Gluten Free Fitness

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My Dairy Free Experiment

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My Dairy Free Experiment with Surprising Results – Cows Gone Wild

A while back I had mentioned I was going to try going dairy free. I’ve never had any outward symptoms of dairy intolerance nor had I encountered any problems with dairy… or so I thought.

When I was researching and reading for my “Celiacs and the Paleo Diet” post, I began reading more about dairy and the manifestations that dairy intolerance can take.

So, just for grins, I decided to do a dairy free challenge.

For this experiment, I also cut out all grains and legumes.

Now, it’s not like I was a huge consumer of either of these.  In a day, I may have gluten free oatmeal, a serving of brown rice, and a serving or two of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.  Now, don’t get the idea I went “low carb”;  I simply replaced my grain carbohydrate with non grain carbohydrate (sweet potato, butternut squash, fruit) in addition to my usual copious amounts of  veggies and some fruit.  My carbohydrate consumption can be classified as moderate, and I keep it after my training sessions.

I did this for a about 3 weeks, and didn’t notice a huge difference in how I look, feel and perform. And I need to qualify this.  I am referring to “regular” dairy.  As in stuff you can buy in the supermarket.  You’ll see later why I make this qualification.

So, here’s me thinking, “ok, there’s no difference, I’ll add it back in”. I kept out grains, but added back in a couple of servings of cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.

Wham!

Joint. Pain. OWW!

If you’ve been around here before, you may know that I have a history of achiness, which is quite normal for me, so I don’t really notice it.  After taking in the dairy, it was so bad I was back to having to lower myself down to the toilet with the help of my arms.  And I can do squats in the gym with way more weight than I am.  This is not huge weight by any means, but for me and my cranky joints, it’s pretty good.  Therefore, the toilet should be a non-issue.

Hip pain hit me too. This was within a day.  Actually, within a few hours when I started noticing it.  Within a day the pain was apparent. Needless to say, that was the end of that experiment and all the proof I needed.

So much for having “no problems” with dairy, eh?!?!?

Now for my qualifications.
  • I seem to have no joint pain when I use whey protein powder, which is  derived from dairy.
  • I seem to tolerate raw, unpasteurized, grass fed, fresh from the farm, cream in my coffee without any joint pain
  • Ghee or Kerrygold butter (which is grass fed but easily available in stores) also does not give me joint pain.
Theory of why this may be the case:
  • All of these items have very low to no lactose and casein, the two common allergen components of dairy products.  Mark’s Daily Apple has a nice blog post on dairy that discusses these a bit.
  • Casein has a very similar structure to gluten, which is why so many celiacs are intolerant of dairy.

I am off dairy. With the exception of the aforementioned items.

Doing this experiment was cool though, it was very concrete and gave me the feedback I needed.  Next I can add back in the oatmeal and see what happens.

If you are unsure if a food is affecting you, this is a great, inexpensive (as in no doctor appointments or lab tests were harmed in this experiment) way to do it.  You can even do something like a body detox to clear your system of any potential irritants and then systematically add stuff back in, assessing how you feel.

Give it a shot!  I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so chime up in the comments below!

For more reading about my philosophy on living gluten free: The Easiest Gluten Free Diet

Dairy free, or dairy-full?  What say you?

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/