In January I became gluten free.

I think people think that going gluten free means the end of all things delicious, but, let me tell you something, going gluten free can be delicious!

Like these flour less peanut butter muffins.

For the past year and a half I suspected that I was gluten intolerant. I knew I didn't have celiac disease (I'm pretty infamous for self diagnosing) but I knew I had some sort of gluten issue happening, don't we all?!

Before becoming gluten free I naturally ate a well balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, lean proteins (chicken, fish, and, turkey), and carbs.

Going gluten free has been a big journey into learning about what I can and can't eat. I've officially become that crazy lady at the grocery store reading the label off of everything before putting it into my basket. I find it really hard to eat out (I shouldn't do much of that anyways, right?) and I find that it's hard when I'm invited somewhere with food and I can't eat half of the things provided.

Gluten free food can be divided into two categories
  1. Foods that are naturally gluten free (fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat)
  2. Foods that are replaced by a gluten free substitute (breads, pasta, cereal, snack items)
I've been asked "So what happens when you do eat gluten?" My answer is one that many wouldn't understand.

You see, people who are gluten intolerant don't know that they are. The only way to find out if you are gluten intolerant or not is to eliminate all foods containing gluten and go from there.

When I eliminated all gluten products from my diet I didn't necessarily feel better like a lot of people claim. However, I did notice that when I accidentally ate something that contained gluten I would experience sharp excruciating pain in my stomach. That was a sure way of letting me know that, yes, I was in fact gluten intolerant. So when people claim to feel better I'm sure it's in the terms of comparing the times they eat gluten and the times they don't. Nonetheless, I feel a whole lot better when I haven't come in contact with anything that contains gluten.

Like most things in life there are pros and cons about becoming gluten free
  • PROS (a lot!)
    • I eat less processed foods because it's less accessible (almost all processed foods contain gluten)
    • I'm eating even more than ever natural & whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, & meats
    • I'm eating out less
    • I don't have knee joint problems anymore when I workout
    • I don't feel bloated or gassy after eating a meal that would normally contain gluten
    • My Keratosis Pilaris on my legs & arms are nearly gone
    • Can help lose weight (only because gluten is found in mostly bad for you foods)
  • CONS (not a lot!)
    • Gluten free can be expensive but only because fresh produce is more expensive than processed foods (so I'm totally okay with paying for a healthier lifestyle)
    • It can lead to weight gain since most gluten free flours contain a higher content of fat, sugar, & carbs. However, like any diet, overconsumption of foods containing a higher content of fat, sugar, & carbs will lead to weight gain.
So what the heck is gluten?
  • As stated by the Celiac Disease Foundation "Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, farro) rye, & barley. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as glue that holds foods together"
    • For more information on gluten & celiac disease, check out their website here.
The other day I went to Subway with Simon and I had a salad with no meat and had red wine vinegar & oil as my dressing. In as quick as 10 minutes I started experiencing the same symptoms I get when I eat gluten. I had sharp abdominal pains and felt incredibly bloated. I could not for the life of me figure out what I ate then decided that it was probably the vinegar. Vinegar is "gluten free" but that has it's own story that I won't get into.

And this is the delicious muffin split open!

And my favorite? Honey drizzled on top of the muffin.

Okay, have I convinced you that going gluten free can and is delicious?!

I won't sugar coat it, going gluten free is and has been hard. But, going gluten free has freed up my stomach issues, knee joint issues, headache issues, skin issues, and so much more.

I don't think everyone should go gluten free, it is after all your choice. Do I recommend it? You bet!

Now that I've finished blabbering away, here is my favorite gluten free muffin recipe. It's amazing because it tastes like peanut butter (who doesn't like peanut butter?!) and it's flour less!

There's only 9 ingredients, you can't beat that!

{Gluten Free}

Author: Shape Up To Wake Up
Makes: 12 muffins

A flourless muffin perfect for gluten & non gluten free muffin lovers. Made with peanut butter, bananas, and fun toppings, it will take you back to eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches as a child.

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 - 2 tbsp. flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup honey + more for drizzle
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • OPTIONAL: chocolate chips, fresh or dried fruit, nuts, etc
  • Preheat your oven & prepare a cupcake pan with 12 liners.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients with a blender until smooth.
  • If using the optional add ins, fold the fancy into the batter.
  • Bake in the oven at 350 F for 20 - 25 minutes.
  • When they are finished baking, let the cool at room temperature.
  • Drizzle honey on top, optional
  • Like almost all flourless baking items the finished product will not have a dome top, it will sink in a bit and look flat. to ensure that the muffins are fully cooked, you can poke the center of each muffin in the middle. If the batter is still runny then bake it for another few minutes.
  • Remember that all baked items are still cooking for the next 5 - 7 minutes after coming out of the oven so don't overcook your muffins!

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