Hate to cook? Love to eat junk food? Feel like shit? Join the club.

Throughout my life, I ate lots of pasta, fast foods, and cereals, all foods wrought with gluten.

As a youngster, I had terrible belly aches, memory recall trouble, hyperactivity, and extreme fatigue. In my 20s, new problems began: migraines, blisters on my gums, hypoglycemia, abdominal spasms, severe abdominal pain, unending gas, disorientation, and extreme moods.

I desperately sought answers and tried all kinds of “healthy” diets, which intensified my problems because they usually included whole grains, soy, and wheat.

Celiac Disease sufferers have a smattering of seemingly unrelated disturbing symptoms, but the truth is, they all relate back to what you eat.

After countless doctor visits and ill-advised drugs, only one doctor set me on the right path in my mid-twenties. “I think you might have an auto-immune disease,” he said and sent me to a specialist.

The specialist tested my blood and I tested positive for an auto-immune disease, but negative for the six most commonly occurring ones. She said, “There are about 200 kinds of auto-immune diseases with similar symptoms. You just have to keep note of your symptoms. As you get older, you will get more and worse symptoms, then we can narrow it down and figure out what you have.”

Five years later, after much suffering and increasing symptoms, I read an article in a health magazine by a woman like me with all the same symptoms, it was about Celiac Disease. Following her instruction on how to live gluten-free (no white flour, wheat, barley, or rye products), after a lifetime of expensive doctor visits, unnecessary and ineffective drugs, all my very serious and painful problems vanished in one week!

With people who have Celiac Disease, an auto-immune disease, the gluten in foods triggers the white blood cells to attack the healthy cells along the digestive tract, breaking the cells open and damaging them from the mouth all the way through the other end.

Food nutrients are then not absorbed properly in the intestines, which causes malnutrition — the lack of nutrients causes low blood sugar — the hypoglycemia causes migraines, depression, disorientation, extreme irritability, and frustration.

Children (and adults) may be well-behaved, thoughtful, intelligent one minute, and then 10 minutes later, they become a complete incoherent monster due to complications with blood sugar.

Avoiding gluten, corn syrup, added meat growth hormones, and genetically modified foods may be important to anyone who has Celiac Disease, Diabetes, Hypoglycemia, Migraines, Chronic Inflammation, Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Arthritis, ADD, ADHD, Fibromyalgia (mysterious pain), Autism, Mood Disorders, Grain Allergies, frequent tummy aches, or tantrums.

With a devoted effort to avoiding gluten, most people report a life-changing reduction in pain and of unpleasant physical symptoms.

If you think you might be suffering from Celiac Disease or an intolerance to gluten, the first step is to cut out the gluten. This takes determined vigilance to read all the ingredients, understand them, and avoid them.

For the first test week, I advise not eating out in restaurants and only eating fresh foods without ingredients to have a true gluten-free week (like nuts, veggies, fish, chicken). If you feel better in your body and mind, great! You are on the right track.

Eating gluten-free meals every 3-5 hours, you will find your moods stabilize, your memory recall improves dramatically, your thinking abilities to clear, and no more farting or physical pain!

AVOID: Anything with white flour (pastries, breads, pizza, cookies), wheat, barley, or rye has gluten in it. Many consider soy and oats gluten-free, but my body reacts negatively to them, so I avoid those as well. Avoid soy sauce in Asian cuisines, it is made from wheat! Chinese, Italian, and American food restaurants have tons of gluten in their foods. Soups may have flour as a thickener. BEER, for me, was the worst!!!

SEEK: Eat fresh organic whole foods that you can see what they are naturally, like salads (without croutons), fish, vegetables, and chicken. The safest carbohydrate grain alternatives are rice and corn. Thai and Mexican restaurants can be the safest places for dining out; make sure to order foods with rice, rice noodles, or corn tortillas, and you should be ok. Olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper are great simple gluten-free seasonings for almost any meal. Click here to read about gluten-free alcohols.

Strive for fresh organic raw foods. 

The healthiest gluten-free diet resembles the Zone Diet or the Cave Man, high in gluten-free proteins (meats/nuts) and vegetables, avoiding foods that are processed, genetically modified, high in sugar, carbs, and flour-made.

As you will see on my site, I still have a naughty sweet tooth and not the healthiest diet, although it is at least without the pain from gluten now.  Strive for organic non-gmo gluten-free flours when baking cookies and cakes.

New tasty gluten-free products are popping up everyday.

Lots of new foods say GLUTEN FREE and they are not! Or they sure don’t feel like it to my gut. They may be tainted by wheat in the factory or have soy or oats or some other ingredient to which you personally are sensitive. Make sure to read the ingredients when you buy a new product. Each individual person has their own unique set of foods that do not feel good. Avoiding ALL flour-based and packaged foods is really important at first. Then you start introducing ingredients back into your life one day at a time to see which ones do not work for you.

Boxed processed foods with a list of ingredients will never be as healthy as fresh simple foods pulled out of the ground or off a tree.

I encourage you to make the diet changes you can endure at a rate you can manage.

To start, to see if gluten is your problem, you have to be strict your first two weeks — no gluten, no processed foods! Stick to greens and gluten-free proteins, no mystery sauces.

Change how you eat and you will change your life, that’s a fact.