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Ask Heidi: A New Blog Series

Living a gluten-free lifestyle is about so much more than just managing the food and health issues, yet I’ve always stuck to recipes and medical information here on my blog.  I suppose that’s due to the fact that I’m still in the process of my own spiritual healing and my blog has been my escape from the emotions that still have the power to overcome me from time to time.

If I’ve learned anything from my amazing gluten free friends on Facebook though, it’s that talking with others who face similar challenges is extremely cathartic.  I love the diverse conversations we get going and I always walk away with a new perspective which allows me to better handle the daily challenges I face.  When I find myself feeling isolated in my real life (usually during mixed social situations), I often think of the people in my online community and those feelings of loneliness quickly fade.

I am not alone.

And neither are you.

I receive numerous emails everyday from my readers asking all sorts of questions about what it’s really like living my gluten-free life.  I even get questions that have nothing to do with being gluten-free (a great reminder that there is so much more to life than just the food we eat).  In fact, that is the hurdle I’ve spent the past few years trying to overcome, changing my mindset over to “Eat to Live” instead of the other way around.  Not an easy task given the food centric world we live in (and especially when you’re approaching middle age!).

The questions I get expand a broad range of topics and because I often get the same question(s) from many different people, I presume that others may be curious as well.  Questions like:

  • What is a Glutadoodle?
  • Do you actually enjoy being gluten-free as much as you say you do?
  • Are there any gluten foods you still miss?
  • Have you thought about seeking professional help for your little “goldfish problem”?
  • How did you lose over 80 lbs since going gluten-free ?
  • How did you get your husband on board?
  • Do your dietary and health issues ever put a strain on your marriage?
  • Team Edward or Team Jacob? (Team Edward!)
  • How did you overcome 3 years of cheating and denial after your celiac diagnosis?
  • Do you ever cheat on your other dietary exclusions (dairy, grains, sugar, etc.)?
  • Is your extended family supportive?
  • Why did you decide to fly to California to see Dr. Vikki Petersen?
  • What supplements do you take?
  • What the heck is up with your hair?

So, I thought I would begin a new segment here at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, where I will try my best to answer all your burning questions (including those above).  Hopefully, this can be a launching pad for continued conversation, which I truly believe is one of the most critical components of the healing process.

Just remember, I am not a doctor and I’m certainly no Martha Stewart.  I am just a regular gal trying to make sense of my health and my life, while trying my darnedest to give my kids a much better shot at good health than I had.  While none of it has been easy, this has been the greatest journey of my life thus far, one that I am more than happy to share with you.

Have a question that you’d like my personal take on?

Send your question(s) to askheidi@adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com and I will do my best to answer them in an upcoming blog post!

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Comments

  1. Lisa says:

    What a great idea! I was honestly just thinking the other day that I might email you a question that I had about getting teachers on board. That little problem, however, seemed to remedy itself when she gave my son the fudge covered pretzels they made in class last week. An afternoon with what I am only guessing must have been the tasmanian devil himself and I am pretty sure she will be emailing me before all class food activities from this point on.

    • Hi Lisa!

      Yes, working with teachers can seem like a monumental task at times, but for the most part I've had good luck with my boys' teachers giving me enough time to prepare a safe alternative…what I've not had much luck with is getting their teachers to reduce the sheer volume of food-centered activities they do (like Fruit Loop necklaces). I just wish I could inspire their teachers to do more healthy (and allergy-free) food activities, it's such a great opportunity to get kids trying new foods (kids love to eat what their friends are eating!), but alas, it hasn't happened yet.

      I'm still hopeful though. ;-)

    • cookie says:

      Truly, I know this is not funny, and could have been tragic. But I had to chuckle that teachers must somehow experience things to really learn them.

      • Lisa says:

        I am still a tad shocked that she did it. She knew that it wouldn't have a life threatening result, just a behavioral one so maybe it slipped her mind? I know that since then, they have switched out the "candy prize jar" for a jar or small toys and other non-food treats for the kids (they are in 4th grade). There are still many food based projects, always centering around junky treats. I do know from my older daughter food related anything pretty much stops once they hit middle school. There is still an occasional candy prize, but the need to teach through things like fruit loops and chocolate kisses seems to decrease as they get older.

  2. Allison says:

    Glad to see you'll be doing this! I'd love to see your answer to the spouse issue. Mine is starting to get it, but only just.

  3. Carol D. says:

    Heidi,

    Lol! I like the goldfish question. :) This sounds like a great idea. You're so right that connecting with others, finding they've struggled with, cried through, and conquered some of the same issues is very healing. And, realizing that at some point you can think about areas of life other than food is good for your brain and depression levels, too, I think. I'm glad you're here! :)

  4. Allison says:

    Back to put in a second "please!" for your question about other cheats. Only in the past month (thanks in large part to your blog, thankyouverymuch Karina for the link!) have I finally realized I MUST stop cheating with gluten. I'm already beginning to feel better, and my husband grudgingly agreed to let our house be GF. Now, in the past few days, I've finally lectured myself that dairy really DOES have to go. That one's much more difficult for me, since I actually feel *better* when I first eat it, but begin a long, hard crash after a few weeks or a month.

