"You have Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, Gluten Ataxia, Gluten Neuropathy, Wheat Allergy (or some other gluten-related disorder), so you should avoid eating gluten from now on."
Have you heard these words? Have you wondered... "How in the world am I supposed to do that? Gluten is in everything!" Well, here's a handy graphic from the Gluten Intolerance Group sharing with you the 10 Stages of Going Gluten-free, and my little twist!
Everyone seems to start with SHOCK, "What will I eat everyday? At restaurants? For work events? For holidays? For birthdays? For MY birthday?" It's a hard thing to wrap your head around, especially if you're decades into this life and how you eat! Once you realize that this is it, a new way of life and eating... You might just feel ANGRY, wondering... "Why me?" "Why do I have to figure this out?" "This goes against my cultural foods!" "This is part of who I am!" As the anger subsides, it's typical to want to BLAME someone... "Well my mother was always 'sensitive' to foods, maybe she had this and gave it to me!" "Maybe it's in my genes!" DENIAL often comes next... "It's not really that bad. I can eat 'just a little bit'. I can take medicine for the symptoms." Then, you talk yourself into eating 'just a little bit' and you feel GUILT; "What was I thinking!?" Relatively soon after guilt, and a few too many trips to the bathroom, or migraines to nurse, or rashes to deal with, or any other countless array of symptoms... DEPRESSION can take hold -"How am I supposed to enjoy eating when I can't eat anything?" "Everyone else can eat whatever they want with no consequence." "It sucks having to always think ahead and never eat out on the spur of the moment!" Eventually, you realize spinning on the merry-go-round of gluten / no gluten / a little gluten / symptoms / guilt /depression is no way to live. This TURNAROUND in thinking leads you to want to make permanent changes, changes you can stick to, changes that are transformational! So, you start with finding all the gluten-free packaged goods as your WORKAROUND. "I can still eat pizza, crackers, cake, cookies, waffles, bread... it's gluten-free!"
BUT... AS YOUR FRIENDLY HEALTH COACH, GLUTEN-FREE FOR 14 YEARS... If all you are doing is a workaround, you may find yourself gaining weight, feeling tired, getting more headaches, having brain fog, feeling bloated, experiencing intense cravings, feeling frustrated and thinking, "I thought eating gluten-free was supposed to help? What the heck is going on? I feel worse!" The problem with eating gluten-free packaged goods is complex. First, if it's labeled gluten-free, that means it has less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten per serving so it still has gluten! Second, if you are reaching for the Certified Gluten-free packaged goods, this is marginally better with less than 10 ppm of gluten. Problem is, you may not be eating the typical serving which compounds your gluten intake and you most likely are not getting the best ingredients. You may be ingesting more fillers (tapioca starch, xanthum gum), more sugars, more artificial ingredients to make up for what the gluten-free food is lacking... gluten. Without this sticky protein, many products just don't hold together well so manufacturers will put in lots of fillers to help your gluten-free bread look and feel more like 'bread'. But, you don't need these fillers. Your body doesn't require them. They are not nutritionally dense and they are likely to cause you to be packing on the pounds and feeling sluggish!
So now what? Here's where the better part of the WORKAROUND comes in... RECIPES! Once you learn to re-create your favorite dishes using better, cleaner, whole-food ingredients that you control in your own kitchen, you will begin to see and feel the differences being truly gluten-free can make in your body and on your mind! You will start to feel RELIEF! When you get to this stage, you are likely making consistent choices to eat cleaner, stay clear of gluten, limit your Certified Gluten-free packaged goods, and advocating for yourself at home, at work, in restaurants, at special events, etc. You are making the gluten-free choice the safe, healthy and easy choice and you have finally found ACCEPTANCE of your gluten-related disorder, your need to eat gluten-free, and your new lifestyle - it's not a diet, never do anything that starts with DIEt!
As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I can teach you everything you need to know about a gluten-free diet. As a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor, I can share with you the healthier food choices to make and which foods work like medicine and will help heal the damage gluten has caused in your body. As a Certified Gluten-free Practitioner, I am trained to guide you on this journey, monitor your progress, educate you on what gluten is doing, even if you have 'just a little'... But truly, as someone who has been where you are, who has gone through each of these stages (some more than once!), and someone who has been living gluten-free for 14 years... I bring to you my story, my ability to relate to what you are going through, my compassion and my understanding. And let's face it, just like with any break-up, you want to be supported by others who have been where you are. I see you and I get it.
As a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach, I can collaborate with your medical practitioner and work as part of your healthcare team to help you transition to a 100% gluten-free lifestyle. It feels complicated, overwhelming, frustrating... That's normal. You don't have to do this alone. Let me help!
Book a complimentary Discovery Call today: https://healthcoachforyoullc.practicebetter.io/#/6062752a2a8326064cb1b0f0/bookings?step=services (some insurance may apply)
HEY DOCS! If you have patients diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or gluten-related disorder that requires them to be 100% gluten-free, yet you are not seeing them successful with your recommendations, it's time to add a collaborative care partner to your patient's medical team! Let's talk about adding virtual Health and Wellness Coaching Services with potential health insurance reimbursement to your line-up of patient services and programs. Simply click on this link: https://www.healthcoachforyou.com/physicians to learn more!
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