One might say, what does your soul or being soulful have to do with food? Well my opinion? EVERYTHING. What you eat not only nourishes your body, but your mind and soul as well. You know how good it feels to sit down and share a good meal with friends. You also know with just one smell of baked cookies or bread or whatever, brings a smile to your face. It’s not a coincidence these things happen. Our senses all work together and send a direct response to ones body. Happy, sad, glad, HUNGRY. When you take gluten away you will feel deprived, at first. There is no easy way to put that but as I said it. It’s true at first you might feel lost, angry, scared and yes depressed. If you are depriving yourself and are undernourished by the food you are having or NOT having, your body, mind and yes your soul will feel the same.

When I went through the physical withdrawal (which was hard… to say the least) with this disease when I got off gluten, it was extremely difficult. After those symptoms of detox eased a bit, I was still left with a mind and soul that was hurting.
What to do?

Ease your undernourished or deprived soul.

First thing, you need to breath in and digest, and this is BIG pill to swallow, that you are not the same anymore. If you have been diagnosed with Celiac or believe you have it or a gluten allergy. From here on out things will change. Everything you thought about food HAS to change to be healthier and feel better.
I remember about a year after my diagnosis I was still waiting to feel like “myself” again. What I finally realized was that that self I was waiting for was gone. Things were different now, I was different. The way I ate, the way I dined out, the way I took vacations, the way I socialized and mostly the relationship I had with myself. I HAD TO take care of myself if I wanted to live healthy. I had to learn what really nourished me. What things made me feel healthier, better, happier. This included food as well as my surroundings. All of those answers lie in your soul. I know it sounds corny but think about it. We all have that inner voice that tells us things. Whether we listen or not that is your choice. I believe it’s your body’s way of telling you what it needs. It tried to tell me for years what it wanted and DIDN’T, better yet couldn’t have. This is the time to SLOW down and LISTEN. Take time to make meals that nourish. Take time to smile at what’s in your plate, then what’s not. Surround yourself with people who understand or at least try to. Sometimes the closet to us find it hard to adjust to your new lifestyle as well. Take this time to clean out not only your refrigerator but your life. Things that make you feel bad in anyway. I know that’s easier said then done. But stress causes real damage to the immune system, so why not try and makes things simpler. The last thing a weekend immune system needs is MORE stress. Try and alleviate or somehow rethink the things that stress you. Not easy but necessary. The single most important thing you can do to alleviate some stress is have a sense of humor.

LAUGHTER, as we all know is the best medicine. So why not practice it everyday!

When I was at my very worst I have to say some friends were profoundly absent. Whether you understand or not, it is hard on people around you as well. Although I believe true friends will stick it out. Everyone deals with things differently. I was very fortunate to have a few sted fast friends, that on my worst days would be there. The one thing they always did was make me laugh. The couldn’t ease my stomach ache or help me eat gluten again but they ALWAYS made me forget the woes of the moment and laugh! Find a friend (MY FRIEND RALPH) that does that for you, watch a funny movie, lighten up and find humor in everyday things. My dogs became constant amusement for me as well. Look at FRANKIE BEANS & BETTY BOOP to have a laugh. Just the simplicity in what makes them happy in turn made me smile. Don’t let those little things go unnoticed anymore.

Take time, make a healthy meal and have a laugh.

~ Jennifer

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Frankie Beans & Betty Boop | Jennifer's Way

  2. Breanne Murray

    I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease when I was 18 in college. I didn’t know where to start. Me and my mom scoured the internet for days trying to learn about Celiac but i too found the same as you, little to nothing or the same repetitive description. It has been 3 years now and Im still struggling. I never thought it would be so hard to rid my life of certain foods. When you spend most of your life eating what you want then being thrown on a diet like this is tough to handle. I have friends that try to understand but in some ways they can’t and never will. For them its easier to tell me what not eat than to understand that it is difficult for me to catch on to this diet. I have tried very hartd to stick to it but thought that it didn’t matter if i did stick to it. I have been reading your blog lately and it is very inspiring. I never realized how harmful gluten could be, whether you were allergic or not. I just wanted to thank you for all the information you have been so dedicated in finding. I am going to follow your blogs now and hopefully stay gluten free for myself and my health.

    1. Marianne

      I’ve been navigating around your blog like crazy since catching you on Foxfiles last Friday night, Jennifer. I missed you on Blue Bloods and was interested in what happened there but found myself totally captivated by what you were saying about your health. There was enough correlation to what I have been experiencing that I know you are one of those angels in my life. That guest appearance was truly a Godsend to me. The ring of personal truth sent me to connect with your blog ……. With tears of gratitude and hope that I have been given another chance to make it through this maze of “illnesses” to sustainable well being.

