I don't know about you, but I have heard Gluten Free this and Gluten Free that for months now. I hear the pro triathletes on twitter talking about being Gluten Free and several years back when I ran the Colorado Relay on Susan Williams team, I found out that she eats Gluten Free. I kept thinking to myself, what is the big deal? Either tons of athletes have extremely irritable GI tracts, or they have celiac disease (a permanent intolerance to gluten), or maybe they find that eating Gluten Free enhances their performance? The FDA is still having trouble defining "Gluten Free" but as of now, this is the proposed definition;
The proposed FDA definition specifies that a food labeled “gluten-free” does not contain any of the following:
- An ingredient that is any species of the grains wheat, rye, barley, or a crossbred hybrid of these grains (collectively referred to as “prohibited grains”)
- An ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain and that has NOT been processed to remove gluten (e.g. wheat flour)
- An ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain and that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g. wheat starch) if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm or mg/kg) or more gluten in the food
- 20 ppm or more gluten
I was rereading Chuckie V's post on What to Eat. It's a fantastic post, and one I recommend bookmarking. There really aren't a lot of the traditional carbs mentioned...bread, tortillas, english muffins, pizza dough. Humm, where am I supposed to put my Justins Almond Butter? I asked Chuckie and his answer was absolutley hilarious (what a shock) but basically entailed...apples, jicama, sprouted grain breads and tortillas (which can barely even be called "bread"). He also included LaraBars, but I just can't get up the guts to smear Justin's on a lemon LaraBar.
It dawned on me that the Team First Endurance site had some stuff about Gluten Free, so I went delving over there. I ran into an interesting Q&A with Jordan Rapp. If you are following triathlon even a little you will remember that Jordan won both IM Canada and IM Arizona this year. AND he has yet to make an appearance in Kona... a fact which is extremely exciting to me. I saw him hanging out at the farmers market in Penticton a couple days before IM Canada this year. And, as we see here, despite Jordan not having a Gluten sensitivity, he refrains from Gluten during much of the year.
Humm, okay, for me that's enough evidence that the Gluten free way was worthy of a try, an experiment if you will. Gotta love the Team First Endurance site. Anyone can get a membership (kinda facebooky looking) and you can delve into their programs (Caffeine, Gluten, Sodium Loading, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Low Carbo Training, Ph Foods). They walk you through the information and outline a test that you can do with yourself. For Gluten, the test involves going Gluten Free for 3 days, then your normal diet for 7 days, and then Gluten Free for three more days. At the end of the second set of three days they suggest that you race (just a C race, nothing super important). So, off I went.
I am blogging on the Team First Endurance website about my experiences. Today is my third day and it's pretty interesting. Especially how I feel about hunger. When I eat, my hunger slowly goes away rather than disapearing the minute I get food into my mouth. Also, you pretty much can't have any junk on a Gluten Free diet. Apparently there is some Gluten Free junk food out there, but really, um, no thanks. I am trying to maintain my normal calorie load so that weight loss doesn't become a factor in the experiment, but I'll admit, it's tough. the way I have gone about it...it's a lot of chewing!
So, feel free to skip on over to the blogs section of the Team First Endurace site and read up on my Gluten Free Program Test. Here is Day 1, and here is Day 2. Also, if any of you out there have any experiences with going Gluten Free please comment. I am kinda on my own here, and would love some feedback. Thanks!