Written by Alyssa Belanger, editorial intern
For Tyler Stewart, female Ironman titleholder, LUNA Chix Pro Team member and successful business owner, a gluten-free diet is more than just a passing fad. It took years of dealing with stomach pain, bloating, headaches and fatigue for Stewart to figure out that gluten was the culprit of her stomach issues. But within a few weeks of eliminating the hard-to-digest protein from her diet, she noticed her discomfort went away and her energy skyrocketed. (This diet is not the fix for all individuals, but those with gluten sensitivities benefit from eliminating wheat products from their meal plans.)
The superstar athlete, who openly admits that she “hates swimming” despite her success with the sport, shared her diet journey, daily menu and motivation tricks during a recent webcast.
Find your priorities. Stewart of course trains for upcoming events, but also runs a full-service dog grooming business with her husband and coaches other athletes. But, she says, “the key to being gluten-free is making time for you and your health.”
Make smart choices for you. “My family is so far from gluten-free,” Stewart says. “Sometimes I take it personally when we get together for dinner and they say, ‘Hey Ty, you’re going to bring your own food, right?’” Despite the joking around, Stewart’s family has been supportive of her lifestyle and she has been trying to teach them simple substitutions so everyone can eat together (opt for rice instead of pasta; potatoes over white bread).
Don’t strive to be perfect. To be successful, you have to be reasonable with yourself and avoid beating yourself up if you make a mistake—say eating an indulgent dessert or skipping a workout. “You have to manage your highs and lows,” she says. “You just have to keep looking forward.”
Enjoy your eats. “The whole perception that gluten-free is not tasty is old news,” Stewart says. She has found delicious substitutes for almost every type of food—there’s even gluten-free beer!
A typical day in Stewart’s diet:
- Breakfast: Gluten-free muffin, banana and almond butter; coffee
- Snack: LUNA gluten-free protein bar
- Lunch: Big salad with chicken and roasted potatoes
- Snack: Yogurt with fruit
- Dinner: Chicken with baked potato and broccoli
To learn more about Tyler Stewart, the LUNA Chix Pro Team and LUNA’s gluten free products check out lunabar.com.