Monday, October 25, 2010

The Gluten Experiment: Part 4

Part 1--going gluten free
Part 2--eating 'normally' after the GF test
Part 3--low (glutenous) carb, focus on whole grains

Part 4--adding enzymes and/or soaking flours
(If you missed my note on this last time, soaking flours helps the grain begin to break down, so that it's easier for the belly to deal with. Digestive enzymes do the same thing only on the inside rather than the outside!)

The first thing I did was switch back to my soaked whole wheat bread recipe. It takes longer to make (it has to soak overnight) and the simple truth is that I got out of the habit of making it because I just always forgot to start it at night and so then when morning came I needed to make bread so I'd do the standard non-soaked recipe. Both are excellent breads, but right now I'm feeling a sense that soaking will help me.
When the first batch of soaked bread came out of the oven I purposely had several pieces (hot with butter mmmmm!) to see if I noticed anything as the result of the carb/wheat binge. I did not. This is an indication to me (again) that I do not need to stick to a strictly gluten-free diet.

I am slowly working on incorporating other soaked recipes into my diet. I made pancakes one day last week and that was easy. I'm working on adapting some other recipes--such as my roll recipe--so that they can be soaked as well. I think the soaking will especially make a difference for my occasional white flour recipes.
In conjunction with soaking more, I am taking an enzyme pill which will hopefully help deal with the unsoaked foods in my life. I don't want to have to swear off everything made by anyone else, and I really don't think I need to. I just need to make sure I take my supplements and eat well at home, and my body will probably tolerate occasional exceptions to policy without completely revolting.

I do also think that candida is a very valid issue for me. Candida is essentially a systemic yeast overgrowth, and it feeds on sugars and yeast. So if I get a flare up of it, then I get crazy intense cravings for sweets and/or yeast breads. It is really hard to knock them off, but once I do it for about 24 hours it starts getting easier, and usually within about 3 days I'm feeling quite normal again. I'm hoping that my new (or renewed) efforts to consume only minimal amounts of white flour/sugar and yeast will help me avoid those flares.

At least at this point, after a month and a half of experimentation on myself, I have reached a few conclusions about how I should eat:
  1. Eat whole grains, soaking them when possible, especially if it's one that has gluten in it
  2. Avoid white/yeasty breads in general. If I do consume them (ie, at a holiday gathering) then be sure to take my enzyme supplements.
  3. Avoid purchased breads/floury things because they are the devil: unsoaked and full of other garbage
  4. Regardless of the type of carb, aim for less rather than more. Fill in with more of other parts of plants (leaves, roots, etc instead of seeds).


ashley said...

Your gluten journey is fascinating to me! Being lactose I tolerant (which I am) is sometimes a side effect of celiacs disease or being gluten intolerant, and I've always wondered about how that could relate to me. I definitely don't feel great after breads or desserts with flour, but I've always linked that to me eating foods that I don't normally
eat. Maybe... It's the gluten. And maybe not!

Brandi M said...

Way to go! What an emotional rollercoaster! I'm glad you're figuring it out.

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