“Listen, if you never come back here and I could offer you any advice, I’d tell you to cut out gluten.”

These words changed my life. It wasn’t the first time that someone had suggested that I cut out gluten, but on those previous occasions, I’d just politely tell people that gluten didn’t affect me. Because I honestly didn’t think it did. It wasn’t until now, when I was at this crossroads, that it felt kind of like my golden ticket. 

My initial changes with removing bagels at breakfast and taking pizza off the “cheat meal” list saw immediate results. I was blown away by the instant relief I felt, and I knew this was the right step for me. I went into 2020 (what a year it’s turned out to be :s) with a lot of hope. I was going in with a positive mindset and a heart full of expectancy. 

During my first appointments at Ocean Rock Wellness, I learned that the approach that we would be taking for healing would include an elimination diet. I sat with the doctor and listened to her list off some of my favourite foods like peppers, potatoes and corn, and suggest that they be removed. She continued the list with rice, gluten-free oatmeal and quinoa, and suggested that these also be removed. I was dumbfounded but she explained that she wanted me to remove grains and nightshade vegetables because they can cause inflammation in the body. 

Do you know how many meals include rice? Can you think of how often you have tacos for dinner or grab some cereal or a granola bar for breakfast? 

She kind of broke my heart that day. All I could think of was how many meals I could no longer eat if I took this approach. I then met with the Nutritional Therapist Sarah (see her spotlight on Big Girl Panties Podcast here), so she could explain to me what meals I actually could eat during this little experiment! I’m not gonna lie, I could not see how this would work. I had mixed emotions and on one end, was excited to try this new approach and hopefully see results, and on the other end, I was very pissed off. I mean, long gone were my Popeyes days at this point, but come on! These emotions that were coming up for me were the beginning of grief. I was starting to grieve the loss of different foods that I once loved. How would this day plan even work long term? 

We know that 2020 turned out to be the year of social distancing, the year of working from home, the year of having extra time on your hands if you’re not an essential worker. This meant that in my spare time I made it a priority to start preparing meals that aligned with these new nutritional suggestions. It turns out that on the other side of my initial cravings and frustration, was a pretty good baker *pats self on back*

I never loved baking up until this point. But because I wanted to have tasty breakfast options, I got pretty creative in the kitchen baking every weekend so that I would have breakfast for the week.  My fav recipes hands down are banana bread muffins and plain almond flour muffins. If you’d like to try one of my recipes, you can find them here. 

Getting to this point really brought me a new sense of peace. A new sense of freedom. It sounds a bit dramatic but those who feel it, know it. 

I would say that my journey with food is still ongoing (duh, of course it is!). And that’s meant to be a calming statement when I say that. If you’re in a similar boat, I hope you can find solace in knowing that our wellness journeys will always be just that…a journey! I’m excited to continue on with my current path of Autoimmune Protocol life and continuing to feel better and better. 

I’m feeling pretty great these days. I’m energised. Brain fog, joint pain and constant headaches are things of the past. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in the future, but for right now I’m loving the place I’m in.

I let myself be okay with sometimes daydreaming about my fav meal from Popeyes, but I also get excited about perfecting my paleo friendly chocolate chip muffin recipe. I allow myself to have a cheat meal and not beat myself up over it. But I ensure to keep a food diary so I can keep track of how certain foods make me feel (and remind myself whenever I get tempted!). 

My very human reaction of grief after losing so many of my favourite foods is natural and nothing to keep quiet about. But even more important than that, my love for juicing in the morning, new practice of having salads daily for lunch, and turning into a self proclaimed pastry chef is what I’m proud of! 

Oh good grief! This is MY food journey! 

Stay well 🙂