Written by Christa Collie, our Cheerleading Superhero. Check out her full bio below!
My journey in healthy living has been a long, drawn out one. It came to a real crossroads when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease eleven years ago. I’ve learned many lessons since.
At the time I couldn’t tell you what that diagnosis meant, and neither could my doctor. I was on my own. All I can remember is that I was relieved that I could have at least one of my all-time favorite foods: chips. And boy did I ever enjoy them; by the large bagfuls in one sitting, day after day. My life revolved around food, and not in a healthy, mindful way.
Whenever I could I’d cheat on my supposed gluten-free diet; pizza, beer, you name what I missed the most, and I cheated with it. Thankfully, early into my self-destructive behavior I learned that it was just not worth it. I never had immediate reactions when I cheated, so it almost gave me ‘permission’ even though I was doing the damage inside. I didn’t like having rules, eating out with friends was such a hassle when I couldn’t eat a thing. There were no substitutes, options, and no one understood what I was going through. As far as any ‘gluten-free food’, all I had was gritty corn pasta. Gluten-free has come a long way, but it still has farther to go.
I wasn’t the only one longing for just a taste of the food I missed. So many that have been diagnosed choose to be sick and continue damaging to their bodies because they simply can’t handle the fact that they can’t eat whatever the heck they want. They end up medicating themselves to deal with the symptoms because they don’t want to give up or sacrifice anything if it means limiting their lifestyle. Knowing what I know now, this saddens me. The decision to move away from the ‘label’ of gluten-free has actually liberated me, instead of hindering me. I’m sure you’re wondering, what in the world does that mean?
Recently I’ve been hearing quite a bit of controversy over gluten free labeling, people being ‘glutened’ and getting sick. Restaurants wanting to cash in on the gluten-free ‘fad’ (don’t even get me started on that one). While I get the issue and appreciate those who fight for our rights as Celiacs for proper FDA approval in mainstream foods, and appreciate that restaurants want to broaden their clientele; we’re missing out on one thing...
Plants, seeds, beans, many grains, are naturally gluten-free. Making my meals from scratch using local farmers’ produce, eliminates the question of what exactly is in my food. Ever since I experienced the Fab Uplift Detox, my whole world has changed and my eating lifestyle (not ‘diet’) reflects that. I’m done with trying to figure out chemically ridden labels (have you seen gluten-free ‘food’ labels??). I don’t find pleasure in scouring over ingredients to make sure I know what each one is derived from, and what it came into contact with.
I choose to use that time to make real food.
I choose to spend that time in the kitchen creating beautiful meals that I can be proud of and want to share with the ones I love.
I choose to heal my body, not harm it, with food.
I choose to have no labels.
Believe me, I don’t have all the answers. I’m still learning. That’s what makes me stronger. I have become someone I never thought I would be, and it will only get better.
After completing Meghan’s Fab Uplift Detox twice, Christa has become an ambassador of clean, whole and delicious foods. She is a dedicated advocate of this lifestyle on Twitter and you will find her doing all she can to motivate others around her to healthy living. Christa is the blissfully happy wife to Marc, loves Hawaii, beaching, mountain adventuring and playing in the ocean. She writes to us from her Calgary kitchen. You can find her blogging here or on Twitter here.