I believe in eating real food. Not all that stuff with added artificial sweetners, chemicals or processed factory foods. I try to avoid gluten-free packaged food as much as possible because it's usually corn unless the label says grain free. Most people today have diets that are poor in nutrient density and quality, resulting in chronic conditions that are mostly preventable when you use food as medicine.
Eat better, Move Better, Feel Better just makes sense doesn't it?
Want to know a little secret? Before deciding to finally change to some healthier habits in my life I was never really into cooking. In fact, I ate fast food, restaurant, and carry out for years. Like pizza, burgers, bread, rolls, biscuits and I had a 'wheat belly' stomach for years no matter how much I worked out. I still eat those type foods now only they are wheat and/or grain-free. I've found some really good stuff too over the last 15 years when it comes to gluten-free bread, pizza, etc.
I haven't eaten fast food since 2009! I've become quite the home chef and love cooking and organic gardening! And at age 65 in 2018 I'm wearing a size 6 pair of jeans. I haven't worn a size 6 in like 30 some years. It's all from making healthy lifestyle changes that quite frankly have lasted for years now. The main thing though is I'm healthier and have been off prescription medications since 2006. Update: I turn 69 this Sunday July 24, 2022.
For many years I suffered from a host of undiagnosed chronic health symptoms that just kept getting worse. As I sought to get to the bottom of my deteriorating health I realized (after working with a functional medicine doctor who did some blood testing) that food, namely a sensitivity to gluten and wheat, was closely linked to every symptom I had and they were anywhere from headaches, severe migraines, skin issues, joint pain, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and finally memory loss at age 54.
After hitting rock bottom in 2008, barely able to function, I started self-experimentation with lot's of research and came to believe that not only changing my diet which is the first step my doctor recommended, but also healing my gut was critical to becoming well and being able to live, function and enjoy life to the fullest again.
My new found love of cooking and eating turned its focus toward nourishing and healing my body with each bite of delicious real food on my fork. Since there weren't as many reliable resources available back in 2008, I decided to start this Gluten-Free Lady website to share my experiences, knowledge, and flavorful cooking with others as they begin to travel their own journey to optimal health. Although it's challenging, we also love growing an organic veggie and herb garden here in Spicewood Texas.
Do you or someone you know and/or love suffer from the following?
It was quite frustrating being ill with such a myriad of symptoms and no one could quite figure out why. This is how I felt most of the time and perhaps you can relate?
The medical profession’s answer was always to take this or that drug. Some of the symptoms I had weekly and sometimes even daily, were debilitating migraines, irritable bowel, stomach issues, skin issues, terrible itching, severe joint pain, foggy head, memory loss, depression, and thyroid issues for 33 years. I was on thyroid medication starting at the age of 22 up until 2005. I found a Functional Medicine doctor in 2005 who finally offered to do food allergy testing blood work. No doctor I had ever seen had ever suggested food allergy testing? Sure enough the test came back showing a high allergy to gluten and wheat. Consequently she recommended a gluten free diet.
I won't lie, making a lifestyle change like this was challenging and frustrating at first, but I started slowly changing my habits to healthier ones in 2008 and feel better than I have in years and actually look younger now and I turn 65 this year July 2018!
"I struggled with chronic illness for over 12 years which was progressively worsening over the years. I was constantly in the doctor’s office for thyroid issues, migraines, sinus issues, bladder infections, and depression as well as constant panic attacks. In 2005 I met Dr. Nicole Hewitt. By this time I was taking several prescription medications including thyroid medication for 32 years for Hashimotos. I was taking anti-depressants, migraine medication, medications for anxiety and panic attacks. I was 25 to 30 lbs over weight despite the fact that I worked out 4 to 5 days a week. I could not get rid of the fat around my mid-section. My migraines were worsening and so was the pain in my back and pain all over my body.
