Hi, hope you all had a great Christmas, New Year celebration & set some goals for 2018. Last year, my goal was to be gluten-free, and I did it! One year later, I am sharing my Gluten-Free lifestyle & What you need to know!
Becoming gluten-free was not something I had ever thought about, nor was I willing to give up pastry and bread. But unfortunately, numerous health issues pointed me in that direction.
I spent weeks reading about “gluten,” what it is, how the body processes it and what it does to the body. It became evident to me that I had to STOP consuming this protein sooner than later.
Today, I like to share how I started the gluten-free diet, gluten-free products I love, and what happened when I couldn’t resist gluten-filled pastries.
Gluten-Free lifestyle & What you need to know!
How it all started!
If you are new to my blog, I encourage you to start reading my “health issue” post; this will give you a better understanding of what I have been through with my health and why becoming gluten free was so important.
Unaware of how unhealthy gluten was for my body, I consumed this protein for years, until my body had enough of it!
My symptoms were:
- stomach aches
- bloating, gas, cramps
- dry skin
- memory loss, fogginess
- fatigue, dizziness
- depression, anxiety
- IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
These are just a few of the symptoms gluten can cause. Therefore it’s important to know that every person may react differently to the gluten protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
How I started a gluten-free lifestyle:
- I cleaned out the pantry (everything that contains flour, wheat, barley or rye)
- TIP: donate the products from your pantry (friends, family, neighbors or a shelter)
- Made a weekly shopping list
- Changed out old wooden spatulas and refinished my butcher block (gluten can leave traces on surfaces and tools)
- Asked friends and family to support and understand
You’re not going to like this, but when I cleaned out my pantry, there was hardly anything left. My husband was not pleased that I threw out stuff like; hamburger helper & oreo cookies (OMG, right?).
But, I got rid of everything (he took the oreo cookies to work and ate them there, which was ok!!!) This diet was going to be for the entire family, not just for me. I made it clear to my husband and kids that it wasn’t going to work if I had to cook two different meals just to please everyone in my household.
NO, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
There I was looking at my empty pantry (almost in tears). The next day, I went shopping, and it took me two hours just to fill half a cart. I definitely couldn’t hold back my tears that day.
I remember thinking; this isn’t going to work because I couldn’t find anything in the commissary that I liked, and on top, it was expensive to shop gluten-free.
Luckily, I am a strong-willed, stubborn Scorpio that likes the feeling of accomplishment. So, I did my research and found Vitacost.com; they have many gluten-free items, they are affordable and ship almost everything straight to my Military PO. Box for FREE. I have used them ever since, and can only say good things about them.
Customer Service is quick and always refunds me if anything breaks or spills, shipping is fast, and you can even request products to be added to their stock.
My favorites on VitaCost.com
Gluten-Free Shopping List
This post is not a sponsored; all opinions are 100% my own.
These are just some of the items I order monthly at Vitacost.com, and I recommend them because I know how hard it is to find a gluten-free product that still tastes great. We love the pancake mix and the bread, the Tinkyada spaghetti are amazing which were the hardest to find.
Unfortunately, I am not perfect and still had a few fall-backs. Good gluten-free pastries, bread, cookies are hard to find, gluten-free cafes and restaurants are almost none-existing (at least here in Okinawa, there are less than a handful). Sometimes that got overwhelming, and I just couldn’t resist even though I knew the aftermath wasn’t going to be pretty.
I have tried a few different things that made me feel better after consuming gluten. The most effective way is Essential Oils, the great thing about essential oils is that they are all natural, their components match our body’s elements which allows them to absorb into our bodies easily without any side-effects.
My favorite oil after a fall-back is DiGize; it is a mixed blend of amazing soothing oils like; ginger, peppermint, tarragon, juniper, fennel, lemongrass, anise, and patchouli.
Once I start feeling cramps or bloating arise, I make myself a gel capsule with a few drops of grapeseed or olive oil and 1-2 drops of DiGize.
Digestive teas have also helped quite a bit, with a warm compress and rest.
Being gluten-free is not easy by all means, but after my first year of being gluten-free, I have to admit that so much has changed for the better. My energy level has increased, I don’t feel dizzy or fatigue, no more bloating and pain when going to the restroom, I am comfortable in my skin & my white blood count is back to normal (which I believe had a lot to do with this).
Gluten intolerance/sensitivity (celiac disease) is hard to diagnose, my celiac tests came all back negative, but I know that I was feeling better not consuming it. A piece of paper with the diagnoses wasn’t crucial to me; I already had proof of it after just three weeks of no gluten.
By sharing my story, I was hoping to encourage & inspire. I hope my Gluten-Free lifestyle & What you need to know! will help you get started or to continue your journey.