My Gluten Free Diet

by Roxie

Hi all, I hope this might help you ... Even though I have not being diagnosed as having Celiac Disease, I realised that my symptoms are most definitely Celiac Disease symptoms so I embarked on a complete culinary change.

I was brought up eating a very typical Mediterranean diet, complete with artisan bread, olive oil, pasta, legumes, fish, poultry, lots of fresh greens, fruits, nuts and seeds, and full cream dairy. I remember being in my early teens and hearing about a friend that was suffering from CD. I didn't know what it was but remember thinking it was strange that someone could get asthma from bread.

It wasn't until my late teens that I began experiencing migraines with every monthly cycle and the doctors would simply say it was normal and that most women got some headaches during her periods.

At around 19 I started to go out with friends more regularly and thus pizza on a Friday or Saturday night was always part of the plan. I ate only what I felt like eating, but some mornings I remember waiting up feeling tired, angry, depressed and without a sense of hope. I thought it was normal as I'd read in teen magazines that it was part of being a young, hormonal, woman.

At this time I started putting on quite a lot of weight, even though I ate well within the normal calorie requirements. Again, I read or was told that it was normal. I began to diet madly and dropped all full cream dairy. I was ravenous for the first time in my life and continued to be so until about 2 years ago.

Just before my mid-twenties I moved out of my home, and went to live in quite an affluent area where there were many international restaurants. During this time I sampled and went overboard! My headaches were now 3-day events, and always after eating curries, pasta and many, many, massive meals PLUS snacks. I was so sick that every 2 weeks I'd have another 3-day migraine, plus vomiting, plus constipation.

I saw Dr John Hopkins (THE Late Dr John Hopkins) and he changed my life.

He told me to go off the following:

ALL DAIRY - except hard cheese
ALL RED MEAT - except organic, hormone free, grass fed beef, and only a little of it
ALL POULTRY (as above)

I was given herbal tonics, vitamin supplements, mineral supplements, fibre. And told to eat vegetables as raw as possible, a little fruit, nuts, seeds, and include legumes again.

After six months, this way of eating became incredibly difficult. My friends were eating in restaurants that did not cater to my requirements. I was however so happy, so healthy, so vibrant, so lean and ALL my cellulite had disappeared. I had not had a migraine or headaches in all that time and I thought I was cured.

So I left the diet and slowly went back to eating normal food, including bread, dairy and everything else. I did stop the restaurant over-feeding however. By late twenties and into my thirties my migraines returned and persisted, and it became normal for me to take 3 days off from work every month, but they lasted longer than that - often a full week.

I went
to another naturopath and she told me that I should eat whole grains, including wheat and eat primarily a vegan/vegetarian diet. This was impossible for me so I gave up and went to eat whatever, whenever, and however. I was fine until my son was born, and then all hell broke loose:

Even though my diet was reasonably healthy, I still had an unsatisfied hunger ALL the time. I ended up with decaying teeth, one root canal, and a terrifying diagnosis after a pap smear. I was getting colds and flu with every change of season, lengthy migraines, angry and short temper outbursts. My skin broke out, and my energy levels were so low that I would catch up on rest on the train journey to and from work. After years of this level of living, I started to look around for ways to lose weight and get my energy levels up again.

I found a French diet website and started eating like them: More bread, creams, wine, vegetables, desserts and cheese. All the things my first naturopath told me to avoid. I got VERY SICK, VERY QUICKLY. So I googled my symptoms and found the Paleo diet....

Another disaster awaited me with this new diet: for the first 3 months I lost 10 kg and looked great. By the time the end of the fourth month came along, I'd become a manic, panic-stricken mess. My intake of so much red meat and fat left me so sick, and the complete removal of all carbohydrate (except sweet potato) left me wondering if I'd lost my mind! I went to another naturopath and she told me that I should include a little white rice into my diet. This was the beginning of my change...

I sat back and considered all the cultures of the world that have existed without wheat and dairy and decided to start eating a cuisine that was known to be healthy by principle. I began to eat a little rice with every meal for the carbohydrate and I began to feel great again. I recalled my first naturopath telling me to avoid gluten and after self-experimentation, I saw that when I removed gluten from my diet, all those symptoms did not return.

I now eat an Asian style diet, but with dairy. I avoid gluten completely. I no longer have the migraines, the sore throats, the panic attacks, the maddening hunger, the sudden muscle spasms, the twitching eye, the pimples on the back of my arms, the swollen feet, the sadness and irrational fear, the sudden heat surges that I was told was hormonal and part of the 'change of life'. Nope! When I eat this way I am vibrant, happy, energetic, cheeky, frisky and bubbly. I feel that the last three decades have been lived in the dark.

I see older Chinese people around my area walking slowly, and looking calmly out into the world. I watch TV documentaries where these elders have smiles on their faces that are not the hyped western forgeries. That's another reason I was motivated to change my diet to theirs, from a time when the real Asian diets were healthy and life promoting.

I eat Brown Rice for the full goodness of vitamins and minerals, tofu, legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.

I don't eat wheat anymore, I have no use for it!

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