Step away from the GLUTEN……

I am reading so much about this Gluten Free craze for people with No ISSUE of celiac disease – but simply those looking for an alternative to eat healthy and stay lean.

I decided to do my own research. First of all, what the heck is a gluten free diet?????

Basically, it’s a diet that excludes the protein Gluten which is found in grains such as barley, wheat, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Since I don’t typically eat rye bread, let alone a cross between that and wheat??? …..sounds gross and i enjoy my share of barley in the chulent i make for saturday lunch (I don’t cook ANYTHING IN life well- Seriously NOTHING- I am the opposite of Martha Stewart- my family knows that dinner is ready when the fire alarm goes off-  HOWEVER- i can mix together a MEAN chulent- (which is simply a Yiddish word for beef stew) and I rarely eat bread- my daily carb intake  typically consists of oatmeal, sweet potatoes and high fiber cereals like kashi and Fiber One. Oh, and of course an ENTIRE challah bread on friday nights (yes, start to finish- inhaled in 45 seconds flat- try that -its like an impossible feat yet somehow I manage to beat my own record on a weekly basis depending on just how much wine I’ve imbibed…..a true champion contest winner!!

Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease.

I know so many people who do NOT have celiac disease but have cut out gluten recently and swear by the way they feel so every once in a while I will browse  through the Gluten Free foods in the grocery store to check out what all this ballyhoo is truly about.

I decided to test it out for myself so I ate Gluten free oatmeal for 3 weeks straight. I did not add any other gluten ingredient to my diet and you know what? I felt absolutely 100% ……..

No difference.

I was just as bloated when I ate my gassy vegetables and just as satiated when I ate my salmon and sweet potatoes. The fact that I paid double the price for double the caloric content of the gluten free oats – well-  I felt like a fool about that.

So I went back to my generic brand oatmeal…the instant, 100% oats no added sugars or flavors and I am doing just fine! (only now I eat 2 bowls for the same caloric content of one!)

I will concur that gluten free is simply a way of reducing the amount of refined sugars and simple carbohydrates from your diet and by avoiding those “bad for you” foods you are reducing wasted calories and therefore WILL lose weight.

Cut calories and lose weight- not neuro science- just basic science!

But this brought to mind the question about all the marketing hype that goes into different fad’s along the years.

There was the “fat free” phase back in the early 90‘s which my friends and I embarked on while we were young, foolish and single in our early 20’s – we would drink “fat free” alcohol, then go on H&H bagel binges at 3:00Am – bagels are fat free right? We’d snack on licorice and Entenmanns fat free cakes (both included about 1000 grams of sugar per serving- but NO FAT -so we were cool with that.)

Then there was the “no carbs” fad….oy vey- don’t even get me started about that one….I was NEVER able to stick with that one for more than a day… god why suffer and torture yourself without the most delicious treats in the universe when life is so short???

Besides, I learned early on that once I delved into cutting food groups entirely the entire body malfunctions and your metabolism just gets confused and goes haywire.

I will say though, that not all carbs are alike….I preach that you need to stay away – run far- from refined sugars that are in simple carbs like white bread and white potatoes, but COMPLEX CARBS- well- thats an entirely different story and are NECESSARY fuel and energy sources for your daily activities.

So, keep it simple: White carbs NO, complex carbs YES!!!

I love a complex carb loaded breakfast first thing in the morning!!!!! I eat carbs throughout the day but try and stay away from them at night.

(Again- my disclaimer is such: this diet plan I am referring to is entirely based on fiction – it is only WHEN i am actually FOLLOWING it!….my Oreo and ice cream binges are an entirely different post altogether and DO NOT COUNT as veritable!)

For the record, Monday through Friday I try and stick to these important rules and weekends- well, you know the drill. IT WORKS FOR ME!
Point being: learn your own body….see what works for YOU! Again, if you are going to live a”gluten free” lifestyle- than so be it, just ensure you are properly feeding your body with the appropriate amounts of calories from essential fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates!!!

So, let’s conclude our lesson with the following:

Stay away from whites like white bread, flour, sugar etc and GO FOR the darks such as Whole grains, sweet potatoes (Do you spell that with an “e” or not???? I’ll ask George bush about that one. Oh wait, I’m dating myself) also load up on high fibrous foods and complex carbohydrates for fuel- but eat them early in the day only- never past 5:00PM and you will be GOLDEN!

report back to me and let me know if and how this works for you!!!

Then again, if you asked my BFF, Barbara , who will turn 60 this summer and lean  as a 20 year old- she would swear gluten free is the only way to go.

Go try it yourself and let me know!


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