Is going gluten-free for me?

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This month is taking me wayyyyy out of my comfort zone by going GLUTEN-FREE!

Anyone that has seen me eat knows how hard this challenge will be for me. While I tend to be conscious about what I put into my body, I do enjoy quite a few foods that contain gluten.

After chips and queso, my favorite food is pizza. I eat pasta at least once a week and will sometimes have a quick sandwich on my lunch break. So you’re probably wondering why I’m going to try the gluten-free lifestyle and are hungry after I mentioned all those foods.

I do not suffer from Celiac Disease (the disease in which ingesting gluten does physical damage to the body). I do suffer from anxiety, which a lot of people in my life don’t know. I was officially diagnosed with it in October of 2013 and prescribed Xanax. After lots of thinking and talking to friends and family, I decided to flush the Xanax and hope the anxiety would dissipate without medication. Once I quit my job as a paralegal, much of the anxiety did go away on its own. But recently, it has come back with a vengeance.

Anxiety is different for every person that suffers from it. For me, it comes in the form of chest pain (like an elephant is sitting on me) and shortness of breath (which is bound to happen when it feels like an elephant is sitting on me). Occasionally, it will explode into a full on anxiety attack with a river of tears for no apparent reason. Besides medication, I didn’t know of any other options to lessen the grip of anxiety.

…And then I started talking to people who suffered from anxiety that also didn’t want to have to rely on popping pills to subdue it. Surprisingly, I found more and more of the people who no longer have anxiety have one thing in common – eating gluten-free. I started asking around about this phenomenon and found a few nutritionists that backed up this new finding. Without going into scientific detail, I’m not joining the “fad” of going gluten-free in hopes of having a super model-esque body. This is something that I really want to learn and experience for myself in hopes of alleviating my anxiety without medication.

On another note, if you do want to see some people who did stop eating gluten for no clear reason (and don’t know what it is besides The Devil), watch this clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

After hitting up the library for a few books on gluten-free recipes and the health logistics behind gluten, I am ready to learn how to cook (while praying that my kitchen isn’t a pile of ashes at the end of the month) and eat out of my comfort zone!

Have you gone gluten-free or are you thinking about it? I would love to hear your experience with it, whether or not you have Celiac Disease. Let’s find ways to enjoy gluten-free pizza and cakes together!

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2 thoughts on “Is going gluten-free for me?

  1. I gave it an honest try for about 9 months. I have bipolar disorder, GAD, and IBS (among other things) so it seemed like something that could really help my physical and mental symptoms.

    It seemed like it was helping at first, but any positive effects seemed counteracted by the anxiety I began having about food. My relationship with food has been very complicated (growing up quite poor, being homeless and eating out of dumpsters for a time, etc.) and because of that I think being in situations where I was unable to eat the general food around me caused me a lot of distress and anxiety rivaling (if not surpassing) the anxiety that I started with!

    Instead of continuing with the gluten free diet I’ve re-vamped what I eat to include many more fruits and vegetables, and this small change has been enough to help my symptoms quite a bit.

    Good luck! I hope going gluten-free helps, but if it doesn’t (or if you find it very stressful) keep in mind that healthy changes to our diet (even small ones) can make a big difference! Take care!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Sarah! That stinks that it ended up making your anxiety worse, but it’s understandable considering your circumstances earlier in life. So glad to hear that you’re doing better overall!

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