So…why no grains?

Wait, I’ll back up.

I’m a pretty careful eater. I’ve always been a fan of high protein/low carb diets. We like whole and ‘real’ foods; pastured meats, organic produce, rustic homemade breads, and not a lot of sugar or refined anything. We also exercise a ton. Two months ago I was at my peak fitness. I had lost almost 12 pounds and most of my pants were falling off. It was kinda…super awesome rad!

But…we have our weaknesses. Nacho night (every week, more if J could). Tea House brownies. Summer fruit crisps. Banana loaf. Dark beer. Good wine.

Andnn somehow, just past that two month fitness peak, it all went crazy. I don’t know if it was sparked by stress ( I kinda think so…) through our living arrangements and work/school and moving and pregnancy, but I somehow dropped my nutrition awareness and went…crazy! I’ve been inhaling (no, really) cakes and brownies and…Cheerios(??) and pancakes and icing and rice and potatoes and…it’s craaazy! I don’t eat this stuff!? What’s going on?? Also, now that we’ve moved from my (free and awesome) fitness center, there’s a lot less focused exercise going on.

Along with that, my skin has continue to flip out, my fibromyalgia has flared into some very painful days, and I’m exhausted (though that could be related to the fact the Knightley has quite sleeping at night since we moved…). I’ve become a carb-craving, scar-faced, jiggly-bummed…creature.

It’s a little terrifying.

SO, with all of this ridiculousness going on, I’ve been hearing more and more about the Paleo and Primal diets. Interesting.

To be entirely honest, I’m not really convinced by the rational. I mean, the whole “we evolved eating these certain things and our bodies respond best to them…” is great, but….? I lean more towards an approach where God provided an incredible selection of whole foods (yes, lots of meats and nuts and vegetables, but ALSO seeds and grains) and created our bodies to consume them responsibly. I get cutting out refined stuff that man wrecked (GMO’s, white flours, processed anything), but ALL legumes? Even sprouted? All whole grains? Even heritage organic? Hmm…weird.

Buuut…then there’s the results. People eating through this approach are showing healed and clear skin. They’re not in pain. They have tons of energy. They’ve dropped weight. They’re healthy!

So I’m intrigued.

How can I a)afford the increase of purchasing more quality meats and veggies b) deny the insane cravings c) change my whole food approach (this is coming from a gal who WILL eat three meals of amazing oatmeal in a day if given the chance. I love my oats….)

So, oats are out?
What about quinoa? (I’ve heard mixed reviews)
Popcorn? (I LOVE popcorn!)
What do people do for breakfast, besides eggs?
Nacho night?
Oh man.

I DO need to find a solution to these health issues. And I’m becoming desperate enough to consider crossing over.

Oh dear.

Comments? Experiences?


25 Responses to “but…grains???”
  1. Lola says:

    haha, I feel you. I don’t think going off grain is the cure for every problem. We’re all so individual in our health needs. I also kinda balk at the evolution argument. I love oatmeal and rice. There is nothing better than bright yellow better on sourdough.

    But I do know that when I eat a very limited grain diet (I can’t have dairy other than butter either because of migraines) Pretty much every health issue I have gets better. fast and dramatic. I cheat all of the time but there is a definite joy in knowing how I can help myself get better. If I were you, I’d do a two week test run. Then you can gauge if it will help you or not. With my skin, it takes three or four days before I start to see a really dramatic improvement. It gets better even faster if I have lots of bone broth and saturated fats at the same time. And I don’t even want to tell you this but I react really poorly to chocolate… you may want to try to take that out in your test run too.

    It’s daunting so just try it out and don’t commit to anything longer unless you feel good. Because you need much less willpower when you’re body is feeling really great.

    • Dea' says:

      Thanks Lola! I think I’ve decided to do a test run. That said, I ‘celebrated’ with a major carb fest of brownies, ice cream, and popcorn. Umm…??? Yikers! But yeah, as of tomorrow, I’m on one week of veggie/meat/etc type eating; no refined sugars or flours, limited fruit, no rice or oats (yikes). We’ll see….

