Gluten-Free OR Obsession with Healthy Eating: How to know where you stand?

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Pexels Photo 97306 1080X675 1 | Gluten-Free Or Obsession With Healthy Eating: How To Know Where You Stand?

“Can I eat Ezekiel bread if I am gluten-intolerant?” she asked.

“I don’t know…Can you?” I asked back.

“(Pause)…I’m not sure… I’ve also heard many people with gluten intolerance claim they are able to tolerate Ezekial Bread without problems due to the sprouting process…Can I?” she said.

The answer: See below.

The conclusion: It’s really up to you.  How does YOUR body respond? Let’s explore…

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog the past couple days in this series, we’ve been talking about “Why Gluten-Free May NOT Be for You” (Part 1) and “When Gluten Free is For You” (Part 2).

In this final Part 3, we’re talking “Gluten-Free OR Obsession with Healthy Eating: How to know where you stand?”

What do you think?

Food-Salad-Healthy-Vegetables

The Diet Mentality: Good vs. Bad Conundrum

Like many food philosophies, diets and protocols, there are always “outliers” or “hot topics” that folks stress out over, asking “Good? Or bad?” “Can I? Or can’t I?”

  • In the vegetarian world, some folks “do fish and eggs”, others steer clear.
  • In the paleo world, some folks “do carbs—like white rice, dairy—like full-fat yogurt and cheese, and a cocktail on the weekends”, whereas others, “stick to meat, veggies and coconut oil only.”
  • And in the gluten-free world, the debates revolve around “sprouted grains”, oats, and gluten-free products lining grocery store shelves.

What is the right way? The real way? The best way?

The problem with all these debates that we run into is the diet mentality—labeling foods as “good” or “bad”—rather than using dietary protocols as general templates for the masses.

We look to rules to tell us what we should or shouldn’t do, instead of allowing our bodies to decide what it can and can’t handle.

Bingo: Unhealthy relationship with food.

The BIGGEST separator from “obsession with healthy eating” and “a healthy relationship with food”—(regardless of the dietary philosophy you follow) is this:

  • Prescribing labels to your food—good and bad.
  • Feeling a sense of guilt, or loss of values IF you even so much as THINK about trying something outside the guidelines.
  • And attaching your own morals and worth to WHAT you eat or HOW you eat

While a gluten-free follower may know there are foods that are “better” for them and their digestive systems…they also recognize the choices they make around food are based upon how food makes them feel (instead of the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” of “eating healthy”).

When we become more dogmatic about the rules and regulations, rather than connected to our bodies, is when any food philosophy we follow takes another life all it’s own.

Accidental Dieting

Accidental dieting?

Like going on a diet without knowing it?

Yup

It happens.

Unbeknownst to you, you fall into the trap of sticking to rules—regardless of how your body feels, or eating enough for your body, or eating the right foods for your body—all based upon what you “should” and “shouldn’t” eat.

The result?

  • A slowed metabolism
  • Chronic under-eating
  • Low energy
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Apathy
  • Increased OCD or thoughts around food—and other areas of your life you need to control
  • Binging and purging
  • Restricting and depriving
  • Fearing food
  • Unwanted weight loss or weight gain

Accidental dieting happens when…

  • The thought of eating brown rice, a sushi roll, oats for breakfast, or a gluten-free slice of pizza enters your mind—and you quickly slap yourself on the hand: “It’s not paleo!”
  • Or, on an AIP diet, you actually can tolerate scrambled eggs—just not nuts or seeds, but you resolve: “Nope, it’s not AIP friendly so I can’t eat it.”
  • Or when the thought or temptation to purchase a loaf of Ezekiel bread at the store sounds good…but you quickly shut the idea down: “Nope not happening!”
  • Or when you have so many rules, beliefs and regulations around foods labeled as “good” or “bad” eat…that you actually begin to fear food, or struggle with “eating enough” to meet your energy needs.
  • You read magazine articles and Google search blogs in the middle of the night looking for the answers to certain foods “being paleo” or “good” or “bad.”
  • You fear what certain foods may do to your digestion…or cellulite…or water retention…or skin.

Accidental dieting equals healthy intentions to eat well for your body, GONE WRONG.

Bread-MenuBACK TO EZEKIEL

So really…Is Ezekiel Bread good or bad for gluten-intolerant people? Just tell me!

It depends.

How does YOUR body respond when you eat it? And moreover, what does your body NEED?

Yes, it’s true.  Ezekiel bread is NOT gluten-free. Ezekiel contains ingredients like: organic sprouted wheat, organic malted barley, organic sprouted rye, organic sprouted barley, organic sprouted oats, organic sprouted millet, organic sprouted corn, organic sprouted brown rice, yeast, organic wheat gluten—many of which still contain “gluten” (a gut irritating substance to many human guts).

HOWEVER, The biggest separator between Ezekiel bread and regular bread then?

Ezekiel is “sprouted.”

The sprouted grain process involves soaking the grains in water until they begin to grow a sprout [and become a ‘living food’]…Enzymes are released during the sprouting process, which break down proteins and carbohydrates. This process helps make sprouted grain food low glycemic and easier to digest. [Ezekiel Bread]

Bingo: Sprouted grains are easier on the gut.

Although the sprouting process does NOT remove gluten, it DOES remove many gut irritating components (“anti-nutrients” like phytates and lectins).

THIS is WHY many gluten-intolerant folks can seemingly digest Ezekiel bread…

And since most gluten-intolerant folks have poor gut health in general—anything that lessens the war on the gut helps.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Deciding if certain foods, like Ezekiel (or white rice or salmon) fall into your personal dietary prescription (gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, etc.) really comes down to getting in check with your body:

  • Do you break out when you eat it?
  • Experience gas and bloating?
  • Allergies flare up?
  • Constipation happens?
  • Bloating and gas?
  • Joint pains or stiff joints are your norm?
  • Yeast infections are frequent?
  • You have a weaker immune system?
  • Don’t understand why you’re always so anxious or worried?
  • Have hormonal imbalances or crazy PMS?
  • Autoimmune condition?
  • Frequent headaches you think nothing about?
  • Get stuffy or sinus congestions easily?

Chances are something in your diet is impacting you.  It COULD be Ezekiel…or it could not be.

It’s a FREE country, and guidelines are guidelines…only YOU can decide HOW YOU FEEL.

And food should enliven you and can make you feel good…like really good.

Trust your body.  

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