Healthy & Gluten Free

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In Part 1, I covered some of the challenges I had as a child, and where I hit bottom with migraines. If you haven't read it yet, click here.

In Part 2, I laid out the challenges I faced, and what I did to solve my health issues. If you haven't read it yet, click here.

It Runs in the Family

Thora Toft
Thora Toft
Image by: Thora Toft
A few years later, my brother was actually diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Once I learned what that was, it all clicked. I realized I too probably had the same thing. It had never been anything the doctor had thought to check me for. I had not directly connected it in my research.

I researched the various tests available to test for Celiac Disease.

Since I had been gluten free for a few years already, I knew the blood test would be useless. I had read some people talk about going back on gluten, at higher doses than I'd probably eaten in 20 years, for 3 months, so you could get the test.

To me that was absolutely insane!

There was no way I was going to go back to the pain level I had when eating gluten. What person in their right mind would think that's ok?

There is real, legitimate physical damage done to the body of a person with Celiac Disease when they eat gluten.

And some nut case doctors are actually recommending that people continue to eat, or return to eating a substance that could be causing them serious chronic damage and illness?

That's crazy!

By this time, my gut villa would have actually healed, so a biopsy also would have been pointless; and I would not have had it done anyways. It's very invasive, and since there's no cure, I thought it was rather extreme.

Nothing was going to make me go back to eating gluten grains. I had already done extensive experimentation on myself, and was confident in what I could and could not eat as far as grains went. To me it's not important that I have a formal diagnosis or not.

Further Down the Rabbit Hole

Allergies drawing
Image by: Clker-Free-Vector-Images
It's quite common for people with Celiac Disease to also have allergies. I looked into finding a local doctor who was properly skilled in doing some advanced testing. I asked friends who had allergies for a recommendation. They all said there was no local doctor with any proper experience with allergies.

My research led me to realize that the itchy palate and the small hives that I'd had since I was a child were signs of allergies.

The changes I've made in my diet have made these things almost completely disappear.

New research is coming to light that for those with Celiac Disease, thyroid problems, hormone problems, digestive and bowel problems, leaky gut, etc. actually test as allergic to many foods due to having antibodies in their blood.

In reality, it's not a true allergy. It's because when any part of the "digestive" system is out of whack it can cause food particles to actually enter the blood stream. The body will react to these particles like an allergy, and create antibodies, as part of the process to remove them from the blood.

If your internal system is repaired, to the point where food particles are no longer improperly entering the blood steam, and you eat a food that you previously reacted to, but are not truly allergic to, then you can now safely eat that food. This is what happens when you remove substances from your diet that cause what some people call leaky gut.

This is what happens when some alternative practitioners do testing to determine sensitivities. They can find true allergies, and sensitivities.

Through experimentation I actually found some foods that did this to me.

When I was asking for advice from friends, one of the suggestions was to stop eating old cheese, and stop eating Blue cheese. These were both things I ate. When I cut them out, I did have some temporary relief from migraines.

Now that I have made big changes in my diet, I can eat these foods and they no longer cause me problems (as long as they're not loaded with additives).

Toxic Sludge Coming to the Surface

I continued my research of food.

I learned about soy being another toxin added to our food supply. It's touted as healthy by the food manufacturers, and so many vegans use it as a source of protein. But it's really a toxic product. With organic soy, 25% of the population has a full blown allergy to it. But so few people know about that.

It's used, and processed, into so many toxic substances. MSG is now often made out of soy. Soy is an estrogen mimicker. That is a bad thing. No male on the planet should eat it, ever.

Some things it does are: cause men to grow breast tissue; put testosterone out of balance in men and women; cause impotence; cause a wide variety of digestive and bowel problems; mess up the hormone levels in both men and women; cause thyroid problems, and some of them very severe; some of the derivatives are brain toxic, and cause brain cell death, etc.

Luckily I was not someone who had eaten it directly. The only way I was getting it was in food additives; and since I cut those out, I also cut out soy. And I keep it that way.

Researching to Unveil the Truth

Colorful Candy
Image by: Daria Yakovleva
Originally, I was trying to learn about each individual food additive. I'd try to determine how it was made, if there were any safety studies, if there were any toxicity studies. I actually spent several years doing this. What I found was just a tiny, tiny handful of additives were safe. Out of the hundreds I looked at, only a tiny amount.

