Thursday, 10 December 2015

Why I gave up sugar, wheat, dairy & more...

Before I begin the tale of why and when my restrained diet started, I would firstly like to say that there are definitely moments when all I crave is a nice Krispy Kreme. The glorious combination of the sugar coated, wheat doughnut ring infused with dairy is something that only features in my dreams. I would also like to add that taking the pictures for this blog post was insanely torturous. However, that moment of imagined paradise only lasts a few little minutes because I know that if I eat that doughnut, the consequences will be bitter-sweet.

This post is NOT a post about starving yourself. It is not a post where I talk about weight-loss motives, fitness regimes and all other fitness things that are trending in the magazines currently. I wanted to write this post for people out there who can/can't relate to this little diet that I have to eat. Firstly, I'm writing this post for the people who can't relate to my diet. For the people whose first reaction is 'what the hell?' when I tell them the reason I can't order anything from the suggested restaurant we were going to eat at. It's also for the non-understanding 'understanding nod' or shrug that people activate when I tell them why I can't have a slice of their birthday cake. Plus it is also for those people who are in this more than inconvenient situation as well - aloha my friends.

I guess the story begins with some personal info..perhaps a little 'too much info' so if you don't want to read it - skip to the next paragraph...

*deep breath, can't believe I'm putting this on the internet..and exhale..*.

For as long as I can remember I have had comments about how 'skinny' I am. I am certainly no Kate Moss, 'Nothing tastes better than skinny feels' - to hell with that and pass me another slice of oozing chocolate cake. I ate and ate and ate when I was younger. Eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and I remained thin and slender. Sure, part of the reason I had and still have a 'skinny' appearance is due to the fact that my metabolism is pretty great. However, there was also another reason why I was thin...practically everything I ate unsettled my stomach. This meant that I was often feeling horrendously ill with stomach cramps and trips to the toilet. I just want to clarify that my stomach problem has no correlation with any sort of eating disorder. The problems occur when my stomach reacts to certain foods that I am feeding it which, I have now found out, I am intolerant to. I will say no more than that because it's not only humiliating, but any more information would make me cringe to death. Anyway, the point is for years I did nothing about my stomach problem/issue...

Only recently after becoming seriously ill (through separate circumstances) have I decided to take full control of my body. A year prior to this I had cut out wheat to start off with. I found that when I ate things such as bread my stomach became very angry. I would not only seriously bloat up but I would feel sick at times and worse...Although my stomach issues became less frequent, they still were very much a problem. My stomach 'turns' would happen at least once daily, and if I was unlucky, up to three times a day.  I knew my problem was caused because of what I was eating. The hardest part was knowing how to find the root and cause of the problem. The next difficulty was finding the solutions.

I finally went for testing and found that my intolerances were far greater than having a gluten/wheat intolerance. I was in fact sensitive to the following things (to name a few!);

(blueberries, stawberries, blackberries - etc.)
(goodbye beloved Marmite, mushrooms and alcoholic beverages - etc.)

and yes, the list does go on a little more but I'll leave it at that...

Pretty overwhelming list, right? To be honest, I wasn't at all surprised when these culprits were discovered. A few of the foods I had already ruled out myself prior to the testing, after numerous occasions of extreme sensitivity after eating them. Other intolerance discoveries such as the yeast and nuts were complete shockers. I ADORE marmite spread on apples as a snack combined with peanut butter...I sat there wondering what would my life amount to without my faithful snack.

In all honesty, I found the beginning of the diet was extremely tough. Cutting out my daily intake of sugar was the hardest thing of all. I've spent all my life drowning my food in sugary sauces such as tomato sauce, sweet chilli dip and my all time favourite, Jack Daniels' honey barbeque. Even as I type those sauces my mouth waters a little. I already had a little bit of an inkling as to what it would be like to have such a plethora of intolerances when eating out. Eating out was already hard enough with my exclusion of wheat. I now found out that I could only just about have the salads (excluding any sort of dressing, tomatoes, nuts, diary and satanic croutons which are basically squares of sugar and wheat). Socially, this diet is a nightmare. It's incredibly tough and takes the next level of willpower to pursue. So why do I stick it out?

Now my only stomach problem is my 'girly cramps' and slight pangs of indigestion when I overindulge on my fruit and veg fibre. However, this diet has unlocked so many benefits for me personally. For starters, I am the healthiest I have ever been in my whole entire life. I eat when I'm hungry and the snacks that I eat are no longer unhealthy, zero-nutrition products. I've said goodbye to some of my favourite treats (cherry bakewells and Magic Stars you will be missed). However, it was so much easier than I thought cutting out these grossly non-nutritional snacks. Once I started filling my body with nutritious meals, I not only stopped wanting to snack as often, but I found that my cravings were for the beneficial foods.

I don't want to go into a post dedicated to educating people on nutrition and how to cut out foods. I also really wouldn't recommend cutting out anything without seeking professional advice first. But once I'd received the advice, I can honestly say that my new diet has changed my life for the better. I thought that I was alone when I discovered I had so many intolerances. I also worried about how I would make tasty meals. So many products in supermarkets contain sugar today. Some products that you'd never even suspect had sugar are sprinkled all over with it! Also wheat is pretty unavoidable today and the 'Wheat Free' products aren't very healthy options - often infused with sugar and non-nutritional substitutes. But, after some hours of research I discovered 'Deliciously Ella' and her amazing recipes, along with a few other recipe books that have helped inspire me along the way.

I am planning on doing future posts that show you more about what I eat everyday and also feature some of the people who are inspiring my recipes and who are following similar diets. Often the people who undergo this type of serious diet change will do it out of no other choice. The benefits that I have experienced have been noticed in my health and also on the outside, as my skin has improved and I feel so much better. What we fuel our bodies with really does have an effect on our health. My illness earlier this year (which I don't want to rehash so click here if you want a little snoop), made me realise how precious our bodies are. 'We are what we eat' is said for a reason.




  1. I think it's great that you've found out the foods you're sensitive too! Everyone is different, like some people do really well on a vegan diet, others do really well on a high protein low carb diet. Go you for figuring out what makes you feel better and sticking with it :)

    People always look at me funny when they find out I'm a vegetarian! They just don't get it.

    Corinne x

    1. Thanks for the support, Corinne! I totally agree - it's all about finding the perfect diet for you!

      Amazing that you're a vegetarian! People need to understand - why is what we eat such a problem!!



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