2017 Flashback: My Year of Living Gluten-Free and Vegan
Overall, it was a good year. And in some respects, I felt healthier than I’ve ever felt in my life.
One day one of 2017, I was already a long term Vegan, but I started going gluten-free.
Why? One might ask.
I’d been reading that some elite athletes were experimenting with a gluten-free diet and getting better results in their performances. It piqued my interest.
Here I am, on the verge of becoming 60 years old, and I felt it was very important for me to perform to the best of my abilities as a musician, pianist and drummer.
And overall, I think being vegan and going gluten-free was the answer to feeling great at my age and more energetic. And I’m talking about feeling no aches or pains whatsoever and performing at peak levels.
And going gluten-free worked!
Of course, the struggles of not eating gluten-free at restaurants was just that, a real struggle!
I might’ve eaten something with gluten in it only by accident, but for the most part I was religious about asking whether something had gluten in it, and I thank family and friends who helped me in many of these dining-out experiences.
At the tail end of 2016 I was already practicing a gluten-free, vegan diet, mainly experimenting by abstaining from gluten and eating a bit of gluten to test how I felt.
The result of this experiment was that I felt more energetic and alert when gluten-free. When I reintroduced gluten into the diet I would feel sluggish and low on energy. And it was this trial-and-error period in late 2016 that convinced me to go gluten-free. And starting the New Year off in 2017 being gluten-free simply made it official.
I do miss bread, however, but most breads (especially sourdough) contain a LOT of salt, so it’s actually better to eat steamed rice than to eat bread anyway. A lot of people don’t realize just how much salt goes into bread, which is what gives bread much of its taste. The salt is in there, but it’s masked in a loaf of bread.
So, as I enter my second year of being gluten-free, I reflect on the benefits and the struggles, and have come out of 2017 feeling like I truly accomplished something. And feeling healthier at the same time.
Is this just a placebo effect, as some critics might say?
I think not. At least for my body chemistry. I did a semi-scientific study on my body as my own guinea pig. If I were to start eating gluten again I know I would start to feel ill again. It’s like the many people who are lactose intolerant. It’s a very real thing.
Is it really pesticides in the wheat?
No. I seriously don’t think so, because I tried organic, old world sourdough bread, which someone recommended to me, since that person believed it was not the gluten but the pesticides in non-organic bread. That experiment failed too. It’s the gluten, folks.
There are people out there who have Celiac Disease, and it’s not the pesticides it’s the gluten for sure. And many like myself are finding out they are becoming sensitive or intolerant to gluten as they age, just like many finding out they are lactose intolerant later on in life, even though they had milk and dairy products as a child.
Trust me, it’s the gluten, and the state of our extremely hybridized wheat.
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