CONFESSIONS OF A CHEER MOM: I WAS WRONG ABOUT GLUTEN FREE MOMS, MAYBE

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Let’s all say it together, Gluten Free Diet.  When I first heard about this I thought well here is the latest hipster health trend. It seemed like everywhere I went someone was saying, “Do you have any gluten free options?” or “My family has been gluten free for a year.” I will admit at first I thought it was just something all the upscale, uptight moms were bragging about in their cute little suburban play groups. After all, I have been feeding my kids a gluten filled diet for years and they are just fine. Right?

CONFESSIONS OF A CHEER MOM: I WAS WRONG ABOUT GLUTEN FREE MOMS, MAYBE

First of all, what the heck is gluten and why is it so bad for you? After a little bit of research I found out gluten is a protein found in wheat. It gives dough it’s elasticity and helps it to rise. Sounds innocent enough to me. However, as I looked a little further there is evidence that it can contribute to GI problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is also linked to worsening of auto immune diseases, including asthma. Here is one that blew my mind, gluten is linked to brain disorders from neuropathy to ataxia. And of course the biggie Celiac Disease.  Even if you do not have full out Celiacs it is estimated that over 50% of the US population has a gluten sensitivity. That got me thinking. Could gluten be affecting Becca’s asthma, Maddie’s reflux, or Nathaniel’s migraines.

CONFESSIONS OF A CHEER MOM: I WAS WRONG ABOUT GLUTEN FREE MOMS, MAYBE

Well, can I say my mind set has changed a little these days. After dealing with one child that has out of control asthma, another who was diagnosed with GERD when she was only months old and it continues to worsen over the years, and a third who is struggling with debilitating migraine headaches, my opinion has, shall we say, changed a bit. Over the many years of doctors visits and pharmacy co-pays, I have always been guilty of looking for a magic pill to cure my kids’ health issues. Now, I hate to admit that I am a nurse and preach to my patients that there are no quick fixes and we are an accumulation of our habits, both good and bad. With that said, I never took a hard look at what my children ate on a regular basis.

We coupon at my house and it is quite easy to stock up on a lot of nutrition-sparse, convenience foods. When I looked at my kids’ diet it was full of boxed foods and packaged snacks like cookies and crackers.  I started reading labels and everything my children eat contains gluten. It is time for a change. My family needs to start adding some healthy habits to our lifestyle. So, let me join that list of hipster parents and announce my family is going………well not exactly gluten free, but putting a big cut into our gluten intake.  I am subtracting a bucket load of processed foods from my family’s diet and replacing it with whole foods. I am going to monitor asthma symptoms and tummy complaints and see if we need to commit fully to a gluten free diet.

CONFESSIONS OF A CHEER MOM: I WAS WRONG ABOUT THE GLUTEN FREE MOMS, MAYBE

And when I say gluten free, I do not mean we are simply going to replace our normal diet with gluten free cookies, cakes, and crackers. Sure, I plan on using some of these items to supplement my kiddos diets every now and again, but for the most part I will be trading in their unhealthy foods for more whole food choices. So today I would like to issue a full apology to all the trendy moms I have secretly rolled my eyes at as they were spouting off about the benefits of having a gluten free household. I can admit when I have been a little (or maybe a whole lot hahaha) judgmental. Wish us good luck and I will keep you updated. You can be sure my girls and I will be trying to come up with some yummy gluten free recipes and when we do we will be sure to pass them along. Feel free to do the same for us.

Comments

  1. Michelle F. says:

    I am also cut so of my gluten but it is definitely not easy.

  2. I have many friends who can’t have gluten and it’s so interesting to read about all the information has come out about it. Luckily there are so many more gluten-free recipes and products available compared to years ago :)

  3. I really should give this a try.. i have read and heard so many good things about going gluten free.

  4. I have cut a lot of gluten products in my diet.

  5. I’ve heard about gluten free stuff, but honestly I wasn’t sure what it was. I haven’t cut it out of my diet at all, but I know others that have.

  6. My sister is going gluten free with her husband and children. His son has severe asthma and his husband has a lot of allergies. She has had skin conditions for years and it’s helping them all.

  7. We have been trying to go gluten free for about a year now and just stick to real food. Fruits, veggies and meats/chicken/fish.

  8. I am going to pass this on to my gluten free friend!

  9. I am not completely gluten free, but I have worked hard to cut my intake!

  10. Thank you so much for posting this. I always thought of it as a trend as well. Then I heard that some people are allergic to gluten so I thought that these gluten free products were for them. But now that I have read this and I have a son with asthma as well, I am going to start buying gluten free products to see how it works. I have six kids so I am always buying easy boxed meals and snacks for them. It seems that when I have asked my friends who are gluten free they never had an answer other than it was better for you but never a reason why. So now I know… and the sad thing is I myself probably eat too much gluten. I saw pretzels in that picture and I frowned lol because I love pretzels!!!!

