Becoming a grain-free household is something that both HB and I have discussed for quite some time, years in fact! But it was me who kept putting the decision off. I knew that I was going to be the one to cop majority of the meltdowns and protests from the girls and on that first Monday in March I will admit that I was more than a little bit envious that lucky HB got to sneak away to work before breakfast at 4.30am for a 6-day working week.
But it was Maggie’s food tantrums that took me to breaking point and one Sunday I simply started clearing out the pantry.
First off, what does being a grain free household actually mean to us?
We don’t buy grains or grain related products for the house. No crackers, cereals, bread, pasta, rice, biscuits, cakes, muesli bars etc.
You get the picture. We don’t purchase any processed food at all.
We did decide that this would be an 80/20 lifestyle choice and if anyone wanted some treats or a meal while we are out and about every weekend then that was fine.
Everyone has to have a little bit of what they love. If you’re obsessive and restrictive with your nutrition you’re just setting yourself up for failure and binge eating.
Saying that I have not eaten anything containing grains for over a week now. I will put my hand up and admit that I was a Carb Queen prior to this. This is why I sucked at being a vegetarian because I simply ate rubbish all day long because I was constantly hungry. The cravings just disappear over time. The girls shared a pizza on Friday night and had a ball. Maggie’s pre-school provides morning tea and it’s mostly fruits and vegetables but there is occasionally crackers, popcorn and birthday cake. I’m not going to exclude her from anything.
5 Reasons why we went grain free:
1. Maggie was not eating well – She had gone from being a fantastic toddler who tried anything and everything to being very particular and fussy with her food. Maggie was having a cereal for breakfast like nutri-grain and would take a few bites and slurp down all the milk and refuse to eat. After pre-school she would come home demanding sandwiches or rice crackers for lunch. Snacks it was pretzels or rice crackers and it was GAME ON if she was refused something. I began to see that she was constantly hungry throughout the day and these grain filled high carb foods which have very little nutritional value were turning her into a mini monster. I would cook her a beautiful dinner such as roast lamb with all the works and she wouldn’t eat it and instead she started to ask for cereal for dinner.
2. Behaviour – If we said no to her when she asked for rice crackers or a museli bar a tantrum quickly followed suit. Full on screaming, shouting and even slamming doors. Three or Thirteen?? I had read about a substance that is found in wheat and grain related products called exorphins an exogenous morphine which basically acts like the drug does and keeps you coming back for more and more. I could see this in her behaviour, rice crackers weren’t enough because 20 minutes later she was asking for pretzels and then a sandwich and so on. This is why people say ‘I could never give up my morning toast!’.
Anything, starting to ring a bell?
3. Health – Again it was the progressive changes in Maggie. The happy 2 yr old who was a wonderful eater was coming up to turning 4 years old and was bloated, whingy and tired all the time. When you start to look at the kids vitamins in the supermarket you start to wonder if instead you should – JERF.
Just Eat Real Food.
4. Fat Adaption – HB and I had already started our ketosis experiment and it was easy enough just to cut out grains at this point. For me personally, ketosis is too restrictive but I thrive on being fat adapted and the low-carb high-fat lifestyle definitely works for me. HB loves his vegetarian version of a ketosis diet and has never looked or felt healthier.
Fat Adaption – what is it?
Basically by removing all the crap out of your diet and switching to LCHF you’re retraining your body to get its energy from your fat stores and not your carbohydrate stores. When I run, I know for the first 20-30 minutes I am burning whatever carb stores I have in my body naturally obtained from fruits and vegetables then I switch to fat burning mode and it’s awesome. It took some time, but I can feel the difference now. Fat adaption also means you can go a long time between meals. Maggie won’t ask for a single thing to eat now between lunch time and dinner time.
How’s that for a little bit of peace and quiet?
5. A simpler lifestyle – Our pantry is sparse and our fridge is jam-packed full of fresh fruit and veggies and goody quality meats. Once you’ve changed your thinking, cooking grain free is easy, quick and delicious! There are always leftovers in our fridge now and why not have them for breakfast? Who told us we had to start the day with nutrient poor food? Big food companies, that’s who! Start your day by warming up some of last night’s dinner and you won’t be hungry until lunch time.
What do you think? Do you want to start clearing out your pantry? Or do you think we’ve gone too far? Let me know below or on the MFL Facebook page
Next up: The benefits of going grain-free.