Reluctant

All my adult life I’ve battled chronic stomach pain, headaches, lethargy (there hasn’t been a day since I was 16 when I wasn’t exhausted and my PTSD/imsomnia didn’t kick in until I was 21 so…) and the general hum of something not being quite right but not wrong enough for a doctor to do anything about it. Things improved by leaps and bounds when I went vegan, but the hum kept on going.

A few weeks ago, I had a really terrible reaction to seitan (which is basically entirely gluten). I could hardly move for several days. I consider myself reasonable and have zero interest in fad diets or health crazes. Veganism is and will always be about limiting harm where I can. The problem is, this particular reaction could not be ignored. I planned a 3 week elimination diet, complete with a terrible attitude about the whole thing because I DON’T WANT TO BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.

The elimination diet didn’t last as long as I’d planned because holy moly this is a hard adjustment, but since reintroducing gluten back into my diet I’ve been reallllllllllly bloody sick, so here we are. Doctors give me major anxiety and have never helped me with anything at all in the past. I’ll eventually pursue an official diagnosis, of course but I can’t ignore what’s happened the past few weeks because I don’t want to feel horrible all the time just to avoid being ‘one of them’. I’m aware that most people only feel better when they eliminate gluten because they have to make a shift towards whole foods, but that has never, ever been an issue for me. Produce is my life.

It’s entirely more stressful because my fiance has a myriad of allergies that we’re still figuring out. I’ll definitely whine about some of this stuff in the future, but right now I’m trying to have a positive attitude.

I’m a major foodie and cooking is my true love and authentic talent, so I’m determined to become the best of all the gluten free kingdom but please be kind to me and understand this is the last thing I ever wanted and I’m doing this to finally shake the malaise that has been with me for the past 13 years. I’ve overhauled every. single. aspect of my life in the past year and half (some intentional; some thrust upon me with no consent; perhaps more on that later) and it’s lead me to a really great place, so let’s add this to the column of things to be excited about!!

The goal here is to blog my adventures in my gluten free and vegan life with a hearty mix of recipes, product reviews and for the all important seasoning: personal posts. There will be no sugar free or oil free posts because there is an absolute overabundance of those that already exist and the transition to a gluten free life is already stressful enough thankyouverymuch.

2 thoughts on “Reluctant

  1. I can totally relate to all of this. I was informally diagnosed with IBS years ago by my primary care doc. After going through hell with GI issues, I finally saw a specialist who ran a battery of unpleasant tests on me (barium swallow, colonoscopy), to conclude that nothing is mechanically wrong with me and it’s “just IBS. Nothing serious”. That was so very invalidating as my symptoms can be unbearable. I tested negative for a gluten allergy last year, but I know that gluten intolerance can’t be detected in blood (just like lactose intolerance can’t) so I’ve been giving wheat-free a shot. I’ll try ANYTHING to just feel better again!
    When you have a weak gut to begin with, certain sugars (like lactose and fructose, I know that dairy and gatorade give me wicked bad cramps and bloating when I eat them) and proteins (gluten) can be hard to digest, hence the GI symptoms. SO I’ve been slowly phasing wheat out of my diet (not 100%, I don’t want to get too strict/obsessed with it), but I’d say I’m 75% wheat free as of now and I think it’s been helping.

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