Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Time to share

Well hello there, interwebs... it's been a while.

You might remember me from such blogs as... well, this one, just a long time ago.

I was talking to a friend at work today (hi!) who was telling me about a blog he started recently. It's a catch-all for all the resources he comes across for his hobbie - he thought it would be helpful for others as a place to learn the techniques of the trade through photos and video, and as a community for appreciation for the sport. It made me think about information and community and sharing - and how you can't have the middle one without the last one, or the last one without the first one.

I'd been thinking a lot recently about starting to write again, and this conversation is what jumpstarted me to be sitting here, in front of my screen, and typing again in the familiar "create post" section of this site. That, and several recent events.

This past summer I found out something about myself - I am allergic to both gluten and dairy! This diagnosis by a naturopath came after feeling bad for a long time. Trying to put my finger on it spefically is difficult, but I would say that I hadn't felt really well in close to a decade. Tired, blotchy skin, bloating, painful and hard stomach, forever feeling like I was coming down with a cold, along with hypothyroidism. I decided to see a naturopath in the early spring, and starting the next day, I spent a month on an elimination diet. Starting two days later, I felt a million times better! The stomach pains starting going away, the bloating started going away, my skin started clearing up, and I was less tired. I had more energy than I had had in a long time. I had eliminated most sugars, gluten, dairy, citrus, and "moldy" items like peanuts, mushrooms, etc. After the month was over, I brought back one item at a time, over 48 hours, and was easily able to tell the things that did not agree with me - definitely dairy, and definitely gluten, along with some citrus. I also eventually did an "official" test, and the results came back as allergic to gluten (protein found in wheat, barley, malt, and rye) and casein (dairy protein).

Pretty bad news for someone whose favourite meal included cheese on a french baguette!

Since the summer, I have been fairly strict about not eating either of those things, and have been feeling a lot better, and have lost some weight. My gains have been tempered somewhat with some stressful issues this summer (mostly work...) but overall, I feel tons better than I have in years.

It has definitely all been a huge learning curve for me - what does and does not contain gluten and/or dairy, what substitutions I can make, what other things there are in the world (teff? amaranth? wha?) to eat. Above all, it has been a lesson in listening to my body. When I unknowingly eat those items, I can tell right away. I can hear my body a little louder now - it's not so stifled under the big loaf of wheat bread.

So, as my friend is starting to do, I'd like to share my experience - through all the learning about new foods, about re-learning how to bake, and about my life in general in a gfcf context.

So, stick around, it'll be fun. Plus you'll get to laugh at all my bread failures. Or, maybe, you're looking for some gfcf goodness. I know there are a lot of gluten-free websites (I like: Gluten Free Gobsmacked and Gluten Free Girl ), and some dairy-free ones too, but not many that combine the two. So maybe, you just love food and arts and crafts and life in general, or you are here for other reasons.



Robert said...

The Paleo Diet books are fascinating....our bodies are unable to properly process dairy and gluten - as we are still evolutionarily still very much like our Paleolithic ancestors (who thrived with less disease on meat, vegetables, fruit and diary). Also check out www.thepaleodiet.com

monkey said...

Hey Robert, looks great, I read some of the information on the website, and it looks like something my body would do well with. I've read about alkaline vs acid diets before, and am trying to turn my diet towards the alkaline side as I've heard it's better. Thanks for the link!