Whilst in my 20’s, running a few miles a week was something I took in my stride. There is something about being in my 30’s, which make walking up the stairs, or kneeling down on the floor to play with the kids that bit tiresome. Cricking of the knees was something that I complained about for some time during pregnancy (and after). Then there were thyroid problems, migraines, weight gain, jeez the list goes on. Hormones have played a major part in my aging process thus far and if I’m not careful, I may be susceptible to a lot of nasties that await old age.
SO…. I’m making a change. Well, attempting to at least. I’ve even had issues with trying to make that change, there are always issues – I’m a down right pain in the a** when it comes to changing lifestyle. I once convinced myself that I could lose weight and live healthily by doing the 5:2 diet in which you fast (or starve) for two days and eat all you want for five. I ended up drinking A LOT of caffeine, as a result became very anxious and suffered a few panic attacks, really, its laughable.
Like most people, I like to think that I take my health into my own hands. Well at least I should. I’m not getting any younger. As mentioned above, I’ve dabbled with a lot of diets and I have even gone to the extreme of recently cutting out gluten. My rational, again comes down to reading far too much for my own good. You may or may not be familiar with gluten being terribly bad for you. This is an example where too much reading, really does mess with your head or in my case my body, as it turns out – it really isn’t.
Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Some individuals may be sensitive or completely intolerant to this protein such that the immune system forms an antibody that attacks the intestinal lining. This in turn causes inflammation within the intestinal tract, leaving the sufferer with numerous of debilitating symptoms and potential malnourishment. As a keen advocate of healthy living, I’ve tested numerous concepts. (Funny that I experiment with my own body, don’t we all? Trial and error and all that).
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped organ situated in the neck. Its fundamental function is to regulate growth and metabolism by releasing a number of hormones. After having Reeyan, I was told that I had ‘Hashimotos Thyroiditis’. This is an autoimmune disorder where my body attacks my thyroid. As a result my thyroid doesn’t’ produce enough thyroxin to successfully regulate my metabolism. I’m just grateful it’s just the thyroid under assault to be honest. It really does sound worse than it is, apart from slowing down my metabolism (and making it even harder to lose the pounds), with two tiny tablets a day, everything is very well controlled. I will repeat, for my own sake that everything is all well controlled. There has been hearsay that those with Hashimotos or any type of autoimmune disorder for that matter are also sensitive to gluten. The research hasn’t been published, reliability of these broad statements are in fact confounded, yet, I insist on going that one step further and accepting the claims. And so, stupidly I tried it,
I followed a strict gluten-free diet for six weeks. It was an eye opener. Like my mother, I loved myself some bread. Instead of rice I would always opt for the bread to have alongside my plateful of curries. But it was fairly straightforward as I could eat anything else provided it didn’t contain wheat, rye or barley. So I could eat all the potatoes and rice I wanted. I recently stopped this absurdity, as I didn’t notice any encouraging changes apart from the increasing severity of headaches. As an individual quite prone to food-based migraines, I realised that eating for example, the substituted gluten-free bread contained far more obscure ingredients that left me debilitated with headache. I am in no way insinuating that following a gluten-free regime has no benefit whatsoever. Coeliacs don’t have a choice, as their intolerance can be life threatening should they not follow a strict gluten free lifestyle. As I’ve found out during this six-week intensive course, I however, don’t have such a sensitivity.
Once I get over my wheat-full cheat bank holiday weekend, I have learnt to be more selective with food choices. I enjoy living healthily but I absolutely love gorging on the most glutinous of food at times. I understand that everything should be in moderation but more importantly the amount of processed foods consumed should slowly be eliminated. Fresh food, homemade bread and goodies for me, are the best way forward. Now that’s what I’m eating covered……..