National Gluten Free Day
Today, January 11th, is National Gluten Free Day, and I feel like this is a great opportunity to tune you all into my gluten free journey and my (non-dietitian) thoughts on eating gluten free. These are just a few questions that I get a lot when I first tell someone that I eat gluten free, but I'm happy to answer any questions you might have, provide some "starter" tips, and/or suggest some gluten-free friendly NYC restaurants. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM on Instagram @simplecitykitchen.
When and why did you start eating gluten free?
After years of symptoms that seems completely unrelated - joint pain, stomach and headaches, moodiness, over-tired - and various tests at the physician office for diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc. that resulted in shrugged shoulders, my mom decided we were going to take a different approach. I remember her pleading me to just try each thing for one week. We started with food coloring, which decreased the headaches, but not much else. Removing yeast from my diet reduced the stomach and headaches. But, avoiding gluten had the biggest impact on my well-being, my stomach, and my attitude. In full disclosure, though, it wasn't a flip of a switch. It took over a year after I knew I should be avoiding gluten to actually follow a strict gluten free diet.
What's the best part about eating gluten free?
When eating out, making healthier choices is easier. I don't have to argue with myself about whether to eat the bread before dinner or pick a salad over a sandwich.
What's the hardest part about eating gluten free?
- Watching someone else eat a perfectly sauced, hot, cheesy piece of pizza across the table from me
- Walking past Maison Kaiser every morning
- Paying $7 for a loaf of bread when everyone else pays $2
Do you recommend others follow a gluten free diet?
Only if you experience impactful benefits from doing so. My experience is only one example of how changing to a gluten free diet truly improved my well-being, and I think this is the case for a lot of people. That being said, eating gluten free can sound like a good idea, but the longer you go without eating gluten, the harder it becomes for your body to process it. My advice is not to dive in without exploring alternatives and truly weighing the pros and cons.
Do you think you'll eat gluten free for the rest of your life?
Honestly, I hope not. There are too many cuisines out there to try, dishes to explore, and restaurants to visit. Eating gluten free significantly restrains ones options. I hope that medical interventions one day will allow me, and many others, the freedom to eat whatever we desire.