14 days! That’s all!

Think about how fast the last 2 weeks went – nothing to it – right?

What is this 2 week challenge I talk of?

Its the elimination and avoidance of the root of all evil. The bane of existence.
The etiology of much peril.

GLUTEN!
Cue the dramatic music.

First, let me gladly contradict myself somewhat by saying I’m not a fan of demonizing certain foods. Food shouldn’t be labelled Good or Bad.

Everything should be looked at in context. If you are in an airport and your scheduled flight is delayed 7 hours and your prepacked meals have run out and only a big burger joint is open at 3am…
What do you do?
Eat that burger! Enjoy the burger! You’ll get to live another day.

Or… if first world problems are not on today’s menu by all means gorge on gluten.

Stressing over not eating perfectly may cause more problems than eating a particular food.

It would be better to have something to eat than to go through an unscheduled fast and have your body eat itself.

However, this is not the context I’m talking about. I’m referring to your average 2 week span. Where life is just at a normal chaotic pace.

What is gluten and where do you find it?

Gluten is mainly found in wheat, barley, rye and oats are also thrown under that heading due to cross contamination in processing.

The science would suggest that 3%-6% of the population are gluten sensitive which is hard to accurately measure due to many individuals self diagnosing without a doctors supervision.

It would seem in the last 10 years the avoidance of gluten has become very mainstream. Some of this is just trendy and meant for those who chase the latest fad. There are those however that are genuinely concerned and proactive about their health.

No longer is there a need to track down a local health store to get products. You can get gluten free products in almost every grocery store and even some gas stations.

Even the restaurants and places like Dominos are catering to the demand.
But just because there is popularity does it mean it is the right option for you?

Having an allergy to gluten is vastly different than just being intolerant or sensitive.

Maybe those who are known celiacs are lucky to the extent they can take a active role in controlling their health knowing the cause of their problems.
I’ve come across dozens of people who report all sorts of mysterious health issues that the medical community seem to shrug their shoulders at or try to manage at best. Strange fact is most people don’t realize they have a sensitivity. Most don’t consider fatigue, joint and muscle pain, skin problems,bloating and cravings to be associated with what they are eating.

“But gluten doesn’t bother me.”
How do you know if you haven’t at least taken a hiatus from it?
Is you present energy levels reaching your potential?

It is absolutely impossible to know for sure without a period of elimination.

Obviously there are tests for the diagnoses of celiac disease. This is usually missed on average 11 times according to Braly and Hoggan in the book Dangerous Grains.
An average of 1 person per 100 has celiac disease which makes it more than twice as common as cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis combined. Braly and Hoggan list over 150 medical conditions that may have a gluten etiology. Only 1 out 8 celiacs have gastrointestinal symptoms so it can be sub clinical.

According to Braly and Hogan if you are gluten sensitive you are 10 times more likely to develop an auto immune disease!
It is suggested gluten will cause the villi in the small intestine to atrophy and thus diminish a person’s ability to absorb not just gluten but most foods. This is why someone could be eating food quality but still be malnourished.
According to Dr. Dan Kalish gluten will have a calming effect on the body by releasing gluteomorphines which is really a stress response. People become attached to the calming (stress) response and find it difficult to part with their morning toast or pasta.

Like I mentioned, there are testing for this but I have found it is hit or miss in most cases. The best way to ultimately check this is to eliminate all gluten for at least two weeks (that should be long enough to see change)

On the 15th day have a gluten feast with every meal and take notice of the difference. If no change then that is great. If there are changes for the worse then you may have an intolerance or sensitivity so it would be wise to avoid.

Let me know the results.