The Glu(ten) That Sticks - Balancing ValBalancing Val

The Glu(ten) That Sticks

Last night we had our Gluten Free baking class.  Along with information about how to bake GF Chef Celine took the class to another level by explaining a lot of important info on the Gluten issue.


I always had an interest in gluten, but not from a good standpoint.  Honestly, I truly thought the idea of gluten intolerance/disease was just a modern craze that only actually affected a small group of people and the rest were just being babies about it.


Sorry if that’s offensive, but that’s what happens when you judge and form opinions without educating yourself.  Goes for a lot of things in life huh?


Well being properly educated, I found it so interesting that I am considering a Gluten Free experiment of my own!


To break down everything I learned, I figure that a Q&A type style would be best so here goes!


What is Gluten?

Gluten is the insoluble protein found in wheat, barley and rye.  In baking, it helps leaven, trap moisture and preserves food.  It also lends a “chew-feel” to food.


What About Oats?

A popular belief is that oats contain gluten but they do NOT.  The only reason why oats are usually lumped into this category is because oats are usually grown next to wheat, barley or rye which causes cross-contamination.  Gluten free oats are available, but very expensive.


Is Gluten In Other Things We Don’t Know About?

YES!  Just like corn and soy find its way into everything (even your furniture), gluten is part of the crowd.  Since wheat is subsidized and mass produced, there are numerous places we find it including, stamps, gum, nail polish, lotions, beauty products, spices, vinegars, envelopes, toothpaste, etc. Someone with celiac disease really should be mindful of all the many places it can lurk.


Why Do We Go Gluten-Free?

There are 3 main reasons to eliminate gluten from your diet.

1.) Discomfort– intolerance, allergy or not gluten is a truly hard thing for the body to digest and metabolize.  Too much gluten (or any gluten) can lead to brain fog, fatigue, gas, joint aches and plenty of digestive issues. Discomfort usually goes away after a short amount of time and is only acute.


2.) Intolerance/Sensitivity – people with this have all of the symptoms above but chronically meaning it still lingers even after eating gluten.


3.) Celiac Disease – this is the worst case scenario.  Celiac is an auto-immune disease in which the small intestine no longer has the ability to draw in nutrients to the body because the nutrient receptors (villi) are badly damaged from the gluten.  Over time, the body can develop major issues from malnourishment.


Is This Whole Gluten Craze Just A  Modern Disease?

In my opinion . . . Yes and No.  Wheat has been around for such a long time and has really helped to give way to developing many cultures.  The difference between now and then is that these days, people are eating a TON more wheat products.  I also think that when you couple this with a huge increase in sugar and lab-made foods it’s a recipe for disaster.  Over time this issue has gained a lot of attention and respect that it needed and now you can find GF foods and information easily.


Would I Benefit From Going Gluten-Free If I Don’t Have A Problem With It?

This is where I’m at.  Giving your body a break from something that its hard on could only help right?  If you were running a marathon every single day, wouldn’t you need a break?

The only way to tell is to do an elimination experiment because you never know how something affects you until its not there anymore.  I’m sure its different for everyone but there are some minor health issues that I have and I would love to see if Gluten is part of the problem.

Some things reported to happen after eliminating gluten are, clear headedness, improved digestion, weight loss, more energy and my favorite . . . better food combining.

This simply means that if you are taking something off your plate (bread, pasta, anything with gluten) you will usually replace it with something healthy like more salad or vegetables if you are mindful! You cant expect to see what’s going on if you replace all of your cookies, donuts and bread with gluten free versions.  Be smart about it!


Will I Be Missing Out On Anything?

Not if your committed and educated. Before going on an experiment like this . . . DO YOUR RESEARCH! I am at this very stage right now and I need to make sure I have everything correct before jumping into something.

As for missing out though . . . I would like you to take a look at some of the bounty we made last night of all Gluten Free baked goods and THEN ask me Winking smile





I’ll be thinking about my next plan of action for the next few days as I do have some baking classes still left and I’m not sure if I want to cut out gluten just yet, at least for the sake of education.  I’ll update as soon as I can.


Some of you have already shared your wonderful thoughts with me on my Facebook Page . . . join the discussion there or hit up the comments.  What do you think?



**PLEASE NOTE- Although I am getting a wonderful education on many natural health related issues, I am not a licensed nutritionist.  Please check with a professional before making any drastic health decisions**

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12 Responses to The Glu(ten) That Sticks

  • Cyndall says:

    What is that last dessert in the last picture of this post?!!? It looks SOO Delicious! I know I’m going to have to try to recreate it whatever it is!

  • I honestly don’t see a reason to eliminate something just for the fun of it but if you think you may have an insensitivity then it’s definitely a good little challenge. What’s funny is that I thought it was actually a good idea to use gf cookies, gf pasta or whatever you usually have to see the real effect of gluten on your body. Of course you’re going to experience weight loss if you replace pasta with veggies but will you really feel better if you replace gluten pasta with a gluten free one? That’s the real test on whether you have an intolerance or not!
    Good luck :)

    • Val says:


      I was reading that people that eliminate gluten WITHOUT an intolerance usually feel better because eliminating something makes them more mindful about what they eat and in turn makes them choose healthier options. It may actually NOT be due to the gluten.

      I’ve been struggling with fatigue, joint aches and minor digestive issues as of late and I want to do an experiment to see if that may be a culprit. If not, fine but it couldnt hurt :)

      Plus, I love educating myself about the issue more and more as it will help me with clients in the future!

  • birdie to be says:

    GREAT post! Thank you for sharing. All that food looks amazing by the way!

  • Emily says:

    I really want that chocolate creation. It looks delicious!

  • Maureen says:

    I think it is time for me to try it out since the joints are such a serious issue. Let’s do the class on one of these wonderful recipes! That crazy chiro keeps telling me to knock it off along with a few others.

  • What is that chocolate confection? It looks amazing!

    You already know my thoughts on gluten, but what I wanted to say is I think its awesome you are covering gluten at school. I’m so appreciative of the places that provide gluten free meals or baked goods.

    I once had a gluten free yule log (buche de noel) that was to die for. I’m going to order it again for Christmas this year.

    • Val says:

      Its a chocolate cake :)

      Theres nothing cool to describe it lol.

      Im really appreciative of the class too. Its amazing how much Im learning and how much I am getting interested in things Id never thought Id be interested in!

  • Mayte says:

    Hi Val,
    I discovered last December that I’m allergic to gluten.
    I live in Mexico and as you can imagine here is almost impossible to get access to gluten free products
    I visited the Natural Gourmet Institute last March and I was able to find some books to guide in this new lifestyle but would you recommend me taking an open class for gluten free baking??
    I would love to listen about your experience and if it would be worthed because of all the trip expenses that are not cheap at all!!
    Thanks so much for having this wonderful blog!!

    • Val says:

      Hey Mayte!

      I love NGI! But if your just coming for a class on GF baking then it probably wouldnt be worth the expense unless your in the area. There are plenty of resources out there about gluten free baking and soon I will be one of them so stay tuned!

      Thanks for reading :)

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