How a Celiac Diagnosis Can Be A Blessing
We all know how relieving it is to have a name and a reason to how we’ve been feeling. However, I’d like to offer another outlook to a Celiac diagnosis, or any other diagnosis that forces you to change the way you eat.
Those of us with Celiac disease and food allergies fully experience and feel the effects of eating something that isn't good. We feel it in an intense way, sometimes affecting us so much we can't live life to the fullest until our bodies recover from the food we ingested. This interruption in our lives is frustrating and sometimes debilitating. However, experiencing in an intense way the results of eating food that isn't good for you helps you see food for what it really is: nourishment.
Whether you feel it right away, or it takes 20 years to feel it, everyone is affected by what they eat. Food affects our weight, emotional well being, our propensity towards disease and sickness and more.
Food is fuel and medicine for our bodies. You can't put sugar in a gas tank and expect it to run. Our bodies are the same way. You can't fill it with sugar, chemicals and processed food and expect it to perform. We need to fill our bodies with nutrients, fiber, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and omega-3s, not simply calories. Calories fill us up, but real food nourishes us.
Food is amazing! It is a gift. Each food is made differently and has different effects on our bodies. The food that is grown in nature is nutritious. It has varying vitamins, micro and macro nutrients that help our bodies.
I believe because God delights in us, He has made good food not just delicious, but helpful to us in ways we can't even see.
Take a blueberry. It is in a perfect little package for snacking. Its sweet, moist juice pops in your mouth as you bite on that petite globe of deliciousness. But blueberries also contain anthocyanidins. "These compounds exert exceptional antioxidant activity...Researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions." (Encyclopedia of Healing Foods) So blueberries are not only delightful to eat, they actively heal our bodies when we eat them!
When you have Celiac or another diagnosis where food directly and quickly affects your body you feel and see for yourself that the food you put in your mouth isn't just energy, it's medicine.
I believe that those of us with these food triggered aliments are blessed because our bodies tell us when they like or dislike the food we've given them. I'm sad for people who eat fast food, processed food and constant sugar but don't feel the effects of it right away. They have to wait for months or sometimes years before they can see the damage that the food has done.
If you are newly diagnosed Celiac, don't just take out the gluten! Take this opportunity to change your whole diet! Take out the processed food, the fast food and the large amounts of sugar, and instead take this time to relearn how to eat. Listen to your body and feed it real food: fruit, vegetables, whole grains, wild meat, beans and legumes.
If you don't know how to cook, then take the time to learn. It's actually easier than you think, and the investment of time is an investment in you and your family's health.
I teach gluten and dairy free kids and teens to cook because I believe it's the key to taking control of your diet, and it's empowering to be able to feed yourself good, delicious, real food.
I feel blessed that my son and I have Celiac and food allergies. I hope you too are able to see your, or your child's, Celiac diagnosis as a blessing. May you go against our culture of quick, easy foods and may you see the blessing of experiencing firsthand the effects of food on your body. Feeling something, experiencing something, expands the knowing of it.
May we all see these restrictions in a different light. May we see them for the blessing they are, a light illuminating the world of amazing food that has been created for our enjoyment and benefit.