Most everyone who keeps up with me in any way, knows that I have been implementing the Ketogenic Diet for the past 8 months. I have lost 37 pounds and, most importantly to me, I have seen a marked improvement in some areas of my physical health that have caused me discomfort and sometimes even misery for many, many years. It’s been life-changing for sure!
Over the course of these past 8 months of eating an extremely low amount of carbs, and having basically eliminated all consumption of grains from my diet, I have come to realize that grains have been the culprit of much suffering throughout my life. I grew up in the Deep South, and I have always eaten a hugely grain-saturated diet: corn, rice, and wheat out the wazoo! Eliminating these things has promoted an overall healing in my body that I truly never believed would take place. I have had stomach issues for my entire life, y’all: gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and yes even hemorrhoidal issues (which is an effect of many years of bowel issues). I know that’s somewhat personal information…but health is personal! If we don’t share our challenges and victories in these areas, no one will ever be able to benefit from our own trials and errors! So…I’m not sorry for that little “overshare.”
Moving on though…
So how do I know grains are the problem? Well, this leads me to a quick confession time. Like I stated before, I’ve been on the Ketogenic Diet for quite some time now, (for more information on that, click here), but for the past two weeks I have not been a smart girl and I have had little bits of sugar and carbs here and there. I kept thinking, “It’s not a big deal now that I am pretty much just in maintenance mode.” However, it turns out that it is a big deal. In these last couple of weeks I have consistently made small, yet impactful, bad decisions in my eating…and it’s been painfully clear that the common denominator has been…yep you guessed it…grains. The process of elimination is a tried and true method for figuring things out in every aspect of life, and it is the number one way to find out an allergy or sensitivity on your own. These two weeks have been eye-opening for me, and so here I come straggling down the road…a prodigal daughter…home…back to what I know is right for me: grain-free.
When I began to realize that something I was consuming was actually harming me, I had to figure out what it was. Was it sugar, or was it grains? So, as I always do, I began to research. First I looked into gluten allergy and/or sensitivity. My findings were somewhat similar to what I was experiencing, but not quite the answer I was looking to discover. I needed to know what would cause my:
- itchy, red patches of skin (eczema)
- cystic acne
- sinus congestion and drainage
- hormonal imbalance (unbearable periods and out of control PMS)
- bloating and water retention all over my body
- gastrointestinal upset
- mood changes (feeling depressed for no specific reason)
- unexplained physical pain (much like Fibromyalgia)
So the next thing I researched was wheat allergy. Again, not quite right. So that’s when I came across resource after resource on grain sensitivity. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! I was pleasantly surprised to find my perpetrator so quickly, but then I began to think about all of the foods I must eliminate for the rest of my life…if I truly want to feel well and truly thrive…and I must admit, for this foodie, it was somewhat depressing. You see, when I began the Ketogenic Diet, I always had this mindset that I could reintroduce some foods once I’d hit my goal weight and made some great strides with my overall health. I wanted to reset my body, and that’s exactly what I did. I have learned so much about eating clean and how we truly are what we eat. Going Keto taught me that. Even if you don’t want to do the full-on Keto way of eating, I think it’s beneficial for everyone to limit carbs and to go organic! However, I don’t think I realized (until now) what an impact grains had been having on my body all of my life. They are not something that I can, in good faith, ever reintroduce into my diet if I want to feel great. Admittedly, it’s kind of aggravating to know that there are some foods that I was raised on which are no longer options for me…unless I think it’s worth the havoc I know it will wreak on my system. If I’m honest, I’m sure there will be times when I will falter, yet again, and put myself through unnecessary distress…but now that I am aware and certain, I will be making educated decisions about what goes into my body and how it will make me feel. Ultimately, how I feel in the long-run is much more important than how I feel in the now.
As always, I am sharing the resources that I found in my investigation. I think it’s important to share, share, share when it comes to health education. When we find something helpful, it’s almost immoral to keep it to ourselves…don’t you think? So here are a few links to some articles that were interesting and valuable to me in my quest.
- Grains Beyond Wheat
- How do I know if I’m sensitive to grains?
- Why Grains are Such a Problem
- The Problem with Grains and Legumes
So, as I sit here writing this…a bloated, moody mess…with a residual stomachache and headache…with itchy skin…enduring PMS from hell…and trying to breathe through one nostril because of nasal congestion…I am reminding myself that today is a new day, and I am promising my body that I have hit my own proverbial “reset button.” I am kissing grains goodbye, y’all.
If you are, or someone you know is, experiencing these same issues and you think it may be grains, I encourage you to do a little trial and error experiment of your own. Take your health back…empower someone else to do the same! Life is too important to spend it feeling like crap!
As always, feel free to share! Thanks, y’all!