If you follow along on Instagram (@RileySitton), you maybe noticed that I am now Gluten Free! It’s been nine whole weeks of absolutely no gluten and it’s been a journey.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions about why I stopped eating gluten, how I’ve been feeling and what I eat now. I wanted to answer everything in one convenient post for you guys! If you are also gluten free, be sure to stick around (subscribe to my emails here!) because I will be sharing many more posts with gluten free topics!
Why I Went Gluten Free
First, I wanted to explain why I went gluten free. Two-ish years ago, I was diagnosed with PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. Since then I have learned so much about my health! I have changed my medicines, my diet, and my lifestyle. I have learned so much and grown for the better. I still though was struggling with some of the symptoms, so I have been researching holistic options.
I don’t love taking a ton of medicine and I already have to take Metformin everyday for my blood sugar & other PCOS related things. Many OBGYNS and doctors will try to put people with PCOS on birth control to maintain symptoms and “cure” it but really the birth control just masks symptoms while potentially making it worse whenever you come off of it.
I began reading the PCOS Diva and decided to take charge of my health. PCOS causes inflammation, and so does gluten. I’ve done things like Whole30 and Kinda, Keto and I realized that my body does not react well when I eat bread, pasta and carbs. The first step was eliminating gluten.
The first time I tried to stop eating gluten, I went about two weeks and then caved. I was traveling and it was hard to give it up. I then tried again around the end of June. I just quit cold turkey! I have not had one bite of gluten since then and I seriously am so proud of myself.
What Happened When I Went Gluten Free
I began noticing a difference in as little as a week of being gluten free! I could absolutely tell my hormones were shifting, I began breaking out horribly and I seriously missed some of my favorite foods.
My skin went through a time of horrible breakouts but I think this was just my body detoxing. I also feel way less bloated and my eyes are SO much less puffy. I also feel like many of my PCOS symptoms are completely gone. All in all, I am 100% happy with my decision to go gluten free.
I definitely miss many of my favorite foods (RIP chicken biscuits) but when I think of food in terms of fuel and medicine, it’s easier to make better health decisions. I got a lot of questions from people thinking I was doing it as a diet. It has never been a diet, to lose weight or anything like that. I did it fully for health reasons and because it’s what I think is best for my PCOS. If you have more questions about PCOS, please feel free to email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
My Favorite Gluten Free Finds
When I first went gluten free, I went a little overboard and bought ALL the gluten free options. I think I was so excited to look for new options for my favorite foods and then I quickly dialed back. I try to eat real, whole foods (like meat + veggies & fruit) instead of always going for an engineered gluten free option. However, I do let myself eat things like gluten free bread, pasta and cookies on occasion. I try to keep a 75/25 balance with 75% off the time eating whole foods.
Aldi has so many great gluten free options! They have amazing cheese raviolis, flatbread wrap, and cookies. For bread, my favorite gluten free find is Canyon Bakehouse Hawaiian Sweet Bread (found from Whole Foods). My mom also cannot have gluten and said this is the best bread she’s had too! For pasta, RJ’s mom ordered us this Corn Pasta and it is my favorite. I cannot even tell the difference and it’s what I use in our Gluten Free Cacio E Pepe. RJ likes this pasta too, although I’ve had a few friends try and say it’s not their favorite. For pizza, I am obsessed with Caulipower Frozen Pizza, which I’ve found at Target, Walmart & Publix! I can eat the whole pizza. I’ve found two desserts that I’m OBSESSED with, these E&C Heavenly Hunks and literally the best thing ever, even if you’re not gluten free. They taste like giant cookie dough chunks from Ben n Jerry’s Ice Cream. I have the Oatmeal Dark Chocolate & the Peanut Butter. They’re ADDICTING. I also love these cookies from Target but I try not to buy them often because I can eat the whole bag in no time. I also LOVE Kristen Cavallari’s Cookbook, True Roots as she is gluten free.
Like I said, I try not to eat these options everyday or even multiple times a week but I’m happy to have found options for when I need them! I am working on a Gluten Free Chattanooga post to share our favorite, gluten free friendly restaurants around town.
The biggest challenge is making sure I look at all the ingredients. Many things I thought would be gluten free (like soy sauce!) are actually not. Besides that, it really hasn’t been too difficult. The hardest thing I’ve had to resist was the bread at Il Primo because it is my FAVORITE.
Any advice for this Gluten Free gal? I’m learning everyday and hopefully it continues to heal my body! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer them! XO