  11. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I had gastro issues my entire adult life (pain, bloating, gas) and the very first day I became gluten free my issues disappeared. Just like that. It’s been three years now and I’m a new person.

  12. Chasity Boatman says:

    A really great post. I always appreciate it when people research things they do not agree with. Knowledge is power! We are not gluten free, but it is something I have thought about.

  13. My daughter is gluten intolerant. We share a lot of GF recipes on my site.

  14. Sharing with my co-worker who is gluten free!!!

  15. I will have to look into this way of eating more closely. I keep hearing about it but wasn’t sure what it was all about.

  16. I had to chuckle at the honesty and the perspective. I too, felt the same way, then we were thrust into the gluten free world (doctors orders) then after an EGD and biopsy (plus tests that indicated a G6PD issue that effectively makes most gluten free baked goods off limits) we were notified of a “false alarm” that allowed us to “go back to normal,” whatever that is. Like you, after that experience we aren’t gluten free (and cannot supplement with GF baked goods containing bean flours anyway, due to the G6PD) but we have significantly reduced our overall gluten intake, and more importantly- all processed food. All of us feel better for it.

  17. My daughter has celiac so we eat a lot of gluten free meals around my house. It has really helped her out with issues she has had all her life.

  18. i’ve been eliminating gluten slowly for a year now. i think it contributes to a lot of ailments many of us suffer from

  19. I don’t have anyone in my family or home that has a gluten allergy or restricted diet, However, I have heard that there are many health benefits in general to cutting it out of your diet. For those purposes I have considered doing the same for my family

  20. I like choosing organic food since it doesn’t contain chemicals and pesticides and that makes me feel good about feeding it to my kids. I haven’t noticed any problems with Gluten in the diet of my kids but each parent has to observe their own kids to see if Gluten has negative effects. Thank you for the article will research Gluten some more.

  21. I wonder if my migraines have something to do with gluten. I really would love to know how a change in your kids diet affects their health issues.

  22. I have friends that are Gluten Free ~ I share all great recipes I find online with them. I have no need to watch my gluten intake so I pay little attention to gluten. I am a calorie counter.

  23. I’m sure a lot of people would benefit from a gluten free diet. I just don’t have the motivation to make that drastic a change right now.

  24. My children’s pediatrician shook her head at this idea and said nonsense. Why? Because you tend to gain more weight taking gluten out of your diet she said. I hear it’s hard to do but not impossible. I haven’t educated myself enough yet, this is quite honestly the most educated article I have yet to read. I appreciate you sharing it!

  25. I think it’s definitely worth a try. There are so many ways to be gluten free now!

  26. Hey! I just realized you linked up to my Fitness Friday… it’s great to see you there! I know I commented above about gluten, but I wanted to add that my son has Down Syndrome so we have to keep an eye on his Thyroid because a lot of people w/Down Syndrome tend to get Celiac… so he will probably have to go gluten free eventually. So why not just get our whole family gluten free now, right? Anyway… thanks again for linking up, I hope to see you back next week! Have a great weekend :)

  27. I have tried cutting the gluten way out of my diet. It gives me headaches

  28. I’m not gluten-free, but I know that eye roll you’re talking about! I get it a lot, and it’s always surprising to me how many people feel free to criticize our choice to eat whole, organic foods. I actually found myself trying to hide it! I think everyone needs to just be much more accepting of others, and maybe learn something!

  29. I have heard a lot of a gluten free diet, but never had to deal with it. I must say, I probably eat pretty Gluten free without thinking about it. I am glad you are learning so much and that your family is benefitting from it.

  30. This is so interesting. I have to admit that sometimes I feel like you mentioned you originally did. I would actually like to try this though.

  31. Gluten free seems to be the hottest craze, ok maybe not a craze. Thankfully our family does not have gluten issues but I will be cutting out all the carb type products guess you can say gluten products!

  32. I haven’t jumped on the gluten band-wagon yet, and we don’t have any health issues, so I’m not concerned about it. However, since we eat a very clean, non-processed foods diet, I doubt we even eat that much gluten. Have you looked into heritage grains, at all?

  33. I liked this post because it echoed my opinion of the gluten free diet when I first heard of it. While I am not planning to go gluten free with my family, I did like reading your perspective.

