Small Changes, Big Impacts: Tip 3 GLUTEN-FREE
My previous blogs highlighted a few of the reasons I swear by apple cider vinegar and coconuts. Friends, family, and clients are always asking me to write an e-book or steps to healthy living guidebook, based on holistic or functional medicine approaches. I am not a doctor. I have researched, discussed, and practiced making dietary and lifestyle changes for my own health and overall wellbeing.
Aside from adding ACV and Coconuts to my daily routine, GLUTEN FREE is the only way for me to live these days!
For ONE month, eliminate, remove, and be extremely aware of any products you consume or use that contain gluten. That seems like a lot of work, right?! Staying healthy and taking control of your mental health, physical health, and emotional health are a lot of work! It’s worth it, you’re worth it— promise!
While this seems overwhelming, I am going to highlight a FEW of the reasons I have chosen a gluten-free lifestyle (not a diet, this is not a fad for me— it is a lifestyle choice) and some tips to make it easier!
What’s in it for me?
- Within 3 days of removing gluten from my diet and life, the “mental fog” felt like it had been lifted from my head. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try it for 3 days and see.
- I had significantly more energy by the end of the first week!
- In less than two weeks, I dropped 7 lbs. By the end of the month, I was down 10lbs and could see muscle tone again!
- After about 2 weeks I regained the energy I once had to exercise and could start slowly increasing my exercise routine again
- Within the first week, my mood changed significantly. After the “mental fog” went away and my mysterious short-term memory loss came back, feelings of anxiety, exhaustion, run-down, defeated, and on and off panic attacks were like a bad dream and I was my happy-go-lucky self again. Even though I was faced with extremely challenging life situations at this time, I was able to approach them, handle them, and calmly deal with them in a peaceful and calm way! That alone was my BUY-IN for gluten-free life… forever.
- IBS issues subsided but were not completely gone until my next elimination (read next week’s tip of the week!) Bloating quickly subsided as well.
My list could go on and on! Just these few were enough buy-in for me to remove any idea of eating gluten again.
When I first was told to remove gluten from my diet and life (including products such as makeup and haircare that contain gluten) I felt so overwhelmed. Nobody I knew lived a completely, entirely, gluten-free lifestyle! I joined Facebook groups. I followed groups and companies on Twitter. I researched, read journals, reviewed recipes, and cooking tips, and went shopping—- I went to so many different stores— I almost felt defeated at times—-but, I didn’t give up!
Maybe some of my tips can help you introduce a gluten-free MONTH. Not asking for a lifetime commitment, only ONE MONTH. What do you have to lose? If you feel the same after removing gluten ENTIRELY for one month, no cheating or slips, feel free to return to normal routine!
Suggestions, Tips, and What Worked for ME:
- Make a grocery list. When you watch videos, view Pinterest, or find recipes, make sure you write down the ingredients you will need! Don’t do what I did and head straight for the gluten-free section, most items are not found there!
- Remove foods that contain gluten from your house. You have to remove the temptation because one “cheat” causes inflammation, upset stomach, mental fog to return, and so forth.
- Get to know your substitutes! For me, I also eliminated eggs so I used ground flax seed and water to replace eggs in gluten-free cooking. I use a light coating of cornmeal instead of bread crumbs or flour. Rice. Potatoes. Sweet Potato. Pumpkin. Coconut Flour. Look at all your options.
- Be careful with condiments, coffee, and other unexpected places. I was so sad when I learned sushi from Publix was off my shopping list! The soy sauce and imitation crab both have gluten. Whaaa! However, I learned to make my own… tada! Mustard, mayo, dressings, even cooking seasonings—check the back and make sure it SAYS Gluten-free.
- Be extremely careful eating out. Even restaurants that offer gluten-free items can be cross-contaminated. This may not be an issue for most people but if you have any gluten-sensitives or allergies, this is a serious concern. Most dishes cooked in local places have a gluten-free recipe online. Try it! Reinvent yourself as a healthy cook— for one month!
In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns, tips, advice, or other suggestions to add please share! I am compiling a list of my recipes with pictures and will be posting on Instagram soon! I also Tweet some out on Twitter and will be creating a new page on my personal blog with recipes. Why? Because even a small change like eliminating gluten can have a life-changing result.
Check back soon for another Small Change, Big Impact tip!
Kristen Mercurio provides coaching services in the areas of health and wellness, stress management, relationships, youth, goal setting, and small business goal planning. Coaches’ profiles are quickly being finalized and going live on the company website every day! Check out Teacup Wellness daily as coaches go LIVE. View their profiles, bios, and learn more about how they can coach, motivate, and lead you closer to your goals!