I’m going to be honest with you. I can’t tell you what to do. I can’t tell you you’re wrong to click the little x and not read this. There was a time that I closed my eyes to things I didn’t want to know. Kind of like a child with his hands over his ears, eyes closed, singing, “Lalalalala, I can’t hear you, lalalalala!” All I can do is share our story and hope it helps encourage you in some way, and tell you why I personally feel you should at least think about losing the gluten.

Our family’s journey to gluten-free living first began in 2006. Josiah’s behavior is what set me on my quest for help. (I hate to admit it, but if I’d had perfectly-behaved children, I probably would have never looked into the effects of diet.) Josiah was a very very cranky baby and a very very busy boy. He walked at 9 months and ran at 10. He was my monkey boy because he tried to climb bookshelves at 10 months. He was a very precious boy, but extremely exhausting.

In my search, I learned that going gluten-free and casein-free were both helpful for behavior issues. I also discovered that cutting out high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and artificial dyes (especially with numbers in them) helped.

This was back when I thought everything gluten-filled needed to be replaced with a gluten-free counterpart. As you can imagine, this was a very expensive move, and one that Jerry didn’t fully support. It became too difficult to try to fight him over what it was worth, so we stopped for a while.

We added two more boys over the years, and actually went back and forth with the gluten free thing. After only having very runny BMs throughout his short life, Jamin seemed to have much more normal stools on a gluten-free and low-dairy diet. All of the boys had better behavior (not perfect, just better!). Jeremiah and Jamin stuttered less, and Jeremiah’s rage issues and ticks were not quite as bad when he refrained from these things.

I always felt a little guilty about it. “No, guys, you can’t have this, only Mama and Papa can.” Finally, in April of 2012, I decided I would try it out for myself.

(At first, Josiah was really upset when I told him about it. He was worried that I would eat all of his gluten-free goodies. *giggle* )

It wasn’t easy, but I lost weight, and started to make all sort of connections. Things began falling into place. Two months later, I posted a short update about how it was going.

All the times I had major rashes/hives for no explainable reason, all the irregular heartbeat scares, chronic fatigue, major mood swings, unexplainable tummy issues, the time my lips actually swelled up…These are all symptoms of an allergy. I am fairly certain (as certain as I can be without a test) that I’m allergic to gluten, or wheat. I’m not sure if I have gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy or even if I have celiac – I know that I need to get it checked out. Now, if I’d had each of these symptoms each time I ate gluten, I’m sure I would have had some sort of clue, but they didn’t appear at the same time.

Throughout this time, I kept telling Jerry that GF would be really good for him. He didn’t go so far as to mock me, but he was beyond doubtful. Finally, he actually began to do his own research and decided to give it a trial. When Jerry finally decided to go gluten free with us, I started a blog called Make Mine Gluten Free. He didn’t stick with it, and when he gave it up the first time, I kind of let the blog fall to the wayside. He was off and on the gluten-free merry-go-round several times. He tried to cheat with awful results. So many that now he has to be desperate (starving) to purposely eat gluten. After more research, and deciding that it really did make a difference, he cut it out cold turkey. He felt so much better that he’s stuck with it.

It is not easy for any of us. It is really hard to be around old favorites. There are times that I ignore the warning bell inside and eat something I know I shouldn’t. I pay for it almost instantly. Baby showers with cake? Misery. Pizza at a party? Agony. Same thing when I give in and let the boys have something off-limits. Not pretty!

For me to function at my best, and also to keep myself as trim as possible, I do not eat
food coloring
white sugar
cow’s milk (I can have sour cream, butter, ice cream, yogurt)
There are times that I let myself have organic corn, organic beans and organic sugar. But for the most part, I try to keep away from those things, and try never to have a combination of the three at once.

The boys do not eat
corn (Jeremiah is allowed to eat organic corn chips rarely)
food coloring
cow’s milk (they can have small amounts of sour cream, butter, ice cream, yogurt each day)

Jerry has only eliminated gluten and wheat. He hasn’t researched the other things yet. I imagine our whole family will be processed-sugar free soon.

I would like to keep myself accountable, so I will try to do a FIIT Friday check-in each week. I’ve only done one, and it’s been a while since then! That link also explains the “diet” I most closely follow.

So, have I made you at least think about considering removing gluten from your diet?

If no, ponder these questions:

    Do you ever have an upset stomach after eating a meal with bread?

    Do you ever get unexplained rashes &/or chronic acne?

    Do you ever feel angry for no reason?

    Do you ever feel something like a brain fog?

    Do you ever feel like your pants literally do not fit after a meal?

    Do you feel you get sick more than other people?

    Do you have frequent diarrhea and or constipation?

    Do you ever have irregular heartbeats?

    Do you have full body pain (muscles, nerves, even your bones feel sore) often?

    Do you ever have strange swelling?

    Do you have tooth issues? (Weakness, sensitivity, cavities, etc)

    Do you have frequent headaches (including migraines)?

    Do you feel more weepy/emotional after eating?

    Do you ever feel like your memory is really awful?

If you answered yes to any of these, you might consider an elimination diet of at least wheat and gluten. Give it a month. If it does nothing for you, by all means, go back to eating it! But, don’t you owe it to yourself, to your body, to your family, to see? If you are hesitant, please feel free to ask me any questions! I plan to have a Resource page soon, with books, products and recipes!

What are your thoughts on gluten, wheat, and other things in the traditional american diet?

JennAbout Jenn: I’m a Christian wife to an amazing man (since 1998) and a stay-at-home-teaching mom to four special & incredible boys (born in 2004, 2005, 2007, & 2009). I’m messy and cluttered, but working on that (really, I am!). I’m a discouraged perfectionist and a classic procrastinator who probably has both ADD & Autism, so I tend to jump from topic to topic (and activity to activity) without notice. My Love Languages are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. I’m an INFP who enjoys friends but loves to be alone. I love getting and giving hugs, and encouragement is a Spiritual gift of mine that can too-easily be turned into the weapon of discouragement, if I’m not careful. I enjoy writing, singing, words, drawing, photography, digital creations, and reading. Oh, and pizza, tacos, and steak. Now I’m hungry. That reminds me; I eat gluten free and try to eat organic and avoid white sugar and GMOs as much as possible.  Find me on Facebook (Writer/Editor page) (Fan page), Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

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