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Gluten Free Tips for Healing after Injury

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Gluten Free Tips for Healing after Injury

If you are on the G-FF Facebook or GF-F Twitter, you may have heard me discuss injuries.  A few months back, I twisted my ankle and fell, giving myself a grade two ankle sprain.  I heard and felt the dreaded “pop” as I fell.  Luckily, I landed softly in the hedge.  Mind you, I wasn’t exercising or running, I just had too much going on in that minute and fell on my own sidewalk. I headed back inside, rinsed off my travel coffee mug, grabbed an ice pack, and off to work I went.

About a week or so later, I felt much better.  Swelling was minimal, range of motion is almost equal to the other side, and the feeling of instability is subsiding.  Not to mention my awkwardness still taking up space in my head.

I have learned through the years that it is preferable to let an injury heal properly and then return to activity.  Rushing it is not worth it.  Future injuries are much more likely if the original was not allowed to heal.  However, I am also an athlete, and so when injured get a bit cranky.

I have a friend that has been dealing with a stress fracture in her foot for several months now, and she is dealing phenomenally well with the change in her routine.  After the first round of anger, disappointment, and frustration, she is channeling her efforts in a new physical manner.  (I am very happy to report that she is able to do resistance training, on track to getting back to her endurance routine)

Talking about our recent injury experiences, I decided it was high time I wrote a few tips to help keep yourself sane, and speed along your healing when injured.

The 5 Physical Tips:

  • In an acute injury, RICE.

  • Rest-self explanatory
  • Ice-10-20 minutes at a time, make sure to have 1 layer of cloth between your skin and the ice/ice pack.
  • Compression-if needed and swelling is apparent, you can wrap the affected part with an elastic wrap. Don’t pull too tight, you don’t want to cut off your circulation.
  • Elevation-this is where you get your affected body part up above the level of your torso.  Think-prop your leg up on a bunch of pillow with the remote control or a book.  “Honey-can you get me some tea?  I have my leg elevated with ice on it.”
  • Gently move the affected part within a pain free range of motion as much and as often as possible.  Rule of thumb in general: is it hurts, don’t do it.
  • Be sure to maximize your nutrition.  Eat high quality, bang for caloric buck food. This is not the time to try to lose fat.  Do not restrict calories.  You need calories to help rebuild and repair.  Shoot to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight on a daily basis.  Stay well hydrated
  • Sleep.  Lots.
  • Consider supplementation. Ideally you are getting a ton of great nutrition from your food, but these are a few that I have found helpful.  They are not necessary by any stretch, but they may help.  Many athletes will take advantage of any edge to potentially get back to sport quicker.  Of course, please always check with your medical professional.  So, in no particular order:
  • L-glutamine-a conditionally essential amino acid.

L-Glutamine is especially interesting to celiacs, as it appears to be heavily absorbed in the gut and aid in gut health.  It’s been anecdotally used in the strength community for recovery for a long time, but the research does not back that up.  Research does show it is absorbed primarily in the gut-which for us is a good thing, as healthy gut=more nutrients absorbed=optimal healing.  I wrote about L-glutamine as a supplement for gut health here.

  • Probiotic, especially if your injury required antibiotics.  Antibiotics negatively impact the “good” gut flora, so you want to restore that.
  • Multivitamin, perhaps some extra Vitamin D, and a Calcium/ Magnesium combo to cover nutritional bases.
  • Proteolytic enzymes .  Similar to digestive enzymes, but specifically for systemic use for protein.  These act in a similar manner as a non steroidal anti-inflammatory like Advil, with less worry of side effects.
  • Good food. I know I said it already, but it really is that important.

         

The 5 Mental Tips

  • It’s OK to be mad and upset for a while. It’s completely normal to have an emotional response to injury.
  • Don’t stay mad.  Allow yourself to move through the stages of mourning.  Yes, it’s been determined that reaction to injury in an athlete is very similar to stages of grief as outlined in Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ book On Death and Dying.  Obviously there are differences as well.  However, the 5 stages are:
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

It’s OK to recognize, accept, and then move through each one of these phases.

