It’s been a LOOONG time since I told you about my suspected wheat intolerance. More than 2.5 years ago to be exact. I have shared some wheat free recipes here and there, but I haven’t properly told you about how things are going and where I stand. Today I felt like giving you an update.
Nope, this most certainly is not a wheat free meal…
To take you back in time for a bit: in early 2013, I found out that my stomach does not like wheat. I had been struggling for years with my intestines and when I changed my diet because I had started working out more, it only got worse. Within a few weeks, I went from feeling alright to not being able to get to sleep because of bad stomach cramps and the like. It was hugely uncomfortable, painful and embarrassing, because no one likes to talk about their metabolism in THAT way. My mom suggested trying cutting wheat and so I did. Two gluten allergen test later and some trial & error and the conclusion was that my body reacts to large quantities of wheat. Not gluten per se, but when I each too much wheat, my stomach starts doing flip flops and keeps me up at night.
What set off my symptoms was cheaply produced oatmeal, which can be contaminated with wheat and hence for a while I cut all things wheat. I stopped eating bread, did lots of my own baking, found recipes for wheat free pancakes and pizza and generally tried to avoid it altogether. I was successful and after two years of being completely wheat free, I found myself tolerating a little bit more again, bit by bit.
By now I know that my system just goes into overdrive when it is overexposed to wheat. Christmas and vacations are the worst for my wheat consumption, but by now those are times where I can simply eat whatever I want again. I will feel discomfort afterwards still, but nothing like the agony of stomach cramps that woke me up in the middle of the night. On the daily, I still keep my wheat intake to a minimum and opt for less contaminated oats, wheat free granola, rye crisp bread and kamut, buckwheat or spelt pasta.
Where I used to have to eat a mostly low carb diet, I have found some great alternatives to wheat in my supermarkets that work for me. Granted, I still eat low carb meals from time to time, but nothing as extreme or expensive as I used to. Due to the health craze, more and more brands are coming out with alternatives that don’t break the bank or require going to health stores. In short, life has become a lot easier. I can now eat good carbs again (IF I eat grains, I stick to whole grain), which has made my meal prep a lot quicker and more efficient.
I have reached the end of my experimental phase: I know what I like, what my body needs, and more importantly, what it doesn’t need. And so I have been feeling great. So great even, that I can allow myself some bread again on a weekly basis. I buy half a loaf and have that over the weekend. That is my little moment of indulgence, because I simply love bread too much. The rest of the week I stick to a wheat free diet and I have been feeling great.
How do you deal with food intolerance?
And let me know if you want me to write more about this!