It's the Gluten, Grandpa

I need to confess. I’m a descendant of a long line of wheat farmers and our house is going gluten-free. That’s right, we purged the Pillsbury pie crusts, converted to rice pasta, and munch on nut crackers. Grandpa Al must be rolling over in his grave, but I’m married to a new man.

My father confirms, the grain he grows is not the same as what my great-great grandfather grew in Luxembourg. The well-intentioned dwarf wheat of today resulted from crossbreeding to address world famine concerns. Unfortunately this drought resistant variety can be digestively resistant, too. Dr. William Davis details much of this in his book Wheat Belly. He shares how the body can have an inflammatory response to wheat with all sorts of implications including weight gain, diabetes, headaches, and depression.

My heart went out to fellow twin mom Mary Lochner when I read her piece, The gluten made her do it: How going gluten free saved my daughter’s mental health in the Anchorage Press. She detailed her daughter’s dramatic personality shift with the introduction of solid foods. It took years of her own searching to discover that wheat was the problem. Her daughter’s volatile outbursts weren’t an extreme case of toddler tantrums, she was suffering the side effects of her body’s reaction to the grain.

For my husband, it meant he was sleep deprived for the first 40 years of his life. We finally discovered through a google search and Wikipedia entry that he might be gluten intolerant. Lo and behold with the removal of it, his life transformed. He no longer battles with fatigue and gastrointestinal issues.

At a minimum, reducing wheat intake usually translates to weight loss for the average person. So if the baby weight hasn’t shed itself just yet, I invite you to give the wheat free fad a try. Check out Wheat Belly, Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Diet, or Dr. Mark Hyman’s The Blood Sugar Solution. My Grandpa was a cattle rancher, too, so he can rest assured that we’re still carnivores as we devour our hamburgers just without the bun.