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Gluten Free Elimination Diet Review: Week 1 – Geek Turned Athlete

Gluten Free Elimination Diet Review: Week 1

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Last week was a crazy week in terms of my health. I’ve been plagued with stomach problems including: severe constipation (5-9 days), headaches nearly every single day, severe stomach cramping, horrible bloating, etc. for years. After seeing a bunch of doctors and nutritionists only to be told “Maybe you just weren’t meant to have a BM everyday.” or “Here are some laxatives.” or “When you get your stomach cramps, why don’t you just take something for it,” I decided to take my health into my own hands and began googling my symptoms. They were just treating the symptoms and not the cause. I don’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life.

After googling my symptoms for quite a while, I came across gluten intolerance. My symptoms seemed to fit the bill, and the elimination diet started last week on Monday.

Monday: got a headache, some bloating, no BM still for 5 days

Tuesday: no headache, TWO BM’s! I know that I sound like an old lady talking about BM’s, but when you don’t have one very often, you tend to cherish them. I was so excited that I actually called one of my friend’s at work to tell her. She kinda thought that I was a freak, but she also knew how much I’ve been suffering, and so she was happy for me. She did laugh at me, don’t get me wrong, but she was happy for me.

Wednesday-today: the same as Tuesday! Absolutely insane. If I would have know about this, I would have tried it years ago.

I didn’t expect to see results so fast, but there they are. Sometimes, it can take months for people to start to feel better depending on how much damage is done to the intestines and how much gluten is actually being cut out of the diet. Gluten lurks in almost EVERYTHING. Besides the usual suspects like pasta or bread, it can be in soy sauce, canned baked beans, veggie burgers, etc. Oh, yes, I’ve been researching all of this.

Why am I being so honest? Because I hope this can help at least one person. I felt like crap for years. I’m a pretty active person, but my energy levels were somewhat low for how healthy I was eating. I can feel my energy slowly starting to increase day by day.

In addition to researching the heck out of the internet, I also purchased The G Diet by Elisabeth Hasselbeck. My sister told me about it, so I decided to give it a chance. I’m hoping it will help me be able to enjoy my food in Europe for the 2 more months that we have left here.

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Besides, going gluten free for the past week, I’ve also gone vegan. This isn’t a huge thing since I’ve been slowly transitioning to vegan for the past 4 months or so. I just cut out the occasional greek yogurt and a few slices of havarti cheese. That whole transition has been going great as well. Don’t worry, I’m on a B-12 supplement. I only really miss meat when I can smell it cooking. I’m sure there will probably be some meat consumption for our cruise next week, but I plan on trying it out for a month and seeing if I want to continue after that.

Training this week is going to be hard, but I will just keep pushing through. My body is strong, and I need to be as consistent as possible, and plan for traveling. This means, I can’t slack off this week if I know that I will have traveling days where I can’t work out.

Steve gets in sometime this week, and I’m so excited! I haven’t seen my husband for 4 months! There have been some major food changes in the household since he has been gone. I hope he AND I will adjust well.

Have you ever taken your health by the reins? Any tips for dealing with a spouse that eats differently than you?

{ 32 comments… add one }

  • Nichole May 3, 2010, 4:21 pm

    Appreciate your honesty! Sounds like you’ve had your ups and downs, but like with any lifestyle changes, hang in there. Can’t wait to see how your journey goes.

    How’s Elizabeth’s book? Worth picking up?

    Reply
    • Nicole May 4, 2010, 9:07 am

      I just got it yesterday, and I can’t wait to crack it open! I will be doing a review once I get through it! I’ve heard nothing but good things about it though. 😉

      Reply
  • Heather (Where's the Beach) May 3, 2010, 4:31 pm

    I am sooo glad to hear that the new diet seems to be working! My husband is not a vegetarian, but at home we don’t cook meat. He’s completely fine with vegetarian/vegan eating.

    Reply
  • Julie @savvyeats May 3, 2010, 4:59 pm

    I’m so glad that GF seems to be working for you! And that you get to see your husband soon :)

    Reply
  • Claire May 3, 2010, 5:18 pm

    It is great to hear such great news about going gluten free, I just started trying it out for one week to see if it affects me positively. I didn’t have the “symptoms” you did but I figure that I do get uncomfortable sometimes and should try it out. My boyfriend and I eat entirely different most of the time but he is actively increasing his vegetarian meals after watching movies like Food Inc and learning about the factory farming industry. I think it helps that I said that I would never ever try to change him, just want him to be educated. Now he eats vegetarian until dinner most days and a few fully vegetarian.

