I know you’re busy and it feels too hard to go gluten-free

But with a little prep, a little support it can be an easy transition that will leave you feeling clearer, less bloated and less pain.

You’ve either been told to go gluten-free or you thought you’d give it ago to see if you feel better off gluten but you don’t know where to start and it all seems too hard. 

Trust me I’ve been there, when you are cooking for the family it can all seem in the too hard basket to change the way you do things and all the gluten-free food seems so expensive! 

I’m here to let you know the why behind going gluten-free which may help you buy-in to doing it for yourself; cause we all need buy-in.

Why go gluten-free

Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and spelt and it’s this protein that can give you a reaction. The most severe reaction is Celiac disease in which consuming gluten can damage the intestines and leads to severe symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation, nausea & vomiting and weight loss.

Of course for some other people you could have Non-Celiac-Gluten-Sensitivity (NCGS) where you have similar symptoms but also things like achy joints, brain fog and weight gain.

One of the problems with gluten is that it may up-regulate a protein called zonulin which is a chemical that signals the tight junctions of your intestinal wall to open up, creating leaky gut which can then contribute to autoimmune diseases.

Gluten has been shown to have a long half life of 23 days, this means that it’s effects stay in your system for 23 days after you consumed it…so if you’ve reduced your gluten intake but you haven’t strictly avoided it; this is why you may be still experiencing symptoms. It’s better to go strict for a set amount of time so you can really experience the difference.

Not everyone needs to avoid gluten, however gluten is inflammatory so if you are coming to see me as a naturopath and you have some health concerns you may be asked to give up gluten for at least 12 weeks while we do some gut healing work.

If you are feeling bloated, brain foggy, achy and just plain tired all the time then it may be your gut or it may be your thyroid or it may be both! Going gluten-free can really make a big difference.

How to stop the overwhelm

1. Make a commitment to yourself

Write down your why. Why do you want to go gluten-free; is it you want to stop the bloating and running to the toilet? Maybe you’re just sick of feeling sick. Having this goal somewhere you can see it daily can really help you stick to the plan.

2. Change your mindset

Treat it as an experiment rather than a sentence. Be curious about how your body is responding to the changes. Tracking your symptoms while staying off gluten can be a game-changer too, you can really start to see patterns emerge.

3. Plan your meals

Any dietary changes need planning to be successful. Sit down and make a list of all your favorite meals; make gluten-free substitutions where needed and you’ll be good to go. Prepping meals in advance will definitely help take the overwhelm away when it gets to the dinner rush!

4. Get support

Talk to your family, tell them why you’re making this change. You might be surprised; they may even get on board with you! Seek help from a naturopath, that’s what I’m here for!

5. Get familiar with food labels

Know which foods are gluten-free. Apart from the obvious baked goods, you’ll find gluten in things like soy sauce & teriyaki sauce, some cornflakes are made from malt from barley, salad dressings, marinades and BBQ sauces, sausages etc.

6. Get some gluten-free recipes

Get creative in the kitchen. I have your back on this; check out my ebooks; they are all gluten-free and dairy-free.

We live in a time where we have so many more gluten-free options but even that can get overwhelming, so I always recommend when in doubt come back to whole and real food options with the least amount of human interference; like vegetables, legumes, fruit and nuts and seeds.

Please reach out if your feeling fatigued, brain foggy, achy joints and bloated…it may well be the gluten but a naturopath on your side can help too.

Book The Wellness Audit today and I’d love to check out your diet and give you the next best steps to wellness!

Written by Naturopath and Gut Health Specialist - Jane McClurg

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