Grain Free?

 

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I’m considering going grain free. When you have diffabilities in the house it’s almost inevitable that you end up trying a special ‘diet’ at some point. In my case it wasn’t the ADD, but the exhaustion I’ve been feeling for years that led me to explore dietary avenues. I wouldn’t say it’s chronic fatigue, except it is fatigue and it is chronic. Plus my older daughter had some behavioural issues. You might assume one is a corollary of the other, but I have reason to think not.

So I tried gluten free; it was difficult, expensive, tasted horrid, and there were no noticeable benefits (for our family). However, I did, kind of inadvertently, go completely grain free for a while, and lo and behold I felt the best I’ve possibly ever felt, in terms of emotions and energy. It was bloody hard to keep up though, so I have lapsed considerably. I’ve been through this cycle a few times now. First there’s the uncertainty what to eat in place of bread as a staple. Then there are the cravings. Ye gods. I’ve never been addicted to anything, even coffee, but after that experience, I have the deepest sympathy for anyone trying to kick a chemical habit.

Actually, I believe there is a physical addiction cycle at work, though I don’t think mainstream science would agree as yet. But I believe there is enough evidence, never mind commonsense, that what we put into our bodies has an effect on our whole system.

In any case, there are the cravings, which inevitably I cave to eventually. Whereupon which the cycle begins again; low energy, low mood, wondering how I could be hit so hard with the stupid stick that I would do this to myself again.

What I couldn’t understand was why all grains could be a problem. I still don’t know the science behind it, if there is any available, but I have come across some sites where people are living grain free and feeling great, which is news to me, but confirms that for whatever reason bodies might reject grains, it’s not my imagination.

So. I would love to try it, because I would really, really love to have energy and a stable mood. But I don’t know if I can make this work. I’m not much for cooking and baking (did I mention I’m not so organised?), and if there’s bread in the house I’m picking I’ll eat some. And alternative flours are expensive. But you can’t always control your gastronomic environment, and even one lapse sets your system back. So is there any point in even trying? Or is it worth the effort just to have at least some good times?

If anyone out there has experience they’d like to share I’d be interested to hear it!

And if you’re interested in learning more about going grain free, here are a couple of links:

Grain Free Living

Grain Free Gluten Free

Grain Brain

Brain allergies

And one from our own WP family: Tabitha’s Gluten Free Dishes

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Grain Free?

  1. I’ve been aware of paleo, but no I’m not, I’m still feeling my way, and even though I’ve been aware of a lot of diet options, hadn’t until now found people going completely grain free (I haven’t been able to understand why all grains as a group would be a problem), so that book is exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for – thank you!

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  2. Hey Chaos Girl, I’ve actually come across this too. I’d gained a whack of weight (at least I thought it was weight because I was huge) and had fatigue. I read “The Hormone Diet” and it brought to light my sugar addiction. And, oh, it was/is an addiction. Yum. My naturopath suggested, too, that I go easy on the wheat. Okay. Within a month, I’d dropped the bloating and inflammation (rather than weight) and had energy! Wow. Upon further reading, I discovered that wheat and sugar reek havoc on insulin and cortisol. Considering the reaction I was having to being wheat- and sugar-free, I thought this was something I needed to keep in my sphere of awareness.

    All that was 4 years ago. Because we are surrounded by wheat (grains) and sugar and they are so darn yummy, I’ve progressively fallen off the wagon. My fatigue is up, energy down, and the bloating is back. I’m back on the abstinence wagon again (two weeks) and feeling great. And I notice instantly how horrible I feel upon eating a scone or muffin; it feels like a lead brick in my digestive system.

    I think there are a couple different avenues to ponder on this: the insulin route and the GMO/chemical/processed-beyond-belief route. I think, for me, it’s both. There aren’t too many crops available in N. American nowadays that aren’t GMOd – corn, soya, wheat, to name the big ones. Then, industry finds ways to insert these crops and their derivatives into processed food – corn syrup, flour, etc. They’re EVERYWHERE. Frankly I think my body is just plain overwhelmed. It’s likely that all this processing and genetic-modification has created something that our bodies just can’t digest or digest well.

    I am a much healthier, happier, energetic person when I am grain- and sugar-free. I put honey in my coffee, I eat all-nut granola with my yogurt, I eat more protein and with a fish bias. Once you get the hang of going grain-free, it’s not that bad. It’s kind of like being thrifty — you take the desires and luxury out of your spending, and then you have only the necessities to worry about. My carb intake is down (and that may not be a bad thing, read “The Carb Sensitivity Diet”), but I’m not as hungry and I don’t tear my hair out when I don’t have access to chocolate.

    However, with a family, I can totally see how doing this would be extremely difficult. Good luck!!

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  3. Thankyou so much for your feedback! Very interesting that this affects a number of people, probably more than realise. Yes, sugar addiction, I hear you. I did find when I was off wheat/grain, sugar craving diminished significantly by itself, but I’m not sure of the science behind that. We’re considering an experiment for the whole family, b/c I think it would be easier for everyone to eat the same, and besides it would presumably be better for us all. A question – is honey an acceptable sub for sugar – I thought it was in effect the same ie. glucose/fructose? And are you completely grain free or does wheat free work for you?

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    • Hi, sorry for the tardiness! Life!
      I’ve substituted honey for sugar. I don’t know that it’s “better” in terms of insulin/cortisol, but I did it to get away from the processing (chemical and physical) that is involved with producing sugar. I’ve heard that there are acceptable substitutes, like agave syrup, that are more helpful in normalizing insulin sensitivities. I am grain-free simply because I feel better when I am. I hate that most, if not all, of our wheat is GMOed, and grains (including rice) make me feel bloated and heavy. I did all of these diet alterations simply because they made me feel better — I am no longer bloated, my digestion is quicker and better, and I don’t feel like I’ve got a lead brick in my intestines. My addiction to sugar is also significantly more controlled, which is much better for my mood and my wallet!
      I think you’re right — this is more common than we realize. I think there is a tendency to blame gluten when there may be any number of things triggering similar responses. I tell people to listen to their body; your body will indicate what it needs. All we have to do is listen 🙂

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