Go Grain-Free & and Still Eat Delicious, Healthy Meals

www.mypicshares.com

As a culture, we’ve been conditioned to believe that breads and grains are an irreplaceable part of our diets.  Bread has become synonymous with flavor and variety in the foods we eat. Now there are more foods made with grains available than any time in history.

Thanks to processing, advertising, chemicals, and marketing, we now have more types of breads and grain products available than ever before: crackers, pita bread, bagels, cereals, pasta, food bars with grains in them, tortillas or ‘wraps’ made of corn or flour, pancakes, muffins, pastries, croissants, cakes, desserts, cookies, pies, (the list goes on) and of course, bread, on which we eat sandwiches or make as toast for breakfast or with soups or salads.

Wheat, found in many grain foods and products, is a major allergen for many people. And it is responsible for causing a variety of unpleasant symptoms from weight gain, asthma, allergies, eczema and other auto-immune disorders, to all types of digestive dysfunction.  And that’s because it’s used in everything. Just from the list above you can see that it’s found in a dizzying number of the foods people eat.  Gluten content – that’s the protein in wheat that makes it elastic so it will rise nicely during baking, and what people often react to – has increased substantially from what it used to be.

The protein in gluten can cause a great deal of intestinal irritation because it actually shortens the villi in the small intestine – and those villi are integral in the digestive process. Then, the gluten can actually make holes and penetrate the intestinal lining, allowing undigested foods to enter the blood stream.  When those foreign substances enter the body in this way, what results is an over-response from the immune system because it reacts to undigested food as an invader that will harm the body. People experience allergies and other symptoms that are unpleasant, but you can also have negative effects on your body from consuming gluten that you may not even be aware of.

Before the 19th century, wheat and grains our ancestors ate were vastly different than what we eat today. Wheat was generally mixed with other grains and beans or nuts. Modern-day wheat is not typically stone ground from whole meal flour, it is highly processed and refined as can be.  And wheat has been hybridized to contain a very high-gluten content. The more gluten, the easier it is to get breads and doughs to rise in the oven. It’s actually only been in the last 200 years that pure wheat flour with high-gluten content has been milled to create what is now known as white refined flour.

The USDA Food Pyramid used to recommend we consume 6-11 servings of grains daily. If you stop and think about how much this really adds up to, it’s a  lot of grains. I used to eat about 6-7 servings of grains a day, and it was making me very sick. I had a variety of symptoms, none of which I ever connected with eating grains: insomnia, fatigue, nausea, digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, inability to gain weight, panic and anxiety issues.

The government has since revised their recommendations, and the Food Pyramid is now called My Plate. My Plate consists of 5 categories; vegetables, fruits, protein, and grains on the plate and dairy off to the side of the plate. There is no acknowledgment of fats on the diagram, and certainly no discussion of the importance of real, healthy fats. Read why dietary fats are of extreme importance for health.

Depending on your age, recommendations advise eating on the average of 6 ounces per day, with a serving equaling about 1 ounce – again, depending on the type of grain you are eating. Many of the grains listed in examples are foods which contain grains that have been stripped of nutrients during high-heat processing, have synthetic nutrients added back in (or fortified).

There is definitely no discussion on the My Plate dietary recommendations site about preparing grains properly by soaking, sprouting, souring, or fermentation.  There is a mention, however, in the Food Pyramid recommendations about eating foods like “ready-to-eat cereal”. These are highly-processed, and do not even scarcely resemble how our ancestors prepared and consumed grains.

Cereals, crackers, and other such foods go through even more processing. In his book Fighting the Food Giants, Paul Stitt discusses in detail how this process used to make cereals kills nutrients.  From The Weston A. Price Foundation’s article, “Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry,” we learn that extrusion “destroys the fatty acids; it even destroys the chemical vitamins that are added at the end. The amino acids are rendered very toxic by this process. The amino acid lysine, a crucial nutrient, is especially denatured by extrusion.”

