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My Gluten-Free Journey

My Gluten-Free Journey | Aiane Karla

A month has passed since I began my professional plant-based cooking course with Rouxbe. I’ve already discovered so much about healthy eating and creative plant-based cooking these past few weeks. Cooking school couldn’t have started at a better time! It has motivated me to reset so many areas of my life, especially my diet.

The day before my first day of cooking school, I went to a naturopathic clinic due to severe itchiness on my back. I’d been suffering for a couple months and was desperate for a diagnosis and treatment. After a thorough initial interview and appointment with my dermatologist, I was diagnosed with eczema.

We went over my food intake for the past few weeks. It dawned on me that I had been eating a lot of wheat products for breakfast and dinner! My gut had developed a sensitivity and intolerance to gluten. My dermatologist recommended I go on a gluten-free and vegan diet. I was already on a vegan diet, so I knew that part wouldn’t be too challenging. Going gluten-free, however, was going to be a challenge.

Natural Treatments

Eczema was my body’s way of crying out for a change in my diet. Sure, treating my skin’s symptoms without addressing or eliminating the cause might have worked quickly, but it wouldn’t have been a long-term solution. It would have been like mowing ugly, unwanted weeds instead of plucking them out.

Before getting married, my husband and I resolved to opt for natural, chemical-free, and healthier ways of treating sickness, even if it may take longer than a conventional alternative.

My doctor sent me home and recommended a wild weed salve to apply on my eczema spots. She also gave me detailed recommendations and resources for my new diet. She gave me a list of foods to eat and foods to avoid, and even printed gluten-free recipes for me to try!

My Gluten-Free Journey | Aiane KarlaMy Gluten-Free Journey | Aiane Karla

Determined to heal my eczema without the use of medications, I was ecstatic about leaving the clinic without a prescription for medications. Instead, I had a grocery list of healthy ingredients! I’ll choose the local health food store over the pharmacy any day! I’ve always been inspired by these wise words:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Overcoming Temptation

One morning, the waft of my husband’s freshly toasted multigrain bread stretched my willpower. I didn’t realize I had gotten so accustomed to eating bread and other glutinous foods! My meals seemed incomplete without them, and I was so close to asking for a bite of his bread.

But! I resisted the urge and said no.

Seeing the struggle I was having that morning, Kerwin graciously decided to support me by eliminating glutinous bread from our shopping list. Since then, he’s gone out of his way to go on multiple gluten-free and vegan food treasure hunts at the grocery store. I’m grateful beyond words for his support!

Gluten-Free Benefits

It’s been twenty-nine days since I started my gluten-free diet. Oh, I’ve been counting the days. I could talk about the foods I miss eating, but the truth is, cooking school has really empowered me to explore what I can cook and eat, instead of missing the foods I can’t and shouldn’t have!

Here are just a few of the benefits I’ve been experiencing:

  • No brain frog. I didn’t realize I was suffering from brain fog until I was free of it! I’m able to think and process things clearly.
  • Increase in energy
  • Satiety without feeling heavy or bloated
  • More focus throughout the day
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced itchiness and spreading of my eczema
  • Improved and prolonged stamina
  • Reduced abdominal cramps

Intentional Tips for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle

  • Set yourself up for success by resetting your refrigerator and food pantry. This was one of my first few cooking school assignments. Eliminating unhealthy foods and ingredients has made it so much more motivating to stay on track!
  • Keep your why in mind, especially when eating at restaurants.
  • Curb your gluten cravings and focus on the plethora of gluten-free alternatives you can eat, instead of thinking about the glutinous foods you can’t eat. Attitude makes all the difference!
  • Be in control of your health by choosing what goes on your plate. Prepare your own meals using fresh, organic, nutrient-dense, and locally grown produce.
  • Do your research to find out which grocery stores have gluten-free selections and also know where their gluten-free sections are located.
  • Shop and eat with intention by making it a habit to read the ingredient list on all food packaging.
  • If you like regular pasta and would like to eat gluten-free versions, fret no more! Some stores sell brown rice, black bean, red lentil, and quinoa pasta. I’m sure there are many other options out there! [If you know of other options, I would love to learn about them in the comment section below!]
  • My Gluten-Free Journey | Aiane KarlaMy Gluten-Free Journey | Aiane KarlaGet to know your beans and legumes! Did you know there are over a thousand different kinds of beans? I didn’t…until I got to the legumes section of my cooking course. Check out Rancho Gordo’s website to see some varieties you may never have heard of before.
  • Eat at regular times to avoid unhealthy snacks (which often contain gluten), especially when you’re not at home.
  • Get in the habit of packing your own mix of nuts and seeds, should you need an emergency snack when you’re out and about. My personal favorites are cashews, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds and chia seeds.
  • Ask a dear friend or family member to keep you accountable.
  • Prepare your own meals to bring to gatherings. (I initially had a hard time with this, especially because I didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that I was on a new diet. I felt guilty for not sharing in the joy of eating everyone else’s food, but I realized I had made a choice to heal my eczema and that, if asked, I would then have the opportunity to share my health journey. Once I accepted this, I felt comfortable bringing my own gluten-free meals to potlucks. I was comforted to know my friends were willing to support me and cheer me on!)

My Gluten-Free Journey | Aiane KarlaMy Gluten-Free Journey | Aiane KarlaMy Gluten-Free Journey | Aiane Karla

Question. What tips would you add to the list above? Do you know of any good gluten-free bread recipes? Please leave a comment by clicking here.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2016 at 3:32 AM

    I’ve long heard about gluten-free diet but I’ve never taken the time to research on it. Thanks for this enlightement, sister. I must study this one carefully. God bless you on your newest journey!

    • Aiane Karla
      July 8, 2016 at 9:48 AM

      Thank you, sister! It’s fun to learn new ways to cook meals.

  • Reply
    June 16, 2016 at 9:28 AM

    Excellent post! My wife sometimes has some skin irritation (itchiness/rash) that she identified as being caused by something in the water from showering. So we use a shower head with a replaceable filter that removes contaminates including chlorine from your shower water. Something else to consider.

    • Aiane Karla
      July 8, 2016 at 9:52 AM

      Thanks, Caleb! I’m glad your wife was able to identify what was causing the rash. What shower head are you using? I’ve been curious and thinking about getting one.

    • Caleb
      July 8, 2016 at 10:08 AM

      We have the sprite hhct shower filter. It is handheld but they also have one for a stationary shower head.

    • Aiane Karla
      July 8, 2016 at 10:09 AM

      Very good to know! Will definitely check it out. Thanks, Caleb!

  • Reply
    June 15, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Great article! Tough to live gluten-free in a gluten-rich world. However, God is on your side and so is Kerwyn! I have no tips on gluten-free. “Farmacy” vs pharmacy.

    • Aiane Karla
      July 8, 2016 at 9:50 AM

      Thank you, Cecile!

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