A Year of Gluten Free

I have been tested for Celiac twice – tested negative both times. I have done three, maybe four, Whole30s and each time feel like I won the lottery in terms of energy, clarity of mind, and sleep improvements. For those that don’t know a Whole30 is 30 days without wheat, dairy, processed food (anything you can’t pronounce), beans, or alcohol. Each time I found my way back to bread, pasta, and flour. When my stomach issues spiraled out of control late 2020, and didn’t get better after removing my gallbladder end of the same year and all through 2021, I knew I had to get radical.

End of 2021 I was down 90 lbs and getting 2-3 meals a week to stick with me was a win. Tim came into my life and he’s a big fan of eating! LOL. Forcing more food into me was just making it worse. Fast forward to spring of 2022. We came back from a cruise and I felt horrible. Docs had run tests, nothing showed up as far as a medical cause, stress seemed to be the only consistent trigger we could really pinpoint. I knew from my Whole30 history that bread and dairy were triggers for me. Giving up cheese meant giving up Mexican food (and that wasn’t happening!) so gluten drew the short straw.

I would say it was late spring/early summer before we really started to notice any change in how my body was handling food. But slowly I started to both stop losing weight and started putting some back on. Everyone around me was thrilled at the putting back on part, me not as much, but I also knew I needed a little. Late May, early June, I was in Lubbock and did a wine tasting with my niece. They put out those little oyster crackers at our last tasting and I ate them without even thinking about it. Yes, I may have had a few too many tastings that day! I can’t begin to describe to you the stomachache I had that night. I’m not sure I’ve ever had one that bad. I knew in that moment that I was definitely on the right path.

Staying gluten free, once you get used to it, hasn’t been as hard as it is in the initial 30-90 days. I try to always use the phrase “gluten sensitive” at restaurants as opposed to allergic since the allergy word sends people into meltdown mode. I have been on three cruises in the last year. Two of them they were awesome at accommodating – one was a new ship and they were struggling. On my last cruise we have some question that everything I got was in fact gluten free because I was sick as a dog by the time I got off. We’ve been able to tell pretty quickly these days when I’ve gotten a hold of something I can’t eat vs when I’m having a stress flare up. Exposure takes days for my stomach to settle down and stress is usually quick as long as I’m not under prolonged stress.

Don’t get me wrong. I miss real pasta. There are some really good substitutes but you can still tell the difference. I miss flour tortillas. I miss cookies fresh out of the oven. But the longer I am gluten free the better my stomach is getting, and the longer periods between angry outbursts from my body, the more I know I need to stick with this. Plus most Mexican food is gluten free. 😉

There are a ton of articles about how our bodies just aren’t made to process the food we are being given these days in our mass produced food world. Some of us are just blessed with the sensitive stomachs to support those theories I guess.

If you had to give up one food group what would be the easiest? The hardest?

Blessings y’all! – Amy

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