Since I began blogging, I have been reading Darren Rowse’s blog, ‘Problogger.’ He has a lot of useful tips for bloggers, so if you are a blogger or just a blog reader go check out his fantastic blog. He is hosting a ‘Top Five’ writing contest this week so to support his great blog and also to promote celiac disease awareness, I am submitting my ‘Top Five’:
THE TOP FIVE REASONS I LOOK GREAT ON A GLUTEN FREE DIET
Note: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is caused by a reaction to the gluten protein. Gluten inflames the intestine, causing a malabsorption of nutrients. Once thought to be a rare disorder, Celiac is now thought to affect as many as 1 in every 100 though it is significantly under-diagnosed. The only known treatment for Celiac disease is a lifetime adherence to a gluten-free diet. Read more about Celiac disease here.
I used to get irritated when people would compliment me on losing my baby weight from my first pregnancy and then immediately discount it when they found out I was on a gluten-free diet. Oh, of course, you are thin! Of course, nothing! It takes discipline whether you are following a diet for health reasons, due to celiac disease, or to just plain lose weight. However, some things about having Celiac disease does make it easier. I will let you in on the secret.
1. Convenience- I think one of the reasons America is overweight is the prevalence of convenience (read ‘junk’) foods. When you go on a gluten-free diet these foods might as well cease to exist. Nearly all convenience foods contain wheat or gluten of some kind. These high-fat, high-sodium foods are off-limits on the gluten-free diet. I am sure you can imagine your dress size dropping too.
2. Low prices- Specialty gluten-free products are much more expensive than mainstream products. I don’t know about you, but I think twice about eating a second cookie after paying $4 for a box of six small cookies. I buy and eat in moderation!
3. Strawberries- Well, ok not just strawberries, but naturally gluten-free things like strawberries. I am talking about things God has put on this earth that don’t come with labels at the grocery store. I never appreciated the full flavor or value of a strawberry until going gluten-free. I eat my five fruits and vegetables a day now that I am on a gluten-free diet. Instead of grabbing a cookie or some other processed food, I grab a handful of strawberries. Aw, the simple things in life! (By the way, this goes hand-in-hand with #2 – compared to prepackaged junk food, fresh fruit and veggies cost next to nothing–in both the short and long term.)
4. Immunity to most Marketing Tricks. Since I avoid most of the central aisles of the grocery store that contain the processed foods, I am not subject to most of the marketing ploys that food companies and grocery store chains are using*. I cannot just grab the newest brand or newest product in the shiny new packaging without calling or sending the company a letter or email inquiring about their manufacturing practices and the product’s gluten content. It really kills the ‘impulse’ in the impulse buy. (Which subsequently kills the ‘buy’ too.)
5. Ubiquity- People living on a gluten-free diet can not stop at every restaurant or buy gluten-free products at every corner grocery store. Since gluten-free food is not available everywhere, you don’t eat so much or so often. So many people in America talk about cutting back on their fast food intake, but one quick diagnosis of celiac disease and that problem has been eliminated for you! I estimate that about 95% of the food served at fast food restaurants contains gluten and the other 5% of the menu items have been cross-contaminated. Just imagine packing a healthy cooler filled with sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and homemade baked goods when going on a road trip. Who does this? Celiacs do! Some celiacs even take their rice cooker on the road with them! How much weight would you lose if you could never eat fast food? I bet the thought has made you reconsider throwing away those college jeans for one more year…I certainly haven’t thrown mine away yet.
*If you are interested in learning more about how the food industry manipulates consumers into impulse buys and other unwise purchases check out Marion Nestle’s book What to Eat
*Also, check out Karen’s post at Gluten Free Food Reviews, Top Five Gluten Free Foods to Make Your Mouth Water.
READ MY JOURNEY TO THE GLUTEN FREE DIET!
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