During processing, grains are combined with water and mixed into a slurry, and placed in a machine called an extruder. Then the  grains are pushed through tiny holes, are subjected to high heat and pressure to create shapes found in boxes like little o’s, shreads,  flakes, and other shapes. “Individual grains passed through the extruder expand to produce puffed wheat, oats and rice.” Then, products are sprayed with a mixture of sugar and oil “to seal off the cereal from the ravages of milk and to give it crunch“. So even though the package tells you the product contains whole grains, those substances barely resemble what’s found in nature, at best.

How I gave up wheat and other grains

When I was first given the suggestion that I should give up grains to see if it would improve my health, I thought this was entirely crazy. How could I give it up? After all, it was something I ate every day of my life and at least 3 times a day…sometimes more. But then the person who brought up this idea started explaining how this might just be a key to many of my health issues, and it sort of started to all make sense. But still, the notion of expelling something that had been such an intrinsic part of what I had eaten my whole life seemed impossible.   And yet, I was willing to try it because I was so tired of feeling bad.

After going grain-free for about two years, I started slowly adding them back into my diet, on occasion. Guess what I found out? I really couldn’t do this very much at all. I had put myself through a candida cleanse (back then, I didn’t know anything about GAPS) for about 1 1/2 to 2 years and reaped great health benefits. I had read that once you do a detox like this you could go back to eating grains in moderation, if properly prepared. So I started educating myself about how to do this, and began to buy sprouted breads and other sprouted grains and then soaked my grains when I wanted cereal or granola, or something else. I learned that not only did it cause me to not feel very good, I was hungry again within 2 hours of eating, even if I ate it with a healthy fat like cheese, butter, or cream.

Nowadays, I’m largely grain free. There will probably be times where I’ll eat grains again on some occasions, but for the most part, I’ve given them up because to me it’s not worth the health issues I experience from eating them. I’ve found that eating grains disrupts my sleep greatly, and because I’ve spent years battling with insomnia, I value my sleep a great deal. My conclusion is that in general,  eating grains is just not worth it.

Read about the success I’ve had with GAPS in healing life-long issues with panic, anxiety, hormonal, immune, and digestive issues.

Why should you go grain-free?

If you are reading this and contemplating going grain-free, you may be thinking, “I can’t do this…it’s too hard!” Believe me, you CAN do this, and it’s not as hard as you think. Going grain-free means you focusing on the foods you can eat, of which there is a varied and delicious menu available. Going grain-free means eating lots of healthy fats, proteins, and fruits and vegetables, and making foods from scratch..

Should I go grain-free for life?

The honest answer is that it depends entirely on your body. There are many people who have had experienced great success going grain-free and never looked back.  Various diets which support being grain-free include Paleo, Primal, and SCD. Others find that doing a detox protocol like SCD or GAPS for a period of time – 1-3 years – is sufficient. From my own personal experience and research, I haven’t seen compelling evidence showing that eating grains is favorable to the human body.

Some things you should be mindful of if you decide to go grain-free only temporarily and then add them back into your diet:

  • That you heal your digestive tract thoroughly with a proven protocol first
  • That when you eat grains, they are traditionally prepared through soaking/sprouting, or souring or fermenting
  • That you add grains back in slowly and be very aware of any reactions or symptoms that are telling you that these foods are causing issues

Preparing foods at home means finding creative ways to make the foods you used to eat delicious without grains. For example, substitute eggs and toast for a cheese omelet, or instead of cereal eat fruit, yogurt, and chopped, sprouted nuts and raisins with a little cinnamon.

You can make any type of breakfast meat like ham, bacon, sausage, or even ground beef and eggs and add vegetables like peppers, onions, mushrooms, avocados or tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, or salsa. For lunch, use up leftover meats and eat with a salad with home-made dressing or sauteed vegetables in coconut oil, butter, or lard and spices. Make chicken or tuna salad with mayonnaise and eat with chopped vegetables and greens. Or, make a hearty soup with leftover meats and vegetables and home-made stock from bones. The possibilities are endless.

