In 2008 I injured my back on the job where I spent the next 3 months on the sofa in pain. As a result of my injury, my husband Nestor  had to pick up the slack around our home with the chores where home cooking took a back seat and as a result we lived on take out and fast food. Nestor has always struggled with his weight since childhood. However, this turn of events and poor diet caused him to tip the scale at a whopping 360 lbs. This was his heaviest.

Nestor began to experience some  extremely aggonzining moments in his life digestively. He started to have rectal swelling  and diificulty to pass bowel movements. Sometimes for a week without going #2. Soon severe indigstion and gas pains and heartburn would follow, accompanied with nausea and vomitting.Anything he ate seemed to come back  to haunt him. His mood also began to change he went from a jolly happy soul to extremely irritable and depressed at times. Miserable all around and here I was unable to help him. We tried over the counter medications one after another,  saline enemas, compresses, laxitives, doctor visit after doctor visit,  endoscopies and colonoscopies, tests after tests, pills ointments, creams ,shots, galore nothing helped and no diagnosis. Every test and every doctor said the same thing “he is fine all tests came back negative.” This went on for months. 2nd opinion became 5th and 6th opinion and still nothing. How could a doctor sit there and tell us he was fine when the man was so miserable in pain and discomfort and unable to eat at times and unable to go to the bathroom. I saw my husband go from a vital strong man to someone crumbeling physically and emotionally in front of my eyes to the point of him having a mental breakdown i n the bathroom and rushing him to the emergency room one night.

Thats when I decided I was not giving up on finding a diagnosis and determined to get my husband back.We began to document everything he ate in a journal with the process of elimination plan. Starting off with a liquid diet of broths, jello, juices, a fresh fruit smoothies. Next we re -introduced  fresh veggies and fruit and leaner cuts of meats. Then pastas, breads, and wheat products. We noticed a pattern if he consumed anything containing gluten the flair ups would begin again. It was apparent to me that there was some underlying allergy or a triger to wheat and gluten products.  With no real idea how to go about a gluten free diet or where to begin shopping I went on a scavenger hunt at local health food stores and a few select markets for products.  I realized throughout the next few months of trial and error that cooking gluten free wasnt a matter of elimination but substitiution. He could still enjoy the lasagna and a cookie here and there and it not taste like “diet” food or cardboard for that matter and I was able tp prepare all those foods he loved. In the short time period of a little over a year with sticking to the gluten free diet and cutting back portions but still eating his 3 well balanced meals a day , and getting himself into an exercise plan that suited him he lost 170 lbs. and I got my husband back and a newer model at that. He is happy and healthy and free of discomfort. This motivated me to step in and help others as well.

My advice to those out there if you are experiencing digestive issues get yourself checked out. It could be an underlying health issue that a diet may not be able to change. Next be sure if you are going to begin a gluten free diet check with your doctor to make sure this is for you. Lastly, don forget to get yourself on a exercise plan. If the gym is not the place you like to be try cycling or a few laps around the pool. Get yourself moving!

Cookinglutenfree.com is a site dedicated to delicious and healthy gluten free recipes that are updated monthly, product information, shopping guides, news , healthy eating tips and much more.

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