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Grain free? — The Grow Network Community
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Grain free?

blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

Just wondering, who currently or in the past has eaten grain-free? Did you feel that it affected your health in a positive or negative way? I have my own experiences to share, but I'd like to hear from some of you first.


  • anectarine1anectarine1 Posts: 27 ✭✭✭

    We’ve been in and out of wheat free eating for years and tried grain free at one point also. I didn’t personally see much of a difference besides losing weight but my kids’ digestion seemed to get better.

    An interesting thing I heard the other day from a friend. She has been wheat free for years; she gets very sick when she has wheat. She went to England and “cheated” by having a pastry. She felt fine. She has been ordering foreign flour since then. Our wheat in the US has been genetically modified so many times that it is terribly hard to digest.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    Another problem is that instead of having diversity in the types of wheat grown the variety(ies) grown here are highly hybridized and/or genetically engineered in depleted soils. Also some may not consume whole wheat but rather enriched wheat which only has a fraction of the nutrients they remove in the processing added back and only added back in a chemical form.

    This Web site has a listing of heirloom wheat varieties, the ones that I have heard of are the Emmer and Einkorn. It is said that Einkorn is the only one that has not been hybridized:

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 355 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba I have maintained a grain free lifestyle for one year, prior to that it was gluten-Free. My digestion is much better, I have more energy and I’m not retaining water/bloating like I used to. I do not use alternative grains but I have switched to making breads/ bread products for my family to an einkorn flour from Italy. On the few occasions I have had a slice of that warm out of the oven bread (because that smell is so hard to resist) I’ve had no negative effects. However the one other time I ate a PBJ with my little nephew and the one time I ate noodles as a guest in someone’s house...I gained 3 and 7 pounds overnight and had a stomachache for two days.

    Thats just my personal experience I thought I would share since the other comments were not quite answering your question.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you @anectarine1 and @herbantherapy for sharing your experiences. I was curious, because I believe that there is no one-size-fits-all in diets- and I love hearing other people's stories. A good friend of mine told me recently that she feels better without any grains. I have tried various diets, including two different grain-free, and have decided that I am better without wheat, but not without grains in general. My digestion is much better with grains like oats, brown rice, etc.

    Thanks for the link, @Obiora E. I would like to experiment eventually with heirloom wheats, but for now I want to see how far my current diet will take me.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba You are welcome. And after reading the comment from @herbantherapy I realized that I had not answered your question.

    I grew up in a bread loving family (we are still the same way) but when my mother (or sister) did any baking it was ALWAYS whole wheat! I didn't eat a lot of refined or enriched flours. We also ate a variety of grains, including brown rice, oats, buckwheat (really a fruit but we had buckwheat pancakes a lot growing up), etc. I don't do much brown rice these days and prefer the heirloom ones (black/Forbidden, red, pink, and green). I have had true wild rice too from the people of Winona LaDuke.

    I stopped eating bread for a spell but not because of digestive issues but when I picked it back up I didn't have any issues from it. I have baked bread a time or two and sometimes use rye (cornmeal and rye rather than wheat and I use my blender to turn into flour), buckwheat (groats and sometimes the flour), oats (groats and still cut oats), whole wheat, all-purpose flour (Soft Red Winter Wheat--it is not bleached and comes from a local fifth or sixth generation mill). I am going to make my own sourdough soon (not sure yet of with what).

    I have some younger cousins on different sides of my family that have wheat sensitivities but I am not sure of exactly when they started having the problems nor why.

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 127 ✭✭✭

    My granddaughter needed to be grain free and my daughter made a lot of different grain free items for her daughter and for me. I have baked for several years with different flours making cookies, banana bread, muffins and biscuits. I lost 35 pounds during the time my daughter was baking and didn't even realize that I had lost weight at all. I am unable to eat any kind of corn and have a lot of food allergies as do some of my son's. In the last year I have found that flour tortillas don't seem to bother me but I am very curious about the einkorn flour and will be trying some. I have used some of the other flours in my baking-almond, brown and white rice flour, tapioca, buckwheat,and potato starch. I had a problem early on with molasses cookies and gluten free flours (I make my own flour). I have been able to use the same recipe and just change the flour but the Molasses cookie spices didn't compute that way. I had to use less spices and less molasses. The molasses, gluten free cookies turned out really well. My daughter took my failed batch to work and those people loved the cookies. My problem was that 1/2 cookie gave me a horrendous headache. Lesson learned. Everybody likes different things especially baked goods.

