Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What would you do if everything changed?

Life just changed for Dennis and me.

I’ve been stunned.  In a good way.  But stunned.

I am ready to talk about it. 

No, No, don’t worry. Don’t worry. 

I am fine. 

I am actually better than fine.

All my lab results are in. 

This is what I found out.

1)     I can eat gluten.
2)     I can eat dairy.


And I pretty much have been stymied by this for several weeks.

Yes, several weeks. 

Is it wrong that I waited so long to tell you? 

You see it’s like this.  I have lived fifteen years without diary and five years without gluten. 

That’s a long time of “withouts.”

I learned so much because of it.  I learned how to actually TASTE my food without smothering everything with cheese, as so many do (the American way).  I learned how to NOT rely on processed wheat that is so prevalent in so many of our standard American meals.

And most importantly…

I learned that I could help others. 

Do you realize how many people are out there that have undiagnosed digestion disorders?  If I had a dime for every time someone said to me “maybe I should go off wheat, too (or dairy)?”  It’s the same story.  So many are hurting. 

That was my story, too.  Always hurting.  I’ve always said that it just kept me humble.

Have I told you my story? 

I’ll be brief but complete. 

Basically, my stomach began “killing me” in eighth grade.  I was an athlete so I kept trucking along, grasping my tummy, but dealing with it.  I left the private college in Southern California where I worked so hard to get into after my first year.  It’s hard to go to class when you’re doubled over in pain.  The remainder of my twenties was spent in out of the hospital, surgery after surgery.  Ectopic, endometriosis, ectopic, endometriosis, rinse, lather, and repeat.

During all those years I read, researched, guessed, tested and retested.  Everything pointed to two simple culprits:  gluten and dairy.  For all of my celiac friends who painfully know the futility of pregnancy with that disease, you know what I am talking about.  For everyone else, to me it seemed easy enough to give up those foods to simply feel better.

So I did.  I gave up gluten and dairy.  I felt better with only the occasional flare-up here and there.  At least it wasn’t a constant anymore. 

Then, the flare-ups became more and more frequent.  And confusing.  They stopped following a pattern.  I finally found a doctor who really wanted to figure it out (he’s like that doctor on the TV show, House).

That’s when I reached out to you.  Remember my glorious gluttonous weekend?

After almost a month of testing the results came back.

The answer is so simple it’s brilliant.

Here’s what’s wrong:

1)     I’m deficient in essential amino acids that break down proteins in foods
2)     I’m deficient in hydrochloric acid that aids in digestive power
3)     I’m deficient in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that breaks down fat food cells in foods

That’s it.  I am supplementing my system and everything is working well.

Stunningly well!

So, what would you do if everything changed?

Here’s my answer.  I call it my five new realities:

1)   I firmly believe in the major lessons I learned from all of this:  Enjoy food in its most simple, unprocessed state.  Just because I can eat dairy does not mean that won’t feel lousy eating EZCheez.

2)   I am re-introducing foods back into my life that I never thought I would see again.  It is a trip.

3)   To assist in digestion, portion control reigns supreme.  I am relearning this.

4)   I firmly believe we all are what we eat (in addition to our genetics).  We live in a fascinating age than has the ability to research and uncover deficiencies that can often be corrected through diet and supplementation.

5)   I am still dedicated to sharing gluten-free and diary-free resources.  I will continue to call out gluten-free alternatives whenever I can.  I can’t and won’t erase fifteen years of experience.  Please continue to reach out to me and I will help where I can.

What about you?

My wish is to encourage every one of you who is hurting, bloated, doubled-over, or achy to really take the time to get it figured out.  Life is precious and a gift.  Feeling well is an excellent state of being. It may very well be that you have celiac disease and may have a future of monitoring gluten contamination for you or your loved ones.  But I know you can do it. I know you can.  The first step is to find out why you hurt and get better.

You deserve it.

I was a bit long-winded today. 

