Gluten and Other Food Sensitivities

When my brother was 11, my parents because so confused and frustrated with his lethargy (he never went outside, just sat and played video games) that they took him to the doctor. Every one of the five western medicine doctors they spoke to told my mom that it was “just puberty.” But she kept at it. Finally, through some string of conversations with friends, she was led to Acacia Wellness Center in Solana Beach, CA. They specialize is chiropractic and natural medicine and, as soon as my brother walked through the door, diagnosed him with gluten intolerance.

Gluten is a protein found in processed wheat and related grains. Research is still emerging but, in laymans terms, Gluten intolerance is much milder than Celiac disease but causes a lot of the same symptoms. For the real breakdown, the Wikipedia page is very accurate and comprehensive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten_sensitivity

After administering some tests, the naturopathic doctor concluded that my brother didn’t have Celiac but did have a serious gluten sensitivity. A lot of times, if one family member has it, so do the others.  After more visits and more testing, we found out that every one of us four kids as well as my dad are gluten intolerant. This was when I was 16. So my mom, being incredibly devoted to the health of her family, converted our entire house to gluten-free territory. Pasta became rice pasta, bread was now sprouted wheat bread (like Ezekiel), and baked goods had to be made from scratch from some very expensive ingredients.

^ this is the GF (gluten free) cake my sister made me for graduation. Now there are a bunch of cheap, easy, GF cake-from the box, it’s so delicious.

Thankfully, gluten intolerance has become somewhat common place and most grocery stores carry an array of goods to make our lives easy (the best, by far, is Trader Joes). Cutting out gluten meant that instead of sleeping 12 hours a day like I did in high school (no exaggeration) I could get by on 8 hours. It was incredible! I also lost a ton of weight and gained better muscle function so I was better at sports! But my digestion was still really off. I was still fairly bloated and got cramps after eating certain meals. My mom has a great nutritionist so I went to see her but you can find out what you’re allergic to by keeping a food journal and working to eliminate foods that may be causing your symptoms. My nutritionist and I came to the conclusion that I am also intolerant to cow dairy, red meat, soy, and refined sugar.

That was two years ago. Since then, I’ve pretty much cut all of those ingredients out of my diet although my sweet tooth makes the sugar thing very hard. My apartment is only stocked with food I can eat so my boyfriend get the residual benefits too. In general, he doesn’t mind because I’ve become a pretty good cook. We don’t really eat out too much at restaurants (it saves so much $) but when we do, I usually get a rice based or poultry dish. Contrary to what you may be thinking, I don’t really love salad. I eat it when I feel like something light and to stave of hunger, but I consume my vegetables through juicing, blending, and chopped up snacks mostly. But that’s another post entirely.

^ this is one of my lunch time snacks. Almond butter (the sea salted kind is the best) and Nutella (a little too sugary but that’s all I had) on rice cakes and some salad leftover from last nights dinner. Surprisingly filling and yummy.

But that is another subject that I’d like to have frequently in this blog, eating for specialized diets without feeling like you’re missing anything. It was hard at first but now I actually love my food better than all that processed stuffed! Get excited because there are more recipes to come.

Question: Is anybody else gluten-free? Or suspicious they are? Is anybody interested in trying but not sure how to start? Just ask!

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One thought on “Gluten and Other Food Sensitivities

  1. Ruth Rainwater

    I find I feel better without many carbs in my diet, whatever the kind. Don’t know if I’m gluten-intolerant or not as it doesn’t seem to matter what kind of carbs I eat – they make me feel sleepy and lethargic. I stopped eating meat about 20 or so years ago, and now we eat almost exclusively organic, too. Fish is still okay, as long as it’s wild caught and not farmed, but that may have to go soon, especially since they’re trying to put GMOs in salmon. Eating organic is more expensive, but we think of it as insurance, and since we’re both in our 60s, we need all the help we can get!!

    Reply

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