By M. J. Joachim
Eating out isn’t much of a challenge for me. I simply ask for a gluten free menu wherever we go. My family is extremely supportive. They’ve seen me get sick when I had gluten unexpectedly, and they wouldn’t wish that on anyone. We make a point to choose restaurants that cater to gluten free diets, opting to choose ones with large selections, and preferably separate gluten free menus.
Purchasing groceries has led to the need to scrutinize labels, often paying more for gluten free products. It’s a money-maker; of that there is little doubt. Many of the restaurants cash in on it too, charging more for gluten free items, because maintaining a gluten free section in their kitchen requires more effort.
Changing cooking habits started out with a learning curve, as it does when learning to cook for diabetics or those with high blood pressure. You have to learn what ingredients you can and can’t include in the recipe, discover suitable substitutions and adjust cooking styles and temperatures accordingly.
It’s worth it, because overall health for those with severe gluten intolerance problems, find health improves dramatically by strictly adhering to their body’s needs. When they don’t, they pay a price that is so physically exhausting and severe, it can sometimes put them in the hospital.
Thankfully, the truth about gluten free diets being a necessity for those who need them is getting out there. People are beginning to understand the importance of providing gluten free choices for those of us who need them. Education on this issue is focused on raising awareness. This is particularly important, because many gluten intolerant people, don’t even know it yet. They’re still going to the doctor, wondering what’s wrong with them, receiving negative test results for who knows how many possible ailments, and becoming frustrated and self-doubting in their quest to feel better.
If only they knew what so many of us have already discovered. Gluten affects the entire body. Food feeds all cells, without picking or choosing which ones. Food that has gluten in it, therefore, affects all those cells too. Those of us with gluten intolerance, who willingly stick to a strict gluten free diet, get a drastic reprieve from the ill effects of gluten in our diets. Our whole bodies feel better. We think better. We sleep better. We digest better. We have more energy and our moods improve because we feel so much better.
Gluten cannot and should not be blamed for all that ails us. Going gluten free is not a cure all. It is a solution to many of the physical problems we face. However, we’re still human. We still have emotions, baggage and life to contend with. Feeling so much better physically makes it that much easier. Of that there can be little doubt. Eating right, whether it’s because you’ve got gluten intolerance, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis or any other host of illnesses that can benefit from being on a special diet, is only one small part of the equation.
It’s one worth looking into if you’re suffering from unexplainable symptoms, and can’t seem to find any obvious answers. Simply try it and see if your health doesn’t improve. That’s what I did. Within three months, my health dramatically improved. I noticed improvements well before that, and they only got better with time. To date, I’ve been gluten free for approximately six months. It was a choice I made on my own, to see if it might help make me feel better. It is a choice that has made all the difference.
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Photo credit: TSgt Samuel Morse, US Military Department of Defense, Public Domain