Friday, September 27, 2013

Gluten free me ~Mahaley's Story

From the time I was a kid, I was in and out of doctors' offices for stomach aches. I constantly felt nauseous or sick after I ate a meal - no matter what it was. I couldn't keep weight on to save my life, and yet no one knew what the source of my stomach problems were. Lactose intolerant and ulcers were once thought to be the sources of the problem, but that never turned out to be the true reason.

When I was a teenager, I became very interested in a holistic lifestyle. I stopped eating meat, ate little dairy, and focused on eating whole, raw, organic foods. It was definitely a learning process, but I eventually found myself in this new world of taking care of my health through the foods I ate - not the doctors I went to. 

Though I was consuming what I thought to be healthy foods (and most were), I was eating a lot of whole grains, since I often opted for a pasta option as a meat replacement. Though I generally felt better than when I was a kid, I still suffered from constant stomach aches, and one piece of processed or fried food and I was in bed for a day. I didn't understand how I could be eating all of the things I was supposed to be eating, and still feel like crap.

At the beginning of this year, I started to suspect that I could be gluten sensitive. A little side note about me, I am three weeks away from being a certified holistic nutritionist, and there are many theories on how wheat is not beneficial to your health. It occurred to me that I did, in fact, eat a lot of wheat products, and that could be the source of my stomach aches. 

Come January, I decided to go gluten free. It was a little overwhelming at first, but after a lot of research and some help from my friends who were gluten free, I got the hang of it. I found a lot of recipes I loved, and bought substitutes for my favorite things like waffles and cereal. I often found gluten free products to taste better than the "normal" ones. 

I am not three days away from being 26, and I find myself in the best health I've ever been in. Going gluten free has changed my life in that I no longer suffer on a daily basis from stomach aches. They still come, but I know having a sensitive stomach is just apart of my life. I will take a few times a month as opposed to almost every day. 

For those of you reading this that think you may have an allergy, what do you have to lose by trying it for a month? That's what I asked myself, and the answer was that I had nothing to lose. It can take three months to completely get gluten out of your system, but those three months can also lead to the healthiest you've ever been. I don't regret my decision for one second. I get asked all the time "how did you give up bread?" Well, I now feel so great that there is no temptation. And when I want a piece of bread, I just toast one of my gluten free bread slices. I haven't realty given up much, but I gained a lot. 

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