Are you suffering from an unexplained illness, stomach cramps, joint pain, bloating, or fatigue? You may want to try a gluten-free diet. 

Once thought to be a rare condition called Celiac Disease, it is now being discovered that gluten intolerance is actually causing the malaise of many.

A friend of mine was tested for Celiac disease and the tests came back negative. Still having unexplained symptoms, she looked elsewhere and questioned doctors about what could be causing symptoms such as extreme fatigue, bloating, stomach pains and more.

Eventually she discovered that eating meats, vegetables and fruits made her feel O.K., but when she ate cereal, bread or a dessert, she was in terrible pain. Like so many others, she searched the Internet and found that others have had similar experiences. Could she be wheat/gluten intolerant? 

She stopped eating anything with wheat or gluten in it for a month and the changes were dramatic.

The only successful way to know if you are gluten intolerant is to eliminate gluten from your diet for 2 weeks to a month and see if your symptoms improve. If you feel better, chances are you are gluten intolerant.  Because the gluten you have eaten has flattened the villi in your intestines, you may be actually starving! The road to recovery can take at least 6 months before symptoms improve completely.

 

3 stages to change to a gluten free diet:

Stage One: Elimination of all allergen type foods.  1 – 6 Months

Eat simple and nutritious foods that are unprocessed: vegetables, fresh meats, fruits. 
This stage gives your body a chance to heal and regenerate itself.  You will feel better every day.
If you do not feel substantially better in one month, you may be getting hidden gluten in something, or have another food allergy and should be tested. Always consult your doctor; a good gastroenterologist can be of great help.

Stage Two: Add a few more complex gluten free foods to your diet. 1 – 2 Months

Enjoy some gluten free comfort foods, don’t feel deprived.
Begin taking dietary supplements to make up for the lack of nutrients your body has experienced over the years.

Stage Three: Enjoy life and eat anything you like, as long as it is gluten free.  Forever!

Now you can concentrate on maintaining a proper weight, good balance nutrition and enjoying your foods.

Remember to be patient with yourself; find foods you enjoy eating that won’t cause problems.  It may not be easy at first, but there are more gluten free options available than ever before. You certainly don’t need to feel deprived or hungry. 

Getting good nutrition is something you need to make sure you incorporate into your daily menu planning.  Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit.  Fiber, pre-biotics and pro-biotics are especially important to balance your intestinal health.

TIP: A few slices of fresh ginger infused in
boiling water and sipped on slowly
makes and excellent tummy tonic. 


 

Here is an easy recipe for a nutritious and tasty hot porridge filled with fiber that you can also make ahead and keep in the refrigerator for a nutritious snack when the ‘hungries’ strike.

Quinoa Millet Porridge

¼ cup red quinoa
¼ cup millet
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 teaspoon Salba Seeds
1/8th teaspoon salt

Grind together in a coffee grinder and place in 4 cups of cold water in a pot.  Bring to a slow boil while stirring continually.  Turn heat down to minimum, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Spoon out a delicious bowlful and eat with your favorite milk with and sweetener such as honey or sugar.  This can also be used as a very nutritious sort of polenta-style sautéed side dish with meat and vegetables.  This porridge is filled with fiber and nutrients.