Changes Coming to GfRealFood

Crickets…crickets… It’s been real quiet here at gfrealfood.  I’ve had a lot to think about lately.  Last December my husband and I went grain free.  We have been gluten free for more than 4 years and I personally have been dairy free for most of that time too.  I had been having some weird symptoms that my PCP and neurologist couldn’t find a cause for.  Within about 2 weeks of eliminating grain, dairy, all forms of sugar other than small amounts of honey or coconut sugar and all processed foods, I felt like the old me.  Every single symptom vanished.  I had energy, I felt happy and calm and had no physical complaints.  Life was good.  We even made it through Christmas following the plan.  Then in February we decided to have a blow it day.  Bad idea.  That day became a week.  And that week became….You get the idea.  It’s a very, very slippery slope.  Within days of going back to our old ways (although we were still gluten free and I remained dairy free) every single last symptom came back – with a vengeance.  I felt sure that my issues were food related.  I started seeing an allergist in March.  Turns out I was right.  I didn’t think I had allergies or intolerances beyond gluten and dairy.  I was stunned to find out I have a lot.  Finding out that I am allergic to corn put me into a serious funk.  I knew corn was in everything.  I read labels.  What I didn’t know was that it is in EVERYTHING.  I have come to believe that if it comes from a food manufacturer (i.e. in a box, bag, can, jar, bottle etc) and has more than 2 ingredients in it – it has corn in it.  Even my beloved bacon has corn in it in the form of sodium erythrobate.  Xanthan gum is corn based and it is used in a lot of gf baking and in many things as a thickener.  When we initially went gluten free I thought that was rough.  In hind site it was a piece of cake compared to eliminating corn.  The list of things that corn can be found in is FOUR pages long.   I am told that corn is, hands down, the most difficult single ingredient to eliminate.  It’s even in toothpaste, toilet paper, plastic cutlery, plastic bags and the list goes on and on.  What makes it even more difficult is that because corn is not on the FDA’s list of top allergens it doesn’t have to be listed on an ingredient label.  Thanks to the fact that our government subsidizes the corn industry it has found its way into nearly every product.  I wasn’t done feeling sorry for myself when I found out on my next visit to the allergist that I am also allergic to soy, coffee (ok, just shoot me now), citric acid (just try finding canned tomatoes without citric acid), dairy and brewers yeast (which is found in all vinegars and all alcohol – extracts included.)  Along with these there is a considerable list of things that I showed a slight reaction to that I am supposed to eat only once every four days.  Things on that list included: eggs, chocolate, almonds, cashews, peanuts, onion, bakers yeast…you get the idea.  So this all would explain my lack of posts here.  I have been completely stumped for ideas on what I can eat.  On the plus side of all this: it’s a great weight loss plan.  😉 

So what’s my plan?  Starve to death?  Resign myself to feeling like garbage for the rest of my miserable life?  No.  It’s GAPS to the rescue.  If you haven’t heard of GAPS please click on the link.  I could not do it justice to explain it here.  Anyway, I have hope and I am going to give it everything I have got to make it work.  I bought the book and as I was reading through it and was feeling totally overwhelmed, my favorite food blogger announces that she will be offering a GAPS cooking class.  Surely it was a sign.  I enrolled.  The first class (all are online) was released yesterday.  I can not believe the amount of work and information that went into this.  I feel like the cost of enrollment was a steal. 

So back to the changes to my blog.  From now on all recipes will be free of grain, corn (technically a grain), soy, dairy, gluten, brewers yeast and sugar.  All will be “full GAPS legal”.  If I am able to reverse some or all of these food allergies then this list will shrink in time.  For now though I am going to have to stick with these limitations.  Will this blog still be something that interests you?  I hope so. 

Anyone else have multiple food allergies?  Does anyone here have success with reversing them?  If you have any experience with this or with GAPS I would really love to hear from you.

