Going Gluten Free

Having grown up on toasted Kraft cheese jaffles (made with sliced, white bread) I loved the taste of bread and anything with flour. Recently in Vanuatu to visit a close friend, I took to the French pastries that were readily available in Port Vila town. I still remember the taste of the French baguettes topped with avacado dressing and fresh salad. Sigh, as I cannot indulge anymore in porridge, bread or wheat/rye/barley products.

I knew something was amiss when I kept having brain fog, gassy stomach upsets and rashes on my face, after consuming wheat products. A close friend Marilyn who is vegan, mentioned to me about my brain fog. I was forgetting names of people or conversations we had just a few minutes before. Not only was gluten affecting my memory, I also had bouts of depression which I thought may be linked to my mother’s death. I now know this to be untrue. After a visit to my GP last week, the tests confirmed that I was gluten intolerant. Strangely enough, the tests for lactose showed that I could consume dairy products. I had stopped eating dairy about three years ago, after my GP diagnosed me as lactose intolerant. Apparently, our body’s reactions to food evolves over time. Despite the tests proving negative for lactose, I consciously choose to avoid consuming dairy (I make exceptions for French cheese).

What exactly is gluten? According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI), gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. AAAI states that if a person is intolerant to gluten, they experience symptoms of gassiness, bloating or abdominal pain, all three of which I’ve experienced.

I have been gluten free for almost a week and the energy I feel is wonderful. It is important to listen to your body and its’ reactions to the food and drinks you consume. When you eat the right food, your body feels energised positioning you on the track to wellness. On the other hand, your body will pay the price if you choose to consume unhealthy food and drinks like energy and soft drinks, alcohol, cakes, Twisties or processed food with a high sugar, salt and fat content. The choice is yours to make. Consciously fuel your body in a way that is healthy and live the life you truly deserve.

References: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI) https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions-dictionary/gluten-intolerance

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