Posted in lorieb.com

Wheat-Free Products

There are many alternatives to wheat on the market these days, many are available in your grocery store.  Listed below are a few that I have tried:

Arrowroot is the starch of a root from tropical plants.  It is easily digestible, and flavorless (unlike cornstarch).  It can be used as a thickening agent in soups, gravies, cookies etc.  Simply mix it with cold water before adding it to hot liquids to prevent clumping.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a grain-like (but NOT a grain) crop mostly grown for its edible seeds.  The plant is related to beets and spinach, although the greens are not widely available.  The seeds are easily digestible, and are high in protein, fiber, magnesium, amino acids, calcium, phosphorus and iron.  They should be cooked and used like rice.

Buckwheat is a grain-like (but NOT a grain) plant grown for its seeds, related to rhubarb and sorrel.  It is gluten-free, although it can be a potent allergen by itself.  Buckwheat is high in protein, amino acids, iron, zinc, selenium and antioxidants.  It has been known to reduce cholesterol levels, body fat and cholesterol gallstones.  It has also been shown to strengthen capillary walls in chronic venous insufficiency and is currently being studied for use in treating type II diabetes.  Noodles make of buckwheat are known as soba in Japan, pizzoccheri in Italy,and guksu in Korea.   Buckwheat flour or farina is used in breakfast foods like porridge, as well as a thickener in soups, gravies, dressings, breads, and pasta.  Buckwheat is also used in the making of honey and a gluten-free beer.

to order any of these products online, please visit:
http://astore.amazon.com/gardens4u-20

Posted in food, lorieb.com, weight management

Lose the Wheat, Lose the Fatigue, Brain Fog and Weight

A year ago I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy and low iron stores (ferritin). Since then I have read many books and discovered the two issues may be related. The book I liked the best is “Wheat Belly” by William Davis, M.D. The basic information below is what I derived from his book. For further details and explanations, please read the book!

For years we have been told to eat more complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and less of the simple carbohydrates found in candy or soft drinks, but studies have now shown that modern wheat is the culprit, making us fat and unhealthy!

This is because amylopectin, the glucose units found in wheat, is easily digested and quickly absorbed into our bloodstreams, increasing blood sugar levels. Gram for gram, wheat increases blood sugar faster than all other simple and complex carbohydrate foods. The insulin we produce naturally in our bodies converts the glucose to fat. The higher the blood glucose level after a meal or snack, the greater the insulin level, the more fat deposited. The fat is deposited in our abdomens, encasing our livers, kidneys, pancreas, intestines and stomachs. This is called visceral fat and is uniquely capable of causing many inflammatory processes and health conditions.

For the past 50 years, wheat has been genetically altered to increase farmers’ yield by making the grain heat and drought tolerant, as well as disease resistant. Changes have also been made to modify its properties making the wheat more suitable for the baking industry. These changes have made wheat very popular in our lives, but have also had tremendous consequences on humans ingesting the wheat: increased blood sugar levels, inflammatory processes, pH changes, activated immune responses, neurological disorders, heart disease, cancer, skin rashes and obesity.

Wheat consumption can effect almost every organ of your body; the liver, lungs, pancreas, skin, heart, brain, stomach and intestine, thryroid gland etc. Wheat converts quickly to blood sugar, not only causing us to gain weight, but also leading to many debilitating conditions not just associated with excess weight. Wheat has also been proven to worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia, autism and ADHD.

In patients diagnosed with celiac disease, the most common wheat related illness, gluten protein causes an immune response that inflames the small intestine resulting in stomach cramps and diarrhea. Gluten is the component of wheat that makes baked products doughy and able to rise in the baking process. Wheat is the main source of gluten in our diet. Other less common sources of gluten include kamut, tricale, rye, bulgur, and barley. Gluten however is not the only villain in wheat flour, there are also thousands of other strains of proteins, enzymes and starches. These ingredients cause allergic reactions triggering rashes, asthma and even anaphylaxis.

Unfortunately wheat is not so easy to remove from your diet. Wheat products are convenient, readily available and satisfying to eat. To avoid wheat, be sure to read the ingredients list on food labels keeping in mind that wheat is in many items other than just bread. Fill the gap in your diet left by wheat with meats (not processed), vegetables, fruit,  nuts, eggs, avocados, olives, and cheese. You can actually eat larger portions of these items.

By eliminating wheat, your body’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients such as B6, B12, folic acid, iron, zinc, magnesium and thiamine will improve.. Your fiber intake will also increase. Eliminating wheat from your diet may be inconvenient, but I guarantee you will notice a difference in as little as one week! You will have more energy, sleep better, feel more alert and look trimmer.

If substantial weight loss is your goal, please read my next post…