Melrose and I met the Udi’s Gluten Free folks a couple of times this year at blog conferences. I became a big fan of their snickerdoodle cookies in Florida while attending SheCon 2012.
When they fed me grilled cheese sandwiches and those wonderful cookies again in August at BlogHer, I would have followed them anywhere. Well, maybe not anywhere but definitely on a 14-day gluten free challenge!
What is Gluten and Why Go Gluten Free?
Gluten is a more than just a problem with wheat. It is a protein that is found in rye and barley in addition to wheat. Unfortunately, at any age people can develop either intolerance to gluten or celiac disease.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by the gluten that destroys the villi in the small intestine. Gluten intolerance is a non-immune response resulting in the inability to digest gluten.
I don’t, at least, officially have either but I do have Hashimoto’s disease which is linked in several studies to gluten intolerance. There are also findings that link rosacea, another chronic autoimmune disorder I have, to gluten intolerance. These were good enough reasons for me to go gluten-free.
My sister-in-law eliminated gluten from her diet about a year ago and found her chronic joint pain went away and she feels (and looks) healthy again.
Changing to a Gluten-Free Diet
Udi’s sent me and the other bloggers that stepped up to the challenge a kit with a loaf of bread, granola and dark chocolate brownie bites. Yes those brownie bites bumped off the snickerdoodle as my favorite Udi’s product. I also got a great informational kit with a 14 day sample menu, product information and three product coupons.
The Udi’s website has a great library of recipes to get you started (or out of a rut) and I love the community where you can interact with others that are living gluten free.
I found eating gluten-free much easier than I envisioned. I was able to swap out breads for Udi’s sandwich bread, bagels and hamburger buns. Unprocessed fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, rice, soy, nuts, oils and dairy products are naturally gluten-free.
The problem is when gluten is added to foods so just about any sauce you don’t make yourself is suspect. I learned to read the labels for gluten-filled additives.
Eating Out Gluten Free
Dining away from home is where gluten-free living gets challenging. Where I live most restaurants, including the pizza parlors, have gluten free options. But it usually means no bread with your meals and careful selection of the main course. Finding gluten-free pancakes or French toast while out for breakfast is much more difficult.
When I went to a blog conference last weekend the continental breakfast had no gluten-free option as the only food available were baked goods made with wheat. That was the only time in two weeks I ate gluten and my stomach bothered me a bit later in the day.
Results and what’s next?
After two weeks of eating without gluten I am feeling good. I don’t feel so tired all the time (I was starting to think I had chronic fatigue) and have lost that bloated feeling after most meals.
A co-worker unexpectedly told me I was looking good and attributed to recent weight loss – believe me I didn’t lose that much!
I’ve decided to continue eating gluten-free and it’s not so I can eat the brownie bites and cookies. Feeling and looking better are well worth the effort it takes to eliminate gluten. Will you try gluten-free living for 14 days?
This post was originally published on Two Savvy Sisters which is no longer active.