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Introducing The Gluten-Free Challenge

Heard about the mood-related benefits of going gluten-free? Want to try going gluten-free but not sure how to do it? We’re teaming up with nutritionist Trudy Scott, author of the Antianxiety Food Solution, for a three-week Gluten-Free Challenge that will show you how to eliminate gluten from your diet. By following the simple steps we’ll give you in upcoming posts, you’ll be able to see if going gluten-free is right for you.

Begin by viewing Trudy Scott’s video, above.

About Mental Health and the Gluten-Free Challenge

Although sugar and junk and fast foods cause health problems for many, one major dietary culprit that has been getting a lot of attention is gluten. For the next few weeks, Trudy, C.R. and I are going to talk about the importance of diet, and specifically gluten, as it affects your mental health.

Many people don’t realize that they might have gluten a intolerance, or even an allergy to gluten. This is unfortunate, because the high-gluten levels* in the foods we eat today have been linked to anxiety and depression (and other mental illnesses), as well as some serious physical health issues.

In the Therapy Soup Blog’s Gluten-Free Challenge, Trudy Scott will give important nutritional information, and explain how gluten may be affecting your mood and mental health. C.R. will offer menu ideas and other suggestions. I’ll share with you some other steps you can take to help relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mood problems.

Together, we’re going to empower you to do your own Gluten-Free Challenge at home.

We’ll discuss how gluten might be affecting your mental health and might be contributing to symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.

We’re going to show you how to eliminate gluten from your diet—you’ll be surprised where it’s lurking (soy sauce! bouillion cubes! natural flavorings!)

We’ll show you how to keep track of what you eat and give you some alternative menu suggestions and substitutes.

We’ll show you how to keep track of your anxiety, depression, and other symptoms.

We’ll show you how to gauge if there’s been an improvement.

If you find that gluten isn’t a problem for you, later down the road, we’re going to discuss other dietary and nutrition factors that might be factors.

As a therapist and the director of an addiction and mental health program, I’ve personally seen the power of healthy eating (and taking specific supplements) not only when working with patients, but also, for in my own life. Eating better gave me a calmer, steadier energy. Eating more mindfully definitely changed my life and even helped me lose weight (see The 7 Rules of Mindful Eating for Health and Weight Loss).

Getting the right nutrients helps reduce mood swings. I have seen it help those in recovery from addiction. The importance of a healthy diet and supplemental nutrients when needed, cannot be overstated.

But there is so much conflicting information out there. Should you eat vegetarian or go paleo? Should you stick to raw foods or burn, baby, burn? That’s why we turned to nutrition expert Trudy Scott to help us sift through the information.

Please tell your friends and family about our Gluten-Free Challenge. They can find it here at the Therapy Soup blog at For the next three weeks (November 5th until Thanksgiving) we’ll be going gluten-free.

See other Therapy Soup posts on nutrition and mental health.

Read our review of Trudy Scott’s book, The Antianxiety Food Solution.

Trudy Scott’s web sites, The Antianxiety Food Solution and Every Woman Over 29.

NOTE: The Anti-Anxiety, Gluten-Free Challenge is not a substitute for therapy or medication. If you are seeing a therapist, please continue. If you are taking medication please continue taking it, unless your prescribing practitioner agrees it would be beneficial to lower your dose or “wean” you off it.

*Today’s wheat (bread, crackers, pretzels, etc.) is a hybrid variety that is extremely high in gluten. It contains higher levels of gliadin, a component of gluten (along with glutenins). Gluten in general, and gliadin specifically, have been linked to everything from anxiety and depression to serious digestive orders including celiac disease. Of interest: people with celiac disease appear to have higher levels of anxiety. There are many possible factors, including the discomfort and pain associated with celiac disease. However, there is stronger evidence that depression is possible one of the co-occurring symptoms of celiac disease. Perhaps people who’ve been diagnosed with depression or an anxiety disorder should consider testing for gluten intolerance and celiac disease. There is also evidence that eliminating gluten from the diet may reduce symptoms of autism.  Many people with celiac disease haven’t been diagnosed.

Introducing The Gluten-Free Challenge

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2012). Introducing The Gluten-Free Challenge. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Nov 2012
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