Gluten-Free Almond & Buckwheat Flour Pizza Crust

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IMG 2245 2 thumb   Gluten Free Almond & Buckwheat Flour Pizza Crust

Hi, it’s me and a gazillion letters of text!

You may have noticed that I’ve been making a lot more gluten-free recipes over the past couple of weeks and I thought I would talk about why I’ve been doing this.

It’s sort of a long story!

Luckily, I’m jacked up on caffeine right now.

I’ve been experiencing some strange health symptoms over the past 4-6 weeks. For example, I’ve had bad stomach bloating to the point where I look 6 months pregnant (I’m not). I’ve always had bloating on and off all my life, but this is much worse than the normal bloating I’ve experienced in the past. I’m also experiencing bad stomach pains in my abdomen area, round-the-clock lower back pain, fatigue, and pressure in my pelvic area, among other things. The pain in my abdomen and lower pelvic area gets much worse after eating and I often feel really full after eating a normal-sized meal. Lately, I’ve been waking up with mild stomach pain too.

Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (which I’ve mentioned on the blog a while back) and for most of my life I’ve struggled with stomach pain, headaches, and GI discomfort on and off. My stomach is very sensitive to certain foods like dairy, nuts, soy, and beans. I never really know how it is going to react. Sometimes a handful of raw almonds can set it off with pains, while other times it’s fine. IBS is also strongly associated with our emotions, so it’s not surprising that my anxiety manifests itself through my stomach and digestive system.

Since I’m divulging my life story, another thing I’ve struggled with health-wise is my reproductive system. Specifically, my ovaries.

In 2009, a pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound revealed that I have multiple cysts on my ovaries as well as an enlarged (they called it ‘bulky’) right ovary. In addition to my regular yearly pap test and physical, I also go for a yearly ultrasound to monitor the cysts and make sure that they aren’t getting larger. Keepin’ an eye on things. Basically, I’m on watch for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

I had another ultrasound in March 2011 and it revealed that my right ovary decreased in size from 17.7 ml to 10 ml. My left ovary is also smaller in size. Apparently, this is encouraging news, but I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t really received a proper explanation. I’m thinking about asking for a referral to a specialist soon.

Fast forward to the symptoms I’m experiencing today. They could be the result of a mild or more severe illness, like most symptoms. And trust me when I say that I’ve Googled them all! I think Google has told me I’m going to die of a horrible illness about 654 times during my life, so I’m trying not to self-diagnose or draw any conclusions until I have the proper tests done. It could be something as minor as an ulcer or as major as Ovarian cancer. That’s why I always say it’s important to listen to your body and be your own health advocate if you think something is abnormal for you.

This brings me to tomorrow, my next ultrasound appointment. I pretty much had to beg my doctor for this ultrasound since my last one was only 6 months ago, but I’d rather ruffle a few feathers than to have a health issue go undetected for months. Bring on the 5 large glasses of water and bladder-bursting hour wait time!

The results of my ultrasound will determine my doctor’s next steps. I had blood work done in May which all came back normal, but I will probably have to get my blood checked again.

So, this brings me to the gluten-free recipes.

My doctor suggested that I try eating gluten-free for a while to see if I have any relief in my symptoms. I really do not think it’s gluten causing the issues, but I’m willing to try anything at this point. I’m also going to see a naturopath on Tuesday for a general consultation and food-sensitivity testing the following week. I’ve heard from many people who have had great relief from their digestive issues when seeing a naturopath, so I figure it’s worth trying out.

At this point, I just want to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible, but in all likelihood, it could take a while to figure out. I will try to post an update or two on the blog as I get more information.

PIZZA makes everything better.

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This crust turned out much better than I expected. The dough tasted amazing!

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I spread on a couple cloves of leftover roasted garlic before baking.

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After pre-baking, I spread on the mouth-watering pesto.

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Followed by Daiya cheese, chopped roasted tomatoes, and fresh herbs.

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Then I broiled it for 3 minutes over medium heat.

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Crispy, ultra-thin, packed with nutrients, and oh so good.

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This pizza did not last long!

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If you are a thin-crust fan, you will love this pizza.

The crust is one of the most flavourful crusts I have tasted and the toppings went really well with it, but of course you can top it with whatever you see fit.

IMG 2252 thumb   Gluten Free Almond & Buckwheat Flour Pizza Crust

p.s.- See my new Fall header image? Hold down Control + F5 to refresh the page if you can’t see it.

p.p.s.-  I have an exciting mushroom challenge & recipe post coming up Monday! If you love pesto, you will go crazy for this recipe.

