Drop Gluten, Feel Better
"After sugar, gluten is the biggest energy drain. Most of us lack the enzyme that breaks it down, so it has the effect of making us feel vaguely (or for some people, extremely) unwell and tired. Your immune system fights it as if it's a foreign substance, and that's exhausting. Sensitivity to gluten falls along a spectrum. Most people are mildly sensitive, and some are highly sensitive. People with celiac disease, which damages the small intestine, can't tolerate gluten at all. If you have unexplained stomachaches after eating food like bread and past, you're probably very sensitive to gluten (eating bread and pasta doesn't make a lot of sense anyway, since they're not nutritious). As for packaged gluten-free products, skip them -- most are full of processed starches that are bad for your body in other ways."
What Pam Knows for Sure: Some people are highly sensitive to gluten, and others not so much - agree. Some people eat so much food that they would have no idea what could be causing their bloating, gas and belly ache. Gluten free foods contain a lot of empty calories and provide very little to zero nutrition. Vegetables and fruits contain no gluten and provide an array of vitamins and minerals. So, once again my vote goes to whole foods!
Gluten sensitivity can cause rashes, skin problems, extreme fatigue, brain fog, and a feeling of malaise (in addition to gut issues and headaches).
What Pam Proposes: I feel like I'm always proposing the fast of a food item and then a reintroduction. Probably because I am. So I suggest taking all gluten (breads, pastas and refined foods) out of your meal program for 1 week. Only 1 week, so I know you can do it. If you find you suffer from headaches during that time or feel disoriented, it could be a sign that you have a gluten sensitivity.
At the beginning of the next week, eat a normal portion of your favorite gluten filled item with a meal of veggies and protein. Be sure to keep your portions on the small side so that you can recognize bloat from a food item versus overeating. Do that a couple times over the next few days taking notice of how your body and mind feel after ingesting the gluten items. If you don't notice any difference, I still recommend keeping those types of food to a minimum. From a health perspective, they don't offer your body anything good. And, if you do notice your body doesn't tolerate gluten, it's the perfect excuse to change over to a healthier meal program. When you do decide to splurge, take the empty calories over the gluten filled calories, and then just get back to healthy eating afterwards.