Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Did You Know.....

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same.  Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination. - Don Williams, Jr.

I have been doing a lot of searching, lately.  Having finally released "The Canary Files" from the confines of my cranium, it has inspired me to find others also writing about their diet and its "particularities."  Of course, I know I'm not reinventing the wheel, but when it comes to my voice and my experiences, I can safely say those "twists and turns" are mine alone.

So, while indulging my curiosity in the wee hours of the morning (who knew insomnia could be nostalgic?), I stumbled upon this article on Dummies.com.  I was doing a search for "going gluten free," and this was one of the top hits.  Now, usually I would have ignored it, because I don't think that anyone is really a "dummy," but perhaps in my bleary-eyed, quasi-delirious state, I thought, "Why not?" 

The title of the article was "Reasons to Go Gluten-Free" by Danna Korn and Connie Sarros.

Both Korn and Sarros are well-respected and prolific authors who are considered experts on gluten-free living and have contributed substantially to the "For Dummies" line of publications.  And even though I've been living gluten-free for 4 years, I just knew that it was right for me, and I never really thought about why it would be right for others.  So, with respect and credit to both authors, I'm going to share their list of "Reasons to Go Gluten-Free" with you:

  • Humans don't fully digest wheat.  The undigested portions of wheat begin to ferment, producing gas. Icky, belchable, fart-forming gas.
  • Wheat is a pro-inflammatory agent.  A pro-inflammatory agent is rapidly converted to sugar, causing a rise in the body’s insulin levels, causing a burst of inflammation at the cellular level, among other problems.
  • Wheat can cause leaky gut syndrome.  Leaky gut syndrome is a condition whereby stuff is leaking from your gut into your bloodstream — stuff that shouldn’t be there, such as toxins.
  • Refined wheat has little nutritional value.  Did you know that manufacturers actually have to enrich refined wheat because they’ve taken out all the nutrients? And even then, the wheat’s not that valuable, nutritionally speaking.
  • Wheat is one of the top-eight allergens.  Millions of people are allergic to wheat — so many, in fact, that it has made it onto the top-eight allergen list.
  • Many people have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, and don't know it.  So, how many people fall into this category? No one knows for sure. But 1 in 100 people has celiac disease — but most don’t know it. No one knows how many people have gluten sensitivity, but estimates are that it may be as high as 50 percent, or even 70 percent, of the population.

I had known most of these things in isolation, but reading them compiled into one list was like the 4th of the July in my brain.  All of the reasons made sense looking back on my life, but the last reason in particular resonated with my experience:  I just didn't know it.  Mostly because I didn't even know it could be a problem.  All my life, diagnoses regarding my constant digestive issues, persistent fatigue, depression, etc., were uncomfirmed or conflicting, so when the frustration and anger of "not knowing" became too much, I just got to the point where I didn't care anymore.  And when I least expected it, many, many years after I had forgotten there might be an answer, I finally got it.

So, now I'm sharing the list with you.  Will there be an answer for you, a lightbulb going off, or maybe the sound of the heavens opening [insert sound of angels' chorus]?  Who knows.  But what I do know is that no matter how much you know, there's always a lesson to learn. And chances are you'll probably find it in that twist or that turn you didn't plan on taking.

We only have one body, so it's up to us to take care of it the best we know how. 

With respect, love, compassion, and patience.

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