I went gluten-free for 100 days, here's what happened... - Jenna Kutcher

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I went gluten-free for 100 days, here’s what happened…

Jenna Kutcher 

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I got the phone call in August and I knew what I was about to hear: “Jenna, you have a raging gluten sensitivity.” Just like that, I knew my world had changed… the girl known for mac and cheese, anything with bread, and the one who joked that she ate enough gluten for all of us was suddenly about to go gluten-free. I had tried to do it once as a diet and ordered one burger without the bun before falling back onto the gluten bandwagon but this time I knew it would be different… because I finally had confirmation of the thing I worried about, my body hated gluten and I needed to change.

What were the symptoms?

I was tired… and not just a little tired, I was exhausted every day. I felt like a walking case of mono and was actually developing anxiety because I was too worried to commit to anything for fear that I would be too tired to follow through. I was getting good sleep every night but I would crash around 11AM and be too tired to move, I couldn’t plan anything around the lunch hour and my team knew not to text me during my daily “nap time.”

I also was achy, so, so achy, I felt arthritic every day. Getting out of bed in the morning took some time and I would wobble my way to the bathroom. Everything hurt and I just thought that was normal… note to self: feeling like you’re 80 when you’re not even 30 isn’t normal. Lastly, my digestion was a mess. I won’t get into too many details here but let’s just say sister had nothing that could be considered “regular” in any way, shape, or form. So that was a big hint that something might not be working well with my body.

I never knew that gluten caused this…

A lot of people were confused when I announced that eliminating gluten was a huge piece of the fertility journey we are on. Before getting tested and having our two miscarriages, I didn’t realize that what I put in my mouth could affect so many things. Since my body is intolerant of processing gluten, the moment I would eat it, my cortisol levels (stress hormones) would spike and my body would go into fight or flight mode. Since my cortisol levels were so, so high, my hormones were out of wack.

My estrogen levels were high, my progesterone levels were low – which could have contributed to our losses. Gluten is an inflammatory so it was making my joints ache, my gut bloated. My blood sugar was all over the map which explained the mix between wired and tired.

How I made the change…

It’s wild because once I got the news, I was done. Literally, I haven’t cheated once in the last 100 days… not even a nibble. A switch went off in me that knew if I really wanted to feel better, if I was committed to progressing and hopefully helping my body be able to carry a pregnancy to term, I had to listen. Unluckily for me, I had just gone grocery shopping days before but reading the ingredients of most of my favorite foods made me realize how much gluten I had been consuming every single day. I immediately started hunting for healthy alternatives and committed to reading labels, both of these switches helped me become more aware of what I’m eating daily. Surprisingly, cooking gluten-free isn’t all that hard!

After 100 days, here’s what I can tell you.

I’m not going back… eating gluten-free has been eye-opening and at times frustrating (man, do I miss Subway bread) but it’s also been a powerful reminder that I can do anything I set my mind to. It’s opened my eyes to trying to understand how to optimize my health and to pay attention to how I am fueling my body. It has made me want to eliminate more things to see what I can do to feel my best and prepare my body for pregnancy.

I have more energy, I don’t take naps anymore (unless I’m jetlagged) and the fact that I am claiming back an hour of life each day and not having anxiety about my energy levels… that’s life-changing. I am still waiting to feel even “better” but getting my adrenal fatigue under control is something that I am constantly working towards and knowing that eliminating gluten is a piece of the puzzle? Heck yes, I am in and I’ll manage without wheat, just fine. GF is the way to be for this girl!

Learn more about our fertility journey here. 

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  1. Erica says:

    My mom is gluten intolerant and we have lots of fun finding gluten free alternatives for her! My next challenge is making great gluten free bread, inspired by an awesome episode of The Great British Bake Off where the contestants all had to make a gluten free loaf. The moral of the story is, going gluten free doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite food, you just have to get creative about imitating it!

  2. Teri says:

    This is awesome! I’d love to know your Jenna Kutcher 5 for fav recipes now that you are gluten free. I struggle with gluten intolerance too and it’s hard to stay on the gluten free train (for me).