  2. thismama says:

    Are you allowed to be one of the people who hasn’t gone that route and still feel good, have clear skin, healthy hair and nails, and not be in pain? I agree that our bodies are all very different and we need different things but I guess my approach is more moderation and a regular diet that works for my family and I in a sustainable way. We tried to eat grains in moderation before but since finding that Aneliese was Celiac, we have obviously cut most out completely. We still eat oats prepared slowly, quinoa and other grasses/seeds. But, in moderation. We eat popcorn, but we aren’t eating crazy modified corn in tonnes of other things. I still bake using honey or maple syrup, but again not every day or eating a whole bunch at once. And we use dairy. I guess that mostly I really hate this whole idea of “cheating” (which I hear a lot) every time we have something sweet or grainy because I actually think that in reasonable, properly prepared amounts, that they are a good thing. For me, I don’t see it as realistic or desirable to cut those things out for the long term and “cheating” only leads to eating too much of something at one time. Okay, wow. Was I just that blunt in my opinion?

    • Lola says:

      I hope that soon I can be more like this… especially with dairy. I can’t wait to not have to eat around my psoriasis and sinus headache/migraines. when I say cheat, what I actually mean is that I cheat myself out of feeling good for three or four days after. But I really enjoyed your apple cake last night 🙂 Weird that we’re talking about this online when we’ve already discussed it in person.

      • thismama says:

        haha, I much prefer talking in person! Blogging or commenting is dangerous:).

        • thismama says:

          oh and I did used to have wack psoriasis and bad skin….not at all any more, thankfully since eating the way we eat now….And bone broth is amazing:).

          • Dea' says:

            WOW! Good morning Lola and Missy! Hahaha 🙂 Thanks ladies, I really appreciate this. And Missy, your approach isn’t too blunt or weird or anything, it makes sense. Doing actual strict ‘diets’ is generally dangerous for me as it messes with my head and eventually leads to dangerous indulgences. So…I want to avoid that kind of cycle. But I also need to feel better. I’m eating so ridiculously right now that I think if I go through a week or two of ‘cleansing’ (kind of), I’ll be able to get back on track with real foods. You know what’s really frustratig? That these issues exist at all. Like, the fact that there ARE all these modified products. The fact that we CAN’T purchase raw dairy. Etc. Gr.

            Anyways. I guess we’ll see…..

  3. thismama says:

    okay, so I didn’t really finish clarifying my comment, I guess I just see a lot of my friends trying different diets that are similar in some ways, Paleo, Primal, Gaps…what have you…in hopes that they will feel better, lose weight or have this or that healed but none of the diets seem to be without their limitations and what seems to work for some doesn’t work for another, or is sustainable or whatever, so mostly while, I love eating well, I am pretty much a skeptic of specific diets.

  4. thismama says:

    Oh and we eat a LOT of eggs for breakfast:) and nut pancakes.

  5. thismama says:

    Oh sorry, I have one question…by the Primal diet do you mean raw as well? Because isn’t a truly primal diet by its definition (not that I really agree with the science of) raw, as in raw meat etc?

    • sadie says:

      Yes, and probably the closest ‘primal’ way to cook would be some sort of spit. i’ve heard of a few people doing raw organ meats in smoothies, and obviously raw eggs. But I think you really have to trust where your food is coming from to take that step.

  6. sadie says:

    well, as you know I cut out grains and sugar, not for health reasons, but to lose fat, which is taboo to actually admit, but whatevs, it’s working. And I can tell you that my energy level has increased like 100% and I know it’s not just the sugar, because I’ve cut out sugar before and never felt this good. I can keep up w/ my kids when playing now. I do plan to introduce oats back in at some point, but just not everyday. I agree w/ the idea of moderation, except when you have found a clear link w/ a food and your health. I think a big part of your feeling so crappy is the sugar, but I would definitely agree that doing a trial w/out grains is a good idea, then after a while add back in the oats a couple times a week to see how your body reacts, then see if you can tolerate rice etc. Be aware that after the first week you might feel so cranky that you want to murder someone. The addiction to grains and sugar is intense! Also you will feel very hungry so make sure you have good snacks available, lots of nuts, snacky veggies and fruits and such.

