Last month my doctor diagnosed me with celiac disease (via symptoms, not test results), a digestive disorder due to severe gluten sensitivity. I cannot eat any gluten.
Thanks to genetic engineering the wheat we eat today has four times the amount of gluten the wheat our grandparents ate—i.e., we are not eating the wheat God intended us to eat.
Most people can benefit considerably from a gluten-free or reduced-gluten diet. Gluten and wheat are blamed for a variety of health problems, including depression, fatigue, weight gain and behavioral problems.
Gluten is the common term for a group of proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is second only to sugar as the most commonly consumed ingredient in the American diet.
I used to bake wonderful artisan breads daily so this was quite a change for me.
Lack of Nourishment Leads to Heart Disease
When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging or destroying the tiny, finger-like protrusions lining the small intestine called villi. Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much food he eats.
Celiac disease would explain the past 30 years of IBS, anemia and other nutritional problems I’ve experienced. A camera video that went through my digestive system revealed several areas of damaged villi and bald areas inside my intestine.
It is my opinion that nutritional deficiencies, especially deficiencies of iron, magnesium and potassium, caused my heart problems.
Heart Disease Led to Internal Bleeding
My heart problems were treated with poisons—er, heart medications—that caused me to bleed internally for the last two years, requiring twelve blood transfusion in the last year!
I got off those deadly medications and started seeking alternative health answers.
My goal is to restore the villi in my intestines through a super healthy gluten-free diet and green drinks so my body will be able to properly absorb the nutrients from my food.
- July 6, 2007: Open Heart Surgery: CABG (coronary artery bypass graft), left main artery.
- March 2008: Second Heart Surgery, two stents.
- May–June 2008: Weekly iron infusions.
- July 2008: Hemorrhage and hospital stay. See View from Back of Ambulance
- August–November 2008: Weekly iron infusions. Was told I have Chron’s disease—but another doctor said No.
- December 2008: Hemorrhage and hospital stay, blood transfusion.
- January 2009: Hemorrhage and hospital stay, blood transfusion.
- March 2009: Hemorrhage and hospital stay, blood transfusion.
- April–June 2009: Weekly iron infusions. Bone marrow shots.
- Aug 2009: Major GI blood loss, hospitalized, CCU, received four units of blood.
- Sept 2009: Stopped all heart medications—they were killing me.
- Feb 2010: Diagnosed with celiac disease (unofficial); began gluten-free diet.
A Typical G-Free Day
I’ve been gluten-free for almost a month. It’s not nearly as horrible as I thought it would be. I’m actually having fun experimenting with recipes. And my tummy is much, much better.
I make enough steel-cut gluten-free oats to last me all week, then heat and eat each morning .Not all oatmeal is gluten- free. I need to buy oats marked gluten-free that were made in a separate factory where no cross-contamination occurs.
I add various toppings. My favorite being pecans and cranraisins. There are several gluten-free cereals available (even Chex). For more yummy oatmeal toppings see ideas here.
When a person has celiac disease, the villi in the intestine lay down flat and can ‘t absorb the nutrients from food (this is the reason I’m so anemic and have to have regular blood transfusions and iron infusions).
I drink this daily to rebuild a healthy intestine. It’s really a treat. Tastes like a smoothie. Ingredients; Boku, Limu juice, organic frozen fruit, ice, water, juice. Sometimes I throw in a banana.
The ingredients vary, but I usually use romaine, chopped veggies, feta cheese, garbanzo beans, raisins, and pine nuts or sliced almonds. See recipe here.
Salad Dressing: I’ve made the same salad dressing for twenty years from Kraft Italian All Natural Salad Dressing Recipe Mix with Regina Red Wine Vinegar and virgin olive oil.
The salad is filling, but if I’m really hungry I’ll add a baked sweet potato or baked potato with cottage cheese.
These vegetable chips and hummus dip are my favorite snack.
I make hummus in my Magic Bullet: drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, add a clove or two of garlic, lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes, and mix. Yum!
I was introduced to Terra Exotic Vegetable Mediterranean Chips at the Blissdom 10 conference. They are delightful. Much better than potato chips! Delicious plain, and wonderful to scoop hummus.
Available at Walmart. Ingredients: A Seasonal Mix of Root Vegetables (Sweet Potato, Parsnip, Batata, Taro, Yuca), Canola Oil and/Or Safflower Oil and/Or Sunflower Oil, Seasoning (Whey Milk), Sea Salt, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Spices, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract.
Salmon, vegetables stir fried in olive oil, and an avocado. Wild salmon is much better for you than farmed salmon. Read the packages.
Avocados are a wonderfully nutritious super food. Read the heal benefits of avocados here.
Here is another sample dinner: Roasted cabbage, turkey Kielbasa, potatoes, and carrots. See recipe here.
Night Time Snack
Tonight I had bruschetta and mozzarella cheese on gluten-free crackers.
I’ve been experimenting; bruschetta is wonderful on gluten-free pizza dough (available in health food stores in the freezer section, or in a gluten-free pizza dough mix). Today I had it on these crackers.
I’m trying to lose weight so I’m staying away from sugar, but there are some really good gluten-free cookies and cake mixes available.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck is G Free
Elisabeth Hasselbeck couldn’t figure out what was making her so sick. She consulted doctors and nutritionists but no one had any answers.
While starving in the Australian outback on the TV show “Survivor,” Elisabeth’s symptoms vanished. She later found out that she has celiac disease and wrote The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide
Here is a clip:
Not as bad as you thought, huh?
- Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You
- Celiac Disease
- The Gluten File
- Wheat Free Zone
- Gluten Free Girl and the Chef
- G-Free Diet
I have a new Twitter handle for gluten-free stuff. Follow me at GFheartofwisdom if you are interested.
Are you GF? Thinking about going GF? Share your blog link in the comments.