The Gluten Dilemma

In recent years gluten has gotten some serious attention especially in health magazines and online blogs.  Some experts say you shouldn’t have any gluten, while others say it’s totally fine.  In this blog I’ll share with you my experience with gluten and how you can see for yourself whether or not you’re better off without it.

Let me start by sharing a story with you.  When I moved to Boulder, Colorado in 2011, I apprenticed with a Naturopath Dr. Sara Hart.  One of the things I got to try was a 3 week cleanse.  This cleanse consisted of consuming herbal teas as well as removing dairy, gluten, nightshades (like tomatoes and basil), caffeine (an “oh, no!” for some people), and processed foods from the diet.  The goal for this cleanse was to eliminate all foods that have a tendency to stress the body (or increase inflammation).  

At the time of the cleanse, I was open, but very skeptical to the whole concept of cleansing and food sensitivities.  In Boulder, many people are gluten free and dairy free, and some part of me thought the sensitivities were embellished. 

The cleanse was a really challenging process for me (and I do remember indulging in organic gummy bears at one point), but a very informative and enlightening process.  My acne cleared up.  And I had more energy.  

At the end of the cleanse, I reintroduced dairy, gluten, nightshades, etc slowly into my diet. I noticed that when I had dairy I started to get acne again.  And when I had gluten my stomach cramped up big time.  As someone who was skeptical about food sensitivities, this was undeniable proof that I was affected by these foods.  

So how does an elimination cleanse like this work? The body has adjusted to the foods we normally eat.  Without a cleanse, we wouldn’t be able to tell what our bodies COULD feel like.  When we do a cleanse, especially as long as 3 weeks, our bodies have a chance to clear away toxins and inflammation.  Allowing the body to function at its best (or close to it!).

You might ask, “Laura, do you ever eat gluten and dairy?”

I do eat some gluten and dairy.  Mostly because a lot of great foods contain those ingredients! I do however, eat gluten free and dairy free about 90% of the time.  This way I get to have a little fun but don’t compromise my health and energy too much.

Is there scientific evidence about gluten?

Yes, there is.  Depending on who you are, you could find evidence supporting the case for eating gluten or not.  As a former research chemist, I’ve seen what goes on behind the scenes in research.  While science is a legit process, research itself and the results can be shaped to support whatever agenda is behind the experiment.  Knowing this, I find the most valuable data behind what you should and shouldn’t eat can be found in your own experience with the foods, especially from an elimination cleanse.

So what now? See for yourself! I’ve created a simple cleanse for you so that you can discover for yourself what foods work best for you!