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).
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.
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.
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.
|Dennis and I at the Colosseum in Rome last fall. It expresses exactly how we feel!|