  34. That was really smart of you to take the time and do some research and reading to figure out exactly what it all involves. I’m pretty sure most of us whether required or not would benefit from less gluten in our diets.

  35. Fifteen years ago, after a ridiculous amount of doctor visits and no solutions, I went to see a herbalist. He tested me, and put me on a three week cleanse, consisting of taking herbal supplements and cutting out all wheat, yeast, sugar and dairy. After the first week, it was much simpler to follow and the differences and improvements in my health were nothing short of amazing! When the GF craze took hold I got nervous, wondering if suddenly this would be ‘marketed’ as the newest thing. Some interesting info I came across, is that it may not be that wheat is a culprit on its own, but that it has been genetically modified since the ’70′s.

  36. Way to go in making changes, even if difficult, to help your family’s health. I really appreciate how clearly you laid out what gluten is and why it can be a problem for some.

  37. I agree. While it may be smart to go gluten free, we do not have to hear about it daily. lol

  38. I love this article! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I have an article that I’m posting later this week related to this. I wish people would understand that these companies creating sugar free and gluten free and fat free is not really good even still! I’ve learned the best thing we can do is eat fresh, organic (especially those porous fruits and veggies), non-GMO foods when we can! In my prayers, this is the one reason why I pray for my husband to make a little more money…so we can buy more organic fresh food all non-GMO. If I can’t buy it organic and I know it needs to be, I try to buy something else that may or may not need to be if that makes sense. It can be difficult, but with learning so much about these medicines and vaccines, I just want my family to thrive on healthy natural foods so we don’t have any of these issues. We’ve been blessed. I’m still nursing my 21 month old and he hasn’t been sick and he has no issues right now. I just want to keep it that way :)

  39. Most trendy things I don’t give a lot of heed to either, but the gluten-free diet has caught my attention. I’ll be watching here too, to see how things go. This is a diet I might consider trying to adapt for my family too.

  40. Just like you I thought the same way when people said “Oh I don’t eat anything gluten”. I was like “whatever-stuck up b*” It took me reading up about it to finally understand what it all entailed. I guess the moral of this story is we just shouldn’t be so quick to judge. :)

  41. We have def changed our eating habits in our home. I read labels and try to purchase more GMO free items. I’ll probably add Gluten free as well.. eventually.

  42. I need to figure this out! I just cant seem to give it up. I know it would do me so good.

  43. Wow very informative! Thanks for this post! I had the same attitude before learning the facts!

  44. I have heard of GF and it is not for everyone. It is based on your intake of food that you eat. Natural home cook meal helps instead of package food. If you notice what you eat and how it affects you, it helps with your intake of foo. For instance, at school the kids do not always eat there as certain food makes them sick and get headache so there are days they ask for their home made lunch which is very smart of them.

  45. I haven’t cut out gluten, but I’m looking into it. One of the girls I tutor is on a GF diet for her behavior. One day, she went off her diet because of a family emergency and wow, could I tell the difference!

  46. This is a great idea. I need to start a gluten free diet too

  47. We try to limit gluten in our home, but I feel all foods should be eaten in balance!

  48. LOL I have to admit that I have felt a little like you in the beginning! However, I know that for many people removing gluten out of their diets has greatly improved their health and how they feel so much. I have also thought about removing or greatly reducing gluten too.

  49. We really read the labels on the foods we purchase. I had to learn to start doing that when my dad was placed on a low sodium diet when I was in college. Just today, my hubby and I were comparing peanut butters in the grocery store. We don’t believe in ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you.’ Great info, and thanks for enlightening me!

  50. I would like to try a gluten free diet at some point this year. Thank you for the post.

  51. See, I never saw eating “gluten-free” as a trend issue. That may be because we live in a really rural area and the only people who I know who eat gluten free eat that way because of gluten sensitivities like Celiac disease. But, I didn’t think it would ever come up in our lives. Then I read a book (well, was on the launch team for the book) Weeding out Wheat. What I read convinced me I need to go at least wheat free, probably gluten-free. I did great in November and December, then came Christmas. Since giving into temptation over the holidays I have not yet gone back to a wheat free diet. Even this weekend I was doing pretty good, but then I gave into the leftover pizza for dinner. I also need to focus more on the whole foods and not just getting something because it says “gluten free.”

  52. I’ve always thought the “gluten free” movement, in large part, was a fad. But there actually IS some science behind it. The food we eat now has more gluten in it than the same plants did 50 years ago, as when we tried to breed them to be stronger, it also increased the gluten content. So those that might have not been sensitive before, may be now. I do think it’s still kind of a fad with a lot of people – one case of an upset stomach doesn’t mean you have celiac disease. But it’s something to think about!

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