We’re off for a day of hiking on this gorgeous Fall day…have a good one!

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{ 244 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine September 25, 2011

Good Morning Angela! I have been wondering about all the gf recipes and am very happy for them – though not for the reasons… stomach pain and bloating are terrible to suffer through on a daily basis. I went through a lot of that, had an ultrasound for an entirely different matter and they ended up finding gallstones which they figured were causing all the pain. Fast forward to having my gallbladder removed which all worked out in the end. I know this sounds corny but the Dr. Oz show did a special on ovarian cancer a few weeks ago (my mom recently was diagnosed, had surgery and has been through chemo – which is the reason I watched the show) and has a fact sheet you can print out and monitor your own symptoms which you can take to your doctor. Something to think about looking at? You know your body and when something is wrong, it’s good you pushed for another ultrasound. Good luck with your tests and thank you for sharing something so personal. You are much loved and supported in your on-line community!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 25, 2011

We’re going hiking today too, turned out to be gorgeous after calling for rain.
Sorry to hear about your stomach troubles. I hope it’s something as “simple” as gluten but more importantly, that you get some answers. That’s always the most frustrating part of medical issues for me, trying to figure out just what the heck is wrong and the time inbetween while you wait for results.

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Sweet and Savvy September 25, 2011

I hope your health issues turn out alright! :) I will be thinking about you!

I have IBS, and have VERY similar problems to you! I know how frustrating it is to never know what is really causing the stomach pain, etc. It is really weird how sometimes, our stomach can tolerate certain foods, but at other times, can make us miserable in every sense. I am also trying to cut out gluten. I have found that it helps some, but I do not think it is the root cause of the problem. I do think I am sensitive to gluten, but I am not going to worry about every small ingredient.

This pizza crust does look amazing! Pizza is one thing that my tummy definitely does not agree with very often, so I would love to try out this “safer” version. :)

Once again, best of luck with your ultra sound and getting everything figured out!

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Aine @ Something to Chew Over September 25, 2011

Hope you feel better soon Angela! My digestion is always better when I reduce my gluten intake – it definitely helps me.

Pizza looks great! :)

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Susan September 25, 2011

Good for you being your own advocate! I too have learned recently that it’s REALLY important to bug healthcare workers for certain tests when you feel like something is off. It doesn’t take a degree in medicine to know when something isn’t right with your own body. I also think it’s important to experiment with your diet to see what works and what doesn’t. I have intolerances to certain fruits and vegetables that no test could reveal, it was only figured out through experimentation. Bread actually helps settle my stomach when it’s feeling off. I’d have starved on chemo if it wasn’t for toast and crackers! Hope you get it sorted out soon. Having stomach aches constantly is no way to live :(

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Geanna September 25, 2011

Last year, even though I was already following a gluten-free and vegan diet, I suffered from many of the same symptoms. After visiting a naturopath and having many tests done, the conclusion was that I had an overgrowth of bad bacteria (or dysbiosis). It took about a year for me to feel completely normal again, after I completely changed my diet and greatly lowered my carb intake. Good luck with your health – I hope it is a simple fix and one that doesn’t require surgery or major treatment.

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Dana September 25, 2011

Do you mind me asking what types of tests confirmed the dysbiosis? I feel like I’m in the same boat and would love to confirm it.

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Sarah September 25, 2011

I’m glad you pushed for another ultrasound to find out what’s going on. Hopefully this one will get you some answers. I would also go ahead and see a specialist. I say that because I was told after an ultrasound by my regular doctor that I had PCOS because I had multiple cysts on both ovaries. Several years later, I have had 3 other doctors, all specialists, tell me that there is no way at all that would be the case. Just something to think about, if you haven’t already. There are points in your cycle where you actually should have multiple cysts, and if you don’t, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

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Dawn @ Blonde on a Mission September 25, 2011

I hope you find all the answers you’re looking for! Diagnoses like that seem to come with a fight… I’ve been trying to find answers too for internal problems just like that. I hope you feel better soon =)
And pizza is like The Price is Right — it just makes even the crappiest day better. This pizza looks so unique and delicious!

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Nikita September 25, 2011

I hope you find relief and explanation for your symptoms soon! i have also been having a lot of GI issues, which is one reason why I have sort of been neglecting my my food blog. I actually went to see a doctor and all my blood work was normal so all she could suggest was stress reduction. I would like to see a naturopath though because they may have different insight. It seems like such a common problem among women, too! Many of my female friends and family members suffer from similar issues.

