Woman's World

“Aches, pain and swelling— gone!”

When Mary Creel eliminated gluten from her diet to support her sister, who has celiac disease, she never imagined that she’d end up feeling younger, stronger and better than ever!

- — Alexandra Pollock

— William Davis, M.D. “Every human being—without exception— develops adverse effects to gluten”

Mary Creel took her sister’s hand in hers and squeezed. “Don’t worry,” the 55-year-old Birmingham, Alabama, resident soothed. Just days before, her sister, who had suffered with digestive issues for years, had been diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which the ingestion of the wheat protein gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. Though Mary had tested negative for the genetic disease herself, as she listened to how her sister would need to eliminate all gluten from her diet, Mary made a decision. “I’ll do it with you,” she assured. And as her sister squeezed her hand back, Mary smiled, unaware that her own life was about to change forever too.

A surprising shift

Ever since she was in her 20s, Mary had been an avid runner and even participat­ed in marathons well into her 40s. But after she turned 50, the painful arthritis in her knee flared, threatenin­g to slow her down. Maybe getting rid of gluten will help with the pain, Mary mused. Though she’d always tried to eat healthy, Mary knew the diet change wouldn’t be easy. So she started by making small adjustment­s like swapping her morning bagel for fresh fruit and a hard-boiled egg. At first, she missed the wheatbased foods she loved, like ciabatta bread, but she soon grew to love filling gluten-free grains like quinoa and brown rice. And after a few weeks, Mary felt different…and better! “I didn’t realize how gluten was affecting my health until I stopped eating it—no more headaches or stomachach­es like I used to get, and I have more energy than ever!” she shared with her sister, whose digestive issues had also eased. “Even the inflammati­on in my knee has gone down—i feel like I can do anything now!”

Finding true freedom

Mary felt so great, she made her gluten-free diet a permanent lifestyle, and after a few Mary, a lifelong runner, is running stronger and better than ever at 64 years old years, she did something that truly amazed her. Mary, who had participat­ed in marathons throughout her 50s, decided to enter the Ironman Triathlon at 61 years old.

I can’t believe I did it! she thought as she crossed the finish line after swimming 2.4 miles, biking for 112 miles, then running for 26.2 more. “I had so much endurance and determinat­ion, and I did it,” Mary beams. “I never expected to be able to complete an Ironman in my 40s, let alone now!”

Today, with the help of her trainer and an online program called emeals (emeals.com), which helps her plan each gluten-free meal ahead of time, Mary has completed more than 63 marathons, and the 64-year-old shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. “I’m amazed by what my body has been able to do by eating this way!” Mary smiles. “No more aches, creaks or inflammati­on, and I’m performing better than ever. Going gluten-free helped me achieve everything I ever dreamed of.”

 ??  ?? “I didn’t realize how gluten was affecting my health until I stopped eating it!” Mary says
“I didn’t realize how gluten was affecting my health until I stopped eating it!” Mary says
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States