How A Gluten-Free Diet Can Be Good for Your Health & Taste Good Too! – Bea Caillet on The Healers Café with Manon Bolliger
In this episode of The Healers Café, Manon Bolliger (facilitator and retired naturopath with 30+ years of practice) speaks with Bea Caillet about her struggles to go gluten free in bread loving Paris and how she overcame her health issues by doing so.
Highlights from today’s episode include:
At the very first beginning, during a few months, it was all a disaster. But since two American and Canadian bloggers, I’ve started, you know, getting to know how to cook, some vegan baking and stuff like that, how to replace eggs, and also how to deal with different gluten free flours. And then it just became very natural for me.
But you know, between…I had a choice, going gluten, dairy, whatever free and still suffering and taking a ton of medication and, you know, between the two choices from is really easy, but it’s easier now that I am medication free than the first month.
– – – – –
Because I think it’s extremely important, especially when you’re fresh and will also come from a family that is absolutely obsessed with food. We are foodies. So yeah, so I really think it’s absolutely important to enjoy your food, if you feel miserable at each meal, I think it’s not going to work.
ABOUT BEA CAILLET:
I’m Bea Caillet, a French woman who has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease ankylosing spondylitis; in February 2007. After almost 11 years of taking a lot of strong painkillers I decided to try healing myself naturally. One thing led to another, I went to a functional medicine doctor who told me I had to go “gluten and many other things” free. A little over a year on this diet I quit taking biotherapy and about 9 months later I was off all medication! That’s why in January 2020, I started my blog “Go Healthy With Bea” in order to share both my story and my gluten free recipes. A year and a half after creating my blog, I decided to go one step further by becoming an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Certified Gluten free Practitioner and get a Certificate in plant based patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu London in order to transform a side hustle into a whole career change.
Core purpose/passion: When I was first diagnosed with my autoimmune condition, I was told that it was a life sentence: I would suffer and would have to take very strong painkillers all my life. I’ve proven them wrong. That’s what I want to tell the whole world. I want to give them hope, to inspire them. I want to educate people to listen to their body and respect it.
About Manon Bolliger
As a recently De-Registered board-certified naturopathic physician & in practice since 1992, I’ve seen an average of 150 patients per week and have helped people ranging from rural farmers in Nova Scotia to stressed out CEOs in Toronto to tri-athletes here in Vancouver.
My resolve to educate, empower and engage people to take charge of their own health is evident in my best-selling books: ‘What Patients Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask: The Mindful Patient-Doctor Relationship’ and ‘A Healer in Every Household: Simple Solutions for Stress’. I also teach BowenFirst™ Therapy through Bowen College and hold transformational workshops to achieve these goals.
So, when I share with you that LISTENING to Your body is a game changer in the healing process, I am speaking from expertise and direct experience”.
Mission: A Healer in Every Household!
For more great information to go to her weekly blog: http://bowencollege.com/blog.
For tips on health & healing go to: https://www.drmanonbolliger.com/tips
About The Healers Café:
Manon’s show is the #1 show for medical practitioners and holistic healers to have heart to heart conversations about their day to day lives.
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Welcome to the Healers Café. Conversations on health and healing with Manon Bolliger. A retired and deregistered naturopathic physician with 30 plus years of experience. Here, you will discover engaging and informative conversations between experienced healers, covering all aspects of healing, the personal journey, the journey of the practitioner, and the amazing possibilities for our own body, and spirit.
Manon Bolliger 00:40
So welcome to the Healers Café.
And today I have with me Bea Caillet. And she’s actually calling from Paris at this moment. And she has a very interesting story, which I’m hoping will find new audiences and more audience. She is obviously a French woman, who, if you know how good the bread is in France, this would be a very difficult diagnosis. But she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. And, had to deal with that in France. So, I’ve often thought, oh my goodness, that would be the worst place to not be able to have a baguette or you know, all of that. So how did you survive that? What happened? Tell us a little bit on how you discovered this, and then how you’re helping people now with your blog.
