On the Interstate at last, heading home from the Atlanta area, where the long weekend was packed with the Stone Mountain Highland Games – in “Stone” Mountain, Georgia, and a Reformation Worship Conference held at Midway Presbyterian Church in Powder Springs, Georgia. This marks the end of our “competition season” for the Charleston Police Pipes and Drums, and kind of the beginning of the “holiday season” in my mind. Since I’ve been pretty quiet on here for the past few months because of so much piping and the huge dietary changes we’ve been making (10 hours in the kitchen most days punctuated by a few hours here and there of practicing my pipes) I figured now would be a good time to check back in on the blogosphere. I’ve had lots of random “blog post” conversations running through my head on long runs or interminable drives (a 16-hr roundtrip to the Virginia Highland Games and a 6-hr roundtrip to the Scotland County Games, both alone), but seldom have I had the chunks of time necessary to actually record them for posterity. 🙂 I’ve also been working on a new photo book for our year in England (ahhhh…such fun pictures!!) which has to be finished before the 31st so I can take advantage of a 20%-off offer (when your books are almost 200 pages, that 20% makes a huge difference!) A few other things have been keeping me busier than usual as well – like teaching a class at the kids’ homeschool co-op and starting up as the piano teacher for my four older children finally – so sleep has taken priority over the blog. 🙂 After a Games recap and Recipe Rundown, I will FINALLY attempt to answer some of the questions like “Why did you give up wheat after 11 years of grinding your own wheat?” that I’ve been repeatedly getting from friends and family. That will be at the end of this very long post….
First things first, though – we had a great weekend in Georgia. We left early Thursday morning so John could be at the conference for workshops in the afternoon. Several of the speakers were from the UK, and the topics were truly beneficial and encouraging. I hung out in the hotel room all that day with 6 kids, and then we joined him for dinner and an evening worship service at the church. On Friday, John spent the day at the church again while the children and I took advantage of the hot breakfast in the hotel, the tv (Cartoon Network, anyone?), the couches in the lobby, and the rocking chairs on the front porch. I think the front desk staff tired of the “cute kids” by around 3pm. A wee bit too much cuteness (or maybe just a tad bit too much NOISE, along with the incessant opening and closing of the automatic doors)… Then in the evening again, we returned for family worship. I dropped everyone off at the hotel afterwards and headed over to the East side of Atlanta to meet up with the band. This meant John got enjoy the pool and hot tub Saturday with the children, along with several more hours of stupid commercials on Cartoon Network. 🙂
Saturday morning wasn’t as early as some Highland Games because I wasn’t competing in the solo competition (Grade IV solos were on Sunday, so I skipped those this time.) That meant a much more leisurely day and a pretty enjoyable Games overall. The band didn’t score well, but we had a successful run with no glaring mishaps at the beginning or end, and some good things to work on for the next time. Our drum corps came out with a second place from the drumming judge, which was a pretty big achievement in such a big field with a lot of good bands. Definitely not our BEST run, but truly the performance was not a huge disappointment to us until we saw the scoresheets. The two piping judges placed us 11th and 13th, and the ensemble judge had us as 4th. Apparently there were around 17 bands (?) so overall we came in around the middle probably, but I don’t know our exact place. I LOVED all the vendors at the games, and the layout was such that if you hung out in the children’s area or the Clan Tent Area, you could easily hear several of the music stages or grab food from the British food trucks. 🙂 Everywhere you went had sufficient shade (and a bit of shelter from the drizzle), along with paved pathways for pushing strollers or pulling bags. I can’t imagine a better setup and highly recommend the Stone Mountain Games if you’re looking for one festival for a family outing.
Here are a few shots from the games, described in the captions. 🙂
That’s me with my back to you, in the rain cape with a ponytail – in this fuzzy picture from friend Mary in the band, it’s the Grade IV Band tuning up before our competition.
Now for a quick trip into my kitchen of late, more for my sake than for yours, so that I can record somewhere all the winners I’ve been concocting. A lot of things have been losers, so I’m not going to bother mentioning those. I just want somewhere safe to keep the growing list of yummy things to make when avoiding wheat. I’m always fearful that I’ll lose the random scraps of paper or have my computer totally die and then I’ll never find the recipes again…
So without further ado (yes I mentioned many of these in my last few posts, but here will be all the links and recipes I’m allowed to post):
[and if you know how I can get the spaces back that I put in between all these recipes, please let me know…they keep disappearing making it hard to read!]
