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The Great (G-free) Experiment: No More?

October 7, 2009


Well, it was bound to happen…I’m thinking of giving up the gluten-free lifestyle. It has been fun experimenting with new foods, and researching the connections between the gluten-free diet and a plethora of physical and mental health conditions. But I’m not sure it’s been anything more than just fun.

I haven’t really noticed any changes. My stomach continues to feel the way it usually does – sometimes great, sometimes very upset – and while I thought it had helped with mood, recent evidence is pointing to that being a fluke.

What to do? Well, like any good Type A person, I made a Pros and Cons list. So here we go…

G-Free Pros:

  1. Fun food experimentation – I’ve enjoyed looking up new recipes
  2. Interesting research
  3. Possible help with mood
  4. Increased awareness of the contents of packaged food – I will never NOT scour an ingredient list from now on
  5. Lots of support from websites, online communities, and food bloggers

G-Free Cons:

  1. Expensive – many gluten-free alternatives, like pasta, cost at least twice as much as usual products
  2. Time consuming – reading ingredient lists, researching, calling restaurants
  3. Inconvenient
  4. Restrictive – I miss sandwiches…pizza…beer
  5. No obvious health changes

Ok, so my lists are even – in terms of number of items, anyway. But now it’s time to think about the weight of each of my list items. Does having fun with new recipes and discovering gluten-free blogs really outweigh the expense and restriction of keeping this up? I don’t really think so.

So I’ve decided to take a break. I’m going to pay close attention to my body and how it reacts to the diet change, and try to not go overboard my first few days off (i.e. 4 slices of pizza or a huge bowl of spaghetti). And hopefully the transition will go smoothly. If not, I will certainly have to reconsider.

I know how lucky I am to be able to just stop eating gluten-free because I want to. More than 2 million people in the US have Celiac disease, and countless more experience some level of gluten intolerance – if they just decided to stop eating gluten-free, they’d be very sick.

But for me, as much as I’m glad I experimented, it doesn’t seem like this is a solution. I will definitely check back in and report on how I feel, and I’d welcome any advice…has anyone given gluten-free living a try and then decided it wasn’t for them?


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m long overdue for a beer.

Bon (g-free no more) appetit!


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