This post goes out to my long-time friend Shanna. At least a month ago she asked about me and gluten. Sorry it took so long lady. 🙂 But here is a bit to answer your question.
During my second year of college, date nights began being less enjoyable as the night went on. Eventually I started to realize that it had some connection to eating out. But it seemed to get worse. I began having a stomach ache and bloating nearly every time I ate. It was discouraging.
Finally, somewhere in my fourth year I was tested and learned that i was allergic to wheat. It was hard for a while. I tried eating more rice (though white rice) and sugar. My stomach hurt less, but my head hurt more. My weight was inconsistent and I felt like I never had enough energy. I had a difficult time focusing and would hide up on campus when I needed to study.
As I entered my final semesters, taking Early Childhood Education cohort and student teaching classes, I learned how to give my all and succeed during class/teaching. But once I got home I fell apart, completely fried.
After graduation and applying to Grad School, I went home for a bit before starting UNLV’s Architecture program. Eating at home definitely helped, but I could tell that I didn’t have everything figured out. It wasn’t just the wheat and sugar bothering me.
I started to really pay attention to my body’s reaction to different foods. A couple years in Vegas passed and I felt that i was finally listening to my body. The designer and I married and I was feeling better each day. When we moved back to his home town in Utah, I warned him that we were going organic. Immediately, we started to feel different as we made great changes in our food choices. After several promptings, I eventually started a Healthy Cooking Group with some gals from church.
Thanks to Leslie and the other fabulous ladies, I’m still learning and making great changes as I continue to research and make sense of my individual diet. Dr. Mercola has also made a difference in my choices and food beliefs. I agree with him that no diet is perfect for everyone, and that we each need to find what works for us. Here are some of the things I stay away from in addition to wheat:
- processed foods
- cows milk (we use almond, though i do cook with cheese and other organic dairy every once in a while, just switching almond for cow has made a real difference) Real Foods Market just opened in town and we’ve signed up for raw milk.
- refined sugar (instead, we use raw sugar: turbinado, or sucanat)
- white rice and other simple grains(we eat brown, whole grains like non-quick cooking oats)
- corn syrup
- oils except: virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and butter (preferably clarified)
- cheap eggs (i only buy free-range or vegetarian fed chicken eggs-the yolk is soo much darker and the egg has 12 times more nutrients)
- additives, anything i don’t know what it is…:)
Basically we try to eat as fresh and as natural as possible. It’s a lot of changes, but you start to feel amazing. The above list looks complicated, but eliminating one at a time has given us soo much more energy and better overall health. I don’t get headaches any more, have considerably less stress and anxiety, and rarely get sick…oh, and wearing a 0-2 between pregnancies is a given…i don’t even try. I eat three meals a day and snacks between.
It’s been an incredibly long journey for me. During my food battle in college I felt like there was no one to help me. A horrible feeling. I often felt like there was nothing for me to eat. Trying one new recipe a week has helped tremendously. It took years, several priesthood blessings from my dad, but one day it happened: i was at a church singles dinner and looked at the food and knew instantly what i could and couldn’t eat. it was incredible! I still rely on the spirit when i don’t know what the ingredients are, but i’m learning so much easier as a whole these days.
Anyone else out there with a food battle? What have you learned? Any questions? Don’t do it alone…it made such a difference when i had my husband to help me and together we have such a happy eatin’ livestyle: full of new adventures and delicious times!