Why we stopped eating wheat
The miracle that occurred when we stopped eating wheat
When my sons stopped eating wheat (and dairy), things changed dramatically. My typical son dropped all of his allergy medications and his infections cleared up. His eczema cleared up considerably. In fact, his symptoms improved so much, that he stopped all of his medications within one month.
My special needs son took longer. He was on nine medications when we started this diet. They were all for severe reflux and allergies and asthma. Within 3 months, I was able to stop his asthma and allergy medications, and within 5 months, I was able to drop his reflux medications (all 3 of them).
Miraculous? You bet.
How did I do it?
First, everyone ate the same.
We had to to do this. Eating gluten-free is expensive. There are some shortcuts you can take, but going from discount wheat and dairy to specialty grains and flours is pricey. Plus, I couldn’t cook twice for every meal. That just wouldn’t work. The whole family had to get on board.
I created my own flour mixes.
This was tricky at first, I admit. Buying pre-mixed gluten-free flours is expensive, even if you buy bulk. You can purchase flours separately in bulk. I really like to Azure Standard for things like this. Some people even buy the whole grain and invest in a grain mill to grind their own flour. The grains are cheaper. This was the last gluten-free flour mix I used. It was as close to store-bought as I could get, and allowed me to quickly bake batches of cookies, biscuits or cakes.
I avoided purchasing pre-made gluten-free products.
If you walk into a health food store, you will see rows of gluten-free baking products. You can purchase cookies, cakes and baking mixes. However, they always come with a hefty price tag. If you are trying to get healthy on a budget, this just will not pay. Believe it or not, those mixes still come with preservatives and sugars you and your family just don’t need.
I looked for other gluten-free options
When I looked around, I realized that I could buy brown rice and potatoes (real, not powdered, which contain wheat!) much more affordably than I could some of those flours. There were also times when I bought oats (some cannot tolerate the oats), and even ground them into a flour with my food processor. You can also make a flour using a food processor to grind up rice flour if you like, which is much cheaper.
One thing about a wheat-based diet is that you do get B vitamins like folic acid and niacin. None of the gluten-free grains contain these vitamins in the same quantities. The closest I have come to is buckwheat, which is highly nutritious, but still lacks the same make-up. I didn’t always use these, but Garden of Life has really good, high-quality vitamins. If nothing else, use something with this quality as a multivitamin, especially for your kids.
We took probiotics.
One thing you must understand about some problems stemming from a wheat-based diet is that your family’s gut may be imbalanced. Gut imbalances can be cause by a number of things, but it could be from a yeast-overgrowth, over-use of antibiotics, your own poor diet before and during pregnancy, age, or simply not enough fiber in your diet. Whatever the case taking probiotics, making homemade yogurt, eating fermented foods or drinking kombucha can all help restore your gut bacteria.
But, there is yet another miracle.
We left the gluten-free diet and went back to wheat! Yep! A year from the day I write this, we started back on a wheat-based diet. That is another story, but we have not had the symptoms we had so many years ago.
We eat homemade bread, cookies, cakes and pastries all with organic wheat flour. We do drink almond milk, but we eat cheese and homemade cow’s yogurt. My sons still do not struggle with asthma. No one takes medications for allergies or reflux. My special needs son still takes an occasional puff from his inhaler when he gets a cold or something. Even that is on occasion.
For us, our issues lied in over-use of antibiotics, and muscle tone in my special needs son. Once we restored gut health, eliminating yeast and adding probiotics, we were able to restore our diet.
Go gluten-free if you must, but take heart that you may be able to go back to wheat later. Finding the root cause of your family’s gut issues may help you fix the problem and restore a normal diet to your household.