Bea Caillet 01:45
Well, so first of all, thank you for having me, Manon. So, yeah, I’m tuning in from Paris. Where it’s pretty late already tonight. But and believe me, yeah, it’s very difficult, especially when you live in big city in big French city that at every block there’s a bakery. And so, for my autoimmune disease condition, which is ankylosing spondylitis. Thanks to a functional medicine doctor they had me taking a blood test a few years ago, I found out that I am sensitive to gluten. So yeah, the baguettes and all kinds of breads that contains gluten is now forbidden from it. And that’s very challenging to get and also, I can’t have any cow dairy, so which means also quite a lot of very popular French cheese, like Camembert, Brie, and any very …
Manon Bolliger 03:00
And soft cheese, yeah. So how do you like…because you also have…was it a prize or a certification from the cordon bleu association?
Bea Caillet 03:14
I have a certification in plant based Pâtisserie. So that from the la cordon bleu in London, but it’s a program that is only online, I’m not sure exactly why it’s not in person on site. Maybe because only to few people that would enroll, I have no idea. But you know that the funny thing is, I live very nearby the Cordon Bleu taffy, like a 15-minute walk from my place, but there’s no program gluten free program. It’s not included. It wasn’t a gluten free program. It was just one module of the three inside the whole certificates in plant based which is three. Because I’m gluten free, but also, I had to remove with the same blood test I discovered that I had to remove at the same time gluten, cow dairy, and eggs, and other things. But you know that I would say are more manageable than those three, because all three are like everywhere, and especially in French food, and especially Pâtisserie. So that was very challenging. And also, because I am the I have a sweet tooth and I’m the baker as this has been my passion since childhood. So probably this is what has helped me a lot because I thought okay, I love baking and I love enjoying my food and I’m not going anything stop me from enjoying my food. So, I do started practicing. At the very first beginning, during a few months, it was all a disaster. But since two American and Canadian bloggers, I’ve started, you know, getting to know how to cook, some vegan baking and stuff like that, how to replace eggs, and also how to deal with different gluten free flours. And then it just became very natural for me. And so, and then I figured, okay, maybe I could share my recipes with all the people who are going through the same thing as I am. And also, I want to tell my story, because so before I went to see this very, very young doctor, this functional medicine doctor, which advised me by a friend of mine, who’s called Manon, and which is kind of funny, because I don’t get to see many Manon on in the blogging world on podcast. So I was, oh, that’s a sign that we should get to add together. But anyway, so before seeing this functional medicine doctor I have spent about was, it’s 11 years because, yeah, my diagnosis was in February 2007. But when I had my diagnosis finally, looking back at all my life, I understood that I had been suffering from ankylosing spondylitis since the age of eight years old, I have had many symptoms, but you know, one symptom here, and then one symptom there and there. So, it was not the big, big, big flare that finally, in 2007, that led to the diagnosis. So, from 2007 out till very late, December 2017, I was taking NSA IDs. And every day, I was so I was on biotherapy, anti TNF and many other things. I had, at one point, I think it was when I was in the late 20s at that time, I was taking up to seven medication a day, I felt like I was like, you know, like my grandmother, who was more than eighty years old, you know, carrying a whole bag of medication everywhere. So that was very, very hard also, because at that time, I was in so much pain, it was having also very big impact on my work life and also on my social life. For many years, I was almost incapable of having a social life because I wanted to keep my work. So, my job. So after having worked all day long and did not have the energy to go out and spend some time with friends. So, and then, yeah, so for many years was a real real struggle. And then one thing led to another and after suffering from many side effects from all the medication that I was taking. And, you know, I started documenting myself on whatever, on holistic health, anything that I could read mostly in the American Library because we don’t have as many resources in French. So, I started the document to myself and then you know, like some I think since just aligned when you…when I was ready to start something with maybe with food or something my friend Manon told me you should get you should see this doctor. And then so I went straight away, which even though it was very expensive doctor it was not, you know, taken charge by my insurance and everything. So, it was a very big budget for me, but I was so convinced that something could be done that I just went and then it was the start of my whole new life. But well, it was not an overnight result. It took almost two years to be able to be off all medication.
Manon Bolliger 09:55
Yeah, well it takes time because your body is is dealing with symptoms, and you gotta get to the cause, which is exactly what the turnaround has been, and drugs don’t help you with that, do they? They manage you, you know, but they don’t…they don’t…they can’t heal you.
Bea Caillet 10:16
Yeah. that’s different. Yeah, definitely.
