5 Benefits To Being Gluten Free

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I’m going to be totally honest. Being gluten-free can really suck sometimes, especially when I think about all the foods that I love and just can’t have anymore. While it may suck that I can’t have the bevy of carbs that I once was able to have, there are some surprising benefits to being gluten-free. So for those that are on the more positive side of thinking, I have come up with 5 surprising benefits to being gluten-free that you may not have been aware of before.

You Won’t Need Vitamin Supplements

Due to the fact that you can’t have traditional snack foods, being gluten-free means that you will probably be eating more fruits and veggies (and I mean a lot more). As much as you may miss eating doritos and other fantastic tasting foods, the increased amounts of fruits and veggies also means you will be taking in more vitamins, minerals, and those lovely antioxidants. This may not be a surprising benefit, but it still a great one.

It’s Easier To Be Lean

One thing I and others I have talked to have noticed and is that it’s much easier to stay lean when you’re gluten-free. This is partly due to the fact that you are not able to eat a lot of the foods that cause the waistline to get a little horizontal. It’s also, in my opinion, because you become more aware of your body and how you feel. I was never into working out before I had celiac disease, but the diagnosis automatically made me become much more aware of what I was eating. So I figured, why not get a rockin body out of the deal? There is also the fact that gluten-free foods tend to be lower in calories and, therefore, lends itself to being able to stay a little thinner than before.

More Energy

Here is one that was completely unexpected when I began my gluten-free journey. I noticed that I had way more energy being gluten-free. This is probably due to the fact that I began eating more nutritious foods and my body began to digest foods much better. I’ve read about theories that say going without gluten reprograms your body to shift its energy sources, but I have no clue if there is any truth to that. Whatever the reason, myself and others have experienced much more energy being gluten-free.

Digestion Issues Are No More

This one may seem like a no brainer. If you’re unable to digest gluten properly and you quit eating it, one would assume digestion would get better. What I have noticed is that I haven’t had near as many problems with bloating, gas, heartburn and other issues that digestion has a part in. I noticed pretty early on that the food I was eating would digest much quicker than I was accustomed to as well. This is where getting enough fiber becomes important, as it helps you feel fuller and slows down digestion.

People Think You’re Brave

This is one that I don’t really get yet seems to happen when people find out that I can’t have gluten due to my allergic reaction to it. They call me brave or courageous, which I would argue isn’t all that brave. It’s not like there is much of a choice in the situation. I’ve talked to many others that have experienced this as well and it seems to baffle them, too. So if you have to go gluten-free, take solace in the fact that others will look at as something to be proud of. Just use your new stature for good, I suppose.

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Is The Gluten-Free Trend Good?

gluten-free-banner1There is something I find interesting going on, but perhaps it’s actually more along the lines of disturbing. It’s the amount of people today that are following gluten-free diets that don’t suffer from a gluten allergy or celiac disease. It has become a new fad and trend diet that people have decided to start doing. I find this interesting because most people on these diets don’t even know what gluten actually is.

Why does this bother me, you may ask? Because I personally suffer from celiac disease. If it was not for this fact, I wouldn’t be gluten-free. You can trust me on this. I am unable to eat so many foods that I love simply due to the fact that I cannot digest them properly, and it makes my life miserable for hours if I do. So I don’t understand the people that have decided that gluten is evil and have cut it out of their lives completely, even when they can have it. I’ve even heard people blame gluten for bad behavior, cancer and a slew of other things, even though there is no legitimate science to back up these claims.

Going back to my original question, is the gluten-free trend a good thing? I argue that it is not. Unless you have a gluten allergy (which, by the way, there is no such thing as a gluten sensitivity), there is absolutely no reason to abstain from gluten in your diet. Part of the confusion about gluten is that the media has jumped onto the gluten-free bandwagon and made people think it’s something that should be avoided. So when people start eating gluten-free and experience some weight loss, they believe that gluten was the culprit all along that was leaving them overweight or heavier than they would have liked.

The truth is that when you take gluten out of your diet, you are going to eat healthier. Junk foods, ice cream, and most of the “good stuff” we love contain gluten. Also, gluten-free foods have less nutrients and are stripped of calories. So by not eating those foods, you are already eating less calories than before. Because people don’t understand nutrition, they assume it was gluten all along that was their problem. Then they go shouting to the rooftops about how great it is to be gluten-free.

