Well, I said I was going to do it…..and, I did. I ate gluten! Actually, I ate a slice of Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted 100% Whole Grain Bread.
I think the part that’s so surprising to me is not that I suffered no ill symptoms after eating gluten, but that it took me three weeks to do it. After years on a gluten free, mostly AIP paleo diet, putting a piece of gluten-filled bread in my mouth was horrifying to me. I don’t think I even realized how hard it would be. For weeks, I put off even buying the package of bread. Interestingly, the needed bread would be left off my grocery list each week. Finally, feeling brave earlier this week, I purchased the loaf of bread. As I stood at my kitchen counter, staring at a slice, mortified, I realized how disordered my eating had become.
In my defense, although I had tested negative for celiac, I had been diagnosed with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS), by my gastroenterologist. Remembering the symptoms of bloating, headaches, and intestinal distress that plagued me daily, only three years ago, made taking a bite of this bread frightening. Knowing that if I ate this bread while stressed out, would probably end in a bad response, I decided to take some time to do yoga and meditate beforehand.
After about an hour and a half, I returned to the bread. I had decided to toast it, and serve it alongside a couple of beautiful, farm fresh, fried eggs and bacon. I set about cooking my breakfast, concentrating on only positive thoughts. It turned out to be a lovely meal.
Once I had taken my first bite of bread, which I had dipped into the egg yolk, I sat back, and waited for something to happen. Nothing happened. Slowly, I finished the entire slice of bread. Again, I waited for something to happen. As I was washing my breakfast dishes, I felt a rumble in my belly. Here we go, I thought. But, it was just a rumble.
All day, I waited for doom to come. I thought of all the other times I had reintroduced a food, and the dread that came with it. I thought of all the different diets, macro counting, and food eliminations I had done over the past three years. All of those things had given me control, at a time when I needed it the most. When I was diagnosed with lupus, I’d felt out of control. I jumped into paleo, and then the AIP, wholeheartedly. It gave me control over something. Immediately, I was surrounded by community, others who were looking for the same answers I was. We all wanted our health back.
But, something happened as time went on. The better I felt, the better I wanted to feel. Every time I would stumble with a flare, I blamed it on me doing something wrong. I would eliminate some of the foods I had reintroduced, slow down my workouts, or make whatever restriction I thought had caused my flare. When I finally reached remission with my lupus, I kept the restrictions going by trying a ketogenic diet, or keeping strict control over my macros. Since I was no longer on the elimination phase of the AIP, or on the still restrictive and controlled reintroduction phase, I needed to maintain some limits to my eating. Without that, I was sure I was going to become sick again.
Then, I did get sick again anyway. Luckily, my lupus was still in remission. With the help of a new, fantastic doctor, I was able to get the help I needed. Something she told me really stuck with me. She told me to enjoy my life because I was never going to feel as good as I expected to feel. I needed to be realistic, with my health, and not try to control it so much.
Little did I know it would be so difficult.
When I first saw Dr. John Douillard’s book, Eat Wheat, I reflected on what my doctor had said. Once I’d read the description, I bought it immediately. After reading it, I was blown away. The science was intriguing. Now, this book is not for those with medically diagnosed celiac disease. You have to be wheat and gluten free, without a doubt. But, for those of you who have diagnosed yourselves, or like me, have been diagnosed with NCGS, you may want to give it a read.
For those of you who are interested, I am giving away a copy of Eat Wheat. It is open to all US residents, 18 years or older. The giveaway runs from 12:00AM Friday, January 13, 2017, to 12:00AM Friday, January 20. All you have to do is enter your information in the entry form below. If you don’t mind, please answer the question I’ve provided. It’s simply to satisfy my curiosity. I will contact the winner, by email, within 48 hours of the giveaway closing. The winner will have 48 hours to get their shipping address to me. Good luck!
As you can tell, I didn’t die after I ate gluten. It is going to take me awhile to get through the entire loaf. I tossed it into the freezer, until I’m ready to have more. This is going to be a slow process. At least I know I’m not going to go all gluten crazy or anything. I won’t be shoving donuts and cake down my gullet. I’m going to move slowly, until I reach a comfort level with gluten.
Also, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about what I’m saying about disordered eating. I’m not blaming the AIP, paleo, keto, or gluten free diets. It was all me. However, I will warn that is an easy trap to fall into with any restrictive eating plan. Once you start eliminating certain foods, or food groups from your diet, you definitely increase your risk for going overboard. If you’re a bit of a control freak, like me, you can take it to new levels of constraint. And, if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, you could end up rebelling against restriction, and bingeing on disallowed foods (according to the diet, not me), which are not healthy for you. Either way, it’s a problem you should be aware of. Just be careful.
By the way, I hope you like the new look of the blog. I’ll be making several changes over the next few months. One of the upcoming changes is the removal of the AIP Foods Lists. Because of the direction the blog is taking, I no longer feel it’s relevant to my subject matter. If you haven’t printed out or downloaded your copy, please do so. I will be removing it at the end of this month. Although I’ve said it previously, I will repeat that I will no longer be answering questions or comments relating to the AIP. I ask that you please refer your questions to Sarah Ballantyne at The Paleo Mom, or Eileen Laird at Phoenix Helix. I know they would be happy to help you with your inquiries. Thank you.