Should I Go Gluten Free? Hmmm, Let’s See…

It’s always the same.  Every time I pick up one of my running or triathlon magazines and they have a piece about whether or not to go gluten free, the response is always the same.  

“Unless you have Celiac Disease, there is no reason to omit gluten and grains as doing so would also cut out vital nutrients”, they tend to say.

Puh-lease!  That is the same advice given to me by not one, not two, but three GI specialists about a year before I found Paleo and I was desperately trying to figure out the cause of years of horrible GI distress. I asked to be tested for Celiac and the gastroenterologist reluctantly ordered the, but only after suggesting I take a prescription for Prozac (as it was clearly all in my head) and cut down on the raw veg (as they’re oh so hard to digest).  Then, when the test came back negative, he assured me that I should not cut gluten.

For those of you who have ready my story, you already know the rest (I cut gluten and felt better in three days), but the frightening thing is the idea that so, so many people are being told the same thing.

When it comes to the advice being given to us athletes, the message is no different. Sadly, not only will many people who follow the advice in the running, triathlon and sports magazines end up causing unnecessary distress to their bodies by continuing to eat this toxin, many will also not realize how successful they might otherwise be in their races, if they’re constantly being sidelined by surprise trips to the porta potty during races, which, by the way, was the norm for me in every single race, pre Paleo.  And for those of you who are quite competitive, you already know that seconds can cost you a win or a qualifying spot, let alone minutes spent in the bathroom!

Think about what the motivation is for this message to be sent to us in these magazines.  Unfortunately, it is not in our best interest to follow that advice.  I’m sure the cereal, bagel, pasta and whole grain cracker folks are laughing all the way to the bank, though!

Such a shame; and a reminder we really must look out for ourselves and eat what we really should be eating, and not what someone in a sports magazine, even if they do have a PhD in nutrition (keep in mind that the certifying body who puts out the MyPlate is linked to that which certifies registered dietitians).

Eat food. And move.  Don’t eat things that are not food and you’ll race much better.

That’s all I have to say about that!