Hello and happy Monday! Well, today you are in for quite a post. You see, as an Udis Community Leader, we are often asked to share our gluten free journey. The purpose of sharing our story is to help and encourage others who may be new to gluten free or seeking help. Either way, it’s about supporting one another!
My story/journey has a few bumps in the road but I thank God for it, every bit of it, because it humbled me and strengthened me at the same time.
So here goes… grab some tea or kombucha and sit back.
In 2006 I spent a month in Africa working at an orphanage. Those weeks were the best weeks of my life. I’ve never experienced such joy in being part of those kid’s lives! We often gave our food away during the day and ended up chowing down the one meal our African chef cooked us. That or going into town and eating at Subway (yes, they had subway, sort of). Either way, I had no idea where my food was coming from, I was just glad to eat food. Period.
Well, it was long after my Africa trip that I started feeling stomach pains and couldn’t keep weight on. I ignored it. I kept training, I kept running my run club and racing, I kept on going. I then met my husband and I moved to Hawaii. I taught classes 4x a day a resort. I worked as a race director for triathlons. I traveled a lot. I still felt sick.
It wasn’t till after I was married and we moved back to Austin that things got even worse. Every other week I would get really sick. I mean hours in the bathroom. Then I’d be totally fine the next day, minus the weight loss. My husband was worried, I was worried.
I saw a specialist and he thought maybe it was parasite (from Africa) and recommended I start a GF diet ASAP. I was scared. I was anxious, but I had a lot of support. I had more tests done but really didn’t what my body was through. All I knew was that eating gluten free helped, for the time being. I researched it. When we were in New Zealand, I stocked up on everything gluten free (it was more prevalent there). I made a lot of my own food. I did my best. And you know what? It worked. I gained weight back and felt better.
It was then I returned back to my routine. Going going going. I kept a gluten free diet, took my supplements, but ignored my crazy lifestyle. I taught more classes so we could earn more money. I trained for a marathon. I stressed over my husband’s career, his injury, everything.
My stomach pains came back. I couldn’t hold onto any nutrients. I lost more weight.
This is when we decided to pack up our lives and move to New Zealand for 3 months, which was probably the best thing that could happen to me (us). I found TRUE rest, but I also got down to my lowest weight and sickness. I realized that my body couldn’t function without supplements. I had ran out them while in New Zealand and my body was no longer absorbing anything.
As soon as we returned to the states I got a colonoscopy. My doctor wanted to “clear” out everything so I could start from scratch with my colon. I’m pretty sure that was the best thing to ever happen to me, honestly! I stuck to a low FODMAPS diet, as well as gluten free and dairy free diet. I took my supplements (you can read about them here). I drank my GOOD GUT SMOOTHIE every day. I made Gluten free foods from scratch. I rested. I didn’t work at the gym or workout. Yep, I TRULY took it easy for 8 months!
Guess what happened?
I started absorbing my food/nutrients. I gained weight back. Over 20lbs. I started to absorb nutrients. I gained my life back.
Today I eat a low lactose and gluten free diet. It works for me! I also try not to stress over food. It only does more damage to over think things (in my opinion). I don’t compete or race much (not now at least), I only teach 2x a week at the gym (versus every day), I take sabbaticals from work and from running Healthy Bites (to recoup and recharge), and I play Sherpa wife the rest of time. This is where I am in my gluten free journey, almost 6 years gluten free, 7 years of ups and downs, and a little over a year of feeling TRULY healed. I plan to keep these healing years going with the help of a great support system!
So cheers to GLUTEN FREE LIVING! Cheers to allergy friendly companies that support the lifestyle and care about the consumer!
Cheers to journey that has made me stronger and wiser!
Are you on gluten free or having to eat a special diet? How has your journey shaped you? I know–> so deep and insightful. Corny Cotter here.
Now you know the main reason why i started Healthy Bites. All part of the journey!
Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.
Hi. What kind of Udi’s products and other GF products do you like to eat now? Can you use/drink lactose free milks and chesses? Do you still eat low fodmap diet too?
This is so similar to my story and would love to hear back! This is all so overwhelming. My tummy hurts all the time and constipation is bad. Thanks so much.
I really like their wraps! I don’t drink milk a lot, just almond milk. I use kefir yogurt (organic), aged cheeses (low lactose). I definitely try to eat low FODMAPS but there are some foods that are now okay for me. Like hummus and a few other lentils (if sprouted).