    • Dea' says:

      Greeeaaat…murderous crankiness…awesome! Cuz I’m in SUCH a great mood already with these pregnancy hormones! Ha!

      As far as raw/primal, I was just going with the current trendy definition ‘The Primal Diet’. I don’t think they’re too crazy into raw meats, but I really don’t know. I know I won’t go that far, beyond certain experimental things.

      This morning I did eggs and grated veggies (I used to do that all the time! Why did I stop??) It was good. I’m still allowing a spoonful of sugar in my one cup of coffee in the morning. Not the best choice, but these days it’s worth it…maybe 😉

      (just watch me have GD with this preg and have to cut out everything for the next year– oh boy!)

      Time to go defrost my bone broth!

      • sadie says:

        the crankiness didn’t last long and shortly after there was this feeling of, ‘oh wow, I CAN do this!’

        I stopped using any sweetener in my coffee and just use full fat heavy cream. In August I’d like to cut out dairy just for the month, so I would either need to learn to drink coffee black or start to like coconut milk in it.

        • sadie says:

          oh, and do you want to hang out today?

          • Dea' says:

            Yeah! Two thoughts: 1) Wanna swing by for tea this morning sometime between now and noon? (Alicia might also be stopping by, but I’m not sure for sure) 2) I need to head to IGA after nap time (so, 3:30’ish). We could meet up at the playground by your place, or the water park or…???

            Let me know what works on your end 🙂 (Oh, and Missy and Lola, you two should really swing in as well 😉 )

    • Lola says:

      Sadie, I’m going to do the whole30 starting July 1st. I’m actually excited. It’s even stricter than Gaps but I kinda want to know exactly how I react to sugar and carbs. Are you still going to do it in August?

  7. Lola says:

    Oh, I’ve been reading about going too low with your carbs, especially while pregnant. They don’t have to be grain carbs but embrace the root veggies and fruit without fear. Under 75 grams is getting a little sketchy I think if you are pregnant. Just wanted to mention it.


    • Dea' says:

      Ha! That’s awesome. I don’t think I ever exceeded 40 in a day while pregnant with GD, and never more than 15 at a time. Oh, and fruit was not allowed. Ever. At all.

      Tonight for supper I sauteed a big pan of beets (including tops), garlic, thinly sliced steak, and balsamic, then sprinkled with feta. I really really wish I had some nice BC walnuts to top it off with cuz that would have made it perfect. It was great! (Um…I also had a piece of fresh corn on the cob…I’m preeetty sure that’s considered a grain…right? Jem picked corn for supper at the store and then I cooked the whole bag and…yeah. Oops.)

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow, we eat so many grains, flour, breads, (does rice count? cuz we eat a lot of that, too), Sam has expressed a desire to cut back and eat way more just meats and veggies. Thinking it would help to lose weight. But grains are cheap, and they go a long way! And… I like them! I constantly wonder what I would do if I couldn’t eat gluten. Yikes- shoot me. But… if I had a desire to feel better, like you do, Dee, I might give it a shot. But, I feel very sorry for you 😦 I love a piece of toast with a ton of butter. Mmmmm

  9. Kit says:

    Anonymous is me.. PS. you giving up popcorn??? Wow, you are on a road to incredible self-discipline! We college girls love our popcorn, don’t we?? 😉

  10. Just being a mama of two young boys and a third one on the way is enough to make anyone tired! You have a lot on your plate but a lot of blessings to count too. Thanks for sharing your adventures and I love your writing style!

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