Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why I'm gluten-free

(If you are sensitive to bathroom talk, you might not want to read this.  It's not TMI in my opinion, but I know some people are more sensitive about such topics than I...)

I read somewhere that some people may be skinny on the outside and fat on the inside.  That means that even though their body is not showing weight, their intestines and organs are coated with grime and smut from unhealthy eating habits.  I believe that is true.  For years (well, my whole life) I suffered from DAILY stomach aches and painful constipation.  I got sick and threw up a couple times a year, which I thought was normal, but my friends told me normal people throw up a couple times in their whole lives!

As the years went by it got worse.  I had nightly stomach aches for most of my 4 years of college.  I blamed it on bad sleeping habits and everything else other than the food that I was eating.  Most nights it was a dull, aching pain in my stomach.  Sometimes it was sharp, sweat-inducing, wanting-to-die pain.  Nothing would relieve it.

A year after I graduated from APU, I was getting ready to move to San Jose to start a Master's program.  At that point I was so tired of crash diets that didn't work, exercise regimes that didn't work, clothes that didn't fit, not to mention the continual stomach aches and constipation issues.  At the urging of my older brother (super-duper-health-nut), I visited a homeopathic doctor in Orange County.  He listened to my symptoms and immediately recommended that I try a wheat-free/gluten-free diet.  He also suggested that I follow the Blood Type diet, which meant no corn, no dairy, no caffeine, no shellfish, no pork (in addition to no wheat/gluten), and a variety of fruits and vegetables that were deemed "beneficial" or "not beneficial."

I tried the gluten-free and blood type diet for several months.  I was very strict with it.  I did not cheat.  It was amazing.  No constipation at all!  Stomach aches were becoming more scarce.  I wasn't aware of gluten-free substitute products (like bread, cookies, rice pasta, etc.) so my diet mainly consisted of meat, fruits and veggies, rice and sweet potatoes (white potatoes aren't allowed on my blood type diet).

After a few months I reintroduced gluten into my diet by eating just a few bites of pasta or something (can't remember).  That night I had the worst stomach-ache ever.  Those few bites of pasta were not worth the pain that kept me up all night.  A few months later I tested it again by eating a small cookie.  Again, up all night with a horrible stomach ache.  Those two instances made me realize that a few bites of cookie or pasta  aren't worth a sleepless night, much less a horrible stomach ache that makes you wish you were dead.

I've been gluten-free for almost 2 years now.  And I don't regret it.  Sometimes people forget and offer me a piece of cake or something sweet.  When I politely turn them down they get a mortified look on their faces (like they just said something racist or insulted a dead person)... But it really doesn't bother me.  My sweet tooth has practically diminished, I don't crave pizza or bread like I used to.  I don't feel like anything is missing from my life.  I'm very content and happy to not have those horrible stomach aches anymore!  Worth it!  :)


  1. I don't eat completely gluten free, but I don't really have the same reaction to gluten that you have. I do, however, have issues with pasta from time to time. I can't explain it. It's not really a stomachache or any bowel-type issues. I just feel generally gross. When I eat gluten free pasta (my favorites are quinoa and brown rice pastas), I don't have that feeling AT ALL! So, I've down graded the amount of gluten I allow into my system. I eat meals that mainly consist of gluten free foods. I use gluten free bread (Rudi's) for toast, gluten free pasta, and occasionally I bake with gluten free flour. I do have sweets that are not gluten free from time to time, and crackers are still something I haven't given up. I like it, though. I feel like I've lost some weight because of changing my eating habits, and I feel a bit better. =) I'm glad you were able to figure the stomach aches out and fix it!

    1. Hey Erin,

      This is a test to see if you get a message or something to tell you that I am replying to your comment. I'm not going to write too much in case you never see this. Let me know so that I know for future references! :) xo, Julie


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