What to do if you get glutened

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Getting glutened is a lot like a break up: awful, frustrating, confusing, and makes you want to lay in bed and cry all day. It happens to me more often than I’d like, 3-4 times a year I’d say. Whether it’s due to cross contamination, or that one time I ate a Red Vine because I confused it with Swedish Fish – gluten is always around threatening to make your life miserable.

These are a few things that I’ve found to help me recover from a glutening. I’m not a doctor, so take this advice with a grain of salt – but it is what has worked for me.

1. Get mad, then move on

Whether you write a strongly worded letter to a restaurant, or curse yourself for letting your guard down, let out your frustration. Then you’ve got to move on. There’s nothing you can do at that point to get the gluten out of your system, so you have to focus on healing your body as soon as possible.

2. Drink ginger tea

Ginger is known to help aid digestion, and also has anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea and antioxidant properties. I’ve found that having a cup or two after a meal really helps settle my stomach. Peppermint tea has many of the same benefits.


3. Exercise, but not too much

There are a ton of benefits to exercise when your system is a mess from gluten. For one, it helps your body digest food and pass (ahem) gas. It also helps fight fatigue, which is one of the most annoying side effects of being glutened for me – I feel like I could sleep all day.

That said, take it easy. If you feel like you’re overdoing it, or are struggling to keep up with your normal workouts, turn it down a notch. If you usually run, try incline walking, or take a yoga class.

4. Avoid foods that are hard to digest

The worst thing you can do when your gut is damaged is fill it with foods that are hard to break down to even the strongest of digestive tracts. Things like kale, broccoli, cabbage, and other insoluble fibers are too harsh for your system. When you’ve made it through a few days, then slowly introduce small amounts of greens back into your diet.

5. Be gentle with your gut

I tend to treat my stomach like I would if I had the flu for 2-3 days after I realize I’ve ingested gluten. I eat lots of bananas, mashed potatoes, soup, rice with butter, cooked carrots, and eggs. Even things like caffeine and carbonation tend to affect me more, I feel, so I try to cut down on my coffee and soda intake.

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