Today marks the one year mark of my gluten-free life, and it feels like a pretty major milestone. I never thought I would make it this far, but the longer I go the more will I have to dedicate myself to living healthy and happy. It was one year ago, on the morning of January 10th 2012 that I decided to go gluten-free for “as long as I could”, after a few short stints consisting of a couple of weeks each at the most. In the past year I have discovered much more than the perks of living gluten free, it has also been the year I really took control of my diet, the year my skin cleared up (finally!), the year I started this blog and began to spread my message and my experiences and the year when baking became a major obsession for me.
Today I sit here typing knowing that I have freed my body of a substance that it didn’t need and that in fact was making me unwell. I have been gluten free, perhaps with the exception of sneaky glucose syrup and other wheat derived additives, for ONE WHOLE YEAR. At the beginning it was just the obvious things, all things made of wheat, barley and rye, but as the year progressed I began to discover that gluten is hidden in absolutely everything! I realised I needed to ask at restaurants if their soups were thickened with flour, I needed to check every product I ate for glucose syrup (derived from wheat), dextrose and other unsuspecting ingredients and I had to give people plenty of warning if I was coming for dinner so they could find the ingredients for a gluten free meal, much to the stress of my friend’s parents! But the most interesting thing is how interested people are in why I choose not eat gluten and that almost everyone knows a coeliac or someone who is gluten-free by choice, like me.
In the past year more and more of my friends and family have tried a gluten-free lifestyle, some were diagnosed coeliac, some discovered a high sensitivity resulting in painful symptoms directly from eating gluten and others did it just to see how they feel. In all I can think of three friends who are now gluten free with me and two family members who are coeliac, and I can also think of plenty of people who would greatly benefit from removing gluten, or at least most of it, from their diets. For me, going gluten free has been the single best thing I have ever done and my passion for health and nutrition has grown out of this decision. I am quite sure this choice is now forever, I will be gluten free for life, except, I have decided, when I go to Paris, because nothing can beat a true Parisian croissant or freshly baked bread.
And so I start my second year, it’s almost like I have another birthday that I will now celebrate every year, January 10th. I started my day with a big bowl of natural yogurt, my favourite gluten free muesli, fresh raspberries and a good heaping of cinnamon and I couldn’t be happier that at the ripe age of 16, a year ago, I made the best decision of my life so far. It has been the longest and most satisfying relationship yet.
Happy Gluten Free-aversary to me!! May you stay with me to celebrate plenty more.
Keep healthy, keep happy, Erica :)