This Week I’m Reading…
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I quit eating gluten (after noticing that when I ate wheat products, I would suffer terrible heartburn, stomach cramps, and water retention). I immediately – and dramatically – felt better. I’m not interested in replacing pasta and bread with a bunch of gluten-free packaged products – they’re expensive, full of fillers and chemicals, and just another form of refined carbohydrates. In fact, I’ve taken the opportunity to completely avoid grains and sugar and oh my goodness, what a difference! I wasn’t a big bread or dessert eater anyhow, but I’ve lost weight, my eyes are no longer puffy, and my appetite is level (but not absent, thank goodness, I would never want to lose my appetite!).
Diabetes runs in my family and while I do not have diabetes, I was definitely experiencing early symptoms of insulin resistance. Big hits of carbohydrates – for me, that means grains, even the small amount of whole grains I was focusing on – are not my friend. I’m instead eating a moderate amount of carbohydrates in the form of abundant fresh (non-starchy) vegetables and fruits, as well as nuts (and adequate protein, of course). So delicious! And easy, given that I already ate plenty of plants and prepare most of my own food anyhow. It’s interesting to note that I have had zero cravings for bread, sugar, or desserts. Bonus: Fruit tastes like candy!
No one else in my family is interested in eating this way, by the way… So the recipes I prepare and post here won’t change, especially since I’ve always leaned toward planning menus around vegetables, adding meat, fish, eggs and/or dairy as I go. And I’ll still make desserts and treats for family birthdays and holidays.
So, given all of that, here’s what I’m reading this week…
Mark Sisson writes the comprehensive and popular blog Mark’s Daily Apple. He advocates a “primal” lifestyle, otherwise known as “paleo” (as in Paleolithic). He argues that humans did not evolve to eat a high-grain, high-carbohydrate diet – although this is no Atkins. Plant foods make up the bulk of the primal diet, as well as high-quality meats, tree nuts, and intact fats. I found his site by googling grain-free recipes and I’ve enjoyed the depth and breadth of information on the site (including recipes like the delicious coconut pancakes recipe below). And oh, if you’re frustrated, injured, and exhausted from endless running and biking, you must check out his exercise advice, it’ll blow your mind a little bit.
In that same vein, check out this month’s Lifetime Fitness Experiencing Life Magazine (excellent publication) and this article about Wild Workouts. Cavemen are the shiz these days, oh yeah. It just so happens that there’s also an excellent article about gluten – and the prevalence of and serious health risks associated with gluten intolerance. It’s one the best gluten articles I’ve read, don’t miss it.
Also in that same vein, check out this article by Susan B. Dopart, MS, RD, about Appetite Control, Understanding Your Hunger Hormones. Bottom line: Avoid refined carbohydrates and get adequate sleep, or be starving and eventually fat. I’m already on it.
I am loving the food blog Honest Fare. The photos are gorgeous, the feel is so peaceful, and the recipes are delicious. Check it out.
I noticed as I read through your GORGEOUS blog that you had recently gone gluten-free as well! Similar symptoms (for me, horrible knee pain, especially at night), I'm glad you're feeling better too. I love that I'll never get to the end of Sisson's site, it's so packed with information and interesting comments. Neat community. I'm surprised how easy it's been to be completely grain-free. Although I have to bake a cake today (for a bake sale), I'll miss the cake batter!
This is wonderful and sounds so familiar. I've been on a very similar path lately and feel fantastic. I'm addicted to Sisson's site, but haven't quite decided to go fully primal yet. We'll see about that. So glad you've found a way to feel healthy.
Thanks Brenda - yes, feeling better is a good thing, whew. And yes, iisn't Honest Fare gorgeous? It just "feels" so cool. Beautiful rural pics - like yours! And thanks re: caricature. It's by an artist named Len Peralta. Anyone can order one, for $15, at flipface.com. He does other illustrations too, I'm excited to have him do a couple of things for my blog.
Oh, and I love your caricature!! :)
I'm glad you have found a way to feel better! And thanks for the link to Honest Fare - what a lovely site.