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    Shocked By What I Saw

    Well, it’s official. Our genetically engineered food has perhaps claimed another victim. At the age of 31, I have suddenly developed an extreme allergy.

    It all started a few months ago when I began randomly breaking out in hives. At the time, I thought it was stress and wrote it off. But, as time went on, it got worse and worse. While there was an ebb and flow to their severity, they never quite went away. Oddly enough, they always got worse after exercise.

    The final straw came last Monday after a 30 mile bicycle ride. As soon as I finished, I could tell my face felt different. I knew it was hives, but it wasn’t until I got home and Jamie basically flipped out that I realized how bad it was. Looking in the mirror, I was shocked by what I saw.

    I found my answer on familydoctor.org, “In some people, eating certain foods before exercise may make allergic symptoms more likely to occur.” Knowing I had eaten bread at dinner, Jamie exclaimed, “I think you have a gluten allergy, James!” To test the hypothesis, we agreed I would steer clear of gluten for the rest of the week and then have some for “The Feast” on Sunday, which is the weekly meal where I enjoy all the foods I don’t eat Monday through Saturday.

    Throughout the week, the answer became evident. By Friday, my hives were completely gone and I was springing out of bed with more energy than I’ve had in years. But, I wanted to be sure…and I really wanted some refined flour for The Feast.

    Yesterday, some friends from Church invited us to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch after Mass. For the most part, I ate a lot of corn, but my burrito was made of two flour tortillas. The reaction was nearly immediate. As we walked out of the restaurant, I could feel the itchiness setting in and by the time we got home, it was a full-blown break-out. All this from two little flour tortillas.

    So, there you have it. It’s a brave, new world. From this day forward, I’m gluten-free. I’m not going to start pushing it as an integral part of the lifestyle I teach to others known as “The Good Life Diet” because I think that’s a bit much to ask of people out of the gate. However, I will be amending the “Whole Grains” section of my forthcoming e-book Feast Your Way To Fit! An Eater’s Guide To The Good Life Diet to accommodate people like myself.

    Oddly enough, this has turned into a great lesson in patience with the process. I’ve been eager to launch my new brand for 8 months and everything is taking much longer than I had hoped. But, this new knowledge about myself and (unfortunately) a growing segment of the population, only strengthens The Good Life Diet, giving it a much broader reach.

    If you’re currently working toward a goal, but are frustrated with the time it’s taking to accomplish, that’s perfectly understandable. We all wish our goals were accomplished yesterday. But, as long as you’re taking positive action every day, be thankful for what you’ve already accomplished, and know your goals will be fulfilled when the timing is right. As the old saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

    ~James H.
    Austin, Texas