Manon Bolliger 10:19
So, when I, because we don’t have that much time together, I really want to find out some of your recipes. Because I think, you know, you can know that you should get off gluten. But then, you know, you have to have enough pain to make it finally worthwhile or be diagnosed that it’s clear that it’s worth the try. Because, you know, we’ll do it for a while and then ah didn’t see a change. And, you know, so it takes some resolve, but I also find that when you know that you can replace, you know, like I had some gluten…no, it wasn’t gluten free. It was vegan desserts. That’s what I had made with I can’t remember all the all the stuff that was in it, but it was like a chocolate cream something tasted absolutely delicious. Made with very good things, you know, and I’m not a big dessert person, but I thought oh, wow, you know, we need more, you know, more people who talk about what they actually easily could do. Now I understand that you’re more of a chef where you become this way as you’re a baker but what how would you replace your baguettes, your croissants, your bread? What do you do that gives you a sense of Okay.
Bea Caillet 11:59
Well, to tell you the truth I haven’t replaced the bread yet. Because, you know, even gluten free bread from you know, famous gluten free bakers in Paris is still not the same. I wouldn’t say that. And also, what makes it even worse for me is that I am also yeast free. And most gluten free bread contents yeast so for me it’s, so I have to find a gluten free sourdough or soda bread so it’s almost I have find only one bakery. Gluten Free bakery that does that in Paris for the moment.
Manon Bolliger 12:49
Okay, so like soda bread, the Irish one, does that work?
Bea Caillet 12:54
Yes, Irish soda bread would work for me. But so, it’s not very popular in France, especially, you know, the problem is, with gluten free, it’s usually it’s, it’s hard to explain the with a very short amount of time. And you know, the gluten is kind of like a glue. And it gives elasticity to the dough. And it helps rise and the bread is keeps together. So, we don’t have that with gluten free. I mean, when is the so…we have very, it’s everything is more crumbly. And so, and the problem with sodas is it doesn’t you know, give the poof that you get you get with yeast. And so, sourdough is usually sourdough bread, it’s usually a little more dense if you compare it to a bread that uses yeast. So, once it’s you have a gluten free bread that already doesn’t have the elasticity and doesn’t really rise as much. And then also we saw it was usually very, very dense. So, you really don’t have…it’s good with the one bread that I have really tasted from this famous gluten free bakery in Paris. It’s good, but it’s really, it’s not the same as what we know from French bread. So yeah, yeah. But you know, between…I had a choice, going gluten, dairy, whatever free and still suffering and taking a ton of medication and, you know, between the two choices from is really easy, but it’s easier now that I am medication free than the first month. Because in the very first, like I told you, it took me almost two years to be able to be medication free. It’s the pain really was it was almost like very, very slowly declining the pain level. So, it was declined so smoothly. So very, very just a little bit that I was very, I was convinced that it was absolutely not doing any effects in fact. Because it really wasn’t any, you know, overnight thing. Though, I was really, you know, the funny thing is that I had all the cherries on the cake before having the cake. That’s the expression that I used. And I’m still using it because I was looking for to become pain-free. But I still had all the pain. But I started however, having more beautiful skin because I was suffering from charities, Pillories now, it’s almost completely gone. You know, it’s little red spots on the arms. Also, I was losing some of the weights on that I had, I were also my legs were you know, because most of my overweight was in the legs. So, it was easier for me to keep standing for longer, long moments. And then you know, to stand in line or even to walk and now that my legs are way lighter than they were. Yeah, you know, so many little things like that. And I will say, Okay, I have the cherry on the cake. But so, I was really, really hanging on that.
