Saturday, March 29, 2014

Entering a new "Quest". Bye Bye Whey .... for now!

Hey Fit Fam,

As I walked through Whole Foods the other night ... I relived the exact feeling I did in 2006.
I turned over boxes and packaging and it was if all the words were blurring together - I was panicking.

Those of you that follow my blog or any of my socials know that I have Celiac Disease. When I was diagnosed 8 years ago it was still so foreign. I was vegetarian, so almost very single thing I ate on a daily basis contained Gluten. Most companies weren't on the "gluten free bandwagon" yet and those that were pretty much just sole packaged and processed .. crap. I remember leaving the store with maybe 3 items in my bag and cried the entire way home. Today's trip to the grocery story wasn't much different.

For medical reasons (which I will explain in brief below) I have a new restriction ... Dairy. Thankfully this is very temporary. I only need to go off of it (cold) for one month. That is 30 days. 43,200 minutes. 2592000 seconds.  Yes ... I am counting. Yes ... I am being a tad dramatic, lol.  I mean, is it THAT big of a deal to not eat dairy ... no absolutely not. I already drink Almond Milk instead of regular milk ... use Soy Creamer instead of dairy creamer .. rarely eat cheese and when I do it's just a little bit of Feta. However many of the random stuff I eat contained it and I didn't even realize. For example ... those of you that really follow me or know me know that eating "clean" and fitness are two of my top priorities. Not only because I want to live a healthy lifestyle but because I am hoping to become a NPC Competitor .. with my first show in June (I may wait until August). Whey Protein is an essential part of my diet. I would say it's in 3 of the "meals" I eat each day.  Guess what? Whey contains milk .. so that is now off limits. There are plenty of other protein sources ... but they just honestly are NOT nearly as good. I am also traveling for work a lot so I rely even more on many of my "bars". This was very hard for me. Not to mention almost every soy, pea, vegan, rice protein I have come across is much higher in macros (carbs/cals/sugar/fat) than what I've been accustomed to and again ... not nearly as tasty. The biggest disappointment for me was I can't have my beloved Quest Bars. They take me to a happy place every night, lol!

I got up today with a positive attitude. I found a couple brands of protein powder that will work to use in my shakes. I even realized that a few of the About Time samples the company sent me are also Dairy Free! I have found that their VE line is as good as your gonna get. Still tastes "earthy" .. But better than any of the others I tried (Vega, etc). Not to mention it's an extremely CLEAN protein (All you syntha ppl. Please do your research. Not all protein is equal) and not as pricey as some others. So any of y'all out there needing Vegan protein. That's the one I have found! Make sure you get the one that says VE at the end. They have a Whey one (Which is delicious btw) and the packaging looks the same. I like the chocolate, with a little PB2, almond milk and sometimes 1/2 a banana. Vanilla one has same ingredients plus some cocoa. So probably better to buy the Vanilla if you aren't set on Chocolate. But again. I do not recommend anything but Whey (if possible) if you are training. I already have noticed some loss in muscle mass (but I also wasn't getting in enough protein because I was trying so hard to find one I liked).

Also .. in desperation of finding anything to replace my nightly Quest bars .. I decided to try to heat up my About Time bars (they are structured in a way they can be heated .. unlike MOST that can not). I drizzled some Peanut Butter on top .. and ya know what .. it was pretty darn good!!! The biggest downfall in those (compared to Quest) is that they are high sugar and higher carb. ALL the sugars are natural and from fruit, etc., but it's still not ideal if your goals are to avoid excess sugar, etc. Especially since I like to do these at night before bed!  So I'm basically just having to cut out bars for now :(  I also found a new Starbucks drink (was gonna have to give up my old one for prep anyway). 

My beloved Oat creation isn't happening right now. None of the vegan protein mixes well with it. It's so gross. Don't try it, lol! But that is okay. I should be eating egg/egg whites/greens right now anyway. So this will force me into a new breakfast habit :) So .. there it is .. I found my silver lining. But the most important "silver lining" in all of this, is that the reason I am doing this could literally have saved my life in the long run.

As I mentioned....I have Celiac Disease. The only thing you can do is go on a Gluten Free diet. There is literally nothing else. But much research has shown that even after going on a GF diet many Celiacs never fully recover from the damage gluten caused their body over time and damage from Celiac can lead to a host of problems .. including cancer. While I am better...for the past year or so I've just not felt as good as I did when I first went GF. I've had many gastro symptoms, including ones similar to before I was diagnosed. But again .. I'm doing everything MEDICAL doctors say I should be doing. I could go get a "scope" and see if I have damage or even cancerous cells, etc., and I probalby should have. But I was "treating" my Celiac as directed. I was very strict about being Gluten Free. I am not one of those Celiac patients that things it's okay have some here and there. The only time I get any is if it's from cross contamination, by accident, or because a product has more "parts per million" than my body can handle.

Needless to say ... I felt pretty hopeless. Then I met a new friend a few weeks ago while at a work trip. After chatting .. I found out that she is into a very specific type of natural or homeopathic "medicine" (for a lack of better words). Let me start by saying that I don't disagree and I'm not opposed to "medicine or doctors". I am appreciative of all that they do and I thank God for blessing them with knowledge. However lately (and after much research) I had already started looking into more natural ways to treat my body.  When my new friend and I started chatting .. I became more and more interested. She is from Canada and has a friend that is a ShoTai Practitioner. These type of practitioners aren't available in Tennessee. I can't really get into what they do without leaving something out or sounding silly (I'm still learning too) - so the best thing to do is google it. Even then .. it's an experience. No article can really explain what it is they do.

Well ... I was able to see this Practitioner. She happened to be in Nashville for a convention, but wasn't suppose to be back in the U.S. until this Fall. She wasn't even seeing people when she was here (She often sees some friends of my new friend .. when she is in town visiting twice a year). My new friend knew my concerns and they so graciously asked her to see me while she was here this weekend and she agreed! The practitioner did her tests on me and the results were not all that great. I have a lot of negative things going on in my body and it is pretty much all is stemmed from .. you guessed it .. my bowels.

For so many reasons that I can't explain ... I totally feel like meeting this new friend was a God thing. The entire process of her "testing" me was such a spiritual feeling for me. While many would be skeptics .. I feel good about this. I mean .. I can't lose!!!! Medically there is nothing else for me. I literally can NOT do anything else different. Naturally .. the way people treated themselves for years before modern medicine ... there are tons of things.  I have been put on 4 different herbs and will add one more in two months. As mentioned .. I have also been taken off Dairy for one month and certain caffeine sources for 4 months (Thankfully I can still have my coffee and tea ... which is all I have besides water anyway).

So there ya go .... in short this explains my new "quest" :)  RIP Quest Bars, all other bars I love and Whey Protein .. I'll see ya in a month when my "gut" heals enough to where I can welcome you back ... with open arms :)

Stacy :)


  1. Hi, thanks for all the great info here. I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and I use cellucor. I am curious to know if you still use it. They say it doesn't contain gluten, but it is manufactured whet it can be cross contaminated with wheat. I love cellucor :-( Thoughts?

  2. Hey "anonymous" -- I only used Cellucor early on in my training. Most the flavors that I would love to have are NOT gluten free. I have since switched to only doing 1stPhorm, Intek or Muscle Sport International ... which all have GF protein powders!