Let me be clear that there is nothing wrong with people choosing to avoid certain foods. Obviously, everyone has that right. What is concerning, though, is the research coming out that shows an alarming trend among gluten-free dieters (who don’t have gluten allergies). Basically, the research is showing that people who don’t have gluten allergies that go on a gluten-free diet, then go back to eating regular foods like before, are having problems digesting the gluten. They are pretty much causing their bodies to develop a gluten allergy that they wouldn’t have had if they had never gone on a gluten-free diet. The enzymes that help digest gluten essentially disappear or stop working when they don’t get used. Yikes!

So as someone who is gluten-free out of necessity, I find the trend of gluten-free dieting to be absurd. There are far better diets out there that don’t require the complete overhaul of your lifestyle like being gluten-free does. Why would you choose a diet that has the potential for you to develop celiac disease along the way? My takeaway is simple; unless you have a gluten allergy, don’t go on a gluten-free diet. Your future self may just thank you for not causing you more problems later on.

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Can You Build Muscle While Eating Gluten Free?

Build Muscle While Gluten Free

When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, I really didn’t workout much. In fact, I was one of those people that would start working out January 1st, just to completely abandoned whatever I had by February 1st. I never really stuck with it. The hardest part for me was the dieting part. I felt like if I couldn’t eat like I should, then I would just be wasting my time in the gym.

Well, when I was forced into making some dietary changes, I figured this was a great time to start working out and finally get in good shape. I might as well take a bad situation and turn it into a good one by having a nice body. When I began to figure out what I wanted to work on, I started to wonder and have doubts about whether or not I could actually build some muscle while being on a gluten-free diet. I was new to this so, I figured I would seek a professional’s opinion and see what they had to say.

I met with a nutritionist in my area and told him about what was going on, and asked him if building muscle was possible while having to be gluten-free. His answer was refreshing and amusing, as he just laughed and said, “Of course you can.” He mentioned he had worked with a few people who were on gluten-free diets for medical reasons and had found that they actually tended to get better results because they understood the importance of food and how it can affect the body.

He said most clients he works with were men and they would tell him about how they went out and got the top rated bcaa supplement and are stacking it with the best testosterone booster on the market. But when asked about their food choices, many would say they go to Taco Bell, eat pizza a lot, or eat other foods that were not so great. Getting them to put more of an importance on food and not supplements was the hard part, so he said he was glad when he saw on my questionnaire that I had celiac disease.

He said the biggest challenge with being gluten-free and wanting to build muscle was eating enough calories to induce muscle growth. This is because a lot of gluten-free foods are stripped of nutrients and calories. So many that are gluten-free tend to eat much lower calories without really knowing it. He went on to tell me that protein was something I needed to focus on getting more in my diet, as that is the building block to building muscle.

We went on to discuss some strategies that I could use and some simple things that would help me out. My biggest takeaway was that not only was it possible to build muscle while being gluten-free, I was perhaps at an advantage compared to most. I’m not going to lie, that was nice to hear because I’ve never felt like I’ve had much of an advantage since I was forced to go gluten-free.

So while it may be a bit of a bummer at times having to be gluten-free, if you are in the same position as me, then take solace in the fact that you may have a great advantage when it comes to getting in great shape and being healthy. Just remember, there is always a silver lining to everything and sometimes you may just be surprised at what it is.

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Increase Your Concentration & Memory Through A Supplement?

Decided to take a break from talking exclusively about gluten today and talk about something that can help just about anybody no matter where they are in life. Myself, I’ve always had issues with concentration and my memory is that of a squirrel at times. Recently I had a friend tell me about Phenethylamine and suggested I start taking it due to it’s ability to help with concentration and memory. I like to research things before I take them so I set out to find out some information and I found some pretty neat stuff that I thought I would share with everyone today.

Phenethylamine (PEA) refers to a naturally occurring neurotransmitter synthesized in the brain from the phenylalanine amino acid. Phenethylamine which is sometimes referred to as beta phenylethylamine is an important substance when it comes to improvement in concentration and brain memory. There are different ways how 2 phenylethylamine or phenylethan-2-amine can help the brain achieve this:

2 phenylethylamine when synthesized in the brain, works within its emotional center thus increasing physical drive and motivation. The amino acid stimulates the production of acetylocholine which is important in improving memory and at the same time overall brain performance. In situations when you find that focus has declined, the amino acid stimulates production of acetylocholine which leads to better focus, energy and overall concentration. It is potentially an important substance especially for the students and even at the work place where good memory and concentration are always helpful.