If you go out, order salads with meats and fish. Sandwiches can be ordered without bread, and sometimes other substitutions can be made, and soups.  Many people are aware of those avoiding gluten and grains and can make suggestions. There are many places which offer gluten-free foods. Be aware that some foods contain “hidden” gluten such as soups, dressings, or sauces. Ask your server what options you have, and tell him or her you are looking for something that doesn’t involve bread, flour, or pasta.

Here are compelling reasons to eliminate grains from your diet:

  1. Grains are damaging to the digestive tract and immune system, and cause inflammation throughout the entire body.
  2. Grains are culprits of and can exacerbate many auto-immune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid problems, fibromyalgia, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.
  3. Processed grains cause a depletion of minerals in the body. Traditionally prepared grains cause less mineral loss, but still contribute to the problem if you already have a deficiency, which most people in developed countries do.  Bones and teeth become weakened from a constant consumption of grains in the diet, resulting in tooth decay, osteoporosis, and other issues.
  4. Continued grain consumption has a negative effect on blood sugar levels and adds to yeast or candida overgrowth in the body.  Because grains are carbohydrates, this causes insulin levels to rise and fall quickly, and hunger returns sooner than if you were to eat something with protein or fat.  The cycle repeats itself and causes frequent cravings for grains.

What about ‘gluten-free’ foods?

Gluten-free foods are one of the latest marketing crazes in the food industry. You can certainly go through your cupboards and other places in your kitchen throwing out all the foods containing wheat, only to replace each of them with gluten-free counterparts…but, you should know that  doing this does not actually provide anything nutritionally superior, and won’t improve your health. As far as getting the most for what you spend, it’s a big waste of money. Those same gluten-free foods can cause deficiencies in the body that bring on health problems because they are virtually empty of anything in the way of nutrients. For more information about the damage that gluten-free foods can cause, read The Big Gluten-Free Lie.

If you have found that gluten or other grains are causing health issues, the most advisable thing to do is to limit the amount of grains you consume and focus on delicious and nutrient-dense foods like grass-fed meats, pasture-raised poultry and eggs, wild game meat, safe-sourced seafood, healthy fats like butter, coconut oil, olive oil, tallow, and lard (from healthy animals on pasture) and organic fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts and seeds that are properly prepared.

Healing your digestive tract is the first line of business if you are suffering from gut damage due to a processed diet including grains. A wonderful resource for this issue is Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride’s book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

If you are still unsure about grains, Still unsure about grains? Read The truth about wheat and grains – are they good for your health?

Want some good ideas for grain-free meals? Try Grain-Free Meal Plans from Cara at Health, Home, & Happiness.

Grain Free Meal Plans, a menu subscription service, includes:

  • Menu plans for 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, plus snacks and sweets
  • Kid-tested recipes
  • Complete shopping lists
  • Meals are based on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet and Specific Carbohydrate Diet diets.
  • The recipes serve a family of four, but can easily be halved or doubled as needed.
  • Members only forum to discuss going and being Grain Free.

Subscribe monthly for a low introductory price of $16/month, which is half off the regular price! Or, subscribe yearly for $130 – only 35 cents a day to have all your meals planned in advance! This is a great way to start eating nutritious and yummy grain-free meals.

Here’s a sample of nutrient-dense, grain-free meals and snacks we eat in our house:

Roasted chicken with tomato cream sauce and vegetables

Shepherd’s pie

Rustic baked chicken with bacon and cheese

Savory bread with almond flour and sundried tomatoes

Grass-fed pot roast

Chili cheese fries with grass-fed ground beef

Turkey fried rice  - does contain rice, but not wheat or gluten

Apples fried in butter topped with yogurt, sprouted nuts, raisins, and maple syrup

Home-made bone broth – can be used alone or in soups, casseroles, rice ,and many other dishes

Chicken with roasted vegetables

Home-made beef jerky

23 Comments

  • May 3, 2011 - 9:19 AM | Permalink

    I saw you listed Turkey Fried Rice as a grain free meal idea. Are you qualifying rice as a seed then? Does it not bother you the same way the traditional grains-wheat, oats, rye, barley, etc.- do?
    Thanks for sharing!

