i think i first promised you all this post about two months ago when brad and i first started playing around with reducing the amount of grains in our diet.
better late than never, right?
before i start with the meat of this post, i need to put a couple of disclaimers out there.*
*it’s always fun to write a post peppered with disclaimers….
first, i am not a registered dietitian. any information presented on my blog is from my perspective and what works (or doesn’t work) for me.
second, i am not saying that i believe this way of eating is the best way to eat for anyone else. please just take this post as me sharing my own research and the dietary changes that i have made for my own health. what works best for you is likely different from what works for me.
ok, so where did this whole decision to reduce grains in our diet come from?
it’s all brad’s fault.
no. i’m kidding! kind of.
to maintain his chiropractic license, brad has to earn continuing education credits. one of the ways he can earn credits is to take courses and attend conferences. recently, he went to a nutrition class (actually 4 weekends of classes) taught by dr. david seaman.
one of the things that the classes focused on was pro-inflammatory diets. you all probably know this, but inflammation is the root of pain in the body. some inflammation is good – it’s your body’s way of fighting disease/injury – but unnecessary inflammation is just a pain (literally).
well, some foods can promote inflammation in the body. some of the worst culprits are refined grains and sugars. seriously. they are like inflammation bombs in our bodies.
you’re all probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “well duh, sarah, we know refined grains are bad. that’s why i eat healthy whole grains.”
harvest grains salad – better than refined grains, but still not great for inflammation
ok, well dr. seaman teaches that while whole grains are healthier than refined grains, even whole grains are a source of inflammation in our bodies. they result in less inflammation than refined grains, but inflammation does still occur.
the degree of inflammation from whole grains in the diet may not be very high, and most people probably don’t even notice it until they reduce their intake of grains. however, this constant low level of inflammation means that your body is always on edge and it makes you more susceptible to an inflammatory response from other sources (like allergens or injury).
this fact really struck my interest because both brad and i have inflammatory diseases. he has psoriasis and i have inflammatory digestive issues.*
*neither of us have experienced any symptoms of gluten sensitivity or celiac disease
this was really the biggest factor in convincing me to try consuming fewer grains.
maybe by reducing grains in our diet, we could help reduce the symptoms of our inflammatory diseases.
but notice: i said we’re reducing our intake of grains, not going completely grain-free, even though i’ve talked about it that way in previous posts. we do have plenty of grain-free meals, but we are not trying to be totally grain-free. at least not yet.
we’ve both eaten grains several times in the past two months. we’re just much, much, much more conscious of it now and we’ve mostly been saving them for treats instead of eating grains as a staple in our diets.
this pizza crust was totally worth it on the day we closed on our house and spent hours there cleaning. totally worth it.
another source of potential confusion: we’re not going paleo. at least not yet. i’m not ready to give up my dairy. especially since i didn’t really notice a difference in how i felt at all when i tried that once before (tiny mention of my lack of response to cutting out dairy in that post – i just realized i never really recapped that experiment either…).
cooking has been an adjustment.
at first i was really unenthusiastic about preparing grain-free meals. that was mostly because i didn’t do much research and wasn’t finding much inspiration for our meals. now that i’m getting a little more creative, it’s becoming clear that we have tons of options!
i have a post planned with some of our recent favorite meals. i’ve definitely learned that grain-free meals can be creative, nutritious, and satisfying!
for example, this noodle-less lasagna was awesome!!
my skin looks pretty good! my acne flares definitely fluctuate with my hormones, but overall, it’s looking better! now, instead of always having at least a few blemishes, during those times of the month where my skin clears, it’s really clear <—yay!
i haven’t lost any weight [because i have a feeling people will ask], but brad has! at least, he thinks he has. people have commented that he looks thinner, but ne hasn’t weighed himself in over a year, so we can’t be sure.
overall, brad and i are both very happy eating this way for now. sure, sometimes it’s tough to pass on certain foods that contain grains, but this way of eating has really made me think about when it is worth it to eat them (like at family gatherings or special evenings out) and when i’m just as happy going without!
if you’re interested in seeing more about where i did my research before starting to reduce our intake of grains, feel free to leave a comment or email me (email@example.com)!