, using cashew butter (or in my case, a few cups of cashews I ground into cashew butter) and not altered in any way from the original recipe – from Against All Grain. (Incidentally, while preparing this post I noticed a few more awesome ones from her site I will need to try, like Caramel Apple Spice Waffles, her Pumpkin Bread, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – without oatmeal of course because they are grain-free, and pecan french toast – made with ground up pecans I’m sure.) Her website specifically says I may only link to recipes, so follow the link if you’re interested.
Top and side views of the Sandwich Bread from Against All Grain
Also from Against All Grain (I’d better write these recipes down somewhere else so they’re not pulled off the internet at some point…) which I can’t post here, and TRUE run-right-out-and-make-them-right-now wheat-free winners:
Macadamia Nut Waffles
(also found a recipe from her using cashews, and I made them together for a side-by-side comparison.)
I can’t post the recipe as she had it, but I will give it WITH MY CHANGES because I made them for certain reasons, so they are significant in my mind. 🙂
Macadamia Nut Waffles (Armstrong style)
1 cup raw macadamia nuts
½ cup coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp Xylitol
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon coconut flour
¾ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Blend it all together in a high-speed blender, and then cook according to waffle iron instructions. 🙂
Lettuce Wraps (al la P.F. Chang’s):
1 pound ground chicken or turkey (believe me – I’ve tried it with cut up steak and ground beef as well, and cut uo chicken – go with the ground poultry.)
1 large onion, chopped
Some sort of crunchy thing to add, either chopped cashews or peanuts, or water chestnuts work well.
Make up the sauce (which includes the ingredients of 1/4 cup hoison sauce that I combined into the recipe)
2 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
5 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp molasses (or honey)
scant 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or red wine vinegar as subst.)
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp Asian chili pepper sauce (supposed to be 3 tsp, but this is too spicy for us — also as a substitute, for each tsp use 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper and 1/4 tsp chili flakes)
2 tsp sesame seed oil
Mix sauce into meat and simmer a while. At the end, stir in another 2 tsp sesame seed oil. Spoon into lettuce and chow down.
NOW HERE ARE A FEW FROM THE COOKBOOK PRIMAL CRAVINGS: They have a blog/website,
and these are not on the blog so I cannot link them. I want this book for Christmas, hint, hint 😉
A TRUE WINNER! Maple, Orange, Chipotle Sweet Potato Crisp
Heat the oven to 350. Make the filling first, and then top and bake 30 minutes.
2 pounds sweet potatoes (peeled and boiled about 10 minutes)
Beat together and add in (continue beating):
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup and 2 Tbsp Xylitol)
1 Tbsp Orange Zest
3 Tbsp Orange Juice
salt to taste
Make the topping:
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in large skillet
Add 1/4 cup maple syrup (again I used 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup and 2 Tbsp Xylitol)
1/4 cup coconut sugar (I used 2 Tbsp coconut sugar and 2 Tbsp Xylitol)
1 Tbsp Orange Juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Cook til the mixture bubbles, about 2 minutes.
Stir in 2 cups pecans halves
Pour filing into 2 qt casserole, Top with pecan mixture, bake. DEE-LISH as Polly Pocket would say.
Tequila, Lime, and Green Onion Slaw (very tasty and unique, not a hit with the family, though I loved it.)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp tequila
1 2-lb green cabbage, shredded
salt to taste
Maple Pecan Pie Squares
Heat the oven to 350, then make the crust, pressing it into an 8X8 dish and baking it for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool before filling.
Crust: 1 1/2 cups pecan flour (I just ground up a bunch of pecans and called it flour.)
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Maple syrup (I used 1 Tbsp Maple syrup, 1 Tbsp Xylitol.)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup Maple Syrup (yes, I cut this in half with Xylitol again…)
1/2 tsp salt
Fill the crust, then pour 1 cup pecan halves over it. Bake 20 minutes.
I’VE MADE THESE NEXT ONES SEVERAL TIMES IN DIFFERENT WAYS NOW BECAUSE THEY ARE SUCH A HIT.