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17 thoughts on “Changes Coming to GfRealFood

  1. I’m sorry to hear all this! I know you will embrace this new lifestyle though and I’m super excited to read your posts and try some of your (sure to be great) new receipes!
    I tried gluten/corn/soy/sugar free for a year (I have Crohn’s Disease) and while I felt better, I still wasn’t improving 100% and still had symptoms and not great test results. After all the gluten-free research I’d done, I found myself continuing to look on-line for ways I could improve my life with the food I ate and that eventually led me to a book (Breaking the Vicious Cycle) and the diet it details (SCD). It’s also grain-free and I think shares similarities with GAPS and it has been a lifesaver for me! It’s not easy…and there is a lot of cooking and prep and more cooking involved, but I wouldn’t change it for anything! I have more energy than I’ve had since high school, symptoms are clearing and my last two doctor’s visits have ended with great results! Just wanted to say that I wish you the best of luck and lots of support!

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    • Thanks so much for taking the time to post a comment. It does reassure me to hear about dramatic effects on health from diet. My understanding about GAPS and SCD is that they are largely the same diet but GAPS is a 3 part lifestyle:diet, detoxification and ….can’t remember. I’m such a good student. 😉 I’m told that I will feel worse before I feel better. It’s hard to plan to feel crappy. How am I supposed to fit that in?? I will try to keep the blog better updated.
      Thanks for the words of support.

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  2. After going gluten free 7 yrs ago, I learned very quickly I felt much better avoiding all grains. I react strongly to yeast and gluten. I have been grain free for 2 years and doing well. I follow a paleo/primal like diet and stick to whole foods. I also have to be low carb to keep my blood sugar from spiking.

    Gia, just today I read that there are more cases of cancer in those with Crohn’s who are being treated with tumor necrosis-factor (TNF) blockers, azathioprine, or mercaptopurine. You are wise to use SCD or GAPS. It makes me wonder what side effects will be seen when a drug of celiac disease comes on the market.

    Kim, I will check back for some recipes now that you will be “free” of all the foods I avoid. Hope you find this change brings you better health.

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    • Anne,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I started intro yesterday. I felt fine all day until early evening. Then came the nausea, vomiting, bloating, insomnia etc. I feel better this morning although I cringe at the idea of soup today. At least I know it is working.
      Speaking of cringing… I too worry about the effects of a drug for celiac disease. There is no way I would ever give a drug to my kids so that they wouldn’t react to gluten. I believe that gluten isn’t good for anybody regardless of whether or not they have CD so taking a drug so that you could continue with the standard american diet is just a bad idea all around.

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    • Glad someone believes in me because today I certainly don’t! 😉 Those cookies look great. I would need to put some fat in there though. Coconut oil would be yummy. I bet you could sub the apple sauce for CO….. mmmmm.

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  3. I know what you are going through. It can be rough to feel like there is nothing safe to eat. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis several years ago and nothing medicine wise was working for me. I tried a Gluten Free diet several times and even tried the SCD diet. Nothing seemed to help – I spent 9 days throwing up the last time I did the SCD and gave up after loosing 20 pounds. I got special testing done on my own 2 years later and found out I, like you, had multiple food issues. [Gluten, dairy, soy, almonds, walnuts, yeast, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, etc. 29 things in all.] I’ve been on the new diet for about 18 months. I’m finally in remission and getting my energy back. I was able to start reintroducing some foods back into my diet about 6 months ago. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat gluten or corn again. Having my UC in remission is a blessing. I started taking vitamins and a multi-strain probiotic which is helping. I miss eating out some times but I definitely don’t miss being sick all the time. Hang in there, it will get better.

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    • Thanks for your words of encouragement. I really appreciate reading your story. It is comforting to me to hear that it can get better.

      Another person allergic to corn…. I think that a lot of people are proabably allergic to it. It makes sense since it is in everything. It would be a great thing if corn would be added to the labeling of major allergies like dairy, wheat, eggs nuts etc are.

