About Going Gluten-Free and Grain-Free
Celebrating Life Gluten and Grain Free
On January 7, 2013, I decided to try to go gluten and grain free. Today I am still celebrating that decision and enjoying renewed health beyond my greatest exceptions.
My mother had always said that the number "13" was her lucky number, and I always felt the same way for me. At the very beginning of 2013, I discovered Dr. William Davis's book, "The Wheat Belly Cookbook" and it was my lucky day.
Dr. Davis helped me understand why I had been plagued all my life with so many auto-immune problems like asthma, allergies, bowel problems and arthritis, as well as, type 2 diabetes, glaucoma and who knows what else.
Looking at the recipes made me realize that the switch from wheat to healthier nut flours and seeds really wasn't the challenge that I thought it would be. I'm a sugar-holic and chocoholic and soon realized that giving up wheat didn't mean giving up my treats. There were some foods I wasn't really crazy about, like brussel sprouts, but it is amazing how their taste has suddenly become like eating candy when cooked with great seasonings and added flavors.
The food industry has quickly jumped on the band wagon by creating all types of gluten-free pre-packaged foods, but they have loaded them up with high-glycemic ingredients that raise your blood and make you crave more. When you see corn starch, potato starch, tapioca starch, and white rice flour, these are the high carbohydrate ingredients you want to avoid. You'll also note that many of them have added sugar and higher salt to make them taste even better and make you want more.
The best thing for you to do is get in the habit of making everything your self. That way you control what you put into your mouth. If you can't, read the labels very carefully.
Label reading is essential for all pre-packaged foods.
I mentioned what to look for on food labeled "Gluten Free," but what about foods that are not.
Look at this label for Stevia in the Raw. You see the first ingredient is maltodextrin which may be derived from wheat or corn starch. If it is derived from wheat, it is supposed to specify it on the label. Most is derived from corn in the US and Canada. If you find a sensitivity to it, avoid it.
I always use KAL or Trader Joes pure Stevia Extract Powder. It doesn't have the maltodextrin in it. I just make it a rule for my self to avoid additives. You really have to look at labels.
Just yesterday I was at an 80th birthday party and figured I'd splurge with a small scoop of ice cream and skip the brownies made with wheat. I asked to see the ice cream container, and guess what? There in the list of ingredients near the bottom was wheat flour. Who would have thought?
My Favorite Gluten-Free and Grain-Free Recipe Books
As more individuals begin to realize that wheat has been a contributor to their declining health, more people have been working on putting together great recipes to make this lifestyle change easy and permanent.
Here are some of my favorites.
Melissa is a mom of two very young children and has created wonderful recipes in all sorts of categories. They are quick and easy to prepare with ingredients that should be readily available in your home if gluten free. I have the Kindle version on my lap top and cell phone, so I can refer to a recipe while out shopping. It comes in very handy.
Her second cookbook has even more great recipes. In both books she follows the recommendations of Dr. Davis in his original book. I haven't found a recipe yet in either book that I haven't liked.
This newer cookbook by Dr. Davis is great. The recipes are easier to make and than in the original cookbook. The biggest time-saving addition is the basic baking mix that he has put together and uses in many of his recipes. It make it so simple to make great tasting baked goods that are gluten and grain free in minutes.
Some of My Other Hubs That Might Interest You
One of the first things I did when starting my wheat and grain-free lifestyle was to write a journal which I have updated over time. It shares my early reactions, some favorite foods I have tried, health improvements, and some horrible experiences I had when accidentally eating something with wheat in it.
I've also shared some recipes I have developed. I'm not sure which is my favorite, but here are a few.
To Test of Not? That is the Question.
Each individual responds differently to gluten. If you suspect that you are gluten sensitive, going without it for 1 to 2 weeks or more is probably the best test you can ever give yourself to help you get in control of your health.
I decided to try it for a week and felt so much better that I did another week, and another, and suddenly, I find myself 20 months later still on it and being the healthiest I have ever been.
Would you ever try going without gluten to test yourself for sensitivity?
Share any experiences you have had regarding gluten sensitivity that may help others understand it better in the questbook below.