By Kari Erdman, M.S., CHHC, holistic health coach and CEO/founder of Transforming You LLC
Ever experienced that bloated, heavy, foggy, sleepy, sick feeling after eating a slice of pizza, a helping of pasta, or a sandwich? Who feels beautiful, sexy, passionate, and loving when you feel that way?
I know that feeling all too well. It wasn’t until I was able to become aware of the effects of wheat and gluten on my body that I was able to find relief.
When I was growing up, wheat was a food that I ate in abundance! It was everywhere: in crackers, cereal, granola bars, cakes, cookies, cereals, and breads. As an adult, I thought whole wheat was the way to go to eating a healthy diet, since the USDA food pyramid promoted 6-12 servings a day of it! Being a passionate foodie, I thought I was making the best health choice possible switching from white bread to everything 100% whole wheat. My college roommates even nicknamed me “Wheatie”!
However, I kept dealing with depression, fatigue, brain fog, PMS, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I experienced symptoms like these for several years until I learned almost four years ago about how gluten was affecting my body. Within weeks, my brain fog lifted, I had tons more energy, the bloating was gone, and I dropped over 10 lbs. My body had been signaling to me to put the dinner roll down and it responded with a hallelujah the day I decided to experiment living without gluten. I have never gone back sense. The way my body feels now without gluten is what motivates me to choose other foods my body thrives on.
Then, I began learning more about the why so many of us are experiencing issues with gluten and wheat and I was in awe of the information I learned.
I listened to a talk by William Davis, a preventative cardiologist in Milwaukee, WI and author of the book Wheat Belly, who has been doing research on the effects of removing wheat from the diets of thousands of his patients with diabetes and/or heart disease and has seen it radically transform their health. He believes that our modern “mystery” wheat and our growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes are connected. The reason is that wheat has a high glycemic index and allows glucose (sugar) to enter our body rapidly, therefore causing the pancreas to respond with a quick release of insulin. These spikes trigger the growth of visceral fat, which accumulates in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, large and small intestines, heart and the abdomen, which is where the “wheat belly” name comes from. The body sees the gluten as a toxic substance as it destroys the lining of the intestinal tract, which affects your immune system and ability to absorb nutrients. Your body thinks you’re going into starvation mode slowing down your metabolism and causing weight gain. It also acts as an opiate, yes that’s right an addictive drug, and causes the craving for more refined carbohydrates and sugar. Therefore, continuing the vicious cycle of cravings & addiction.
So, how do you know if gluten is impacting your health? The simplest way is to eliminate gluten for at least two weeks. Keep a daily journal of what you are experiencing physically, mentally, and emotionally. After the two weeks, eat a piece of bread or other gluten product and observe the way your body responds. You may experience brain fog, diarrhea, stomachache, fatigue, aches and pains, anxiety, depression, irritability, etc. If so, those are your signals to choose foods free of gluten. By giving your digestive system a time to heal, you will feel healing in other areas of your body, like carb cravings subsiding, weight loss, increased energy, mental clarity, alleviation of sinus allergies, improved digestion, and a stronger immune system. Be mindful too that many of the gluten-free breads, cookies, cakes, etc. have a lot of sugar and unhealthy fat that aren’t helpful for our bodies to have in large quantities, so enjoy minimally.
If you would like to go deeper into your journey of health and self-awareness around gluten and other foods that may be reeking havoc on your health, I encourage you to check out the 14-Day Mind-Body-Soul Cleanse. It is an opportunity to focus on clean, whole foods free of gluten, pasteurized dairy & refined sugar and receive healing from chronic pain issues, increased energy, weight loss, and mental clarity.
Are you ready to experience vibrant health, energy, purpose and joy? Kari Erdman is offering 69% off a 60-minute personalized coaching session to help restore and bring nourishment to your body and soul for a limited time only.
Kari Erdman, M.S., CHHC, is a holistic health coach and CEO/founder of Transforming You LLC. She teaches a whole foods diet free of gluten, dairy & refined sugar, Yoga, self-awareness techniques and connecting women with their purpose and joy through the 14-Day Mind-Body-Soul Cleanse, writing, and speaking. She lives in White Bear Lake, MN where she enjoys making yummy natural food creations in the kitchen, being in nature, singing, making jewelry & spending time with friends & family.