So, I know at this point that pretty much everyone who’s read this knows that I have had to have a drastic change to my diet due to health concerns. I had to go gluten-free because it seems to be wrecking my body more than I ever realized.

It’s been over a year since I started this. I still find myself wanting to eat food like I used to. I miss being able to find a dearth of things I can eat. I miss not having to worry about if something’s going to make me sick. I miss sourdough bread.

The health benefits that I get from being gluten-free far outweigh everything that I miss.

Sure I miss sourdough and not having to triple-check everything I eat. What I don’t miss is being sick all the time. My immune system has never been stronger. I have noticed that I used to get sick with everything every time someone else was sick. In the past year plus, I have been sick twice, both times were minor colds. This has been an even bigger revelation than not having to be sick after eating anything. For once in my life I’m not being sick all the time.

And while that’s been incredibly amazing… and it seriously has been. I have felt better and stronger than I have in my whole life. So, giving up anything with wheat, barley rye and a majority of food and soda is a small concession compared to feeling healthy.

The downside is, now if I even have the smallest of gluten, I get sick. I get sicker than when I was eating gluten.

In many ways it makes me feel like I can’t go many places to get food. Cross-contamination becomes a huge concern. I’ve got gluten-sick off and on since. Some places have been great places to eat. I generally go back to those places often. Some places give it lip service or the servers might be clueless about what it means to be gluten-free. It’s these places that get me.

The illness is similar to what I would get with a flu… with certain exclusions.

I wind up in pain all over my body. I feel fatigued, run-down. My brain feels foggy. I get constipated followed by a very unpleasant stomach explosion. I bloat. I start feeling emotionally… well, blah. I become moodier. I’m sure that there’s more to it than that… but that’s all I can think of at the moment.

It’s this illness that makes me have to spend a lot of downtime at home. It’s not a time that I enjoy or relish.

So, I’ve learned that now, I’m going to need to eat at home almost all the time. And that’s what I’ve done. I still will go out to get things like tea or something like. I just don’t eat out as often.

That might be able to change though. The FDA is now going to compel restaurants to be as safe as food manufacturers. If they’re going to have food they’re saying is gluten-free, they need to keep it to 20 PPM (parts per million). I’m curious how this will play out. Will it make restaurants more aware of their gluten handling and they will do better or will they drop gluten-free altogether? I think that’s something we need to wait and see.

All I know is that being gluten-free has been one of the best things I have done in my life (only one of them). And I’m super happy I have. I’m not saying that I think that everyone needs to be gluten-free… actually, it’s to the contrary. If it’s making your health better, do it. Otherwise, it’s not worth it. It’s constrictive and you’re depriving yourself of a lot of vitamins that are naturally found in wheat and wheat variants. It’s not for everyone, but it is right for some people.