Grain-Free Journey

Posted on: July 18, 2012

The Reedettes have been plagued with auto-immune diseases; all four of us struggle with at least one.  It’s been frustrating especially when one of us is limited during a flare. However, I recently read a very eye-opening book, The Paleo Solution, which convinced me the ramifications of eating grain was not worth the enjoyment of eating grain. All three children have been gluten free since June 2012 (and two have been essentially gluten free for several years now). In addition, I have been substantially bothered by rice since February of 2005.  I haven’t been diagnosed with an allergy to rice by a doctor but when I eat any form of rice, my throat swells and I require an inhaler. So, I have some type of sensitivity or allergy. And I have recently been starting to wonder if corn bothers us (me in particular).

So, I read “The Paleo Solution” and was impressed by the scientific and medical presentation that grains are essentially toxic to our bodies; they all cause inflammation which is the root of most disease. So, we are experimenting by cutting out grains. Today is the fourth day. Since the second day, we have all been craving vegetables. I am not sure if it’s the texture or if it’s that we are not filling our bodies with grains/fillers and our bodies are telling us what we need. Our vegetable intake has increased to at least eight servings a day. I went on my first grain-free shopping trip which included more meat than I usually purchase. I only spent $150 for a week of groceries. I was amazed.

The last two nights, all four of us slept soundly without awakening. Even me! I haven’t had two nights of solid sleep in a long time usually due to pain and sometimes mixed with anxiety. I am recovering from a shoulder and back injury. I no longer feel as hopeless about healing. I long to be physical again. I do have scoliosis in my upper spine and an ankle with a unhealed injury. Still, I long to be physically active. I am curious to see if being grain free will help. I actually hopeful that it will.

Sydney is taking three dance classes including Pointe three times a week and is in an afternoon class and theatre (Sydney is the re-invented role of Betsy Gunn (Ben Gunn) in Treasure Island at the Children’s Theatre of Knoxville) all week. She is gone a minimum of nine hours daily.  She hasn’t had any swelling or inflammation. She loves Pointe dance and is experiencing no pain. She has not  experienced any fatigue or “flares.” It is SO exciting.

Ethan is involved in Football and has two-hour practices four nights a week. He hasn’t had any inflammation or next-day pain.

Katyana is energetic and her face is clearing up substantially.

We all feel less foggy and more creative. Everyone seems to be getting along better.

Maybe it’s coincidence. I do not know.  It’s only been four days. But I do know that the Reedettes have been suffering over the past few years. And I am encouraged that maybe that suffering won’t be as severe.

The cons of going grain free is that we have increased our protein intake. Now, this is a challenge in that we are not sure whether Katyana is severely allergic to peanuts/tree nuts as she had to completely recover from the hives and her anaphylactic shock reaction before she can have allergy testing. So, we are not eating nuts until we know what is going on with her. But the other big problem is that I despise handling raw meat. It is very difficult for me. So, I am having to learn how to overcome that issue. But we had delicious Angus beef wraps last night with bacon and cheese. The kids loved them. Today we had a huge salad for lunch. Ethan is eating tomatoes. It is such an interesting journey.

My personal favorite food is pizza. I have been worried about how I will deal being cut off! Well, thankfully there are many grain-free folks out there who have already done the hard work. I have been looking online for a great grain-free pizza crust (with cauliflower as the crust). I think I found it.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe: . We will try this next week when our schedule isn’t quite so crazy. I am excited. I haven’t told the kiddos yet what the crust will be made out of because I want their unbiased opinion.

Note: We are not following the Paleo Diet completely. We haven’t give up dairy, legumes, or potatoes. Giving up grain is a huge step for all of us and the most important. We don’t use a lot of dairy but we all love cheese. It was also hard to imagine no hummus, potatoes, or beans. If I feel we need to eliminate more food groups in the future, we will do so. But one thing at a time and right now that is grain.

We still can eat out. We can still eat snacks. We just are choosing not to eat grains. We have also for the most part eliminated food dyes due to the behavioral effects they had on two of my children. If you or your child has manic episodes, I would strongly suggest eliminating all food dyes and then reintroducing each food dye back one at a time and see if you notice a difference. We did this in the summer of 2011 and I was shocked by the results. Two of my children are severely affected by all the red artificial food dyes. One of my children gets sick to her stomach after consuming the artificial yellow food dyes.

So, no grains and no artificial food dyes for us. But the rest is actually simpler. It’s an interesting journey. I will keep you all posted.

1 Response to "Grain-Free Journey"

Wow, I’m impressed! I’ve contemplated going grain free (for a few weeks’ trial period only), but I’m pretty sure my family would rebel. I’d probably rebel myself. We eat a LOT of grains. But then, I don’t think they affect us as much as they do others. I’m excited to see what happens for you!

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