What is going on?
It seems that we just blinked and the whole world has turned gluten-free! There are gluten-free options in almost every restaurant, entire sections dedicated to gluten-free products in health-food stores and supermarkets and countless websites with gluten-fee advice and recipes. On a recent trip to Italy I have seen ‘Gluten-Free Pasta’ signs in front of many restaurants. In Italy! Gluten-Free Pasta!!!
What is going on?
Has wheat become poisonous overnight?
How come we and our ancestors did not have gluten issues before?
I am bombarded with those questions from many of my clients and had to re-evalute my own relationship to wheat. After reading, experimenting and working with many women, here are some of my discoveries and thoughts. They reflect my current understanding and may evolve even more with time and experience.
And just to clarify; wheat sensitivities and intolerances are not the same as having celiac disease, which is a serious auto-immune condition that flares up with any gluten consumption.
1. Wheat Is Not The Same
In his book “Wheat Belly”, William R. Davies calls today’s wheat “frankenwheat” and describes how wheat has been genetically changed to grow shorter, be more pest resistance and produce several crop cycles a year. This modern wheat has taken over the world and it is now 95% of the world’s supply. Finding older versions of wheat has become extremely difficult.
While the effects of modern wheat are still not fully understood it might be that we are less adaptable to digest it and that this new breed of wheat is causing food intolerances, digestive problems and other reactions.
TRY using organic Einkorn wheat, an ancient non-modified variety that is gaining more recognition and popularity today.
2. Wheat Is In Everything
Previous generation used to prepare their own food from scratch. Today, most of us buy products, not food. If you read labels and ingredient lists you will discover that wheat is in almost every packaged, boxed, canned and frozen product. This daily over -consumption of wheat can lead us to develop sensitivities to it, in fact, over consumption of many foods can lead to intolerances. I am guessing that is also the reason why I see more gluten intolerances in older population, the older we are the more wheat and processed food we have eaten and the more it affected our body.
Remember- real food has only one ingredient – itself!
DO read labels, eat more real food and less packaged foods.
3. Wheat Is Processed And Refined
The majority of wheat products on the market are refined, stripped of all nutrients, bleached and loaded with additives. Many of those products are labels as “whole grains”, “organic” and “healthy”. Many of those products are sold at health food stores. Even whole wheat flours are processed and oxidized. I highly recommend to grind your own grains, I have been doing it for years. The results are amazing, fresh, full-of-goodness and delicious flours for a variety of uses. It is not as intimidating as it sounds if you have the right equipment. I swear by my Vitamix and I make rice flour, chickpea flour, corn flour, almond flour and much more in seconds!
If you do not have a Vitamin I highly recommend to invest in one!!! It is the best thing I ever bought! Try this model on sale at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Pr3sKF
DO make your own flours and bake your own products.
4. Beware The Gluten-Free Products!
The above conditions have sprouted up a huge gluten-free market, services and products that are not all healthy. Gluten free breads, cookies, crackers, cakes, pasta and the likes are being sold to a public that thinks they are making a better choice. Some of those products are filled with refined starches to mimic the taste and texture of white flour products and many of them are very high in sugar and additives. Switching one unhealthy choice for another unhealthy choice is not a very good move.
DO look for products that are made with real gluten free flours like: rice flour, quinoa flour and lentil flour and avoid the ones made with starches.
5. My Wheat Story.
I have developed sensitivities to wheat over the years but have been resistant to give it up for a long time. When I finally decided to give it a go the results were instant and amazing; my joint pains disappeared, my energy increased and I felt clearer and more focused. I have been staying away from wheat for the past 2 years. I experimented with other grains that contain gluten and I do well with barley and I can have 100% rye bread a couple of times a week, more than that will cause my inflammation to flare up. My sister has gone off wheat too and she does well with spelt, I don’t. Very recently I started having wheat again in very small quantities and very sporadically without any bad reactions. I am guessing that my wheat sensitivity has been changing and as a next step I plan to try using organic einkorn (ancient variety) wheat. Will report back.
While everyone reacts differently to different gluten containing grains I do recommend to stay away from processed and refined wheat, experiment with other whole grains and learn to make your own baked goods; it’s easy, rewarding, delicious and super healthy.
What is your story with wheat and gluten?
What have you experienced with food sensitivities?
Do you have any other questions?
Please comment below, I would love to hear from you. And please share this post with anyone who can benefit from this information.