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      • Corn is definitely a more difficult to deal with than gluten. Corn, or a derivative of it, is in almost all everyday prepared grocery items. My brother is gluten free also but he doesn’t have the corn problem and his diet is much easier.

        Some of the reading I’ve done indicates that more and more gluten intolerance people are having issues with corn. I believe all of the genetically modified foods are creating a lot of problems that no one is addressing.

        It took a long time for me to figure out what was going on but knowing what I need to do to stay healthy has given me hope. Some days are rough emotionally though. I still miss the ease of justing being able to stop anywhere to eat every once in a while. My husband is very supportive though and that helps alot. He is very good about only eating things I can have when he is with me.

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      • I couldn’t agree more about corn being harder than gluten to avoid. There is decent labeling and public knowledge about gluten but corn…no one knows about corn until they have to avoid it. I am including myself in that group.
        Have you read this: http://momsforsafefood.net/2011/04/18/monsanto-the-world%E2%80%99s-poster-child-for-corporate-manipulation-and-deceit/ I knew GMO’s were a bad thing but this article (which is lengthy but well worth the time) paints a pretty scary picture. I have admittedly not done a lot of reading about GMO until now. It gives an explanation for why people like you and I are sick. I wish my husband would be more on board. He has a pretty huge sugar problem and he thinks that GAPS food is gross. He will not even try anything I ferment and the only way I can get some things in is to sneak it in. Yes, he is like a fourth kid in that respect. Unfortunately we are almost 180 degrees apart in our ideas about food. Our kids get caught in the middle. It doesn’t stop me from trying though. Count yourself lucky that at least you don’t have to fight your hubby about food.
        It’s so good to hear that changing your diet has had a positive impact on your health.

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  4. Kim, I remember doing the roatation diet with our son while on the SCD, I thought I was going to pull my hair out. Now that we no longer rotate the SCD seems like a cinch. Just keep it up, next thing you know a year or more will pass by and you’ll realize how far you’ve come, how much better you feel, and you’ll laugh that the GAPS/SCD is even considered a restrictive diet. The modern diet is actually the most restrictive because the bulk of it is white flour, sugar, corn, soy and vegatable oil (yuck).

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    • That is a really great way to think about it. You are totally right, the SAD is really the most limited. I know I need to do a rotation diet with GAPS but I just can’t wrap my head around that at this point. That seems totally overwhelming to me. Hopefully in time I will get there though.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to offer some words of encouragement. It means a lot to me to hear from those who have done it.

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    • Your blog looks great. I added to my blogroll. I haven’t been well connected to the GAPS / SCD community as I am pretty new to this. I love finding great blogs like yours. Thanks for stopping by mine.

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  5. I enjoyed reading this article and the comments here! My daughter has celiac disease and my husband has Crohn’s disease. He just experienced his first “flare-up” and was put on a bunch of drugs. I am going to research the ones in the comments above! Hopefully he will be a little more receptive to a lifestyle change… He is like my fourth kid too. This GAPS diet looks interesting! I’m liking you on fb!

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    • Just curious, has your fourth child been tested for CD? I don’t know much about Crohns but understand that it is terribly painful but very receptive to dietary changes. You could also look into the GAPS Help Yahoo group. It is a huge group and those people are an enourmous collective wealth of information. I’m on a steep learning curve with it now too. Remember how it felt to just start out gluten free? That’s what GAPS feels like to me, right now. There are different stages of GAPS. I am fine with the most liberal part of it but the most restrictive part is still more than I can wrap my head around right now.
      Good luck in your learning curve.

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      • Hi! My husband was tested and does not have celiac, although I do suspect a gluten intolerance. Going gluten free seems like a walk in the park now that we are considering GAPS/ SCD!

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  6. This is the first thing that I found about brewer’s yeast allergy specifically. Thank yoU! I was just diagnosed with that yesterday, including dairy, eggs and pineapple. I wasn’t too concerned as I don’t drink much, but then realized it included vinegar… and now also alcohol in extracts. Yikes! I never thought of that either. crazy stuff. Thanks for your insights here!

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