If you’ve been around for a bit, you may have noticed that all my recipes are grain free. That’s because Babyzilla and I cannot tolerate them—not even rice! We occasionally have some buckwheat or wild rice (which are seeds, not grains), but otherwise corn, wheat, rice, oats, spelt, rye, millet, and even quinoa cause inflammation in our systems leading to aches and crushing fatigue for me, and digestive upset and rashes for Babyzilla.
A lot of people are in the same boat.
Whether it’s for fitness or improved health, more and more people are trying out grain free diets. But given America’s love affair with grains and carbs, going grain free can seem really daunting. Even overwhelming!
Maybe like I was, you are worried about how you’ll get by without sandwich bread, pizza, pasta or birthday cake? (The good news: You don’t have to! Instead, you can make lots of healthy grain free alternatives like the muffins pictured above, or the pie below.)
Maybe you or someone in your family is gluten intolerant, but you want to know if going totally grain free could help even more. (It often does!) Or, maybe you’re trying to lose weight or find optimal health, and you’re sure a grain free, ancestral diet like Paleo or Primal eating could be the secret to melting those pounds away. (It often is.)
If you’ve been waiting for a little motivation, a jumpstart, or some real, solid HELP in going grain free, then the upcoming Go Grain Free cooking e-course may be for you. My friend Jill from Real Food Forager (one of my favorite blogs) is teaching the e-course, and she’s generously offered to give away a free enrollment to one of you!
Why Go Grain Free?
Chocolate Freezer Pie with Hazelnut Crust
All grains are high in phytic acid, or phytates. This natural acid is present to varying degrees in the bran or hulls of all seeds (including all grains, legumes and nuts). Phytates block the uptake of critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc, so you don’t get proper nutrition from your food.
In order to remove the phytic acid in grains, you have to soak and/or sprout the grains in a warm acidic solution. Since all commercial grain foods, with rare exceptions, are made with grains that are not properly prepared and still have a lot of phytates, many people are unknowingly harming themselves by eating these grains.
Given that the USDA recommends 11 servings of grains a day, that’s a lot of minerals blocked by phytates that you are NOT getting.
Improperly prepared grains may cause damage to the gut lining. The glutens, phytates and lectins in grains are irritating to the gut lining. Only birds and rodents have evolved digestive mechanisms to properly handle these chemicals, which is why our ancestors developed methods for preparing grains that improved their digestion and nutrition for us. But even properly prepared grains can harm the digestion of a susceptible person (like someone with Celiac).
If digestion is impaired and food is not broken down properly, large food molecules can be released into the blood stream where the immune system will react to these large molecules as if they were foreign invaders, initiating an immune reaction. This is how “leaky gut” develops which in turn causes food sensitivities and can lead to even more serious autoimmune conditions.
Grains feed inflammation which is the catalyst for many diseases. Grains have several inflammatory substances such as phytic acid, glutens and lectins. Glutens can be problematic for many people who may be unaware that they are gluten intolerant. For the undiagnosed gluten intolerant person, long term consumption can destroy the gut lining and result in digestive illness and malnutrition.
Studies suggest that lectins may play a role in promoting inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, glomerulonephritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, retinitis and cataracts, as well as congenital malformations, infertility, allergies and autoimmune problems. Yikes!
Grains can disrupt proper sugar regulation. Whether they are whole grains or refined grains, they still have a high glycemic index level and, once digested, are absorbed very rapidly. As far as blood sugar is concerned, the only difference between refined carbs and whole grains is that the former dumps the sugar in your bloodstream almost immediately whereas the latter waits a half hour and then dumps it. Either way, at 11 USDA servings of grain a day, it’s a large amount of sugars into the system.
Grains are greedy. Almost all grains in the U.S. are genetically engineered (GMO) —or soon will be. This, in an of itself, is extremely dangerous. Unlike most other plant foods, grains are grown in vast, barren monocultures that require regular spraying with toxic pesticides and herbicides, as well as tons of natural gas-based, synthetic fertilizer. Grains are also grown and produced using resource-inefficient industrial processes that use up billions of gallons of fossil fuels and fresh water. That’s a lot of environmental damage and waste for a food that fills the belly, but offers very little nutrition compared to other plant foods.
Grain Free Cooking Can Be Easy
Spicy Asian Shrimp Rolls
When I started on my grain-free journey with Babyzilla, there were not a lot of resources available to help me. I had to teach myself how to cook and bake with non-grain flours, and how to use unrefined, whole sweeteners. Sourcing the right ingredients was challenging too.
We’ve been grain free for almost three years now (and gluten-free for four), and while we’ve seen enormous health improvements as a result of sticking to it, I still think it can be tough at times.
Learning to cook grain free has cost me a lot of time, money and aggravation. I’m still learning (and making mistakes)!
(p.s: I don’t post the mistakes )
But fortunately, Jill has stepped in to make all our grain free lives easier!
The recipes in her new Go Grain Free cooking e-course are appropriate for grain-free diets like Paleo, Primal, or any low carbohydrate food plan. They are also legal for the SCD and GAPS diets, with just a few exceptions.
Her awesome course offers lifetime access to over 80 video tutorials, 12 weeks of online classes and over 150 printable recipes. In the course, Jill will show us how to:
Bake with grain-free flours, which behave differently than other flours;
Properly prepare nuts and seeds for easy digestion;
Make nutritious, delicious breakfasts with waffles and pancakes;
Cook traditional meals with chicken, meat and fish without grains;
Make snacks like energy bars and granola;
Save money by making your own real food staples and condiments;
Make a grain-free lunch wrap that really works;
Save time by cooking in bulk and storing;
Bake the most delicious and nutritious carrot muffins ever!
Watch the Video about Go Grain Free
How to Enter
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. The giveaway will end on Wednesday, October 3rd at midnight EST, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter.
Shared with Seasonal Celebration Sunday, Sunday School, Mix it Up Monday, Natural Living Monday, The Morris Tribe, Monday Mania, Better Mom Mondays, Homestead Barn Hop, Fat Tuesdays, Tuesday Time Out, Titus 2sdays, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Backyard Farming Connection, Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Living Green Link Up, Hearth & Soul Hop, Titus 2 Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesdays, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Tutorial Tuesday, The Gathering Spot, Whole Food Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Wildcrafting Wednesdays, Healthy 2day Wednesday, Women Living Well, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Creative @ Home, Adorned from Above, Wicked Awesome Wednesdays, Homemaking Linkup, Creative Juice, The Mommy Club, Home is Where the Heart Is, Keep it Real, Natural Living Linkup, Your Green Resource, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fill Those Jars Friday, Fight Back Fridays, Freaky Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, LHITS DIY Linkup, Weekend Bloggy Linkup, Saturday Show and Tell!