Why I Hate Being Gluten-Free (it’s probably not the reason you think)

I have mentioned before that I am gluten intolerant. I’ve known this for several years, but I’ve been a cheater for most of them. Starting in mid-May, I completely gave up gluten. The change in how I feel was pretty immediate, but I had an unexpected result a few weeks later–I can now tolerate some foods that I couldn’t before, like raspberries and other high-fiber types of things. I don’t really know a lot about what gluten was doing to me because reading about my intestines is not high on my list of fun things to do, but I feel like maybe they had to heal up or something. Once that happened, digestion of other things was a much happier occurrence.

When they hear that I don’t eat gluten, most people say something like, “Isn’t that hard?” In truth, no, it is not. Other than gluten-free bread and some gluten-free pasta, I mostly choose to avoid foods that have gluten in them rather than substitute. Luckily I’m not a vegetarian because I eat a lot of meat & veggies for dinner, egg & gluten free toast for breakfast, and a conglomeration of things for lunch. I don’t really think eating a lot of grains is that natural in the first place, so I just try to go back to basics and eat God-created food. And potato chips. I do love me some potato chips.

Even though it’s not difficult, I do hate being gluten-free, and here’s why: it’s very trendy.

Isn’t everyone gluten free these days? It’s like the new fad diet and I don’t do fads. Sometimes I tell people about my diet and I can tell they want to roll their eyes and say, “Oh, you’re one of THOSE.”

But, I deal with it. I feel 100% better when I don’t eat gluten, so obviously I’m not born to have it.

Do you avoid fads? Do you have any dietary or health restrictions?

(p.s. Update on my running: I went to my osteopath yesterday and I’m feeling LOTS better today. She said I was badly out of alignment.)

Still Mad and Sad and Not Sure What Else

Running still isn’t going well. I took three days off in a row last week and guess how much improvement there was: NONE. I whined to Chris, because after 48 hours of no runs I start to get a little twitchy and freaky (more than normal if you can imagine). His advice was to just run anyhow, because it was a nerve thing and not a muscle or bone thing. He’s not a doctor, but he’s been running a very long time (as in 30 years) and he’s dealt with his share of injuries of all types. So, my friend and I did a 4-mile trail run Sunday night. It didn’t feel great, but it didn’t make me feel worse, either. I might try a gentle trail run every other day.

I’ve been seeing my ART chiropractor twice a week, but I am going back to my osteopath today. My ART doctor completely takes away my pain, but as soon as I run (or even walk for a day), it comes back. My osteo never took away my pain immediately, but a couple of days later I’d be fine. I’m thinking I might need both of these expensive practitioners in my life. I will know after my appointment today. Maybe I am aligned just fine and I have something else going around stemming from my very stupid day(s) over a week ago.

My ART doctor has given me a lot more flexibility, especially in my torso and hamstrings. I think this is important to long-term running health (and overall health). I will continue to see him. He’s also deduced that my ab muscles are not working correctly. He had me do a plank and then said not to do those anymore because I do them incorrectly and I’m doing more harm than good. Now, I’m really paranoid to do ANY core work with fear that I’m not going to do it correctly! I’m really confused by the plank because when I do one and put my hands on my abs, they are tight. So my lack of abs is causing my pelvis to tilt forward which overworks my quads and underworks other areas leading to my chronic hip issue. Plus now I’m questioning everything because I think I might use my lower back muscles instead of my glutes in a lot of the exercises I’ve been doing.

I THOUGHT RUNNING WAS EASY.

I whined (almost cried) to Chris yesterday that I don’t want to be fast; I just want to run pain free. I am missing out on endorphin-creating workouts and also social time with my running group. I am sorta crabby. Maybe stay away from me.

Does anyone know of ab exercises that you simply cannot do incorrectly? How do I make sure my glutes are doing the work when I am doing exercises? Help!

Putting Humpty Together Again

Awhile ago, I raved about the book Anatomy for Runners, which I still think is the single most helpful bit of running information I’ve found. I had really good intentions after reading that book. However, I sort of, um, didn’t ever do the exercises.

This week, Jen’s post about the exercises inspired me to give them another try. I’ve done them twice this week. She does a really nice job explaining the whys and the hows. At both my ART doctor and at yoga, it’s clear that my tight hip flexors, especially, are causing me considerable issues. I need to stretch those babies out.

At yoga the other night we were doing a pose in which you were to lie flat on your back and press your thighs into the floor. I cannot touch the floor with my thighs when I lie on my back. I guess most people can. It’s not related to thinness, either. My instructor is about my size, I’d say. It’s about flexibility. And probably some muscle imbalance. A couple of the yoga moves we’ve done line up nicely with my Anatomy for Runners exercises, so that’s good. Make that three times this week that I did some of them.

Foam rolling, stretching, clamshells, pigeon hip extensions, donkey kicks, bridge marches, knee to chest bridges, single-leg balances, standing hip extensions, and the “chair of death” (squats). It was a pretty exciting Saturday night around here.