    Reply
  • Lisa May 3, 2010, 6:05 pm

    My BF and I have pretty different eating habits. He loves pizza and could eat it every day. As a compromise, he gets a slice for lunch at work when I’m not around.

    Reply
  • Anne May 3, 2010, 6:16 pm

    Wow! amazing stuff :) I think my boyfriend should try the diet too but it’ll take me years to convince him… I’m so glad you’re feeling better! and congrats on getting your husband back home, you must be so excited!! :)

    Reply
  • Erica May 3, 2010, 6:18 pm

    awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! So awesome that the man is coming home. You must be thrilled! Glad to hear your body is reacting well! I can TOTALLY relate. <3 ya!

    Reply
    • Nicole May 4, 2010, 9:09 am

      😉 Thanks girl! I’m so excited!!!!!

      Reply
  • Bill May 3, 2010, 7:51 pm

    Hopefully the results continue!

    I took advantage of my deployment two years ago to switch to a Paleo diet, which I had been researching while starting our (then) newly adopted greyhound on a raw diet. I haven’t looked back.

    My wife was pretty understanding and once she saw the results (the fact that I ran a solid 40-miler downrange while eating that way helped), she jumped. Now people look at us like we’re nuts when we explain that we don’t eat processed carbs (no bread, pasta, etc.), although we’ll sneak a bit once in a while. But we’ve been eating this way for long enough now that it really doesn’t interest us.

    But the tough part now is getting enough calories, even during a normal training week. Even with eating every throughout the day, I can easily end up 1,500-2,000 calories in the hole every day. That’s certainly not good for recovery or improvement. So I do have to supplement after workouts with Hammer products (which are gluten free – http://tinyurl.com/3xmngt3).

    Keep doing what works for you. And enjoy your health.

    Reply
    • Nicole May 4, 2010, 9:10 am

      I’ve used Hammer products before, and they the only gel that doesn’t upset my stomach. I love them! Thanks for reminding me about them.

      Reply
  • Abby May 3, 2010, 10:19 pm

    I’ve done a gluten free diet before… it definitely made me feel better! Now I eat it, but only occasionally. Like when I carbo-load..it’s potatos NOT pasta… I’d be so sick on my run!!

    Reply
  • Amy May 4, 2010, 12:35 am

    Woohoo! So glad the change seems to be working for you! And even more glad that your hubby is coming home!

    Reply
  • Tea May 4, 2010, 2:40 am

    I am so so happy for you! I hope you continue to have great results on your new gluten free diet. I’ve never gone gluten free. I tried it for a week but didn’t want to put in the effort with my intense training. (Like someone else mentioned, I couldn’t eat enough). Have you tried those gluten free breads? Are they any good? I know someone who makes gluten free homemade muffins, and they were very tasty. :)

    Reply
    • Nicole May 4, 2010, 9:12 am

      I have tried some rice bread this week, and it is actually really good. It is a lot more calorie dense for a little piece of bread than normal wheat bread. So, for anyone that isn’t training as much as we are would have to be careful.

      Reply
  • Pure2raw twins May 4, 2010, 4:17 am

    Yes thank you for being honest! We need more people like you. So happy to hear you are doing better! We felt better too when we went gluten free, not healed, that is still taking some time, but are better for sure!

    Reply
  • Alanna @ Blood, Sweat & Cupcakes. May 4, 2010, 2:08 pm

    Glad to hear your are feeling well! It’s such a great feeling when you seem to find something that finally works for you.

    When I met my boyfriend I was a strict vegetarian and he was a meat and potatoes guy. In the past four years we have both changes our diets quite a bit with the influence of each other, I introduced poultry and fish back into my diet and he introduced all kinds of new vegetables and soy products. We found a good happy medium after cooking countless meals together and it works for us :)

    Reply
  • Charisa May 4, 2010, 5:32 pm

    My cousin is gluten intolerant and it took her YEARS to figure it out. She’s so much happier now that she has it figured out. Good luck!! Sounds like you are doing everything right :)

    Reply
  • kalli@fitandfortysomething May 4, 2010, 10:22 pm

    oh i just found your blog from caitlins-love your title :)

    Reply
  • Laura Georgina May 5, 2010, 3:31 am

    Oh girl, you can talk about BMs all you want–I’m celebrating for you! So glad the elimination diet is helping so much and so quickly…

    I had the same “Oh my God, I’m feeling OK!” moment when I cut out dairy last August. Turns out my constantly churny stomach, sinusy issues, and skin rashes were all down to the dairy. Though the issues it caused were just bothersome (and not flat out horrendous, like your problems) it’s made such a huge difference. Plus, should the need for some REALLY amazing, worth-it cheese arise, it’s Lactaid pills to the rescue.

