Monday, September 17, 2012

Gluten and I.

I have been wanting to write this post for a while but kept forgetting/being lazy. 
Hopefully it can help someone out?

A few days after Maggie was born,  I started getting a rash all over my stomach. It was miserable, absolutely miserable. My midwife told me it was: P.U.P.P.S. a rare rash pregnant girls get from hormones being crazy, so I was extra odd getting it AFTER pregnancy, especially with my third baby. The only cure: time. My midwife recommended some herbal supplements to help cleanse. I took some and notices a slight improvement. 

I feel that if we are still, and open, our bodies can tell us what we need to do. I think women especially have an incredible gift to be able to listen to their bodies. So finally, I sat, tried to clear my mind, and just listen to what my body needed to do to find relief from this horrible rash. And a little whisper came: cut out gluten.

Um, that was a hard pill to swallow, gluten is seriously in every thing. Specifically in everything I love.
Well, I gave it a shot, cut it out and in a few days, the rash was gone. Then I had some pizza at a party, and it started coming back.  So then I knew what I needed to do. No more gluten. NOT EASY.
As time went on my rash was gone, as my hormones were getting more level, so I became more and more lax with my intake of gluten.  I was back to eating cereals, breads, know things that you are told are good for your body.

Then, after a few weeks, my joints, specifically my knees, ankles and wrists would ache so bad I could not go exercise, they would throb, felt inflamed and swollen. My guts felt swollen,  tender to the touch, and I was definitely not regular any more. And I started getting an itchy rash, just like I had before but in odd places, like my wrists, (above picture) on my chest, my fingers and toes.
I was so confused, I thought I ate healthy, I was very hygienic, I loved exercise and all a sudden I felt like I was falling apart.

Right around this same time I re-connected with an old friend, Meagan, (remember her?). She would post things on her blog/facebook about the Paleo lifestyle, about being gluten free. I would skim them and think: "thats neat, glad she found something for her". One day after coming back home early from a run in tears because my knees hurt so bad and I was SO frustrated with my body. I felt a little whisper: talk to Meagan about Paleo.

I thought, "that's odd. But Ok."
Long story short, Chad and I decided to live Paleo for about a month, why not? Maybe it could help me? Well, you guessed it. It did help and then some. Rashes? GONE. I could go for a four mile run and not only no more wincing in pain but I felt great. My energy level and moods were better, and my gut health was for the first time in years,  was comfortable and normal, like I didnt need to take my supplements to help me any more.

I honestly was kinda shocked how basically any health issue I had going on, was helped if not eliminated by eating gluten free, no refined sugar, and more organic and natural.

And honestly, It's not that hard to eat gluten free when you have a plan,  we try to buy organic when we can, but lets me honest budget is real tight and there are NO natural food stores here. Just walmart and the little neighborhood grocery stores. Here's an example of what on our menu the next few days:
B: Bacon+eggs
S:carrot sticks+ homemade ranch 
 L: taco salad
D: roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers and mushrooms with sausage. 
B:spinach fritata
S: apple+almond butter
L: (picnic!) boiled eggs, berries, carrot sticks, and sugar snap peas,
 D: shrimp-veggie stir fry+ rice.
B:banana almond smoothie
S:rolled up deli meats +veggies
L:apple chicken sausage in a salad with avocado, apple slices, boiled eggs, dried cranberries + apple cider viegar and olive oil
D: pumpkin curry soup+spinach+rice+rotisserie chicken

The hard part is sticking to gluten free when you at friend's house, a party, out to dinner...I'm still working on this. If you have any pointers, let me know, I need them!

Well, there ya go, my long post about me and my relationship with gluten.
I hope I can help someone out there with this!

Read more about Paleo HERE.
We bought and have been re-reading THIS BOOK


Carly said...

That's the hardest part of my allergies (dairy & eggs) is going to friends houses for dinner/parties. In fact we just don't get invited to anything at all hahaha I think people get scared to have to work around that so they just don't invite ya anymore!! So I think the trick is having friends over for awhile to see that you DO eat normal food, just not ALL the normal food. It's so hard to eat around it. Gluten would be REALLY hard for me, I have wondered about trying to cut it out but seriously - I don't know. I have the tummy and joint issues all the time, had a friend recommend gluten free but man that's a commitment. Eeep. I hope you keep posting stuff about it!! :)

Anonymous said...

Who's been telling you that bread, pasta and cereal are good for your body? The human body just recently introduced those types of food into its diet and they don't do anything good for you. Lean meats, fruits, and veg.

Kjane said...

It is interesting that those things aren't good for you. But look at our influences, big businesses that mass produce food for profit want to market things as "healthy" to appeal to the public. Also a major part of our economy is based on agriculture and corn. Then doesn't the government have an invested interest to make the food pyramid look the way it does? Mislead the people into thinking what we're selling is good for them.

Caleb and Hannah said...

Funny timing on this post, I just went gluten free almost 2 weeks ago. I have had GI issues ever since I had complications after Nora's birth. So far I have seen an improvement and the one time I cheated I paid for it for 3 days! That was enough to convince me. - Hannah

Erin_C said...

I was diagnosed with Celiac disease 6 1/2 years ago and I can't believe how much easier it is to eat GF now than it was then. It is becoming so mainstream (and even trendy!) and I think a lot of people are benefiting, just like you (btw, were you ever tested for Celiac? some of your symptoms are consistent)I'm glad you are feeling better and found something that works so well for your body!

Erin_C said...

Oh, GF pointers . . . I pretty much always eat something before going to someone's house. Sounds rude, but they don't know and then I can just pick and choose things that are GF, and not starve. Good friends get to know you, and are willing to cook GF (I have SO many that cook GF when we come over). Eating out . . . restaurants are way GF friendly these days. I often order things without the bun, and waiters are a lot more used to being asked about it. Some places (like PF Changs :) have GF menus. And if all else fails, I get meat and veggies :)

April said...

That is so crazy about the rash, I love that you felt prompted to cut out gluten. What a neat little prompting that was. I agree, I feel so much better when I eat as close to the Paleo Diet as I can. I am not perfect but I am doing pretty good. It is hard sticking strictly to Paleo, my biggest issue has more to do with wanting to eat out at favorite restaurants. But I guess it's okay to let yourself have what you are craving.

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.caroline armelle. said...

Wow! How crazy!
My husband has the exact same thing.
After years of suffering from this weird rash on and off, that started right around the time he returned from his mission, he figured it was just some weird thing he picked up in the philippines.
Finally after years of seeing determatogolists, about 5 years ago, our determatogolist was finally able to get a biopsy, and he has dermatitis herpetiformis. It is common in white males, and starts around when they turn 20. It is also a genetic thing, so watch for your kids.
I bet that is exactly what you have.
We avoid gluten a lot, but when he slips up, the same thing happens with his with the rashes. I also worry about how it is affecting his internal organs, so I asked him to be more strict about the gluten free thing.
As a result I eat much less gluten, and I love how I feel! So much less bloated, and my stomach doesn't feel like I have a pit in it.

Anyhow, sorry for the novel. So interesting to see more and more people with this same allergy.

Kirsten said...

my son was gluten and dairy free for about three years. It was tough, but one thing that helped was keepingmtreatsmformhim in the freezer. Specifically pizza crusts, cupcakes and cookies. Find a treat you like and have them on hand, then take your own treats.