      I am particularly concentrating on your recipes and products while waiting for a proper diagnosis. I have ordered your mixes and am so looking forward to trying them as well as the recipes. Do you think you’ll ever be marketing to the grocery outlets where we might get your products locally and save on the postage and handling? I ask this on behalf of all on a fixed income who are challenged with also finding the most economical path out of or through this maze.

      Again, bless you for your obvious commitment to the cause of true health and happiness and your dedication to this medium for sharing your findings. Thank you!

      I find it interesting that I’ve finally posted in response to your laughter entry. :-) ;-) I’ll know when I’m on the road to recovery and definitely healing when I can freely laugh again. I’ve been wondering where my sense of humor had gone! :-)

      Yes, Ever Onward & Upward!

  3. John

    When I heard that you also had CD I went to your website and read your story.It was tough to read but I felt your pain . I have a somewhat similar story and I thought it would be nice to tell it to someone that actually understands it. My wife and I live in SINY ( NORTH SHORE ) and I went to Moore class of 84. I am convinced that i have had this horrible disease since the first day i ingested gluten which was probably before my 1st birthday. I suffered through my childhood and teen years with several now known symptoms of CD the worst being severe malabsorption and stomach bloating. It was probably around 13 or 14 that I started to feel that something just didn’t feel right. I was to weak and frail but it was difficult to understand because that was all i ever knew. Other than the bloating, my stomach issues were intermittent and seemed what I thought was normal. My parents and Doctors just thought i wasn’t eating enough as i continued to consume cereal, bread, pasta. pizza and deserts day after day. At around 15 I decided that i would fight this weakness and build myself up by working out. I did that for the next 30 years with very little to show for it as I was fighting an unwinable war against gluten.
    When i entered my 20′s i started to develop a very dry throat ( I don’t think this is a common symptom of CD but grew to become a nightmare for me ). My throat became so dry that i could not get a restful nights sleep. This went on for over 20 years. Since my throat bothered me so much I went to several ENT’s but not one suggested that i see a gastro Doctor. I guess it was in my early 30′s that my lower back started to really hurt ( I read that you also had lower back pain ). After many trips to the chiropractor I went out and bought an inversion table. I used that table 5x a week for over 5 years. It would help me get through the day but the pain always returned. I know realize that this was my CD progressing. I really feel that i was able to get through my 20′s and 30′s because i still had youth on my side. Buy the time I hit 40 things were going down hill fast. I couldn’t sleep, my back was killing me, my skin and hair were dry and i was so skinny i felt that i was disappearing. I finally got diagnosed with sjogrens syndrome because my eyes and mouth were also exstremly dry. That was only a small victory as the gluten was continuing to destroy me. I started to wonder how much longer I was going to be able to work as I was just so exhausted. Finally at 44 years old I told my wife that I just did not see things ending well for me. My skin had turned a grayish yellow and when people that i had not seen in awhile started to question if i was eating and was I alright I just couldn’t take it any more. I started to consciously watch everything that I did all day. Was I doing something to myself that was causing all this pain? Now remember I did not know what gluten was so it was not even on my mind. At first i thought it had to be the salt i was ingesting( I was desperate for ideas ) but it was not. Finally after another sleepless nite with my wife gone off to work I sat in front of my computer and started to google my symptoms. Something jumped across the screen Sjogrens syndrome is associated with Celiac disease. Ok but what is CD? After about 5 or ten minutes the reason for my 43 years of suffering was right ther in front of me! Within 3 days my horrible dry throat was gone. A few days later my back pain disappeared ( my back feels great and i gave away the inversion table). My shoulders started to strengthen I finally felt alive! THis happened in 3/2010 and I have been gluten free for almost 3 years. Yes it sucks and it is hard to travel and most people really don’t understand it including my own father and work colleagues . Many people just can’t understand the degree that cross contamination can play when eating every meal. THIS DISEASE HAS PROFOUNDLY affected my life. Well thanks for listening. You are doing a great job and are an inspiration.

  4. Mara Leree

    Hello, i’m 28 years old, married, 2 boys, living in Ensenada México a beautiful city 2 hours south of San Diego California down the border. I just found out I have Celiac diseace and I’m lost, its very difficult to eat glutten -free in Mexíco and very expensive.

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