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Part 2: Gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, peanut-free, chocolate-free eating

I feel bad for those who got their gluten-free marching orders in years past. Now there are so many gluten-free foods on the market and so much awareness about it that going without it is actually doable. Gluten free seems like the latest health buzzword – most folks have heard about it now, and most seem to know someone who lives gluten free either by choice or by necessity. I have a feeling that ten years ago that was a totally different story.

There really are a lot of very delicious gluten-free alternatives on the market. (I’ll share a few with you soon.) My challenge for the past ten days has been to identify gluten-free foods that will make this program livable – but for right now, they must also be free of peanuts, dairy, corn, and chocolate. There are surprisingly many options.

When you read about the types of health problems that can be caused by food allergies, the list of possible symptoms is never-ending. Skin issues, digestive disorders, brain fog, sleep disturbances, infertility, depression, exhaustion, dizziness, PMS, migraines, fibromyalgia, MS, joint pain – all of these and dozens more can be associated with gluten allergy. It all sounds like hocus pocus until you talk with someone whose life has been changed by going gluten-free. I have known two women with celiac disease and others with gluten sensitivities, and all say that life is better without it!

My gluten-free success so far has been subtle, but noticeable. It’s been a joke in my family for much of my life that I am cranky/grumpy/nasty/intolerable in the morning. About five days into the GF eating, I started to notice that morning attitude changing. It is easier to get out of bed and become alert in the morning, and my mood is more cheerful. I’m noticing improvement in my skin, as well – it’s less itchy, and it may also be a bit smoother now than before. (Overall I have more energy, too, though I don’t know whether that’s because of the new eating style or because I’m also being treated for adrenal fatigue with supplements.)

Other symptoms do not seem to have changed. My muscles and joints are often achy which hasn’t improved, and I still have joint inflammation at the site of a childhood injury (although I do believe it’s less pronounced now.)

They say it can take 3-4 weeks for major improvement to occur after removing allergens from your diet, and that it really takes 3-4 months for the foods to completely clear your system and leave you in your peak state. So I have a ways to go before deciding whether this GF/DF/CF/PF/CF plan is making an impact. But so far, so good!

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