Written and photographed by Amanda Glass, Lifestyle Staff Writer
What once seemed nothing but a phony myth, going gluten-free is now today’s most renowned health craze. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. While common knowledge shows that gluten only pertains to bread and pasta, it is existent in nearly all processed foods. Going “gluten-free” is not a decision to make in hopes of losing weight, but rather, one that protects gluten-intolerant bodies from harmful ingredients. As someone who is gluten-intolerant, I have noticed that staying gluten-free is becoming easier and easier with the plethora of intolerance-friendly food options available. If you have recently been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance or allergy, do not fret – it is a lifestyle lived by millions and will improve your all-around health in no time.
The go-to food group for those of us who are gluten-free is anything that comes from the ground. Naturally, no food is grown with gluten in it. This means fruits, vegetables, nuts and anything you can pick off a tree pass the gluten-free test. Not only will consuming these natural foods transform your diet into a much healthier one, but you are guaranteed to feel just as mentally healthy as your body.
Although gluten is a main ingredient in bread and pasta, take solace in the fact that these foods do not need absolute removal from your diet. There are hundreds of gluten-free brands available in supermarkets nationwide, allowing you to eat the foods you love without harming your body. From Glutino pretzels to Canyon Bakehouse bread to Banza chickpea pasta, the gluten-free possibilities are truly endless. Finally, yes, gluten-free desserts do exist. Who said cutting out the gluten was so bad?
As a college student, it is difficult to stick to the gluten-free diet when pizza and beer exist and are present almost everywhere. Although they might be delicious to consume, remember that the taste is only short-term. The effects they have on your body, however, are long-lasting. A slice of Ian’s may sound tasty, but it certainly is not better than stomach-aches, acne and bloating. With a bit of determination and positivity, you will be able to conquer the gluten-free lifestyle with success and ease. Believe me, your body will thank you later.