A Guide To The Gluten Free Lifestyle [One Month Challenge]
June 2, 2012 5:00 pm Posted in Body, Food, Health, Homepage Exclusive Brooke - Washington University in St. Louis g+ page
Hi everyone! So I’m sure you’ve been seeing GLUTEN FREE THE MIRACLE DIET all over Twitter, E! News, and celebrity interviews. I’m here to straighten out all of your misconceptions and questions.
I’m Brooke, aka one of the two Celiac Sisters (www.CeliacSisters.net). I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 16 (tear) and have led a 100% gluten free lifestyle since then.
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that recognizes gluten – a protein in wheat, rye, barley, and oats – as toxic to the small intestine. As a result, the villi in the small intestine become damaged, leaving the body unable to absorb nutrients. Yikes. The only cure? A 100% gluten free diet. Thanks, science.
At first I HATED the gluten free diet. No wheat, rye, barley, or oats? Rude. I would only eat plain grilled chicken, one kind of gluten free cookies (EnviroKidz Animal Cookies – TRY THEM), and maybe a vegetable here and there (#skinny). I was miserable. Who can survive on such bland foods? I don’t know how the celebs do it, but I wasn’t having it.
So Celiac Sisters was born. It was me and my sister Samantha’s mission (Hi, Sammy!) to raise funds to go towards Celiac research, so one day, hopefully in the near future, we could enjoy foods of all flavors.
Celiac Disease became more easily diagnosed since 2008, and more gluten free products entered the shelf. I was in heaven. Tate’s now makes gluten free. OMG. Gluten free KinniToos, aka Oreos. Almost like the real thing. Gluten free bakeries galore – Tu-Lu’s, Wild Flours, Babycakes. If you can’t tell, I’m a cookie monster.
As more products became more accessible, I slowly expanded my palette and embraced the gluten free diet. I love being gluten free now! But what I don’t love is all the trendy peeps trying to go gluten free to lose weight. It’s not true!
Gluten-filled foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals, such as iron, that gluten free foods aren’t. So going gluten free if you don’t need to be is NOT healthier! Don’t believe the tabloids! For example, I was just told that my fatigue and thinning hair are a result of an iron deficiency due to my gluten free diet. It’s not healthier! Eat your gluten-filled food if you can! I’m stuck with spinach (sorry, Mom I probably won’t eat it tonight at dinner) rather than being able to eat fortified wheat flour.
A lot of these celebrities claim going gluten free is better for you because they’re most likely eating plain protein – fish, meat, chicken, tofu (yuck) – and vegetables. No wonder it’s life changing. Being hungry won’t clear your skin. That’s where I step in. Gluten free is NOT a fad. It’s a medical need. For all you Celiacs, gluten intolerants, and wheat allergic readers out there, check back for the next four weeks to get some fabulous gluten free insight on living the GF lifestyle. I’m here to help you, friends. Gluten free can be cool, too.
PS In New York any time soon? Check out the Celiac Sisters’ GFree Summer in NY(C) blog that we just started! www.CeliacSisters.tumblr.com
Peace, Love, Gluten Free,
[lead image via Dejan Stanisavljevic / Shutterstock]