Ok… so I have had a lot of questions lately about the first post I did on going gluten-free. “Why did you decide to do it?” “How hard is it?” “What do you eat?” “Is it worth it?” “Do you feel better?” “Do you think I could do it?” So I decided that I would give you all a little update on how it’s going and answer some of your questions
“Why did you decide to do it?”
Basically because I felt like crap and something needed to change. Let me explain in a little more detail. I told you all in my first post how I have Hashimoto’s which is an auto-immune disease that attacks the thyroid gland and causes you to be hypo-thyroid (or low thyroid). With all the reading I’ve done on this subject I’ve learned that even if you are taking the traditional thyroid medication you can still feel like crap. The thyroid is much more complex than a lot of people realize and controls so many different things in your body. Basically, the medicine I take only treats what’s called your T4 levels. But there are also T3 levels and many more things that come into play with hypo-thyroidsm like diet, exercise, hormone therapy etc. So even though I was taking my medication I still was extremely tired every day and just didn’t feel good. There are many other symptoms to low thyroid like weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, brittle nails, dizziness, feeling weak, depression, bloating, constipation, memory loss, blood sugar issues, irritability, feeling cold…the list goes on and on. It’s not fun. So I started researching and talking to people who also had it (it’s more common than you think) and even went to a clinic that specializes in Hashimoto’s. I wish I could’ve done the full program they had but it was too expensive. So I decided that I would try to do it on my own. Many people with auto-immune diseases are sensitive to gluten and do much better on a gluten-free diet (celiac is an auto-immune disease that is completely intolerant of gluten). While it was a really tough decision I decided to go for it. Which meant I would be cutting out basically lots of my favorite foods! A gluten-free diet rules out all ordinary breads, pastas, and many convenience foods; it also excludes gravies, custards, soups, and sauces thickened with wheat, rye, barley, or other gluten-containing flour.
“How hard is it?”
I’m not going to lie…It was extremely hard the first week and is still hard at times. You have to get used to changing your diet and not grabbing for those quick snacks that you would normally eat. I naturally crave carbs and gluten is in a lot of these foods. But after the first week it seemed to get easier each day. I just have to keep telling myself that I can do it and I need to do it for my body to feel better. There are still certain days that I would kill for a piece of fresh bread, a bowl of pasta or a slice of pizza but I just have to be strong and not give in to the temptation.
“What do you eat?”
There’s still so many foods that are ok to eat. For breakfast I have always just been a cold cereal person so that was hard because almost every cereal contains gluten. But there are some that don’t. My favorite is Chex. Chex is gluten-free because it’s made from corn or rice which are both ok to eat. There are lots of different flavors (my favorite being chocolate…) but I’m also trying to cut-back on my sugar intake so I try to only have that once and a while. Some mornings if I have enough time I will have an omelette with tomatoes, chives, peppers and cheese. Dairy is ok too 🙂 For my other meals I try to eat just a lot more fruits and veggies and meat. Some of my favorites are lettuce wraps, grilled chicken, salmon, salad, roast, steak, tacos (I use gluten-free corn tortillas) and any veggies. I LOVE broccoli, squash, asparagus, potatoes, avocados, artichokes, cucumbers, pea pods…I just love veggies pretty much and it seems like the more that I eat them the more I crave them! It’s also becoming easier to buy gluten-free breads and pastas so if I’m making something for my family that has bread or pasta then I will just make myself my own with the gluten-free kind.
“Is it worth it? and do you feel better?”
Yes! Hands down. When I started this it was really just to try it and see how I felt. Within the first few days I could tell a difference and now I feel 10x better than I did 7 weeks ago. I have so much more energy. I’m not tired all the time. Another bonus is I’ve lost weight! I’ve reached my first weight-loss goal of 15 lbs. My next goal is to lose another 10 lbs. I have also been exercising for 30 min every morning so that’s helping too. I just feel so good that why would I want to quit?
“Do you think I could/should do it?”
I am not a doctor and I’m not here to tell everyone that they should go on a gluten-free diet. This is purely just my opinion on how I’ve felt doing this. I would say that if you have an auto-immune disease like Hashimoto’s that you should at least give it a try and see how you feel. It sucks sometimes and I wonder why I have to work so hard just to feel good but this is the hand I’ve been dealt with in life and so I’m just going to make the best of it. I think that if you are thinking about trying it than study up on it and then give it your best shot.! If I can do it than I know that anyone can do it!!!