Last week I made the decision to adapt a wheat free lifestyle.
Thankfully, this isn’t because of a severe gluten allergy or celiac disease. I do have a new appreciation for those with wheat allergies and/or severe gluten issues. Wheat is in as much, if not more, stuff than HFCS. Makes you wonder.
I made the decision because of my own research, my own cravings for wheat based things which keep me constantly battling my food addictions, and the fact that wheat is not a great thing for my diabetic husband.
Additionally, the tummy problems I do experience (bloating, discomfort, cramping) typically occur after eating wheat. Because my husband and I had such great success with the Whole30, we decided to give this Wheat Free living a try. Today makes day 13, with only one hiccup in the journey. I did break down and have some pizza at that rehearsal dinner I mentioned last week.
It was AMAZING pizza. We aren’t talking Pizza Hut or Dominoes here. They had specialty pizzas with things like butternut squash on them. They had a “Thanksgiving Pizza”. I can’t even remember the names of the other pizzas, just trust me, it was AMAZING pizza.
And all the way home I had an amazing bloated, uncomfortable, crampy tummy. Which for me, reinforced my decision to go wheat free. 🙂
Because I don’t have any severe reactions to wheat that would cause illness, keeping my kitchen wheat free doesn’t involve having to buy new utensils, bake ware, or searching to remove every last trace of wheat.
It does mean that the bags of flour are now used up or donated, and I didn’t buy anymore bread last week.
It also means re-stocking the kitchen with a new assortment of flours and taking time out of my day to bake. I decided for my schedule, the best thing to do was to block out a few hours on Monday to bake a few loaves of bread for the week. Over the weekend, I also made a “sweet bread”. I thought this would help the boys to not feel “deprived”. I even made Wheat Free waffles and Wheat Free onion rings.
So how did all those Wheat Free things turn out?
- Onion Rings: The batter was predominately made up of almond and coconut flours. While it smelled amazing, it did not crisp up as I had hoped it would. They were still delicious enough for my family to eat without complaint. Very flavorful. May try this again to see if I can get it to crisp, if not, may try a different wheat free approach. My only dislike – it feels like such a waste of flour for what’s leftover. Considering how much more expensive these flours are to use, I may try to figure out a way to bake something with the leftover flour next time.
- Waffles: This is made predominately using almond meal and ground flaxseeds. For waffles, I added more milk than the recipe originally called for to try and get the batter more liquidity. Because of the thickness, it won’t spread out on the waffle maker. So I scooped it on, then quickly spread it myself before closing the waffle maker. Cooked nicely and had a very hearty/grainy flavor. I opted to top mine with fresh strawberries cut up and mixed with a little all natural sweetener.
- Sweet Bread: Made using walnuts and raisins, because these are both items I can buy in bulk at Sam’s and therefore have some on hand for making more. This uses mostly almond flour and ground golden flaxseed. The raisins give it a touch of sweetness and the flavor of the bread is very “holiday happy”. We enjoyed it as an afternoon snack.
- Loaves of Bread: The smaller loaf is made with almond and garbanzo bean flours, and ground golden flaxseeds. It is dense and very flavorful. It tastes like it has it’s own sweetness to it. My family loves it plain or with a little peanut butter on it. The larger loaf is made using Bob’s Red Mill Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix. This uses yeast and the hardest part for me is not over heating or underheating the milk before adding the yeast to it. It has a good flavor that isn’t as “hearty”. It’s a dense, cake-like texture. It’s great for sandwiches although if you add too many wet ingredients (tomatoes, condiments, etc.) it’s more likely to crumble and fall apart on you. We just pull out a knife and fork at that point and continue enjoying it.
The rest of our meals have looked more Whole30ish than not with dairy added in. My husband and I also have a breakfast shake (that is gluten free) in the mornings for breakfast made with a glass of soy milk. While it seems that soy is under the gun again for possible health issues it could cause, we love the flavor with our morning shakes and the protein punch it packs. It’s also the only time we drink/use soy during the day.
This week I am feeling like I did about my second to third week into the Whole30. I’m consistently finding myself with more energy and feeling “better” overall. The icky bloating feeling is gone. I also find that I’m not craving food in-between meals. I feel satisfied from one meal to the next like I did on the Whole30 which is fantastic. I contribute this to the overall healthier meals and the more nutrient dense breads we are now eating.
Did I mention too, even my nearly twelve year old son LOVES all the breads I’m making? Fantastic!
So how did I do on my goals?
- Elliptical: Nope. HA! Second week in a row I didn’t touch the thing. However! I did two days of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. This upcoming week I think I’m changing the goal to exercising at least 3 times total this week. Who knows, maybe one of those will be on the elliptical. If not, that’s OK by me, I just want to get back into regular exercise.
- Drink Water Before Coffee: Absolutely! It’s becoming a habit and I feel better first thing. I’m also doing great at NOT drinking coffee after noon most days. If I do have a cup after noon, it’s at 1 or so with 2 being my absolute cut off. Going to keep this up until I feel confident it’s my new habit.
- Small Daily Health Goal I Pray About Each Day: Yes! It’s truly a blessing to give my victories and struggles to the Lord each morning. This is a great way to hold myself accountable every morning and I love the fellowship I have with the Lord in this area and other areas of my life.
So how does this all look in the numbers?
Last Week’s Weight: 137.6lbs
Today’s Weight: 135.8lbs (-1.8 YAY)
Bottom Line: +5.8 lbs from Goal
I hope everyone else is finding time to bring their health goals before the Lord and draw closer to Him in doing so. I’m finding the more I bring the “small” stuff to Him, the closer I feel to Him throughout the entire day. Next week I hope to go into a little more detail about the new flours I’m using, the best buys I’m finding for them, and how I store them and such. Until then, may your journey of Wellness be Well! 🙂
In Love & Faith,
All recipes this week came from the book “Wheat Belly Cookbook” by William Davis, MD.