One of the big lessons I took away from my 30-day gluten-free challenge is not to enter in diet modifications lightly. The times I felt the most significant changes to my overall well-being were when I removed gluten from my diet and when I reintegrated it. Neither times were positive, bringing headaches, mood swings, and a digestive retooling. Do not enter this type of challenge lightly.
The second lesson I took away from this is how quickly something becomes a habit. After a few weeks, I honestly did not miss gluten. Not eating baked goods no longer became a will power issue. It was mostly an inconvenience, as in, I am hungry and see nothing easily accessible that I can eat. I now find it difficult to eat gluten after 30 days without it, not physically difficult, but mentally. I have become so use to rejecting it that I no longer desire it. Not that this stopped me from eating birthday cake on my birthday or pizza on vacation.
The big question for me remains, is gluten really the culprit? Or is it a heavy starch-based diet of processed foods? Obviously, for those with celiac disease gluten is the problem. But what about the others who claim miraculous transformations from cutting out gluten?
Moving forward, I will do my best to follow a clean, whole food diet, not as a 30-day challenge, but as part of my everyday life. This means less processed foods and more time at the farmer’s market.