Dr. Hewitt recommended doing blood work to test for food allergies. No doctor had ever suggested doing this. Their answer was more medications. The test came back showing I was sensitive to gluten/wheat and she recommended a gluten free diet. I was in denial for a few more years and my health continued to decline. She weaned me off all the medications including the thyroid and recommended an all-natural supplement for my thyroid which I still take today.
In 2008 at age 54 my memory was starting to fade, I was barely able to function. I could not drive, was in so much pain all over my body and could barely walk. Dr. Hewitt finally told my husband I was going to die if I did not entirely eliminate gluten/wheat from my diet. That got my attention and I slowly started to comply with this lifestyle change was was not easy at first. Over the years though with much support and encouragement I've learned to cook feel good tasty foods at home and have actually become quite an excellent home chef according to my husband, family and friends! I love to cook! I've been able to wear a size 6 for the first time since like high school and turning 65 in 2018, take no prescription medications. Wow! That's amazing! I've kept the weight off for over eight years.
As you can see from the before and after photos on my blog it has been a dramatic transformation and I am very grateful to Dr. Hewitt for finally getting to the bottom of my chronic illness and for not giving up on me. If I had not met her in 2005 and listen to her recommends I would most likely have ended up in a nursing home with Dementia or worse. She saved my life and so did going Gluten Free! Now I'm able to be an encouragement and hope to others who are struggling with their health and to find the right answers and resources from other health professionals like Dr. Peter Osborne, Dr. Tom O'Bryn, Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. David Pelmutter (author of Grain Brain), Dr. Roger Borbon (our doctor here in Spicewood) and the Gluten Free Society for proper healing!" Sue Seward
Personally I didn’t need some scientific evidence to show me all this. My body is all the evidence I need but having those test done probably saved my life and I’m very grateful to Dr. Hewitt for finally discovering what was wrong with me! When I do eat anything with wheat or gluten I become sick, not as bad as before but my body immediately tells me not to eat certain foods and if I do I pay the consequences. I was given further saliva testing and it was recommended that I go off all grains including corn, rice and gluten-free breads that contain grains. This has been a challenge and I'm still eating them in moderation. Since I keep a daily food diary I can tell when symptoms pop up what caused them. So I highly recommend keeping a diary.
Yeah this was me in 1988 at age 34 when our first son was about 9 months old. So I know what it's like to be overweight. I struggled too for many years always being at least 25 to 30 lbs over what I am now. After I had Luke though I was almost 200 lbs at 5' 3" tall! It took me over two years to lose most of that weight and I tried the starvation dieting when I was working at the Diet Center in 1989 and hated ever minute of it! I vowed to never do another 'DIET' again. Because dieting doesn't work long term!
CLICK HERE TO SEE my daily personal health regimen.
Click here to read here about the dangers of Artificial Sweeteners then you decide what's best for you and your family.
I certainly do realize what's it's like to be caught like a deer in the headlights in the grocery store wondering what on earth to eat that won't make you sick. I can relate to the pain, challenges and frustration you may be experiencing too or experiencing with a child.
Living a healthier lifestyle can be quite a challenge at first. I feel so much better because I've stuck with it until it's become a habit. I look younger, have lost over 25 lbs, gone down three jean sizes, and feel better than I have in years. All the issues I had for years listed above have all disappeared unless I eat something that isn't good for my body.
Some people ask, isn't eating healthy expensive? My response is "being sick is much more expensive!" And gluten-free food is not bad for you 'bad gluten-free' food is bad! That means all the packaged foods filled with corn and sugar. Eat real food! Preferably organic. No it's not really expensive when you add up all the junk most people eat not to mention going to coffee shops daily, fast food, eating out, etc. Add it all up.
When you start to eat cleaner you may experience different levels of symptoms. I know I did when eliminating all the gluten/wheat and fast food and I was feeling worse at first because my body was detoxing. Common symptoms can include headaches, mild breaking out and cramping. These can be signs of the chemicals leaving your body. Extra hydration helps!
Be sure to check out my new Group on Facebook====> HealthyHabitsForLife
Gluten Free Lady