  • Take charge of your return to wellness. Plan it out.  Give yourself control.  What CAN you do?  Focus on the activities you can do, and set goals for yourself based on those activities.  No negative connotations.  This is not bad, it’s just different.  Your injury may have been out of your control, but you can certainly control your path back to sport.  Make concrete plans and a blueprint for your recovery.
  • Be positive. This sounds silly, but visualize your return to doing what you love.  I also imagine a tiny little construction crew inside my body, repairing, spackling, repainting all the busted up bits.  Visualize sending healing light and the nutrients from your food to the injured area.  I know, it sounds trippy, but I’ve found it helpful.  Laugh if you wish, I completely understand.  Don’t get me wrong, you have to also take the appropriate action to make yourself well.  All the visualization in the world won’t make a bit of difference if you are passed out on the couch with an empty package of sugar laden gluten free donuts and a 5th of vodka.
  • Set yourself up for success. Be realistic when setting your time frames for progress and return to sport.  Guidelines given by your doctor, therapist or other health professional are given for a reason.  It truly does take time for healing to occur, and regardless of how much we maximize our healing, we can only speed it up so much.  To some extent, time must pass.

In a perfect world, we would never get injured.

Chances are good that at one point in your life, you will be forced to take a step back.  When that happens, arm yourself with these tips to keep your sanity, and the sanity of those around you.

If you’re new to G-FF, please make sure to check out Gluten Free and Fit 101.  Feedback has been awesome, and for that I thank you.

In the words of Helen Keller: “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Share your injury tips in the comments!

Building Muscle on your Gluten Free Diet

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Building Muscle on a Gluten Free / Dairy Free Diet

Gluten is a protein found in many grains such as wheat, rye, barley and spelt. (Think of gluten like a glue that binds the food together or thickens up soups and gravies.)  Some foods that do not contain gluten in their natural state, such as oats, are usually processed on the same lines as gluten containing foods and therefor can become contaminated. Because many carbs we rely on for building muscle mass contain gluten, this can pose a slight inconvenience for those who are on a building plan that cannot tolerate gluten.  There is a small (but growing) percent of the population that cannot tolerate gluten, either from an allergy, sensitivity or Celiac disease.

Alternative Carbs for eating properly while gaining muscle mass include rice, quinoa, potatoes and flax. There are now many great alternatives to choose from including gluten free whole grain bread, rice cakes and, one of my personal favorites, cream of rice. Aside from these starchy carbs let’s not forget our protein and fats. Lean proteins are pretty much gluten free and safe to eat. Chicken, Turkey, egg whites, lean sirloin, shrimp, salmon, tuna and cod are just a few examples of lean proteins to fill up with when training for gains. Natural nut butters, avocados and coconut oils are great sources of fats to include in your daily regimen.

Protein shakes are a huge help and very convenient when trying to build more muscle. The problem here, is that finding a protein shake that is truly gluten free and truly dairy free (made in a dedicated gluten and dairy free facility) can be very tricky. I was using the same protein shake for years for fear of trying something new and having it affect my stomach. This protein only came in 2 flavors and while it delivered results, had a great ingredient profile and tasted good; it started to get pretty boring.  Also, it is important to switch up foods and fitness training as the body adapts and can plateau.

Over the past few months I have found 3 protein companies that cater to the gluten free / dairy free clientele. They contain safe ingredients, have a good amount of protein per serving and they taste good too. Utilizing the protein shake for building muscle is a great option, as long as you get the right protein. See, dairy free / gluten free nutrition while training for muscle mass is not as difficult as it once was years ago. There are many safe and delicious options available. Putting a proper nutrition plan into action is something I recommend seeing a professional for.  It is hard enough living with food allergies, intolerance’s and medical conditions requiring special dietary restrictions; adding a strict training regime to the mix is even harder! A professional can assist with enduring you are getting the proper amount of macro-nutrients daily to sustain your energy balance.

It is also important to mention that having Celiac disease damages the lining of the stomach which is responsible for absorbing nutrients. Many Celiac’s will find they are deficient in Vitamin d, b12, iron and magnesium. It is essential to eat foods high in these nutrients, especially when training as it is very taxing to the body. Building muscle, gaining mass and fitness training can hurt you rather than help you if you are not getting adequate nutrients.  Again, I advise beginners or the inexperienced to get help from a certified trainer and nutritionist before embarking on a muscle building plan. Also, it is important to advise your doctor before starting any new workout or nutrition plans.

