Can We All Calm Down About Gluten?
I read recently that the gluten-free food industry is a $4 BILLION industry and estimated to reach over $7 billion in a few years. That is big business, using people's fear in order to sell sometimes unnecessary food products. The amount of information out there on what to eat and what not to eat is mind-boggling. No wonder we're confused, frustrated, and mostly under-nourished.
I'm not being insensitive to those 3 million people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease and must avoid gluten, or to the 1 in 16 people who have a legitimate sensitivity to gluten. I'm referring to the vast numbers who follow every new food fad promoted by the media and/or celebrity in order to sell books, programs, pricey packaged food, or pills.
Remember when everyone was supposedly lactose intolerant and swore off milk? And before that we were carb-free and ate only steak and eggs? And before that we ate fake Oreos stuffed with a white, chemical substance, but it was OK because the snacks were fat-free? And before that the rage was sugar-free and we carried those little pink packets of Sweet 'n Low (aka rat poison) in our purses?
We want to be told what we can and cannot eat in order to feel good. We want a list of "bad" and "good" foods so that we're no longer responsible for what goes into our mouths. We want to hand over the key to someone else, someone who holds the magic potion that we need to lose weight, to feel good about ourselves, to be better than we know how to be.
We give away our power every time we follow someone else's rules on what to eat rather than learning to listen to our own bodies.
Our bodies are designed to FEEL GOOD, we have everything we need within us to nourish, maintain, and heal ourselves. We have a built-in guidance system that directs all incoming and outgoing information in order to thrive and be healthy. But we have to learn to listen to the messages. We have to learn what it feels like to be hungry and to be satisfied. We have to take the time to connect with bodies long enough to be familiar with it's subtle signals. That takes time and attention. If we're eating in the car, or skipping meals, or rushing through to get it over with, then we are not paying attention.
My hope is that we learn to connect with our bodies and explore choices, no matter what we just read. Because in a couple of months it will be something else and you'll be spending more money.
Which is too bad, because you already know what to do.
Listen to your body. Honor your body. Eat what makes you feel amazing!
That's my diet.