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Is Gluten-Free for Me?

Allow me to introduce myself – my name is Chelsey, and I am a healthy living advocate who blogs at Clean Eating Chelsey. I am honored to be this month’s guest editor for Vegetarian Spotlight Magazine. Fall is all around us now, isn’t it? The leaves are falling, the temperatures are getting a little crisper, and the harvest is abundant here in Illinois (where I’m from). I don’t know about you, but something about fall makes me want to get out my cooking and baking gear and get to

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work in the kitchen. Over the past few years, I have

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had to get a little creative during the fall and holiday months due to a restricted diet I was introduced to in the fall of 2009. During this time, I found out I was gluten intolerant, and boy what a change did that bring to my life! While a gluten free lifestyle has become more prevalent during the course of the past few years, many may not know what a gluten-free lifestyle means or why many have to eat a gluten free diet. Gluten comes from the Latin word “glue” and is a protein found in many grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is what gives elasticity to many baked goods and allows the breads and baked treats we enjoy so much the ability to stick together. Gluten is hard to digest for many people, as it is often used as a binder or filler in a lot of products. The thing about gluten is it is really sneaky, finding its way into some soy sauces, flavored coffees, and processed goodies. Fortunately, not all whole grains contain gluten – grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, and oats are all naturally gluten free, not to mention easier to digest for the gluten sensitive folks out there. For the majority, gluten sensitivity can cause some of the following symptoms (source): • bloating • abdominal discomfort • pain or diarrhea • headaches and/or migraines • tiredness • joint pain Some symptoms are similar to Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune disease that does not allow gluten to be digested, which is why it is always a good idea to discuss any health concerns with your general practitioner. If you or a family member suspects a gluten intolerance and/or sensitivity, please discuss this with your physician and/or natural care doctor. For more information about a gluten free lifestyle, you can visit reputable sources, such as the Mayo Clinic or Celiac.com. Whenever I mention my gluten intolerance to new friends, the first words out of their mouths is usually something sympathetic towards the lifestyle I have to lead. However, I am here to tell you that being gluten-free can be fun and creative! With this being said, I hope you enjoy the articles and information presented in this issue of Vegetarian Spotlight. Thank you for stopping by! Chelsey Siegers Guest Editor, Vegetarian Spotlight Magazine

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5 Comments on "Is Gluten-Free for Me?"

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  1. Ann says:

    Enjoyed your article. Just another reason for me to eat my daily oats.

  2. Linda says:

    Chelsey…Great job!I love when people are sympathetic when I tell them about raw foods. I tell them, Don’t feel bad for me, I wasn’t this healthy when I was 20. You are very good at what you do Chelsey!

  3. Donna says:

    Great job Chelsey! You amaze me

  4. Heather says:

    Yay Chelsey! Another awesome feature. (:

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