My personal journey back to health! Gluten-Free Lifestyle
Ever since I’ve started my Facebook page and this website I had a number of followers who reached out to me with their gluten intolerance questions. I am no expert but can only share my very own experience.
In September 2014, I was going through a super stressful time and was suffering from all types of headaches, fatigue, aches and pains. I had all the typical symptoms, however, I never thought about getting tested for food intolerances. It was a stressful period, so suffering from headaches and fatigues was understandable, no?
Three months later, in December 2014, I had my annual medical check-up and the doctor advised to try and eliminate gluten for a couple of weeks. I left his office feeling dizzy and I had no clue from where to start! I spent the next couple of days reading all about gluten and intolerances. The more I read the more confused I felt! I was overwhelmed, scared and kind of upset. I had no idea what to eat, which ingredients to avoid and what products to buy.
First grocery shopping experience
It took me over two hours. What did I buy? ZERO INGREDIENTS.
Out of all the panic attacks I ever experienced, this experience was, without a shadow of a doubt, the worse panic attack ever! I felt completely numb.
Fast forward to one week after my medical appointment
I started by eliminating bread, pasta and processed food. My goal was to follow a gluten-free lifestyle as close to 100% as possible for one week. I can honestly say that I never felt better! So I continued and the headaches and pains were gone. But, the problem was, I was craving bread. Big time! I remember days where I preferred not to eat than having to think about what I could eat!
I stupidly cheated on day 10 and felt absolutely HORRIBLE! I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible headache and felt so sick that I had to miss work. From that point onwards, I vowed to myself that I have to stick with this new life! A gluten-free lifestyle!
However, I was not happy with a self-diagnosis so I went to a clinic and got tested!
A few days later, there it was, on black and white!
My body is unable to digest the gluten protein found in wheat and certain grains.
I remember having dreams about eating bread. I think the cravings got worse when I realised that I could not cheat as it was simply not an option. I kept on experimenting and each of those experiments ended in me getting sick and not being able to function for 24-48 hours.
So you decided to try the gluten-free diet because you heard good things about it?
When I hear people that are not gluten intolerant talking about how they will try out the gluten-free diet, I get upset because I know that the struggle for us sufferers is real and that even a few crumbs will hurt!
The gluten-free way of eating is much more than a trendy diet. It is not just a hip and cool diet to feel less bloated or to lose weight or inches. For many like me, it is a medical need and there are no cheat days or days off.
However, as many of you followers know, I am totally in favour and totally recommend that everyone—yes everyone—go through an elimination phase at least once.
Today – Three years on…
I confess that am in a good place. I have totally accepted this challenge which I no longer see as a struggle but as a way of eating – a lifestyle! My lifestyle! I know that making good choices is the only medical treatment that is available that prevents my body from attacking itself!
All about what I eat, what I avoid and gluten-free substitutes – stay tuned! subscribe to stay informed.
Until next time,