Chocolate Coconut Scout Cookies
Heat oven to 350 and line cookie sheet with parchment paper of a silicone pad.
Whisk all the ingredients together and drop in heaping tablespoons onto the cookie sheet. (Don’t push them down flat like I did once – it led to them being crumbly instead of staying together as nice chewy mounds.)
Bake 15 minutes – tip: the coconut oil baked out and started dripping off the cookie sheet onto the bottom of the oven, so the next time I lined the oven bottom with foil.
1 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
1/3 cup coconut sugar (I halved the amount and used Xylitol in its place)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips (the second time I made these I was out of chips, so I added walnuts. Then I froze the cookies, bought some chips, melted the chocolate, and “frosted” all the cookies with the melted chocolate chips. That’s how we do it over here…)
That’s all from Primal Cravings.
Finely chop your veg and soften them in hot oil on the stove in a big oven-proof pot.
1 yellow pepper (use red and it’s too sweet, green and it’s bitter.)
3 cloves garlic (use more if you’re me.)
about 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Next, add 2 – 14oz cans of diced tomatoes
4 Tbsp tomato paste
1 glass of red wine (there’s a “definition” of a glass of wine in the UK – a certain number of milliliters, but whatever.)
1 Tbsp brown sugar (Use a little less; you won’t regret it. I used Xylitol I believe.)
1 Tbsp Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Cook at 250 degrees (F) for at least 2 hours. I tasted again and added TONS more seasoning – more oregano, some garlic powder, a bit of red pepper. Brilliant.
Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Bread
(all the almond flour recipes I have adapted to using blanched almonds in a 1-1 ratio.)
Process together first til almonds are smooth:
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups blanched almonds
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
Add to food processor and pulse each ingredient in one at a time:
1/4 tsp vanilla stevia liquid drops
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup grated zucchini
Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes (depending on the pan.)
I’ve used two recipes from the “My Living Nutrition” blog
. We liked one better than the other – which is supposed to be for hamburger buns, but we used it for hot dogs.
Grain-free hamburger/hot dog buns
¼ cup flax seed, ground
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
¼ cup greek yogurt
4 pastured eggs
1 tsp honey
Mix the dry ingredients together, then the wet ingredients together, then mix those all together and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.
I’ve mentioned these repeatedly, from The Detonxinista’s blog, so here’s the whole recipe:
Grain-Free Pumpkin Bars
Combine all ingredients and mix well to form a smooth batter.
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup almond butter
⅓ cup honey (I use only half of this, the rest Xylitol.)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
Bake in a greased 8X8 pan for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F.
*Note: I like to use Pumpkin Pie Spice to make preparation as quick and simple as possible. This spice blend is widely available in most grocery stores, but you can also find it available online. If you’d prefer to use individual spices, I’d recommend using 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves to replace the 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
And then, if you have a hankering for a slice of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Loaf, this might just cure you of it-
(The link is the original recipe which I altered a tad.)
Combine all together and bake in a greased loaf pan for about 40 minutes. (Used duck eggs for this one last week which added a good 20 minutes to the time!)
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup pumpkin (I think it needs more pumpkin flavor, so maybe go to 3/4 cup.)
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp Xylitol
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
dash of ground cloves
Here’s a Pad Thai
(recipe posted includes my changes – the original is from About.com) I’ve made a few times lately, also a bit too spicy for kids, so reduction of chili may be necessary:
8 oz. Thai rice noodles, or enough for 2 people (FOLLOW PACKAGE COOKING DIRECTIONS, then set aside.)
12-15 small to medium raw shrimp, shells removed
1 boneless chicken breast or 1-2 thighs*, chopped up into small pieces
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 green onions, sliced (keep white separate from green)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced ginger
1-2 fresh red or green chilies (or as much or little as you like), finely sliced
2-3 cups bean sprouts
handful fresh coriander/cilantro
some baby bok choy
handful of sugar snap peas
1/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil for stir-frying (e.g. coconut, peanut, corn, sunflower, etc…)
lime wedges for serving
PAD THAI SAUCE:
1 to 1+1/2 Tbsp. lime juice (I substituted this for the tamarind paste, because who has that around?)
