Have you noticed all the “Gluten-Free” products that have arisen over the last few years? Seems like it’s quite the healthy path to go…or maybe not.
And let’s not get the words “gluten” and “glutton” mixed up, even though they sound a bit familiar.
From The Free Dictionary:
Glutton is a person who eats or consumes immoderate amounts of food and drink.
Gluten is the mixture of proteins, including gliadins and glutelins, found in wheat grains, which are not soluble in water and which give wheat dough its elastic texture, that are also thought to be the cause of digestive disorders such as celiac disease.
Glutton, as you might remember, was also one of the original “7 deadly sins” (Pride, anger, greed, lust envy and sloth were the other unfortunate candidates). So being a glutton or having gluttony-like behaviors, needless to say, was not viewed as very spiritual or Godly.
Additionally, being a glutton is just probably not good for you and unattractive, spiritual or not.
Therefore, being glutton-free is a good thing and having a gluten-free diet is also good (apparently, but put an asterisk** on that) if you suffer from one of those digestive disorders.
Have you noticed that we’ve gone through numerous “free” phases in our search for the ideal diet?
- Fat Free
- Sugar Free
- Dairy Free
- Allergen Free
- Soy Free
- Nut Free
- GMO Free
- Nitrate Free
- Nitrite Free
- MSG Free
And now gluten-free.
See anything in common? Yes, the word “Free” is the common denominator with all of them.
“Free” is also one of the most commonly used and highly effective words to use in marketing campaigns.
I wonder if there’s any correlation?
Personally, I’m a glutton for the word “free” and it snags me all the time.
I suspect I’m not alone, as you’ll see “free” used over and over again in advertising and marketing.
Maybe there is a subconscious mind manipulation occurring when we see the words “free” and “diet” used in close proximity.
And let’s also be reminded that there is more than one meaning for the word “free.”
- Not costing any money
- Not held as a slave or prisoner
- Not physically held by something
(Thanks to Merriam-Webster online Dictionary)
Just because something doesn’t cost any money does NOT mean that we are no longer held captive by it.
But let us not forget the glutton side of this conversation.
To say that there is an abundance of gluttony occurring today would be one of the most radical understatements of the day. We are living in perhaps the most excessive, piggishness and gourmandizing (other words the thesaurus identifies as synonymous with gluttony) times ever.
We love food. We are in love with food. We love food SO much we’d die for it.
And we are.
And any of the “free” diets are just fleeting fantasies of quick fixes to much more serious issues.
Food addiction, as odd and highly disagreeable as the term may sound, is alive and well in the 21st century and we’re in the middle of an epidemic.
A variety of the following foods were identified as being gluten-free in recent online and offline shopping trips:
- Potato chips (very fattening)
- Ice cream (with loads of sugar)
- Candy bars (with even more sugar)
- Mixed nuts (with a ton of salt)
And there are so many more. Even fruits and vegetables are advertised as gluten-free (Duh!…of course they are).
And check the ingredients of the “specialty” foods that are made gluten-free (bread, cookies, crackers, pasta, etc.). Added chemicals and additive words that can’t be pronounced (I was told if you can’t pronounce it you probably shouldn’t eat it) that apparently take the place of the gluten. Yikes! But take it one more step and check out the sugar, carbohydrate, sodium and caloric levels in these gluten-free foods. Double yikes!
Here’s a quote from a recent article from a New Yorker online article: “Sales of gluten-free products will exceed fifteen billion dollars by 2016, twice the amount of five years earlier.”
I see. It’s all about the money.
Hello?!! People, wake up…you’re being scammed!
Yes, there are most definitely people who need to avoid gluten for medical reasons and probably others who are having some kind of reaction to it. But it is NOT a “cure-all” diet.
Not even close.
But apparently many people are hopping on the bandwagon with hopes of a healthier lifestyle.
Like the saying goes (pun most definitely intended), “There are NO free lunches.”
And there are NO free diets.
You can still be the epitome of a glutton in the midst of a gluten-free diet.
It’s like telling an alcoholic to only drink beer.
To change, truly change, takes hard work, effort and a daily recommitment. This is especially true of addictive behaviors.
And we all have the potential to be addicts.
Want to be glutton-free AND healthy? Great! Create a life plan that includes a healthy food plan, find a non-codependent support system, a good therapist and knowledgeable physician, and then work this daily.
Some days will be better than others, but if you keep shuffling forward daily, you’ll achieve your goals and retrain your brain.
There are really no shortcuts so stay away from the quick-fixes and be extremely cautious of anything that has the words “free” and “diet” in the same sentence.
One day at time a time. That’s the way it’s done.
And remember, above all else, Marry YourSelf First!