February 24, 2012

Going Grain-free

The internet is a great resource for finding information and recipes.  I think of my grandmother and her recipe binders and know that having access to millions of recipes online is much easier than searching through binders.  Don't get me wrong, her binders contain years of cooking, baking and sharing of timeless recipes with her family and friends.  The digital age has not taken away what is in the binders, but has made it easier and faster to access recipes.  The ironic part of this is that I still print out recipes that I find on the internet because I do not always have access to a computer in my kitchen.  I also like to be able to write on the recipe if I changed anything.  I have a recipe binder in my cupboard, but it is not organized - I need to get on that ASAP! Or, at least type up the recipes and save them on my computer for the day that Brittany and I publish a cookbook! We need to get on that...

Yesterday, I visited my naturopath, who I haven't seen in over a year. My body and mind feel tired all the time and no matter what I eat (whether really clean or somewhat unclean) I cannot feel better.  It is a hard thing to be worn down and stuck in a rut.  After conducting bio-meridian tests, she told me that my body was creating anti-bodies in my small intestine to gliadin, which is a glycoprotein found in grains.  My thyroid and adrenals were being affected, which resulted in feeling tired and puffy all the time.  There is so much of this that I don't understand, but I will be doing more research.  I thought that eating gluten-free was good enough, but it turns out that all grains (including rice, oats, corn, kamut, spelt...) can be harmful to our digestive system, which leads to unnecessary inflammation in our bodies.

In the last few months we've been eating more rice and oatmeal.  I've also been having spelt toast in the mornings once in a while.  I also love (and am slightly addicted to) rice crackers.  There is also the issue of a certain gluten-free pizza binge every Saturday night for a month or so. I was not eating as much gluten, but was substituting for other gluten-free grains (like rice and oatmeal) that may be wearing my body down and causing problems with nutrient absorption.  So now, I am going grain-free, which means eliminating all the grains that I do eat.  It will take at least 3 months of clean eating to eliminate the antibodies, inflammation and to repair the damage.

This is where the internet comes in; it will be helpful to know what I can eat that is grain-free, but also finding different recipes to try.  This isn't going to be difficult; it is a matter of finding healthy substitutes for the grain foods I do love (like rice crackers). Almond flour, coconut and amaranth flour are likely going to be my staple grain-free baking ingredients - this isn't different from what I usually bake with.  I am also excited to try some quinoa flour recipes.  Quinoa is loaded with protein and is a great substitute for rice. I think my biggest concern with this is ensuring the recipes I do try are still nutritious and not just loaded with heavy starches (like potato flour).

The first recipe I am going to try is for a grain-free pizza base that includes quinoa, buckwheat, potato and arrowroot flours.  I will try it out and post the recipe if it meets mine and Michael's approval.

1 comment:

  1. Tired and puffy sounds familiar! I think this is something I should research (especially since I assumed amaranth, qunioa and buckwheat would be grains ...) but it seems quite daunting to me. I'll be looking forward to more posts!