Heather O’Dell // Staff Writer
Changing eating habits and lifestyles can be a difficult thing to do. But for Javier Conception, a junior studying nutrition, he had to change the way he ate after being diagnosed with Celiac disease.
“I first switched over to a gluten free diet when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, and other stomach issues,” said Conception. “Changing your diet at first is always hard. I really had no choice because if I continued to eat what I normally ate the time I would continue to get sick.”
The doctors encouraged Conception to eat gluten free and to stay away from fried, greasy and highly processed foods.
“Making the switch at first is hard,” Conception said. “I had no idea what to buy at the store and I always felt like my options were limited. The key is to buy fresh items.”
With gluten allergies becoming more common, a lot of food companies are coming out with gluten free and vegan options.
“When Javier was diagnosed with stomach issues, we all switched over to a gluten-free diet with him,” said Priscilla Conception, Javier’s mother. “We all see a change in how we feel.”
With time and dedication from eating gluten free and organic products, Conception said he was able to get back into an active routine.
“Once I got the hang of things, I started to feel better and was able to become more active,” Conception said. “Before, I was always sick in the hospital. Now, I am able to participate in sports, go to the gym and live an active lifestyle.”
After overcoming his disease, Conception said he now wants to help others like him change their diet to live a happier and healthier life.
“I was miserable while I was sick,” the aspiring nutritionist said. “I chose to study nutrition because I want to help others reach their health goals like I did. Ever since I decided to make positive and health-conscious changes in my life, I have become passionate about nutrition and dietetics.”