Friday, January 4, 2013

Following my own advice, or Resolutions

For several years on this blog, I have advocated Real Foods... and for the most part, I have eaten that way. Several years ago I went on a grain-free and legume-free diet, and my health was the BEST ever in the many years since I started to notice aging.

But like most humans, my downfall was succumbing to the addictions of ubiquitous carbs, found in almost everything we eat, whether we realize it or not.

The carbs in question were not so much the sweet carbs like donuts or desserts, but the carbs found in grains, and primarily in wheat. Turns out it's NOT just the carb content found in wheat, but something far more problematic: the wheat grain itself. Dr. William Davis asserts that since the 1960's and later, wheat has been hybridized (but not GMO wheat) to have shorter stalks (making harvest easier) and heavier seed heads (growing more wheat per acre). However, this hybridization has also resulted in some characteristics in wheat that are NOT desirable, such as how it affects the human body, and encourages the consumption of an additional 400+ calories per day, 24/7/365. (You'd need to read the book for details.)

Dr. Davis wrote Wheat Belly on the dangers of wheat, and a just-released cookbook of wheat-free recipes. While I haven't actually read his first book, I have read numerous interviews with him online, and what I read jives with my own experience of what happens with giving up grains. I also admit to dragging my feet into accepting his theories, yet HOW can I deny my own experiences?

To that end, I'm giving up wheat again, despite how much I LOVE a fresh, warm loaf of sourdough bread straight from my oven... or pancakes, or pasta or pizza... I have found many recipes online, including some from Dr. Davis' cookbook, for decent tasting substitutions for wheat, even a pizza crust!

Several years ago, I read that grains in times past were considered only as survival/famine foods. Makes sense to me, even though the American Food Economy today is largely based on cheap wheat grain in everything, even beer.


  1. For me, giving up wheat was easy, sort of. The pain it caused was a good deterrent. But when you have a family, and everyone take turns cooking, getting THEM to not use noodles, flour, etc. is hard. Particularly when they are picky eaters and not over fond of vegetables. The noodles, etc. are no longer wheat, but brown rice or millet.

    Unfortunately, I had bought in bulk well before deciding to stop grains, so they keep using them. My pleas for them to leave them out of my portion, or even use less usually go unheeded. I can't wait til they run out...

  2. I haven't read the book you noted above so all of this is just rambling thoughts...

    After thinking about grains and legumes for awhile, I realized (duh) that they are seeds for plants. It seems that for some of those plants...especially the grasses... that the plant itself was what should be eaten - and usually by ruminants rather than a mono-gastric animal.

    Regarding wheat specifically...what did he have to say about the old grains such as spelt? Just curious as I think I've read that those grains are less troublesome.

    As far as the survival/famine food.... my father in law always used to refer to oatmeal as "depression food" - having grown up during the depression. I've always remembered that. Also, during those years right afterwards it seems that folks began "stretching" meat by adding oatmeal, bread crumbs, etc. to their meat for feeding the family....made the meat "stretch" farther.

    Kind-of reminds me of the the era when infant formulas were being heavily promoted. People in poor countries were duped into using infant formula as a better alternative to breast feeding. Due to lack of financial resources to sustain the purchases long-term, would water down the formula. As long as it's white..... Led to malnutrition and mortality....

    Anyway...just some ramblings.

    Leah's Mom

    1. Just remember most, if not all, seeds have a protective covering (often either poisonous or merely unpalatable) to prevent animals from eating them, thus assuring better plant reproduction.

      Sue, Davis goes into detail about the number of chromosomes in ancient wheat (Einkorn has just 14), while newer wheat grains like spelt and emmer contain more. Modern semi-dwarf wheat has 42 chromosomes.

      However, it's not just the number of chromosomes, but how they act/react in the human body, and what they contain that's harmful, like the protein gliadin. Much too technical to post here, but some good, short explanations on this page:

    2. Thanks - I'll take a look at that.

      I DID get Deep Nutrition and have just begin reading. So far I'm enjoying it!



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