Going Gluten Free as an Athlete

13 01 2011

Joshua asked about tips for going gluten free so I thought I would share a little perspective on being gluten free and an endurance athlete.  If one was just a normal (sane) person that wasn’t putting in 8 – 17 hours a week of endurance training it might be a little different being gluten free.  Fruits, veggies and meats – all gluten free.  Even the processed gluten free stuff might be more alright for those that aren’t as worried about body composition and creating a lean mean running/biking and swimming machine!

I try to include as many high quality grains into my diet as possible.  In the morning I have Bob’s Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal which has sourgum, rice, corn and buckwheat.  I eat lots of fruits all day for good carbs, but also have brown rice, quinoa, and different gluten free pastas that are mixes of brown rice, corn and quinoa.    I read each and every label on every item I eat.  Seriously.  Not only is gluten hidden in all kinds of stuff, but so is all kinds of yucky crap my body doesn’t need.

So, how do you implement a gluten free diet and how in the world do you know if it’s right for you?  Robert at First Endurance has a great program on the Team First Endurance site. His program is centered on a race, I would recommend you try the program out before a race.  The other thing I would do is double the gluten free days, keeping the eating gluten days to 7.   He has a ton of good information on his site (and support too) about going gluten free.   And, his products are a major staple in my gluten free athletic life.

When I first went gluten free I didn’t think it was working.  I went about 2 weeks and decided it was too hard and thought I wasn’t feeling any better.  That was until I went back to eating gluten.  I don’t think I fully realized how bad I had felt until I had 2 weeks off gluten, then went back on.  So many symptoms that I had not linked to the gluten – the biggest being regularly scheduled migraines, achey joints and eczema.    It’s certainly not an easy diet to follow in our world of fast food burgers, oreo cookies etc – but I am so much healthier beyond even the gluten – I don’t eat fried food any more.  If I do drive through I am getting a plain baked potato.  Fruit has replaced bars and crackers.

So, there you have  it, feel free to email me with any specific questions about going gluten free or living the gluten free lifestyle.

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5 responses

13 01 2011
Laura

I love this. I don’t have celiacs or a gluten intolerance per se, but I do find I feel much better avoiding gluten. Thankfully I don’t have to be as diligent as you do … if I get some it’s not so bad. I think the biggest benefit of going (mostly) gluten free is that it steers you toward a more whole food based diet! So it totally sucks to have celiacs, but like you said.. you are much healthier overall as a result. Also love that FE products are gluten free. That is awesome and makes life easier for you I’m sure. No brainer! 🙂

13 01 2011
Jeff Irvin

My wife have been talking about doing the glutin free thing and think you just gave us that last nudge to move forward with this! Thanks for the link on the FE site too, lots of great info !

13 01 2011
beth

This is so helpful. I think my goal for lent is to go gluten free. I also like greek yogurt and it is gluten free.

13 01 2011
atltrihollywood

Wow; thank you for writing that. I’m going to check out the FE site for that program/tool. I bet there’s a lot, besides just not feeling 100%, that are linked to gluten. Thanks Coach K

13 01 2011
Colleen Kingery

Thanks for the info… I love it!

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