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January '08 GRAIN-FREE Traditional Food diets thread

post #1 of 591
Thread Starter 
Happy 2008, everyone!

Here's the new thread . . .

Why don't we start with quick refresher intros?

P.S. Here's the original thread.
post #2 of 591
: I'm here!

Erin - SAH homeschooling mom to 2. (formerly a chef - so I LOVE food!!)

After DD was born we went veg and shortly after that vegan. A few months ago, sick of my declining health and that of the kids, I started doing some research and came across WAPF. Something there just clicked with me and we've been transitioning ever since and I've been cutting grains out for the last couple of weeks (with the exception of holiday family meals which really confirmed for me the importance of me staying off of grains).

My struggles right now are increased sugar/grain cravings bc of the holiday slips : and trying to figure out what meals to make for the family bc DH is still not ready to eat meat so I feel like I'm making a meal for him, a meal for me, and a meal for the kids ::.

I am hoping that grain-free TF will help with my candida issues and hypothyroid (and also that 40# I gained while being veg!) and help with DS's low vit B and minerals (very grouchy, moody, and broke his arm twice in one year!)

Sorry, that was a bit of a long refresher intro....
post #3 of 591

I'm 29 year old Sharon, mother of 11 month old Eowyn. Four years ago after battling PCOS and having been on Metformin for 2 years, I decided that there had to be a better way. I cut out carbs over a period of three weeks and then went on Atkins induction. Within two weeks, my severe reactive hypoglycemia from insulin resistance was gone. I tried using artificial sweeteners but noticed that I felt awful with them. So i started doing research and read quite a lot on natural diets including Stefansson, Neanderthin, Protein Power, and more biological/anthropology texts. I included that I needed to go completely natural.

It took six months to get periods, but after that they were always 28-29 days and I used to have horrible and irregular periods. After switching to this diet, I felt years younger, put on muscle weight (previously weight was a rollercoaster), and cured all of my PCOS symptoms except for hair issues. I had ups and downs with the diet, especially in periods of high stress I ate sugar. But when I stuck to it religiously, I always felt better. My downfall has and will always be sugar and chocolate.

Fast forward three years and during pregnancy, I added in sprouted grains (and oatmeal and popcorn) and dairy like raw milk yougurt. Then after DD was born, she started to develop colicky like symptoms. I cut out dairy and she did much better. Then she developed severe digestive issues in the fall. It took me a while to realize I needed to cut out the grains for her. She still fully nurses and has about 0% interest in foods. As an aside, I also don't eat starchy veggies like potatoes, and am only now getting to the point of reintrodcuing nuts into my diet to see if DD reacts).

I've been grain free again for over a month and the only problem I have now is I find it hard to get in all of the calories I need in a day (trust me, I eat butter off of a spoon and am still hungry, I eat pounds of meat at a time and am still hungry). I now eat a lot of fruit, something I never did while initially following my Atkins/Neanderthin combo, and would really love to eat mostly meat and fat again. But it seems I need the fruit.

(Sorry for the essay )
post #4 of 591
I lurked through the last thread, so I guess I oughta post an intro here.

I'll be taking baby steps to a grain-free diet, and my main focus for this month will be breakfasts and snacks (our biggest pitfalls). DS has battled a cold for over a month now, and DD and I have had some recent skin issues and I really feel the reason is the increased grains and sugars in our diet since November.

A little background - DH is Filipino, so we will never be 100% grain-free. He HAS to have his rice - and would much prefer white, but he will eat brown with us. That in itself is a major victory! Rice kind of defines his cultural background, and it's one of the few links he has left so he wants to pass it on to the kids. He doesn't interfere with my TF journey, but doesn't really support it, either. He knows I have health issues, but grew up in mainstream medicine (his parents are both in the medical field) so he's dubious about anything other than big pharm...and he doesn't see some of his own health issues as fixable or food-related so doesn't see the need to do anything different. I prepare a lot of "compromise" foods - he has a craving, so rather than him picking up a box of fake food at the store, I'll bake cookies with half the sugar, good fats, and sprouted flour, etc. He is also addicted to ketchup. I've managed to replace the usual HFCS Heinz with the organic Heinz, but he still uses wayyy too much. (Usually a half-cup or more per serving) The kids are just now getting old enough that we can't hide what Dad's eating, so they get some too. I feel like I've been battling for so long now - and while the kids understand that Dad often eats things that are not good for him, the can't help wanting some too. This past year, I've noticed a big increase in sickness in our home, and I largely attribute it to the "treats" I've permitted the kids (and myself) when trying to make a healthier substitute for DH. Looking back now, I can't believe how lax I've become over the past 2 years!

