How hard is it to cut Gluten from the diet?

Now that I am officially signed up to run my first marathon I thought it would be a good time to be a little more selective about what I put in my mouth.   I have never been one to watch what I eat, but I do believe better eating habits may be just as important as the physical training.  I have been contemplating how to eat healthier for a few weeks now, then this morning someone at run club gave me a fortune cookie.

This message from a cookie? Does that seem odd to anyone else?

So where to begin? I have heard so much lately about the benefits of going Gluten Free. Maybe you saw some of the recent stories on tennis great Novak Djokovic.   In May,  he was called the world’s best athlete of 2011 and he credits his Gluten Free diet.

He started cutting the Gluten after his nutritionist discovered he was allergic to the protein. Or technically speaking, he was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder known as Celiac Disease.   I don’t think I have this problem, however doctors say cutting Gluten has been known to benefit people with and without food allergies.  A neighbor told me about how he became mentally stronger and found clarity just by adjusting his diet.

I decided to google Gluten Free Success Stories.  Here is what I learned. 

  1.  Controversial TV Host, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, was so inspired by her results she wrote a book about it: The G-Free Diet.   
  2.  Chelsea Clinton had a Gluten Free wedding.
  3.  The web was filled with stories about people of all ages feeling a difference from going Gluten Free. Here is just one example.  Gluten Doctors Blog.

How could I not want to try it? If only I could get my whole family to go along with me.   So, I finally came up with a plan that might work for me and possibly my husband and boys too. Heck, maybe it will work for you.

First,  identify what you eat or drink that might have Gluten.   For me it’s pancakes, bread, pizza, pasta, and Oreos.  And that’s just off the top of my head.

It didn’t take me too long to realize that there was no way in hell I was going to quit cold-turkey.  So I have decided to ease into it.  And the grocery store makes it easy.  For instance, we needed more pancake mix this weekend.  So instead of buying the mix I would normally purchase, I substituted with the Gluten Free kind.

I haven’t tried it yet, but how bad can it be? I guess I am more worried about the cost of the Gluten free products than the flavor.

Next up, maybe I will try a Gluten-free bread.  Baby steps.  My goal is to have significantly reduced Gluten in my diet by mid August. Then try one month Gluten Free (or almost Gluten free) and see if it makes a difference in my marathon training and day-to-day life.  It’s an experiment. I plan to keep a journal and I’ll let you know how it’s going.  I’m curious how hard it will be to make the changes and if it will be worth the extra effort and money, at least for me.

Have you ever considered cutting Gluten from your diet? And if you’ve tried going Gluten free, I would love to hear about your experience and get your advice.