How Gluten Makes Me Feel

Posted on April 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In case you unplugged over the weekend, yesterday was definitely the highlight and worth a look. “Gluten” has probably been googled more in the last year than the rest of the time google has existed. It’s definitely emerged as a new “buzz word” and you hear people refer to it as everything from a “diet” to a “fad” to a “cleanse”.

Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundae

Faux Buffalo Chicken Salad With Steamed Broccoli And Avocado

Faux Buffalo Chicken Salad With Steamed Broccoli And Avocado

These are the foods I [foolishly] ate over the weekend with gluten in them. Tasty? Of course. And when we eat a food, we’re often focused on how it will makeus feel. But there’s more to feeling than immediate taste, and that’s where the downside of gluten comes in for me. Since Saturday, I haven’t particularly been hungry. At all. In a sense, one thing gluten does to me is take away the ability to know how and when to fuel properly. The only way I know I need more is if I’m cranky for more. For anyone who does a serious amount of physical activity, this isn’t only inconvenient; it’s dangerous. My biggest weapon in fighting this is simply awareness. Be aware that your regular hunger’s gone, be aware that gluten can do this, and be aware where gluten is hiding. On top of all this, gluten has other side effects for me, like irregularity and bloating.

My point is not to scare anyone off gluten. I say eat and let eat! And if gluten works for you, eat it. Some people shun soy, while I thrive off of it and love not having to worry about the ethical treatment of an animal. Other people restrict themselves from cheese; I have around 30 cheese sticks in my fridge and another couple of pounds back home(I kid you not). What my point is is that it’s up to us to be aware of how certain foods make us feel, and equally important how they make other people feel and respect that part of them. If you feel you might have any of the same symptoms, there is a way to test for gluten intolerance and I plan to try it over the Summer. And lest you think that you could never eat normal again without gluten, well… you might be right…

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

There was nothing normal about this muffin. It was, however, gluten-free and freshly baked from Garden Grille. And you know I can’t pass up anything maple.

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

I realize now I forgot to ask if it was a muffin or a cupcake. I couldn’t really picture it being eaten at either time, but I had it for dessert. It was good! A little odd to have something so spicy right after dinner. But the maple was definitely a nice and subtle sweetener, and the texture was just like a muffin(cupcake?) should be.



I snacked on some strawberries while watching the Brothers & Sisters movie. I planned on going to bed early to make up for Saturday’s lack of sleep but I just got way too into the movie and watched the whole thing. Did anybody else Wasn’t it good! But I feel like they could have taken the drama just one step further, and not leave us hanging at the end.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

And about halfway through I made a bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter. I love that it’s vegan and hazelnut is the first ingredient! Because of the gluten problems I mentioned, I wasn’t actually hungry for this. But I wanted to make sure if I was running in the morning, I was well fueled.

10 Miles In 86:07

10 Miles In 86:07

And I was. I started out my morning by waking up naturally at 6:44 while my alarm was set for 6:45–love that. Then I rocked out 10 miles while catching up on the Today Show. I love getting the workout done first thing; it just makes the rest of the day go so much more efficient!

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk, Soy Yogurt With Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk, Soy Yogurt With Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Breakfast was only “boring” in the sense that it was the same ingredients as last night; otherwise, it tasted delicious 😀

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk

I can’t believe how much coconut milk I still have from that one can. How could I possibly use it all up before it goes bad?!

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

I sweetened the soy yogurt a bit with Madhava’s vanilla agave after I realized I bought plain instead of vanilla and it tasted just right. It was definitely nice not to have the spice of jalapeno 😉

How do you differentiate between a cupcake and a muffin? I’m curious about this one. I’ve seen people change their opinion on something based solely on the time when they eat it. If I ate a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast, would that make it oatmeal? For me, a muffin has more grams of whole grains than of sugar, and vice-versa. If you’re eating a “muffin” without any whole grains, you might as well be having a cupcake.

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26 Responses to “How Gluten Makes Me Feel”

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I think a muffin and a cupcake are the same thing…I don’t make a distinction.

I love this post Evan. It hits it spot on how gluten makes me feel too. It makes me so bloated and gives me abdominal pain I can’t tell when I’m full or hungry anymore and it stays that way anywhere from 24-72+ hours. I plan on getting tested this summer too to just kind of know the severity of it.

Do you buy GF oats, or do normal oats not bother you?

And I think muffins have cupcakes have different textures due to the fat and sugar amounts being higher in cupcakes which are more moist, and muffins are a little more flaky. Something like that. Usually the flavor gives away what it is….and the frosting on a cupcake 😉 lol

My oats are probably contaminated but they don’t bother me. They’re just the organic ones from bulk bins in Whole Foods

I’m rarely tempted to eat something I shouldn’t, because I don’t want to deal with the after effects anymore! I’m on an extremely restricted diet for Crohn’s Disease, so not only can I not have gluten, but I can’t have any sugars, starches, grains, and even most dairy. Needless to say, it’s tough, but I’m living life to the fullest. And that’s what matters.

Hmm…I think a cupcake is usually more fluffy and sweet especially if it has icing!

Ihaven’t watched the b&s “movie” yet but I TiVoed it. That’s one of my favorite show!

love this post! I just started a gluten free month as an experiment to see if it will help with my stomach issues. I definately have noticed that it is SO much easier to listen to my body because I will actually feel full or I can tell when I am hungry without guessing bc I would always feel bloated or had stomach pains!

