Everything you ever wanted to know about #GlutenFREE

You have a bee to thank for every one in three bites of food you eat. If you ever wondered if honey is gluten-free. Honey does not contain gluten. It is a pure product with no additives. That was a close call,go ahead girl and add it to your tea.

While speed stuffing my face with slices of Swiss cheese on fig & olive crisps, which I have recently coined “crack-ers” because they are THAT addictive, I reminisced on how I used to eat. What the hell was I thinking missing out on this deliciousness? About a year and a half ago, I watched a documentary called Hungry for Change, and quite frankly, it changed me. Well, for a year at least.I stopped eating sugar, wheat, flour, oats, rice, dairy, meat, alcohol,anything refined…Actually, it’s easier for me to explain what I DID eat:fruits, vegetables, nuts, quinoa, bulgur, seeds and lentils.

Yup, that’s all.And slowly, months and months later, I incorporated seafood in my diet. When people found out about how I ate either by my declines to dinner invitations or far fetched conversations after certain snack offerings, they labeled me as“Gluten-Free”. Truth is, I didn’t even really know what that meant. I mean, not eating gluten, I get, but which foods actually contain gluten and the reasons I wouldn’t be eating it… beats me.

While I washed down my crack-snack-plate with a glass of merlot, I did some research on the subject. What is this whole “Gluten-Free” phenomenon anyways? Is it a fad? Is it a diet trend? Is it something that Foodista’s invented to sell some sort of product or service?

Turns out… there was a recent study published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal by none other than the pizza-pasta-loving Italiano’s themselves proving the “Gluten-Free” theory to be true. I guess I was on the right nutritional path after all. The “ Small Amounts of Gluten Sensitivity: a Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-Over Trial ” went as follows…

The Proof is in the Gluten-Free Pudding 

The Italian researchers rounded up 61 adults who were Gluten-Free advocates and put them to the test.None of the subjects had celiac disease or any wheat allergies, but they all believed that gluten was the cause of their digestive discomfort. In other words, they trusted their bubble guts. Half of the group was given one capsule a day of around 4 grams of gluten, where the other group was given the same amount of a placebo pill.

They consumed their assigned prescriptions for one week, then switched groups, all while keeping a gluten-free diet. By super technical science-geeky way of keeping track, which I won’t even try and go in to, they conducted the experiment and produced surprising results. In short,they discovered that the intake of gluten significantly increased abdominal bloating and pain, intestinal symptoms, foggy mind, depression and aphthousstomatitis.

And this was only in one week’s worth of Gluten intake, imagine months or even years? Maybe I should stop eating these crackers. And never go to Italy. Okay, that’s not going to happen…but maybe I’ll spend my money on Italian stilettos rather than Gluten-full goodies.

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A Simplified Gluten-Free Guide

So now that we know that the Gluten-Free girls got it goin’ on, let’s figure out how to make this a reality. What is Gluten, for real, and what does a Gluten-Free diet actually look like? Forget all the 10 th grade chemistry-class element-chart bullcrap and ‘gimme’ the good stuff… like…can I eat Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter by the spoonful or not?

It is estimated that by the year 2019, the Gluten-Free product industry will be a 7-billion-dollar conglomerate. So eating Gluten-Free is getting easier and easier. You can almost get a Gluten-Free version of all the foods you already enjoy eating. But the trick is to focus on replacing Gluten filled foods with other nutritionally beneficial foods, not just overly processed knock offs.  

So here is your super user-friendly guide of what’s okay and what’s off limits. From there, you can be as creative as you want and make delicious dishes that won’t have you running to the bathroom in pain. And there are a ton of easy-to-make recipes floating around online catering to the gluten-free world. Alright, READ YOUR INGREDIENTS LABELS and let’s get cookin’…

TO EAT

Beans, seeds, nuts,eggs, meat, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, dairy, quinoa, rice, soy and tapioca.

NOT TO EAT

Barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a mixture of rye and wheat).