The Beginning of How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Mostly Vegan

by Valerie on July 11, 2009 · 6 comments

Update June 2010 – I had originally named this series the Detox Diet Diaries, but my experience with these changes in my diet, while incredibly positive, has made me decide I really do not like the concept of  a detox diet.  It is ironic in that the diet my naturopath put me on was incredibly helpful, and a year later, it has become clear I have non-Celiac gluten intolerance, as well as a strong dairy intolerance.  I continue to avoid all dairy and gluten, as well as other problematic foods such as corn, but have grown to really dislike the concept of “detox” – the term promotes the concept of a quick fix, which is just nonsensical.  I firmly believe that the vast improvements in my heath are based on the long-term changes I made, and want my posts on the experience to convey this.    

No, I am not on the Master Cleanse, or Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cleanse, or Oprah’s cleanse. I promise.

That said, you may have noticed a dearth of cupcake posts on this blog in recent months. For a while, I was just going to hope you didn’t notice, but that didn’t seem fair. Especially, because I have talked to several of you, wonderful readers, over email, twitter and in person, about why there’s been a solid lack of cupcakes, and every single one of you has been supportive and encouraged me to share my story as to what has been going on in my life.

Without going into specifics, I have had several years of not-fun health problems, many of which have required extended periods of antibiotics. I had surgery twice in law school, and once more a couple of years after that. My sinuses have also been a recurring issue, requiring steroid medication as well as antibiotics last year.

By the time my sinuses were finally better at the end of August 2008, I had put on a fair amount of weight fast and had basically no energy. But, I figured regaining balance, healthy eating, lots of sleep and self-care would be positive steps towards regaining my health.

By mid-April of this year, though, despite having lost 40 pounds over 10 months (this would be the steroid weight combined with the post-surgery-recovery weight and the bar exam weight I never peeled off over the last few years) and sleeping 9 hours a night and feeling rested, I just couldn’t seem to regain my footing.

And sure enough, a visit to my GP confirmed I was facing new health problems.

That’s when I decided to go to a naturopathic doctor for a second opinion on everything I was facing now, but also my health history of the last few years.

You see, from the little research I had done, there was the possibility that the common denominator to many of my health problems was food allergies. Unfortunately, none of my allopathic doctors were willing to consider it.

The naturopath I ultimately decided to work with is incredibly kind and sensible in her approach. She very much took a look at my health history in its entirety. We discussed my relationship with food, the fact that I am a firm believer of the 80%/20% eating approach (ie 80% healthy food, 20% less healthy foods like cupcakes). We also discussed how I had stopped drinking milk 2 weeks earlier, and was already feeling a lot more energy. The naturopath put me on a protocol designed specifically for my health issues, including a restricted diet, but eating all real foods, for every meal, and supplements.

It’s not a diet in the celebrity-juice-fast-lose-weight sense, but it is a diet in that what I eat is designed to rid my body of potential allergens, foods that cause inflamations or put extra strains on my organs. Like I said, I debated long and hard before sharing this with all of you. But when I was doing research on this type of process, I did not find many blog posts about regular people who ended up working with a naturopath – except for Stephanie Quilao, who is a phenomenal blogger by the way, and reading about her journey really contributed to my decision to try going to a naturopath – so, with your support, I decided to blog about this.

As for the name, Detox Diet Diaries, it has a slightly light-hearted tone to it, so that’s why I decided on it. 
I am going to keep it as a weekend-only series of posts. Today was the background, tomorrow will be the nuts and bolts and disclaimers on this series, and moving forward I will keep these posts a combination of my experiences and some recipes and foods I discovered along the way. 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel July 13, 2009 at 12:14 am

Please keep us posted! Your blog friends care very very much!


2 Melita July 13, 2009 at 3:07 am

i am glad you decided to share. even if we (your readers) may not have health problems, we can all gain from your knowledge with this situation. we can all pick up tips on healthier eating and try all of the wonderful recipes that you post. cheers to you my friend. and love the "detox diet diaries" title!! genius!


3 City Girl DC July 13, 2009 at 3:40 am

I'm so glad you've decided to share this! I've often considered seeing a naturopathic doctor because I think a lot of ailments today are a result of what we eat especially when I consider my grandmother who grew up on a farm and lived to to be 98 and was always healthy. She relied on natural remedies and only saw a doctor once. Can't wait to read about it and I really hope it helps!


4 Ivy July 13, 2009 at 10:28 am

I believe that we are what we eat and what we put in our bodies has a real impact to our health. Thanks for sharing your experience and maybe this will also help the rest of us, one way or the other.


5 Karley July 13, 2009 at 7:53 pm


I thank you for your openness and for sharing your journey with us.

Take care of yourself!


6 Globetrotting Cacti July 14, 2009 at 9:33 am

Thanks for sharing! I can relate to what you are saying as I had what sounds like similar issues a few years ago…. will e-mail you in the next couple of days with some info that I got. It was determined that I was yeast intolerant…. can not tell you how much better I feel on my new eating plan. Looking forward to reading your posts…


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