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
(you must use this. there is no substitute. unless you have several tins of anchovies floating around your kitchen ready for you to puree and strain into a liquid.)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp. chili sauce, OR 1/3 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
3-4 Tbsp. palm sugar OR brown sugar
Cook pasta according to directions and set aside.
Toss cut-up chicken in soy sauce and set aside.
Make the Pad Thai Sauce and set aside.
In a arge frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp oil, add white parts of onions, garlic, ginger, and chili. Stir-fry one minute.
Add chicken and stir-fry 2 minutes, or until opaque when you cut into it. Add shrimp and stir-fry another 2-3 minutes til shrimp are pink.
Push everything to the sides of the pan, then crack the egg and quickly scramble it in the middle for about a minute. Add the noodles and drizzle about 1/3 of the Pad Thai Sauce over it all; start turning it all together with two big utensils. Keep stir-frying over medium/high heat. Don’t let the noodles burn, and keeping adding sauce about every minute as it dries out. Do this til all the sauce is in.
Turn off heat and fold in all the veggies. Let it sit a few minutes then stir up again and taste-test.
Serve with the nuts, green onions, and cilantro to garnish.
Forgot I made some Chocolate Chip Scones about a month ago. Problem is, I can’t remember which recipe I used – I just know they were delicious. Oops. Going to have to remake them again now….Here are the links, and I’ll update with the winner another time. 🙂
Oh yeah – and I made this Tiramisu
from Primal Palate’s blog:
It was quite yummy, not absolutely like real tiramisu, but tasty all the same.
Bits and Pieces you need:
Sheet cake with thin layer of Coconut Flour Lady Fingers (instead of 30 ladyfingers)
1 1/2 cups Coffee and Amaretto Syrup
4 cups Tiramisu Cream Cheese Filling
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Line bottom of 9X9 dish with a layer of the lady fingers. Drizzle them with the syrup, top with half the cream cheese filling. Then repeat these steps – sprinkle cocoa powder on the top layer. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.
Recipes for the bits and pieces:
Coconut flour Lady Fingers – Bake about 13 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Beat 4 egg whites until stiff.
In another bowl combine:
4 egg yolks
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Maple syrup
Sift in 1/3 cup coconut flour.
Fold in egg whites.
Fold in 1 tsp instant coffee grounds.
Coffee and Amaretto Syrup – Over medium heat in small sauce pan:
Heat 2/3 cup strongly brewed coffee.
Add 1/2 cup Maple syrup and
1/4 Amaretto (or you can substitute appropriate amount of almond extract – google it.)
Bring to boil and simmer about five minutes.
Allow to cool before using.
Tiramisu Cream Cheese
Whip 1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream.
In separate bowl combine with mixer:
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
16oz Cream Cheese, softened
Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.
Here’s some non-dairy Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream I recently threw together from my head (and from having made tons of ice cream in the recent past):
In a saucepan, warm up 2 cups coconut milk, along with:
6 Tbsp coconut sugar
6 Tbsp Xylitol.
In a medium bowl, whisk together:
5 egg yolks
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
Once the milk mixture is getting bubbles around the edges, slowly stir a few tablespoons of the hot milk into your bowl of egg yolks, mixing well.
Add the yolk mixture into the hot milk pot now, whisking it in quickly. Once it’s all milk, continue stirring/heating until it coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and transfer to a container for the fridge.
Add 1 tsp vanilla extract, then refrigerate at least a few hours.
Right before transferring to the ice cream maker, add 1 Tbsp rum. (This keeps it creamy in the freezer.)
Once out of the ice cream maker, eat it as soft serve, or transfer to a container for the freezer to let it harden up.
— mentioned these as a winner, but here’s the recipe, from The Spunky Coconut
Using an electric mixer of some sort, mix all the ingredients together, spread into a quire dish, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so.
1 cup almond butter
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp vanilla stevia drops
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 chocolate chips (original recipe called for raisins – like oatmeal raisin cookies)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
Last one for now – since I have about 10 more waiting in the wings to be cooked and sampled before I post them as successes – just made these for the weekend travels, from PaleoOMG’s blog
– her Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins,
which she featured in a recent Fall Recipe Roundup (which contains several more amazing-looking recipes).
