Well, this is a different direction than my usual posts. Some of you that know me, know I have some pretty severe food intolerances. In connecting with other family, friends and meeting new people on social media, I’ve discovered that there are many of you out there that also have issues and are struggling. This is why I wanted to write this post.
this site contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. This does not increase your price however, only earning me a small commission.
I’m not going to go into what’s the difference between food intolerance and food allergy. Instead I want to show you my journey, of what I was feeling, my issues….and what I discovered that helped me and how I go about my daily life.
MILK WAS MY ENEMY
I have had an issue with milk and milk ingredients for years. Actually, my mother told me I didn’t tolerate milk based formula as a baby! And my entire childhood, teenage years and into adulthood I had some pretty major issues….but no one back then really understood food intolerances. It wasn’t on the radar like it is today.
But after having our son and learning from his ENT at the age of one, that he had a Milk Allergy, I started wondering if some of my issues was milk related too….as the Dr told us, as parents we pass down our intolerance/allergies to our children and they can become more intense than our own issues.
SO, I went on an elimination diet for 2 weeks. I was already preparing non-dairy food for our son, so I just ate what he did. And let me point out….DAIRY is milk and all milk ingredients. Dairy is NOT eggs!
From that point on, my life changed. Not only did my gut feel better, but I started loosing weight (most of it was from inflammation) and I just felt better inside. No more worried about where the closest bathroom was when we went out. My sleep was better. Life was good!
Now don’t get me wrong. It was HARD! You just can’t imagine how many things they put milk ingredients in! Like medicines. YES, over the counter, prescription, you name it….they use milk ingredients as a cheap filler. So we had to watch things like a hawk when it came to our son. Intolerance is not fun, but an allergy is scary!
CHANGING HOW I COOKED
But I became a wizard in the kitchen, learning how to substitute things for milk. Adding more baking powder was my biggest discovery when you omit cow milk and substitute in soy milk. And in the beginning the only choices we could find in our grocery store was soy or rice milk.
My son would ask me to make things he saw other kids eat, or things in the bakery….like eclairs. Yes….I indeed made those and our friends couldn’t believe they were dairy free!
SKIPPING AHEAD SEVERAL YEARS
But let’s skip 20 years ahead. I got the whole milk switching down….and I learned where I could and could not eat out. But then I started getting sick again. The same symptoms I had back with milk. What the heck? I was so careful of what I put in my body!
Turns out I developed a gluten intolerance. A severe one at that! Not only was it gut issues, but I started having rashes on my elbows, then my ankles. My joints started hurting in my fingers. Then my fingers started getting crooked with arthritis…..and I’m talking over the course of 6 months, not years! My hip started hurting when I walked. Then my ankles…it was so hard to walk when first getting out of bed!
What in the world was going on with me, I asked! It was at that time that I reconnected with a friend from my past. She lived in Nashville and was now a food blogger. I’ll give a shout out to Angela with SpinachTiger.com Because SHE changed my life!
She said try to eliminate gluten. Give it a 2-3 weeks or so….see how you feel. She also introduced me via the internet to Dani Williamson who is a Functional Medicine NP. I reached out to Dani, and she gave me some suggestions to try, one of which was an enzyme to take when we went out to eat to help in case I accidentally ingested gluten. Because just like milk, gluten is in everything!! I LOVE Dani, check out her website too…and follow both Angela and Dani on Facebook and Instagram!
LIFE GOT BETTER
So I decided to eliminate gluten for 3 weeks. Was it hard, heck yeah! Was it worth it….OH MY GOSH, YES! Within the 2nd week, my hip stopped hurting! My fingers didn’t ache when I woke up in the morning either! And my gut started to ease up a bit. You see, I forgot to mention, after eating something with gluten, my tummy blew up! Like 6 months pregnant size!
It took another week or so for my tummy to get back to my “normal” size, but over the last 6-8 months, I had gained weight. And it felt like I was carrying around a bowling ball inside. That’s the only way I can describe it! But this started feeling better. And my rash had gone away on my ankles and almost gone on my elbows.
I’ve been gluten free for over 3 years now. And I learned where and what I could eat over those last three years.
Fast forward to today. I went KETO a few months back. Not the KETO most people think about, where you can eat all the unhealthy bacon, fat, etc you want. No, this was a healthy approach. I was very strict too, no cheating for 30 days. NO CHEATING!
I eat good fat…..Avocado, Olive, Coconut oil. I eat grass fed, organic beef, organic free range chicken, turkey and eggs. I eat organic veggies. I do limit my grains and carbs (I eat brown rice on occasion and potatoes once in awhile) but absolutely NO Gluten and of course I’m milk free, which on the KETO diet you can have good milk ingredients, just not me. I also went sugar free, as part of KETO. I substitute everything with Swerve! I hate “fake” sugar taste. But this stuff….tastes like sugar! No yucky aftertaste. You can click on this link to find it on Amazon which is the cheapest place I’ve found it. Try a small bag first to see if you like it…but you’ll want to get a larger bag, I guarantee it!
I didn’t do KETO to lose weight, I did it to heal my body from the inside out! And I feel absolutely the best I’ve ever felt. But bonus….I’ve lost 13 pounds! I’m back to my happy weight…my normal weight! I sleep so well now. I have so much energy. This is why I did it….and why I will stay on the KETO cycle.
One thing to note, that I discovered being mostly KETO (as in I am now KETO cycling….where I stay KETO most of the week but on the weekends I will add more good carbs like organic brown rice, organic sweet potato, etc), that you need more salt on the KETO. I only use sea salt but I’ve started adding a bit more to my food. This has eliminated my legs cramps at night. Simple thing to add to your diet. Remember, you’re not eating processed food anymore….which was LOADED with sodium….so you aren’t going to be overdoing that part. (I AM NOT A DOCTOR! these are just my findings from research and talking to lots of other health professionals and people in the food industry who are also KETO)
LIFE Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Sugar Free
So that’s my journey! If you are struggling with gluten, check out SpinachTiger.com website. Angela has tons of recipes for KETO or GF, plus many of the items are DF too. And if you have a question on how to substitute things out….just comment below, or contact me on Social Media via Instagram or Facebook. I’m an open book and would love to share my tricks!