Learning to Live Gluten-Free

Learning to Live Gluten-Free

I have always had a problem with being overweight all my life and I have been on one kind of a diet or another for as long as I can remember, then add to that fact I am a diabetic with heart disease so I have several restrictions on what I am supposed to eat or not eat.

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A Diabetic, Low-Cholesterol and heart-healthy diet in general already means that I should be eating a low-carb, no-sugar, no fried food, no salt added, no bacon, very little red meat, and very few starches.  Oh, but I’m iron-deficient anemic, so I need red-meat and leafy green vegetables and I also have gastroparesis, which means I have very slow digestion and difficulty digesting fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats or much of anything other than soft bland foods.   Eggs, well I can eat eggs, but not often because they are not good for my cholesterol and they are the very slowest thing to digest, so if I eat eggs I actually will not feel hungry again until the next day, unless I take medication to speed up my digestion.  So what actually can I eat, you may ask?  Puddin, sugar-free pudding! Jello, again sugar-free jello is good, or broth!  YUMMY!

I know I just painted a very bleak picture but WAIT, it gets better!!!  Remember I said I’ve always been overweight?  Well, it seems that I’ve also always had problems with my digestion, IBS, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis along with the other problems I already listed above.  Needless to say with all my needed restrictions, I don’t always stay completely compliant with what I should be eating, I “fall off the wagon” so to speak and just eat what I want to and suffer the consequences then try to eat “right” again.  Last year as my youngest daughter was planning her wedding, my oldest daughter and I decided to diet, no really, we were determined to lose at least 30 pounds before the wedding.  We decided this only 6 months before the “big day” and we had Thanksgiving and Christmas to get through in those 6 months.  Yeah, ok, go ahead, laugh, smirk or whatever you need to do right here, but we did it!  I’ll go ahead and just say that upfront, WE DID IT!!  Maybe not the right way, maybe not the healthiest way or in a way that I would ever suggest for anyone else to try, but WE DID IT!

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Let me tell you basically what we did, but remember I DO NOT recommend this to anyone!!  We were desperate, we’d tried every kind of diet you can imagine and could not lose weight, so we decided basically that in order to lose weight you have to put fewer calories in and burn more calories than you normally do on a regular basis.   Well, we first added up the calories we each consumed on a normal day, and I’m not even going to tell you what either of us was eating on any given day. Nope, not saying it, I’m too ashamed!  A lady should not be able to consume that much food.  That’s all I’m going to say about that!!  Next, we decided we had a lot to lose and very little time to do it (we were not thinking healthy at this point) so we cut those calories, and I do mean we cut them down to almost nothing!!!  We did intermittent fasting, we only consumed water until noon each day, then for the first three days of the week between noon and 8 pm we only had liquids.  Yes, I said liquids, such as a full liquid diet and kept our calorie intake no more than 750 calories.  On the other four days of the week, we did the intermittent fasting until noon then a protein shake with a lite afternoon snack and a protein and veggie meal for dinner, no carbs, bread or starches.  cannot emphasize enough that this way of dieting was NOT very healthy, and I in NO way suggest or recommend that anyone try this.  

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Now let me tell you what happened next.  We did lose the weight we wanted to lose and did so in time for the wedding, but at the wedding, we ATE and enjoyed ourselves, and after the wedding, we did NOT continue with a liquid diet, oh no we did not!  So, of course, we started gaining weight and did so rather quickly.  What?  Oh, pump the brakes!  Get off the gas!!!  I really liked being 30 pounds lighter!  So my daughter and I were talking and comparing a few things.  Mother like daughter on a few things here, she also has arthritis and some digestive problems.  So as we were talking and comparing notes, we started realizing how much better our joint pain and our digestive problems had been while doing our “crazy diet”.    Here is where my “retired” nurse knowledge started to hum, buzz and kick in and a big bright light bulb started flashing in my head!!  With our “diet” we had inadvertently cut out ALL GLUTEN!  My daughter and I LOVE bread, all kinds of bread, rolls, pizza crust, biscuits, you name if it has anything to do with being a bread type product we will devour it!!  So as my light bulb was flashing, it all came together for me, I believe we have a gluten-intolerance!  All those years of thinking it was IBS could it have actually been symptoms caused by gluten-intolerance??!!  I’m waiting on test results from my gastroenterologist to know for sure, but my doctor has told me, for now, to start limiting my gluten in my diet.

If you suspect you have a gluten intolerance, you need to speak with your doctor first before just changing your diet or assuming that you have gluten intolerance or allergy.  While the symptoms of IBS, Celiac Disease, and  Chron’s Disease can be very similar your doctor needs to administer tests to determine which one you actually have.  Celiac Disease is usually directly related to gluten intolerance but your doctor needs to test you because this condition can cause damage to your intestinal tract.

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I must say that limiting or actually eliminating gluten from my diet so far has diminished my bloating, stomach discomfort and other digestive issues, as well as decreasing some of my joint pain.  At least these are things I’m noticing improvements in since I’m not eating foods with gluten in them, although I am now smaller and weigh less than I ever have in my adult life, so that could have something to do with the joint pain improving.  I once again am revamping my complete way of eating! ha-ha  I’m now working out a diet plan to try and be consistent with a Diabetic-friendly, Heart-healthy, low-cholesterol, low-carb and now Gluten-free lifestyle!  So far I’m living Happier and Healthier with this latest change!

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this subject!  If you have any gluten-free recipes or favorite restaurants or places to shop for gluten-free foods, please,  point me in the right direction by leaving me a comment!  Follow me through one of the below social media links and send me a message or email and share pins of recipes on Pinterest!!

until next time,

Sharon

Comments

  1. […] Do you even know if you may have a gluten sensitivity, intolerance or celiac disease? You may wonder how would you have one of those and not know it. Well, I apparently had a sensitivity to gluten for years and did not realize it. You can read more about how I discovered my sensitivity to gluten in one of my earlier posts by clicking here. […]

  2. John Gatesby says:

    Hi Sharon,

    Loved your article, very interesting laced with some interesting humor. This weight loss routine with not se healthy diet plan actually turned out to be a huge blessing for you as the real reason behind your stomuch problems got identified, it all came down to gluten intolerance!

    1. Sharon_Green says:

      John, thank you so much for your comment! I have not always been known for making the greatest decisions at times, lol, but fortunately, on this occasion, it helped me discover a few things! I’m going to read your post now! thanks for sharing the link! 🙂

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