I have, what my friends like to call, a rich person disease. It is actually not a disease at all but more of an allergy or intolerance to wheat or gluten. Although I won’t die or break out in hives and I have never been officially diagnosed when I eat wheat products I simply do not feel well, matter of fact whenever I eat a gluten filled creation I feel like I have rocks in my stomach for three days hence. Celiac disease is the diagnosable condition in which your body cannot properly digest gluten, for more information visit http://www.celiac.org/index.php
I began my gluten free journey two years ago when my hair was falling out and I was so tired I could barely function. From June to December of 2010 I visited so many doctors, all of which blamed the loss of hair on stress and just gave me cortisone shots in my head. Now there is no reason for a 22 year old, who just landed a dream job, to be stressed to the point where a palm size circle of hair was missing from her head. Not to mention the fact that I was so tired I could barely move. By the end of the year I was completely fed up and on the verge of a nervous breakdown because of my hair loss.
A friend suggested I tried eating gluten-free. At the time I had no idea what it was so I did my online research and decided I would try it. The first three days were hard, especially working in a kitchen were I was constantly arranging pastry platters, but I stuck with it and literally after a week I felt like I had woke up after the past six months. I was no longer tired and sluggish and within in a couple months my hair began to regrow. I felt like I had found the magic key to reinitiate my life once again.
I find it unfair of my friends to make-fun of what I truly think of as a disability, especially when I am trying to find my place in this culinary world. When you take away wheat, you take away pasta, pizza, soy sauce, nearly everything sweet, sandwiches… the list goes on and on, life kinda sucks. It makes eating anywhere besides your own kitchen more of a nightmare then a pleasurable experience. You either leave still hungry because all you could eat was salad or, if your will power was broken, with a stomach full of rocks.
Our bodies are constantly talking back to us and often times we do not take the time to listen. I’m not saying everyone should stop eating gluten, or what works for me will work for you, but I am asking you to stop and listen to your body. If you can eat all the bread and pastry in the world I’m actually really jealous (because it’s delicious!), but be careful sometimes the signs aren’t as clear as a giant bald spot on your head.
You are what you eat.