How to survive without having wheat.

Now that we have explained how and why modern wheat is so detrimental to our health, it is time to look at what safe alternatives we have left.  Once you get over the shock and realize that without wheat you will not starve, expanding your palate and trying some new food items may actually be quite pleasurable. Remember, like any other addiction, cutting wheat out can cause withdrawal reactions, cravings, mood changes, headaches, rashes, gastro-intestinal complaints and so on.  These will go away after a few days and generally after that, one’s health will begin to improve.  So here are some ideas.

1.  Eat more vegetables as they are the most nutritious foods on the planet.  Be careful of corn in all of its forms, as it too is highly genetically modified and a common food allergen.

2. Consume more raw nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts and coconut.  Keep peanuts to a minimum as they are of the lowest quality and can be reactive for many.  Also include more seeds in your diet like sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, hemp, flax and chia seeds.

3.  Get adequate high quality proteins into your diet.  Wild salmon, grass fed, hormone free beef, bison, wild meat, free range chicken and organic turkey.  Quality trumps quantity when it comes to meat.

4.  Keep dairy products low in consumption if you are sensitive to them.  But, goat’s milk products, butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir and aged cheeses can be used judiciously if you are not allergic to cow’s dairy.

5.  Good quality, cold pressed oils can be used generously.  Some examples are olive, coconut, grape seed, flax seed, hemp, walnut, and sesame oils.  Avocadoes and olives are excellent sources of good fats too.

6.  Eat fruit but not sugary fruit drinks, Berries are the best but try eat what is in season and grown in your geographic area.  Dried fruits, bananas and melons can be very sweet, so eat them in moderation.

7.  Soy in modest quantities is okay, if again, you are not sensitive to it.  Fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, tofu, and natto are the best choices.

8.  Beans, potatoes, yams, garbanzo beans can be enjoyed in moderation.  These foods can raise blood sugar quickly and excessively, so keep serving sizes to about 1/2 cup.

9.  Non-wheat grains like wild rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat and oats are better choices than wheat but are not without their negative effects too.  Best is to incorporate these grains into your diet after you have been off wheat for awhile.

10. Rye, barley and kamut have many similar properties to wheat and are best avoided, particularly if you have a gluten sensitivity.

Remember, food is good.  Enjoy it.  Pay attention to how your body reacts to things you put into your mouth.  Do not live in fear or become obsessive with the “perfect diet”.  Laugh, love and care…but not too much.  Have a wonderful Christmas and more to come in the New Year.

Dr. Garrett Swetlikoff, ND

References: Wheat Belly –  William Davis, MD

Staying Healthy with Nutrition –  Elson M. Haas, MD