  • May 3, 2011 - 10:23 AM | Permalink

    Hi Amber – it’s true, I’m pretty sure rice is considered a grain, but we don’t eat it very often. It’s certainly gluten-free, though, which is a big issue for many people. But no, it does not bother me like grains, barley, oats, etc. I guess it depends on your individual body’s reaction to rice versus grains, when it comes down to it. I’ve noticed that when I don’t eat rice properly prepared or sprouted (germinated), I definitely have trouble with symptoms. So for me, the sprouted rice is a good alternative to the other grains and certainly to gluten. Thanks for your question! :)

  • Johnny Lawrence
    May 3, 2011 - 2:40 PM | Permalink

    I think people are concerned with the wrong things. They want to compare their diets to that of traditional cultures. That’s fine and dandy but if you’re gonna do that then go live exactly as those people did. The stresses we have on us today are more of a cause of degeneration than the differences in the types of grains we eat today compared to a few hundred years ago.

    If I can pick out 9 people that eat grains and have no problem with them and I am the only person that does then most likely there is something wrong with me that needs fixing, and not the grains taken away.

    Out of the 8 WAPF conferences I’ve attended, there has been a total of less than 10 people that looked healthy enough to walk up 2 flights of stairs. There’s a lot more to it than nutrition. The work the organization has done to promote these types of foods is great but they need to be open-minded about other things as well.

  • May 3, 2011 - 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Johnny – it’s an undisputed fact that wheat allergies and other issues related to this are on the rise – gluten intolerance, celiac disease, and other problems like IBS, Crohn’s and many other digestive as well as auto-immune disorders. These have been proven in a lot of research to be correlated to wheat consumption, not to mention the many individuals whose health improves by eliminating grains from their diets. It may not be an issue for you, and yes, I’ve had conversations with people who say they don’t have any problems eating grains, but that doesn’t change the numbers of people who do have issues (and many who have no idea their issues are caused by eating grains). Yes, other factors can cause these issues such as hereditary or congenital issues, or environmental problems. But this article focuses on improving one’s health if the person knows grains are an issue or could be an issue. When you look at the body’s reaction to something, it’s always contingent upon many other issues for the immune system. If you have some environmental factors in the picture that might have an impact, then you can do whatever is necessary to eliminate those things, but you may not be able to eliminate them all. The fact is, food is one of the few things we do have control over in our lives, and if something is making us sick, it’s much easier to remove wheat or some other food than it is to completely uproot yourself and move to a new location. Everything affects us, and it’s the overall load our bodies are dealing with that matters. And yes, stress is a big one, and there are many forms of it. But people have had to deal with stress in one form or another since the beginning of time. Before modern civilization, people had to hunt, farm, and gather, and fight for their lives sometimes on a daily basis. Don’t tell me that wasn’t a stressful environment.

    I can’t say I agree with you that most of the people at the one WAPF conference I attended could not climb up 2 flights of stairs. I think by and large, WAP followers are very healthy. You will find overweight and underweight people everywhere you go. But again, I’m going to have to go back to the food factor because it’s one of the few things we really have the most control over, and your body can be reacting to many different things. If you can’t change or identify something in your life that is environmental, you can always change your food. And that *could* make a difference to a person who is genuinely sick from something affecting his or her immune system in an adverse way.

  • May 3, 2011 - 3:22 PM | Permalink

    Hear, hear for grain-free! :) I’m jumping on the grain free bandwagon, starting this month! My real-food-ness has gone in a paleo/primal direction (I’ve become quite the Mark Sisson fangirl—love that guy & his site). And I’ve read too much about the science of how grains affect us to ever go back to my old ways of eating. Here’s to grain-free health!

    (Have you seen cavegirlcafe.com? I just found the site, and they have a hilarious patch for sale that reads, “Eat meat, not wheat.” I am*so* getting one of those, lol!)