Agreed on the muffin front!

to me muffins are more of a hearty meal….they are filled with healthy grains and bran and less sweet. A cupcake is more of a dessert filled with sugar and butter 🙂 however I really have no idea, this is just what I think about in my mind how to deferentiate!

A cupcake has frosting in my book

Evan, I would also count the sugar grams compared to the overall carbohydrate in my decision…I really think that a small muffin should have no more that 10 g of sugar (more for a large one like the one in your post). People are stupid in thinking that adding things like corn, bran, or fruit makes them healthy. And what’s up with the chocolate “muffin?” You can’t just take the frosting off something and call it a muffin. Did you know Dunkin’ Donuts’s low fat muffins have like 80 g sugar or something outrageous like that?

I think cupcakes are more light and fluffy and have frosting – muffins and are more dense!

I never realized that this was an effect of gluten intolerance. Very interesting!

For me, a muffin has to have some serious fiber and not be too sweet. If it tastes like cake I can’t stand it first thing in the morning!

Cupcakes have frosting!

thats exactly what i was thinking!

I think muffins are more likely to be “healthy”. You cannot make a healthy cupcake and call it a cupcake.

The only difference between a cupcake and a muffin? Frosting, of course.

I differentiate between muffins & cupcakes by how healthy they are – example: most “muffins” you can buy at a local “normal” bakery are probably far closer to a cupcake!

I could not agree with you more about eating what makes you feel good! I have really been focusing on how food makes me feel. I think I really started doing this when I was having problems with soy and my husband was diagnosed with celiac. It is strange to watch your body react to foods! Great post! As for the muffin/cupcake…I think a muffin should have some sort of nutritional advantage in order to be called a muffin. Seriously, if it is not good for you…it is a cupcake.

cupcakes are much fluffier and normally don’t have the crunchier tops like muffins do…cause i like to put streusal on top!

if it ain’t got icing, it ain’t a cupcake!

Thanks for explaining the gluten problems! I think I have problems with it too, along with a gazillion other food intolerances lol. But it’s been so hard to pinpoint the gluten thing or explain it. I think I naturally started avoiding too much pasta or bread just because I instinctively didn’t want to eat it, especially at restaurants because the portion sizes are huge and I’ll be bloated for the next 2 days. Even though I’m not really an athlete as you are, I still require a ton of fuel and like to be able to eat every few hours to get it all in, so eating a ton of gluten-y foods kind of ruins that. I’d be really curious about the test. I did an experiement and went gluten free for a week and felt sooo much better! But family and peer pressure and my love of bread made it hard to keep that up. So for now I just accept the fact that I look 8 months pregnant the majority of the time, but I’d love to look into this more and start feeling better.

And as for muffin vs cupcake, well cupcakes are sweeter for sure, I usually see it as a mini cake. Muffins are like sweet breads, and what you had definitely looks like cornbread! Anything with jalapeno in it I think I would consider savoury haha, but I like that you think outside of the box when it comes to desserts. Tell Garden Grille to open a franchise in Houston!

ps. Speaking of outside the box,check out my blog if you want to see your competition in the PB contest! Secretly, I think your entry looks yummier, but I think I should get extra points for creativity.

Wise words, Evan, I think its really important that you listen to your body- but also would be great if you actually differentiated between people possibly having IBS etc associated with particular food sensitivities to e.g. gluten and actual clinical Coeliac disease- which is a true, serious medical condition, as I know you know! Its so important, if people are worried to visit their doctor to be tested- its very simple- in fact you can buy home testing kits-e.g. but you need to carry on eating gluten regularly- a load of about 10g gluten/day (e.g. 2 slices of bread) in order to measure if you are raising antibodies against gluten/gliadin. Coeliac disease carries a number of complications if it isn’t correctly diagnosed and managed, especially if you are still maturing, or being very physically active- so maybe you could encourage anyone who is worried to go to see their doctor? It might also help others with possible IBS or disordered eating notions associated with restriction of certain foods to find out what might be going on with them?

hey! thank you for bringing this up. i think a lot of people see going GF as “trendy” and not a real, legit medical reason.
two things:
1. i did a huge research project for my nutrition class about the health effects of men and soy, and was surprised at my findings. have you researched it at all?

2. if you get tested for celiac/gluten-intolerance, you MUST EAT GLUTEN for at least 3 months before it for the test to be accurate… trust me, i learned the hard way! that was a miserable few months.

good luck!

That’s interesting about the 3 months. I heard it was only for the week prior. If it’s 3 months, wow will that be uncomfortable. Although I haven’t been the best about avoiding it last month, either. I have heard of soy studies, both the ones about hormone levels in men as well as the benefits of 20-25g of soy protein in a diet. Overall, I’m not too worried about any of it. I eat a moderate amount, mostly for the ethical and monetary reasons behind meat. I don’t go out of my way to eat surplus soy, but I don’t shun it.

thanks for your thoughts on soy! i think you’re very balanced in your approach.

as far as the gluten test, last summer i was really struggling with my stomach and went GF for a few months. after going to the endocrinologist, he wanted to run me for celiac/gluten-sensitivity. he did the test, but then when he got it back he said it was useless because there wasn’t enough gluten in my bloodstream for my body to form a proper inflammatory reaction. he said the best way to test is 2-3 months because then your body will be inflamed enough to register the situation as serious as it really is. if you only eat it for a week, your body might have healed enough to handle the stress and the test probably won’t be accurate.

just my two cents! i’d hate for you to make the same mistake i did. if you have doubts, call your endocrynologist. good luck, and i’m sorry – i know it’s frustrating and uncomfortable to be dealing with this. i wish you the best of luck!

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