Food for Thought - Is Gluten Holding You Back?

By Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist

No energy?
Tired? - Ache-y?
Don't feel refreshed even after a "good night's sleep"?
Hungry all the time? - Pounds creeping up? - Can't stick to a diet?

Here's something to chew on:  
If you've been to the doctor and there's really nothing wrong with you, you might be in gluten over load.

Gluten is the protein part of certain grains like wheat, barley and rye.  
Some people have a huge sensitivity to gluten and develop a very serious condition known as Celiac disease. This is not about them.

This is about increasing your general well being by tweaking your diet to curb and/or eliminating gluten containing foods..... and it all started with world class athletes.

Athletes are always looking for an edge so food is used as a performance fuel.

By switching to a gluten free diet, athletes were able to absorb more oxygen from each breath which made their performance better, faster, and stronger.  More oxygen made for clear heads and better focus, too.

A gluten free diet also helped eliminate a lot of the inflammation athletes generally encounter so their joints moved easier.  And, since they were getting more oxygen and were able to move more easily, pounds stopped creeping up.

Sound like you want to give this a try?
It's not hard, in fact it's pretty easy.

Just become aware of the foods that contain gluten and trim them out of your diet.

Wheat, barley and rye are the biggies..... but you won't feel deprived because there's a great big, wonderful world of good eating out there!!

There are tons of pre-packaged, gluten free foods to choose from  - everything from bread, bagels and sandwich wraps to cakes, pies and pasta.  They are simply made from grains that don't contain gluten like rice flour, corn meal, millet and quinoa. 

Love to cook?  
There are more gluten free recipes out there than you can prepare in a life time.
Switching your own favorite recipes to gluten free is as easy as using cornstarch to thicken your gravies and pies instead of all purpose (wheat) flour.   

Eat out a lot?
Choose rice and potatoes as your starch instead of pasta, bread and muffins.
Have grilled meats and fish made without breading.
Put nuts and seeds on your salads instead of croutons.   

It's just a matter of making different choices... and there are so many wonderful foods to choose from.


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