When I was a teenager I started getting eczema and dry eyes. As I got older, it got worse. My eczema spread over my body and face. My eyes were red and watery. During university, I started missing classes because the dry eyes were affecting me so much. Every little thing irritated them and made it worse including air conditioning, bright sunlight and heaters.

I went to doctors who referred me to an ophthalmologist. The eye specialist thought I might have blocked tear ducts and did a procedure to see if they were blocked. They were not. I went home disappointed without any answers for the cause.

I searched the internet for answers but could not find any.

I mentioned my symptoms to a pharmacist and she said it sounded like I had dry eyes and recommended eye drops. The drops helped a little but I had to put them in many times during the day to stop the watering. I found out that dry eyes is a result of the body not producing enough oily, moisturising tears so the eyes produce watery tears to compensate. I took fish oil to moisturise my body internally and followed a healthy diet but the dry eyes and eczema continued.

A doctor suggested I have a blood test for coeliac disease.

It showed that I had ‘wheat sensitivity’. I immediately cut out gluten from my diet. This was a big change for me as I had always eaten gluten-containing foods like bread and I loved baking with wheat flour but I soon got used to it. My eczema and dry eyes slowly improved and I didn’t need to use the eye drops anymore. Although at the time I didn’t realise the link. I felt better, less tired and the bloating and gas I used to get (that I thought was normal) also disappeared.

One day I was tempted to eat one of my sister’s biscuits in the cupboard. I didn’t get much bloating straight away so I thought I can eat wheat again! So I reintroduced some gluten-containing foods like wheat back into my diet again. Over the next year, my eyes became irritated again. As it was gradual, I didn’t know what was causing it. But then it clicked. I had begun eating wheat again! I immediately cut it from my diet and my symptoms disappeared. This time it was for good.

I couldn’t believe that all those years I had suffered and been to health professionals looking for complex causes when it was as simple as something I had been eating. Through my research, I have learnt that wheat including whole wheat is a hybridised food. It contains a higher gluten content than in the past and has been stripped of most nutrients through processing. It is very irritating to the gut and is highly allergenic.

Despite being able to tolerate small amounts now after healing my gut, I avoid wheat completely. I have found there are many wheat-free grain alternatives available like rice, millet, quinoa and amaranth that are much gentler on the digestive system.

 

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Are you lactose intolerant?

Do you get bloating and stomach pain after drinking a milkshake? Or have you had mucus or a stuffy nose after eating that piece of cheese or cake? You may be lactose or dairy intolerant and it’s more common than you think. Many people put these common symptoms down as normal and everyone gets them at times or annoying but they haven’t looked into the cause. Or maybe they went to the doctor and the doctor did a check-up but didn’t find any illness or cause. In this article I’m going to explain what is dairy and lactose intolerance, what’s the difference, what are the symptoms and solutions to feeling well again.

What is lactose?

Lactose is the sugar found in all kinds of milk.

What causes lactose intolerance?

Our bodies use an enzyme called lactase to digest lactose. If one doesn’t have enough lactase then the body can’t break down the lactose, causing symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

Continue Reading…

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These lamb steaks are so quick to make, great for a healthy mid-week dinner for busy individuals and the combination of spices and lemon give a delicious burst of flavour. They are gluten-free if using spices that don’t contain fillers. We cooked these on the barbeque and didn’t marinate them but if you have time, you can prepare and leave them to marinate beforehand.

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 x lamb steaks
  • 1 x tbs coriander
  • 1 x tbs cumin
  • 1 x tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 x tsp sea salt
  • 2 x tbs lemon infused olive oil
  • extra olive oil for frying (if using fry pan)

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to lamb steaks and massage in until well-combined.
  2. Heat olive oil in a frying pan or cook on a barbeque until cooked to your liking. Serve hot.

Enjoy with steamed or roasted vegetables.

 

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Ever wondered if there’s a healthier alternative to sugar? More people are realising the negative effects sugar has on their health. Sugar is a major cause of disease in the Western world and is highly addictive. It is well-worth training yourself to eat less sweetened food so that you can enjoy the flavour of natural foods. However, that doesn’t happen straight away for many people and it’s great to have an alternative sweetener on hand for special occasions. This article discusses the benefits of using xylitol instead of sugar.

So what is xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol derived from birch trees, corn and some fruits. Despite the name, sugar alcohol doesn’t contain sugar or the alcoholic beverage! It contains a sugar molecule and an alcohol molecule. Sugar alcohols do not contain fructose or glucose. The natural sugar-free sweeteners I prefer to use are xylitol, mannitol and sorbitol.

The following are benefits of using xylitol in place of sugar:

  1. It looks like regular sugar and has the same sweetness so it can be substituted directly for sugar in cooking and baking.
  2. It doesn’t contain fructose or glucose like most other sweeteners except the sugar alcohols.
  3. It doesn’t spike blood sugar levels.
  4. It is much lower in calories than sugar so it is better for weight loss and maintenance.
  5. It is antibacterial and doesn’t contribute to tooth decay because oral bacteria can’t feed on it like sugar.

The downsides to xylitol are that it can have a laxative effect on some people so use minimally. It is dangerous to dogs so keep anything with xylitol away from them! Make sure your xylitol says GM free as corn is often genetically modified.

Like all sweeteners, even the natural ones, they keep the sugar craving and taste alive. However, when enjoyed in occasional treats, it’s a great alternative to sugar. Xylitol can be purchased online from sites like iherb, as well as in health stores.

Read more about xylitol here. https://goo.gl/Ttqwpw

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