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Max@flavortogofast September 25, 2011

im stoked that your into more gluten free foods recently because I think they are healthier for nearly everyone. this was quite interesting http://robbwolf.com/2011/08/30/the-paleo-solution-episode-95/

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Carolyn @ Eat.Live.Be Well September 25, 2011

Looks delicious. Can you tell me what you baked this on? I’ve seen it in many of your posts.

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Katrina September 25, 2011

This sounds lovely!

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Tamara September 25, 2011

Hi!
boy do I feel your pain. Personally no one could tell me my problem with the 6 months pregnant bloating, but after a ton of experimenting (on my poor self) I found that I’m really sensitive to things made with whole grain. YUP! crazy eh? I can eat white bread/pasta, but not whole grain… (I try to stick with spelt and stuff now) It’s tough, but good luck!

btw, pizza looks amazing!!

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Robyn September 25, 2011

AGAIN,,,,pictures to drool over! AWEsome looking pizza. Love the header.
Enjoy your beautiful Fall day,,,another great bike ride for me<3
Hope it doesn't take long to figure out your health issues,,,good to be proactive.

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Alyson September 25, 2011

Oh man, I feel you on IBS. I’ve had it for 13 years now, and it’s such a frustration when you’re not sure what’s going to set things off.

I hope your ultrasound goes well and you get the answers you’re looking for.

Also – I’m a huge convert to pizza crusts made with different flours. We, almost weekly, make one with a bean/quinoa/chickpea flour crust that’s insanely good. I’m super curious about trying one with almond meal!

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shari September 25, 2011

Please share your recipe? :)

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Alyson September 26, 2011

Here you go:

http://www.datesandquinces.com/2011/08/tex-mex-thrive-diet-inspired-pizza.html

I was in a Tex-Mex vibe that night, but you can go any which way with the herbs/spices in the crust and the toppings (heck, even the beans in the crust too).

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Coco September 25, 2011

Ange — your pizza looks awesome! I went gluten-free about four months ago, as a side-effect of meeting my boyfriend, who has Celiac Disease. I wanted to learn more about cooking for him, so I tried out the diet and started cooking all gluten-free meals, for him and myself. What happened after I did this was remarkable — all of a sudden, I didn’t get stomach aches anymore, my nails, which had always been weak, stopped pealing, and I felt all-around better. I had not realized that I was gluten-intolerant, and I just thought people normally dealt with the symptoms I was experiencing. I’m so glad this man came into my life, for a number of reasons, including my health! And just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things, I ate some gluten-y appetizers at a party last weekend . . . and felt six months pregnant and miserable the entire next day. Live and learn.

While you are not so sure that gluten is causing your problems, I hope you do get to the root cause of your issues and find a solution. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you. :-)

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Allison September 25, 2011

I so feel your pain! My bloating came from dairy and foods that were heavy. I have eliminated dairy and watch my intake of fats( even nuts or olive oil have to be used sparingly.) I also think my stomach tends to bloat more than othe people. I hope you figure out the problem and feel better!

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Jenny September 25, 2011

I recently discovered your blog and this post hit very close to home, together with your About and Before+After page. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was in my teens and I’ve been struggling with my body weight+image and eating behaviour most of the time since that. Being vegan has helped a lot, but as a pharmacy grad who firmly believes that hormones and neurotransmitters rule our life, I believe there might be a connection there between PCOS and eating – I’ve seen the pattern in other women too. Anyhow, your story has given me new courage to work on building a healthy relationship with my body and food, and I hope you get your answers regarding these latest symptoms soon. And this recipe looks amazing (I love ‘rustic’-looking pizzas btw!) so I’ll try to give it a try asap! Thanks! :)

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Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) September 25, 2011

I hope your ultrasound goes well tomorrow Ang! :)

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XtineBeanie @ CleanLiving / DirtyWorld September 25, 2011

Hi Angela. I’m currently reading a book called The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf, which I would recommend you read. It talks a lot about how grains, legumes, and dairy cause inflammation and resulting disease, which was simply not found in our paleolithic ancestors. Only with agriculture and the consumption of cereal grains did humans start to develop mysterious illnesses, like what you are describing. Of course, the crux of paleo diet includes meat (well, protein). But the book is at least worth a read to understand the science of how food affects our bodies. He challenges people to give up grains, legumes, and dairy for 30 days, just to see what difference it may make. He asks, what do you have to lose? If you learn nothing, then you’ll have given up food you like for 30 days. If it changes your life, then you gain that.

Good luck with everything!

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jenny September 25, 2011

I love how honest you are with us! I am keeping you in my thoughts. I know what that lovely stomach ache is like. They removed my gallbladder over a year ago and that has helped, but the pain still exists. I sincerely hope you get to the bottom of this!!