 

Maria Faller

www.BeABetterYouFitness.com

Certified Nutrition Consultant

Certified Fitness Trainer

Certified Wellness Coach

Celiac/Food Allergy Mom

 

We have several other articles on gluten-free and fitness, as well as, gluten-free and dairy-free diet.  Come check them out!

http://glutenfreefitness.com/effects-dairy-gluten-free-diet/

Building Muscle Properly on a Gluten-Free Diet

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A gluten-free food regimen is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. But can muscles be built with that? Yes! Building muscles in a proper manner on a gluten free diet is very much possible.  Gluten is found in grains together with wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).  Gluten-free diet is used to treat a severe disorder called celiac, where gluten increases infection inside the small intestine, as well as, those considered to have gluten sensitivity. Adhering to a nutrient plan that is free from gluten helps manipulate the signs and troubles that come from ingesting gluten.

Many persons without a simple hypersensitive reaction would possibly nevertheless have a high intolerance, which generates the same troubles and headaches. If you have an excessive intolerance, then eating a moderate to excessive quantity of gluten might be causing you greater damage than those with problems consisting of irritation, belly pain, bloating, and diarrhea. All of which are not fun to address.

Eating a gluten-free, smooth, clean, and wholesome weight-reduction plan will assist you in raising your metabolism, lose excess weight, get lean, and position you on the route to the healthiest you can ever be. However, it only works best when you observe a few key strategies:

  1. Ditch the word “weight loss program.”

This can also be described as “diet plan”. The word diet merely equates to a brief period of time achievement. Instead of thinking about this to be a weight loss plan or diet plan, consider it as an existence, as in a lengthy alternate, or even a necessity to survive without side effects. Make it a lifestyle trade for everlasting consequences.

  1. Ditch as many grains as viable.

Going gluten free, don’t simply replace gluten stuffed baked items with gluten-free alternatives. Shop offered gluten free breads, crackers, cakes, and snacks are normally packed with starchy carbohydrates to be able to spike insulin levels and add a pleasing puffy layer of padding around your middle. Go for high-protein flours along with coconut flour, almond flour, oat flour, or millet flour if you are going to make or consume any baked items.

  1. Learn how to read labels.

Gluten can be lurking in surprising places. Get your gluten-free cheat sheet and keep it with you so you no longer end up getting “glutened” without knowing it. Check out this article we wrote on June 11, 2016 –  “Understanding the Label”

  1. Begin a love affair with the produce aisle

By way of the produce aisle, I absolutely imply shopping for those fresh fruits and vegetables, along with, the entire exterior of your grocery store. Even better if you have a produce stand in your area where you can find non-GMO items.  That is the easiest way to move gluten-free and turn out to be a lean machine. Invest in culmination, greens, seafood, meat, and poultry; all naturally gluten free.

  1. Boost your relationship with meals.

While you are inside the center of that love affair with the exterior of your store, do not miss the spice isle. Getting innovative together with your spices and herbs can transform a bland meal right into an attractive, delicious masterpiece.  Let’s face it, it can be difficult to get away from “bland” when your body can’t process certain foods.

  1. Plan your meals out at the beginning of the week.

Put together a simple yet protein packed menu plan with a shopping list. Depending on your time, get all of it at the beginning of the week so it’s all accessible throughout the week. You may consider shopping twice a week to maintain maximum freshness of your ingredients, if you have the available time.

  1. Ditch the delicate sugars.

Sugar drains and leaches the body of valuable nutrients and minerals through the digestion process, detoxing, and elimination affecting your whole system. Sugar eaten each day produces a continuous overly acidic condition, and an increasing number of minerals are required from deep inside the body as an attempt to rectify the imbalance. Extra sugar in the end affects each organ differently, but for our discussion, sugar is stored as fat within the most inactive regions – the belly, the buttocks, the breasts, and the thighs. You can replace refine sugar with honey or other natural sweeteners.

  1. Devour only whole clean ingredients.

Assign yourself to eliminate packaged meals from your pantry. Get nothing but foods fresh. Packaged meals are loaded with unwanted sugars and preservatives and often lacks the protein needed for muscle-building.

  1. Focus on looking after your gut from the inside out.

Recovering the gut and looking after your digestion will move an extended manner in supplying you with that flat stomach you have been longing for. With healthy alternatives, such as clean ingredients, high proteins, low sugars, fresh herbs and spices, your body will absorb the “good” foods it needs and regularly expel what is not needed.

  1. Make your food simple.

Hold your meal ingredients to a minimum when you start your gluten free lifestyle. Create clean and easy food that take minutes to throw collectively. This supports you from falling off the wagon due to the fact it’s getting too tough or because it takes too long to make your healthy meals.

With time, practice, and consistency, these ten suggestions will assist you in kick starting your muscle-building adventure.