Most people think that they have no issues with gluten and dairy. Neither did I. What people don’t know is gluten and dairy sensitivities show up in very different ways. That random knee or elbow pain you are having, the indigestion, the skin breakouts or acne, bloating after eating, fatigue, depression, anxiety, sinus congestion, allergies… these are all symptoms of a gluten or dairy sensitivity.
I know it sounds crazy. First time I was told to give up gluten, I was like “no way”! I can’t be sensitive to gluten, I feel fine. My son’s grandfather had celiac and I saw how sick he would get, but that didn’t happen to me, I wasn’t like that. But I happened to have a very great respect for the lady who told me to give it up.
I was in my second year of acupuncture school and I was only starting to understand the importance of fruits and vegetables and the things we put into our body. We had a bio med class and she was teaching us about Kinesiology. At the end of class, she told us she would assess us if we wanted. I laid down on the table and was blown away. By touching me she told me I had a slight UTI, PCOS, right knee problems, and a whole list of other stuff. I got up off the table and immediately went to google. What was PCOS and why hadn’t I heard of it before? Well google should’ve just had my picture there because I had every single symptom, and I was never diagnosed with this before in my life.
Clearly after that I had to go see her at her office. When I went, she tested a bunch of vials against my body, gluten, wheat, corn, dairy and soy and told me I was sensitive to all. My response was “I can never eat pizza again?”. Pizza was my staple meal. I was a single mom, it was a fast, cheap and easy meal 5 or 6 times a week. She said not forever, just for now.
I left frazzled. I mean I was a horrible eater. I frequented McDonald’s, Subway, ate mac and cheese, loved cookies. How was I going to do this? Overwhelmed was an understatement, but I figured let me give this a try. That first week I cut out gluten probably 75%. I was very conscious of what I was ordering. I can’t say I gave up gluten the healthiest way. All I did was replace everything I was eating with a gluten free version, but it was working for me. That Sunday I cheated because it was Easter and I needed some banana cream pie. The following week I cut out gluten 100% until the following Saturday. I went to Miami for vacation and we went to dinner at an Italian restaurant. I ordered a bowl of pasta with veggies. Thinking this was the safest and after all I was on vacation. Well was I sorry… Within the hour I was on the toilet for about the next 2 hours. I couldn’t believe it. Could all this be true, was it in my head?
From that day forward I was super careful. Within 30 days I started to feel better. I was going to the bathroom more regularly, my mind seemed clearer. At the 60 day marker I was doing amazing! The scale was moving faster than I had ever lost weight. My skin was radiant, I looked fantastic! I could not believe it.
You see when you are constantly eating something that you are sensitive to, you always feel like crap, but you don’t realize it because that is your normal state. Things like constipation, diarrhea, acne break outs, being sad or feeling depressed didn’t really phase me as a problem, they seemed normal. Little did I know the attachment was from the inflammation from gluten.
Why were we able to eat it when we were kids and we were ok? This is the question of the year. The reason is because when we were kids an item that contained maybe 30% gluten, now has 70% gluten. The gluten that used to be somewhat processed is now overly processed and our bodies just can’t handle breaking it down. It eats away at our gut lining which then causes inflammation in the body. For everyone this looks very different, so most people would never know they were gluten sensitive. Doctors for sure are not putting the pieces together unless you are having severe reactions to it. We are also being exposed to so much more crap in vaccines, the drinking water, all of these processed foods, medications that are ‘safe’.
The key to all of this too, is that you have to have full clearance for at least 2 months to really know if it’s making a difference. When you go out to eat you have to tell your waiter you are gluten free. You cannot assume that you are making the best choice on the menu bc chances are you are not. The healthiest piece of fish on the menu, may be covered in flour, that chicken dish could have soy sauce in it and that has wheat in it.
I know it’s tough and it seems overwhelming, but it is a lifestyle choice that if you make a commitment to, I am sure you will be happy with the results. You can join my healthy eating group on Facebook for inspiration www.facebook.com/groups/shilamidaeats or come meet me at the Gluten Free Expo at noon this Sunday October 15.
If reading this inspired you to change your eating habits, let me know your progress!
I am grateful for lifestyle changes, I am grateful my mind is healthy, I am grateful for my healthy body, I am grateful I am inflammation free, I am grateful I eat delicious food everyday! I am grateful for knowledge.
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