(Mostly) Grain-Free

For several weeks I have drastically reduced my grain consumption because I figured it would be easier on my digestion. I think it has helped, but I’ve made so many health changes it’s difficult to tell what is responsible for what. I’ve discovered that oats in particular really wreck my gut. I don’t think it was always like that but the last few times I had oats I got a terrible belly ache. I was also making some yummy quinoa barley cakes and found out those didn’t agree with me so well either.

For now, my grain consumption is limited to Ezekiel bread (sporadic) and my rice-based protein powder (Young Living’s Power Meal) which I usually have every day (always half a serving size). I eat grains when we are out and that’s what’s available.

I’m amazed at how well I’m getting by without eating grains and legumes. I used to have a big cabinet full of dry goods. Now I have one bin of shredded coconut and not much else. I’m just eating fresh vegetables, meat, and some fruit and a little cheese. I only eat eggs in coconut flour baked goods.

Granted, I struggle a bit with finding new recipes. I’m just rotating between a few and it gets kinda boring.

Anyway, just wanted to give this little update. While I crave a bowl of cereal every now and then, my body is thanking me for cutting down on grains. My digestion seems to be improving.

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Recent foodings

It’s been almost one year since I got a food allergy test. It’s been an interesting journey trying to determine what foods I should or should not eat, trying to weigh the benefits versus downfalls of certain foods. Starting this journey pregnant and now being a nursing mother has made it all even more difficult and confusing.

I’d like to share some things I think I’ve figured out regarding my diet:

GARLIC

One of my highest offenders was garlic. In the past, I noticed that raw garlic frequently made me a bit queasy, though I did not think that was a bad sign. One weekend, upon developing cold symptoms and not wanting to get sick for a party I was hosting (which no one showed up for anyway), I decided to chow down on raw garlic (at that point it was probably good no one came!). Within 30 hours, I managed to consume an entire large head of our homegrown garlic. My cold symptoms disappeared and I never came down with anything. However, a few days later I woke up in the morning and could not move without debilitating back pain. I wasn’t able to get out of bed until Robert rubbed Valor essential oil blend on my feet. Using essential oils helped a lot and it took a couple days or so to fully recover.
If it wasn’t for that intense experience, I probably would have thought my allergy results were total baloney. Who becomes allergic to garlic??? Apparently I.

For many months I faithfully stayed away from garlic. When I introduced it back into my diet a few times, I did seem to have more definitive reactions. From what I can figure out, whenever I have fresh garlic, I get terrible aches in random places. One time I got a horrific ache in my right wrist which continued getting worse and spread into my fingers and up my arm. It was pretty awful.

After a few similar (though much less intense) experiences after eating garlic, I’ve concluded that garlic truly does not agree with me right now, and perhaps forever.

DAIRY

I couldn’t stay away from dairy. I have continued to eat cheese because I simply feel better eating it. Milk, on the other hand… not so much. If I drink straight milk (local and raw) then my tummy does feel a little funny. I have stayed away from it for the most part. However, I recently started drinking it again and right away, my nursing daughter started spitting up a lot. I quit drinking it and the spit-ups stopped. So milk isn’t worth it for me and I’ll continue to avoid it for awhile.

SUGAR

I’ve barely eaten much sugar in the past few years as it is, so I didn’t care that I was allergic to it. Just recently I discovered how it affects me. I had a couple brownies at a party and that night I started getting sorta phlegmy. The next morning I was clear and then had a bite of something I baked with pumpkin pie mix (had sugar in it) and almost immediately my throat started getting phlegmy and my nose runny. I then remembered how in middle school, everytime we got back to class after lunch I spent like an hour trying to clear my throat and it was so annoying. Well, I was drinking chocolate milk every day loaded with sugar… no wonder. I had forgotten how mucusy I used to be on a constant basis. SO glad those days are over.

GREEN BEANS

String beans showed up under my mild allergies, much to my frustration. I LOVE green beans. I love picking them fresh from the garden and steaming them and slathering them with butter and salt. It’s one of those foods I actually crave.
I’ve mostly stayed away them but had some not long ago. They didn’t noticeably affect me, but Vienna started spiting up. That may simply be because any sort of bean may cause indigestion in a nursing infant. I will continue to try them periodically, but as long as they bother Vienna, I’ll try to avoid them.

EGGS

Eggs were high on my allergies. At this point I don’t care anyway. I eat them. I eat a lot of them. I find the benefits of eating them far outweigh any negative effects. I simply can’t thrive on a dairy and egg free diet . I fall completely apart. I held to my diet strictly at the beginning but felt just awful. I was pregnant at the time and thought half of it might simply be pregnancy.  I added cheese and butter back in and felt a lot better. When Vienna was a few weeks old she started being mildly colicky and it was just awful. I decided to go back on the diet and see if it made a difference for her. It didn’t do a darn thing and then I started feeling horrible. So both mama and baby were miserable. I figured that at least one of us should feel good, so I binged on eggs and cheese and felt remarkably better. Oddly enough, Vienna started doing better at that time too.

GLUTEN GRAINS

I am allergic to gluten grains. I’ve already discovered that wheat can cause me severe mental and emotional disturbances. I never notice an immediate reaction. It happens over time. However, I seem to tolerate sprouted grain Ezekiel bread pretty well.  I usually eat it as last resort when I’m starving and haven’t prepared anything else yet. It’s the straight wheat products like normal bread and tortillas that, if consumed daily for a week or so, will throw me completely off balance. I then have to go on a wheat cleanse, a horrible 3-4 day event in which I completely abstain from wheat and act like a druggie going through withdrawal. It’s really awful, but afterwards I am clear headed and feel a lot better.

GRAIN FREE

I am going to attempt going grain free for awhile and see how I feel. I’m not going to be strict about it yet because simply preparing enough food these days is pretty much a miracle. But my goal is to get to a point where I go completely grain free for about a month and see if I do better. I attempted it once but didn’t last very long because I was constantly starving. I don’t think I was eating enough carbs and now that I eat sweet potatoes, those might be a good substitute. I’ll also try to consume more fruit (never been big on fruit). I really think grain free might help my digestion because I’m starting to see that I just don’t do so great with grains.

So that’s where my diet is these days. I’m also avoiding legumes and cruciferous vegetables for now because I want to avoid possible indigestion for Vienna. Other than cabbage, I’m not big on those foods anyway as they don’t always agree with me.

I do plan to post some more recipes soon. I know I haven’t done much with this blog but I do want to share some of my food successes and failures with you all and hopefully help some of you in the process.