By Chrissa Hardy for HelloGiggles.com
Dana Vollmer spent her summer training for London Olympic Games, competing in London and celebrating her gold-medal-winning, record-breaking time in London. Would any of these things have happened, had she not discovered her gluten allergy in the spring of 2011? She’s not so sure. After years of daily stomach aches brought on by her food choices, Dana feels better than ever before and could not imagine returning to a life with gluten.
Gluten-free has become a trend, a buzz word that has taken up prime real estate on food labels everywhere. What does it mean exactly? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Those who are intolerant of it, allergic or sensitive to it, need to adopt a lifestyle of paying close attention to food labels. I sat down with Dana at the Gluten-Free Pizza Event, put on by The Venice Bakery in Los Angeles, CA, to discuss her new life and how going gluten-free changed everything.
Chrissa Hardy: First of all, congrats on your gold medal win! Has your life returned to normal or is it still pretty hectic?
Dana Vollmer: It’s still pretty hectic. I’m enjoying it a lot. Initially, I was planning to go back to my hometown in Texas to visit with my family and sort of relax, but I’ve just been traveling non stop and I love it. It’s been really great. It’s one thing to have the excitement of the Olympics but, now it’s so great to see the kids and how their faces light up when they get to wear the gold medal. I remember when I was 12 and I saw my first gold medal, that’s when I decided that I wanted to become an Olympian. (more…)
U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer made history this week when she won Olympic gold in the 100-meter butterfly and set a new world record with a time of 55.98 seconds. While this achievement was a huge breakthrough for the swimmer, it wouldn’t have been possible without a major diet modification she made just last year: Going gluten free.
As reported by CNN, Vollmer always had something holding her back from her goals, be it a heart condition, ACL or shoulder injury, or chronic back pain. But another obstacle the swimmer was facing was frequent debilitating stomach aches, which, coupled with her other conditions, inevitably led to her failed effort to qualify for the Olympic trials four years ago.
Vollmer and her doctors weren’t able to identify the cause of the stomach aches as they continued to grow worse and even resulted in multiple trips to the emergency room. And because Vollmer had already received so much care for her other conditions, she tried to ignore the symptoms and rarely shared how much pain she was actually enduring. “I’d always had either knee or shoulder problems,” she said, “so I didn’t want to say ‘Oh, I have a tummy ache today.'” (more…)