Some Of The Journey

This blog won’t be entirely gluten free. It won’t (necessarily) be wheat free. Though, I will try always to offer substitutes if there is wheat. It won’t be entirely sugar free. I’ll do pretty much all I can to avoid it though. We don’t eat it here, really. A certain five year old (who loves to bake and make in the kitchen) will ensure that his request (baking or otherwise) does not have sugar – or that we substitute the sugar so he knows he will be able to enjoy his creation. He has chosen to keep an alternative snack in his preschool class on the (not infrequent) off-chance a snack brought by fellow students has sugar.  Don’t get me wrong, these two boys won’t turn down a couple smarties on movie night but they know those things should be treats and that they won’t be at their best, should they consume sugar. Trust me…we had a poop conversation the other day as a result of some recent education in health class. Yikes.

In keeping with the journey (especially a personal one), my desire is to live well. Some of what that means will be divulged here…over time.

Also in keeping with the journey, to us (me!), living well means living without wheat, many of it’s counterparts, and of course sugar – in all it’s (many!) forms.

Growing up we were fed a good, healthy diet. It wasn’t until the tail end of my teens that I began to experience problems with digestion as a residual downfall of a (short-lived!) prescribed medication. It seriously messed with my system.

Seriously.

It’s a long story and one which need not be shared in detail. And, perhaps what happened to my insides would have happened regardless. I’ll never know. And life’s too short to wonder “what if”. Plus, truthfully this annoyance is a blessing in disguise. I know I eat better (and here’s to hoping that equates to living longer) because of how I feel if when I make poor decisions.

As in, badly enough that over a dozen years later (and over the past nine or so) I have learned that the only way to feel well is to consistently make deliberate nutritional decisions.

Every day. Every snack. Every meal. Every. Single. Day.

But, I really like a lot things – you know, calamari, shreddies, taco chips, granola, soya sauce, sushi, pop freaking corn – that I can’t have.

If we’re being honest – and we are – I believe that the resulting aches I often feel if I’ve chosen something I know will upset my system is quite possibly how many of our insides react when we make poor nutritional decisions. Actually to venture further, I believe the body reacts to wheat (and moreover, gluten)…even when we believe it’s a healthier choice. The difference is that my system screams. Many (of you) may not feel the same (painful) physical residual effect. Just a hunch.

For example, if I eat a sandwich it’s bad news bears for about a day. Serious stomach cramps, sweating at night as I try to sleep and my body simultaneously tries to fight that which has upset it, among other fantastically foul feelings. Yeah that’s right, we’re getting up close and personal now.

However, after recently having read (the controversial?) Wheat Belly (I’ll touch on this very soon and likely over a couple of posts and continued recipes), I would have to say that for many (everyone!), the body reacts in a couple ways. First, the body’s blood sugar sky rockets after that sandwich or other glutenous product (whole grain or otherwise…there is absolutely no difference – I know, I can’t believe I just said that either) and then plummets, causing hunger soon thereafter. Also, excess (wheat) weight gathers in the mid-section. It has a nasty ring to it doesn’t it: Wheat Weight?! This result isn’t necessarily pain(ful) the way I feel it but it is a side/negative effect of wheat – and serious.

All that to say lifestyle is changing around here. For everyone. Not radically but definite noticeable change. Different snack selections (mainly for the wee ones) when we head to the grocery store…small changes over time culminating to a major life change without too many screams (perhaps none) of protest!

I’ve been guilty – and call it a residual effect of motherhood, poor self-control, what have you – of nibbling here and there on foods I know will hurt me minutes or hours later. I’m human, sue me. Yet, after reading Wheat Belly and in honour of Lent (which I’ve honestly never observed before) I have given up all grains/gluten. And, though it’s been only a handful of days I can honestly say I feel different. Better. Much. Better. Noticeable. And by making sound alternative decisions, there are no cravings or real desire to go back to the grains I have always been “able” or wanted to enjoy.

Some days it’s mind over matter.

Other days, it’s a matter of better decisions while walking the aisles at the store.

Always, it’s about reading the labels of those items I specifically assume not to have something nasty…and I’m pretty well versed at this stage in the game!

Every day, it’s a choice we each make…and it’s the choice of setting the example as little eyes watch and take note.

Because they do.

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