How My Leaky Gut Changed My Life

Before the holidays, my family was in a funk. My oldest son, who graduated from college last May, still hadn’t found a real job. My youngest son, in college, wasn’t getting any responses to dozens of internship applications he sent out. My husband and I were spending our holiday family time fighting with the City of Colorado Springs over a cell tower being erected in the center of our mountain view.

We were all out of sorts.

Then, as the new year approached, I started saying “2014 is going to be a good year.”  I said it over and over again.

And you know what happened?  Oldest got a job on December 31st, in Denver where he wanted to  be.  A week later, youngest got an internship with a big concert promoter in Nashville. Even the cell phone tower has been stopped for now.

The power of positive thinking. I’m no Pollyanna, but I do believe attitude makes a difference.

How My Leaky Gut Changed My Life

Occasionally I’ll get an email from a reader thanking me for my positive take on food allergies and celiac disease. This means a lot to me. You see my upbeat outlook didn’t come overnight. Before diagnoses, I was in a lot of physical pain. Looking back now, I realize I was also depressed, and with each medical procedure and doctor’s visit, my attitude got worse. I don’t think you would have liked me much back then.

The day I was told I had multiple food allergies along with celiac disease was the happiest day I’d had in a few years. How weird does that sound? But it’s true. I finally knew what was wrong with me. If I changed my diet, I would feel like my old self.

Of course, when I realized how many foods contain dairy, soy and gluten, a lot of tears were shed, even a tantrum or two. I’m not going to pretend it was easy. But today, I feel like my leaky gut changed my life for the better.  Here are a few reasons why:

• When my youngest started getting sick from gluten and my oldest started reacting severely to dairy, I knew exactly how to help them.

• I’m a good cook. Not Cybele Pascal caliber, but I can find my way around a kitchen now. No more meals from boxes (except for Amy’s dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free mac and cheese!).

• I avoid fast-food like it’s the flu. Oh how I wish I could take back those Taco Bell meals between hockey practices. What was I thinking?

• I buy mostly organic and shop the outside aisles of grocery stores (with an occasional trip down the gluten-free aisle).

• If it weren’t for food allergies and celiac disease, I’d never had tasted quinoa, or thickened a sauce with rice flour, or discovered coconut yogurt, or drank almond milk, or splurged on 25-year-old balsamic, or made noodles out of zucchini.

• I found my voice. When my kids were little, I authored two parenting/healthcare books, but I’d been struggling for years to find another topic to write about. Enter food allergies and celiac disease and I can’t stop writing.

• Finally, I met you. Before blogging, I thought I was the only person in the universe who developed food allergies as an adult. Boy was I wrong. Because of you, my dear readers, I never feel alone. I hope you feel the same.

How have food allergies or celiac disease positively impacted your life?

10 thoughts on “How My Leaky Gut Changed My Life

  1. I love this post! I was first attracted to it because I wrote a post a long time ago titled “Could a Fart Change a Life?” 😉

    It’s amazing how certain events can bring such unexpected turns and twists into our lives. When my hubs and I tested positive for some food sensitivities, it was a bit hard, but we empowered ourselves much like you did. I became very excited about nutrition and cooking– I was like you before. And after a series of events this led me to find a way out of an unhappy career into one that better suited my personality… all because of this one event. One thing led to another, and it all started with that.

    I’m a Colorado girl too, btw!


    • Now yours is a post title that would catch MY eye. LOL. Thanks for sharing your story–I love hearing how people take negative life events and turn them into positive outcomes. Maybe that’s why I chose a lemon to represent me – just thought of that! Nice to “meet” another Colorado blogger, too!


  2. Food allergies forced me to be a lot more creative and to quit purchasing all the pre-packaged foods out there. I am not saying it is easy but I have managed and for me with the help of my treatments, I have gained some foods back. I still can’t have fermented products which leaves out a huge category of foods and spices. I enjoy reading what you write about food allergies.


    • Thanks, Kathryn. It’s encouraging to hear you have been able to gain some foods back. I’d really like vanilla back! Fermented products would be hard. I reacted a little to yeast, but I seem to be tolerating it on occasion. I remember when I was being tested, I was so worried about coffee and chocolate. That was before I realized most chocolate had dairy, soy and vanilla in it. Ha!


  3. It sounds like you have similar food intolerances to the ones in my family. When we first discovered my sons food intolerances after years of reflux, the doctor talked about focussing on what he could eat. It was hard at first but we are much better for eating less processed food.


  4. Jillian, That’s a good way to look at eating with food allergies/intolerances: focus on what you can eat. BTW, my oldest had severe reflux — we just thought it was a preemie thing, but maybe it was dairy.
    I agree that less processed food is a good thing! I’m glad I’ve been able to change my family’s diet before the kids left home. I used to feed them terrible things like boxed mac and cheese, frozen lasagna, and Oreos (at least Oreos were dairy free!). Your son is fortunate to have a mom who is teaching him how to cook and eat healthful foods.


  5. rebecca says:

    Great news about your sons! Your optimistic attitude inspires me! I think I need to channel some of your positive energy! 🙂 2014 IS going to be a great year!


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