I have been on a gluten free diet for the past 2 years and have noticed a drastic change of quality of life. I have been reading a lot about so called healthy diets and how being gluten free is somehow on trend, but believe me, if you suspect it doesn't work with you, just stop eating it! It's not that difficult to be gluten free and you will have such a terrific change in your quality of life that it will be worth it.
I am most definitely not on a gluten free diet for fashion - I am intolerant. It's a sad realisation but it's the truth.
For easter I went to Portugal to spend some time with my family. I took some gluten free bread and porridge oats from the UK as here our selection is much better than in Portugal. However, Lisbon...well Portugal in general is inundated with amazing bakeries and all full of gluten! Temptation is in every corner (literally!).
The day before I went to Lisbon, I visited my GP for something else and as we were chatting, I mentioned I had been on a gluten free diet for the past 2 years and that I felt great but wanted to get tested. Perhaps I could eat the odd bowl of past while on holiday? I also mentioned the history of bowel cancer in my dad's side of the family. My GP advised me I should definitely be tested for Celiac disease as well as IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) and vitamin B12 deficiency.
Next day I traveled to Lisbon and thought it might be a good idea to try a bit of gluten before I get tested...just in case...I was on holiday and thought my body had healed itself and I no longer had to be on this diet. Perhaps I could eat |"just a little bit"?
On my first day back home I tried an almond cheese cake (queijada de amendoa). According to my research, the recipe doesn't normally require wheat flour however some bakeries use a small amount.
Next day started feeling very lethargic and kept telling my family I was feeling exhausted... I thought It might be due to my early flight and change of rhythm of life ( on average I walk about 15 km a day everyday and nanny 2 little babies).
I kept trying foods that had a tiny bit of wheat flour in them and kept feeling weird... I felt so lethargic and slightly moody I started thinking something was definitely wrong with me!
I had already planned a trip to Madrid with my best friends and thought that would "cheer me up". I was having a great time and even considered trying the famous Churros with hot chocolate! On our last evening together, me and my friends decided to have a traditional spanish meal, and of course, what's more spanish than good old calamari!
I was determined I could eat a little bit of gluten so went all in and had 4 whole calamari! Man that tasted good! I was so excited you can't even imagine!
On our way back to the hotel my tummy started having a monologue... in my hotel room my tummy started ballooning and I started getting more and more uncomfortable. Spent a good hour in the toilet... our "cool girls weekend away" was starting to me more of a "Raquel's solo gig in the toilet".
Don't want to get into much detail, but next day I visited pretty much all toilets in central Madrid and had to dope myself in the spanish version of Immodium to be able to fly back home. Yes, my gluten free home!
I will do my test this week...