I only made one change which I’ll just denote below:
⅓ cup pumpkin puree
⅓ cup maple syrup (I used half maple syrup, half xylitol)
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
3 eggs, whisked (I doubled the recipe and added one extra egg.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon powdered ginger
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
½ cup Chocolate Chips (I also added some chopped-up extra-dark chocolate – when I doubled it I used 1/2 cup chips and 1/2 cup dark chocolate.)
Mix together the wet ingredients, then the dry ingredients, then add the dry to the wet. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350.
Okay, so that’s it. I seriously have been cooking my butt off. I should say – cooking my butt “on” since all the eating, you know, adds to its expanse. 🙂 But NOT REALLY because actually, even with all the sweets and treats, etc – I have mysteriously lost some weight. You could call it a “diet” because our new “diet” does not include wheat and significantly reduces our grain intake overall, but eating delicious things as frequently as I desire them whenever I’m hungry doesn’t constitute a diet in any known universe.
Speaking of this new “way of eating” – to answer your questions would take pages and pages of dialogue, links, etc. Basically, you know we’re health enthusiasts anyway. We commonly read the websites of Dr. Mercola
, The Mommypotamus
, and The Health Ranger
(who many probably just think is a nut), and we try to stay up on the best ways to feed the family so as to prevent chronic illnesses and raise healthy and happy people. That being said – it can be deduced that we already believe certain things about food, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, GMOs and all sorts of other topics. What finally instigated this HUGE lifestyle change was reading Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis
. I asked my dad to peruse it while he was here, and he pointed out a lot of things that one must already believe
before anything else will convince you to keep reading the book or swallow anything the author proposes. I hadn’t thought of that because I ALREADY – as I just said – have certain notions about health and how it relates to food. Wheat Belly
doesn’t back up many of its basic premises because that wasn’t really the point of the book. The book starts at point F and jumps to Z (with a lot of great explanation and research given) but does not start at A and take you to Z. In other words, unless you already are in a certain place, you won’t be convinced to go wheat-free (and mostly entirely grain-free) by this book as we were. We only read the Cookbook, which has about 100 pages of introduction pretty much taken straight from his book. Probably five pages of it was enough for us.
I could go on and on about why eating grains – even “healthy whole grains” – is not the best plan for your health. Instead, I will summarize by saying – it’s not the best thing for your blood sugar levels.
And that blood sugar affects so many other functions in your body. Read about it on Dr. Mercola’s
website if you’d like an adequate description of the havoc wreaked on the human body by consuming grain-based carbohydrates as the foundation of a diet. Here’s a good quote, from an article on lowering blood sugar in order to lower blood pressure
“The first thing you need to do is remove all grains and sugars from your diet, particularly fructose
, until both your weight and your blood pressure have normalized. Eating sugars and grains — including any
type of bread, pasta, corn, potatoes, or rice — will cause your insulin levels and your blood pressure to remain elevated.”
And furthermore: “Fructose is emerging as a powerful player in hypertension, so avoiding this pervasive sweetener as much as possible is an important strategy. However, if you have high blood pressure you should take care to avoid all foods that will raise your insulin levels
, and this includes sugars and grains. Even whole, organic grains will rapidly break down to sugars, so they too should be avoided.If you have high blood pressure (or high cholesterol or obesity), you’ll want to avoid foods like:
In our case, we have cut back on foods from all of these categories but are primarily focusing on wheat-based breads/pastas/treats as the things we completely avoid. If you want to know why, according to the thinking in our household, we avoid the humble wheat grain, there are a lot of interesting articles linked from the Wheat Belly Blog, particularly: “Your Addiction to Wheat Products is Making You Fat and Unhealthy” from The Atlantic (Be sure to click at the end to read the whole interview, as most of the “scientific” info is on part 2. This one puts me in mind of the line in Scott Pilgrim – “Wait – Bread makes you fat?”), “Against The Grain: How Wheat Wrecks Your Health and Physique,” and “Interview with Wheat Belly Author” from the Fathead Blog. Seriously – any questions you might ask me will be better answered by the author of the book who answers a ton of questions in these links. Sometimes he says things like, “But what surprised me was that there already was an extensive medical literature documenting all of this, but it was largely ignored or didn’t reach mainstream consciousness nor the consciousness of most of my colleagues. And a lot of the documentation comes from the agricultural genetics literature, an area, I can assure you, my colleagues do not study.” Point being – he cites all these studies in his book, and if you REALLY wanted to test his hypotheses you would need to look things up and read the research. People cite all sorts of studies and statistics in making claims about health issues and could quite honestly make whatever outrageous statements they wanted to and the reader would be none the wiser. So – have I checked his supporting documentation? Nope. Probably because I am already on the “same page,” so to speak, and am ready to believe what he is saying. I’m relatively confident, however, that were his bibliography shown to be a bunch of malarkey, it would have already made national news and he would have been shown to be a fraud. What is a fraud anyway? Shouldn’t he be trying to sell me something by misleading me? Ah ha – the true source of my conviction about this:
The man isn’t selling anyone anything. Telling people to give up a group of foods doesn’t cost him anything (other than his credibility if he’s proven to be a quack), nor does it cost the people who go off of wheat anything. Generally, I tend to “hear people out” more when they don’t ask me for money.
