and bread all week.

Reality check: Alex, your Italian cousin is very much allergic.

So Gina asked me about wheat and gluten - how many times a week do I eat it? I do try to minimize, but I still had to say that on average, three times a week. She looked me right in the eyes and said, "Well, that's rather a lot for something that might not be agreeing with your body." Oh well. Yes, agreed.

Most Americans eat much more than that, wheat is packaged into almost our every meal, and much of it is highly processed, and almost nutritionally void. Are you having frequent digestive upset? Bloating? Joint swelling or paint? Inflammation? Skin outbreaks? Low energy? It might be time to investigate. Simply eliminating gluten can sometimes kick all of those symptoms in one go.

The best way to know if you've got a sensitivity? A 10-day elimination diet. Take it out for 10 days. Eat a bunch on day 11 and then stop again to see what happens. This is a listening to your body test and is the most effective way to know. Lab tests aren't so accurate yet.

(What IS gluten? What are the signs of sensitivity/allergy? Plus a gluten-free banana bread pancake recipe to die for. - a la My New Roots)

So I'm making the best of the situation. I also know that dairy (eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese) are common digestive/inflammatory body aggravants and make me feel phlemmy and clogged up, so I'm cutting those out for the 10 days too. Sugar too....

What this means is that it's time to play in the kitchen and try out some new recipes!

The internet is a wealth of healthy, delicious, even gourmet and foodie recipes, just waiting for my taste buds. I'm taking this as an opportunity to explore and make tasty new things!

Some of my favorite healthy foodie blogs I'll be exploring:
My New Roots
Green Kitchen Stories
Coconut & Quinoa
Eat it.
The Conscious Kitchen
The Holy Kale
My Wholefood Romance

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