I met Priscilla years ago, before she had three kids and a husband! Here they all are now:
Aren’t they cute?🙂 I knew that Priscilla and her family had made some radical changes in their diet, and I asked her to share her story about eliminating wheat and GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) from her family’s eating. I haven’t hopped on the gluten-free bandwagon totally yet (mostly because I feel like we have eliminated enough foods with Sam’s allergies!) but I sure see the merits of a diet with healthy proteins and produce at the center.
What I admire most about Priscilla is her passionate determination to make her family healthy! Gotta love that. Hope you enjoy her story! You can find Priscilla blogging here. Thanks for sharing, Priscilla!
Around this time last year, I was introduced to a book entitled Wheat Belly by William Davis. Dr. Davis is a cardiologist who has done a tremendous job shedding light on the history and effects of modern wheat, or as he calls it, “Frankenwheat.”
He explains why this wheat has gotten to be very poisonous and dangerous for us all. The day I started reading the book, I stopped serving “Frankenwheat” to my children and stopped eating it myself. It took a few more weeks to get my husband to understand and read the book and then he was on board too.
What I learned was so disturbing that I couldn’t in good conscience serve my children bread the next morning.
The book basically explains that the original wheat (Einkorn wheat) has been hybridized and crossbred to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions, such as drought and pathogens. These dramatic and detrimental genetic changes have occurred for monetary reasons including yield-per-acre. This is the wheat that we all can find on the shelves in the supermarket in hundreds and thousands of products. Even “organic” whole wheat bread is still made from this horrible hybridized wheat. What was very troubling for me was the fact that it affects virtually all systems of the body from the brain to the skin to the intestines and the whole nervous system. Dr. Davis links it to autism, ADHD, various cancers, diseases, and even depression.
It’s been nearly a year since we decided to go gluten free. We are not perfect, but I have noticed big differences in my husband the most. He lost 30 lbs, feels more alert and actually has stomach pains when he accidentally has food with wheat in it. My three boys don’t really remember even eating wheat before! Cannon, my three year old, poked at a roll at the Thanksgiving table and asked, “What’s that?!” Since they are not allergic, it’s harder to say, “no,” but I know it’s important to us to eat healthy.
We don’t do a lot of “gluten-free” products, since we are also GMO free. Dr. Davis says that many substitutions for wheat are not good for us either, since they raise blood sugar just as high as wheat. In the book, he goes into depth on why sharp spikes in blood sugar are really detrimental to everyone’s long-term health. We have bought gluten free bread, but usually we just don’t do bread at all.
Breakfast usually consists of buckwheat pancakes with pure maple syrup (which the kids prefer over the old wheat pancakes), eggs with sausage or bacon with avocado, smoothies, or baked oatmeal. For lunch, we usually have left over dinner or do grass-fed beef hotdogs with sweet potato or rice with an egg on top with veggies.
I finally have a really great list for dinner options that everyone enjoys that don’t include wheat. It took a while of trial and error, but glad that we now have a go-to list instead of always searching and wondering if it’ll work.
Some favorites are brown rice pasta with meat sauce, stuffed peppers, meatloaf, honey-spiced chicken with mashed sweet potatoes, pot roast, chicken roast, and shepherd’s pie. Snacks typically consist of apples with peanut butter, fruit cup, cheese sticks, raisins, popcorn, bag of chips, cucumbers with hummus, homemade applesauce or some sort of homemade GF baked good. Check out my pinterest page for more ideas!
My boys have been doing great with the gluten free meals. The hardest part is when we to go to someone’s home or a birthday party. They are allowed birthday cake, but I do notice they get more hyper after they eat the wheat!
As for me, I lost about twenty pounds, but I also gave birth four months before I started the whole gluten free diet and was already losing weight slowly. It definitely accelerated the weight loss though! Overall I feel great with our diet and the changes that we’ve made.
I’m in the kitchen a lot, but we’re making it work. The kids always love to “help” with the food preparations. I enjoy teaching them what ingredients are in the foods that they are eating, just to give them an awareness of where their food originated from and the process it has taken to get to the kitchen table.
We hope to one day have our own farm with cows, pigs and chickens and grow a vegetable garden to really know and be in control of what’s in our food! Who would have thought this Puerto Rican princess from Long Island would one day want to be a farmer? LOL. Crazier things have happened, I guess…
*I highly recommend reading Wheat Belly by William Davis and also checking out westonaprice.org for additional information concerning the other changes we’ve made in our diet besides being gluten-free. I also highly recommend watching Genetic Roulette- a documentary shedding light on the GMO controversy.