Why I Don’t Eat Gluten – my personal story
A few years ago, I was flying back to Colorado from my original home in Boston. It was the evening after my uncle’s funeral. He died of lung cancer, which still surprises me. I was alone on this leg of my journey and emotionally vulnerable. While in Logan airport, I felt that I needed a “treat,” so I ate a chocolate muffin from Starbucks. And no, it wasn’t gluten-free. I stopped eating gluten in 2004 but in that moment I needed some cheering up and I convinced myself that one muffin wouldn’t do any harm. Boy, was I wrong! Since my gut doesn’t digest gluten, that muffin sat like a rock in my stomach. I felt like I was about to vomit – like barf bag in hand, head between my legs – all of the 4 hours from Boston to Denver. When I got off the plane, I found a ginger tea bag in my bag and asked a closing restaurant (oh yeah, it was 11 pm at night) for some hot water. I sat in the airport concourse for another 45 minutes sipping the tea ever so gently before I could muster the stability to take the train to the terminal, get on a shuttle to my car and drive home another 40 minutes. It was terrible.
Back in 2004, debilitating abdominal pain, constipation, bloat, and gas lead me to a 30-day elimination diet to find out which foods were causing problems. Elimination diets are long and arduous – I completely (100%) avoided eating gluten, dairy, eggs, sugar, and soy for a month. Then systemically ate each food one week at a time to watch for symptoms. I trudged through and learned that gluten and dairy were issues for me. Thankfully, my digestion improved, plus my anemia and fatigue resolved. I was a new person and I wanted to shout it from the roof tops.
I got into this line of work so I could share this type of knowledge with other people. I pass along what I’ve learned because no one should ever feel as bad as I did that night from Boston.
I’m a public speaker on various subjects relating to health and nutrition and no matter what topic I’m speaking about someone always asks “what’s the deal with gluten?”
The deal is that gluten sensitivity, outside of celiac, is real. Many people cannot digest the storage proteins (gluten) in wheat, barley and rye. This causes digestive woes and inflammation that spreads throughout your entire body. This can show up as joint pain, fatigue, weight gain, headaches, skin rashes and more.
Find out if you’re gluten sensitive
I know so many of you wonder if this is happening to you, so my colleague Stacy and I created the Is Gluten-Free for Me? Program. This includes an extremely comprehensive blood test (the Wheat Zoomer) so you can skip the elimination diet and definitively found out if you have an issue with gluten, how you’re reacting, how serious it is and if you have leaky gut. The program also includes 2 nutrition consulting appointments to first discuss symptoms and provide instructions for the test, and then later to review results and provide guidance about making healthful dietary changes. You’ll leave with a nutrition plan designed for you. It’s perfect for kids (over 2) and adults.
Click here for details and to sign up. (This includes the price of the lab test.)
In my practice I’ve seen so many symptoms improved dramatically by testing and eliminating gluten, including: unexplained pain, fibromyalgia pain, all sorts of digestion problems (constipation, diarrhea, GERD, nausea, bloat, gas), fatigue, sleep, skin rashes that mainstream medical avenues cannot explain, weight gain and weight loss.
If you’re wondering if going gluten-free is for you, stop wondering and get tested.
You can sign up, purchase the test, and schedule your first appointment.
Wishing you good health — because no one should barf on a plane!
Disclaimer: Nutrition therapy is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, prescription, or cure for any disease, or as a substitute for medical care. Jen Marshall and Stacy St Germain are not licensed medical providers. Nutrition plans are not intended as a substitution for traditional medical care, nor should be interpreted as medical advice, but instead is an adjunctive and supportive therapy.