Here's a personal question. Have you ever been constipated for a week? How about for up to 4 days on a regular (oh the irony) basis? I have. And it's horrible. Admittedly, this isn't the nicest or most popular of discussions, but it's something that has recently led to me making a lifestyle change. To put it bluntly, I had no choice. After years of putting up with very irregular 'movements', feeling knackered all the time, getting random rashes, feeling bloated & more recently having sore chapped lips for a whole ruddy month, I'd had enough.
Let's go back to the start. About 5 years ago, I had tests for a whole host of ailments that led to a ultrasound on my stomach. Having been told I had a 'sluggish left gut', the advice was to follow a gluten free diet. I tried, managed it for a bit and felt great for it, then fell face first into a large Meat Feast Pizza. Then I dived into a big dirty cake, before topping it off with MANY Chinese takeaways, and Pies. Pie. God, I bloody love Pie. I knew full well my body, and gut, utterly repelled gluten. But, because I'm a massive foodie, & a total pig, this knowledge was stuffed to the back of my greedy little mind & replaced with gluten engorged feasts. Sometimes, guilt would creep in & I'd stick, for random periods of time, to a gluten free diet. Pasta was a total no go zone, and on the rare occasions I allowed myself bread, it was only a small amount, for example at the start of a meal on holiday. However, for some stupid reason, earlier this year I started eating more bread, even more cake and finally allowed myself some Tagliatelle. Big mistake. HUGE.
I didn't go for almost a week. The stomach cramps were awful, I felt terrible & no amount of sleep was enough. Then came the rashes & chapped lips. The worst part of it was having to explain my predicament to my new, super hot boyfriend. The conversation went something like this - 'Yeah, so we can't go to our favourite BBQ place anymore...' 'Why?' 'BECAUSE I HAVEN'T HAD A C**P FOR A WEEK'. Oh the shame. The pure, unadulterated, excruciating embarrassment. Hell, if I'd had a sandpit, I'd've made like an Ostrich and buried my head in it. Thankfully his reaction, after the initial 'Ewwwwww', was actually rather wonderful. 'Well, if you can't eat gluten then I won't either'. Super cute eh? He's a keeper.
Since then, I've stuck to a totally gluten free diet. I'm not going to pretend to like it. I don't. I miss Spring Rolls and Cheese & Ham Croissants in a major way. Gluten free equivalents of my favourite foods are ok, and I applaud their very existence, but it's just not the same. There's still lots to try though, so you never know! Was it the right thing to do though? Absolutely. 100 per cent. The positives far outweigh the negative. The chapped lips have healed, the skin rashes haven't returned, my sleeping pattern is much better, I don't bloat and I have so much more energy! The best part of it all? I'm no longer constipated. I go every single day. Sometimes TWICE. Forgive me if that sounds crass, but it makes me feel better than any bowl of Tagliatelle ever could.