    And as for the commenter who mentioned the people at a WAPF conference not looking healthy, I have one reply: conference attendance does not imply diet adherence. ;)

  • May 3, 2011 - 10:27 PM | Permalink

    Hi Sara – good to see you here! I love the patch you are describing…I want one too! I think I’ll go order one…how cool is that?? Keep us posted on your grain-free progress, I’d love to hear what happens…I think you’ll like the results. :)

    • February 2, 2012 - 12:57 PM | Permalink

      Oh my gosh your blog alwyas makes me sooo hungry. I will be making these cabbage rolls. The picture looked so delicious!

  • May 4, 2011 - 5:56 AM | Permalink

    Excellent, excellent post Raine! I agree wholeheartedly and have personally experienced the same as you. In my home we consume minimal grains, it’s a good filler to still have around for the kids as I don’t think it’s very feasible to go completely grain free right now. But I agree about the getting hungry again even they are paired with good fats. That is definitely better than not doing that, but I certainly don’t feel it’s optimal. I will be reposting this for sure!! Thanks!!

  • Karen
    May 5, 2011 - 7:13 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for this post. I feel like I am in denial about grains. I have been grain-free for about 6 months and have felt better. The blood sugar has been more stable and the energy has been great. The aches and stiffness have gone away which has been a big blessing. The foggy brain feeling has improved so much too. But, I miss my grains and my potatoes though. I guess 2 years is not that long to get your health back. This has been so helpful to hear how you manage with no grains! Can you tell us what a normal menu plan looks like for you or what you actually eat in a day or a few days?
    Thanks!

  • Karen
    May 5, 2011 - 7:17 AM | Permalink

    Oh, I was wondering if you have seen any improvement on any tooth decay after going grain free? I am hoping to heal recessed gums and some sensitivities. Thanks!

    • May 5, 2011 - 7:39 AM | Permalink

      I have not had any issues with tooth decay (cavities) for some time – many years in fact. However, I have not noticed that my bleeding gums have completely subsided. I still get that if I don’t floss every single day, and sometimes I’m lax about that. But, my gum sensitivity has improved greatly since almost a year ago when I increased my fermented cod liver oil dosage. I had to cut back recently because my body wasn’t tolerating it for some reason (I have no idea why), but I have added it back in again, and am going to slowly work my way back to taking 3-4 capsules daily. I think I need to add more liver into my diet to help with tooth issues. That’s the one thing I am missing, and I do believe liver has so many nutrients in it that it’s hard to deny the power of this nutritious food. :)

  • May 5, 2011 - 7:26 AM | Permalink

    Karen – for breakfast I usually have eggs with lots of butter or ghee, sometimes I add in cheese, and sour cream. And some days I have avocado and salsa. Then I might have some fruit and yogurt with ground up chia seeds on top. For lunch I usually have any leftovers that might be from the night before such as whatever meat or poultry with a salad and vegetables. Dinners are pretty much the meals I included in the bottom of the post with links. We eat a lot of grass-fed meats and poultry, sometimes rice, rice noodles, or potatoes (although I am going to attempt the GAPS diet starting this week and will be omitting rice & potatoes for now), with lots of animal fats like butter, ghee or lard, tallow, etc., and vegetables and legumes. I already spent almost 2 years on a GAPS-like diet when I eliminated yeast and candida from my diet. It wasn’t too difficult to do because I was so tired of feeling bad all the time, and I seemed to have an iron-will about not eating grains or sugar. This time, I don’t have any problems with the grains, it’s the fruit (which I’ve been eating every day – mostly apples, they are one of my favorites) and occasional other foods like organic chocolate or wine I’ll miss the most. I have been successfully avoiding processed foods and sugar without really any problem, so I think it’s just those few items I mentioned that I’m going to have the most challenge not eating. I wish you luck in your health journey – you are right – 2 years is not much when you compare it to your whole life…but it can be a bit intense when you are right in it. Just stay the course and when you are finished, your body will thank you. :) I hope the meals I described have been helpful to you!

