Why Breaking Up With Gluten Might Make You Happier


Sometimes you’ve got to give something up to break through to a higher level of health. And the very thought of it is so uninspiring that you just don’t do it. I think we all have something that we do that we know isn’t all that great for us, or maybe we even realize it’s harmful to our health, but anytime you think about giving it up, you dismiss that idea immediately. I know of which I speak, because I had to break up with gluten many years ago.

Listen To The Podcast Here

I listen to an astrology podcast every week by Anne Ortelee, a woman I love who I’ve been following for probably about 15 years. Anne lives in NYC and I believe is in her 60s, and she recently got Covid. She’s fine now, but she was really sick. She’s also got something going on with her foot, and her doctor has told her she needs to stop eating inflammatory gluten foods, like pasta.

Even with all these signs that it’s time to shore herself up with some kick-butt nutrition, she was talking this week about how she went and had pasta the other night and her foot got all swollen again. I mean listen, the struggle is real, we’ve all been there. But when you listen to her talk about it, you can’t help thinking, don’t eat the pasta, Anne! Gluten-Free rice pasta is actually delicious too!

Break Up With Your Bad Habits

I know giving up those go-to habits are hard, particularly when those are things you use to comfort yourself. But it’s like breaking up with a bad boyfriend or girlfriend. Meaning, you will 100% percent feel so much better on the other side, and you will wonder why you didn’t just pull the plug sooner. 

 I was 42 when I made the choice to break up with gluten, and feeling like I was 82. My joints hurt, I was tired all the time, I had a spare tire around my middle, and it was hard for me to concentrate. I went to go see a naturopath and she suggested a simple elimination diet where I didn’t eat gluten, dairy, or sugar for two weeks. Man those first few days were really hard. I did not know what to put in my mouth when I was hungry. I ate a lot of rice, and carrots and hummus. 

Keep Going!!

Day by day, I made it to a week, and then two weeks. I even managed to keep it going during a trip to Montreal to accompany my husband while he attended a conference. (What a cool city! Even if I didn’t try their famous bagels.) After two weeks I felt so good, I told the doctor I was cured; I would just keep avoiding that stuff and all would be well. She told me I needed to try eating each of those foods so that I could see for sure which ones I reacted to.

I didn’t want to do it. But she convinced me that really getting a chance to see how my body reacted to it would be valuable information to have. When I had dairy, I didn’t really notice any difference, except when I had yogurt in the morning, I felt cold and sluggish all day. So, yeah, not hard to give that up. When I tried wheat, I had these delicious homemade whole wheat chocolate dipped biscotti. And my digestion immediately ground to a halt! That really sealed the deal for me and I broke up with wheat for real, and having that information kept my resolve high. 

Give Yourself The Gift of Better Health

My friends who would see me eating just the cheese off the top of a piece of pizza and a salad on pizza night thought I was nuts and felt sorry for me. But let me tell you, I felt great. It did not feel like a sacrifice. I admit I did really miss beer for about a year, but there are some great gluten free beers that got me through. And now I occasionally eat sourdough bread that I get from the local bakery because the fermenting process makes it more digestible for me, but that’s about it. And it does not feel like a sacrifice I made; it feels like a gift I gave myself. 

Breaking up with gluten forced me to expand my repertoire of foods, and it benefitted my family too because they also started eating more healthful foods, too. Just keep in mind that when you give something up, the benefits don’t stop with you. They ripple out to your family and friends. 

The Truth is, We All Need to Step Off the What Everybody Else Eats Train.

Because what everybody eats in America is, for the most part, not really food. It’s mostly bad fats, sodium, and sugar mixed in with various forms of wheat, corn, soy, or meat. I don’t want to get ranty here. I just want to make the point that if your diet isn’t serving you, there’s nothing wrong with you. Your body isn’t defective in any way. 

Really, more and more of us are going to be forced to step away from the what everyone else eats train. Maybe your doctor will tell you your pre-diabetic, or diabetic, or that your blood pressure is too high. At some point on the typical American diet, your health will force your hand. Why let it get to that point?  

I bet you have an idea of a food that doesn’t really do you right. Something that whenever you eat it, you feel sluggish, maybe even exhausted, or like you swallowed a bowling ball. You’ve probably thought about how hard it would be to give that thing up. But have you considered how good it will feel to not be ingesting that thing that your body can’t really handle? How good it will feel to finish eating and feel like you could run around the block? How proud of yourself you will be to know that you steered yourself away from a health ditch, and learned some new stuff along the way about what foods make you feel truly awesome? 

Give Feeling Good A Try

I know it’s hard to imagine something you’ve never experienced before, but trust me; when your joints don’t hurt and your belly isn’t upset you will feel like a million bucks. 

If you’ve never considered this, I’m just planting a seed so that you start paying attention to how you feel and how that might be related to what you’re eating. And if there’s something you know you need to break up with, I hope hearing this, and thinking about how good you’ll feel on the other side, will help you leave that not-good-for-you food in the past. Just try it for now. It doesn’t have to be forever. But let yourself experience how you feel without it, because that feeling of good health is super compelling. It feels so good to feel good. 

Stay Awhile!

Be sure to come back tomorrow when I’m interviewing Dr. Chris Chlewbowski, author of The Virus and the Host, about how taking better care of your health makes the world a better place. AND, Thursday is the 300th episode!! I’m celebrating by hosting a giveaway of an Election Stress Survival Kit filled with premium organic CBD products of your choice from Therapist Preferred. Come on back!


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