Commercial Break 13:10
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Bea Caillet 17:50
Okay, I see some little results, so it really kept me going. Because it’s yeah, it’s really, really hard or at first when you have to change everything in your diet. Especially because when you start something like that you’re usually in pain, right? You’re not feeling well. But you end up cooking everything you know, now when I want a little bit of a piece of bread, well, I bake it, If I want a cookie or muffin or whatever, I need to bake it because well, not that I would eat a lot of processed food before but sometimes when you’re exhausted or you had a hard day’s work or you just went to the gym or you’re exhausted, you just want to, you know, go get some takeout or whatever. It’s when you have to remove that many things from your diet. Well, no, no, not possible. So yeah, it was absolutely exhausting. Also, for the social life, it was very, very difficult. It is still quite challenging. Because you know, I know that some of my friends wouldn’t…they were too scared to invite me over because he didn’t know what to make for dinner or whatever. Instead of asking me they would just well but I’m not inviting you because I don’t know what to make for the make for you for dinner. So yeah, so yeah, it’s very difficult also at work, I wouldn’t be able to eat together with my colleagues because in France we have some what we call accounting professional conduct where we all go to some kind of restaurants when we eat with all the colleagues and I couldn’t do that anymore. Because when I was asking at the accounting what is in there what is in there what is they wouldn’t be able to answer my questions and when you have a big line behind you was impossible to manage. So, in the end, I started bringing my lunch bag and box and then I was eating in my in on my desk, which, you know. Well anyway, so yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s a lot. That’s why I wanted to, but because of my colleagues seeing that I was changing physically, they saw that I was getting better and better. So, it was like the center of all conversations all the time and colleagues and then with friends everywhere I went all the people who knew me before was seeing the changes. They want you to do more to know more. So, I realized that I was speaking about this all the time, like, okay, maybe I should, I should start a blog or something. And, also, what I really want is to tell people, okay, maybe with a diet change. And also some lifestyle changes and some things, you probably could ease the pain and from your autoimmune disease, but instead of just saying, maybe it could be a good solution. Maybe you can try gluten free or paleome or AIP or whole 30 or something like that. I also want to give some delicious recipes, because while I realized that when I told my colleagues about that, well, I removed the due to now feeling much better. They all said, no, that sounds too difficult to handle. So, I don’t want to try that. So, but when once they had tried some of my baking because, you know, I would bring some muffins or whatever, some cakes that I had bake at home to share with my colleagues. Oh, that’s delicious. Then there were you know; I saw that the their mind were changing. So right. Okay, maybe I should have a blog that will, at the same time will tell my story and also give the solution. Because I think it’s extremely important, especially when you’re fresh and will also come from a family that is absolutely obsessed with food. We are foodies. So yeah, so I really think it’s absolutely important to enjoy your food, if you feel miserable at each meal, I think it’s not going to work.
Manon Bolliger 22:41
No, no, I would agree with you. Including myself. But so, did you find that…did you change your besides removing these ingredients? Did you find that you were eating another way, you know, like, completely or you would replace this with that and replace? You know, like, for example, if you’re not doing dairy, you would just not eat cheese or you would like how do you how are you looking at it?
Bea Caillet 23:22
I’m very lucky because I’m only cow dairy free. So, I can still have some sheep and goat cheese. So, I would say I’m saved yeah, for French women, cheese lovers, like I am yeah, it was yeah, it’s already difficult to have to give up on so many cow cheese but well, so thank God I can still have sheep and goat cheese. But no, mostly I would say I haven’t changed that much my diet since going all this free. It’s just yeah, or it’s mostly the baking and desserts that I’ve changed or maybe would have some packaged cookies sometimes that now I can’t have because I can’t find any that are suitable. Well now. Yeah, that was at the beginning of my diet, and nothing existed now it’s there’s, you know, it’s everything is changing so quickly that so now I can find some but sorry, if it sounds like but I prefer my own. Usually these are so expensive and when I see the ingredients are not very clean, and then they add so many things and then they don’t taste that good. So usually, unless I have a very an emergency of some kind of, I will do everything to make absolutely everything and myself. So, it’s just I bake much more. And also, when I want some kind of something that kind of resembles some bread, I have to bake it. And before that I would just go to the bakery.
Manon Bolliger 25:21
Get it, yeah. So, I noticed you had, like you’re reaching people even in like South Africa that have made comments, you know that it helped them. Are you considering having, like a small business making bread for people or cookies? Or you know, that are…?
Bea Caillet 25:44
And yeah, I don’t know. I, I’ve been I’ve been asked that before, mostly from family members or friends, are you going to open like, a cafe or, you know, Well, right now, gluten is still at the very beginning in France, I recently wrote a gluten free in Paris, Article in order to help people, English speaking people find gluten free addresses in Paris. And when I did all my research, I found out that in the last past few years, especially with COVID, because of you know, with tourists being not being able to come and visit Paris, a lot of them closed down and I also discuss with one of the boss from one of the places and they told me yeah, we don’t put it…we don’t advertise that we are free, because French people are not really…yeah.
