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Almost five months ago, we started as a family a journey into Gluten Free living. I never in a million years thought I would go gluten free. I love, and I mean love, bread. It was my go-to food whenever I was hungry or craving something. But something happened over the winter, that made want to change my lifestyle. I have said it numerous times that while nursing, I hold onto an extra 10-15 pounds. Even with exercising, eating enough calories, eating the "right" kind of calories, etc. I just cannot lose those pounds. I've learned to be ok with that. I don't love it, but I do love nursing my girls and so I am ok with it. This winter however, I randomly put on ten-fifteen extra pounds. I was not happy. I watched what I ate, I exercised, I did what I could, yet I gained that weight. Because I want to be healthy for my family, and for myself, I knew that I had to see someone about it. There was one person who I was hesitant to see because even though I love doctoring naturally, I had heard that she really encourages her patients to go gluten free. I could not see myself ever going gluten free. So I avoided going to her. Yet, while I avoided her, my weight still didn't change. I finally had enough, and decided to go see her. Within minutes of being in her office, I felt my fears release. She actually let me talk, ask questions, encourage different things in me. She explained why she wanted me gluten free and told me I could do it. So that day, I went home, and totally changed my lifestyle pretty much overnight. Not only did I change mine, but I also decided that if I was doing this, I had to change our entire family. So we did.
I thought it would be nice for you to see a list of the changes I have noticed since going gluten free. So here they are:
*My allergies have disappeared. I used to have multiple sinus infections every spring, I would have to take sudafed/advil to combat the sinus pressure. Since going gluten free, I have only had to do that twice.
*My overall body swelling has gone down. Since having kids, my legs always looked puffy to me and of course, my tummy was a bit bigger. This is no longer the case with being gluten free.
*I lost 10 pounds.
*The dark circles under my eyes, and under Meridian's disappeared.
*I actually had energy during the day.
*My dry skin went almost 100% away.
*Zoelle is much calmer and when she is gluten free, her attitude is a thousand times better.
*My cramps during my period have almost gone away completely. I have always had terrible cramps that left me crying, begging for Midol, and doing nothing for the first two days of my period. Now, I may have a dull ache, but otherwise, I have next to no pain.
*My period is much, much shorter and lighter. I know maybe this is TMI, but I wanted to be honest in all aspects of this journey, and this is a huge one for most women!
*My eczema on my hands is much improved.
*Meridian's rash on her butt is completely gone.
*My red, bumpy, upper arms have disappeared! I hated, I mean hated my upper arms for as long as I can remember because they were always itchy, bumpy, and red. Wearing a strapless, or sleeveless dress was never an option before now.
For the most part, I have truly gone gluten free. I really try and limit gluten in my girls as they sleep worse and have much different attitudes when they have even a little bit of gluten. We are not perfect, and there have been many times, especially when eating out with friends, that I have broken my gluten free diet. However, when I do, I almost always regret it. Here is why.
*I now get a terrible headache at the slightest amount of gluten in my body.
*I break out in a rash caused from the gluten. Typically it appears on my chest.
*As mentioned above, the girls don't sleep as well, and are much more hyper/wild when they eat gluten.
*The dark circles come back under all of our eyes.
*My eczema comes back in full force and I itch like crazy!
* I am very, very tired and have low energy.
*Meridian breaks out in a rash again on her butt.
To be honest, the headaches alone make me not want to go back to gluten, ever! They hurt, a lot! While I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't lose more weight while being gluten free, I also realize that all the other health benefits totally make it worth it for me. Oh and the girl who used to love bread, now has no cravings for it and the few times I have had it, it kind of tastes blah to me.
I plan on blogging a bit more on what a typical gluten free day looks like for us as far as meals and snacks go. But I also want to mention that I am not a doctor, and these are just my own opinions and what I have noticed in our lives. I can't guarantee the same would happen in your life if you were having the same symptoms. I would however, encourage you to try for two weeks and just see if you notice a difference in your life. You never know, you may never go back again and have no regrets about that!