This morning, I read an article from Business Insider discussing the peculiarity of a gluten-free diet being so popular—including “faddy” ones like the South Beach diet. The article suggests it may be the result of its trendiness.
The massive popularity of a gluten-free diet interesting fact I hadn’t considered much. But I can share my experience with following a mostly gluten-free diet without celiac disease. My opinion is that the popularity of gluten-free diets is more than a trend: I think many people simply have gluten sensitivity and would and do benefit from a diet with less of it.
I have been mostly gluten-free for some weeks now. I knew that gluten might be causing me some digestive trouble, but I wasn’t sure. Finally, I had the courage and discipline to give it a go. Preparation was the key, it turns out. A gluten-free diet is very accessible for me here in Toronto. I have easy access to wheat-free bread, pasta, flour, and pastries (in a pinch).
Before this experiment, I sometimes got stomachaches when eating high-gluten foods like pasta and almost always when eating bread. It wasn’t consistent, but and even when I did not experience pain, I still experienced digestive discomfort in the forms of heaviness and bloating.
One of the improvements of a gluten-free diet has been the sensation in my stomach following a meal. My stomach feels as neutral as my knee or elbow with a meal that would have previously felt as though it were squarely “sitting” in my tummy.
Moreover it seems that when I do eat a large amount of wheat, like sliced bread or a plate of pasta, after having avoided it in my diet for so many weeks, I experience a more pronounced feeling of discomfort and pain.
Knowing that pain is a signal from my body regarding distress, I don’t think the mild inconvenience of a gluten-free diet is too great a price for otherwise potentially damaging or unduly distressing my organs. This decision allows me to experience greater levels of wellness and comfort in daily life. It is an act of kindness towards myself that has no harmful effects I know of.
If you are considering this or another dietary change for health, my message to you is that you are worth it. If something is hurting you, give it up both literally and figuratively (letting go of your love/attachment for things like bread if you know they are not good for you). Your body does so much for you every single day and you can make small changes to help it along its path and to put yourself more squarely in the way of living a life of love and kindness towards yourself. It has a ripple effect: the more I am kind to myself, the more I realize the value of kindness.