The FLO Living protocol includes a gluten-free diet plan, and I personally have been gluten-free for many years. If you have irregular periods, PCOS, acne, mood swings, bloating, infertility issues, then you will benefit from going gluten-free. This does not mean you have Celiac disease – it is far more likely that you have a common gluten sensitivity. Gluten is not good for your hormonal health, which is why I recommend removing it from your diet when you follow the FLO Living protocol. From my experience, women who commit to this overcome their health issues much quicker and with more success.
How gluten affects your hormones and your health
From a hormonal standpoint, a gluten sensitivity means that gluten causes inflammation in your intestines. That inflammation causes cell connections in the lining of the gut to break down. These tiny gaps allow microscopic food particles to pass through into the bloodstream undigested.
The body reacts to this with an immune response. This increases inflammatory markers in your system as a whole. That inflammation signals to the adrenals that there is now an increased element of internal stress. Over time, that creates an increase in cortisol secretion and disrupts thyroid hormones, insulin secretion, and ovulation. This is when the hormonal dysregulation happens and symptoms from increased PMS to infertility can present.
Gluten vs. Glyphosate – why you should avoid gluten
Even if you don’t think gluten has an affect on you – perhaps you’ve gone through an elimination trial or observed your body’s response – you need to consider the impact of glyphosate. Wheat is sprayed with glyphosate-based pesticides (or RoundUp) here in the US (and some of Europe where there is a movement to ban this pesticide, with some countries already implementing the ban).
Exposure to pesticides in wheat, in addition to the gluten, elevates estrogen levels and can worsen pre-existing hormonal conditions or create new ones. This pesticide(like all pesticides) is xenoestrogenic (meaning it contains synthetic estrogens). It will disrupt your hormones and cause hormonal health issues like irregular cycles, PCOS, and infertility. Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, has evidence to show that Americans have been shown to have 10 times this chemical in their urine as Europeans.
How to give up gluten
If the idea of giving up gluten is horrifying to you then, take it from someone who’s been gluten-free before it was “cool” – it’s a great time to go gluten-free! These days you have so many options – I love that my local Le Pain Quotidien serves amazing gluten-free loaves and that Food for Life makes tasty black rice-based gluten-free bread. That said, I prefer not to rely on gluten-free packaged foods (which can come along with lots of unwanted, unhealthy additives) and stick to good quality gluten-free bread plus whole grains.
Here’s how I make gluten-free work for me:
- I keep a good loaf of gluten-free bread on hand for tartines for breakfast (this is how I get over my sandwich-envy, really the only thing I miss).
- If I do eat a bite of gluten – which is very rarely – or if my husband insists on having it occasionally for himself, we only choose organic sourdough bread. The fermentation process makes the grains more digestible and less reactive in your intestine. The organic flour ensures it is pesticide free.
- I eat wholegrains every day, Cycle Synced to the FLO Living protocol (brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, oats, millet). This combats those carb-cravings. I also eat lots of sweet potatoes, carrots, and lentils.
- I soak all my grains overnight in apple cider vinegar to break down the phytic acid they contain, which can block nutrient absorption. This makes the micronutritients more bioavailable.
- I use coconut flour to make all my baked goods – pancakes, brownies, banana bread – so I don’t miss out on the desserts and treats I love, but also so I can fill myself with gut soothing lauric acid from the coconut flour and oil.
- If I find eating gluten is unavoidable for some reason (a restaurant meal, or a friend’s dinner party, or you eat it by mistake) then be sure to make yourself my gut-healing smoothie recipe to have every day for a few days after. Take a teaspoon of mangosteen powder, the same of chlorella, the same of spirulina, a tablespoon of flax, ¼ tsp each of ginger and turmeric, a handful of blueberries and some banana, and a splash of almond milk, 1 tsp coconut oil and whizz up in your smoothie maker. This will offset the impact of the gluten on your gut health and help your liver to process the glyphosate.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you think you’re gluten sensitive?
Second, do you have infertility issues?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good period karma and share this article on social 😉
Is Your Period Healthy?
How do you know if your hormones are healthy? The answer is in your 5th vital sign – your period.
The color of your flow, frequency of your period, and symptoms you have each month can tell you a lot about your health. There are 5 different V-SIGN TYPES, and knowing which one you have will help you get healthy now and prevent disease in the future.