So we’ve been talking about doing the GAPS diet for a few weeks now and I’ve been researching and collecting recipes. We’ve generally been eating less grains but I wanted to do a short trial to see if I really had good recipes that would keep us well fed if we do the full diet. Well, along comes the Kitchen Stewardship Test Your Grains Challenge at just the right time for us. Grains have become the cornerstone of the modern American diet, but there are many reasons why we would want to reduce our consumption of grains. Katie herself is switching to a no-grain diet for a bit to combat her husband’s Crohn’s disease, but she is challenging readers to simply change their grains for ten days and monitor the effects. If you just eat regular refined grains, go all whole grains for a week. If you are a healthy whole grain person, switch to only sprouted or soaked.
Since we almost exclusively eat soaked, soured, and sprouted grain in our home (and have seen serious improvements from it) this is an opportunity to see if going grain-free makes a difference. So starting today, we are going to have two weeks of no grains. That’s right, from October 1st-15th, we will have no wheat, oats, spelt, rice, corn, millet, rye, anything. Not even quinoa, which some would say isn’t really a grain. We already avoid things like cornstarch and corn syrup, and we won’t be cheating with gluten-free processed foods. Just meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruit. A few pounds of grass-fed beef are thawed, I am getting some wild salmon on Saturday, and I have a free-range chicken in the freezer for next weekend. I’ve stocked up on squash, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots. We’ll probably need some nuts, and I got some coconut flour for baked goods, and I cooked some mixed beans for my lunches (I can tolerate them fine, but they don’t agree with Jer). My menu plan is full of tasty-looking recipes to try, starting with tonight’s butternut squash soup.
What are we hoping for with this challenge? Well, besides determining if GAPS is a viable option, I’m interested in how my system will respond to eating no grains. I am pretty sure I will lose some weight, as I’ve slimmed down on a low-carb diet before, and removing all these grains will definitely change our macronutrient ratios. But my focus right now is not on losing weight but on gaining health, and I am looking for improvements in my skin health, my allergies, and my overall energy. While the TYG Challenge focuses on digestive health, I don’t really have too many stomach problems unless I eat a lot of sugar or refined flours, or a lot of dairy, which I will also be avoiding these next couple of weeks (I won’t cut it out completely, but I will be conscious about eating less). So while I will be monitoring my digestion for the challenge, I don’t expect a big change there.
I’m looking forward to evaluating this trial run. I’m sure that by the end Jer will be begging for fresh homemade sourdough bread but I also wonder if we will be feeling so good and the results will be so clear that we will just continue to eat mostly grain free until the end of the year. With all the family events and holidays coming up, I am sure that we won’t be able to eliminate all grains in November and December, but a good result now will certainly inspire long-term changes.
I’ll try to post regular updates through the next couple of weeks, and if you want to join us on the challenge, comment and let us know!
This post is part of Monday Mania