Gluten-Free Me

Nikki Di Virgilio~ writer, mother, wife, authentic-self seeker & gluten-free eater (except on some weekends)

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~Buddha

I focus primarily on the health of my soul (check out my other blog, The Soul Reporter). In doing so, I often forget about the health of my body, believing if my soul is healthy, then so is my body. But, like an orchestra needing all musicians playing their part, along with a conductor guiding the way, we need all parts of ourselves to be healthy, and we are the conductors guiding the way toward a harmonious life experience.

I discovered how food affected my body, when I went to a nutritionist who told me, after telling her my symptoms, to give up gluten, dairy and soy. I didn’t even know what gluten was, but I soon discovered all three of these ingredients are in almost everything, especially packaged and processed foods. The more I educated myself, the more engaged I became. I understood why my body was feeling so sick because it was getting too darn much of this stuff. Gluten is even in some soft drinks. My body needed a break.

For the first few months, I stayed away from all dairy and gluten, and tried to stay away from soy the best I could, but to find anything without soy is difficult. Within a couple of weeks, the bloat began to fade. The fog in my head lifted and the PMS symptoms of irritability, (which is displayed in this photo. Even though I attempted a smile, I was so miserable) began to be less angry.

Gluten Me

As I became less angry, I became more smiley. You can see in this photo, I am genuinely happy- even while vacuuming. I feel light. I glow. The fat is melting off my body.

This feeling was addicting. I wanted to expand in it further. It was the juice that kept me going in what was supposed to be a difficult transition.

Gluten-Free Me

People wondered how I gave up bread. How, an Italian couldn’t eat pasta. All I had to do was remember how crappy I felt and nothing in me wanted bread or pasta or cake.

And then…

Gluten Me

…I discovered gluten-free packaged items, restaurants with gluten-free menus, bakeries with gluten-free cookies and cakes and gluten-free flour and started baking my own bakery goods. My deprived sweet tooth was relieved. My palate had enough of salmon, chicken, and vegetables, and it wasn’t impressed with my dessert of green tea. I still felt good, but the weight stopped coming off.

It was sad….

Gluten-Free Me

…because it’s fun to feel pretty. It’s different to feel sexy. I was used to hiding behind my bloat and feeling crappy. In this photo, I felt fun and sexy.  I was loving myself.  My features stood out and were no longer hidden behind the double chin and chubby cheeks.

I want her back, and I thought when….

Gluten Me

…I moved to California, she’d return to shine with all the other bright beautiful people in LA. They ate healthy in LA, right? And for sure they were up on the gluten thing? But, instead of seeing markets with fresh fruits and vegetables and groceries and restaurants accommodating to gluten-free eating, I saw donut shops and cheeseburger spots on every corner. I love donuts and cheeseburgers and I had to see how good they were.

At first it wasn’t so bad. I’d eat a donut on Monday, then not eat another one until next Monday. Then, I started eating one on Wednesdays and Saturdays and before I knew it, I was back on gluten. I gave space again to yes, and eating fried dough became easy.

Overtime, I started feeling like shit. I was getting fat. My face began to hide behind my chubby cheeks and double chin. My skin began to dull. My body ached and felt weak. I was having trouble breathing. And I was depressed. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

I blamed my soul. Something deeper inside was wrong. I hadn’t cleared an old belief, or released an old feeling. Seriously, it did not occur to me it was the food I was eating. But there I am, below, back to the bloat, standing on the beach at Santa Monica. I’ve got gluten written all over my face- and body.

Gluten-Free Me

Now, I am back to eating well and I have learned by “relapsing” my body is truly unhappy on gluten. In fact, like my blog suggests, it’s damn angry. I can feel my body being beat down by it, trying to stay healthy, but by continuing to ingest an allergen that makes my body sick and toxic, my body loses and so does everything else in my life. I lose interest in my work, my family, my life. But…

…when I give up gluten, my body relaxes. It is less angry. It isn’t in attack and defend mode. All is well. To stay well, and on track, I have created this blog. It is shared with the intention of providing encouragement and information for an important piece of our inner orchestration- the health of the body, and the overall harmony within ourselves.

Gluten, and any food substance that is not real, that is a filler, a chemical, a substitute for real food cannot bring harmony. It bring chaos. In chaos it is difficult to see and experience who we really are.

That girl, right there- she feels good. And she intends to feel even better.

Gluten Free Me

In light, love & health,

Nikki

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