I was actually going to start this blog writing about sugar, because sugar is nearly everywhere like pollen in spring, and to be honest, it has the potential of being just as addictive as cocaine and alcohol. I recently cut sugar out of my life, and boom! My skin cleared up as if I had been spending loads of refreshing time in the steam shower. But alas, I like talking about the gut even more! After all, It all starts in the gut. So, for this first post, gut it is.
The gut is so-to-speak our first brain. Whatever we put in our mouths, gets processed by our gut and signals how to handle the information...where to store things like vitamins, proteins, nutrition etc.
3 Days ago, spring arrived. My girlfriend and I had just finished a short 4k run and we were off to buy a new coffee table, when she asked to detour a bit and get some ice-cream from the most infamous ice-cream manufacturers in town!
NOTE: I thought to myself, "Ok, I normally don't have ice-cream! especially not after a run", but, "sure, live a little Adina!".
We stood in line sandwiched between gaggles of Italians, groups of kids, and inpatient locals way to eager to get their scoop, and I thought, "Adina, you don't even eat ice cream!"... "But they have sorbet" ... "ok, fine, I can have a scoop of sorbet". This internal dialogue was exactly why I decided to have an ice-cream. For all of the strict rules I have with my lifestyle, I like to allow lenience. I need it. So off we went, my girlfriend with her Matcha and Salted Caramel and me with my Dark Chocolate and Passion Fruit Sorbet. It was sweet I'll tell ya.
1 hour later. My body crashed. I had not felt more exhausted than I did in that moment for months! I told my girlfriend I was too exhausted to do anything and immediately fell asleep on the sofa. The next day, I woke up with a splitting headache and a very strangely gurgling stomach. "ok, the ice-cream must have had gluten in it" I thought to myself. As an extremely gluten intolerant chic, I am sometimes too relaxed to double & triple check these extremely small yet crucial details.
Now, the thing is, the headache and the gurgling stomach was just the beginning of a longer gut panic attack! I could feel my gut screaming at me "what are you doing Adina? How am I going to digest this?" And I could feel my body shutting down.
1. The first sign for me is always the headache. It always starts in the back of my eye. I call it "the gluten headache". Sometimes a bit of peppermint oil on my temples alleviates the pain but no pain-killer relieves "the gluten headache". "The gluten headache" is like an early-rising construction site. At first, all you hear are mild sounds, and then by a certain hour, its full blown banging and drilling as if directly into your brain!
2. Then the stomach ache. It starts mild, the feeling right before you have to go take a poop, but the feeling never goes away. Its as if I was pregnant, but filled with gas and indigestion; farting, burping on the minute every minute, acid reflux to the point of vomiting, and pain so sharp in my gut that it feels like someone is carving at it with a butchers knife. When I was a kid, before I found out I was food-sensitive, this used to happen to me relentlessly and my sisters used to tell me that I have a 'party in my stomach'.
3. Then comes the deep dark mood and foggy brain- my girlfriend even looked at the date to see if I was expecting my period soon. And I, unable to focus on anything productive- kinda just sat around on standby.
It took about 3 days to feel 'me' again. This is all just to stay, our gut IS indeed our first brain and listening to our first intuitional, gut feeling is always the right voice to listen to. It controls how we feel, how we act, and even how we think! Do you think I'm going to shut my internal dialogue off and eat sorbet without finding out if it's gluten free again?