Manon Bolliger 26:52
Open to it. Yeah.
Bea Caillet 26:53
Yeah, there’s really something. Don’t touch our bread. So yeah, I think it’s maybe a little too soon to. Yeah. So, if I want to do that, probably it would be somewhere in another country, but I don’t know. But because I’m yeah, I’m a baker at heart. And, and also, I love cooking. It’s just my head and everything. I love that. But I’m also a holistic health coach, and I want to guide people and tell them yeah, what you have on your plate is very important. But you have also to assume awesome. So, take into account any other many other things in your life. And I also Yeah, I really love that. And coaching people is something that I absolutely enjoy. So, I’m kind of like in the middle.
Manon Bolliger 28:02
Yeah, well, I guess, you know, the demand will show up. You know, I mean, the more you coach, the more you have the demand.
Bea Caillet 28:10
Yeah. And I think it’s important both in the kitchen, because I realized that chefs and also, you know, when I learned that was very interesting for me for the certificate in print base, Pâtisserie at la cordon bleu was very interesting, very challenging. I really loved it. But I realized that they use a lot of additives, that my readers wouldn’t want them. So, because those who is autoimmune disease wouldn’t want to have that many organ denting them, whatever, again, you know, and so many things that they use. So yeah, I think it’s important, it’s important for me to have the knowledge from the point of view of someone who’s really with an autoimmune disease, and how to deal with it well in the kitchen, but also with the pain and the fatigue and everything, all the symptoms, I have the experience with it, and also how things are prepared by professionals. And so yeah, I love the whole having the whole story, I would say or seeing how everything goes together.
Manon Bolliger 29:35
But you raise a good point, which I think is there’s you know, if you think that you can easily buy things that are gluten free, and but you’re actually on a health and healing journey. You know, if once you read the labels, the ingredients, you realize it’s not…you can’t just take something out to write, you have to really look at it completely differently. And make sure that the ingredients you use are safe. You know, and healthy. Right? And I think, you know, I was shocked when I thought, oh, you know what, I shouldn’t eat less gluten, I’m not sensitive. But, you know, also, there’s all these different theories on, you know, how many people can tolerate it, actually, and etc. So, I thought, I’ll just try it, you know, no problem. And, then I look at ingredients as I’m like, No way. I’m not, I’m not doing this. You know, unless I make it myself. And, you know, and I think, once you’re on the health path, you’re on a health path, you can’t do it half health, you know, doesn’t work.
Bea Caillet 30:46
Yeah, that’s true. Well, at the very first, during the first month of my new diet, I would have easily some cheat days, because I was at some kind of events. And, you know, there was a buffet. And so, I would just eat and then also, I’ll make some harmless mistakes and everything. So, but my functional medicine doctor told me, No, you can do that at the during the first one. Now, I do have, but I’ve been completely 100% gluten and whatever free for more than three years. And the only way to do that was to control that was to make everything, almost everything from scratch. Well, not everything because I don’t make my own gluten free pasta. But you know what I mean? When I just buys things that I have very few ingredients within them, or just really 100% sure that there’s no gluten or anything that I can eat. So, yeah, yeah, when you’re very at the very beginning, when you’re really healing, you have to be very strict. And then when once you’re healed, maybe you can reintroduce…it depends. Also, of course, celiac, absolutely can’t have any gluten. So, I’m talking about my own health condition.
Manon Bolliger 32:17
Well, we’re out of time. So put an end to this, but I thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and we’ll put a link to your blog as well. And, and I found it interesting. I’ve always wanted to interview a French person who appreciates French bread talk about this, and you know and has come out better in the end you know, so, you know so these are all value decisions, you know, that we have to make and get through and obviously health is worth it.
Bea Caillet 32:58
Yeah, it’s worth it. Even though it’s hard. I can tell you anything else. And then yeah, it’s hard so, but it’s worth it.
Manon Bolliger 33:09
Okay, thank you.
Bea Caillet 33:10
Thank you so much for having me.
Thank you for joining us at the Healers Café with Manon Bolliger. Continue your healing journey by visiting TheHealersCafe.com and her website and discover how to listen to your body and reboot optimal health or DrManonBolliger.com/tips.