I finally realized it really was impossible to keep up on them all. There's about 3,000 approved additives, and 5,000 to 8,000 additives given GRAS status, not to mention the thousands of chemicals used in farming, packaging, and processing on top of that. There was no way to keep up. There are dozens or hundreds added each year.

Since so very few of them turned out safe, I decided that it wasn't worth my effort to continue, and maybe find another 1/2 dozen safe ones in the pile of thousands. Even if one additive is safe, it comes in a box of food with 2, 3, 10 or more other additives that aren't.

Changing Focus of Attention

These last 20 years I've gone through a lot, and come out the other end with lots of lessons, and knowledge. Now my focus is on helping others who struggle with similar issues, and help them navigate through this maze of gluten and chemicals and toxins, so they too can feel better, and get their life back.

I've been able to change careers a couple times. I've been able to enjoy crafts and reading.

I've been able to travel. I left Canada 5 years ago, and travelled slowly through Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. Now I'm in Mexico.

This has been one of the absolute best things to come out of my journey of food. I've been able to spread my wings and spend my life in the sun, which suits me far better than the freezing cold of Canada where I was from.

Song: Kokomo - The Beach Boys
I've met some awesome people, and really enjoy the simpler life I've found in my travels.

If you're familiar with the Beach Boys song Kokomo, that's pretty close to how I feel about where I am at this point in my life.

Now I spend my time cooking, and creating recipes, and documenting my food journey, so you can benefit from my years of research and experimentation.

Another Lifetime

I sometimes think about how very different my life would have been if I had not made these changes.

I'm 51 now, and I have none of the aches and pains many 51 year olds suffer from. I can move how I want, I have energy, I have drive.

If I had not changed, I would be an old lady.

That is a hugely sobering thought!

At 51 I'm still waiting to feel grown up. But if I hadn't changed, I would be old and frail.

I would have full blown rheumatoid arthritis. I'd be tired a lot. I'd be fat and bloated. I'd be dumb from all the hard core pain killers.

I'd also probably still be in a destructive relationship, as I'd have needed the help to just survive day to day. I would never had had the strength of will to end it.

I'd never have had the brain power to make a career change, that allowed me to leave Canada and travel for the last 5 years.

I wake up every day very, very grateful for the life I have now. For the life I can create in the future.

This is such an amazing gift. The gift of real food saved my life. I want others who are seeking the same thing to have it.

My life wasn't a mess because of mental illness, or genetic inheritances. My life was a mess because of what I put in my mouth.

I was not told what was really in the food I put in my mouth. There was no informed consent.

I aim to change that. To help you navigate the lies and manipulation.

So you can save yourself years of struggle.

If you're willing to set aside what you think you know, and choose to drop your emotional attachment to specific foods, and specific info you've heard, and start to think about food from a new perspective, you too can get your life back.

Join me, and let me help show you how to eat your way to health.

You deserve to get your life back!

You too deserve to find your "Kokomo!"

Thora

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Comments (1)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thora, Loved your medical journey. I can relate to it so much. The red and yellow dyes cause me to have PVC's and then when adrenaline kicks in I go into V-tach - all of this is cardiac symptoms that can actually lead to death. If I were not an RN I wouldn't have discovered the cause of this on my own. In the interim, I can't tell you how many trips to the ER I had with 'heart syptoms'. Finally found a cardiologist that believed me.. Staying off the dyes clears everything up. I didn't know...

Thora, Loved your medical journey. I can relate to it so much. The red and yellow dyes cause me to have PVC's and then when adrenaline kicks in I go into V-tach - all of this is cardiac symptoms that can actually lead to death. If I were not an RN I wouldn't have discovered the cause of this on my own. In the interim, I can't tell you how many trips to the ER I had with 'heart syptoms'. Finally found a cardiologist that believed me.. Staying off the dyes clears everything up. I didn't know about the tomatoes.. That explains some of the problems I've had in the past. I try to eat organic and it's a great help. But reading your story, I wonder if some of my 'arthritis' and back problems are related to some other foods. Unfortunately, I can no longer do any cooking because of back problems and pain but I'm going to look into what I can do to make some more changes. Thanks so much for the inspiration. Love, Hugs, and Prayers, Nana

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Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.