Is “Gluten Withdrawal” Real?

Per my last post (and a week ago tomorrow), I’ve been pretty successfully gluten free, sans a sip of beer I snagged from the boy at the Rathskellar and a bite of the birthday cake I made he and the brother (super indulgent and not my style – but I had to try it!).

So how do I feel? Well, to be honest, pretty awful. My eating schedule is confused and I’m basically surviving on a diet of soaked grains, beans, salad greens and Shakeology. I don’t know what to eat before workouts, I don’t know what to eat after workouts and I don’t know what my body is hungry for. To top it all off: I haven’t had coffee in a week.

Food of the Gods

Why I’m still moving at all.

My energy levels are dumbfounding: one minute I’ll be ready to ride bikes all afternoon, but five minutes later my legs will be too tired to move. I passed out on the couch at Kaleb’s parents’ house on Sunday after lunch (shrimp and salad greens, Kaleb’s mom was sweet enough to make sure there were at least a few things I could eat, but you better believe I wanted a slice of the French bread and a bite or eight of her homemade fettuccine Alfredo. And that chocolate fudge cake? Shoot me.)

And then there’s that marathon thing. I didn’t get a run in today because I was starving when I got home from work. Not hungry at all during the day and excited for the time outside, but the minute I’m home I need to eat and almost nap.

I was really starting to get down on (re: totally cried to Kaleb) until I did some research and realized it’s not uncommon to feel this way for a few days/weeks when gluten is removed from a diet. Remove gluten and coffee (and caffeine and alcohol this week – trying to detox completely and give the body a rest) and I can see how my body is confused.

So the plan this week:

  1. Take it easy. I’ve got weeks before the marathon and it’s more important to stay healthy than it is to get a four mile run in.
  2. Listen to my body. Eat when I’m hungry and THINK about what I want. Do some reading if I’m having unusual cravings.
  3. Eat even cleaner. Some of my friends joke that I don’t eat anything but vegetables, but they don’t know of my sick peanut butter and marshmallow habit. If my body is healing, it needs support.
  4. Meditate/Pray. In short, bring peace to my mind.
  5. Enjoy the down time. I don’t do this often; now’s the time to send those letters I wrote three week ago and return all of those calls.

Sitting on my porch as the sun finally sets and my herbal tea cools, I leave you with Keaton Henson, this week’s new music find. I’ll update later with last week’s find

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