Gluten-Free is Not a Punishment

I happened to glance at the cover of a magazine the other day when checking out at Whole Foods.  An entire magazine dedicated to gluten free living!  Initially, I thought it was fantastic, but then after seeing the titles of some of the articles, I realized that it could easily be interpreted that the positioning of this publication was nearly that of a support group.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m certainly not making light of the many health issues we might face before giving up gluten, and being quite ill as a result of eating this seemingly omnipresent, sneaky little devil regularly.  Whether you have diagnosed (or undiagnosed) Celiac disease or an intolerance to it (the latter of which, by the way, is not something that testing will necessarily be detected in lab testing), eating gluten is not a good idea….for any of us.

I view my own journey,  being sick to my stomach nearly every day for years and then finally discovering independently that gluten was causing all the issues, and resulting decision to first go gluten-free, and then completely Paleo in 2005, as a gift.

The fact that I physically need to avoid eating gluten is not something I view as a punishment, but an incredible opportunity I was presented with to heal my gut in my early twenties and discover fantastic health which I plan on maintaining indefinitely.

Had I not gone gluten-free, I can only imagine how much sicker I’d be today; after eight more years of eating that nasty little protein (sorry, but I have a real bone to pick with it!) which already had me doubled over in pain and rushing to the E/R back then in my pre-GF days.

If this is you, or a friend or a family member, and the general sentiment is something along the lines of ‘woe is me, I can never eat cake, cookies or bread again’, I encourage you to rethink how you’re responding to it.

Hand on my heart, with all honesty, and eight and a half years of Paleo living later, I can promise you that the lovely and balanced Paleo way of eating and living is a gift, and not something remotely punitive.