Truly #GlutenFree and Barrier Diet Timings

Just putting a reminder here for myself really! I just worked out I have been:

17 months off all grains except rice. This was still when I thought I could get away with rice since it has the lowest amount of gluten in any grain. Of course, we learned that was not going to last since pretty much every patient eventually seems to develop problems with it, AND we know it is enough to continue the inflammatory/immune damage to the barriers, so really I wasted 7 months there but it must have done SOME good, I hope! I certainly felt a lot better.

12 months off ALL grains including rice. The difference here was amazing in how I felt within weeks. WHY didn’t I do this earlier!!

6 months off legumes. Didn’t really feel any different here, but did it to give myself the best chance of healing the barriers and stopping developing more food intolerances. 

4 months off legumes and foods that encourage barrier hyper-permeability. Started this after I concluded my research into barrier-harming foods and practices. 

Of course, this doesn’t count all the slip-ups, the hiddens and cross-contaminations, the supplement and food trials for the Barrier Plan, the odd bit of chilli to liven my curries up and the regular glass of wine (oops!). I would love it to be 100% and I am going to have to stop trialling new things and give myself the chance to heal soon.

It does seem a very long time. I wish I had done the flippin barrier diet from the start but I had to research and invent that, of course so you can now not waste as much healing time as me!

How are you doing? Where are you? What are your cheats, or are you doing better than me and haven’t got any?! Give us an update.


12 thoughts on “Truly #GlutenFree and Barrier Diet Timings

  1. Hi Micki
    Your resolve is impressive! Are you monitoring your inflammation levels and are they improving after being totally gluten free for a year? I’m not doing as well as you – mainly because I am constantly pushing the boundaries diet wise! I am struggling with finding things to eat so am still including rice in my diet having shown no reaction to it following a 4 month elimination diet in 2009. It could be what’s causing problems, but I don’t think so. Breakfast is easy – I usually have either one of your egg custards or a muffin or rice cereal. Lunch is a pain. I haven’t been able to make a substitute bread which is edible and the shop bought ones mainly contain corn, which I definitely react to, so end up with salad or soup! Supper is easy, protein and vegetables. Snacks are needed as I’m hungry a lot of the time, but fruit (much as I love it) and crudites don’t hit the spot. The usual gluten free cooks – Elana and co, use an awful lot of nuts in their recipes and I am very limited as to how much of these I can eat.

    My latest blood test results show an ESR of 38 which my specialist says is too high, but which my GP seems reluctant to do anything about, and a CRP of <4 which is ideal. I react some days when I manage the full quota of supplements and suspect the glutamine so get in what I can!
    But I carry on! There isn't really an alternative, but some days are low days!

    Would be interesting to hear what your blood tests results are like.


    • Hi Chrissie, you are well on your way but you really must look at that rice issue. As you can see, it really slowed me down and I have seen this lots of times. You don’t necessarily feel the internal damage symptom-wise but, for me, it’s not worth the risk. When I did eliminate and challenge it before going grain free it was fine, but after when I repeated it, it def wasn’t. Not worth the risk for me anyway but it is everyone’s choice.

      Blood tests – I didn’t have any when I started as it all crept up gradually and I hadn’t done the research into what happens internally then so can’t really monitor, which is a shame. I go by how my body signs are looking and the ultimate test for all of us will be if and when we can get more foods back in, which, is too early to retest yet. I have rested my adrenals and where they were flat-lining before, they are now normal :). I am absorbing better generally but this last gum infection (which I am just sussing out I think was a reaction to something, watch this space) has put me back again on that and my iron and zinc has dropped back :(. With all the trialling etc, like you, I don’t feel anywhere stable enough yet to be able to do effective reintroduction. Others may find that easier cos you don’t have to try the supplements to catch the companies out! That said, symptom-wise there is just no comparison. Not as good currently because of the gum set-back but about a 3 (was 1-2) where is was a 10 which is worth it for me. Also, I keep in mind that people do this full-on Primal (no novel foods) type diet by CHOICE so what am I moaning about!!!

      Interesting re ESR, I have several people whose ESRs are around 30 and generally stable. We have agreed that it could be the fact that once inflam has raised, your ‘normal’ remains higher than some. I read that somewhere but goodness knows where. Unless they raise higher than 45-ish we don’t tend to worry. That’s not TGF people, but auto-immunity (which is probably gluten anyway!)

      For lunch, that sounds good. At weekends, try a baked sweet potato and tuna maybe? I wish more people would have soup and salad. That said, I just ate leftover veggies and 2 eggs! For snacks, how about seed butter muffins or a smoothie? I eat about 3-4 small muffins a day and rotate the nuts and seeds about as much as I can.

