In 2006 it was first suggested to me that I should give up all wheat. I was in Germany. In the basement of a friend's home. I was tired all the time and generally not feeling great, but I'd had a history of immunity issues, I had a young child and was travelling, having not slept properly for about two years. It wasn't surprising that I was tired. Markus was an energy healer, I guess. He practised a bit of what seemed like Osteopathy, Kinesiology, and lot of intuition all thrown together. Markus insisted that wheat was very bad for my system, my gut was inflamed and I wasn't absorbing nutrients properly. I took note of all he said, then filed it away in the back of my mind. The concept of giving up bread, pasta and pizzas was not a change I could manage in my life at this time. His words never left me, I just wasn't ready.
Despite having been managing a lot more sleep over the next few years, I was still often tired, and battled with low blood pressure, anaemia and what seemed like a poor immunity system, catching every bug going around, including a dose of Whooping Cough.
In 2011 we ventured to Borneo on a most wonderful family holiday. Upon returning home I realised that I'd felt better than I had in years. Everything felt different. At first I thought it was just the benefits of a terrific holiday, but I knew it was more. After a little reflection, I realised that it must be diet. I'd barely eaten any wheat products in the couple of weeks we'd been away.
So began lots of trial and error, mistakes along the way and good and not-so-good times on my journey to a wheat free life. I trusted my instincts. I followed my gut And after being *pretty much wheat free for about six months, I thought I'd try just one choc-chip cookie. Just one couldn't hurt, right? Within hours I had a gastro like tummy, aching flu type pain in my joints and a crappy headache. I was like this for a couple of days. I learnt my lesson and haven't looked back.
I gave up wheat without knowing too much, other than I felt soooooo much better without it in my life. I increased the amount of nuts, seeds and berries and fats I was eating and continued to eat fruit and vegies as I had always done. I started reading and learning, finding some terrific resources.
I began modifying recipes to be wheat free, so I could still enjoy many of the foods I enjoyed but in a different way. I no longer got as hungry as I did before. I began milling my own grain-free flours and baking from scratch, I know that some who know me well still have a quiet giggle at this, I'm no Kitchen Goddess. It's rare for my to eat even gluten free bread, but I have an "emergency loaf" in the freeze for a very occasional piece of vegemite, avocado or poached egg on toast.
My family still eat wheat, that is their choice, however my hope is that one day they'll try other options, the benefits for me have been amazing and I wish them (and you) the same.
And so, here are a few of the resources that have helped me along the way, to each of these people I am ever grateful.
Lola Workman: Lola's Wheat Free World
Thanks to Tina for introducing me to this page and Lola's books.
Dr William Davis: Wheat Belly
Markus, of course you were right all along!
I'm often asked if I have coeliac disease and the truth is, I don't know as I've never been tested. What I do know is that I don't need any test to tell me that wheat is not good for my body or mind. Besides, to be tested I would need to reintroduce wheat into my diet. That's not going to happen!
I often search out Paleo recipes as a guide as there are some great recipes that I can eat.
If you're interested, I'm sharing some recipes via this blog with comments regarding any variations I've made.
Wheat is in soooo many products, I'm now REALLY good at reading labels.
I do now own a Thermomix which makes milling flours and eating wheat free so much easier.
*I hadn't knowingly eaten wheat in this time, but it is in so many foods I may have had a tiny bit.