  • Johnny Lawrence
    May 6, 2011 - 1:06 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for your response. I don’t deny any of these conditions are on the rise, among many other things like allergies, autism, cancer, heart disease, obesity, etc. But saying that grains are the CAUSE isn’t accurate. I used to have problems with grains as well as many other foods. Avoiding them will only make the problem worse in the long run. Like I said before, there was something wrong with ME, not the grains, or the milk, or the peanuts, or the cat hair, or whatever other allergy is out there. If eliminating them helps you then that’s fine. But personally, I wanted to know exactly WHY I couldn’t eat them and so many people could. I figured out what the problem was and now I have no problems with them.

    As far as stress goes there are HUGE differences in the types and amounts of stress that we deal with compared to traditional populations. They dealt with more acute stresses but we are under constant chronic stresses that are way more harmful than what they dealt with. Like I said before, live like they do, eat exactly as they did, have the same superior genetics as they did, and then and only then compare us to them.

    Traditional diets are great to model after but they aren’t the end all be all of human health. I know exactly how you feel. I fought this industrial food system for probably longer than you’ve been alive. I ate all the required raw dairy, CLO, grass fed butter, blah blah blah. Guess what, it didn’t cure all of my health issues. All of the WAP faithful I know have many issues as well but think their supposed superior diet has nothing to do with it. Sadly, they are wrong.

    If you attend the conference in Dallas be sure to listen to one of the featured speakers, Matt Stone. He understands more than anyone I’ve seen in my 40+ years studying nutrition.

    • May 7, 2011 - 10:45 AM | Permalink

      Johnny – I hope you aren’t misunderstanding me. I have not stated anywhere in this post that grains are the sole cause of degenerative diseases, but it’s difficult to deny that they do play a significant role. And since we do have control over our diets much more than we do many other factors such as stress or environment, this is a big alteration we have the choice to change and make a difference for in our health. I’m sure there are people who have followed these dietary recommendations from the WAPF and other similar organizations and don’t see improvements, but I’d really wonder about other factors present in the individual’s health condition and habits such as adherence to good diet as well as the things you’ve mentioned such as stress of all types. I would definitely say that anyone who carefully follows a WAP-based diet and doesn’t see improvements is in the minority. Then there are those I’ve talked to who say they are eating a healthy diet and then it turns out their eating habits are really not as good as they describe, so it would be easy to see why those individuals are still having health issues. I’m not saying you are one of those people, just that all of those factors should be taken into account.

      It’s pretty hard to dispute that as a culture, we eat and have available to use more processed and nutritionally-empty foods than ever before. You can walk into any grocery or convenience store any day you please and purchase grain products that are totally processed, claim to be healthy on the package, and are actually quite the opposite. The Food Pyramid has for years recommended that people eat 6-11 servings of grains per day, and that we should cut back on fats and proteins (which actually support our health and strengthen our immune systems). And this is the consistent advice we get from most mainstream health “experts” and sources.

      I don’t agree that because we can’t exactly replicate the way our ancestors used to live that we should let our diets go by the wayside. If the stress alone that we deal with in modern life trumps everything else, then I’d say it’s a good thing that those who have chosen to eat healthy, WAP-style diets are doing so. Else, they might have even worse issues than what they are currently experiencing. I also don’t think avoiding grains will make issues worse. I’ve avoided grains for some time, and it’s a good thing I have otherwise I’d be riddled with health issues such as panic-attack like symptoms, diarrhea, a racing heart, and other issues.

      Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride says that when you are healing your gut you must avoid these substances for a good period of time – sometimes a year or two. Then you can add them back in when your symptoms subside, but they must be prepared properly. If you return to eating grains they way you used to, you’ll go right back to where you started.

      Rami Nagel’s book Cure Tooth Decay talks about how grains and other foods like nuts and seeds, even when properly prepared, can cause gross mineral depletion in our bodies and contribute to or cause issues like tooth decay, dental malformations, allergies, osteoporosis, and many auto-immune disorders such as diabetes, MS, lupus, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis. So while some people may feel they do fine on grains, there are many health problems not commonly associated with grain consumption that our medical/health experts don’t acknowledge. And yet the consumption of these foods is very much related to these health problems.