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shari September 25, 2011

As I was reading your post, I realized it sounded exactly like me 6 years ago. I eventually caved and had a full hysterectomy due to PCOS pain and ovarian cancer scares. While it has helped me tremendously as far as cyst-burst-pain goes, I would have to say that unfortunately my IBS persists still.
My Naturopath says I need to eat in a calm environment and make sure to keep my stress levels at bay around eating times. Of course this is near impossible as stress is something we can’t always control. Doing things like breathing deeply, eating slowly, lighting candles, and chewing at least 40 times per bite does help, though. Also, water 30 minutes before and/or 30 minutes after eating, not during. One other thing I have noticed that helps me are charcoal caps (but they do make some med’s less effective, so ask your Doc. before taking them).
You may also want to ask about taking Black Walnut supplements for a month or so as it is an excellent anti-parasite (even fights cancer) supplement that can get rid icky things lurking in your intestines.
Anyway, I felt great while on them and then about a month later, my IBS returned- so I will be asking my ND about this correlation next visit.
It’s possible it could have just been the Jarrows pro-biotics I was taking, or possibly a combination of the 2.
It could have also been that I started eating more fermented foods as well.
(Curious, do you soak your oats the night before? This really helps with digestion and it tastes way better too-amazingly awesome, actually).
Since most health issues are usually related to the gut, you may also inquire about the GAPS Diet, which has effectively helped tons of people cure their IBS and other conditions as well.
Some people put their faith in the blood Type diet, and perhaps there is also something there.
I tend to lean toward the Mediterranean Diet as I am a type O (carnivorous) and if I do not have lean white meat/cold water fish at least once a week, it seriously wreaks havoc on my gut- whereas my husband is a type A and does much better on mostly veggies, so Mediterranean is a good fit for us.
Best of luck to you- keep us posted as I am interested in any other advice someone so similar to me might find as a benefit. I so enjoy your blog, one of the few I still choose to read anymore, so thanks for all your efforts, sincerely ;).

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Sierra September 25, 2011

Hey, girl! That totally sucks and I can totally commiserate! I’m not going to get into it here, but I can say I hope you feel better soon and that the reason behind your problems is simple and non-life threatening. :)

Oh and I LOVE the gluten free recipes! Keep em coming! You are a WIZARD in the kitchen! :)

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Jennifer September 25, 2011

Thank you so much for your post and your always delicious recipes, Angela! I’m so sorry about your stomach issues, and huzzah for you for advocating for yourself and the new ultrasound. I’ll definitely be thinking about you and hoping they’re able to figure out what it is and how to make it better! You’re too awesome to be feeling bad!

And I love love love your new autumnal header! Just gorgeous!

Take good care of yourself!

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Carolyn September 25, 2011

I am sorry to hear you have been experiencing such uncomfortable and painful stomach and back problems, but I am glad you are not freaking out about them (overtly, anyway). Stress can only make them worse! I doubt that it is ovarian cancer (reasons why I never use WebMD anymore, haha–it always tells me I am going to die or am pregnant), but it’s a really good idea to get another ultrasound, just to be on the safe side. And no matter what it is, we are all here for you!

We all love you, Ange! ^^ *hugs* Have a great hike!

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Kalli September 25, 2011

Angela, good for you for advocating for yourself! I have a feeling you will be fine and find out it is something not too bad. I see a naturpath as well. So worth the money! Hope you enjoy your fall hike and love your new header :)

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Lindsey @ SoundEats September 25, 2011

I totally feel you. I’ve been having a lot of reproductive/ endocrine issues for years, and last May was diagnosed with PCOS by my endocrinologist. That said, I’ve recently been experiencing a LOT of other issues…joint pain, random muscle pain fatigue (esp. in morning, I can nap in AM but can’t fall asleep at night), headaches/ migraines, extreme bloating, cramps, abdominal pain and a whole host of other issues. My doctor and dietitian think it’s all hormone related, but at this point I’m a little over the whole doctor thing, and the rountine cycle of blood work, doctor’s appointments, new meds, adjusting meds, new side effects, repeat.

Anyway, all that to say that I’m reading a book right now called “The Hormone Diet” by Dr. Natasha Turner (a naturopathic doctor) and I find it very enlightening. It’s not really a “diet” type book – the first whole part of the book is basically education on hormones and what happens in your body when they’re low/high. I am trying the detox suggested in the book now, so we’ll see what happens! (It’s not a crazy detox – basically, eliminating sugar, caffeine, gluten, alcohol, dairy, and anything else that may cause sensitives/ inflammatory reactions in your body.) Just thought I’d mention it as a resource I’m currently loving!

