You ever get that feeling that something just isn’t right with your body?Â Maybe it’s feeling tired all the time. Or maybe you are getting that foggy brainÂ more than you care to admit. Or maybe you feel anxious and depressed for reasons you can’t explain. Or maybe your body hurts from the moment you wake up in the morning when you’re only in your mid 30’s. This is me… all the time for the last few months.
I hope you don’t mind… this isn’t “frugal living” related but I just need to type. It makes me anxious to share this all but I need to write out what I’m dealing with. .I hope by sharing this personal journey, Â it will help someone else, Â or maybe it’ll just be a way for me to keep track of my journey, kinda like a journal. I can’t wait to look back someday once I reach a new place!
I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember. Even as an early teen I remember always being bigger than the other girls. It’s how God made me and although I often wished it was different, I accepted that I’d never be a size 6. But I did want to be healthy. Â I’ve tried all the diet fads… Weight Watchers, Low Carb/High Protein, and counting calories. I lost weight with them all but the weight came right back on as soon as I stopped following the diets strictly.
I finally decided a couple of years ago to just eat real food. We cut out nearly all of the processed foods in my family and tried to choose foods closest to their natural state, the way that God made them. We switched from white flours, breads and pastas to whole wheat. The site 100DaysofRealFood.com really taught me how to cook real food recipes and make-at-home many of the foods and ingredients I used to buy packaged. This new way of eating has truly become a lifestyle for me in the past few years. But no matter how well I ate, I still wasn’t loosing any weight. Â Instead, I noticed that my body started reacting differently when I would eat whole wheat. I would often feel very bloated and definitely experienced some digestion issues (I will spare you the details!) I felt tired more often, my joints hurt and my brain was so foggy all off the time.
I dismissed the digestion symptoms thinking they were just a result of eating whole foods. After all, whole wheat had to be better for me that the white flours I’d been eating before. That’s certainly what we’re taught. I did avoid baking with whole wheat almost completely because I was so uncomfortable after consuming baked goods made with whole wheat.
I started hearing about wheat and gluten sensitivities and eating “gluten-free” a few months ago. I had a friend diagnosed with Celiac diseaseÂ (when eating gluten leads to damage of the small intestines and difficulty absorbing nutrients) which requires a person to eat a gluten-free diet. My sister also started educating me on what she was learning aboutÂ gluten-free nutrition, after she experienced similar, but more intense, symptoms as I had.
I got to thinking… maybeÂ I’m having a reaction to wheat or the gluten in the whole wheat I was eating. In early October I decided to try cutting out all gluten for the month to see if I felt better. Gluten is found is nearly all processed foods so since I was already eating mostly real foods, it was fairly easy for me to make the switch. All I had to do was cut out whole wheat breads, pastas and most sweets. I’ve tried to avoid buying most “gluten-free” products, as those are usually still highly processed and not necessarily very healthy. I’ve found is easier (and cheaper) to just stick with naturally gluten-free foods like meats, veggies, fruit and grains. The only gluten-free product I buy is Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Pasta from Trader Joe’s.
It’s been a learning process for sure! I’ve discovered that gluten is hidden in many everyday products like soy sauce and enchilada sauce and have definitely messed up a few times. But each time I learn how to find substitutes and am learning to make many sauces from scratch with gluten-free ingredients.
After eating this way for a few weeks, I actually feel better! My symptoms are nearly gone, yet they come right back when I mess up accidentally. I find that pretty interesting! Maybe I really am having a food sensitivity? I made an appointment with a nutritionist who will test me for gluten, wheat & dairy sensitivities. Hopefully with that knowledge, I will know for sure what is causing my symptoms. I’m really looking forward to learning the results!
But the best part yet… by avoiding gluten, I’m eating many more whole foods like vegetables, fruit, brown rice, quinoa, healthy proteins and, as a result, I have lost weight! As of last week, I was down 8 lbs! I plan to continue eating this way so I can feel better and hopefully continue to lose the weight.
Do you want to continue to follow my journey as I discover what possible food sensitivities I have, see how I will adapt to this new lifestyle and how my weight loss journey goes once I meet with my nutritionist? I hope you will! Follow my posts HERE! Stay tuned as I continue my “Journey to a New Me” series!
Do you suspect you or someone you know might have food sensitivities? Tell us what you’ve experienced in the comments below.Â
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