This is always a controversial subject. My choice to go GLUTEN FREE (I’d say 90-95% of the time) is because I am very picky about which grains I will eat. Many grains are highly inflammatory: processed bread and wheat being the main culprit (also, gluten is in practically every single processed food so if you cut that out, you are eliminating processed food altogether which is of course EXCELLENT). No, I do not have celiac disease, but I have found through trial-and-error that my body feels and operates BEST without gluten/wheat. Inflammation in the gut can lead to intestinal permeability, aka “leaky gut” and the symptoms can be found here: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/leaky-gut-syndrome
As stated before, I am super picky about the grains I will eat! I even limit rice (*note!: it’s brown rice that wreaks havoc, more on that here) because too much is simply indigestible – same goes for beans. I operate best on clean meat, veggies, fruit, oats – hence my passion for the Primal/Paleo lifestyle. I recommend you guys try it out for thirty days and see how you feel – I can guarantee if you follow it (strictly and no cheating) you will no longer feel bloated, puffy, gassy (gross, I know), or constipated. Your skin will probably look better too.
So, when do I consume gluten? I allow myself to indulge in high quality craft beer – IPA only. I hate beer for the most part. The reason I actually love IPA is due to the super hoppiness- it doesn’t even taste like regular beer, really (I am sure a lot of people hate IPA’s because of that reason). I love to enjoy an IPA (or 2) on occasion (key word, occasion). This does not happen everyday, however, and if I do have a beer during the week it’s at most 1 (come on, we have to be disciplined and you won’t get abs drinking beer all the time – or wine for that matter). That is basically the only time I ingest gluten (yep-please don’t make me a birthday cake because I won’t eat it unless it’s gluten free and clean).
You may want to ask if I eat pizza! Well, if Brian and I make homemade pizza (which happens a few times a year-not often), we always make gluten free. We love Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pizza crust mix (which you can get here OR whole foods: http://www.vitacost.com/bobs-red-mill-gluten-and-wheat-free-pizza-crust-mix-16-oz-17 . If you read the ingredients, it’s made with rice flour which does not cause an inflammatory response like gluten does (in my opinion). Still, however, I limit my grain intake. Grains always turn to sugar – so once again I go back to the whole Paleo/Primal approach which has a focus on veggies, fruit, meat, nuts, etc.
Clean bread options: Ezekiel bread is a sprouted grain bread that DOES have gluten and it is a good choice for those who just HAVE to have bread. I used to eat this almost daily, but, found that I became bloated and gross feeling so I cut it out as well. This is still a good option (IN MODERATION). Ezekiel bread can be found in the frozen bread section-it is truly delicious and on rare occasions I may purchase some! But once again, it contains gluten, which can upset sensitive stomachs so I wouldn’t eat this every day by any means – maybe once or twice a week every now and then. Here is what the bread looks like: http://www.foodforlife.com/about_us/ezekiel-49
So that is my take on gluten and why I choose to go gluten free. It’s a personal choice. I feel best avoiding grains, period. So I recommend if you have been considering going gluten free/testing this out, please do, and let me know your thoughts!