I didn’t know this story. I’m glad you shared it (again) and I got a chance to read it.
it’s been a journey for sure, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. eh?
This is true. I think in the end it makes us better too. Hard times forces us to grow and change until we come out on top. Thanks for sharing.
Lindsay, do you eat any store bought gluten free products? Any type of “bar” or anything. How much lactose are you able to consume? And are your recipes based on the low fodmap diet? I have been eating granola bars with agave syrup in them, but not sure if they are okay or causing problems. Or larabars…quest bars? You make all your own muffins/breads and don’t buy any store bought prepared gf products? What are you best snack ideas? Can you tolerate any type of yogurt? Sorry so many questions!!
what about beans or hummus?
Thank you so much for sharing your story. While I am not in the position of needing to go GF for health reasons, I really try to keep it out of my diet as much as possible. The main thing I wanted to comment on is how wonderful it is that you have found such a great balance in your life–diet, exercise, family, just being. You are a great example of this! It’s something I continue to work on each day…getting over the fears of letting go and just being. Thank you again for sharing!
thank you Ashley! i know you can and will overcome that fear. <3 <3
Thanks for sharing your journey 🙂 I love hearing the whole story in one piece like this- love you! p.s. I owe you an email, been crazy this week.
Meg @ A Dash of Meg
girl, you are so amazing 🙂 i cannot thank you enough for sharing your story 🙂 you’re a true inspiration and i look up to you so much! you’re such a wonderful person and i am so proud of you for doing all that you do for yourself and your health!
love you and cheers to your healthy life xoxoxo love you bunches
thank you friend! and thank you for your love and support! <3
Thanks for sharing, Lindsay! I feel blessed to have heard all this from you, but I love how open you are with your story. You are such a great encouragement to the rest of us! It may take a while, but true healing is worth it!!! Even tougher to go through this with my daughter, but so glad we can take care of this early for her. Love you!!!
you know i am praying! <3 you
Thank you so much for sharing your story, it is always great to hear how others work to heal and cope.
I got my celiac dx about 6 years ago, just before GF became “trendy” and companies like udi’s hit the market. It was definitely a mess, and I had to fight my parents to be able to go away to university (they were afraid I wouldn’t be able to eat anything). I am happier and healthier now than I ever was when I was younger and I have the support of other GF bloggers and community based companies to thank for that 🙂
oh gosh, yes, i remember those days too! when we lived in new zealand i would hoard all the gluten free goodies there and bring them back to the US> there was nothing here beside stale rice bread. haha. Thank you for sharing friend and i am so glad you are in a better place! cheers!
Well anyway, the Udi’s taste good, but seem to have little nutritional value. Go ahead, delete this one too.
i didn’t delete you bob, it went to spam, and i tried to email you back but it came back undelivered. I understand that not all GF products are nutritional but this post was more about the community and the support behind the company. Thanks for sharing.
Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
Wow, I had no idea you had gone through all of that! I went through something somewhat similar when battling h-pylori and IBS growing up, and it honestly just took trial and error (and medication to get rid of the h-pylori) to figure out what triggered my episodes and time to eventually grow out of it. Stomach issues can be debilitating and dictate everything about your life – I’m so glad you’ve found a way to keep the problems at bay.
sounds like we went through the same emotions too. Thanks for always supporting heather!
I don’t think I knew you did the FODMAPS thing. I’ve been contemplating it also, but I just….it’s so restrictive. I know, I know….if it helps. But still.
it’s not as bad as you think. If you are having trouble with fructose and absorbing nutrients, definitely do it! email me if are! 🙂
GiGi Eats Celebrities
Food is seriously thy medicine or poison! And in your case GLUTEN IS POISON… And SAME GOES FOR ME TOO! I am thrilled that you found truly what works for you! I know how it feels to feel TERRIBLE and have the HORRENDOUS stomach pains. Probably the worst feelings in the entire world. I hope that those who are suffering yet who are in denial finally see the silver lining. I couldn’t be happier gluten-free. Yes, I get stomach upsets and hard core pains, but that’s more because my stomach/intestines is just EFFED- not because of gluten intake as I haven’t had gluten in 12 years!
girl i know you have been through so much! you are a rock star in my book, small but strong! woo!
