Sunday, June 15, 2014

Gluten: Satan's Sidekick

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
                This is my life, ya’ll. I find myself falling back into habits I know are bad for me and expecting a different outcome when really; it ALWAYS ends the same way. In this case, gluten. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone back on gluten only to find my body swelling, my face breaking out, my nose getting stuffed up and my depression squeezing its way through the wall I’ve built up to block it. Every. Flippin. Time. This time, I don’t know what I was thinking. Before, when I started adding gluten back into my diet, it was because someone told me that cutting out wheat is bad for me or whatever their reason was. This time, I added it back because for some unknown reason, I thought my body would be able to handle it. Wrong! A couple of days into adding whole wheat bread back into my diet, my face broke out. Not bad, but still enough to make me self-conscious. I noticed I my sinuses were burning and I couldn’t breathe at night because my nose was so stuffy. This morning was the final wake up call. I woke up and literally was swollen from my head to my toes. My ring wouldn’t even fit on my finger. I feel like a fricken balloon.
                I do this too often. Go back to things I know are bad for me. There are studies done that show that gluten/wheat is as addictive as cocaine. I’ve experienced this. People literally have withdrawal symptoms when they try to eliminate gluten from their diets. Gluten is in everything. Even things you wouldn’t think.

Almost any kind of alcohol
Food coloring/fillers/texturizers/thickeners ect
Clif Bars
Power Bars
Breaded meats
Hot dogs
Lip gloss/balms
Nutritional supplements
Sauces/salad dressings/condiments

                These are just a few of them. This shit is in everything. Why? Because it’s addictive and those food companies know it’s addictive. It keeps people coming back for more. What does that mean for those companies?? $$$$$$$$
                For me, the part that freaks me out the most is the neurological effects it has. Every time I start eating wheat again, within a couple of days, my depression hits. I never see it coming. It just slowly creeps up on me until I’m consumed by thoughts I thought I had gotten rid of. Day’s become less colorful, I find it harder to get out of bed in the morning, I stay home all day and lose myself in some stupid, mindless book and I start to withdraw from my loved one’s; all because of wheat. Before when this happened, I just thought I was being a typical over emotional girl, however; the more it happened, I finally made the connection. When we consume wheat, once it has gained entrance to our brains, it crosses the amygdala, hippocampus, cerebral cortex and other major brain structures. Wheat polypeptides bind to the brains morphine receptor, the same receptor that opiate drugs bind to. Morphine-like compounds, for example, occur during “runners high”. Wheat literally induces a form of euphoria. Anybody who’s had or currently has an addiction knows what it feels like to get that first high or that first buzz. That’s usually all it takes before you’re hooked. Once we reach our body’s pleasure center, there’s no going back. You’ll do whatever you have to do to get that feeling again. Some people grab a pipe, others reach for another cigg or in this case, you reach for that sandwich. Because it’s so addictive, you need to feel the euphoria that wheat gives you. The crazy part is that you don’t even know you’re addicted to it! But as soon as you try to eliminate it, you’ll start dreaming of bread, salivating over it, talking about it and constantly thinking about it.
                Wheat doesn’t just affect you neurologically; it also has some effect on your weight. One piece of bread can spike your blood sugar just as much as a tablespoon of sugar. Studies have shown that wheat is also an appetite stimulant. Maybe it’s my lack of self-control, but I could probably eat the whole bread basket that Olive Garden puts in front of you before your food is served. I could down that and still have room for my dinner. I could also eat a whole bucket of movie theater popcorn and still feel hungry, however; swap the popcorn for a bucket of grilled chicken? No way. These empty carbs allow us to eat way more than we should. What does that mean for these food companies? $$$$$$$$. Big money. The more they can keep you coming back for more, the better.
                Cutting out wheat is tough. Trust me; I’ve been through it too many times. There are so many alternatives to this addictive substance. Oat flour, buckwheat flour, almond flour, rice flour, potato flour and tapioca flour are all great alternatives. They don’t bake the same as wheat and they sure as hell don’t taste as good, but it does the trick when you start craving wheat. Growing up in an Italian family, pasta was a main staple in out diet. I’m pretty sure we had some sort of pasta dish every day.  I’ve found that brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta have nearly the same exact taste and texture of regular pasta. Whenever I have a crazy carb craving, I’ll make brown rice pasta tossed in a little olive oil and salt and pepper with cut up cherry tomatoes and spinach. I get my pasta and it’s about 50 times healthier.
                These past few days have been a bit rough. I’m going to blame it on the gluten and keep it at that. No more. I can’t keep doing this to myself. Gluten just doesn’t work for my body. I think that everybody has a gluten intolerance of some sort. Whether it shows externally or not, the internal effects of gluten are all the same. Our bodies just weren’t meant to have a “food-like” substance in it. It’s not natural. I don’t know how many times it’s going to take me to learn. Wheat makes me feel like utter shit and this will be the last time I ever do this to myself again. Moral of the story: wheat is Satan’s sidekick. Get off wheat. Seriously, your body will thank you later.

                If you’re interested in eliminating wheat from your diet, “Wheat Belly” by William Davis is a great place to start. This book changed my life. It’s an easy read but it’s powerful. Sometimes I’ll reread it just to remind myself why I pass up that French bread at dinner every night. 

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