Last summer, I did a gluten-free cleanse and my friends all asked the same question “What does gluten-free even mean?” It’s been hyped up as a health trend as of late but some people don’t know what it is! It just sounds like Whole Foods Market lingo or overheard at yogilates.
What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in rye, wheat and barley. Gluten can be found in bread, flour, pasta, cookies, beer etc. This protein causes some bodies to react adversely and as a result, it damages the small intestine causing internal discomfort like bloating, gas and ability to absorb nutrients. This intolerance is called Celiac disease! By eliminating gluten from a diet, the symptoms lessen dramatically and because gluten is found in a lot of foods, the menu available is limited but has endless creative culinary possibilities. Since it is an autoimmune disease and has a genetic component, the symptoms can appear at anytime in life. A gluten-free diet is a treatment where all gluten is removed from the diet and fortunately, a lot of companies are producing gluten-free products to meet the high lifestyle demand.
During my cleanse, I eliminated all inflammatory foods: no gluten, no caffeine, no soy, no sugar, no processed foods and no alcohol. Sounds majorly intense, and it was for the first couple of days but the cleanse gave my body a very holistic restoration (tried and tested by Oprah Winfrey and Gwyneth Paltrow). I talked my boyfriend into cleansing with me and while I lasted for the set 7 day period, he only lasted for a grim 3 days. It was difficult and I haven’t thought about doing it again since but I remember noticing a significant difference in my body: less muffin top, better physical performance, less headaches, easy digestion and mental clarity.