    I'm likely answering my own question here; I know that when I've "cheated" on dairy, it's ended up becoming a year-long (or more) cycle of eating it. It's simpler to avoid it altogether. But, what has been your experience?

  5. MsMissy says:

    any advice for trying to get your enzymes back up to snuff? I have hardly any good gut flora/fauna left at all…of course that's what happens when all your docs miss something like Celiac for over 25 years! many have warned against dairy, but how else do you get good gut bacteria going again besides things like Greek yogurt? I really badly miss meat, but still cant digest it yet. Having lots of veggie issues too….living on Cream of Rice, skim milk, and coffee right now to tell the truth.

    I too lost almost 80lbs since going gluten free last October…i think much of it was bloat and swelling, and the lack of energy from always being sick….also i get excessive joint pain when "gluten-ed"

    I have already made a lot of diet restrictions and am currently trying to wean myself off of Sugar.

    *G-free since 10/2010

    *Yeast free since 8/2010

    *Soy and Peanut free since 5/2010

    *Potato & Pepper free since 12/2009

    *Tomato free since 2/1999

    *Eggplant free since 3/1995

    *Lamb/Mutton/Sheep (and sheep milk) free since 7/1984 (massive allergy cant even wear wool, or nappa or use anything with lanolin in it)

    • Amanda T says:

      I have been GF since June 09 and am still having major tummy issues (Seeing a new GI Dr on Wed). When I have major problems the only thing that makes me feel "balanced" is Lifeway Keifer drink. Its 99% lactose free and is GF as well. It has 10 diffrent probotics and helps put the right bugs back in your tummy. I drink 4oz twice a day and with in 2 or 3 days I feel better. It tastes yummy too. Hope it helps.

  6. This is a great idea. Personally, I have benefited a lot from gluten-free bloggers who share what issues they're discovering, facing, managing…saves me from reinventing the wheel so often.

  7. Amanda T says:

    I think this is great! I love your blog but some place for Q&A is fantastic and you really have so much knowledge on so many topics. It really gives you a feel of community and that you truly are not alone in a world where being GF or other food illnesses can make one feel isolated. I had posted my story last year when I first came across your blog and my saga continues. I still have not been able to find out why I had an elevated CBC (white blood cells were 27 when it should have been 11-14) when I was 7 months pregnant. They removed my apendix but it was fine. I now am having another "attack" and cant find the reason. I see a new doc on wed and hope I finally can find out why Im in pain. I know its not gluten…or my apendix. LOL!

    Also, sadly, my father lost his battle with stomach cancer in May. I still hold true that if he had had the knowledge that I do now, or that he would have been willing to listen, he may still be here. So many things hurt our insides and when I think of cheating and falling off my diet I think of him and how much damage can be done. I sure do miss that big guy.

  8. Marie says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea. I'll be there to read all q and a. Thanks

  9. Diana S. says:

    Heidi -

    I'm confused about cross reactivity. My test showed I was cross reacting to potatoes. Since then, I've had an extremely thorough food allergy test (thru Dr. Dantini's lab) which shows potatoes are OK.

    Am I right in understanding that my body is reading potatoes as gluten? So, it isn't an allergy problem – it's a problem of my body confusing something non-gluten as having gluten. Thanks so much.

    • goldie says:

      Sounds like you are correct. Although I am new to being GF, here’s how I understand it. While you might not be directly allergic to potatoes, you ARE allergic to gluten. And the potatoe molecules look very similar to (or are shaped to a great extent like) the gluten molecules. So the gluten antigens floating around in your system see this similar looking molecule and attack it, producing inflamation in your body. So while you are not technically allergic to potatoes, if you ask me it amounts to the same thing. You shouldn’t eat them.

  10. Abby says:

    Hi Heidi!! Love your site, and love your blog. I am very new to the GF diet, and I know that I have been inadvertantly “glutened” due to the fact that this is new!! That’s ok though, “knowledge is power” and so mistakes are perfect learning tools that tell you, ooooo, don’t eat THAT again!! I am also label reading, and that is very enlightening. I have ideopathic ataxia, and a sensitivity to gluten, and since going GF, I have, and so have others, noticed a marked improvement in my gait. This is CRITICAL and of utmost importance to me. Casein is still a part of my diet. Do you know if casein has an affect on the cerebellum of the brain as does gluten? I am willing to eliminate casein also, but only if it has a affect on the cerebellum. And, does gluten and casein combined have an affect? If anyone knows or knows where I can find research pertaining to casein and its affects, I would be eternally thankful!!! Heres wishing everyone have a beautiful and blessed day :) Abby

  11. Beth says:

    HI Heidi,
    We made your goldfish crackers yesterday and we love them…I can’t find the choc version anymore…Can you put it back up?

    Many thanks

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