I am allergic to wheat. When I eat wheat my face swells up like some people do when they eat seafood. Unfortunately, my allergy is not life-threatening, so I can tell myself that maybe this time it won’t be that bad. At home, when I have control over my diet, I never eat bread, pasta, pizza, or any other grain product. I have found that my body just functions better when I avoid all grains. And there are so many people avoiding gluten, wheat, and grains these days that there are many wonderful recipes for baked goods using alternative flours like coconut or almond flour. But when I’m traveling sometimes the bread just smells so good, or there is absolutely nothing else to eat, and I will give in. Yesterday in the train station in Florence, Italy, the only choices were sandwiches and pizza. I had some pizza and woke up this morning looking like someone punched me in the eye.
Gluten sensitivity can affect nearly every system in your body, with symptoms that include digestive effects, skin problems, brain fog, joint pain and numbness in your extremities.
If you have been wondering whether you might be gluten sensitive, or if you would feel better without wheat, try this simple test. Don’t eat any wheat for 2 weeks. Then go back to your normal bread/pasta/pizza routine. See what you notice. The first time I did this, I hadn’t noticed that many of my daily symptoms had cleared up until I went back to my normal diet. Then they came flooding painfully back.
If you decide you want to try living wheat or gluten or even grain free, but are feeling totally overwhelmed by how to make the transition, I would be happy to help. And remember to be gentle with yourself.
Now that I am back home I will do a bit of detox and eat extra well for the next week or so. I will eat lots of healthy, anti-inflammatory fats (coconut oil and butter) to feel satisfied, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables for cleansing. I will eat gelatin and lacto-fermented foods every day to heal my gut quickly.
The good news is that I did get to eat some really yummy traditional foods in Europe: herring in Sweden, warm sea fruits salad, and lots of raw meats like prosciutto, carpaccio, and bresaola in Italy.
I visited Umbria and now I’m even more excited about our retreat in October. The area is amazingly beautiful and the traditional foods are simple and nourishing. I am really looking forward to sharing them with you.