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Gluten Free: The New Way To Be!

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Patient Corner

Gluten Free Eating

By Janice P. Jenkins, Patient
@ Acupuncture & Holistic Health Center, Jacksonville


As a two-time cancer survivor, my body is riddled with scar tissue, a permanent result from the many operations I endured during my fight with the disease. It wasn’t until I was admitted into the hospital nine months ago, with a bowel obstruction from severe inflammation, accompanied with an NG tube in my nose/throat/stomach for nine days, did I realize the severity of the situation. Paralyzed with fear that this would be a recurring nightmare, I reached out to Dr. Michael Kowalski A.P., in the hopes he could help me. He immediately placed me on a gluten-free diet, which was the start of a new, life-saving journey.

I know many people who have Celiac Disease, an autoimmune digestive ailment, who must avoid foods containing gluten. I never thought I could be “one of them” but now I am, and you can be as well! Becoming gluten-free was such an easy transition for me and one I completely embraced. It takes a strong mind set and determination to change what one would consider a comfortable routine into a life style change. Within days I felt like a new person. I had more energy, less bloating and flatulence, decreased hot flashes, slept more soundly, and a persistent heel itch on my right heel subsided. It was a no-brainer…why wouldn’t I want to continue eating gluten-free?

Publix, Target and ALDI, just to name a few stores, have aisles and freezers full of gluten-free products, making it incredibly easy to shop. I am always finding new items and look forward to trying them, adding to my already long list of items to choose from. I have always eaten healthy, so I was still able to eat many of the meals I considered favorites. Instead of eating a sugary, glutened piece of dessert, I substitute with a bowl of fresh strawberries and blueberries with a dollop of fat-free cool whip, and satisfy my sweet tooth without the guilt.

If you really can’t forego that piece of cake, cookie or brownie, there are many brands of gluten-free mixes that can satisfy those salivating taste buds. Many restaurants offer a gluten-free menu, so I always ask. If they do not, I ask the Chef to create a special menu for me and, worse-case scenario, I order a salad, which can be just as satisfying.

I never feel sorry for myself or deprived in any way. I am alive, literally and figuratively, and feel very blessed to have found a solution to my years of agony. I have become an advocate to many and helped them through their transitions, all of which have been success stories. Just remember…you can do anything you set your mind to, so try it!

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