Not Just Gluten

I get asked a lot, “oh, so you’re gluten-free,” or “oh! You can’t have wheat,” or “are you a celiac?” It’s not so simple. I was tested about 5 years ago for celiac disease, both by blood work and endoscope. Both came back negative, however, I’ve since learned this can happen and you may still have a gluten intolerance. Seeing as how wheat and other gluten grains affect me so horribly I am not convinced the results of those tests I had years ago were correct, or even told the whole story. In my case, the holistic testing has been far more exacting and correct. How do I know? Through trial and error. I am not only on a gluten-free diet, but also a grain free diet. That’s right. Not all grain has gluten in it. There are many grains a celiac can still eat. However, it’s not so in my case. The more grains I’ve experimented with the more we realize I just can’t have grain. Period. End of story. What is grain? (And, apparently this is not a dumb question.) Grain is pretty much anything that grows on a plant–wheat, corn, rice, flax, barley, etc. Soy is not a grain, it’s a bean, but I can’t have it either. And, this means anything that is made from said grains (cornstarch, corn syrup, the various flours, etc) I can. not. eat. I tried doing sprouted grain when I first went down this road, and we found they were no better in my system.

If I can’t eat grain (which also means, cakes, cookies, breads, muffins, donuts, cereals, pasta, anything you put any kind of flour or cornstarch in…) then what on earth do I eat? I eat fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, butter and olive oil. I season all of our foods with herbs and spices (can’t wait to have my own herb garden in the summer!). I do NOT use packets of seasonings, or any boxed meals. They are FULL of preservatives and grains. (It’s quite shocking, actually, everything that is added to our food.) How on earth do I get full if that is “all” I eat? You’d be surprised! It took us, as family, about a week to realize that not eating grains actually filled us up fuller and LONGER at meal times then eating our meals with grains/starches.

Yes, it’s been hard. There is no doubt about it. It’s been a struggle. Sometimes I just want to eat a bowl of cereal for supper, dang it! But, when I get a hold of something with grain in it (happens in places outside my home where I’m not in control of what is being fixed and how the food is being prepared) I get so sick and remember why I’m not eating grains. It’s worth it to me. It’s worth not feeling horrendously tired, worn out, depleted, depressed and just plain sick to my stomach. Is this a diet I would choose for everyone? Yes, actually, but I’m not in control of what you eat! It’s not that grains are bad, it’s the way in which the food industry as abused them and manipulated them for mass production. Grain is pretty much in EVERYTHING you put in your mouth unless you’re buying fresh fruit, veggies and meat (and even some meat you have to be careful of). We eat way too many grains in our society, and I firmly believe this has resulted in obesity and so many people having allergies and intolerances to such things. Yes, God created grains for us to eat, and yes, history shows people eating grains. However, grains are not today as they were created by God. They have been manipulated and changed to resist pesticide and to mass-produce. I feel totally comfortable saying grains today are not helpful to our bodies (unless you grow your own, or maybe buy organic) and are more a hinderance than help.

I encourage you, the next time you go grocery shopping, to read every single label. If you can’t pronounce even ONE ingredient, or have any idea what it is, leave it on the shelf. And, I mean EVERY label. You’d be surprised what is in peanut butter, jelly, juices, mix packets, canned goods, etc. It’s scary, and I think we need to stand up and take notice. Anyway, this is one big opinion alert, I suppose, but something I feel so strongly about. I say these things for your health. Not because I think I know everything, but by simply changing how our family eats we’ve noticed a huge difference in our health, moods and general outlook on life. Give it a try! I dare you!

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