Well, it was bound to happen…I’m thinking of giving up the gluten-free lifestyle. It has been fun experimenting with new foods, and researching the connections between the gluten-free diet and a plethora of physical and mental health conditions. But I’m not sure it’s been anything more than just fun.
I haven’t really noticed any changes. My stomach continues to feel the way it usually does – sometimes great, sometimes very upset – and while I thought it had helped with mood, recent evidence is pointing to that being a ﬂuke.
What to do? Well, like any good Type A person, I made a Pros and Cons list. So here we go…
- Fun food experimentation – I’ve enjoyed looking up new recipes
- Interesting research
- Possible help with mood
- Increased awareness of the contents of packaged food – I will never NOT scour an ingredient list from now on
- Lots of support from websites, online communities, and food bloggers
- Expensive – many gluten-free alternatives, like pasta, cost at least twice as much as usual products
- Time consuming – reading ingredient lists, researching, calling restaurants
- Restrictive – I miss sandwiches…pizza…beer…
- No obvious health changes
Ok, so my lists are even – in terms of number of items, anyway. But now it’s time to think about the weight of each of my list items. Does having fun with new recipes and discovering gluten-free blogs really outweigh the expense and restriction of keeping this up? I don’t really think so.
So I’ve decided to take a break.
I’m going to pay close attention to my body and how it reacts to the diet change, and try to not go overboard my ﬁrst few days oﬀ (i.e. 4 slices of pizza or a huge bowl of spaghetti). And hopefully the transition will go smoothly. If not, I will certainly have to reconsider.
I know how lucky I am to be able to just stop eating gluten-free because I want to. More than 2 million people in the US have Celiac disease, and countless more experience some level of gluten intolerance – if they just decided to stop eating gluten-free, they’d be very sick.
But for me, as much as I’m glad I experimented, it doesn’t seem like this is a solution. I will deﬁnitely check back in and report on how I feel, and I’d welcome any advice…has anyone given gluten-free living a try and then decided it wasn’t for them?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m long overdue for a beer.
Bon (g-free no more) appetit!