The shocking realisation of the effects of WHEAT and GLUTEN and how I ended up with a puffy face.

I am writing this post to tell you about a personal experience of mine that I recently had that made me feel like sh*t. And it was all down to wheat and gluten!

Two weeks ago I went away for the weekend for my brother Adams 21st birthday. There was about 30 friends/family and we rented a few holiday homes in Pickering, Yorkshire. The place was great, it was out of the way so we couldn’t disturb anyone and it had a private swimming pool! I actually had a great workout in the pool, I might post this later if anyone is interested?

Anyway, I was a little nervous about going away for the full weekend because I had been eating clean since January 1st and didn’t want to ruin all my hard work. You know what its like when you go away for a party weekend – its full of unhealthy food and alcohol.

I went away with all intentions of sticking to the nutritional responsibility plan (if you haven’t already downloaded it you can get it here Myself, Vikki and Max travelled down on the Friday night after Seaburn boot camp. By the time we got there the party was well under way, the drink was flowing and the tables were full of party food.

Immediately, everyone greeted us and offered us a drink. There was everything you could imagine, champagne, wine, vodka, whiskey, gin etc etc. As much as I tried to say no, I thought it would be rude not to celebrate my brothers birthday with a drink. So I thought one Jack Daniels and coke wasn’t going to hurt…

You know where this is going, right?

Yep, 4,5,6,7,  glasses later I was quite merry! But, although I had a good drink I managed to avoid the table of unhealthy food so I was pretty chuffed with that.

That was the first drink I had in about 8 weeks and I felt horrendous the next day. I woke up in the morning with a banging head ache and furry teeth! When I managed to drag myself out of bed to get a shower, in an attempt to freshen up, the smell of bacon sandwiches wafted out of the kitchen. Just what I needed to sort out this hangover – or so I thought.

I scoffed my way through 2 bacon sandwiches and a cup of coffee at breakfast. When lunch time came¬† I still wasn’t feeling too good and decided to join everyone in having fish and chips. On top of that I had other snacks throughout the day. The whole day was packed full of foods containing wheat and gluten.

What happened next shocked me! I hadnt eaten wheat or gluten for over seven weeks and I forgot the effects it can have on your body. Here are the three main things I noticed…

1. I noticed within the first 30 minutes of eating the two bacon sandwiches that I had instant bloating. It felt like I had a big pot belly! That morning I had a skype chat with a friend in Dubai and he commented that my face looked puffy and swollen, and that’s because when you have wheat and gluten it actually retains water and can make you look more bloated around the face and stomach. It also causes gastrointestinal inflammation and can lead to bloating in the GI tract.

2. I had problems going to the toilet for a couple of days and it gave me really bad indigestion. Gluten is the Latin word for glue. It binds up and becomes glue like in the stomach and it becomes difficult to pass through the digestive system, so you can end up with digestive issues. When you get digestive issues you are not going to take up all the nutrients you should be from the foods you eat. It can take 7-14 days to flush the wheat and gluten out of your system.

3. If you attend boot camp or personal training session you may have noticed I have had a cold for the last couple of weeks. That’s because wheat and gluten can reduce your immune system by 70%. I first noticed the cold appearing on the Monday, the first day after the weekend away. So I think the alcohol, wheat and gluten combined lowered my immune system and I imagine I have picked up a cold because of that.


Because my diet had been clean for over 7 weeks I had forgotten the side effects wheat and gluten can have so that weekend away really hit me hard. The important thing is I am back on track now and feeling great!

If you have little slip ups like this it’s really important that you get back on track right away otherwise you will find yourself on a slippery slope and before you know it you will be back into all of your old habits.

Sometimes, I think it’s important to have these little slip ups so you realise how badly your body can be affected by these things. You can learn from the mistakes and eliminate the things that make you feel bad from your diet.

Have you had any experiences like this? I would love to hear of your little slip ups. Im sure other people can learn from your mistakes too. If you would like to share them leave a comment on my facebook page

Posted in Fitness & Nutrition Articles, News

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