How I Went Grain-Free
After suffering with every-other-day migraines for years, I took the leap in Jan 2010 and decided to drop wheat from my diet. It felt overwhelming at first - it seemed like everything in the house had wheat in it! After hyperventilating in my pantry for a few minutes, I stopped and made a game plan:
Step 1 - Drop Obvious Wheat Sources -
I immediately stopped eating bread, cereal, and noodles but ignored all of the processed foods that had minute wheat in them. This was a big change for me - I mean what better way to stretch a meal than add pasta? I had to rethink my meals and keep vigilant during my shopping trips.
When I made the switch, I went through my cupboards and tossed all of the OWS. Well, I didn't actually throw them out - I gave them to my ex-husband - but you know what I mean! Out of sight, out of mind. Then I rearranged my cupboards so the deletion wouldn't be so obvious.
Results - I lost 20 lbs and the headaches disappeared within the 2 weeks. Woot!
Seeing those sorts of results made me push on. As the weeks passed I realized I was depending more and more on corn (corn tortillas) and rice (rice noodles) to bulk out my meals. As my intake of these two items when up, my "tummy issues" increased too. If wheat was causing headaches, could the other grains be messing me up too?
So, I stopped buying these items, filling their space on my plate with more fresh fruit and vegetables. Frozen vegetables saved my life during that time - a 1 lb bag filled out our plates with limited effect on time or my wallet.
Results - Tummy issues calmed down almost immediately and the weight continued to come off.
Step 3 - Drop Minute Sources of Wheat -
As winter started to turn into spring, my migraines returned with a vengeance. After some research and investigation of the few processed items in my fridge, I realized that my body was becoming more and more sensitive to even the smallest amount of wheat found in soy sauce, fish sauce, etc.
I spent a weekend scouring my kitchen, tossing anything that had even the smallest amount of gluten in it. Ingredient lists were scoured and products investigated online until I was sure those few remaining items in my kitchen were safe for me to eat.
Results - Headaches were banished once again! Victory!!!
As I told my friend - I consider going grain-free a "gateway drug" to switching to the Paleo Diet:
- A few weeks after going completely "grain free", I dropped dairy (I've proven that I'm lactose intolerant).
- A month later I stopped eating beans - my tummy thanked me. ;-)
- As time went on, I slowly pushed more and more processed foods out of our diet...mainly because I wanted more of my money going towards farmers rather than the huge food corporations who's minds were more on money than our health.