Thank you for listening.  I appreciate you.

Your friend,


Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Dennis and I at the Colosseum in Rome last fall.  It expresses exactly how we feel!


  1. Wow... umm... congrats?
    We should have a "good bread" eating party!

    PS: the security word I had to input for this to post is "no hell us". Apt.

  2. Truly made my day to read this. My wife has lived with some very serious allergy issues her entire life and is about to embark on some testing that I hope will eventually change some things for her as well. I can't wait for her to read this!

  3. I am so glad you discovered your deficiencies and can now take care of them. I went two months without gluten or dairy last summer when I was trying to figure out some of my own health issues and it was HARD! Well enjoy a yummy sandwich and a big bowl of ice cream!

  4. I'm so glad you finally found answers and are feeling better!

  5. And through it all you have always had an upbeat attitude :) I like the pic

  6. Lyndi,

    Congrats! I'm a bit tardy to the party (sorry!), just now catching up on your blog. (Roasted radishes? Really?) It's truly remarkable what medicine and science have taught [and continue to teach] us about ourselves. The fact that you now have some additional menu items to consider is exciting! I'm looking forward to seeing what new culinary continents you explore in future posts.

    Rock on, gal!

  7. Silja, thank you so much! Never did I think I would hear the phrase "bread eating party" and imagine I could attend... and actually eat, too! Thanks for all your support over the past years. Can't wait to meet you in person!


  8. Kevin, I hope she finds out what is wrong... will you keep me posted? Lyndi

  9. Julie, then you know how difficult it is! Gluten and dairy is in so many things! What's so interesting when I first went off dairy fifteen years ago was actually detoxing my taste buds. It was so awesome to truly taste food in it's un-dairy state. That sounds funny, actually.

    I hope that you found what was wrong... but based on our conversations I think the journey continues. Keep me posted, okay?


  10. Thanks Whitney! That doesn't mean I'm going to join you in your triathlons anytime soon! ha! Lyndi

  11. Cary, thanks man! That means a lot to me, especially coming from a "freakishly happy" guy like you! (Angela would love that remark).

    The picture was fun to take. I've decided that every vacation Dennis and I are going to do a happy jump photo.


  12. TR, Redwine! You're not late! The party is always on!! :)

    Thanks so much for you being excited for me! Seriously, you are right... this opens up a world of new possibilities. In fact, right now I am do a "best of NWA" and the first project to tackle is "best burger in NWA." It's a tough project, but someone has to do it. ha.

    Thanks for checking out my blog and always being an advocate. Looking forward to meeting you at the next NWABloggers event. Keep my posted!


  13. FanTAStic!! Wonderful news and very encouraging advice.

  14. What great news! I'm sure you truly were stunned to find out the news that your body is doing things differently than you realized. I love your lessons of the last 15 years. Everything you said is spot on and so important. I hear a lot of people now say "celiac" in a way that makes it seem like the new diagnosis-of-the-day. This diminishes the reality for lots of people, and you telling us about your issues reminds us that it isn't easy to chalk everything up to the newest thing we know about. I look forward to hearing more about your food journeys over the next few months!

  15. Thanks Angie! I was stunned but it's funny how you have an intuition about things... I wondered if something else was going on. Thank you so much for your encouraging words.

    Celiac is such a serious disease to those who have it. Gluten intolerance or sensitivity can be so confusing to so many people. It's a tough life for those who have to live it. Believe me, I know!

    Thanks for the kind words of encouragement, friend!


  16. Lyndi this is such an amazing and inspiring post!! I am so intrigued by your story and how you got a doctor who could figure all of this out for you. I am totally exploring your blog and loving it! Thanks for a great space of fun and resources :)

  17. Hi Emily, so glad we "met" on twitter the other day! :) I know you are going through the same thing. Feel free to email me if you have any questions, okay? nwafoodie (at) gmail (dot) come.

    Thanks for exploring the blog!!!



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