    Reply
  • She-Fit May 5, 2010, 3:44 am

    WOW! I’ve been hearing so much about gluten-free diets. I’m almost tempted to try it out. Do you think I would see a difference even if I don’t have any health issues?

    Reply
    • Nicole May 5, 2010, 11:15 am

      I have no idea! I did it b/c I felt like crap already. I most definitely wouldn’t give up normal bread and pasta and everything else voluntarily!

      Reply
  • Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries May 5, 2010, 4:36 am

    I totally forgot Elisabeth Hasselbeck came out with that book. Glad you are finding what works and getting your energy back!

    Reply
  • Amy May 5, 2010, 9:54 am

    Hey! Check out the no meat athelete blog – he has a gluten free cookbook featured in his current post. :)

    Reply
  • MizFit May 5, 2010, 11:01 am

    I was really surprised how much I LOVED this book.
    Ive been GF for 16-17 years (waay before it was hip :)) and Im not usually a big EH fan.

    GF totally changed my life and energy (and skin!) as well.

    Reply
    • Nicole May 5, 2010, 11:09 am

      Yay! That makes me want to read it even more now!

      Reply
  • Andy M. May 5, 2010, 4:59 pm

    My girlfriend had the same problem!!! I swear your story is a carbon copy!!! Same thing happened to her, she then did her own research and then went gluten free.

    As far as how I help her or deal with the situation, we try to go to restuarants where she has choice for gluten free stuff, and I will make a few meals each week at home that are gluten free… You would be suprised, gluten free is not bad and does not mean things will taste bad. Gluten free brownies are delicious, and gluten free pancakes! You two need to get together and chat about that stuff.

    Reply
  • Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather May 5, 2010, 6:15 pm

    Wow what an amazing turn around with just that change! I’m so glad it’s helping you feel better. I can’t imagine going a day without a BM let alone 5!

    Reply
  • Leana May 6, 2010, 6:25 am

    So glad to hear that you are seeing results already! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you. Such a good idea – better to manage things through diet than through pills!

    Reply
  • RunToTheFinish May 6, 2010, 3:23 pm

    I’ve actually heard the GF can be good for all of us. My concern is how to get enough carbs for runs… would love to see what an example day or week looks like for you on this.

    Reply
    • Nicole May 6, 2010, 7:43 pm

      That is a great idea! When I get back, I will definitely do a gluten free day.

      Reply
  • Scrapaloha May 7, 2010, 6:59 am

    We (DS and I) have been GF, WheatF, dairyF, (and many more …free) since last March when his allergies were so bad that we did a test. It has been so worth it, difficult, but we are making it. I feel so much better, not so tired anymore, not coming down with a cold or sinus infection every other week. DS’s energy level has been better and his skin has cleared up big time. I think that you’ll feel the extra time worth it in the long run.

    DH doesn’t plan to ever eat like us, but he really needs to. It’s his choice. When we eat at home, he eats what we eat, but he buys bread and other goodies that we can’t have. It started out hard for DS, but now that we’ve found good substitutes for mostly everything, it’s not so bad.

    DH goes out for lunch at work and can eat what he wants that way. We will occasionally go out to eat, but it means not feeling good for the next few days to a week. It’s getting less and less worth it to get off the “diet”.

    We have more challenges since DS has so many other foods as well that are out, but I have found some wonderful gluten free products. They are not necessarily low calorie, but they make up for some of the things we can’t eat.

    GF/WF bread and cake mixes: Pamela’s brand. If you are dairy free and egg free, just use ground flax seeds instead of eggs, 1tbs to 3tbs water per egg. The Chocolate cake mix is to die for with some homemade chocolate frosting (adapted). The bread mix is also wonderful, and works in a bread maker.

    We love Enjoy Life products. They are one of the few companies that have none of the big allergens, they are the only cookies we can eat besides baking. (I have a growing adolescent).

    Good luck with the new lifestyle. I have found that it my life is so much better now, you couldn’t pay me to eat any other way.

    Reply

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