This is a stretch. But here we go…
We’re moms. We both have great husbands. She does have a spot on a major TV talk show, which, if given the opportunity, I’d do the same in a New York minute. And we’re both blonde. She likes Sarah Palin. So do I. And I like Australia. Maybe she does too? Surely she does, after being on the Outback Survivor show and all.
But here’s the biggest connection I have to this celebrity. She’s gluten free! How ’bout that?
I get asked daily about this and I have found it is simple to explain. However, once it sinks in, most folks look at me like I’m crazy and say, “wait a minute, what DO you eat?” It’s tricky, but there is a way.
My story is much different than hers, as most of us with a gluten intolerance would tell you. It is generally on a case by case basis and sometimes (well, ALOT of times) goes undiagnosed. Because wheat is a huge part of the Western diet, it is impossible for most people to imagine living with out it. But truth be told, I’m living because I do live with out it.
Chronic pain and inflammation is a foreign concept to many and was to me before I began noticing how bad I felt a couple of years ago. I wondered, why I am bloated 3 weeks of the month? Why do I feel sick and have brain fog after eating a bowl of oatmeal? Those were uncomfortable symptoms but I lived with them. Until I started a fever, joint pain and a rash that would NEVER go away. Yikes! I had every test under the sun. And what came back was an elevated rheumatoid factor. Then my proactive, take charge self decided it was time to figure this out.
I was not diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. But it was becoming apparent I had an autoimmune disorder and these things take time, sometimes years, to figure out. Ever heard of prostrate prayer? Well, you can bet I was on my face daily. And when I wasn’t on my face I was in the bed. And when I wasn’t in the bed I was in pain. Again, Elisabeth had her aches and pains and I did too. I would say agony might be another thing we have in common. Plus food!!! Food, had become the enemy. Both Elisabeth and I have been at war with our own bodies.
Long story short, people suffering from a wide range of diseases—from autism to osteoporosis, from diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis—can often benefit from a gluten free diet. A chiropractor finally told me I needed to give this wheat free/gluten free thing a try. I was ready for anything. When you live this way for any length of time you will do ANYTHING to get better.
So, I have been gluten free for a year now and I am coming out on the other side of this crazy season of my life. I still have a chronic autoimmune condition which requires daily medication but by controlling the amount of wheat and gluten in my diet I have become much better. I do not have the same condition Elisabeth has, but my autoimmune disorder goes hand in hand with gluten intolerance.
Gluten is the binding element in wheat. It is a protein and once it gets into my bloodstream my autoimmune system attacks it as a foreign substance. I can handle LOTS of other foods (thank you God!) but not wheat. And it’s a full time job figuring out what you can eat. Thank goodness for celebrities like Elisabeth, for shedding some “celebrity” light on this discovery. Who knows, I might have another thing in common with her. We might just be trendsetters.
And I’m good with it.