I went gluten & dairy free on December 1, 2010- the day of my colonoscopy and endoscopy. I woke up in a foggy state from my procedure, and my doctor told me to start a Celiac diet, and that I have GERD. He handed me 2 pamphlets, VOOOSH! He disappeared.
I, of course, spent the next week glued to Google. I was just getting into cooking and learning about food (processed vs whole) so I wasn't exactly looking for recipes, so much as just what I was able to consume. I ate cereal every morning, so naturally I got a gluten free cereal (rice based). No wheat bread for lunch, so instead I bought gluten free bread made with rice flour. I couldn't have bread at dinner, so instead I chose rice for a side. Do you see a trend here?
I started consuming rice like it was nobody's business-- without even being aware of it. In addition, I was replacing soy for dairy, and then some. Soy milk in my cereal, soy milk in my tea, dairy-free snacks & bars with soy, tofu, etc. Without even realizing what I had done, I overloaded my body on rice & soy. A bad, baaad move.
I was still feeling sick, and I couldn't figure out why. My mouth wash was gluten free, I switched all my make up, lotions, toothpaste, chapstick, everything to gluten-free brands. I was overwhelmed with fear that no, my problem hadn't been identified and I was right back at square one. Was my problem a Candida (yeast) overgrowth? I tried the Candida diet for a week- and just couldn't sustain it.
So, I kept pushing through-- by the Spring, I had the idea for Thryve. An app to track what you eat and how that food makes you feel. In the early stages of creation, I took a picture of everything I consumed and tracked it on my computer.
That's when I saw it. I remember the moment it clicked. As I scanned my meals, I just keep seeing it- RICE, RICE, SOY, RICE, SOY, SOY, SOY, RICE! Over and over again. So I googled it. Yes, rice cereal can cause constipation. Too much soy is hard for your body to digest so you could experience stomach pains. All of the symptoms I'd been having were a result of being so focused on what I couldn't eat (gluten and dairy), that I wasn't paying enough attention to what I was ACTUALLY eating.
And there I thought I had it all figured out, but really I had no clue. So, if you are new to any diet where you are eliminating something- be mindful of your meals. Don't mindlessly replace foods, like gluten. Or you may end up keeping yourself sick! Not only that, but how boring to eat rice every meal. Ever try quinoa or amaranth??!
Afterall, variety is the spice of life.