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Gluten_free_holly

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Gluten_free_holly

Areas of Focus

Health Conditions:
  • Celiacs Disease
  • Gluten Intolerance
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Diet Types:
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Low FODMAP
  • Vegan
  • Raw
Health Goals:
  • Healthy Gut
  • Reduce Anxiety/Stress

My Conditions

Gluten Intolerance, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

My journey into being gluten free started about 8 years ago. University didn’t finish well for my waistline, but I also left noticing that I had been dealing with fatigue, lethargy, bloating, stomach cramps, bowel issues and headaches that went beyond the sleepless nights, junk food and too much alcohol! It ended up with numerous visits to the doctors, and going back and forth for blood tests, allergy tests, exclusion diets, and more. In the end I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Brilliant. To be honest, I ended up feeling quite disheartened by the diagnosis. Yes, you have a life-long condition. Yes, you have lots of symptoms. No, there is not a cure… now go away and figure it out for yourself! I was told that my symptoms were triggered by a gluten intolerance, so I started out by cutting gluten from my diet. Wow, that’s hard when you don’t even know what gluten is in! What I found though was how expensive all the alternative products were, so I ended up just leaving them out my diet completely. This worked for me for about 4 years and my symptoms pretty much levelled out, but suddenly I started to get quite ill again, with increasing stomach cramps, bloating, and long periods of constipation…sorry, too much information! It all came to a head about a year ago when I had to go to the doctors every week as I was really not well. I ended up having more tests to find out what was going wrong. Unfortunately, nothing else came up except a confirmation of the IBS diagnosis, but a theory from my doctor suggested that there was more than just the gluten that was causing my symptoms. She recommended looking into the FODMAP diet which she had heard can help people with IBS. She didn’t know much about it, so when I got home I searched Google and tried to work out what it was all about. Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols, (or FODMAP!) are poorly absorbed sugars or sugar alcohols that are found in a variety of foods and drinks. These sugars are then passed through the small intestine where they ferment and cause the intestine to stretch whilst they release gas and cause bloating, as well as the other IBS symptoms. Research has shown that people with IBS react to the presence of FODMAPs, and therefore it is recommended that they follow a diet limiting these sugars in their diets. Initially you are meant to follow 6-8 weeks where you completely eliminate these high FODMAP foods from your diet. These foods include things such as wheat, milk products with lactose, onions, garlic, pulses and stone fruits. The idea is that you are then meant to slowly re-introduce each group back into your diet to try and work out what may cause the IBS triggers for you. That’s the part where I failed, and over the last 6 months I’ve ended up back at square one! However, it has been over this last year that I have really become completely obsessed with food. Not just eating, but also developing my recipes. I started out posting my pictures on Instagram to see what else people were cooking up with their restricted diets, but it got to the point (much to my family’s and boyfriend’s frustrations!) that I couldn’t cook or eat anything without taking a picture first! I have found so much inspiration on Instagram, but after getting so many requests for my own recipes, I feel that I finally need to start writing them down to share them with you!

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