My name is Elisa, and I’m gluten intolerant.
It took me years before I could say that. Years of being sick all the time, living with what so many people who have this condition delicately call “stomach issues,” constantly dealing with heartburn and bloating, always feeling exhausted and achy, being forgetful and foggy… If I had to put a timeline on my gluten intolerance I’d say it’s probably been going on for at least 5 years. Five.years.
I’ve been to doctors, I’ve cut out dairy, I’ve taken supplements, I’ve tried it all. I thought I was intolerant of milk, of eggs, of meat, of acidic foods. I thought maybe I had Chron’s. Or worse. I was told I had an unhealthily high pH, and to eat lots of yogurt. Nothing helped. More than one friend suggested to me to go gluten-free. But I couldn’t imagine cutting out wheat gluten. I not only loved eating bread, I loved making it. My grandmother taught me to make fresh bread when I could barely stand on a stool next to the kitchen table and reach into the bowl. So I fought it.
On my 31st birthday I made the announcement to my husband, family, and best friends that I was going to make an attempt to go gluten free the following week (after one last pasta, bread, and birthday cake binge!). During that week I soaked up all I could about gluten, where it was found, and what alternatives were available. I learned how to eat gluten free. I made rice and potatoes and quinoa and meat and lots and lots of veggies. I bought gluten free baking mixes and breads (because I knew that the first thing I’d want when I couldn’t have it was a cookie or a piece of bread, and because I was curious to see what was worth buying). I carefully read labels. And I started to feel good.
Until the following weekend, when I was sick again.
After some research, I realized I was intolerant of the gums – Xanthan and Guar – used in every commercially-available Gluten Free product on the market, and almost every recipe out there. Back to square one: learning how to eat.
This is not a health-food blog, or a weight-loss blog, or a diet blog. It’s not going to be perfect. I’m constantly screwing up. I’m not an expert. I’m just a girl who got sick and is trying to get better, one meal at a time. It’s about me learning how to eat so I can live. And feel good. That’s where the singing comes in (actually I just needed a name I liked – and singing, for me, is a feel-good thing).
This is my journey. Thanks for joining me on it!