  • one.etteone.ette Posts: 58 ✭✭✭

    Hi Dianne,

    Interesting you should mention Inkorn flour. I had been using it for all my flour needs before I started the Low Carb lifestyle in October of 2018 and seemed to do fine with it. But a couple months ago I decided to make someone else some gravy with it and caved and had some myself also and afterwards I was really sick. Not sure exactly why, maybe because I had been off grains for about 9 months.

    Good luck and happy grain free eating!

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 127 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for the information on einkorn flour. I know that sometimes different flours have bothered me. I have used gluten free flour and not eaten much in the way of breads and white flour for about 3 years. I have eaten wheat on occasion and noticed it sometimes bothers my arthritis and my digestive system. I will take this into consideration and eat it in moderation.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @Dianne Petersen Last year I made some cakes using Chinese Chestnuts that were roasted and then ground in a blender. It made a really good, flavorful, and moist cake.

    This year I plan to harvest various hickory nuts, acorns, Black Walnuts, and do something similar. This too is another option for making baked goods not using wheat.

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 127 ✭✭✭

    @Obiora E Thank you for the information on the nut flour. How exciting! Do you mix them all together or use them separately?

  • harpianoharpiano Posts: 13 ✭✭✭

    Personally I question the grain free concept. If you go organic, sprout your wheat, or even use ancient grains like einkorn or the like; you can make organic sourdough bread. It is healthy, doesn't upset the microbiome. It actually is food for the large intestine buglies just like beans are. Modern typical store bought bread is loaded with chemicals, made in about 2 hours; versus sourdough that takes around 24 or more hours to develop. In this process, the wheat is transformed from the sourdough bacterias into a digestible food for us! Try it and get rid of all inorganic flours and see what you find. I'd like to hear how it goes! Julie

  • amyjacobson6amyjacobson6 Posts: 17 ✭✭✭

    It's very interesting and unfortunate that so many people today are having sensitivities to grains like whole wheat when not that long ago you didn't really hear of these kind of problems. It does make sense that due to the chemical processing and genetically modifying of crops our food is not the way God intended it to be. Especially when you hear how other countries seem to have better grain quality. As a newbie to growing my own food and getting back to basics...do we only find the pure, untainted grains from brands like Emmer and Einkhorn that were the examples mentioned in an earlier post? Is it a lot more expensive and hard to come by?

    Thank you for your information and thoughts on this subject about going grain free and also where to find healthy grains to buy or grow.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @Dianne Petersen No I personally wouldn't grind them together. I prefer to let them shine individually. I have only made a (Chinese) Chestnut Cake thus far but am interested in trying others.

    @amyjacobson6 I am not sure about where you live but it would be cheaper to purchase the berries of Einkorn or Emmer and then grind them into flour as Einkorn flour is pretty expensive. If you cannot find at a local health food store or something similar, you should be able to find it online.

  • amyjacobson6amyjacobson6 Posts: 17 ✭✭✭

    Thank you Obiora! I will check out my options for the berries, and also check into harvesting my acorns! ;)

  • circleoflifeunlimitedcircleoflifeunlimited Posts: 59 ✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba I've been on a serious grain free diet for a few years, and it has really helped my health. I was diagnosed with Celiac a few years ago so it was serious. Took awhile, but I don't show any auto-immune markers any more! That is a big deal. I will probably continue to be grain free the rest of my life.

    I had been eating organic food and gardening for 40 years when this happened! I used to be a vegan, eating a macrobiotic diet. That did not work for my northern European genetics. We are all different! Tune into what your ancestors ate. My German ancestors ate a lot of pork, cabbage, beets, etc. Grow what you can and purchase the best quality that you can find.

    I did a lot of research while going through all this, and I do believe that a lot of people would do well to eliminate grains. Too many carbs and sugars cause a lot of dis-ease in this country.

    Try it and see how you feel! Also, there is a ton of research available to help. Dr. David Perlmutter is an example of a doctor writing books about this. You can probably find him on youtube too.

    Good luck and just do what you find best for you. Our health is our wealth. Don't wait until you are sick to make changes. I know it is hard, but you get through that and just develop new habits.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

    @circleoflifeunlimited Thanks for your perspective! I was hoping to hear different peoples' experiences.

    As a matter of fact, I have gone grain free twice, once for around 4 or 5 months( the AIP diet), another time for 9 weeks(keto diet). Though I saw some improvement in my hormone health with both diets, my digestion became much worse. Now I am on the endometriosis diet, and for the most part I am very happy with it. So far it hasn't seemed to affect my endo much(ironic, eh?), but it has drastically improved my digestion, I'm at a healthy weight without struggling, and I find it very maintainable. I think my PMS has improved some. I eat gluten-free grains such as oats, rice, and sorghum. Lots of quinoa, yum.

    That being said, I believe grains are not for everyone- its been nice to learn that they are good for me.

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