Right now, breakfasts are soaked oatmeal, soaked pancakes, or sprouted/sourdough breads since they are easy to prepare ahead of time. I'm preparing the house to list for sale in addition to homeschooling and teaching piano lessons, and it reeeeeally makes my life easier to be able to pop some toast or leftover pancakes into the toaster oven rather than prepare a protein meal. I know there are easy protein breakfasts out there - I just have to find them, and until this point I haven't been willing to give up the convenience of grains in the morning.

Also, my mom has had numerous health issues (allergies, respiratory, reproductive, nervous system, and more!). I have tried to get her to go on a grain- and sugar-free diet for years, but she has always dropped out before the end of the first week. We're going to try with her now to support her - she really needs somebody to take the cookie out of her hands and make her a nice yummy steak instead! lol She has tested allergic to eggs, corn, soy (which she avoids anyway), chocolate, and other things. My biggest challenge with finding suitable foods for her is the egg allergy.

My goal for this month: start with 4 protein breakfasts/week (working up to daily) and trade nuts or raw cheeses for grain-based snacks. I'm starting to use stevia in place of sugar, too.

Okay, now that I've written a full encyclopedic entry detailing our life, I'll head back to lurkdom. I'm learning a lot here, and I really appreciate all of you taking the time to detail what's working for you.
post #5 of 591
Hello all and happy new year! I am Elisabeth, mama to three littles (Quillian-5, Selkie-3.5 and Emrys-18 months) and we have been grain free as a family for several years now. We have had several incarnations (SCD, raw vegan, now more paleo but almost totally raw) but have all benefited greatly from being grain/legume/soy and almost all dairy (butter is an exception) free.

Dd and I have celiac and my other two have multiple allergies. I had suffered massive health issues for over a decade. The only issue I DIDN'T have was difficulty getting pregnant. However I never experienced spontaneous lactogenesis with any of my kids. I am happy to say that we are very much on the road to health now though!

Food is sometimes tough, dh and I are self employed and I am in school VERY full time for Integrative Medicine. Plus we homeschool. It's alot.

This morning we weren't raw and had waffles for breakfast (almond flour, egg, coconut oil and coconut milk) followed by smoothies. I am about to go and make a green juice for all of us. I tend to go for simple, and I'd like to change that a bit. I don't want my kids to be in a food rut!

Anywho-sorry this was so scattered, I have little ones asking to eat! Welcome to all new faces.
post #6 of 591
I just finished reading through this thread, very informative! Thank you gals!
post #7 of 591
I am Jamie, a SAH, homeschooling mother of 2. 6 yo DS and 2 yo DD. Our diet has been all over the place since we got married 8 1/2 years ago. From SAD, to low fat, to low carb, to vegetarian, a quick stint as vegan (just me and the kids), then TF, and now finally this.

I am trying to heal from Lyme disease and am finding that as I eliminate grains and go more and more raw (thanks to Firefaery and Uccomama's leads ), I feel so much better, as does my husband. Aside from Lyme, I have a whole lifetime of bad foods that I was raised on (think Pop-tarts for breakfast, fast food lunch, and sometimes a cooked meal, but usually cereal for supper) that I need to heal my body from consuming.

It is good to see I am not alone in this journey and am excited to see the progress that everyone makes!

post #8 of 591
Heyla, I'm Elizabeth. I'm 24 and no kids yet, but we're going to start TTC sometime this summer.

I found my way to grain-free (paleo) eating through issues I had with a heart condition called mitral valve prolapse. Vegetarianism brought on all the issues, so in reading about how veg diets may not be all they're cracked up to be, I found the website http://www.beyondveg.com that opened my eyes to a whole untapped world of nutrition I had never heard of before. That's where I found paleo, and it really spoke to me. It's also how I became obsessed with food. :

I didn't switch right away. I went low-carb first, which cleared up almost all my health problems rather amazingly. Taking out grains/beans/dairy/artificial sweeteners is just the last step that I have been working on. I've never actually been 100% paleo for more than a week at a time because I usually have a "cheat" meal once a week when me and DH go out to dinner. My new year's promise to myself this year, though, is to go the whole month of January without any of that crap and see if my cheat meals are making a difference.

