Change your relationship with food and you will change your life. Learning to eat for good health doesn’t mean you have to eat foods you don’t like. Or live your life eating carrot and celery sticks. I had such a push pull relationship to food, that I couldn’t make weight loss stick. I couldn’t lose weight and keep it off. I would lose a few pounds and then an event or a holiday would come up and I would put it all back on again.
At age 52, I ended up in the hospital with uncontrollable diarrhea. The doctors thought I had a bacteria or maybe I had ingested a parasite. They ordered a bunch of blood tests which flagged that I might have Celiac Disease. The doctor then ordered an endoscopic biopsy. This procedure is where they go through your mouth, down to your stomach and take a tissue sample. The tissue was sampled and the test came back positive that I have Celiac Disease.
Celiac Disease is an allergic reaction to wheat, barley and rye. It is basically an autoimmune disease that attacks your small intestines and damages the small intestine and intestinal lining when gluten (a protein found in food) is ingested. This causes huge inflammation in the body. The inflammatory responses include: diarrhea, bloating, skin conditions and rashes, bone and joint pain, tooth decay, peripheral neuropathy, vitamin deficiencies due to lack of nutrient absorbtion and even constipation and heartburn. It is something you are born with. It is not something you just develop over time. You are genetically predisposed, in other words, it is genetically inherited.
I grew up eating lots of bread and pasta. In our house, pasta was on the menu almost daily. Basically, I grew up eating everything I was allergic to. My parents had no idea that the food they were feeding me was making me sick. I didn’t learn I had Celiac Disease until I was 52 years old. So my whole life I thought having stomach issues was normal for me. I thought I had to just live with my stomach issues and plan my life around where the nearest bathroom was.
After cleaning my kitchen and making it a “Kosher” kitchen, free of gluten and gluten dust, I started healing my gut and healing my life. I lost 12lbs immediately and then another 13lbs over the next 4 months for a total of 25lbs. It has been easy to keep it off with my new gluten free diet.
Eating gluten free has been a fun discovery and opportunity for me to explore new foods. Cooking gluten free doesn’t have to taste terrible, infact, my husband prefers our new way of eating and cooking and he doesn’t have Celiac Disease.
Coconut flour and almond flour take the place of wheat flour. I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything. Baking and cooking recipes gluten free is easy. Reading the food ingredients labels is the key. Gluten is hidden in canned soups, gravy and in many packaged and processed foods. Any food that comes in a package, box or bag has to be reviewed for gluten. Even spices and nuts processed in plants that process wheat can contain gluten. The gluten dust cannot be kept off the naturally gluten free foods that are processed in plants where wheat, barley and rye are processed. Gluten free labels are placed on packaged foods that are processed in plants where wheat, barley and rye are not processed. Some packaged foods that don’t have the gluten free label on them may actually be gluten free but the food didn’t meet the government guidelines to have the gluten free label put on the food label. So this means you must read every single label!
Cooking with natural herbs and spices really elevates and gives your dishes rich deliciousness, depth and a full bloom of flavors. I go heavy on the herbs and spices, low on salt, sugar and fat. Butter can be replaced with avocado oil, olive oil and coconut oil and in baking I use applesauce instead of butter and oil. However, the one rule I stick to no matter what is, if I am going to use fat in my cooking, then I use real fat. Nothing artificial, no margarine, no shortening made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and no transfats ever! Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and transfats are the most dangerous fats to consume because your body stores them in your arteries. They lower your HDL=good cholesterol and raise your LDL=bad cholesterol, which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. It also increases your risk to develop type 2 diabetes. The American Heart Association recommends adults limit transfats and saturated fats to 5 to 6%. I recommend eliminating transfats, hydrogenated fat and partially hydrogenated fats all together. Eat like your life depends on it, because it does! Change your relationship with food and you will change your life!