Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our Reasons for Raw and Gluten Free

When we had our first baby over nine years ago (it is craziness that it's been that long), I thought we were a pretty healthy family.  I made most of our food (with white flour and refined sugar), we used lots of canned beans and tomato sauce (can you say, BPA?), and we ate fresh fruits and veggies.  I hadn't done any reading on the importance of organic, but my cheap frugal side said ain't no way.

When I was 25 and pregnant with our third baby, I stumbled upon The Maker's Diet and life as we knew it started to change.  After several books and food staple changes later, we have become a real food, no-refined-anything family, and I can't tell you how many good changes I have personally experienced: weight loss (on a whole fat diet), boosted energy, better moods, less allergies and sickness...  You know the list.

Last month, our church hosted a Wellness Seminar that was so re-aligning.  I learned some new things and was reminded of very important information.  I agreed with 90% of what was said, which is happy.  There was a whole session dedicated to gluten.  I honestly haven't done that much research on it, so it was a welcome bit of input.  As the symptoms of what gluten sensitivity was listed, I immediately thought of what my son has been recently experiencing.  Irritability, bloatedness, digestion issues, fatigue...  It all started to make sense.  After the onslaught of refined holiday goodies and (whole grain) baked goods for breakfasts most every chilly winter morning, his mood and body had changed.  He told me his stomach hurt every night for two weeks.  His stomach looked totally distended at the end of the day, but his extremities looked really thin.  I knew he was getting lots of nutrition, but his body didn't seem to be absorbing it.  I soak most of our grains, nuts and seeds, so the needed phytase enzyme was being released.  What was left?  Gluten.  So, for the next couple months, our family is going off gluten.  As best as possible.  And to boost any missing enzymes and to help digestion, we are eating raw for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

It's been a week so far.  I am going through Ani's Raw Food Kitchen for the first two-thirds of the day.  The first breakfast we tried, Good Morning Muesli, was so pretty.  Jer and I liked it.  The kids?  Not so much.

It's helped (decrease the whining) to tell the kids we are going to taste test every recipe in the book and I need them to try it all so I can keep notes of what we want to eat again.  They have a job.  Taste-testing is a serious, esteemed role around here.

They're doing their part, I'm doing mine.  My copy of this book is getting massively scribbled on.  I might be the only one who understands the notes, though...

Since smoothies are the easiest way to get greens down my kids, they are used to every one looking, well, green.

Except for ones with cacao.  Carob Strawberry Bliss (substituted with raw cocoa powder because carob isn't chocolate.  Sorry.) was a huge hit.

We've tried some of the raw oatmeal, too.  The Almond Cinnamon one was a hit!

Surprisingly, the Banana Raisin Oatmeal (drizzled with grade B maple syrup)... wasn't.  I liked it, though.

It's been almost two weeks since we started this experiment.  After only five days, my son's stomach stopped hurting at night and his bloatedness has gone way down.  Personally, my, emm, muffin top-ishness has started to flatten.  This is oh so happy.  At the end of last week, we went to Chipotle with some friends and my son had a quesadilla with a white flour tortilla.  Wha?!  I missed that little hick-up.  Guess what?  His stomach hurt that night.

I'm hoping after this season of high-density nutrition, our son's body will be able to detox and then handle the occasional soaked/sprouted whole grain food without his stomach bothering him.  

In the meantime, I'll be checking in and sharing here about our findings.  One week down, seven to go...

I'm sharing this at Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. Chipotle has corn tortillas, or you can have a burrito bowl (no tortilla). I heart Chipotle.

    Gf has been an adventure here too. After almost a year (not the whole family though) I feel like there is still so much to learn.

  2. I've been wondering about gluten for my hubby as well. It will be tough to get him to go gluten free so I'm hoping just to reduce the amount. As for raw, love it I have the same book, but I need to use it more often...

  3. Thanks for this encouragement. I've needed the push to do this for my five year old. I'm definitely going to order that book! Thank you!

  4. You prob already know, but they can do a blood test to see if there is a possibility of Celiac disease (gluten issue). My sis-in-law has it , a bit of a challenge for sure.

  5. Totally beautiful pictures (and scenery out the window!) - I feel more energized after GF meals, too. We should probably target them more, so thanks for sharing!

  6. Something to consider is that your son's behaviour/tummy issues could also be related to a yeast allergy rather than gluten itself. My youngest (5ys) child has a yeast allergy and also had constant stomach aches, behavioral issues and so forth related to her allergies. Yeast is in almost all crackers, tortillas, bread products, (as well as tons of other food items),etc. Since you are eliminating gluten you will probably automatically eliminate most yeast although yeast is still an ingredient in some gluten-free products. Just something to think about in case the GF doesn't totally get your son back to normal.

  7. I love all this. You are an inspiration. :)
    And funny too. And great, and witty, and happy, and fun, and and and and......

  8. Good luck on your journey! I hope it brings good health back to your son and continued health for everyone else! It isn't an easy diet imho.

  9. My daughter is gluten free now too (the whole household is, at least at home) and has really helped with her stomach issues. We did the GAPS diet for the first few months and then started adding back things to see what caused issues. I've also found that getting really good probiotics into her helps immensely (through supps, fermented drinks and cultured veggies etc...) God bless!

  10. hi katie, can you give me an idea of what greens are in that lovely kefir smoothie?!

  11. Hi there! I'm pretty sure it was kale.


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