  3. Thank you for sharing. I am supposed to be going gluten-free but am having a hard time committing to it. I have the same symptoms you had and I ‘now I need to do something about it.

    How did you start? Did you just go all in?

    Thank you again for sharing your struggles.

  4. Aubrey says:

    It seems that our society has lost touch with how much what eat affect our overall well-being. I’m so glad that this is creating such a positive response in your life. Thanks for your openess about your journey.

  5. Becky says:

    Hi Jenna, have you had your thyroid tested? I only ask because it sounds very similar to me and gluten intolerance can go hand in hand with it! There’s a great new book by Aviva Romm which I cannot recommend enough which deals with energy and adrenals etc. Also well worth checking for MTHFR gene too! Hope you dont mind me writing this.. Love all that you do! Becky x

  6. Brandy says:

    Hi Jenna
    I have hypothyroidism, diagnosed right before I turned 30 and I’m now 40. About two years ago I had to go gluten free and about a year ago had to go dairy free too. I loved both bread and cheese so it has been difficult but I feel amazingly better not eating gluten or dairy. Feeling better helps me not to cheat, along with some great recipes. I also take powdered L-glutamine every day which really seems to help my stomach. I hope you are feeling well

  7. Chessa says:

    How did you get tested for gluten allergy? I am gluten free but my husband has your same symptoms!!

  8. Anandie says:

    I have been following you for only a short while and I am so inspired and motivated by you and your journey. I am also a self confessed gluten addict but 2 years of a new lifestyle and I have seen such tremedous changes that I won’t go back. Even though at times it’s difficult but it’s not worth putting my body through the “cheat flu”.

  9. Annelise says:

    Omg! Those symptoms sound exactly the same as me. I’m going to try and cut it out too and see if it helps me. Thank you, as always Jenna, for your transparency and changing people’s lives.

  10. Kristin Roberts says:

    I am in this same boat. They want me to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet completely. I started Monday. I’m praying that this helps me because I’ve been working out for 2 months with little to no weight loss. I’m tired, but not dead tired. I’m dealing with more so the bloating and weight gain side effect of the allergies. Thank you for writing this entry. I loved reading it.

    • Wishing you the best with this journey! My advice would be to stick with it and notice when you feel better and focus on that. Now that I know how I feel with eliminating these things I will never go back! You’ve got this!

  11. Marcia says:

    I had trouble for years. Then, I visited my girlfriend in Florida who went Gluten free to help with her RA. So, I ate what she ate. After that week I felt so much better that I continued when I came home. Holy crap! I have ankles! I wasn’t able to wear my wedding rings , now I wear them and they are loose. My face doesn’t look puffy, I’m not bloated. It has changed so many things. I’ve lost weight.
    Gluten allergies are different than people with Celiac disease. Gluten also affects people differently and it doesn’t always show up in tests., mine didn’t. All I have to say is if you are suffering, try it for a month. It’s not that hard and there are tons of gluten free things on the market you can try. I use a few but pretty much just decided I wasn’t going to go back to my old ways. It really affected my breathing. Since going gluten free I can sleep with hubby again without getting kicked out on the couch for snoring like a Rhino.

  12. Gina says:

    A year ago I gave up gluten, dairy, soy and corn in efforts to combat what was suspected as Lupus. I too was a gluten queen however in 2017 my hormones, cortisol levels and blood sugar were a mess also. In light of changing my eating I lost 91 lbs and have been able to reverse symptoms and no longer be positive for many inflammatory illnesses. So a huge congrats to you and more so on winning the war with gluten.

  13. Bella says:

    This has really opened my eyes! We’re still trying to conceive – 3 years so far, but still trying! – but your symptoms sound very similar to mine, even down to the hormone levels! My doctor said to cut out carbs and gluten to lose weight, but this makes me think there’s a little more to it than just weight loss. Thank you so much for sharing, it’s given me a big boost of motivation! x

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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