Tarek El Moussa, the star of the HGTV hit series Flip or Flop, has recently revealed that he made major dietary changes after being diagnosed with celiac disease.
In a recent interview with Today, the 40-year-old said he was experiencing “a lot of pain in my fingers and hands, and because of that my doctor just did a whole bunch of testing.”
“After my cancer history, we’re always checking on my blood work and my health and staying on top of things,” he added.
El Moussa is a two-time cancer survivor. He endured battles with testicular cancer and thyroid cancer.
He received the diagnosis of celiac disease in September. He said, “No idea what that is.” His doctor, Dr. Ellen Song, explained he has a gluten allergy, which is why he has now adopted a gluten-free diet.
El Moussa told Today, “At the beginning, it was really, really difficult because I didn’t know what I could and could not eat. But like anything in life, time went on. By week three, I pretty much understood it.”
Since most gluten-based foods have alternatives, he said, “I guess I still get to eat all the same foods that I’ve always loved, I just have to buy from certain brands. Pizza is (one of) my favorite things in the world, but I started ordering gluten-free pizza, and it turns out that actually tastes better than regular pizza, so I’m pretty happy about that.”
“It’s amazing what just a little work can do to the body,” he continued. “It just shows you that you can come back from anything. A couple years ago, I was 60 lbs. overweight, fighting two cancers, and you know, today I’m healthy.”
El Moussa also said that his fiancée Heather Rae Young has been getting him to eat “organic, clean foods” over “fast food and junk food.” He also talked about Young’s vegan diet.
“Before I met Heather, I had high blood pressure, high heart rate, I had high cholesterol and just a whole bunch of problems,” he added. “I just decided to really work on my health and I focused on hot yoga … As well as cleaning up my diet. Now my blood work is completely different.”