The Pleasure of Eating Gluten-Free

When food intolerances or celiac disease are discovered, one can feel lost, especially when these intolerances affect foods that are known and present everywhere, such as gluten, animal milks and eggs.

What does an intolerance actually mean?

A food intolerance is characterized by digestive reactions of an inflammatory type, due to poor absorption of certain foods. It is to be distinguished from a true food allergy, which is caused by a reaction of the immune system. Intolerance is therefore easier to manage than allergy because the risks are lower.

For celiac disease, it is our friend the gluten which is the cause.

How do you find out if you're intolerant or celiac?

The answer is not so simple, but a few paths can be explored. When you eat a particular food, you may have several symptoms: stomach aches, digestive problems, chronic fatigue, joint pain, depressive state... This list is not exhaustive and depends on each individual.

I want you to know that, in my personal opinion and with a lot of hindsight, knowing what we are intolerant of holds a great positive impact on our health. I was destroying my intestinal flora without knowing it and all the doctors will tell you, the intestine is the second brain of the human body and it is important to take care of it.

My story

When I was 19 years old, in the summer of 2016, I went to my doctor for an annual check-up. Everything was going well, I just had a small problem to report: chronic stomach aches and a depressive state had invited itself into my life.

Looking back, my doctor looked at our appointment history and was struck by one thing: I've been complaining about my stomach and headaches every year since 2011. Neither the doctor nor I had been worried until now because the symptoms didn't bother me that much, but this year was different.

She then shared her doubts with me as a doctor and asked me what I eat in which quantity. Most of my diet revolves around dairy products and bread. She then decided to test me and the results were conclusive: high levels of intolerance were discovered in animal milk, gluten and eggs...

She told me that, for my health, I was going to have to ban all these foods until further notice. That was a cold shower for me. How am I going to replace my entire power supply? I was used to my piece of cheese at breakfast and at every meal (even at snack time, for real...) You can imagine that I was depressed for a long time and I was in total denial the first year, I didn't have the pleasure of eating anymore.

After more than 6 months of deprivation and treatment to heal my intestines and stomach, I was much better. That's when something clicked: combining pleasure and intolerance is possible!

How did I get used to eating gluten-free, milk-free and egg-free?

An important fact for my history: in 2016, gluten-free, lactose-free or vegan was not at all in vogue... Impossible to find tips for cooking good dishes, good quality products in the supermarket... I was reduced to eating steamed food or cooking everything with olive oil. Year after year, I start testing all the other gluten alternatives and vegan dishes. Little by little I'm getting better at cooking and I'm enjoying my food again: YES, we can see the end of the tunnel!

@nogluten_andco, the symbol of my resilience...

After years of complaining and moping I decided to get out of it and invent my own recipes. I realized that a lot of people feel the same way I do, which is why I wanted to create an Instagram to list my 100% gluten-free and (sometimes) vegan recipes. Sharing my recipes is a real joy because I know how difficult it has been for me to accept my intolerances.

In the end, it is a bad for a good because I have reduced my carbon footprint by consuming more raw, quality products, and less animal products.

I hope my experience will be useful to you. Feel free to check out my Instagram for lots of recipes and tips!

Virginie Daca

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