My adventures of going gluten free and why I had to do it.
What is gluten anyway? Well, it hasn’t always been horrible. But, gluten is a mix of two protiens that are present in wheat and many other grains. If you want to get technical, they are called gliadin and glutenin. It can be found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, kamut, and einkorn), rye, and barley. It is responsible for the stretchy, elastic texture of dough. It is like glue; it helps foods maintain thier shape. This is the number one thing in the american diet that causes the most sensitivites, food related allergies, and inflammatory auto-immune diseases.
Going gluten free was definitely NOT an easy task at first. Bread. Mercy, I loved bread! Good bread! I really think I probably could have lived off of bread. I would have been totally fine to eat bread for every single meal. I looked forward to eating at restaurants that served complimentary bottomless bread baskets; and to be honest, my mouth still waters thinking about some of it. I honestly think I may have been addicted to bread at one point in my life. I have always eaten quite reasonably in my life and preferred to eat somewhat healthy, but bread was my weakness.
After my son was born I had a whole big host of health issues that popped up and wouldn’t go away.
My issues ranged from horrendous anxiety, hives, awful migraines, achy body parts and horrible weird reactions to nuts or gluten. So, first I realized I had become allergic to most nuts. The worst ones were peanuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans. Right as I started liking mixed nuts, I find out I can’t eat them. I never liked eating nuts growing up, except for my peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I ate for lunch every single day at school.
After my son was born, I tried mixed nuts as a snack and I actually liked them! Not for long though, because they certainly did NOT like me back! I developed strange sensations after eating them, a headache that would knock out a dragon, tingling in my limbs, extreme neck pain. I felt horrible after eating them. The migraine pain was nearly unbearable. The migraines I was having caused me not to be able to turn my head because my neck felt swollen and painful. So, I stopped the nuts after trying a few times to eat them thinking it was just coincidence, unfortunately it was not; and thank goodness I didn’t end up with anaphylaxis!
After much research and trial and error I discovered it wasn’t only nuts that bothered me but wheat and gluten. I honestly just never really felt super wonderful. I had no energy, which I thought was normal for a new mom. I was just blah and achy and fighting off illnesses all the time it seemed. I felt like I was 90 years old most of time! News alert, if you are 89 and under and you feel like you’re 90, change something because it’s not normal! Something always hurt; I was achy, had migraines (not as bad as when I would eat nuts, but still a migraine), and was itchy. I had weird fluid filled bumps under my skin that was diagnosed as dyshidrotic eczema! Sometimes I would have all out hives all over me and I would be one big itch. Misery.
Well, after doctors didn’t know why I felt the way was feeling, I decided to give it a go, and give up wheat and gluten. Guess what?! My headaches subsided, my aches went away, my weird eczema went away and my anxiety lessened!
Oh boy, at the learning curve I had ahead of me.
- I had to learn to cook gluten free and make it taste good.
- I needed to learn to cook gluten free and have no one know that it was gluten free.
- Not only that, but I needed to learn to be able to fit the gluten free food that was priced as if it were plated in platinum into our young family budget.
That’s exactly what I set out to do. The next few years were full of trial and error, yucky food experiments, lots of learning, and some gagging over horrible tasting gluten free cardboard, I mean food. I also learned that just eating gluten free doesn’t make it healthy! Not everyone needs to eat gluten free, as it doesn’t bother some people. More than 80% of the population actually have an intolerance to gluten and they don’t even know.
One thing to keep in mind, is that our food sources have changed drastically, our soil is depleted of most nutrients, the chemicals sprayed on our food is toxic; there’s cross contamination issues between farms, and the GMO’s. All of that was not intended for our bodies to digest.
Everyone needs to cut down on the kinds of gluten and the amount of gluten they are eating as well as a host of other things. But we will save that for another post. Many people have no idea that their body isn’t processing/digesting the gluten as it should; and they probably don’t even realize they feel bad because it’s become normal.
If you think you need to try being gluten free, I can help you! I LOVE food. Good food. I consider myself “a foodie.” Eventually, I will be putting all of my family’s favorite recipes on here for all to try out if you are gluten free or going gluten free or even if you aren’t gluten free. All of the recipes you will find on this blog will be nutritionally packed, extremely tasty and kid approved! If you don’t see them yet, stay tuned. . . they are coming shortly! Well, eventually. I’m still working on photographing the recipes and testing them to make sure they are perfect!