Recently I reached out to my Instagram following via Stories and asked my followers to tell me what they wanted to hear more about on Cindy Hattersley. I received an overwhelming amount of responses asking about my diet. What gluten free/dairy free foods I loved and what a typical day looked like. Well I have to start by telling you...I didn't always eat like this.
The year after I graduated from college I started to notice my stomach bothering me more and more. I guess looking back on it now my stomach had always been an issue but we (my parents and I) always chocked it up to normal indigestion, car sickness, etc. It wasn't until Frank and I moved in together at the age of 21 (I know CRAZY!) that he said to me, this isn't normal, I think there is something wrong with your stomach. Well he was right. After 10ish years of suffering I booked an appointment with a gastroenterologist around the corner from our apartment. I told him everything. There wasn't much he could determine from our visit and suggested we move forward with an endoscopy. I was NOT excited about the thought of having a tube stuck down my throat and almost chickened out but with some coaxing from my family I did it. The result was an extremely inflamed stomach and esophagus. The Dr. said if I continued down this road we would be looking at ulcers or even more serious, cancer. I couldn't believe it. I walked out of the office with a prescription for Nexium and that was that. The topic of food was never discussed. I was a healthy eater, salads, fresh fish, little meat, yogurt and fruit for breakfast. I remember that morning grabbing a coffee (with milk) and an egg white sandwich (with cheese) on my home from the appt. It was on multigrain bread so it couldn't be bad for me right?
Fast forward one year and I wasn't getting better...it was actually worse. I was now working in corporate America, stressed, and taking about 4 Nexium a day mixed with other over the counter antacids. And then, a miracle....my Mom who for years has been practicing meditation as a way to relive chronic migraines, suggested I set up an appointment for me to see her guru. Neither of us ever mentioned any health issues to him other than stress. By the end of the session he said to me that he saw I had a blockage in my body and that I should stop eating dairy and gluten. He made a few other suggestions too, no raw nuts, eggs but only a whole egg, and nothing too acidic. I already wasn't eating tomato sauce but his prescription for no cheese meant no more white pizza which was one of my favorites. And so the rest is history...
NOW I will preface the below menu by stating that I am not 100% gluten free/dairy free BUT I have a found a balance that works for me. In terms of dairy I haven't had yogurt, milk, sour cream, or cheeses in the last 8 years. I can eat butter in small amounts and I've probably slipped up and had a piece of cake with one of those ingredients in it. What I believe now is that I have a dairy intolerance. I have also found that when I limit my gluten intake I feel even better and after eating such limited amounts of gluten, if I do have it I get a terrible headache and feel overall malaise. I'm a big believer in the idea that medicine is not always the answer. Don't get my wrong I'll pop a couple of Motrin for a bad headache but I also believe that what you eat plays a HUGE part in your overall health. The changes in my diet have drastically changed the way I feel. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've had reflux in the last 8 years (minus the third trimester of pregnancy which is almost unpreventable) and its all been pill free.
My Monday-Friday Diet
Almond Milk Yogurt (Kite Hill) with Gluten Free Granola and Berries or Banana
Gluten Free Oatmeal with Apples and Dates
Chia Seed Pudding with Almond Milk and Cinnamon
I eat a salad (like the one pictured above) almost every day for lunch. Sometimes I'll have an avocado toast on gluten free bread. If you're local I Organic Pharmer. They're also a great source for gluten free and dairy free options and they ship! I also on occasion get a super food smoothie for Lunch with protein but it doesn't really sustain me for long enough till dinner.
Salmon with Coconut Brown Rice and a Steamed Vegetable (check this Salmon recipe)
Almond Milk Ravioli (Kite Hill) with Sautéed Spinach and Mushrooms
THIS Nicoise Salad
My favorite Gluten Free pasta right now
Recipe Resources - I almost exclusively get my recipes from Goop. I especially love their yearly cleanse recipes. Check out this one call the working girl detox. Although many of them require a variety of spices and condiments, once you stock up you're good to go! Also you can purchase some of the rarer ingredients on their website like this one which I use to make this when I have time!
PS if you're wondering about the cookie in these pictures it represents my VERY BIG sweet tooth. Call it the Belgian blood running through my veins but I'm a dark chocolate addict...like I have to have a piece (or two) a day. I also can't resist a delicious (gluten free) cookie!