So, Day 1 of my little experiment begins!
First things first, what is gluten? I think it’s important to understand a bit about what we’re talking about so as not to vilify it and end up in the kind of situation shown below. Gluten is a complex protein. It is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale, however wheat consumption overshadows the consumption other gluten containing grains by more than a hundred to one. The reaction to gluten some people have is due to an abnormal immune response, most commonly this occurs in the gut.
As the weeks go on I will look into the negative effects gluten can have on the body but it is important to remember that nutrition is very individualised and that cutting a food group from your diet completely should be taken very seriously, and not treated as a fad diet or a quick fix. If you have any intolerances then cutting out the food is only the first step, and action should be taken to help heal your gut such as eating probiotics and taking omega 3. It is also important to remember that while nutrition was part of my degree, I am not a nutritionist nor am I a doctor! So while I can advise you, my words should not be taken as law.
What I am avoiding
I will be avoiding all food and drinks containing:
- Barley (malt, malt flavouring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
- Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
- Wheat (bromated, enriched, phosphated, plain and self-raising flour.)
- Other wheat products I will have to avoid include: Bulgur, Durum flour, Farina, Graham flour, Kamut, Semolina, Spelt.
Also due to my general rule of trying to avoid as much processed food as possible, I will not be going for ‘gluten free’ imitation foods such as gluten free pasta. This rules out an inexhaustive list of foods Beer, Breads, Cakes and pies, Cereals, Cookies and crackers, Croutons, Chips, Gravies, Imitation meat or seafood, Microwave meals, Pastas, Processed luncheon meats, Some salad dressings and Sauces (including soy sauce), Seasoned rice mixes, Seasoned snack foods (such as potato and tortilla chips), Sweeties, Soups, Soup bases and Vegetables in sauce.
On top of this list there are also any foods that come with a gluten warning on the label!
What I can Eat
My diet is left open to most unprocessed, one ingredient food:
Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
Fruits and vegetables
Most dairy products
As far as grains and starches go, I can get away with:
Amaranth, Arrowroot, Buckwheat, Millet Tapioca, Teff and Sorghum (thank god)
Corn and cornmeal
Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
Out of these foods I can see my diet being based around fresh meat, poultry, eggs, dairy and fruit and veg. With my current training schedule and body fat percentage I can’t justify getting my carbohydrate requirements from sources with little nutritional value, so most will come from cruciferous veg like broccoli.
Here are my starting measurements,I am unable to train in any serious capacity due to injury so diet will be the main factor in any changes that occur. I will be measuring my waist around the belly button, my chest around my nipples, around my bum and the right and left bicep (flexed)
I will take the middle value of 3 measurements and all will be done upon waking, before breakfast – after the toilet, on Mondays, starting today:
Waist: 38 ¾
Arm R: 16
Arm L: 15 ¾
Alongside the measurements I will be maintaining a food diary, in which I will track my mood and any exercise I do alongside the food and water intake.
My view of the measurements
Having not been able to train properly for almost two years due to injury, my measurements are not currently where I would like them to be. Because I am still unable to play rugby and lift weights in any serious capacity I am not expecting much in the way of muscular growth. If anything I am hoping to prevent further wastage. My fat distribution is mainly around my chest and trunk, so I am expecting these readings to decrease.
My diet diary will start cropping up soon and because I am a creature of habit I think that it will be a very repetitive read. I am expecting my mood and energy levels to improve, probably more so after the first few weeks, but I will keep you posted!
I promise to be 100% honest, and as always, if you have any questions just drop me an email!
George Studd Fitness Training