Food for Thought

More and more people are eliminating certain foods—such as gluten and dairy—from their diet to feel fit. Is it right for you?

About the Author

Gluten-free. Lactose intolerant. Celiac Disease. Crohn’s Disease. These now buzzworthy dietary issues have been cropping up all over the place. Know what your body needs as well as what makes you feel less than performance worthy or what makes you feel like a rock star.

Not a Glutton for Gluten?

Does eating pasta make you sick to your stomach? Have you tried eliminating gluten from your diet? There are entire gluten-free sections in grocery stores, and more and more people are touting the benefits of being gluten-free.

Just think back to the Olympics! Many competing athletes at the games had gluten-free diets.

However, carbohydrates are an important source of energy, so if you do not need to be gluten-free, keep it in your diet.

Dairy Deduction

The same line of thinking goes for possible dairy intolerances. However, for some people, having yogurt—because of the active cultures—can actually lessen the difficulties of eating other types of lactose-laden foods. Drinking kefir—a type of yogurt drink—also has the reputation of helping with lactose intolerance.

Also if you have a cold, decrease or eliminate your dairy because it can inflame your symptoms. Playing an instrument while being sick is never fun, so boost your immune system by increasing vitamin C instead. Red peppers, parsley, and broccoli have several times more vitamin C than an orange!

Personal Experimentation

When dealing with intolerances, eliminating foods from your diet and seeing how you feel is generally the best thing to do. It is important to be aware of how you feel as you keep them out or gradually add them back in.

As you remove categories of food, make sure to get all the necessary vitamins, minerals and energy to sustain you throughout your day. Talk to your doctor, or even sometimes an allergy specialist, to ensure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients. Taking a daily vitamin or other supplements can be beneficial as well. Ask your doctor which ones are best for you.

About the Author

After dancing since the age of 3, Haley Greenwald-Gonella thought it was time to try a new art. In elementary school, she began playing the flute and was in the marching band in middle school and for the first two years of high school. She also played the bassoon during concert season. Dance drew Haley back while in high school. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with degrees in dance and English. She recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a master’s degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts). Haley is also a certified registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She draws upon her dance and yoga training when it comes to all things fitness and the arts.