We’ve recently returned from a trip to the Big Easy! Vacations are something I always used to push to the back burner, figuring that they weren’t very important when the budget was tight already. But I’ve certainly learned just how good a little escape from the every day grind can be for body and mind. But what if the vacation isn’t really so good for the body? One of the best things about New Orleans is without a doubt the food culture. The architecture, the history, the music and the spirit of the town are incredible, but what can I say, I love good food. But being somebody with some food sensitivities, food doesn’t always love me back.
I do not have Celiac disease, but without a doubt I feel better when I don’t eat gluten. By cutting it out of my diet, I have drastically cut down on bloating and inflammation in my body, and by reducing my inflammation, I have much less chronic pain and migraines. It is, in fact, a major component to my management of headaches and migraines. I also experience less brain fog and have an easier time waking up in the mornings.
Where I live now, in the suburbs of Chicago, eating gluten free is usually pretty easy. The majority of restaurants have gluten free options, and even better, there are lots of healthy options in general. I live down the street from a raw restaurant and juice bar, and there are two, maybe even three Whole Foods within a ten minute drive of my home. So when it comes to eating outside of my own kitchen, staying on track is very doable, and typically pretty tasty too.
I’ve learned that not every city is like this. For all of the restaurants and bars we ducked into while on vacation (to eat, drink, and escape the rain!), I only saw one place that had gluten free options on the menu. Instead of fretting about it and not enjoying myself, I decided to let go of what I could not control to have the best time possible. And besides, there was no way I was going to New Orleans without trying a beignet.
- Crawfish Beignets!
- Steamed Crawfish
- Oysters. We were converted.
- More oysters! So good.
What I’m trying to say is, sometimes it’s ok to let go of eating perfectly. With purpose, I enjoyed myself and ate the best of what New Orleans had to offer, and refused to feel guilty about it. I knew once I came home I would easily transition back to my green smoothies, veggie laden meals and gluten free dinners. And let me tell you, letting go was fantastic. I think that we all do best when we are eating right the vast majority of the time, but letting ourselves have enough leeway to not feel stifled, and not feeling guilty when we do so. Kind of like the 90%/10% rule, or even the 80%/20% rule if you’re not quite there yet.
So, down to the meat and potatoes. How did I eat gluten for several days straight and not feel terrible the whole time?
Through the obnoxious magic of Facebook recommended pages, I heard about a product called Gluten Cutter. At first I brushed it off as hogwash, then my curiosity was peaked. It’s essentially specific digestive enzymes that are meant to help your system break down gluten (and also dairy). But what’s really in this stuff? And how effective is it?
With the inkling that eating according to my needs might not be 100% while I was in the Big Easy, I decided to go out on a limb and pick up a box to take with me. And honestly, I’m glad I did. Gluten Cutter is GMO free, and the ingredient list is as follows:
Ginger, peppermint and deglycyrhizinated licorice are things that I’ve already used for managing inflammation or digestive issues. All of the other ingredients in the GCX50 Gluten Blend are digestive enzymes that break down either proteins or sugars. The worst thing in this pill is the vegetable magnesium stearate, which I’ll give them is better that can be said about most pills, and is probably about on point with the quality of most capsule supplements.
I would take two tabs before consuming a meal that likely (or for sure) contained gluten. After a couple of days, I did still experience some amount of bloating, and I had muscle stiffness where I often used to get pain, but I never got the full on belly bloat that makes me look 8 months prego, or pain that lead into a headache.
So would I recommend it? It wasn’t magic, or a 100% cure, but it helped. If you have a severe sensitivity or are a full blown Celiac, I’d say to proceed with extreme caution if you are thinking about trying it. Maybe it would be helpful to lessen severity of symptoms in cases where you may have a hard time avoiding minor cross contamination. Also, for anyone with sensitivities, it should not be a free pass to eat bagels every day; always, always use common sense. But in a pinch, and maybe on special occasion, it does help and I’d give it a recommend.
Have you ever tried Gluten Cutter? How do you handle eating/imbibing while you are on vacation?