Bread. We all love it, but for most of us, it doesn’t love us and we don’t even realize it. There are lots of varied explanations for this that someone else can go into (Grain Brain & Grain Maker by David Perlmutter, Wheat Belly by William Davis as well as many others), but I want to share with you a little story.
Since I was 10 years old I have had seasonal cluster/migraine headaches. They come on really fast and there is no way to prepare for the onset as I wake up in the middle of the night writhing in pain. It is so aweful that I am afraid to go to bed at night! I’ve consulted with a variety of doctors and specialists and they can diagnose me and offer prescription drugs, but there has never been anyone that has offered preventative measures. I have been able to manage these headaches and eventually get off the prescription drugs as whatever it is in my environment that triggers the headaches subsides. I have tried lots of different things while managing with headache medications: chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, all of which seem to contribute to my getting back on my feet. Eventually, the headaches run their course and I go back to “normal” life. During the last round of headaches, I decided to see a naturopath (the same one that Ryan has been seeing over the years). She did some bloodwork and asked me to commit to going off all grains for three months. Now I’ve gone off of gluten, but ALL grains (rice, corn, wheat, teff)? It was a lot to ask, but I committed to taking on this challenge. And I failed. One day in particular, I remember that I made some homemade pesto and I was ready to enjoy some gluten free pasta with this yummy pesto. This gluten free pasta was made from rice, corn and soy. Ten minutes after my meal, I was writhing in pain. That is when I decided to take this challenge of going off all grains seriously. I committed and I was able to do it for a few months (and then we went on vacation and I broke the chain, but I have jumped right back on as soon as we got home). I truly believe that eating grains triggers my headaches. It’s like there are toxins that directly link to my brain and the headaches ensue. I think for most of the year, I can process these toxins, but when there is a higher level of stress in my life and/or there is a ton of pollen or molds in the air, my body just cannot handle processing all that I am throwing at it and subsequently reacts with the worst headaches ever. I’m sure that there are more technical terms for what is happening in my body and my head, but this is what I believe and it has helped me to resolve going off grains. There is one side effect of this “prescription” . . . I have slimmed down quite a bit which is a side effect that I think most people can live with (:
All of this to say . . . there are preventative solutions to health problems. We simply have to be willing to feed out bodies well. And eating well is different for everyone, as I am learning (as Ryan learns in his IIN courses, I also learn – one of the many benefits of being this man’s partner and wife!).
My next post will be about my experimentation with grain free bread recipes. Yes, I have been baking and I have pictures to prove it!