Why is Gluten BAD?

image"A day without cupcakes is like a day without bacon" ~ Aimee

One day, when the sun was shining and the bumpers were bangin’, these fellas Robb and Greg told me to stop eating gluten. I am pretty sure I was doubled over in pain with a stomachache I had had for roughly 17 years.

When I was a child I had a stomachache nearly every day. I didn’t have the greatest home environment so doctors repeatedly diagnosed me with stress and ulcers, and/or malnourishment. I was hospitalized twice in a year when I was 13. I was put on every ulcer medication available and nothing helped. I got worse. Doctors put me on the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast), I got worse.

On to high school… I was afraid to eat lunch at school because I didn’t want to have a stomachache all day. I wouldn’t eat before any basketball games or track meets because I didn’t want to spend my game time in the bathroom. A doctor in high school told me I was eating too much meat, and suggested I become a vegetarian (GASP!). So I did that for about a year. I got worse.

Fast Forward.

I was very skeptical of everything I learned from Robb and Greg. Now this was 7ish years ago when Paleo was not as popular, and I was not as in to listening to these guys. I never in my wildest imagination thought that food could have such an impact on your life. Never, even if there was a fire. I didn’t even know what gluten was. Is that some sort of mildew that grows on rotten cheese or forgotten left-overs?

Robb and Greg, together and separately, convinced me to stop eating gluten. At the time I was also training really well and it was leading up to the best Weightlifting competition of my life… one in which I ended up becoming the National Champion.

I completely change my eating habits. I eliminate gluten, and train my ass off. After about 3 or 4 months, I realize I haven’t had a stomachache in all that time. ALL THAT TIME! NONE! But guess what I did… I said to myself, ‘Self! You are feeling so amazing because you have been training so amazing!!’ So this is the dumbass I am…

Duh, right? Skeptical ole’ me thought no freaking way has food been the reason I feel so amazing. It is because I have just had such an amazing training cycle! So I went back to eating all the things I loved… sandwiches from the local yummy deli, my favorite pasta dish, Oreo cookies, burritos, onion rings, deep-fried whatever. And I thought I would just continue on my awesome way.

After about 2 weeks, my stomachaches were back full force. And worse. Severe cramping, lethargic, terrible, terrible yuckiness.

I was wrong. It was not my training. It was the gluten. Robb and Greg were right.

I again eliminated gluten from my diet and have not had a constant stomachache in over 5 years.

I went to the Doc last year because I was having pains in my abdomen. During the process of trying to figure out what was happening (it ended up being my ovaries), I explained to the GI doc that I didn’t eat gluten and believed that I was intolelrant. She wanted to put me on a heavily loaded gluten diet for 2-3 weeks so that she could then test for Celiac. I told her no freaking thank you. I did not want to have weeks of pain and discomfort simply to be tagged Celiac.  I know I am greatly intolerant, because I just know. I get very sick when I accidently get a gluten dose, and all the symptoms I get are exactly the same as those who do have Celiac. You see, all those years of eating gluten my body built up a sort-of-tolerance. So although I had one stomachache over the course of 17 years, it was sometimes tolerable. Now when I get gluten after getting it the F out of my body for so long, I am just screwed. Just plain out-of-commision. Those doctors who told me I had ulcers and subscribed me pills and toast? They were just fueling the fire that was my guts.

Here’s a recent story. It is no secret that I love treats. We had gone to the movies and they were selling this gourmet liquorice in bags. I bought a bag, and it was so delicious! I just ate and ate and ate those little bite-size devils. My stomach started hurting so bad during the movie, I don’t even remember how the movie ended let alone what movie we even watched. I was like WTF man? I was sure that it was something I had eaten earlier in the day and was racking my brain to figure out how gluten got in my belly! We skipped going to dinner after the movie because I pretty much felt like a knife was sticking out my stomach, and I just wanted to get home. A bit later we were watching TV and Greg brought the bag over to me and said, ‘here do you want the rest of your liquorice?’ YUM! Uh, duh, I do! Chewing on a piece, I thought it was freaking delicious and so I turned the bag over to see who made it and where I could buy some more…dum dum dum.

There, next to the smiling faces of the F’ers who made the stuff, in big bold letters was the very first ingredient. WHEAT FLOUR.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY!

I never, ever thought to even look on the label (and I literally check everything, what a fool!) because who would put gluten in liquorice?

Lesson learned. I was literally sick for 3 days. Like, rolling-on-the-ground-crying, sick. I was weak and so tired, but I couldn’t sleep. I was run down and listless and all the things that go in the bathroom. All from F’ing liquorice!

