What is Gluten and why should you care? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that gives baked goods texture and binds them together. Trouble is, gluten is often difficult to digest and due to the many changes in the way grains are harvested and processed now, more people than ever before are developing sensitivities and allergies to it!
Is Gluten really that bad? If you are gluten sensitive or have Celiacs disease symptoms can range from GI Distress to infertility!!
When Udi's contacted me about their 14 day challenge, I eagerly agreed to participate. My husband and I have noticed a correlation to foods we eat and our overall sense of health and wellbeing, and we've been trying different adjustments to end the plague of upset stomach, indigestion and overall imbalance we've felt. One of the things we'd put on our list to try was to go gluten-free, and we've recently been doing a lot of research about the paleo lifestyle.
A few weeks ago, we took the plunge and went gluten-free for 14 days. Udi's helped us out by providing us with meal suggestions, samples of their gluten-free products and a few great printouts to guide us through the process!
I have to say, giving up gluten was made a lot easier by having gluten-free substitutes for some of our favorite foods!
After just a few days of being off gluten my husband and I immediately noticed we didn't feel as bloated. In fact, my husband who often complains of stomach discomfort after meals didn't complain at all. I felt like my energy levels improved as well several days into the challenge.
By the end of the first week, I felt more confident cooking gluten-free and actually managed to try a few recipes from the web. I had to be careful picking ingredients because there are so many foods that contain hidden gluten!!
|L-R: Egg & Spinach Scramble, Fajita Steak Salad, Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti|
By the end of the 14 day challenge, I noticed my skin was clearer, and the dry skin I usually have near my nose was completely gone. I felt lighter on my feet, less heavy and bloated, and my energy levels seemed much more stable. My husband also noticed a huge improvement in the way he felt overall, including virtually no stomach discomfort after eliminating gluten!
Another surprise was how much better Zion appeared to feel eating gluten-free, I noticed her stomach wasn't nearly as bloated and she seemed more energetic. I was incredibly happy to have a few Udi's gluten-free treats to ease the transition for her as she has a fondness for baked goods like her daddy!
The conclusion: the 14 day challenge was exactly what we needed to move us further along the path of eating right and feeling good. We've since decided to continue our journey of eradicating gluten from our diet.
The few times we have re-introduced gluten just to see how we'd feel, we were met with stomach aches and nausea, a result which has solidified our resolve even more.
Have you considered going gluten-free? What do you think would be the hardest item to give up!?
We participated in Udi's Gluten-Free 14 day challenge and were given free samples of Udi's gluten-free products to try, as always the thoughts and opinions shared are my own.