Trade School session #7- Gluten-free Living

Today’s Trade School is not a tutorial, or DIY tips.  It’s about something far more important–our health.  I’m happy to welcome Nicolette from  momnivore’s dilemma here today to be our teacher. 

She’s going to share with us all about her gluten-free life and the health benefits it has provided for her and her family.  For 6 years I was allergic to wheat and eggs (not the same as gluten intolerant, but still a restrictive diet none-the-less) so I can attest to the difficulties, and advantages of this diet.

Take it away, Mrs. Nicolette!

Got gluten? Thoughts on Gluten-free Living


Hey everyone! I’m Nicolette from momnivore’s dilemma, where I blog about crafts, health, food, parenting, autism, home, and whatever I fancy.

Two years ago this month, my sons and I dropped this from our diets.  The almighty gluten.

As an Italian girl from Chicago, the heart of all things pizza and pasta, it wasn’t easy for me.

Around age 2.5, when my son Moose stopped talking and began to show signs of autism, I dove into a mass change in our diets.   Yes, “our” diet.  I did the “diet” to support him.   It was a blessing to my own health, really.

To say being gluten-free has profoundly changed my life and health, would be an understatement.

Before you embark on a gluten-free diet, I implore you to have a celiac panel run.  I did not do this, because I was unaware that a celiac panel would be inaccurate if you were already on a gluten-free diet.   My doctor suggested that I put gluten back in my diet for two months and then retest.  I refused, because eating even a crumb of wheat now sends me running to the bathroom.

I did test negative for the celiac gene panel, but my gluten intolerance is still quite high in my blood work.  My life proves that you don’t need to be a board-certified celiac to benefit from a gluten-free diet.

So, here’s a quick run-down of what I’ve learned over the past two years, should you be considering gluten-free as a lifestyle change.


Positive Changes I’ve Noticed Going Gluten-Free

  • My migraines have reduced 95%.  Prior to being GF, I had migraines several times per week for over 20 years {since age 11}.  Now,  I maybe have them once every two months, and they are much less severe.
  • My immune system is stronger.  When I do get sick, I bounce back much faster.
  • My skin has cleared up.
  • I no longer have to take “seasonal allergy medication”.  {My theory on that one, is wheat is a grass.  If you are sensitive to grass, you probably shouldn’t be eating wheat.  Just my random thoughts…}
  • I am back to my college weight without trying.  I’m almost 33.  So, I’ll take it.  
  • My energy level has improved tremendously.


What I Wish I Would Have Known 2 Years Ago

  • Blogs such as The Spunky Coconut and Elana’s Pantry have killer recipes. 
  • Too much rice flour is evil.  Coconut and almond flours are your friends.
  • Staying away from packaged and processed food will save you money, as buying the gluten-free equivalents of your favorite treats can get rather pricey.  Like a car payment.
  • Breakfast cereal, although easy, is the worst thing you can eat first thing in the morning.  Pump up proteins, good fats like ghee and coconut oil, and carbs with fiber! 
  • Kombucha helps to detox the body, and should be consumed daily to help heal our guts.
  • Soaking, sprouting, and properly preparing foods sounds like a ton of work, but it isn’t.  Your health is your wealth.
  • Researching diets like Primal, Paleo, GAPS, and SCD make you look outside the grain for great ideas.  


Books I Hope You Consider Reading If Gluten-Free and Healthy Eating Is On Your Radar:


{I named my blog after this book}


Initially, when we went gluten-free, I felt like my life was over.  Going out to eat was impossible.  Birthday parties were a nightmare.
Two years ago, gluten-free wasn’t as “trendy” as it is today. I mean like, OMG, Miley Cyrus is GF…lol… 
Gluten-free has been used for over a decade in the autism community to help reduce inflammation. Gluten-free is also used in many a detox diet.

This change in diet has given me my health back.

I hope this post helps someone, as my sharing of our journey has helped many of my readers and close friends alike.
Thank you for reading,
Nicolette


What a great wealth of information! Thanks again, Nicolette.

I guess your “homework” would be to send me an email sharing any experience you or someone you know has with the gluten-free lifestyle.   I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say!

Comments

  1. Still working on the lamp one! But I’ll add this to my list too! Great post, I’m kind of unfamiliar with the whole GF thing. I’m a little more educated now thanks to Nicolettes post!

  2. Dear Nicolette!
    I am a friends with a couple that is allergic to wheat so your post was very informative!
    I am going to show them your post and your blog!
    Cheers,
    Claudine

  3. Thanks for having me today, Sarah!

    @ Danni & Claudine- Thank you…

  4. Nicolette thanks so much for this great post. I’m inspired …

    :)

    Linda

  5. Nic, great info.

    I’ve never had the test Nic was talking about, maybe I should. I went on Atkins years ago, and in no time flat I was bounding up stairs with energy out the ears.

    Not sure if it was a matter of regulating sugar and insulin levels for the first time in ages or if the lack of joint pain from decreased inflammation from leaving out the wheat/gluten – which I never realized i had – was simply gone so I felt lighter.)

    I easily dropped pounds, was clear headed and as patient as a saint. (If I let my husband read this, he’ll be changing my diet back to Atkins!)

    But, then I had a job change, stress, change in hours…it all led me right back to fast food – loaded with sugars, carbs and gluten.

    Nic’s right about living in Chicago where we have all the great pasta! i give her props!

    ~ Dana
    Cooking at Cafe D

  6. I love Nicolette, thanks for having her!

    We are 90% gluten-free at our house, not to avoid disorders, just because it’s healthier and we live in the bay area where it’s easy to do. We focus our diets on proteins, then fats (nuts, avocado, coconut), then veggies and fruits. If we have gluten it’s in a fabulous baked treat, not just because there is a piece of bread.

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

  7. I have been considering reading more in-depth about being GF. Maybe this trade school post is the kick I need.

    ~Bliss~

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