      • Thanks for getting back Micki. It’s always encouraging to hear from you. I shall stop worrying about my ESR – it’s remained around the 30s for about 15 months now – but I get tested every 2 months so should be able to pick up any spikes pretty quickly.

        It’s just the diet that gets me down occasionally! I am constantly looking for ideas, which is time-consuming – but have just come across Marie’s comments on another thread which are interesting. Perhaps more of us need to share favourite recipes rather than re-inventing the wheel all the time. Your site could become the place to look first!

        Your sweet potato idea is good too. I need to re-check just what I can and can’t eat on the barrier diet, give myself a good kick, and get back into it.

      • Lol. We ALL need to do that sometimes! It is draining, but I am determined this is NOT going to be for life!!! And think about all the lovely things we can have (easier said than done, I know..). Re recipes, if we all just gave one recipe, we’d almost have a whole book! I am salting away useful bits and bobs as I go along and will compile them asap.

        Keep your chin up.


  2. Set the ball rolling and let us know where we can post them Micki!!

  3. Westie and Mickie – I do admire your determination and dedication to your diet and what you can and can’t eat – I know it is a nightmare trying to sort meals out as I found when I did the candida diet because you do get hungry, you do want something different, you do want something sweet and nice but you stick with it – guess after a while I found I didn’t need or want sugar or bread and I’m very wary of what I put into my body – OK I do slip now and then but then we are all only human. I know I have a few issues where food is concerned but nowhere near what you are both going through and some of the things you talk about sound like a foreign language. But honestly it sounds like you are both doing so well and thanks have to be given to Micki for her dedication and help she gives us all – but like I said earlier – I really do admire you both – you both deserve pats on the back. The main thing is – do you feel better can you feel the difference since changing the diet and eliminating problem foods?
    Keep updating on your progress please as I’m sure everyone would love to hear how you get on.

    • Ah, thanks Janet, that’s very sweet of you. I’m sure someone up there gave me this flippin’ problem so I could help others with it. I wish he/she/they’d give me a bit of break now I’ve done most of the research now though!! 🙂 See my post to Chrissie on progress and I am about to post another update – v exciting, scores have halved this month (whisper it…!)

  4. Thanks for the reply and the encouragement Janet. We all need some encouragement every now and then and yours is very welcome to me right now.

    To answer your question, yes I definitely feel better. I’ll go further than that though. I have Crohn’s disease and with the diet I can lead a very normal life. Without it, I have full blown Crohn’s and am exhausted and tied to the bathroom for days on end. Simple really – stick to the diet and be well, or eat what I want and be bedridden. I could take steroids which are the treatment of choice, but they merely treat the symptoms, not the illness itself.

    But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It takes a lot of resolve and dedication to get better, but I reckon I’m responsible for my health, no-one else, and I like to keep control of my treatment.

    • Absolutely right there. I was just ranting on about the new claims legislation coming in November this year where suppliers can no longer say what herbs/nutrients etc can be useful for – how are we meant to take responsibility for our own health if we are denied information. Beggars belief. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for in terms of perpetuating illness in this arena.

  5. Mickie,

    I lost my p code for a while so this is a general response…you are like a stand up comedian….I love your descriptive words especially since I m from the US it is very fun to read & refreshing!! 🙂 🙂 Love that you are a sensitive as are so many of us needing your forensic expertise..

    I noticed same time I was putting boundaries/barriers on the parasitic type of people in my life is when my parasite tests came back negative. So I sense this barrier plan is far reaching in many aspects of our mind, body, spirit. I have learned to say no to the vampire takers in my life & have been in better balance with my giving & receiving….like the barrier plan can be healing to what goes into & what I keep out of my life. A gate keeper so to say….. :>

    AT 4 months on grain free, I could sleep on my side with out that painful sticking sensation in my lungs, yet my DR said my lungs were clear as a bell, so some hidden gluey gooey congestion cleared up!!?
    Taking small yam daily to keep my weight up, but maybe feeding the Candida, & taking liquid selenium for metal detox a little.

    Any good news yet from people getting Colon scopes after being grain free?? Like less polyps etc ?

    Best of healing to all,

    • Hi B, thanks for those lovely comments. My sister is actually a comedy writer/performance poet so perhaps a bit runs in the family; glad to know I am easy to read anyway! You can see I am not the only one in the family obsessed with the colon with her YouTube performance here. Enjoy.

      Re yams, unlikely to feed candida. I checked a couple of sources and could see nothing to0 say you can’t eat yams/sweet potatoes etc so I wouldn’t worry about that and use them indeed to keep your weight up.

      Love your comments about barriers to negative people and thinking too – wish I’d thought of that one myself!

      So pleased to hear about your lungs improving on 4m grain free, well done you. Not sure about colon stuff, perhaps anyone who this applies to will reply.

      Keep at it and well done again.

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