Can I just say I love this thread? I was happy whenever I saw the old one being updated, it was like my new favorite place to hang out!
post #9 of 591
Hi, I'm Alison, 28, I have 2 children, DS is 4 & DD is 10 mo. My DD is exclusively breastfeeding. I was told by my holistic health practitioner that I should follow a candida diet, which is basically no grains, no sugar, no starchy vegetables, no dairy, no fruit (except grapefruit, lemon & lime). I can basically eat any meat, fish, eggs, non-starchy veg., nuts, seeds, good fats, (olive oil etc.), beans & legumes. This is intended to be a short-term diet to de-tox & then I am planning on adding in sprouted grains & some fruit & dairy. I am having a little bit of a hard time doing this candida diet, because although I am not actually a vegetarian, I don't eat a lot of meat or eggs at all & usually eat alot of grains & starchy vegetbles & fruit! I do love fish, but I'm not sure how often I should give fish to my 4yo. I heard 1-2 x's/week is the limit(??) So I'm here to see if I can get some ideas for balanced meals or recipes that my whole family can eat & just to see how everyone does it.
post #10 of 591
Do you know of any websites you can direct me to for info on the Lyme disease/low grain connection? I have a friend who has been recently diagnosed with Lyme & I would like to give her any helpful info if possible. TIA!
post #11 of 591
Thread Starter 
Okay, so my intro . . . I'm a 24-year-old SAHM to two little boys, ages 3 and a half, and 14 months. My older son has had extensive health probelms of the sort that doctors didn't recognize, but I always knew somethign was wrong. He started out really colicky, was always extremely sensitive, got rashes and dry skin, and then stopped growing or gaining weight at the same time he developed some weird regressions and strange autistic-like behaviors. He woke often during the night, crying or whimpering. I began to suspect an allergy, and narrowed it down to a sugar sensitivity, and a wheat and dairy intolerance. So I went online and did some research and discovered the GFCF diet. Also, My younger son had recently been born and had a fairly severe dairy intolerance, and I had been having a lot of vague health problems too, so it all kind of made sense. Well, I didn't get all the way better on the GFCF diet, and realized I had the symtpoms of celiac disease and I was reacting to all of the grains I was eating. So from GFCF we went to SCD, which we have had to modify slightly. We are currently grain-free, sweets-free (except for fruit), starch-free, nut-free, legume-free, dairy-free. I cook food for me and my little ones, and dh sometimes eats with us and sometimes does his own thing.

My three-year-old son is doing SO much better, most of his symptoms are completely gone. All that remains are the dry skin and sensitivity.

I am doing much better, too! It is very exciting to regain one's health.

I love seeing all of the other people here on this thread, since out in the real world, I feel like a freak for the way I eat!
post #12 of 591
Hi! I'm Sarah, SAHM to Rowan (2 going on 7). I'm grain-free for the time being just because I need to lose weight, and I'm following the old-fashioned "cut out sweets and starches" to do that. My family isn't grain-free, there doesn't seem to be any real reason to do that, but neither DH nor DD is all that fond of grains so it's not a big deal. If I put out a plate of crackers, sausage and cheese for them, the cheese and sausage will disappear in seconds while the crackers languish for hours. I'm the carb addict in the family DH is half Chinese and does love his rice, so I'll usually cook rice or potatoes with dinner, and just not have any.

I went starch/sugar-free at the beginning of December and had some brain withdrawl, I expect it'll happen again but some wise mamas here assured me that the dumbies are temporary. I certainly hope so.

So, anyway, no health issues, just a wee bit pudgy. (Check the pic link in my siggie to see how pudgy) I just want to get back to my 130 lbs, 28% body fat self - so that's 30 lbs to lose and 10% of my body fat. I like to work out, so building lots of muscle will be part of my plan.

