There was once a lady that went and asked Gandhi to tell her young son to give up sugar. Gandhi said to come back in a month and ask again. The lady comes back with her son and Gandhi told the young man to give up sugar. The lady stated, "Why did you make us wait a month for you to tell my son to give up sugar?"
Gandhi stated, "I needed to give it up myself if I was to tell your son to."
I've always remembered that story. (I have no idea if I got the details right, but you get the point) Lately, I've been asking more and more of my patients to try to go gluten free for a three week trial. Granted they give me some rather large clues that it will be very helpful. Bloated after eating, lack of solid bowel movements, brain fog feelings after eating, no energy, upset stomach. Pretty easily identifiable stuff that at least warrants a solid 3 week trial of gluten free.
I was starting to feel a little guilty. I had never done the trial myself. My defense, I was pretty sure I don't have one. But, the proof is in the testing.
So I did it.
First, there is never a perfect time. There will always be a date in the three week trial that conflicts with your test. I had 4th of July. Friends and family visiting, burgers and going out to eat. If your going to do it, just do it. There is never a "perfect" time.
2nd. Get some real ideas about meals and food. Don't just think you will snack and eat and just give up pasta and bread. Write down actual meals that you will eat and go shopping.
3rd. Figure out the foods you normally really enjoy or crave in weak moments and find a substitute. Those cravings will hit. Have a plan.
4th. Plan your meals ahead that you normally improvise on. I eat lunch at work twice a weak. This became a planned meal instead of on the go.
5th. Drink tons of water. Expect after about a week that you start to pee like crazy. This seems to be pretty common.
6th. Up your fats. Get a lot of extra fat into your meals and diet. This helps you stay full and satiated. Bacon anyone? Avocados, coconut oil, eggs, grass fed beef, wild fish, fish oil, sardines, ice cream (the real kind 3-4 ingredients)
7th. Enjoy the testing. Find new foods, new places to eat. Order something you would normally not try.
Commit and figure it out. I finished with a gluten meal just to see how much a difference it would make the next morning/day.
For me, it didn't do much. I felt great the whole time, but went in feeling good and felt great the next day after my gluten binge. In fact, I hit a PR in pull ups and trap bar deadlifts for my first half summer cycle.
If you have always had some stomach issues, extra joint pain, lethargy, unexpected low motivation, brain fog, give the 3 week gluten free trial a go and see how you respond.