What do Whole 30, Sesame Snaps and Gwyneth Paltrow have in common?
If you’re sitting there scratching your head, don’t worry – it took us a while too. Gwyneth Paltrow is the mastermind behind Goop, the wellness magazine which captured the heart of every beautiful blonde woman looking to get the best out of her kombucha. In a previous life, Paltrow starred in a film called Sliding Doors, a must-see for Paltrow fans and those passionate about the London Underground.
Sesame Snaps, if you have never tried them, are essentially a peanut brittle made with sesame seeds and have been heralded as a delicious snack, especially so for those who don’t eat gluten or dairy. In actual fact, they contain more sugar than an average cupcake and have very few nutritional benefits at all. Long the preserve of coeliacs like other gluten and dairy free products, they have burst on to the mainstream in recent years fuelled by people who assume that simply being “gluten and dairy free” is enough for them to reach their desired body image goals.
At the other end of the scale, Whole 3o represents the darker side of giving up gluten and dairy. The diet calls for 30 days without sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy. If you’re thinking that this is likely to leave you eating only lettuce, then you’re pretty close. This proclaimed “fad diet” isn’t a true representation of a gluten and dairy free lifestyle. Making changes doesn’t have to mean missing out, and whilst going gluten and dairy free isn’t going to be a piece of cake (sorry), you might find that there are unexpected benefits and that it is much easier than you previously thought. Here’s what to expect when you cut gluten and dairy from your diet.
Technology Has Made it Easier
Just 10 years ago, the only people who cut gluten and dairy from their diet were those who were seriously allergic – coeliacs and people with very high lactose intolerance. Speciality food was only available on prescription from a GP and going out to dinner often meant calling ahead to check that there was anything on the menu that you could eat. The growth in those eating a gluten and dairy free diet and the technologies which make it easier are intrinsically linked. It has become infinitely easier to adopt an entirely new lifestyle.
It makes sense that technology is influencing our diet. After all, location technologies have made it easier to get around, VR tech has changed the way in which we game. Official casino apps such as the one from Slots Heaven have changed the way we think about going to the casino, with Oddschecker offering welcome bonuses for signing up. For those looking to eliminate certain foods from their diet, using apps such as My Fitness Pal makes it easier track to track nutritional information and ensure that you’re hitting all of your requirements for vitamins and nutrients which is a concern for many embarking upon maintaining a gluten and dairy free lifestyle.
Get Ready to Embrace your Greens
When bread was first commercially produced, the mechanical processes of milling the wheat meant that many natural vitamins were excluded from the final product. Manufacturers fixed this by fortifying loaves with nutrients such as fibre and riboflavin. In the last 50 years, we have come to rely on bread and pasta for these nutrients, even though gluten present in the gut can inhibit the absorption of these nutrients. We also rely on cow’s milk for much of our calcium intake. If you’re worried about missing out on the important stuff, you’ll want to turn to veggies such as beets and spinach for iron, and broccoli for both iron and calcium.
If you’re not used to consuming so many greens, your gut will go through a bit of an adjustment phase during which you may experience cramping and increased instances of passing wind. Whilst you might find yourself apologising to your partner on a more regular basis, the benefits will trump the negatives. Consuming more vegetables may actually be a natural answer to depression. You’re also likely to see improvements in the condition of your skin, hair and nails. If you’re not up for eating a plate of greens, you could always blend them into a delicious smoothie.
You WILL Have Cravings
The first few days of going gluten and dairy feel might feel like a breeze. After this, the cravings are likely to set in. Whether it is a piece of buttered toast, a slice of carrot cake or an ice cold milkshake, you’ll want to resist any temptation to go back to your old ways of eating. However, the gluten and dairy will be calling. If you’re eating a varied plant-based diet, your skin is probably starting to look better and you’re finding that you have more energy. Would you really want to give that up for a slice of pizza?
Try some sesame snaps if you’re desperate for something super sweet or allow yourself a gluten/dairy free snack. Gluten-free junk food isn’t going to catapult you into health nirvana but it might make the transition a little easier. If breakfast is an issue, try some simple three-ingredient banana pancakes, made famous by musician Jack Johnson. Just mash up a banana, an egg and some coconut milk. You can add blueberries if you want, before you pour into a frying pan as usual. Top with maple syrup and serve. You can always beat the cravings if you know a couple of cheats to get around them.
You’ll Probably Have a Lot More Energy
Many people report having more energy after giving up gluten and dairy. This could be for a multitude of reasons. Often it is because we begin to eat better when we are forced to get our nutrients from plants, or it could be because gut health has improved. Western medicine tends not to focus on how gut health can affect the function of other organs. However, brain fog can be caused by a diet which consists primarily of gluten. When you stop having toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner, you may find that you don’t suffer from a 3pm slump or that you wake up feeling much sharper.
If you don’t feel as though you have more energy, you may have other underlying intolerances or you may be relying on gluten free junk food a little too much. Using a gluten free bread bun for your burger is a great idea. However, it doesn’t necessarily make it healthier. The binding agents used to replace the gluten are still quite heavy on the gut.
Your Weight May Change
When many people with coeliac disease are diagnosed, they are often underweight. When they begin to eat a plant based, gluten free diet, they may see their weight increase to a healthy point. Conversely, those who have not been suffering with coeliac disease but wish to go gluten free for health reasons may find that they start their journey overweight. Cutting out gluten and dairy may see bloating reduced and a reduction in unhealthy body fat, but only if you are eating a plant-based diet and replacing key nutrients accordingly.
Often people expect that going gluten and dairy free will result in weight loss. However, this is not a reason to cut foods from your diet. You should be focussing on healthy, balanced food. It is easy to replace the cakes and crisps with gluten and dairy free alternatives which are just as unhealthy. If you do not feel as though the change in lifestyle is making you feel any healthier, take a look at your diet and see if you’re getting enough legumes and healthy oils. If the answer is no, you might have to give up a bit of the junk food.
It is best to seek the advice of a doctor before making drastic changes to your diet. A lot of people self diagnose lactose and gluten intolerance, making them susceptible to malnutrition. To be on the safe side, see your GP and ask for an allergy test. They’re likely to tell you to embark upon an elimination diet, in which case, you know what to expect.