I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, or medical professional- I’m just a girl who took control of her health through diet and healthy living habits!
Hello, everyone! I’m so pleased to be a part of the RWC blogging crew. I wanted to take some time on my first post to introduce myself, tell you my story, and share how I’ll be contributing to the blog!
My story begins 12 years ago as I was starting up my graduate school. I was tired all of the time, gaining weight, and having some bizarre symptoms (brain fog, joint pain, hair falling out, incredible puffiness). I kept going to doctors, asking what could be wrong and was told it was just stress. This went on for years- the back and forth, the tests, the frustration of not getting answers. Long story short- I ended up taking matters into my own hands, working with a functional doctor and found out in 2013 that I indeed had thyroid issues and an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s. In working with this physician, I also went through a full food intolerance panel and found out I had one marker for Celiac, along with sensitivities to dairy, eggs, soy, corn, and brewers yeast. To say I was devastated is an understatement. I felt like my world was over when I was told I had to go gluten, dairy, soy, and egg free.
You may already be at a point where you know that you or someone in your family may have food sensitivities. If not, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to figure it out and I’m going to show you how it can be done!
It may be overwhelming at first, but with some careful planning you can certainly find out what may be causing symptoms for you. For me, I started with a food journal that helped me track my symptoms. Everything I ate went into a chart, along with a symptom notation. It’s hard to understand when you’re first starting out if you have an “allergy” or an “intolerance”.
This chart from https://www.annmariegianni.com/food-allergies-vs-food-intolerance is helpful! She has a great blog on how to navigate the differences if you’d like to read more. Of course, you’ll want to speak to a physician if you suspect actual food allergies so you can get tested. An allergist can help with that.
Here is a Food diary you can download and edit to complete to your liking. I found that sometimes my symptoms didn’t appear the same day so it would take me looking at trends to say, “ok, I ate some cheese on Monday and had a bad migraine that night but the next day I felt like I was hit by a truck” to realize how patterns of intolerances can appear.
When I finally decided to take control of my health, I was determined. I followed a strict elimination diet, following the Autoimmune Protocol diet. I ate a lot of protein, veggies, and fruit. I cut out all dairy, eggs, soy, sugar, grains, and alcohol. It was life-changing for me. I lost weight that had been impossibly stuck on my small frame, my joint pain disappeared, my migraines were gone, and the incredible puffiness disappeared on my face. I finally could think clearly and slept like a baby. It took about four months, but here is a picture of me in October 2014 and again in October 2015 so you can see how inflamed my body was before I started.
You can really see the difference here how inflammation can effect the body!
My hope on this blog is to share what I’ve learned about allergy-free eating, recipes I love, try recipes that are allergy-free, and support any of our members who are also following a modified eating plan. I’m not a medical professional, but I know what worked for me and I’m passionate about eating delicious food! Eating allergy-free doesn’t have to be a complicated process. My hope is that I can help demystify the food allergy spectrum and empower others to be healthier!