Hey there. It’s been awhile, eh?

I don’t lovethese types of blog posts where people come on after months of being gone and tell you all about why they’ve been gone. They give you a million reasons for where they’ve been and that they’ve had a huge change of heart – but now they’re back so please stick with them.

I’m not going to bore you with all the lengthy details of that. Instead I’m going to give you the 3-point version of where I’ve been:

  1. Being a mom to a toddler is freaking draining – and so. much. work. I’ve had to prioritize my time and this blog didn’t make the cut this past year or so.
  2. At the end of 2015, I finally gave myself permission to start a new business that had been niggling away in my head and heart for years – and I finally pursued it. I’m teaching other stay-at-home moms how to start their own online businesses and make leveraged (or passive) income information products to sell. It’s going awesome and I’m so excited to share one of my big passions with others finally.
  3. I haven’t been eating completely gluten-free and dairy-free this year. And totally felt like a fraud. Instead of showing up and sharing my journey and my story with you – I hid, because I thought you’d want me to be perfect and tell you how I did it. When the fact was I wasn’t doing it.

So why am I back now?

Well, after this year, I finally decided that even if I wasn’t living the perfect life with my GFDF diet – and was struggling to keep my health a priority (yes, that even happens with people who have gone through health coach training), that maybe my struggles and my journey was probably just as interesting as me pretending to have it all together.

I mean am I the only one who looks at some of these well-known health bloggers and wonder how the heck they eat and live that way all the time? I sure don’t. I’d say 99% percent of my meals these days aren’t beautiful or entirely well thought-out. I’ve got a toddler and frankly, don’t have time for the lengthy meals I used to put together.

Honestly, my diet started shifting a few months into 2016. I decided I wanted to start testing the foods that previously made me sick back into my diet. I was sick of having restrictions – and I was ready to really embrace all foods back in my diet again. (I know that’s the opposite of what I’ve talked about before, but I was just so sick of having everything “-free” that I wanted to feel normal again!)

I started with eggs, because that was the food I missed the most. I immediately ruled those out. And have tried a few more times through the year with the ultimate decision that those are a no-go for the foreseeable future. I’ve been able to eat them in small quantities if they’re in baked goods – but other than that, no eggs.

Then I started eating a little gluten. I think I ate a Costco hot dog bun first. Totally not a healthy choice, but ohmygosh was it delicious.

(Side note: a few years ago in my full-throttle health coach mode, I would have been totally grossed out at the idea that I was gushing over a hot dog, and yet – here I am a changed woman talking about tube meat like it’s heaven)

I think that first time, I didn’t have any issues. So I started having a little gluten here and there once or twice a week. I realized – and was shocked – that eating a little at a time wasn’t bothering my stomach or any other areas of my body. I wasn’t having too many side effects or random symptoms pop up. I thought it was a miracle!

Then I brought some dairy back into my diet. Cheese mostly. Out of all the dairy options, cheese is the thing I miss the most. Daiya “cheese” and nutritional yeast just wasn’t cutting it so I went for it. I noticed the change in my body right away – and yet, I wanted to see what would happen if I brought more in slowly. Like I said, I had talked myself into just wanting to be “normal” again.

I worked my way up to about one serving of dairy a day and while I wasn’t in the bathroom or having major issues with constipation like I had previously, I still felt heavier all over. I know I gained a little weight this year – but I mean just FEELING heavier, not actual weight heaviness. Sometimes it would feel like there were rocks weighing me down in my gut. That’s a weird way to put it, but it’s how I felt.

Also, I noticed that with the dairy, my acne started flaring up. On my back and especially on my face but I kept going for it.

My “aha” moment

I suppose my “aha” moment was a few weeks ago when my husband wanted to go out for date night at an Italian restaurant. I was excited to try some things I hadn’t had in ages. I ordered lasagna and enjoyed every delicious bite of it.

But then, it took me about a week to feel like I “recovered” from that meal. I immediately was bloated, gassy, and my jeans were tight all week long. I was frustrated, but then realized that even if my mind was ready to jump in fully – my body wasn’t.

So I decided that now was my time to get back to treating my body better. Cutting back on the gluten and dairy again – and keeping eggs out for good (for now).

Where I’m at now

I feel like I can eat both gluten and dairy in moderation at this point. But the truth is that I found my own personal “thresholds” for where I went from “yeah, I can handle this” to “oh dear, that was the line back there – and I passed it.” Whether that line showed up as a big fat zit on my face or an extra trip running to the bathroom – I found that point for myself.

But in all this over the past year, I think I’ve just discovered that even though I think I probably CAN eat some of these foods again I just don’t FEEL as good as I used to.

While the symptoms and side effects of eating gluten and dairy aren’t as bad as they used to be when my body was just totally overwhelmed, I still feel lighter, healthier, and better in my skin when I leave them out of my diet.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think my body is finally healing a bit. And while I’m seeing progress in how my body can handle them, the truth is that I don’t think that I SHOULD be eating them if they don’t make me feel my best all the time.

What to expect from now on

So that’s what’s been up lately with me. I plan to be back sharing more about what my life and diet are like these days. I’ll share more about what we eat regularly – and how it’s been with my toddler too.

As for my blog and website moving forward, I want to make it clear that I’m going to write from the perspective of someone who is on a journey – and on track to healing from food intolerances. I still plan to eat some cheese and some gluten occasionally, but not as much as I did previously – and I’ll share that progress with you along the way. I hope that you find my transparency helpful as you continue on with your health journey as well.

Wishing you the best,
Rachael

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