• Grace Elliott

Glutenemesis: How I’ve dealt with a gluten-free diet restriction.

Lets' just say, I still dream of the mouth-watering sensation of putting a fresh, hot Krispy Kreme donut to my mouth. You know, the kind that was just carefully peeled off the conveyor belt, just a few seconds before being placed in a row next to it's other glazed glorious, donut brethren. Mmmmm.

MY truth is: Being gluten free is no fun. At all. Do you know what it feels like passing by Mrs. Field’s Cookies at the nearby mall only to convince yourself your gut would absolutely take revenge on you if you betrayed it again? You see, there are plenty of people who have made attempts to convince me of the benefits, such as how I’ll “always be skinny.” Ugh. Lol. Just “ugh.”

To be thin does not equate to being healthy!

Taking care of our health is hard work. I know, personally, believe me. The truth is, if you’re not taking care of you,you are actively pulling yourself apart from life’s experiences that you can give yourself this lifetime. Life is difficult already. Why not just assume the sometimes harsh, yet inevitable responsibility to your own mind, body, and soul? We either lead a life of ignoring the obvious problems and dealing with the consequences such as lethargy, fatigue, hopelessness or powerlessness, etc. Or the alternative--we assume responsibility for making things happen and lead a life with intention, making shifts to nurture us, especially physically.

If you’re gluten-free like me, I know that there will be days this season that all you want to do is sneak in your favorite wheat treat. When those thoughts creep in, remember you are strong. Remember that you rather live a full, healthy, vibrant life, instead of a life full of instant gratification and long term discomfort and pain.

Here are some tips that may help!

Creating a plan for yourself is key! If you’re going to an event where you know food options are limited, make sure you grab a bite before. If you are going to a potluck, bring something you can eat that is filling, in case there aren’t many options.

Carrying a snack pouch in my car or bag has been a lifesaver when I’m on the go. That simple decision to bring something with me is what often helps me make the right decision to not cave into my glutenemesis.

Scout gluten-free places to eat beforehand. Finding gluten-free options nowadays is one hundred times easier than it was even four years ago when I was diagnosed. Of course, it’s not always a piece of cake (hehe), but you’d be surprised at the amount of restaurants that now carry these options.

READY.SET.BAKE! The hardest part of the gluten-free lifestyle for me has been the sweets! Gluten-free baking takes some trial and error, but with a little bit of practice, it’ll be easy as pie! Baking my own sweet treats has been fun and has also helped me from ravenous gluten-binges.

Having dietary restrictions is tough and sometimes requires a lot of practice and research, but you are not alone. For the first year of my gluten-free diet I cried at even the mere sight of waffles. Fast-forward four years, I’m happy about the way I’ve learned to honor my body and make decisions that are right for me and my body. Find a support group and even go to therapy, too. It may feel absurd crying to your therapist about not being able to eat your favorite baked goods, but the truth is, our emotional connections to food should be processed and tended to. Only that way will we actually have the strength to do what’s right for our bodies.

In breath, motion, and love,

Grace Elliott, 500 HR YT

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