First off, some housekeeping! I wanted to extend an open invitation to the 2FNs community for guest blog posts. I like fresh ideas and fresh points of view, so if you've ever wanted to try blogging but didn't want to have your own blog, give it a shot! Any topic is fine! Leave a comment if you are interested and we can get in touch.

Now, for the post:

I've heard and read quite a lot about gluten being the latest fad diet. Apparently it has gone from a major dietary inconvenience due to gastrointestinal discomfort to being the socially conscious, ethically chic way to eat. Now, you may recall Brooks and Dave going gluten-free recently, and I actually really appreciate their reasoning for doing so. Brooks runs an awesome coffee shop, and to better server her customers, she has been getting a firsthand look into the gluten-free lifestyle. I think that is an awesome (and really thoughtful) way to help out true celiacs. However, for the people simply doing it to lose weight and be hip, I've got one word: redonkulus.

Ellie sent me a fantastic article this morning, from HelloGiggles, and I thought I'd share a digest version to get you interested:

What Is Gluten?:

"Well let’s back up. What the heck is gluten, anyway? Contrary to popular belief (which is—surprise!—often based on misinformation and lots and lots of marketing), it’s not a devil particle sent here to wipe out the human race. It’s actually just a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. And that sort of takes the sexy sinfulness out of it and brings this whole thing back to boring, doesn’t it? Sorry."

Why Celiacs Go Gluten-Free:

“When people who do have celiac cut out gluten, they may gain weight because they’re not having diarrhea and malabsorption,” Beth Kitchen says, an Assistant Professor and Nutrition Sciences Patient Educator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham . “When they go gluten-free, they feel better and gain weight back because they’re absorbing nutrients and calories.”

Important: Test First:

“I always emphasize not to just try it as a diet, but to ask your doctor to test for celiac first,” Cureton says. “That’s so important because you can’t test for it if you’re already on a gluten-free diet.” The reason is that the typical tests—which include blood samples and something super intimate known as an endoscopy—examine your body’s reaction to gluten, so if you’ve quit consuming it, your doctor won’t know whether or not you might have a real problem."

Other Consequences:

“It’s mandatory in the US to fortify grains like wheat with folic acid,” Jones says. “Since that’s been done, the incidences of neural tube defects have decreased dramatically, as have severe birth defects. It’s important to make certain that you’re getting some regular, reliable source of folic acid to prevent problems that might occur with intended or unintended pregnancies.”

I encourage everyone to go and read the full article; it's pretty interesting! I also wanted to make it clear that having lived with someone who was gluten-free for over a year due to health reasons, it is safe to say I don't wish that diet on anyone. I mean, really, who can go without beer?