Do you know what this means? If some liquorice can make you that sick, think…. just think for one second… what do you think eating wheat toast every single morning, and a sandwich for lunch, rolls with your deep fried chicken and side of pasta for dinner, and your bread pudding for dessert is doing to your guts?

When your guts are fucked up do you know what else gets sick? EVERYTHING! Autoimmunity? F’d. Insulin resistance? F’d. Solid Poop? F’d.

There are lots of big words and big reasons I don’t really understand about gluten insensitivities. I read Robb’s blog posts and sometimes it’s so far over my head I just don’t understand all of the scientific reasons. But what I do know is this. Gluten is really screwed up. It goes in to your guts and just ruins everything. I know this because I have been a victim nearly my whole life and doctors couldn’t figure it out, and by Robb knowing all he does, and Greg understanding all Robb knows, they have given me a life free of stomachaches and a host of other problems. A gift of health. They saved me.

So, you ask, why is gluten bad? I wanted to do it Dave Letterman style and write out a top 10 list of all the reasons gluten is bad, but you really only need one reason: Gluten makes your body sick and can lead to a whole host of auto-immune problems I would rather live without.

I know gluten is bad because a few measly pieces of liquorice turned my life upside down for 3 days.

*If you or a loved one, or even an enemy, suffers from tummy aches and/or would like to learn more about all the reasons gluten is bad, visit robbwolf.com.

What the F is Paleo

imagePaleo chart

You may notice that this Snackadoodle section may not only include recipes, but anything I really feel like talking about that is related to food, cupcakes, or anything delicious or exciting.

Since I started my site about 5 seconds ago, I have already gotten 17 emails asking, “What is Paleo???”, “Who is Paleo?”, “How do I Paleo?”, “Paleo Paleo Paleo!”.

Here is my answer. I didn’t start this website/blog to conquer the Paleo world. There are already several great resources for that, and I am not into simply regurgitating somebody else’s information when they have already covered it all in such extraordinary detail, that any info I could possibly share would likely sound worse than Milli Vanilli.

I get questions just about every day regarding the Paleo diet.

“Well I drink soy milk, that’s ok, right?” -NO, soy milk sucks for all the reasons you find on Robb’s website.

“I eat whole wheat pasta, so that is like, totally good, right?” -NO, gluten is death. See Robb’s website.

You get the idea? This is how I answer most Paleo questions. Talking about nutrition to people is like talking about religion or politics. People only want to hear what they want to hear. They want me to confirm that what they are eating is ‘still okay’. And it is ok to be skeptical, it is all right to have your doubts, but my advice is to read up, try Robb’s 30-day challenge, and see and feel the results. That is the best answer you can really get. That is how you realize you can be and feel amazing each and every day. All I want to do is cook really good food, and share it with as many people as I can.

I look at Robb Wolf as the Paleo master. As far as I am concerned, Robb mainstreamed Paleo into the Universe. So whenever I get a question, I direct them to Robb’s search box on robbwolf.com. He even has a blog post that covers “What is Paleo?”. THEN spend about 37 hours reading everything there is to know on his site. Because he seriously fracking knows everything about Paleo.

Robb and the Hubs do a weekly podcast that also covers just about everything in the world, Paleo or not. My bestfriendsoulmate, Sage Burgener-now-Mertz, and I always say that Greg Everett literally knows everything. We sometimes ask him the most random, most stupid questions you could imagine and he literally knows the answer. Literally. And what Greg doesn’t know, Robb knows. So literally, between the two of them, they know EVERYTHING. Literally.

Ask me about Pop culture, or anything that would appear on perezhilton.com, and I gotcha covered. But with Paleo and all things nutrition, I would rather you stick to the experts. I’ll just do the cookin’!

In the case you don’t find what you are looking for on Robb Wolf’s site (doubtful), or you need a 2nd and 3rd and 19th opinion on the matter, or you want to research as much as possible so that you can write a book, Nom Nom Paleo also covers ‘What is Paleo’ and so does FitBomb and Everyday Paleo. Dr. Loren Cordain has great resources, and so does Google. GOOGLE knows everything. You also have an endless supply of blogs that offer delish Paleo recipes. Nom Nom Paleo and Everyday Paleo and Paleo Comfort Foods are three of my absolute fav’s.

Here is a chart that someone recently posted on my facebook page that I think is genius, and is a great summary of the Paleo diet. My intention was not to steal this photo from the source, so if you created this chart, please let me know so I can give credit to where credit is due!