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Lost and Found

Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Autumn 2015 Issue - Originally published October 19, 2015

Celiac.com 02/23/2016 - Rather than enjoying the youth of my 20's, some of the 'best years of my life,' I suffered from over a decade of chronic illness—everything from Lyme disease to C-diff colitis to hypothyroidism and chronic systemic candida. It started with severe leg swelling and chronic pain on a daily basis. By mid-afternoon, I carried what felt like bricks of water in my legs. On top of that, I was plagued by horrible digestive issues that left me feeling sick, lethargic and just plain gross. This was what I suffered with before I started my journey of detox, which led me to feeling younger and more energetic than I had felt since I was a kid.

Photo: Lipman--Amie ValponeDuring my decade of chronic illness, on a daily basis I focused on eating clean and detoxing my body by eating lots of fresh, organic foods such as fresh herbs, raw nuts, seeds and tons of veggies that helped support my thyroid, gut and liver function and to support the removal of toxins in my body. When you're trying to detox, organic salads filled with fresh, whole ingredients are always a good idea!

'Eating Clean' is all about adding in whole, organic fresh foods to your lifestyle and feeling good about what you are putting into your body. It's not about feeling deprived or going on a diet. Wellness is more than just calories, it's nourishment for your body to keep you healthy and strong. At this point in my life, I can honestly say that after reading almost every detox and medical book, seeing over 500 doctors including an entire week at Mayo Clinic, I've learned that the answers were within me the whole time. I had to be my own doctor and put the missing pieces together. My doctors could only do so much and they didn't communicate with each other, plus they didn't understand anything outside of their specialized field, which left me feeling hopeless and lost.

Whether you're suffering from chronic illness or just the occasional headache or bloated belly, I hope to inspire you to be your own doctor and realize that wellness starts with what's on your plate. Start tossing out the processed foods in your fridge and pantry today, add in beautiful, fresh foods and I promise you'll feel better just looking at the beautiful colors and tasting their amazing flavors. Get creative, go out and pick up a bunch of fresh herbs and start adding them to your meals—you will be amazed at how much flavor they can add to your them without having to add refined, unhealthy oils or other processed ingredients.

This is a fun recipe to pack in a mason jar with a lid and take to work for lunch, or you can toss it all together and serve it in a big bowl for a quick weeknight for dinner. I love to cook quinoa in large batches on Sunday nights for myself and my clients, so that I always have it ready in my fridge to add to quick salads for lunch, stir-fry's for dinner, and even warmed up on the stove top for breakfast with almond milk and cinnamon.

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Simple Honey Sunflower Quinoa Bowl

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 2 medium yellow summer squash or zucchini, thinly sliced or diced
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced jicama or peeled apple
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil, plus more if desired
  • 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • Juice of 2 medium lemons
  • ½ tsp. honey
  • 2-3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Directions:
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork, cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, steam squash in a steamer basket over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or until tender. Add to quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Add jicama, basil and sunflower seeds; toss again.

In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, honey, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Drizzle over quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Season to taste and transfer mixture to a sealed container and place in the lunchbox with a spoon and napkin.

Amie Valpone, founder of TheHealthyApple.com, wrote her first cookbook, over 200 recipes free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, sugar, peanuts and processed foods, Eating Clean: Detox, Fight Inflammation, Reset Your Body & Get to the Root Cause of Illness, which is available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.

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Hi! My daughter is 19 was diagnosed at age 16. It took about 12-18 month s for her to fully heal from the damage and feel "normal" again. Also because of the damage done she had reactions to dairy, so you may want to try no or minimum dairy until youre fully healed. Just a suggestion. Hope you start feeling well soon!

Hi yall! New to this blog, but really glad it exists because I have lots of questions. First off, I'm Allie! I'm 17 and newly diagnosed Celiac after about 3 years of searching for answers. I initially went gluten-free on the recommendation of a friend, I felt better in about a month and then my pediatric gastroenterologist had me do the gluten challenge, and my symptoms were the worst they have ever been, and ones I barely noticed before became very present. I did the biopsy and was diagnosed, it's been about 2 weeks and my symptoms are still pretty bad, although my diet has no known sources of gluten or cross contamination. Wondering if anyone has any input on healing post gluten challenge, any tips or how long it took for you would be quite helpful! Thanks

Might want to look into a keto diet, I have UC on top of celiacs and keto is working great Yeah I have major nerve and brain issues with gluten, gluten ataxia with nerve issues and brain issues. Seems to cause my body to attack my brain and nerve system. My brain stumbles fogs, and starts looping, the confusion causes me to become really irritable, I call it going Mr Hyde. Like my mind will start looping constantly on thoughts and not move driving me literally mad, or it used to. Now days it is primary the numbness anger but the gut issues and sometimes random motor loss limit me motionless to the floor now days for the duration of the major anger effects. Used to be a lot more mental then painful gut. I did a mental trauma post on it on while back where I came out about all my mental issues with gluten.

^^^^^^ good info, tips and tricks^^^^^^^^^ yes, crumbs will make you sick. also, breathing flour/pancake mix, etc that is in the air because eventually, you're going to swallow some.

Hello I was diagnosed Dec 15 of last year and went totally gluten-free the next day. I actually got worse before I got better - it's a steep learning curve - but now, 4 1/2 months later I'm finally seeing improvement. Hang in there.