Our family is embarking on a new way of eating.
After much research and deliberation over the last couple of months we have finally decided for most of the family to see if it makes a difference for us.
Why did we start down this path?
Well the initial reason was we have a couple of our family members who have issues with depression. My research seemed to indicate that wheat significantly increased depression in those susceptible. It seemed that sugar achieved the same effect as well although my research on this is not as significant as yet. I am still waiting for a book to arrive to help me each a more definite decision. However we are now 'sugar free' and use coconut sugar, stevia and honey for our sweeteners.
As we have some other children with anxiety, and hyperactivity which once again from my research seems to suggest that it comes form a wheat sensitivity.
I also have read in my research that Asthma which we have in the family can also be caused by a wheat intolerance.
What I needed to research before we headed down this path was some significant issues for us.
What can we possible eat when you eliminate wheat. Frankly added sugar was easy to eliminate, finding the added sugars in all it's forms was much harder as we had to read EVERYTHING.
What about feast day cooking?
What can we replace bread with?
What about cakes and cookies?
So these were some of the 'problems' I checked out first. I have spent weeks researching various sites and blogs for recipes and ideas. This meant I had to be sure and make a mind set change.
Although we do not eat a lot of processed foods we did eat bread and packaged cereal as well as canned goods, and some packet foods. What I have discovered is that wheat and sugar in almost everything you buy that has some degree of 'prepared' process.
We rarely eat packaged snacks and when we do it is one packet of potato ships or family block chocolate between 14 (12 with the boys away), so as you can see it isn't a lot at any one time. These are special foods and not eaten daily either.
So once we made the decision the first thing was to take everything out of the pantry and restock with what we could have.
Below is some information I found useful in us coming to this journey. We have been grain free for over a week now and sugar free for about 2-3 depending on who in the family and using the last of some thing sin our pantry.
As part of the process of seeing if this is effective in behaviour modification and in regards to depression I have taken some notes (personal) on what I see as problems within the family. We have also taken weights and measurements to chart this as well.
I am keeping receipts and records of what we eat based off a fortnightly menu and shopping as I want to record the cost for our family. This is an issue for us too as feeding a large family this way I think will cost a lot. Most of the information and blogs I have found are for small families and so I cannot compare the cost benefit.
So watch out for the posts on: fortnightly menu, pantry elimination, weekly- 'what we did eat', and some great resources and blogs I have found.
The main book I read from for our change in eating habits was ~ Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
Here is a Free Interview
For my gluten free friends are you aware of this quote from the Author of Wheat Belly
"I strongly urge people to avoid commercial gluten-free products. This is because, in place of wheat flour, these products, such as gluten-free whole grain bread, are made using cornstarch, rice starch, tapioca starch, and potato starch. These powdered starches are among the few foods that increase blood sugar higher than even whole wheat. It means these foods trigger weight gain in the abdomen (“gluten-free belly”), increased blood sugars, insulin resistance and diabetes, cataracts, and arthritis. They are not healthy replacements for wheat."
Here are some main points from the book ~
The addictive properties of wheat, for instance, expressed as overwhelming temptation and obsession, obstructed by opiate-blocking drugs, are not directly due to gluten, but to exorphins, the breakdown product of gluten.
If the gap left by wheat is filled with vegetables, nuts, meats, eggs, avocados, olives, cheese—i.e., real food—then not only won’t you develop a dietary deficiency, you will enjoy better health, more energy, better sleep, weight loss, and reversal of all the abnormal phenomena we’ve discussed
By now, I’m confident you’re attuned to the fact that wheat is not just about bread. Wheat is ubiquitous—it’s in everything
If you wish to roll back the appetite-stimulating, insulin-distorting, and small LDL-triggering effects of foods beyond wheat, or if substantial weight loss is among your health goals, then you should consider reducing or eliminating the following foods in addition to eliminating wheat.
- Cornstarch and cornmeal—cornmeal products such as tacos, tortillas, corn chips, and corn breads, breakfast cereals, and sauces and gravies thickened with cornstarch
- Snack foods—potato chips, rice cakes, popcorn. These foods, like foods made of cornstarch, send blood sugar straight up to the stratosphere.
- Desserts—Pies, cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, sherbet, and other sugary desserts all pack too much sugar.
- Rice—white or brown; wild rice. Modest servings are relatively benign, but large servings (more than ½ cup) generate adverse blood sugar effects.
- Potatoes—White, red, sweet potatoes, and yams cause effects similar to those generated by rice.
- Legumes—black beans, butter beans, kidney beans, lima beans; chickpeas; lentils. Like potatoes and rice, there is potential for blood sugar effects, especially if serving size exceeds ½ cup.
- Gluten-free foods—Because the cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch, and tapioca starch used in place of wheat gluten causes extravagant blood sugar rises, they should be avoided.
- Fruit juices, soft drinks—Even if they are “natural,” fruit juices are not that good for you. While they contain healthy components such as flavonoids and vitamin C, the sugar load is simply too great for the benefit. Small servings of two to four ounces are generally fine, but more will trigger blood sugar consequences. Soft drinks, especially carbonated, are incredibly unhealthy mostly due to added sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, colorings, and the extreme acid challenge from the carbonic acid carbonation.
- Dried fruit—dried cranberries, raisins, figs, dates, apricots
- Other grains—Nonwheat grains such as quinoa, sorghum, buckwheat, millet, and possibly oats lack the immune system and exorphin consequences of wheat. However, they post substantial carbohydrate challenges, sufficient to generate high blood sugars. I believe these grains are safer than wheat, but small servings (less than ½ cup) are key to minimize the blood sugar impact.
Blessings to you and your homes,