Officially Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free… or trying

I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I love making healthy and delicious recipes! Especially meal prepping a lot on the weekends to take to work and enjoy while I’m on the go.

My meals have always had little to no dairy and I typically don’t meal prep with many gluten-full foods, but as of late I’ve been making sure my diet is even more on point and I’m not snacking on anything at work with dairy or gluten thanks to a recent little trip to the emergency room.

The first week of September, I was on my period and seriously bloated. As it came to an end, my cramps and every other symptom were gone but still a bit more bloated than usual but that Wednesday I was overall “fine”. That Thursday I still felt bloated and while bending over to shave my legs that night I was in serious pain. My stomach was out like I was 9 months pregnant with twins and bending over and moving any direction hurt so much but I thought maybe I just needed more water so I drank up and went to bed. The pain was also no longer like bad period cramps but more like the feeling of never working out your abs then doing a million crunches. It was all around and mostly between the bottom of my ribs to right below my hips and all of my front as well as the sides. It felt so sore to touch, and the bloating within me stretching my stomach out even further didn’t help how it felt. The next morning I was still super bloated but went to the restroom (twice, per usual) and threw on a t-shirt dress then went to work. *cue Regina George in her sweatpants*

Moving around still hurt so much and it really hurt to laugh or get up and down from my chair. I sat at my desk and called Kaiser Permanente to see if I could schedule a same-day appointment and just leave work a little bit early. While awaiting a phone call back, I was sitting in a morning meeting and laughed in pain which caused my co-workers to notice and told me I should go to the hospital. I told them I can handle it and I’m trying to see a doctor and leave early in the evening. A nurse finally called me back and was asking me about my symptoms and then told me to not eat or drink anything and go straight to the emergency room because it may be my appendix.

I got driven to the hospital (then walked around the entire building because the main entrance is nowhere near the ER, oops) and my dad met me there. After waiting in the lobby for a few hours (so much for an “emergency”) I was finally taken back and was given an IV and had a lot of blood drawn. Waited a few more hours and my dad picked up my car from work and then they took me back for an MRI to check out my appendix and stomach.

Another hour or so later, the doctor came back in and told me that my appendix appeared to be fine. I should still watch out for the pain and if it gets worse, especially on my right side because bodies are different and what looks to be a normal appendix could actually be large for me. I was very relieved that it wasn’t my appendix because it would’ve meant a few days in the hospital, a week or so in bed, then another few weeks of no intense exercise. Missing that much work and not being able to move or workout like normal would’ve been terrible and the timing was super inconvenient so I am very lucky to have had a normal looking appendix!

What the doctor did mention however was that my intestines looked inflamed and my digestion may be off. He asked if I ate anything that may have caused me to become so bloated and inflamed to a point where it became painful and while I couldn’t pointpoint anything specific or new, I knew that my diet hadn’t been the best in the weeks leading up.

I was discharged and picked up some medication for pain if the cramping in my stomach kept up then went home. I was slightly embarrassed that I had to go to the ER for just inflammation and bloating when the pain made it seem so much worse but it was also a good wake up call.

Since then, I have cut out all dairy and gluten with a few minor slip ups here and there but always on a weekend when I’m home and I can be bloated in peace. I have always been very sensitive to dairy and didn’t eat much of it beforehand but it’s the cutting out the gluten that is harder. While I have always leaned towards the gluten free lifestyle after some stomach issues in college, I never fully committed to it. I was tested for celiac many years ago and while that test came back negative, I am still very sensitive to it. With either dairy or gluten, I would always get a bit bloated and sluggish but it would pass and I feel as if that was my body saying “hey, don’t do that” yet I wasn’t listening until I had to go to the ER to listen to my body say “I TOLD YOU SO!”

Since my hospital visit, where I also starved for the rest of the day, and cutting out gluten and dairy, I lost about 6 pounds just that weekend. The week leading up, I saw the scale going up and not knowing why, especially after my period, but instantly cutting those inflammatory foods out got rid of what was presumably water weight. I feel so much better without those foods in my diet and I’m becoming much more aware of my body. I also only cut out those two because of my history of stomach troubles related to the two but I do home to see a gastroenterologist and maybe even a endocrinologist soon to see if there is anything else I should look out for!

Just this past weekend, I decided to enjoy half a donut I saved from work and for the rest of the weekend into the beginning of the week, plus going a bit too hard on the ab exercises on Saturday, my stomach was super bloated and painful again. Nowhere near where it was on the day I went to the hospital but I instantly recognized the feeling and knew I shouldn’t have had the donut.

Thanks for reading this and following me along on my health and fitness journey! I hope you all listen to your bodies and see a doctor when something doesn’t feel right and can commit to eating and living in a way that is best for you and your body. We only get one so let’s take care of them together so we can all live healthy and happy lifestyles (but also on a budget, ya feel?).

Let me know if you’ve had similar experiences and what your favorite gluten-free foods, brands, and meals are! I love trying new things and want to expand what I can make myself for home or work.

xo Lo

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