Gluten Free Swimmer Wins Gold
Dana Vollmer is proof that a gluten free diet can improve athletic performance. After adopting this new way of eating she took home the Gold Medal in the 100 meter butterfly and broke the world record at the London 2012 Olympic games.
Dana has been dealing with some health issues for a while including a fast heartbeat that necessitated a cardiac ablation to correct an electrical dysfunction in 2003. Then she missed the Olympics in Bejing due to some injuries to her back, shoulder and knee. She also has always had stomach pains and thought it was due to a milk allergy but when she removed dairy it did not improve.
About a year ago after failing to find the answer from many doctors, Vollmer turned to a holistic nutritionist, Anita Nall-Richesson, who is also a former Olympic breastroker. Together they tested for food allergies and sensitivities and found she was allergic to one of her diet staples, eggs, and had sensitivities to gluten, dairy, tomatoes and walnuts. Some of her go to foods now are rice, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, milk, bananas, quinoa, lean meat, vegetables and brown rice.
She is now at her athletic peak after finding out she has a gluten intolerance and an egg allergy. Vollmer said she felt leaner and stronger shortly after starting her gluten free diet. She noticed she got 6-pack abs and was faster in the water after ditching gluten.
She finds she has to be more creative to find gluten free carbs to fuel up for athletic performance but feels great. Maybe her success will convince more athletes to start adopting the gluten-free diet.
Grass Fed Girl Commentary:
I am so glad to hear that Dana Vollmer worked with a nutritionist and improved her condition. I can’t help but wonder what this Olympian would accomplish if she cut out all grains, not just gluten? When people test positive for multiple food sensitivities on allergy tests it really means that they have a permeable gut lining. These people need to focus on healing to calm the inflammation in the small intestine. Removing all hard to digest grains, beans and inflammatory oils (soybean, corn, canola) will facilitate the renewal of the villi which will aid in absorption of vital nutrients. Removing irritating foods will heal and seal the gut lining which will prevent future autoimmune issues where the body mistakenly attacks itself in the case of MS, Celiac disease, Hashimoto’s ect.
Carb loading is an endurance athlete’s myth and it is far better to be a fat burner than a sugar burner because fat will never run out. We only have so much stored sugar in our liver and muscles but we all have thousands of calories of fat on our bodies. It takes a few weeks for the body to adjust to burning fat for fuel but once it does the energy is steady and takes us for many hours of activity without hunger. Burning fat for energy is the way we were designed and is very efficient. Do you think prehistoric people ate 5 small meals a day to keep from bonking ?
If you are looking for a great way to get started on a healthy lifestyle that will help with you get in shape and improve your health check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox.
Have you seen improvements in your health and performance since adopting a grain free, lower carb lifestyle? Leave a comment below and let me know your experience.