Truly #GlutenFree – Always Worth A Go Even If It Looks Hard!

I received this nice email from E today and it tied in nicely with a post from Elana  Amsterdam about her healing plan and the challenges you face when you make a commitment to get well. I can relate to both so thought they might give you a bit of a boost too.

First, the email from E:

a few years ago i tried going gluten free (strictly for 9 months) horrible experience and didn’t heal at all. …recently decided to give it another go and again felt dreadful, worse than before, yet confused as was sure gluten was a problem. found your site 10 days, read your thoughts on corn and couldn’t decide between “that’s ridiculous it’s far too limiting” and “hmm, that could be the missing link”….gave it a go, cue headaches, fluey symptoms, bad moods, and a week later,came out the other side!Really so grateful to you, as i was on the verge on giving up again.thankyou, E

Which just goes to show you should always give it a go – you don’t know what will turn out to be your key to getting well again.

Many people think they’ve gone gluten free but they really haven’t has other glutens are still going in if you’re still eating corn, rice, oats etc. I have found with most gluten sensitives – including me – that the removal of grains acts to move you off the gluten plateau where you’ve regained some health but then stick and often are not healing internally. See this if you don’t believe me:

Research showed that the small intestines of up to 60 percent of adults in one study never completely healed on a gluten-free diet, especially in those who didn’t adhere to the diet fully.

In another study: Complete recovery of intestinal mucosa occurs very rarely in adult coeliac patients despite adherence to gluten-free diet, only 8 percent of subjects fully recovered gut health on a gluten-free diet for 16 months, and only 34 percent recovered after a gluten-free diet for two years in yet another study: Mucosal recovery and mortality in adults with celiac disease after treatment with a gluten-free diet

And no-one said this was easy, did they? It flippin isn’t but for me it’s important to try my best to heal as I worry the damage will just worsen as times goes on. That’s why I wrote the Barrier Plan. For me initially, and then I realised its potential for all of us.

R said it in another email the other day and I know what she means:

I have been eating an extremely limited diet for 15months now, I am pain free and feel better than ever – but am concious that all I have done is cut out trigger foods and detox – I am probably not healing.

She wanted to know what to do next. Barrier Plan, of course. I don’t want to lose any more foods and neither does she. Do you?

Then, I spied a post from Elana Amsterdam (the Almond flour cookbook author here) talking about her efforts to beat her MS using her own healing plan. She has eschewed all grains and recently all legumes  – as per the Barrier Plan. Since she’s just climbed a mountain, I guess she is doing flipping well on it!

Here’s what she had to say about the challenge of trying to heal:

…many of the above commitments were radical shifts to my life paradigm, I did not always embrace this change, nor was it easy for me.

As I learned through this process, rebuilding one’s health is one of the greatest challenges life presents. If you make such a choice, be forewarned that it could be very unpleasant and that you may find yourself resisting the very change you seek. This is because rebuilding health means interrupting old habits and patterns. You may not want to make the necessary commitments to, and sacrifices for, your health. For example, you might have to give up watching TV everyday in order to walk for an hour. Or, people might be angry with you for protecting your time and setting limits that serve you, not them. These types of challenges await you…along with healing.

Finally, to create the above treatment plan for my MS, I had to slow down enough to listen to myself, to my body and my emotions. I had to figure out what I really wanted, what really served me. Even though the process was unpleasant at times, I reconnected with myself and got to know myself better which became a blessing. Am I done? Not even close. The point of my healing plan is not the plan itself, it is undertaking the process of healing, which for me is the process of listening. This is something I practice every day.

You can read the whole post here: Getting Diagnosed With MS. Don’t forget that MS is an auto-immune disease and what is the common demoninator in auto-immunity? Gluten. It is no suprise to me that her grain free healing plan is working. Good on her!

So, what can we tell from these messages?

1. You are not alone with it; others are going through the same thing as you. Chat to us and we can all learn together.

2. Getting well is not easy and take commitment, being kind to yourself and hard work that doesn’t always suit everyone else around you. Sometimes, you may need help – like CBT or hypnotherapy/Emotional Freedom Technique to stop yourself sabotaging your efforts.

3. Plans like the Barrier Plan work. All you need to do is decide how far you need to go with it. Are you better just grain free, do you need to go legume free, or do you need to go whole hog and stop anything that could make you worse, albeit for a temporary time? What is 4-6 months out of a lifetime of illness? Only you know if that is worth it for you.

For me, the chance of healing is. And most people eventually come to the same decision, albeit we all do it in our own time and when we feel ready. I’m a ‘whole hog’ person and just went for it, others build up and get to where they feel comfortable and that’s a viable choice. Whatever you do and however far you go, just make sure you use the tools to get it right so you’re not wasting time by getting it wrong.

Where are you? How far have you gone and how are you on your healing plan? Let us all know.

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4 thoughts on “Truly #GlutenFree – Always Worth A Go Even If It Looks Hard!

  1. i just cut out all grains 5 days ago & have been feeling pretty bad about it, even though i feel it is necessary. thanks for the motivation & the hope that maybe i am on the right path, after all.

    • Well done for taking that step! I’m sure you’ll be on your way back to health soon. Keep in touch and let us all know how you’re progressing, good luck.

  2. Comment from E (as in above quote):

    Had an interesting chat in waitrose today with an australian guy. he was shocked at how many of the GF products in our supermarkets contain GF oats. he said back home, oats are viewed by many as unsafe, and he was always advised to avoid even “uncontaminated oats” as you don’t know the damage they might be doing inside.
    i’ve always reacted to oats in a very obvious way, so agree it’s worrying to see them used so freely in more and more “GF” products.

    anyway, great post by the way!

  3. The problem is with Coeliac UK saying they are OK for coeliacs – daft in my view whether it is the gluten in oats causing the problem (my view) or cross-contamination of them (very likely too so it’s a double-whammy). As you say, it is very different in other countries!

    Glad you liked the post too.

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