can you be 'mostly' gluten free?
First of all, Happy 50th birthday to my brother-in-law. I don’t think he reads this blog (even though his wife is the other contributor), so I can probably use the word poopie right here and he’d never notice. But then there’s the question… would you notice? Anyhoo… he’s family and what’s the point in having your own blog if you can’t abuse it? HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Tim O!
But back to our question. Can you be mostly gluten free? The short answer is no. The longer answer is nooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Being gluten free is like a pass/fail course in college. Or like being pregnant. You either are or you are not. There is no middle.
I know… not what you want to hear. But here’s the deal: if you are gluten sensitive - this means anyone with a thyroid issue; anyone with gut issues; anyone with skin issues; anyone with joint pain, brain fog, etc. – your gut is pretty well messed up with a condition called "Leaky Gut." (**Remember, I’m not a doctor. I’m just someone that spends 1000s of hours researching the ACTUAL science out there right now… not from 20 years ago, not opinions, not Big Pharma sponsored “experiments” and not old theories that have been disproven 100s of times over.)
Recap: Leaky gut is when the junctions in your gut (stomach/intestines) get irritated by foreign objects, and then instead of being super tightly packed in together that they form a wall, they loosen up and create spaces in between each other. This is where partially digested food gets thru those spaces and introduced into the bloodstream directly. Then, all hell breaks loose because our bodies don’t understand food particles like that. They only know the nutrition after it’s been broken down by our digestive system. So, our immune system starts to attack these foreign bodies and when it goes on for a long time… starts getting confused and thinking that these weirdo things kind of look like other things that actually DO belong. And then it starts attacking things like our thyroid and joints and we end up with Arthritis, Hashimoto’s, Psoriasis and Keratosis Pilaris, just to name a few.
Now, just a like a cut on your finger takes time to heal, so, too, does your gut. The only problem is, depending on the damage and your particular immune system, the time that healing takes can be anywhere from 3 weeks… to 6 months! (prob closer to 3 months for most people.)
So, if you’re ‘indulging’ on the weekends, thinking “I’ve been good all week, a little donut on Saturday won’t hurt.” I hate to tell you, but it’s definitely not helping. You’re never giving your gut time to heal. And before your body can tackle those other, bigger issues, it HAS to heal the gut (remember it's your second brain).
And scooping out the middle of a pie or Danish and thinking “I didn’t eat the crust” doesn’t count either. Gluten is a sticky little beast and weather you want to admit it or not… you’ve exposed yourself.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of the world for you either. Since my thyroid cancer, I’ve been gluten-free for almost 7 years. I still remember how hard it was at first. But there are SO MANY gluten free options out there, now. You can still have pasta, sandwiches and pizza. It just means a little more planning. It means you have to read EVERY label. Seriously, they sneak that stuff into everything! Spice blends, salad dressings... even frozen vegetables mixes!
It also means being VERY open about your needs with your family, co-workers and restaurant employees. You MUST be your own advocate. Heather and I have literally used the phrase “and a little bit of cocaine is no big deal to your either?” when someone has tried to peer-pressure us into “just a bite.” Sounds dramatic, but it’s pretty close to the same scenario. Remember… there is no little-bit pregnant, either.
Now, if you don't care and you're just going to eat what you want to eat and health be dammed, I have no issue with you. Mazel tov and God speed. At least you're making a choice. But if you're actually trying to turn your health around, don't kid yourself. Just let it go, immediately and forever, and let the healing begin.
If you think it’s just too hard… think about this. If I could go back and undo the -ish I’ve done to my body because I didn’t know the ravages this stupid little grain would do to my body… I WOULD DO IT IN A HEARTBEAT! It’s not fun living without a thyroid and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.