Phenethylamine also stimulates the production of dopamine. Now for those that don’t know, dopamine is an important component to the brain. This is especially true after we go through stressful moments which automatically affect the manner in which the brain works. Dopamine helps in releasing feelings of pleasure and joy. This is beneficial to a person for instance who is engaged in perhaps a menial task that’s pretty boring, as this will give them the energy to go on and complete the task.

Another aspect were phenylethylamine is helpful is when it comes to the production of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is an essential component that is produced with a little help by beta phenylethylamine and plays a fundamental role in keeping the brain alert. It has both long term and short term effects to the brain in relation to boosting alertness and at the same time improving one’s performance. After engaging in rather boring tasks, concentration begins it’s decline and at this time, the production of norepinephrine will be initiated. This will help in regaining concentration and physical drive, thus helping make one much more alert and active for hours.

Serotonin is another important substance which is released in the brain through the activity of 2 phenylethylamine. It is worthy to note that serotonin controls impulses and emotions and all these of course start in the brain. With our emotions and impulses under better control, then automatically concentration and even physical drive can be elevated drastically.

These are the things that I could find about phenylethylamine and they seem to be pretty promising and something I may look into taking. I haven’t begun to take any phenylethylamine supplement as of yet but I’m beginning to look into well researched and quality ones though. I would think that having the abiltiy to concentrate a bit more would definately help those that are new to a gluten free diet as they go through the adjustment phase, which can be like walking around in a mental fog all day. Have any of you ever taken this supplement and if so what are your results with it?

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How To Enjoy Life While Being Gluten Free

enjoylifeWhen I first was diagnosed with celiac disease, I was pretty depressed about it. I love ice cream, chips, and all the other snacks that most people out there enjoy from time to time. I felt like I would never be able to have any foods again that actually tasted good, forcing me to live a life of bland and tasteless food for the rest of my life.

The bright side about having celiac disease in today’s day and age is that there hasn’t been a better time in history to be gluten-free. There are so many food choices out there that are gluten-free. Major restaurant chains have gluten-free menus that you can choose from that have foods that actually taste good. Part of the reason there are so many options is due to the increase in people believing that gluten is the devil and have decided to willingly avoid it like the plague. But that’s a different topic for another day.

I’ve learned over the years that I can still enjoy my life and even enjoy social settings while still being gluten-free. Now, this does require some awareness of foods. Over time, you become an expert at the sneaky things that have gluten in them you would never think about (soy sauce is a major culprit). You become really smart about foods you can have and others you simply avoid. In fact, some of my friends didn’t realize I was gluten-free until I told them not too long ago. When we would go out to eat, I would just order foods I knew were okay to eat. If we went to a place that I wasn’t sure about, I would just get something to drink and eat a little later.

I have come up with some great tips for those of you that may be new to avoiding gluten, yet still want to live a happy and socially fulfilling life.

Major Chain Restaurants Are Your Friend

I mentioned this already, but if you are gluten-free, then the major chain restaurants are going to be your go-to places if you want to go out and eat. Most of the major ones all have gluten-free menus and some even have the gluten-free options highlighted so you’ll know. This is pretty easy to do, as most friends enjoy eating out and most like the major chain restaurants. If you find yourself unable to go to a major chain, you can either just get something to drink or start learning about the foods you should avoid before getting there.

Don’t Expect People To Care

One thing I’ve never done is expected people to care that I can’t have gluten. I look at it as my issue and not for others to worry about. I have seen others though that make a pretty big deal about the fact that they can’t have gluten and sort of expect others to bow to their needs. The truth is, while my friends are empathic of my needs, they really don’t care that I can’t have gluten as long as they can eat the food they want. Make it easy on yourself and don’t expect others to bend over backwards to make things easier on you.

Learn Your Foods

The best thing you can do to lead a happy life while avoiding gluten is to become an amateur nutritionist. Learn about the foods you can have and the foods you can’t have. This has been the one thing that has helped me out the most and it should help you out, too.

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