So there you have it, a good summary of the new eating philosophy around here, which you can only delve into, if you so desire, by clicking on those links. 🙂 For us, though, elimination of ALL grains is simply not possible. We’re feeding 8 people 3-5 times a day, and that just can’t be done without a bit of corn, rice, and potatoes – all foods which provide calories at a low cost. In other words, especially when feeding growing children, we need a bit of bulk in the diet because meat and veg all cost money. I’ll make a huge curry meal with several types of curries made from vegetables and meats, and then serve it over rice. John and I will have more curry than rice, and the kids will have about equal parts of each. I emptied the cupboards of everything except non-GMO corn tortilla chips and corn tortillas (all other corn-based snacks are gone, most especially cereals), and rice for cooking. We’ve got a tiny bit of pasta around made from quinoa as well as a few potatoes for a once-a-week potato meal. It may not sound like a big deal, but I literally dumped 1/2 of what was in the pantry, and over the last few months we’ve filled the boxes up with nuts, alternative flours (like coconut or ground flaxseed), tons of coconut products (maybe the author of Wheat Belly has stock in a coconut company?) like coconut milk, coconut butter, coconut palm sugar, coconut palm shortening, coconut oil, and just plain coconut, and other things to use in place of flour (nuts, seeds, and beans to grind.)
This is not to say that we don’t “splurge” when necessary (like this weekend when on the road and trapped in a hotel without a car – yes, John had pizza delivered for one meal) – but it’s really not necessary as often as you might think. While traveling we were able to hit up Chick-fil-a for breakfast (waffle fries, grilled chicken, and yogurt parfaits), a Chili’s once (ribs, salads, chicken, broccoli, rice, potatoes), and a few Zaxby’s (shakes anyone?) Staying away from wheat has definitely helped curb our fast food appetite, which is especially helpful since we are working on reducing our overall carbohydrate intake from things like rice, corn, potatoes, legumes, and all other grains as well. Everywhere we go now, I bring food from home so I won’t be tempted by tasty treats that seem to populate every gathering known to man. This saves us money too, since expensive “convenience” foods aren’t typically convenient for our new way of eating. Speaking of splurges, though – all sorts of things are “bad” for your health, and we indulge in many of them at times. These would include the normal “use in moderation” items like alcohol and tobacco (no, we don’t use any illegal drugs, in case you were wondering haha) but also fructose, wheat, and other grains now. We have come to think of certain foods as being detrimental to our health, and sometimes the only way to largely avoid them is to completely eliminate them. That doesn’t mean we are going to say no every time something with wheat is offered to us or the children, but for the most part, we’ve taken it out of our house and will endeavor to provide alternatives when we are away from home.
I hope this post has answered any questions some of my friends have been asking me lately without sounding like I’m “preaching” this new philosophy. If enough people asked why we homeschool, then I’d do a post on that, too. And without a doubt, whatever I said would sound like I was trying to “sell” homeschooling, when actually I would only be trying to explain our reasoning to inquiring minds. That may be the case here as well, so hopefully no one was offended and thinks I’m trying to talk everyone into it. If you want my advice, I’d say – DON’T READ WHEAT BELLY. You don’t want all the trouble it will bring. 🙂