Does Gluten Make Me Anxious?

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I have been inspired by Leah’s post over at the Millie and Kate blog; she re-capped her first 10 days of GF (gluten free) living! So, here are my So-Far FAQ’s to catch you up:

Why did you select going GF as a 30-Day Challenge?

During Christmastime we had dinner at my aunt’s house, and she had a book called Grain Brain on her counter. I read the back, and was surprised to see…“Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that’s been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more.” WHAT??!! I have read a lot of stuff about carbs causing weight gain, but affecting my brain? I wanted to read it, AND test it.

Test it? What do you mean?

I mean, find out if gluten is what causes my unexplainable and inconsistent anxiety. I have been unable to pinpoint what triggers this feeling of being overcome with fear, loneliness, lack of motivation and helplessness. It is even difficult to describe it as it is happening because it doesn’t make any sense! If a stranger on the street walked by and said to you, “You’re stupid;” you know it’s not true, wasn’t warranted, and doesn’t make sense, but you still felt like shit about it. What I know about this feeling, is it happens 1-2 times per month, and it will typically last for just a few hours before I am back on track buzzing around the house getting stuff done. Being that it comes and goes, and “passes through” in that way, I thought, maybe it’s something I’m consuming. I feel like I could write a whole post about this, so I will have to come back to it someday.

Are you actually reading the book?

I read the first 3 chapters. Then, I searched “anxiety” and skipped to all those parts.

Do you feel any different?

I’m not sure yet. Definitely not worse, just stable (?)…that’s a scary word. I guess I’m afraid to commit one way or another yet if it is truly affecting me one way or another.

Have you messed up and eaten food FULL of gluten?

Oh YEAH! Both absentmindedly (lots of wine on Super Bowl = Yes! I would love a brownie. AND a cookie!) Also intentionally: “I’m starving. I don’t care. I’m eating the entire brown loaf of bread at Cheesecake Factory. This isn’t making me feel different anyhow.”

What has been the most surprising?

The support from my husband. He is reading labels, making GF meals, and not bringing home baguettes. He continues to surprise me with his willingness to try new things and take on change with me, because he doesn’t typically initiate change himself. I suppose I am more the adventurer and risk-taker between us, but he is happy to come along for the ride. And I’m grateful for that. He makes me feel like I have good ideas, has a “why not?” attitude to push me along, and then we have stuff in common and can talk about results! Or the lack thereof.

What has been the most difficult?

Not knowing if it’s making a difference or not yet. I want to know NOW, but when I make mistakes, it certainly doesn’t help to figure that out. Also, I have gained 2.5 pounds…but I started a running program so everything is whacky. OH, and I went to an amazing baby shower on Day 1 and had to skip the pasta salad.

What has been the best thing about it so far?

It has forced me to really think about my meal choices. Before, I could eat simply based on hunger level and convenience. I am much more mindful now, which I know is causing healthier choices.

My next Challenge update will include my favorite GF blogs, recipes and products I have discovered! Also, what I have been eating day to day, and if this is doing anything to help my grain brain!

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A Challenge

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In preparation for Invigorating Owen, I began researching thirty-something blogs to get a feel for what was out there. I found the independent 30-something, the single 30-something, the mother of two 30-something, the oops now I’m a 40-something. Some updated recently, many abandoned months ago. (No judgement here! I love bailing). During my search I ran across a blogger who creates not only New Year Resolutions, but monthly challenges as well. I thought, “I LIKE THIS.” Splitting the year into 12 challenges creates a new focus for each month, and also and end to each challenge. I like end dates. I like deadlines. I like quick-ish results. I was on board.

I had begun drinking green smoothies right around Christmas Day. This wasn’t something I wanted to stop doing, more like, I wanted to be sure to have one daily. So, my January Challenge began without a hitch. I have had green smoothies for about 26 days now, and I just want MORE. So, needless to say, this months challenge hasn’t been very trying. But it has been delicious. And certainly more healthy than December…or November.

At the end of the month I will be sure to update you on what I had daily, my favorite smoothie, the super gross one I had, and of course the health benefits I experienced.

For now, I will give a glimpse of what I’m planning for the upcoming 11 months! The idea is get into a new habit or try something out for 30 days. If there are less than 30 days I’m lucky, if there are more, I get a free day! I selected the below challenges based on things I want to either change about myself, or experiment how they could change me. I will be providing more details about the how’s and why’s as we along.

  • February: Gluten free
  • March: Yoga
  • April: Something New
  • May: Clean House
  • June: Talk to Strangers
  • July: Writing
  • August: No Sugar
  • September: Learning
  • October: ?? I don’t know yet! Any ideas?
  • November: Giving
  • December: Relaxation

Frightens me the most: 30 Days of Yoga

Excites me the most: 30 Days of Giving