Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cut It Out

I wrote a few months ago about wanting to make some changes and get healthy again, but I wasn't sure where to start. It took me about a year and a half to lose all of the baby weight, but I still didn't feel as good as I knew I could. I had counted points and tried starting new diets over and over again and I just couldn't seem to stick to anything. I wanted to try something new and the Paleo diet sounded interesting, but after about a month I discovered that this particular diet was not for me. I did some more research and decided that Clean Eating was a much healthier alternative for myself and my family. This meant cutting out all processed foods, eating whole foods, and natural sweeteners. Basically if it has 3-6 ingredients or is made by my own two hands I eat it. I can honestly say I feel better then I have ever felt in my life. I am well below my pre pregnancy weight, I have more energy, I am sleeping better, and food just tastes better.

I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything because I was still able to eat basically anything I wanted as long as it was "Clean". This meant making everything or finding products that were made from whole healthy ingredients. The only thing I hadn't added back into my diet was carbohydrates like bread and pasta. I hadn't had the time to try making my own and hadn't found any products that were Clean enough.

Then all hell broke loose in my life and I kind of went off the deep end. People were bringing me food and I was just trying to keep my head above water. And my body started reacting. I think it was a combination of things, but I just didn't feel right and I knew something had to change. I finally broke down after my husband urged me to see my Dr. who wanted to treat my symptoms (swollen lymph nodes, head pain like my skin was going to crack open, swollen itchy eyes, neck pain) as an infection and gave me antibiotics which I begrudgingly took for the allotted time.  Along with my new pills I started getting back to my clean ways and a few days after finishing my medicine I finally started feeling better. And then it hit that maybe something I had recently changed like my diet was what was affecting my body. I have always had allergy like issues, but after being tested and testing negative for all  indoor or outdoor allergies I just went about my merry way and never thought about it again. I never thought my issues could be from something I was eating and that something seemed to be gluten or wheat.

So for the next week I cute everything out and only ate gluten free foods and I started to feel normal again. Then all hell broke loose on Race Day at my school. Each year we have a big fundraiser and a big school wide race and cookout. I knew we would have an option of a hamburger/hot dog, chips, and oranges. After researching my options I thought if I ate the burger patty and Ruffles chips (gluten free), and the oranges I would be ok and all seemed to be fine until I got home that evening. All of a sudden my head felt like it was going to crack open again and I knew something I had eaten must have had some sort of wheat product in it.
It only took a little digging to discover that almost all pre made frozen burger patties are held together with some sort of wheat product and I knew then and there I would have to start researching the foods I ate.

I finally had my follow up with my doctor and after talking everything through she believes that this is more than likely the cause for my discomfort. I still have to watch and make sure that my lymph nodes do not become swollen for no apparent reason (This could be a bad thing), but with my perfect blood work it would be highly unlikely anything else could be the cause of my issues.

So long story short I have a wheat allergy that causes some discomfort, but isn't anything serious. I have already tested a few gluten free foods and have found things that are actually delicious. I will basically go without most of the time, but if I get a craving for a grilled cheese or some spaghetti I know what brands to buy. I will say It has taken a little taste testing and not all GF products are created equal! I can tell you Pamela's baking mix is AWESOME! I have eaten a lot of pumpkin pancakes and muffins. Ener G rice bread is not good as sandwich bread, but if made into a grilled cheese or french toast is ok. I am not going to lie I am pretty excited to try my Udi's bread tomorrow. I am thinking about having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Pure excitement I know!

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