Thank you for sharing your gluten free journey. I didn’t know how extensive your illness was, but I am so glad you are healing! I have been strictly gluten free for almost 3 years now. After years of having horrible stomach pain and other issues, my husband convinced me to see a doctor. i was very reluctant as I had been seen by a GI doc years back and was told I have “IBS” and there is nothing I can do about. My doc ran a celiac blood test that came back very positive. After switching to a gluten free diet I felt immediately better, then had to go back onto a regular diet to undergo more testing, UGH! Since re-introducing gluten to my body I have had a long 2 years of healing. The past year I have felt the best that I have in years! I have you and other bloggers to thank for showing me that you still prepare delicious and nutritious meals that are gluten free. Thank you for all the recipes you create and share!
wow, i didn’t know that about you Melissa. So glad you got things worked out. and thank you for sharing your story! <3
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables
I love you friend!! It is amazing how similar our stories are! 🙂
i know! crazy… love you!!
loved loved reading about your journey. Well besides the part that you were sick…no fun there. BUT so happy you have found happiness and health again!!! love you friend
i know you can relate. thanks ladies
Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)
I love that I knew most of this journey first hand from you already, but the part about Africa…I bet that was such an amazing experience! I know the fears you’ve had first hand for myself and my husband. I was the one that lost all the weight and spent hours upon hours in the bathroom while trying to take care of two small children. I became so overwhelmed when other people would make comments about my weight when I was really working hard to put it back on. That feeling of knowing that you just don’t feel healthy and you really just want to be healthy leaves you in a pretty sad place. I, too, am so incredibly grateful for these companies that give us the opportunity to be able to eat real food and really nourish our bodies! Such an incredible post my friend!
P.S. we found the large loaves of Udi’s at Costco today and were so happy with how reasonably priced they were! We stocked up!!!
oh friend, we are so similar (minus the kiddos). I am so thankful for you and your ongoing support. I don’t know what i’d do without you. Are you are a blessing! love you.
You are seriously so inspirational my friend! I didn’t know the extent of all your issues and it’s obvious you’ve been on quite a journey but you are truly helping so many others and that’s an amazing thing!
You are the best<3
Well you are kind and i adore your support and gentle encouragement. It means a lot!
The only diet I’m on is drinking kombucha regularly and taking my probiotic daily! Thanks to YOOOOU! 🙂
oh i love it! and YOU
Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat
Wow, you’ve been on quite the journey. Thanks so much for sharing!
A few years back, I was having a lot of stomach problems. Pretty much every little thing I put in my mouth was making me sick. It was seriously awful and I didn’t know what to do. It got to the point where I was almost afraid to eat anything. After going to doctors, it was determined that I was lactose intolerant. I completely cut everything out of my diet that had milk in it. Even if it was a granola bar made with milk, I couldn’t eat it. After a short time, I started to feeling better and I continued this diet for years. It wasn’t until several months ago that I started experimenting with dairy again, and knock on wood…I seem to be able to eat it without a problem now. I don’t know what happened, but I’m certainly glad I got over it!
i am so glad you figured out what was the cause was and that you are better now! It’s scary to know how much food can effect us, but we can also do something about it! phew!
Carly @ Snack Therapy
I obviously knew you were GF, but I don’t think I knew the extent of your story. This post is SO inspirational — we should all take a page out of the Cotter book and give ourselves REST when our bodies ask for it. Thanks for sharing <3.
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the whole story. So glad your plumbing is all worked out. And that wine is GF. 😉
i’d die if wine wasn’t GF. just sayin..
Linz @ Itz Linz
wow what a journey, indeed! glad you figured out what works for you!
Thank you so so so much for sharing this all in print as I KNOW it will help others.
you know me
20 years GF and a huge udis fan, too.
i knew you could relate. <3 thank you for supporting.
Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
I love your go-get-em attitude! It’s tough to completely overhaul your life, especially if you always feel like you should put others before yourself. Good for you for making YOU the priority and doing what you needed to get rest your body and mind and get better! And I couldn’t agree more with overthinking food…definitely something I’ve made a ton of progress with over the last few months. You are such an inspiration! Love you!
Lindsay, I very much appreciate you sharing your journey with all of us. I had no idea you went through such a rocky time. You truly have proved you can overcome struggles in life, even if it’s a tough job. Hearing that you’re now in a good place, feeling better than ever, and embracing life to the fullest is wonderful. <3