Remember when I went gluten free for February? I have had quite a number of people asking how it went and what I found out from doing it.
Well, to be completely honest, I am not sure what exactly the results are or what my body needs. The first five or so days without gluten were absolutely miserable. Hungry constantly, incredibly moody, fatigued, regretting this month long decision with every walk through the cafeteria.
Once my body got adjusted however and I fell into a routine of getting enough non-gluten carbs and more protein I regained strength and energy pretty quickly. Overall, I felt lighter and less burdened by random stomach feelings such as bloating and heaviness. It is hard to explain how exactly this felt but altogether my body seemed freer, for lack of better words.
As the month went on and people asked me throughout how it was going and if it was working it was proved really hard to answer. I started to forget how I felt pre-gluten free February and could only describe how I was currently feelings, which was relatively healthy. The real test in my mind came when March 1st quickly approached. The introduction of gluten back into my diet and how my body responded would be the true determining factor of gluten's effect on my digestive system.
March 1st came along with a small piece of bread and cookie (boy did I miss those). While oh so delicious and much missed, I did not miss the after feeling I felt throughout the rest of the day. Again, this heaviness came back as quickly as it had left. I was frustrated as the other people I was doing this experiment with were still feeling great and had no problem introducing gluten back into their diet.
It wasn't debilitating yet it wasn't the most pleasant. Over the next two weeks of spring break, knowing that my body does take a long time to adjust to diet changes, I experimented with gluten here and there but tried not to overload it.
So where am I now? Good question. Although none of this was doctor supervised or medically tested, I don't believe I am completely gluten intolerant, especially since I've been negatively tested three times.
However, it does seem that my body reacts differently to foods than the normal body does, my lactose intolerance being an example of this. It is really difficult to have food allergies as a college cafeteria eating student with extremely limited options.
This being said, I have been trying to limit my gluten intake to one meal a day and supplement a lot more rice, vegetables, and protein instead. I do believe, as I always have, that dependence on one nutrient way more than others is not healthy. This little experiment of gluten free February has taught me just how dependent Americans are on gluten and how it seems to be in literally everything.
I encourage you, even if you are happily digesting gluten, to step outside the boundaries, work on limiting this a little bit more and add more enriched vitamins into your diet. Your digestive tract will thank you :)
If you have any further questions I would love to chat with you about my experience. It is a continual journey and I'd love to travel through it with you.