ETA: I should add that I'm kind of an anomaly here in that I was raised on WAP principles - he was sort of a hero to my dad, who was a dentist also. So I was raised on home-grown organic veggies & taters, wild or locally raised pastured meats, tons and tons of salmon, and whole-grain, slow-rise homemade bread. My body is generally very healthy and I have never had a cavity or even sensitive teeth. DD's birth was very traumatic though, with ketosis in labour due to a complete lack of appetite late in pregnancy (my stomach was the size of a (squished) grape), a much-needed epi and pit drip, post-partum hemmorhage, poor milk supply, bleeding for 12 weeks pp due to a small bit of retained placenta, post-partum anemia, and of course, PPD. For which I self-medicated with bakery treats, hence the 30 extra lbs.
post #13 of 591
Hi! I'm Ellie. I've been lurking for the past month, too, and thought I'd introduce myself. I've been gluten-free for about a year, grain-free for the past month or two, also dairy-free. I have some health issues (digestive, also difficulty getting a period), and am also concerned about how my kids (4 yrs old and 20 months) eat--pretty healthy overall, but they're not grain-free, and love carbs. It's so nice to read these posts, and not feel like a total weirdo for how I eat, which I often do in real life!
post #14 of 591
Originally Posted by mom2carterandchloe View Post
Do you know of any websites you can direct me to for info on the Lyme disease/low grain connection? I have a friend who has been recently diagnosed with Lyme & I would like to give her any helpful info if possible. TIA!
I will research today and PM you hopefully by tonight.
post #15 of 591
I'm here! :

Age 29, no living children and have had the challenge of PCOS, hypothyroid, and Endo.

After trying many diets for years to get my weight down and manage my symptoms and conceive, I tried NT about a year ago and failed miserably. I was eating (gluten free) grains totally 100% NT, but my body revolted: I was rapidly gaining weight, I had a huge hard gut and I felt miserable. I went to an extreme and went raw/vegan overnight for 8 months straight. Though I lost weight, felt somewhat better and didnt have the digestive issues I did before, something was missing - animal protein and fat.

On the raw vegan diet, my hair was starting to fall out, my teeth are gray and see through : now (like, overnight), my ovaries stated forming cysts again after being cyst free for months, when I did have a period, its was heavy and horribly painful, I had horrible moods, very depressed and so on.

I broke from eating that way on TG when I had salmon and rice, but I started to feel horrible again, much like I did when I tried NT. Something clicked and realized it wasn't cooked food, meat or fish - it was the grains. No matter how its prepared, I simply shouldn't eat them.

For my health, I went to eating grass fed beef, pasture chicken, raw butter, ghee, CLO, CO, more fermented foods, and some supplements.

I feel 1000% better now, more energy, my hair stopped coming out in clumps and I hope my teeth and fertility start to improve.
post #16 of 591
Hello ladies. It's a new year!

A short recap for me... I was diagnosed with PCOS about 10 years ago, and with a sugar allergy about 7 years ago. I really did nothing about it until I met my DH. We went low-carb and both felt a lot better... it helped with depression and energy problems, but never really touched any of my hormone problems. We went straight to an RE when we decided to TTC and 2 cycles of Met + Clomid got me pregnant that time (last December), but I was horribly sick the entire time (from the Met). After we lost him, I knew we would be TTC again soon, and I also knew that if I let myself fall into the habit of self-medicating, I would have a really difficult time digging myself out of that hole. So instead we went grain-free. After making that decision, subsequent research turned up a link between grains and hormone imbalances. We've been grain free for about 7 months now, TTC that entire time. I've gone through several rounds of Clomid and am now back on Metformin + Clomid, and hoping that we get some results.

Our diet does include starchy vegetables in moderation, as well as small amounts of honey or maple. Beans are not something we've ever been terribly fond of, but we do eat peanuts and peas. Mostly we live on meat, fruit and veggies, with eggs and dairy contributing a good bit, and minimal nuts.
post #17 of 591
I will post an edited version of my intro in the December thread:

My story is that I've had poor health almost my whole life, but nothing chronic enough to be debilitating -- just personally annoying. I got sick a lot as a kid, had acne into adulthood, always felt weak, had chest pains (that doctors said were stress) and back pain. I also only got my period maybe once as an adolescent and then nothing. I went on the pill at 21 and stayed on it for ten years, until my DH and I decided to have a baby. Nothing happened with my cycles (there were no cycles) so we went the infertility route. My son was conceived through IVF.

My reproductive endocrinologist said it was a "PCOS-variant" and had no interest whatsoever in figuring out WHY I didn't ovulate/menstruate, just in getting me pregnant. Of course, at the time I was in a hurry to have a baby, but now I'm rather angry about it. Especially since after switching to a TF diet (I'd been vegan/vegetarian prior to that) and supplementing with high-vitamin CLO for about six months I finally got a period on my own a year ago, then fifteen weeks later, then eight weeks later, and when I mentioned this to her in a follow-up visit (we tried using a frozen embryo last fall and it failed) as a victory on my body's part, she totally dismissed it. I'd read a study that showed that some women with PCOS who were deficient with vitamin D and supplemented with it started having normal cycles and some actually got pregnant, and I would have shared this with her so she could share it with her patients, but she just scoffed at me.

