I met Alesha over the summer and we immediately began to speak about our love of health and nutrition with each other. After quickly speaking with her, I learned about her struggles with a problem that many people do not know anything about. I asked her to write a blog post about her struggles because I know there are other people like Alesha who could feel better, but did not know what was wrong to correct it. She had seen doctors but never got a diagnosis as to what was wrong with her. If it was up to the doctors she would still be feeling awful. Luckily for Alesha, she was able to get a diagnosis that fixed all of her eating issues. She now is working on making a name for herself in the nutrition world and hopes to help children everywhere to eat healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or comment on this blog to reach out to Alesha.
My name is Alesha Lazan. I found out I was gluten intolerant in March 2011. It changed my life! Ever since I could remember I have been struggling with exhaustion and stomach pains. My parents took me to different doctors who could not find anything wrong with me. All they would tell me was it was anxiety related. In March, I started working for a nutritionist who took me on as a client. He put me on a program, which consisted of eliminating all allergenic foods for two weeks such as gluten, dairy, and soy. After two weeks you start introducing foods back into your diet. As soon as I introduced gluten back into my diet it was all over! I felt miserable like I have for many years. Within two weeks I found out I had intolerance to gluten. I have been pain free for 6 months now with more energy I could have ever imagined!
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are two different things. Gluten intolerance can be defined as an allergy to gluten and non-autoimmune condition in which the consumption of gluten can lead to symptoms such as stomach pains, constipation, diarrhea, etc- Celiac disease is an autoimmune illness of the small intestine. It affects the digestive system when food-containing gluten is ingested.
Gluten means anything that has rye, barley, wheat, oats- there is also a huge hidden ingredients list you can find on the celiac website. So what I had to cut out of my diet was pretty extreme. Bread, pastas, cake, cookies, pizza, anything breaded and the list goes on. Fortunately, there are A LOT of gluten free options. I still eat all of those things, but the gluten free version, which is surprisingly very tasty! As I am writing this blog, I am actually munching on gluten free pretzels! You can find gluten free food and snacks at Shop Rite, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes- pretty much anywhere now days! Even pizza places are making gluten free pizza!!
I understand the struggle to stay completely gluten free when everything in the world contains gluten! I want to help educate people and give them the tools they need to become successful in living a gluten free lifestyle.
Please don’t hesitate to respond! I would love to hear from other people with stories like my own!
Alesha Lazan graduated in May 2010 with a BS in Health Sciences from Monmouth University. I am currently enrolled in a health coaching certification program as well as going for my Masters in Human Nutrition. I have a passion to work and educate children about health and nutrition as well as the gluten intolerant community.