      I attended the conference last year, and I very much want to attend the one in Dallas this year. It is going to greatly depend on our budget, which due to slow business ventures/slumping economy has not allowed for anything extra. I am very familiar with Matt Stone and his philosophy. I think he’s a pretty wise individual, so I’d love to hear him speak.

  • damaged justice
    May 6, 2011 - 4:14 PM | Permalink

    Weird how at least two commenters say something like “traditional diets aren’t perfect because look at the WAPF people”, when everything coming out of WAPF is not about going grain-free, but how grains are probably just fine if you soak, sprout and ferment them. Obviously, some of us disagree! My BFF’s hubby is a self-confessed grain addict, but he finally gave grain-free a try over a month ago and was amazed by two things. One, he had what he reported as pretty severe “withdrawal symptoms” that vanished after a few days, flaring up again every time he indulged. The second was that he’d also been a sugar lover all his life, and over the past winter his consumption had started to worry even him — he’d been filling up the wastebasket with candy bar wrappers on a regular basis. But after the craving for grain went away, as if by magic, so did the overwhelming desire for sweets! And his fat-phobia is fading — I even got some grassfed oxtail stock in him :)

  • May 7, 2011 - 10:50 AM | Permalink

    Damaged justice – you are absolutely right, WAP advocates preparing grains properly, not avoiding them. And I never stated that my diet recommendations were what the WAPF advocates. I’m just sharing my health experience with others, and I know for a fact that many people who have gone grain-free have had great health improvements. But I think it does go on a case-by-case basis for sure. The purpose of this post was to offer suggestions to those who believe grains have caused them health issues and who want to go grain-free as an alternative to what they have been doing, the benefits of going grain-free, and how to go about doing it. I can’t agree more that healthy fats and proteins should be the foundation of any diet where someone is seeking strong immunity, low disease rates, and good health. I attribute my ability to stay as well as I have for the last 6+ years to a diet including lots of healthy fats and proteins, organic fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods and sugar, and largely avoiding grains. My health was poor before I embraced this way of eating, and since then has been vastly improved.

  • Johnny Lawrence
    May 16, 2011 - 2:40 PM | Permalink

    First of all when I say grains I’m obviously not talking about Kashi, Cheerios, 7 grain bread, etc. I’m talking about unprocessed grains that I grow myself.

    Re: degeneration. I don’t see how they could play a significant role in degenerative disease when there were grains in many of the cultures that Dr. Price studied. Estimates vary, but grains have been around for at least 10,000 years. To say that it’s “difficult to deny” that they contribute to degeneration makes little sense to me.

    If coming from typical American fare of McDonald’s cheeseburgers, coca cola and ding dongs, yes of course anyone would have significant improvements switching to a WAPF diet. But coming from someone that owns a small family dairy, 200 acre rotational grazing pasture that includes pastured poultry, grass finished cattle, heritage turkeys, and another 50 acres of any kind of organic vegetable you can think of, I can tell you that sucking down unneeded PUFA’s via CLO, a quart a day of raw milk, a couple pounds of raw cream and butter per week, and a pint or so of coconut oil per week isn’t the end all be all of human health. I dare say there is anyone alive involved in WAPF that ate “healthier” than I (even the high priestess her self, Sally) for about a 20 year stretch.

    As far as “our culture” eating processed and nutritionally empty grains, I don’t think anyone can disagree with you. Comparing those “whole grains” to what I eat is like you comparing Crisco to lard.

    I didn’t say that if we couldn’t eat like traditional cultures then we should let our diets fall by the wayside. I said that you can’t compare “us” to “them” just by eating a bunch of sat fat, soaked grains and chicken broth. There are a lot more things that contribute, or take away from, health besides the food we eat.

    I have met Rami and collaborated with him on his book. There is no doubt that there are foods that can cause problems. ANY food can cause ANY person problems. There isn’t a food that is TOTALLY safe to every single human being on earth. What I’m saying though is that it ISN’T the food. Before I fixed MYSELF, grains were a big problem. When I fixed MYSELF, grains weren’t a problem.

