Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gluten-Free New Year

One of the occupational hazards of working in a place like Food for Thought is that you will, eventually, get curious about all of the different diets and lifestyles people adhere to. And, if you are someone like me, you will end up researching the advantages and disadvantages of several of these lifestyles, and, perhaps, will try a few.

Early last year, I started to notice that I felt gross after eating several of my favorite foods that were, of course, loaded with gluten. So, I decided to try a gluten-free diet for two weeks and, amazingly enough, felt better. True to my nature, I researched gluten-free lifestyles and found out how advantageous it can be for people from all walks of life to have a gluten-free oriented diet.

Here are some of the facts:

- Gluten-free diets are most commonly associated with people with Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance. However, people afflicted with autism and rheumatoid arthritis can benefit from maintaining a gluten-free diet.

- Celiac and gluten intolerances still remain the largest undiagnosed disease the in the world. It is estimated that 1 in every 133 Americans have an intolerance of some sort.

- Many restaurants now offer gluten-free options to cater to their customers. Come in to the store to pick up a list of restaurants in the Wichita area that are gluten-free-friendly!

- Some of your favorite foods may already be gluten-free! And companies are coming up with more alternatives daily. Unlike options ten years ago, those adhering to a gluten-free lifestyle can still enjoy beer, pastas, chips, licorice, gummy bears, and multi-grain breads!

Michael Pollan suggests in Food Rules to try devoting a day each week to be a meat-free day. My challenge to you is to try eating gluten-free a single day every week, regardless of if you "need to" or not. It is truly amazing how much better you feel! Until next week, readers!

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