I started researching gluten intolerance, Weston Price, CLO, etc. because of my son. He was diagnosed with gluten intolerance through EnteroLab last spring, and we have both been off gluten ever since. That led to me reading up on grains in general (Dangerous Grains was a good read) and now I'm convinced that grains are things to be avoided. Funny, a few years ago I thought grains were super important -- I ate a ton of them and would have defended Dr. McDougall and the like to the death.

My family has a history of health problems, too. My dad: bed-wetting as a child, gout, glaucoma, low blood pressure, light-headedness, snoring, hearing problems, rage issues, blood clots, post-nasal drip, stroke and now dementia. My mom: blood clots, allergy to sulpha drugs, phlebitis, hypo-thyroid, arthritis, chronic diarrhea, over-weight issues and some "female" problems that I don't know the details of. I'm problem even forgetting some, and most of these things they've dealt with for as long as I can remember, not just things that struck them in old age.

My mom got tested through EnteroLab recently and found that she is also gluten intolerant. She doesn't think my dad could have that issue though since she's stuck on the GI aspect of it. I wonder if my dad's diet had been radically changed when he was first diagnosed with dementia if things would be different. He is half Irish and half Swedish, and both ethnic groups are at greater risk for celiac disease. He now has no idea who any of us are, so he's pretty far gone.

I'm here because I want to be totally healthy and hopefully get pregnant again. I'm starting acupuncture next week and seeing another doctor to check for yeast/metal issues (for me and my son). I always thought, growing up, that my parent's problems were things that "just happened" and a part of life. I don't want my son thinking that or living that!

Yeah, believe it or not that was the edited version.
post #18 of 591
Hi, Ladies!

I posted a few times on the earlier thread, but I'll have to post an intro later.

I hope everything is going well for everyone!
post #19 of 591
Kallyn - thanks for posting that link! I took a brief look and it looks like some good reading - I'm going to go back when I have more time for a closer look.

A question for you all - when you are invited over to someone's house for a meal do you tell them you're grain free or do you just eat it and deal with the consequences after? I'm finding it difficult to know what to say. When I was veg and told people it was generally accepted (you know most people think that being veg is a great thing for health and environment) but what do I say now - that I don't eat grains or pasteurized dairy or your gross hormone-infested 'meat'? Don't think that'll go over too well kwim?
post #20 of 591
Hi everyone!

Here's my quick intro....

I have been 100% sugar free and virtually grain free for a year now. I went from 202 lbs. to 148 lbs. this past year, and my health has sky-rocketed (perfectly regular periods, no constipation, no PMS/cramps/heavy flow, no joint pain, no acne, no hair loss, tons of energy, great sleep, etc.). The only grains I eat are NT/TF-prepared whole grains, such as a small bowl of soaked steel cut oatmeal or 1 slice of Ezekial (sprouted whole grain) bread, and not even one serving every day, more like every other. Other than that, I eat lots of veggies and legumes, and some fruit every day, plus lots of healthy meats and animal fats. My cholesterol went from 220 (with a so-so ratio) to 143 (with an awesome ratio) and no one could believe it given how much butter I eat, lol.

Anyway, this coming year I'd like to focus on:

* Giving up artificial sweetener : (don't kick me out ) because I use Sweet N Low in my coffee every morning and still drink Diet soda sometimes

* Working on finding a new breakfast routine - I am NOT someone who can make a new breakfast from scratch every morning, I really need to eat the same thing or nearly so every morning and nothing I need to think about either, and it's hard to do this sugar/grain free. I still eat South Beach Diet bars for breakfast sometimes if I don't have time to make breakfast and I want to stop ALL aritificial sweeteners and supplements.

* Focus on drinking lots of water. I love coffee and tea and that can easily be my source of fluid for the day. I want to get more consistent about drinking water. I have found it's really important to my health to do this but I slack off really easily.

* Journal about my eating and continue to watch for "substitution addictions" (e.g., eating lots of yummy roasted-salted nuts where before I would've had chips, chocolate, or pasta). Likewise, watch for "reward eating". In short, I have overeating tendencies and have found blogging/journaling to be really helpful and figuring out what is going on.

* I want to grow some of my own vegetables, and also want to get better about canning/freezing in-season fruit and vegetables. I made lots of (sugarless) jam last year, but would love to put up homemade tomato sauce, freeze corn-on-the-cob, can applesauce, and so on.
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