Food Wellness

Take the dairy and gluten-free challenge

Written by Andy Clark

You’ll likely have noticed more dairy- and gluten-free labels on many packaged goods and on restaurant menus in the last couple of years. (Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, spelt, barley and oats.) The reason is that many people are discovering that they are allergic or sensitive to foods containing gluten and/or dairy products. Symptoms include sinus, digestive, and bowel issues, depression and fatigue.

If you experience any of these issues on a sustained basis, try a dairy-free and/or gluten-free diet for a month. The best case is that your issues clear up; the worst case is that you’ll notice that most baked goods will be off-limits for the month, so you’ll be forced to eat healthier alternatives most of the time. Even if your symptoms don’t resolve, you might enjoy the smaller waistline that will likely result from a gluten- and/or dairy-free diet.

Even if you’re not experiencing any noticeable symptoms, challenge yourself to go dairy and gluten-free for 30 days. Before you start, PLAN for the challenge by (1) doing a little on-line research on what foods you must avoid in order to be dairy- and gluten-free (dairy and gluten are found in some foods you might not suspect), and (2) ensuring you have sufficient no dairy, no gluten foods available to you at home and at work so you’re ready to begin.

If it turns out you are allergic or have a sensitivity to one or both of these foods, you may notice some changes to how you feel, or to how you digest your food, or to your energy level, or any number of things. You may find a “new normal” that you didn’t even know existed because gluten and dairy have been a staple of your diet for so long.

At the end of the 30 days, re-introduce EITHER dairy or gluten into your diet to see if you notice any changes. Then, two weeks later re-introduce the other item to your diet and, again, notice any changes.

Yes, this will take some discipline. And you can do it. Isn’t a month of dietary discipline worth a lifetime of knowing how these foods may be affecting how you feel on a daily basis?

To find out more about your particular food sensitivities, consult a Naturopathic Doctor and ask to take an IgG test. You can find more about that (and also meet my youngest daughter) in this short video.

About the author

Andy Clark

After practicing law myself for 12 years, I started Wellness Lawyer in 2012 to train lawyers how to practice law within a wellness lifestyle. Through individual and group coaching, workshops, seminars, and other specially-designed programming for lawyers, law firms and bar associations, I help lawyers create a manner of living that enhances the degree of health and vitality that they experience across all the categories of their life. You can reach me at or visit my website

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