New Year's Resolution Blogger: Bootin' The Gluten

T. G. Bennett Health Guide
  • Overall, life is really good. There's always room for improvement. Now, I've learned not to beat myself up for past foibles. I must admit, though I've improved my eating habits sometimes I generally feel crummy.  Why? Well, the clue might just lie in the crumbs. Bread crumbs that is. The malaise culprit? Gluten. Everyone probably knows by now that gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

    Hence, nearly everything I was putting in my mouth was wreaking havoc on my digestive system.  Full disclosure here: I've been tested for Celiac Disease but the test came back negative so I went back to munching on pretzels, baking scones, inhaling crackers and downing half a baguette with my Caesar salad. And again, I just haven't been feeling great. And then I remembered, back when I lived in New York and I tried the Atkins Diet briefly and felt a sense of euphoria that I'd never felt before. Hmm..that's suspect. I'm don't have Celiac's disease yet I feel like a superhero when I don't eat bread. I felt bread's kryptonite-like effect on me warranted a little more investigation. After some poking around, I discovered you can test negative for Celiac and still have a sensitivity to gluten.

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    Back to our story:

    I was working as a news producer at a really stressful television station that was like the television show Survivor only the news staff kept getting kicked off the dysfunctional island. Every time another producer got the boot I got to produce an additional show. This was not a good thing since my contract stated that I produce only the show I was hired to produce. But I digress.


    I began eating pizza frequently (a newsroom tradition) and after about six months at this wonderful station I gained significant poundage. So I turned to Dr. Atkins to drop the lbs. Then after a few rounds of bacon and eggs from the smoke filled diner next door to the station something magical happened. I got a super-energy boost. I began running (I ran at the YMCA not outside because the snow was up to my knees and I lived on the side of a mountain.) I ran a mile a day before work. I know you're probably saying "A mile? Is that all?" but exercise is generally abhorrent to me. Except for hiking -- I love to hike.



    I can even remember the news intern remarking about how fast the pounds were melting away on Atkins. "Wouldn't this be a great book, a tv segment even?" She'd say enthusiastically.


     "We could do before and after photos," she'd remark astounded by the 15 pounds that melted away in weeks.  Now -- fast forward a decade and though I long ago left Dr. Atkins on the side of a Hudson Valley road, I do realize one thing. I felt great (though I could no longer continue to eat a strict high protein diet,) because bread was missing. I didn't have brain fog, I was focused, I was powerful physically, and I could do anything. I was Super Bread-less Woman!


    So again I'm omitting bread and wheat products from my diet. And magically for the last week I've noticed something -- I feel better, have more energy and less GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) and overall achiness.


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    But, I love bread and cereal; what to do what to do? (I wonder aloud briskly pacing the room). The answer is simple, keep the bread out and continue to feel good or go back to cramps, headaches, mysterious allergies and a host of other digestive things you just don't even want to hear about.


    The last straw should have been this summer when I nearly choked trying to get down Taboon bread (Middle Eastern flatbread) I scored from a local kabob place. Oh it wasn't Taboon's fault. Don't blame Taboon. I'd been having trouble with bread for quite a long time. It doesn't matter if the bread is Taboon, or French baguette or a home-baked American biscuit. The gluten from the bread makes me feel terrible.


    So now that I am beginning to feel better, I am making sure that I become acquainted with the gluten free aisle at the organic market. In fact, I discovered a really healthy and yummy gluten-free granola made by Bakery on Main which is available at most local organic grocers and also available online.


    And now for a good news nugget. I now fit into my beautiful African violet-hued silk blouse that I purchased last year.  I nearly gave it to my size 6 friend that I've known since my teens (she was a size 0 back then,) who proudly proclaimed when I purchased the blouse "Oh you won't need that, I don't think it fits." She was right. But that was last year. Ha! It now fits -- so there.


    So finally on this better living journey, I bid adieu to gluten and say hello to a better quality of life and super food future. 



Published On: April 07, 2010