Hope all goes well at your appointment, but that you can get some answers!

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Emily September 25, 2011

Hey Angela- the pizza looks delish! I have been recently having bowel issues of my own, and I stumbled across this website http://www.colitis-crohns.com/. Even though it doesn’t sound like you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the author of this website believes his diet plan can help with any kind of bowel issues. Basically, he advocates for a fruit based diet (because fruits are easiest to digest) with some vegetables. He says nuts, beans, and grains are very hard to digest. Also, he says food combining is very important or else you may have bloating, stomachache, diarrhea, constipation, etc. For instance, he says you should always eat fruit on an empty stomach. ANYWAY, I’ve been trying to follow it for a week or two, and it’s been REALLY hard, but I think it’s going to pay off. I just thought you might enjoy checking out his website and maybe some of the info could be helpful to you. Hope your ultrasound goes ok!

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Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet September 25, 2011

I’ve never been diagnosed with IBS, but I’ve definitely experienced stomach pain and digestion problems. I hope your tests give you some answers!

And that pizza reminds me of my toaster oven cracker-based mini pizzas :)

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 25, 2011

Love the new header!! And this recipe! So cool :)

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Steph September 25, 2011

I really hope you are ok… Please let us know how you get on?

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Kelsey September 25, 2011

As a GF reader, I LOVE all the GF ideas!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I can’t wait to try the pizza crust :)

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veganlisa September 25, 2011

Ange,
I really hope that you’ll get some answers soon. I know digestive issues are really hard to sort-out but I have found naturopaths to be really helpful in the past. I just started seeing someone in Toronto who specializes in women’s reproductive health.

Keep us posted.
xo

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Nicole September 25, 2011

You can have polycystic ovaries without having PCOS, and you can also have PCOS without having polycystic ovaries. It’s like an ovary riddle. Anyway, the main driving factor of PCOS is insulin resistance (so there is definitely a correlation between food we eat and PCOS symptoms). In addition to PCOS, I have gluten intolerance and Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Fun times.

I’ve always heard that you aren’t supposed to reduce your gluten intake until after you take the tests, but that may be the medical tests rather than what the naturopathic tests. I had problems getting definite results from my MD’s tests because I had cut out the gluten on a hunch. I had to re-introduce it to get the results to come back accurately.

Good luck to you. Health problems are no fun.

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Carolyn @ HealthKitten.com September 25, 2011

I’m sorry you’re having such GI/GYN issues lately. I too suffer from ovarian cysts – although thankfully not PCOS – and they’re so horrible when they flare up.

And pizza DOES make everything better!!

*big hugs, but careful not to squeeze and hurt*

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Alex @ Raw Recovery September 25, 2011

I was diagnosed with IBS when I was about 8 years old and it is difficult to live with. I’m gluten sensitive but not gluten intolerant, so I’ve been told. Sometimes I’m ok with gluten, sometimes I feel like I’m going to die of abdominal pain. Best of luck with your ultrasound! Pizza looks great by the way!

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Marissa September 25, 2011

Angela, I love your fall header & all your photography for that matter! i’m so sorry to hear of your current health issues. to give you some hope – I went gluten free about 4 mos. ago and i was lying in bed this morning telling my husband how great i feel & that i don’t think i’ll ever eat gluten again. it has helped me SO much. i used to suffer from severe fatigue & many other symptoms (including some female) & it has relieved most of the symptoms. i’m a ball of energy now, like a 29 year old should be! i wish you luck on this journey & think the naturopath will help tremendously. p.s. eating gluten free requires a good bit of creativity with food, but you seem to have that down pat!

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Ashley September 25, 2011

I’ve been eyeing up that crust since it was posted. Love the addition of buckwheat, obviously. :) Wishing you the best with your stomach problems. Can’t wait til you get to the bottom of it! xo

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Vicky September 25, 2011

This looks lovely! Have you thought of trying the Specific Carbohydrate Diet? Hope you feel better soon and that it’s nothing major!

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Beth @ 990 Square September 25, 2011

Angela, I hope they figure out what it is soon! I had the same problems (including the 6 month pregnant belly) and the sensitivity to nuts and beans! Turns out, I’m soy intolerant, and I have issues with other beans and nuts as well (things that are closely related to soy). It took me five years to figure this out, and I was also diagnosed with gluten intolerance at first (which was ultimately ruled out by an upper GI).

I find you so inspiring, and I hope feel better soon!

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