Hey! I’m Gemma. A 23 year old living in Devon, England.
In 2014 I graduated from the University of Exeter. During my time at university I lived on a typical student’s diet: quick and easy meals, ‘junk food’ snacks, and booze! In my final year of uni, my boyfriend and I decided to try and get a little healthier. We signed up to a veg box subscription and started cooking more meals from scratch. It was good and I felt some benefit from having more nutritious foods in my diet.
Despite also feeling a little better, my boyfriend had experienced IBS-type problems for as long as he could remember and was also now struggling with thyroid issues and suspected Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. During his quest to find out what could help to alleviate his symptoms he found several articles detailing the negative relationship that gluten can have with the body. The more he read, the more he wanted to try cutting gluten out of his diet. Despite my initial reluctance – what about bread, biscuits, PIZZA!? – we decided to give a gluten-free diet a go and he noticed significant improvements in his general feeling of wellness almost instantly.
Personally, I’d never really thought too much about the food that I was eating. I knew the importance of eating a balanced diet, but didn’t really appreciate how big an effect the types of food you eat can have on your physical and mental health. I didn’t have any health problems, so didn’t think I’d notice any difference when we went gluten free. The only issue that I had was my stomach. I always felt that it looked bloated no matter what or how much I ate. I’d decided that it was just my body type and that that’s where I carried a lot of my weight. However, a few weeks in to our new diet I noticed that my stomach didn’t look as full as it used to – it was less bloated and felt less uncomfortable. I took to Google and discovered that one of the most common symptoms of gluten sensitivity or intolerance is… bloating!
Was gluten the reason for mine and my boyfriend’s issues? Without being tested for gluten sensitivity/intolerance we obviously can’t be 100% certain, but I’m sure that it was certainly contributing to my bloated stomach. My boyfriend is a lot more certain that he’s intolerant, if not fully Coeliac. Shortly after we cut out gluten we went out and had gluten pizza. The next day he felt fatigued and had the same brain fog and other symptoms that he’d previously experienced when eating gluten. Recently we had some Marmite and the symptoms returned again, albeit to a lesser extent. Given our experiences, we now follow an exclusively gluten free diet. My boyfriend still experiences IBS-type symptoms so we’re now also attempting to cut out lactose and dairy too.
On this blog, I’ll be reviewing various free from foods and drinks, posting recipes and occasionally discussing issues related to a free from diet. I hope you enjoy reading!