I decided it would make perfect sense for me to post about My Favorite Whole Wheat Recipes, and then follow it up the next day with a post about avoiding wheat and/or grains altogether. I like keeping you on your toes.
Seeing as the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle includes an entire section on Special Diets, I thought this might be a good time to address my thoughts on eating a gluten free, grain free, or paleo diet. Let’s chat, shall we?
A few weeks ago, I got this email from Deb:
I am just wondering what you think about all the gluten free, etc. rage? Some of my friends truly have celiac, but most just seem to be trying this as more of a fad, way to lose weight, etc. Don’t you think that the reason that they feel better is because they give up processed junk and sugar, not so much because of the actual gluten?
We just had a missionary stay with us from Australia, she is originally from Taiwan and has lived in Kenya as well. She says that Americans are the only ones who take supplements and vitamins and have all these food allergies. She thinks it is ridiculous to eat at McDonalds, then buy vitamins. She stayed with us 2 weeks and it was very interesting, even if she was out and about, she would NOT get fast food, she would go to the grocery and buy fresh meat and vegetables and come home and cook it, even though it costs more and was more time consuming. Also, a lot of my friends that are on these EXTREME diets cheat half the time anyway, so what is the point?
Ah yes. I too have watched people go from eating a basic diet of donuts, chips, fast food, and skittles – to eating a low fat or low-carb diet. They lose weight, feel better, and swear that the key is to cut out carbs, grains, gluten, eggs, beef, or butter.
Hey, hey, hey. Them’s fightin’ words to this girl. Nobody better be blaming my butter or beef on their poor health! Especially when we’re talking about the kind that comes from cows who are raised in a healthy environment. But enough about my beloved bovines. What is the healthiest way for all of us to eat?
I hate to disappoint you, but I do not believe that there is a one-size-fits-all diet. I believe real food, in balance, based on what your body can tolerate and thrive on is the right diet for you. Learn to listen to your body, and nourish it.
I love my beef, and in fact, I believe I personally need quite a bit of (grass fed, if possible) red meat in my diet in order to maintain a healthy level of iron in my body. You might not need much or any beef. You may not need much of any variety of meat. Okay by me – that means more cow for this girl. Learn to listen to your body, and nourish it.
While some can’t tolerate grains or gluten, I can. I can’t eat them in large amounts, and in fact, I believe most of us should cut back on the grains just to make more room in our diet for fruits and vegetables. Learn to listen to your body, and nourish it.
Here are my Paleo, Gluten Free, and Grain Free thoughts in a nutshell:
- When you give up processed foods and instead eat more wholesome, nourishing foods, you will feel better and look better. This has very little to do with the fact that the food might be gluten free, paleo, or grain free.
- If you truly are allergic to a certain food or if a food makes you sick, by all means, you should not eat it. You might want to check into NAET though. It is possible to re-program our bodies so that they no longer reject certain foods as allergens. My boys and I have experienced this, and it works. Where we used to have food allergies, we no longer do, praise God!
- A Gluten Free label does not automatically make a food healthy.
- Cutting down on grains is beneficial, especially if the majority of what you eat is grainy. Our bodies need a better balance, and grains can be difficult to digest. Bready foods should not be our main nourishment focus.
- If we’re cutting down our grains, we should not replace them with loads of almond flour and coconut flour. I believe these flours are fantastic additions to our diets, and wonderful to use in baking – especially if your body can not tolerate grains. But to eat them by the pound every day? Well, what happened to balance?
Paleo, Gluten Free, and Grain Free diets can be healthy and beneficial. But if you’re focused on cutting out foods for the wrong reasons, and not focused on overall body nourishment – you’re right back where you started.