    Obviously you aren’t as familiar with Matt as you need to be. I encourage you to read everything you can that he writes. The information he disseminates has changed my life, and health.

    I appreciate all of the information you provide on this blog. It is a lot of work and you do a wonderful job. Hope to see you in Dallas.

  • May 16, 2011 - 3:37 PM | Permalink

    Johnny –

    I agree, some foods can cause any number of people health issues, but that really isn’t my point. My point is that some people simply cannot tolerate grains no matter how much they fix themselves through detox, etc. it really doesn’t matter. And avoiding grains is not going to compromise those individual’s health, it will in fact turn things around for those with that issue. Bottom line is, those foods are just not healthy for those people. I’m one of them – soaked, sprouted, fermented, or not. Even Rami Nagel talks about this in his book, which I would think you would be familiar with since you collaborated with him. I could cite many other references to this point from authors and health experts, like Going Against the Grain by Melissa Diane Smith, which is a profoundly good book (although I’m sure you’ve already read it and don’t think much of it).

    The increased gluten content alone in grains of modern day – even organic or sustainable-produced – is enough to cause problems by itself. But when you couple that with the habits of modern people, eating grains more often than our bodies are able to handle (and no, I’m not just talking about people who eat Kashi and the like, but those preparing soaked, sprouted, and fermented grains), you can easily have a recipe for health issues, plain and simple. People simply didn’t consume grains that often because it took time to prepare them. People living before the agricultural age certainly didn’t eat grains the way we do now either because they were hunter-gatherers. I know some people who eat mostly traditional foods, and those habits include soaked, sprouted, and fermented or soured grains…and their health is not what it should be and they are struggling. Now, I can’t point to each individual like this and say I know for certain it’s the grains, but it certainly is a good possibility. Especially when most of the other foods they eat are sustainably-raised and clean.

    One thing is for sure. The way you’ve presented yourself here is such that if I belonged to the Real Food Elite club including the folks you mentioned (and yourself), I’d be fortunate indeed. But instead, I am a lowly blogger, destined to fade into oblivion because of my misguided beliefs. Honestly, if that’s the way some people behave in that group, I don’t really want to belong to it in the first place. I’ve met many people in the real food movement who are great individuals, gracious, kind, and don’t use their knowledge as some type of high-horse upon which to sit and look down at others. But as in every other place in life, there are unfortunately a few exceptions. I don’t have anything against you, but it seems like if you are going to come to another person’s blog and communicate the way you have, the response I’ve given here shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

  • Johnny Lawrence
    May 17, 2011 - 10:29 AM | Permalink

    I was only providing my experiences in the hopes that someone could see that there are alternatives to simply running away from everything that causes problems.

    I look at blogs as an exchange of ideas and that’s how I was treating yours. I’m sorry for that.

    I’m looking down at no one. I’m simply stating facts of my life and diet. If that offends you, I’m sorry. I can see I have obviously upset you. That was not my intention. I won’t be commenting here anymore. I wish you the best of luck in everything.

  • May 17, 2011 - 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Johnny – I wish you would have provided some tactile description of what you’ve done exactly to change your health. You stated that you had changed your health for the better, but not what that action was. I think anyone could benefit from another’s improved health experience. It’s great to impart this information to others, because there are many who badly need it. However, I think it’s important for you to know that the way you did it was pretty condescending. I’m not above forgiving anyone, I just want the person to acknowledge when something is said hat might come off as rude, and I think you’ve done that, so I appreciate it. It can sometimes be easy to feel as though we know more than others when we’ve done research or had personal experiences, so I do hope I don’t come off that way to any of my readers.

    If you have fixed your health in some way that allows you to continue eating properly prepared, traditional grains, I’d love for you to share it with those who could benefit. I know I’m way beyond that as I’ve spent years detoxing and cleansing, and I still can’t eat them. And, I know others with the same experience. But I am just one person. If there is something specific you’ve done that has worked and would be willing to share, I’m all ears.

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