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Here’s Why You Should Try A Gluten-Free Diet

Here’s Why You Should Try A Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten-free eating is the new health fad nowadays. While there is debate on whether gluten-free diets are necessary for people who aren’t suffering from a disease which is directly correlated to gluten, like celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, people are adopting the diet nonetheless.

There are anti-gluten arguments that opine it can be detrimental to your health if you eat too much gluten. For that reason, gluten-free foods have been springing up all over the place in order to promote a healthier alternative. Anyone, whether they are suffering a gluten-induced disorder, can benefit from a gluten-free diet.

There are others who oppose this logic because they feel ridding your diet of gluten is not a healthy step to take. There are vital nutrients in gluten that can’t be replaced with non-gluten foods. Additionally, the gluten-free foods in stores, especially the snacks, are often filled with more sugar than foods containing gluten. So realistically they might not be a healthier alternative.

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Despite the support for gluten, there seems to be a lot one can gain from undertaking a gluten-free diet. It is also important to remember that many people who have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease don’t always display the symptoms right away.

Before you begin a gluten-free diet, it is important to make sure you test yourself for the various gluten disorders. Do your homework and ensure that your new diet won’t lack the beneficial nutrients found in gluten. Here are five reasons you should consider going on a gluten-free diet.

Celiac Disease

More people are being affected by celiac disease, although currently only 1% of people suffer from the affliction. People who have celiac disease are unable to eat foods that contain the protein composite without serious issues. People with celiac disease who are exposed to gluten will experience an attack from their immune systems against the gluten proteins, but they also experience an additional attack against the intestinal wall. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the intestinal wall is broken down if gluten is consumed. The effects of this disease are most apparent in the stomach region.

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Even though only 1% of the population is affected, there are many people who have gone undiagnosed because they don’t have serious symptoms. Over time, eating gluten can be very damaging to the intestinal wall. So, it is important to get tested for the disease if you suffer any unusual stomach ailments. You can also experiment with a gluten-free diet to see if it has a positive effect.

Gluten Sensitivity

Perhaps you don’t have celiac disease but your body still reacts adversely after eating gluten products. If you have bouts of diarrhea, stomach pain, or bloating after eating gluten, then you may have a sensitivity to gluten. In this case, you should change your eating habits and introduce more gluten-free foods into your diet.

Keratosis Pilaris

This is a skin condition, also known as chicken skin, which is common in many people, especially adolescents. It has been reported that as many as 50% of adults and 80% of adolescents have this condition that is very difficult to treat. It often appears on the arms in the form of small bumps that look similar to acne. The bumps are usually white, not red, and in most cases, they aren’t painful and they don’t itch.

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Many people who have been afflicted with this condition have tried gluten-free diets with a lot of success. It might be worth a shot to try a gluten-free diet if you suffer from this skin condition or another one like it.

Autoimmune Diseases

Besides the ones already listed, there is a growing problem with autoimmune diseases. Whether it is cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, osteoporosis, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or even multiple sclerosis, gluten is linked to these afflictions. Dr. Mark Hyman, a leading doctor in this field, warns about the dangers of the diseases which are directly related to the foods you are eating — which are most likely loaded with gluten. He argues that the effect gluten has on autoimmune diseases is rapid and needs to be ratified immediately. Americans in particular are killing themselves with gluten because there is such a high level of gluten used to produce bread, bagels, donuts, and other gluten products.

Not every autoimmune disease is caused by gluten. If your diet is high in gluten and you are experiencing any kind of unusual ailments, try testing out a gluten-free diet for a couple of weeks. Observe how you feel. Then go back and eat gluten to see if there is an effect. This is the best way to determine if you have an autoimmune disease caused by gluten.

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Neurological Diseases

If autoimmune diseases weren’t enough to be concerned with, Hyman also believes that many neurological diseases, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, and epilepsy, can be linked to gluten. Introducing a gluten-free diet could be a preventive measure against these kinds of diseases, especially if the link between them is strong.

Featured photo credit: Ed Greory via stokpic.com

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Mike Oppland

Mike is the Creator of Carpe Diem Motivation. He aspires to inspire individuals who are seeking a little extra boost in their lives.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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