Friday, January 9, 2015

The Challenge of Trying to Eliminate Wheat From My Diet

I think something in my diet needs to change. I'm not entirely sure what but I'm ready to just start trying different things. You may have noticed there is a ton of information out there about various foods, and tons of diet plans that sell you a book and promise, if you follow, their plan will solve all your problems. The food culprit is always different: red meat, any meat, GMO, sugar, wheat, diary, gluten, artificial sweeteners, legumes, potatoes, oh my! It's overwhelming. If you believe all of the food research being done then the only logical conclusion is that no food is entirely healthy and safe.

I find that hard to believe. 

What I do believe is that right now my body isn't entirely happy with everything I put in it. I've been a vegetarian for almost 5 years, much to the delight of both my body and my mind, so that will continue. But, more and more I find that I'm having trouble with wheat, sugar and with some dairy. You may remember I tried to cut out diary several years ago but found that I had trouble getting enough calories without it so I added it back into my diet. 

That's the big issue as I attempt to adjust what I'm eating - getting enough calories. I've been wanting to try eliminating various foods for several months but haven't acted on it because I didn't feel ready to dedicate the time and energy required to replacing the eliminated foods. At last I'm feeling ready to start researching and planning how to eliminate wheat from my diet. I choose to eliminate wheat first because I've been convinced that the wheat of today has been altered enough that it now causes problems for some people. I'm not talking about gluten here - just wheat. 

Wheat is tough to eliminate because it's in almost everything I eat - cookies, crackers, bread, pasta, bagel. I eat wheat with almost every meal and every snack. Let's break it down: 
1. I think it will be fairly easy to replace the wheat flour I use in all my baking with oat flour or one of the many other kinds of flour available in stores these days. The great thing about oat flour is that I can process it myself from whole oats. That's the easy part. 
2. I could replace my regular whole grain pasta with rice pasta but in doing so I will loose calories so I will need to find a way to add more calories back when I make a pasta dish. That could be tricky.
3. I'm going to explore if getting a bread maker and making bread without wheat flour is a realistic alternative to store bought bread. I just don't know much about these machines and what can be done with them. 
4. The toughest thing will be eliminating cereal, bagels and crackers. These are my breakfast and snack go-to-foods. Calorically, they provide a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak. Plus, they are yummy. I am totally unsure how I'll go about replacing these things and their calories. But I have to believe it can be done. 

I don't think this will have any kind of impact on my chronic migraines or fibromyalgia but I hope to see an improvement in my digestion and maybe less systemic inflammation. The hope is to feel better overall. I going to slowly start making these changes in the months to come as I continue to research ways to replace my beloved wheat based foods with calorie dense, healthy alternatives. 

I'm open to any suggestions you might have. 

1 comment:

  1. I've long considered doing some changes and elimination in my diet to try to feel better overall. One of my biggest concerns is getting enough calories each day. So, I understand that struggle, which I feel many people don't understand or appreciate. I look forward to hearing more about your experience with this, and any tips you may have down the road. Good luck!