My name is Roxanne & I’m a 42 year old single woman who’s always been interested in wellness, health & fitness. Although I’ve not struggled with a weight problem or any particular ailments as such, all aspects of Wellness (nutrition, fitness, mental health etc) has always been of interest to me.
As a teenager I ate anything & everything that appealed to me. I wasn’t the most adventurous of eaters but I never held back. Something that I was pretty consistent in doing & still struggle with to this day, is overeating. I think one of the biggest reasons I have done this, is because I eat quickly. I really enjoy food, and for me it was somewhat of a ceremony, a celebration even. I was very active so I didn’t have issues with my weight. I never thought I was perfect but I didn’t dwell on my body & how it looked, or what I didn’t have.
Fast forward to November / December of 2010 and two friends of mine were talking about this gluten free lifestyle. They sent me some info / articles (more science based than anything) & I thought to myself, let’s try this out.
Basically, to determine whether an individual is sensitive to gluten, you cut it out for 1 month & reintroduce it after being off of it for a bit to see if and how you react. Up until that point I had not really paid any attention to how I felt after I ate a meal & hadn’t thought about how certain foods affected the way that I felt physically, or how they could affect my mood throughout the day. Luckily one of my close friends whom I saw pretty much everyday, was an “eating buddy” and decided to jump on the band wagon with me & off we went together.
I never kept a food journal but my friend & I would report to each other daily. Because we were so new at this, we would randomly discover that we would suddenly feel stomach aches or bloating or even stomach cramps, then when we researched whatever we had eaten & it would be another discovery of food “no-no’s” which needed to be added to the ongoing growing list of foods to avoid.
I remember being shocked finding out that soy sauce was wheat based — and when I started thinking about eating Asian food when I was younger, I did almost 100% of the time feel bloated & “off”. The thing is, it’s not like I felt “sick”, so I never identified that as a problem. But by paying attention to how I felt, I realized that if I didn’t feel good, energized & not bloated, Feeling tired, bloated & lethargic was not actually normal. Food is meant to fuel you. The way I started to help people understand this concept is; imagine that after you filled up your car with gas / petrol, the car started to slow down, choke & not “go” when you pressed the accelerator, would that be normal? Food is fuel. It is meant to keep you going, energize you, feel good & satiated. With all the knowledge out there, there are a still some people that think after certain large meals it is normal to want to nap & feel tired.
Anyhow, the month of cutting out gluten was over, with a few hiccups as I was in learning mode, when I reintroduced regular bread & pasta to see what would happen, only then did I realize that my body was always trying to signal to me “stop!
Please don’t do this again! Abort mission, abort mission!” The difference is this time, I was learning the signs. But I have to say, I have never looked back! Now I’m not saying gluten free is for everybody. We are learning more and more that there is no such thing as a one size fits all diet. There is only what is right for you. However, in order to do that, you have to pay attention to how you feel & what your body is telling you. I know that there are certain fresh ingredients that my body is ok with. And oddly, I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years now, that I can look at a food item, & often can tell if it’s going to upset my stomach. Sometimes I test myself to see if I’m right (hey, I’m only human! LOL) & I have to say, my intuition is pretty good!
Since then I have experimented with other options & it’s becoming more & more evident that this is an on-going process. There is one thing that I feel confident about and believe is right for everybody, and that is whole foods, whole foods, whole foods!