After a 2 year long break from writing, I have found myself uprooted. Nothing serious has happened, but something has revolutionized my way of thinking and living. I recently started seeing a holistic doctor who has suggested that I have an overgrowth of bad bacteria verses the good bacteria. I needed to give up all types of grain and avoid sugar as much as possible. Unfortunately, I have been working on perfecting some of my baking skills since I had never been all that great at the science of baking. On the upside, I have an (with all modesty) uncanny ability to teach myself necessary skills. As I returned from my doctors appointment, I immediately began my research. I discovered different types of food that could be turned into a flour substance that could be baked with to mimic the consistency of wheat and grain based bread and baked goods. I went to my local health food store and found coconut flour. I bought a small bag, went home to experiment.
My first grain free meal was coconut flour pancakes with bananas, peanut butter and honey. It was so glorious, that I ate the entire recipe. I later discovered almond flour which is more expensive but has a nice texture. I tried it and liked it better! I learned the hard way that you can NOT substitute coconut flour equally for almond flour. Dry, dry, dry. Coconut flour is D-R-Y!
While finding coconut flour and almond flour, I found arrowroot and tapioca flour/starch. They worked great in wanna-be breads and baked goods. Well, discovering more about my health condition, I found that I should not be eating starchy foods which includes tapioca, arrowroot, or potato flour/starch. I also had to give up beans, not including navy beans, lentils, or green beans. I, sadly, had to give up all types of potatoes. To eat a sweet potato again would be heaven. I can still eat winter squash, so fortunately, pumpkin isn't out. Another food group I had to give up is vegetable oils, soy, and gums, nitrates, pretty much any preservative, etc. Reading every label in the stores is almost like I'm trying not to get poisoned. Anytime I go out to a restaurant, there is a risk. I had Chinese food a week after my new diet started and told the waitress that I could not eat rice or wheat and she made something with soy sauce; this was before I knew I had to avoid soy; I had stomach pain for the next three days. I avoid soy like the plague now.
For the first month, I tried to make all of my favorite comfort food grain and starch free. I found that I got tired of constantly cooking or making something to appease my old cravings. Don't get me wrong, I still crave a fluffy hamburger bun over a lettuce leaf. While I still try to make food taste and feel like it used to, a small part of me has given up and stuck to the simple things. A few of my favorites now are bacon and avocados. Need I say more? I put avocado on EVERYTHING. It is THE food to add for flavor and that creaminess that is lacking. It's very versatile. Bacon on the other hand, I have to be careful of. I can't handle too much fat in one meal. I learned quickly that I should not eat 9 strips of a 10 strip package of bacon in a matter of 72 hours. OUCH! I have learned my lesson the hard way, again. I like taking risks and I'm hard headed.
Now on to more food limitations. I found that my tolerance for cheese had decreased after about 2 months of this diet. Although 100% of my dairy consumption was organic, I was still having issues. In a class about gut health, I learned that sometimes the lactose/casein in certain dairy products can affect stomach/intestinal/bacteria as well. So, I slowly eliminated cheese from my diet. I can still tolerate kiefer, yogurt and sour cream.
It has been 11 weeks since the beginning of this diet and my energy level is back up, I have a clearer mind and fewer down days. After a long year and a half of feeling like a stranger in my own body, I finally feel like ME again!
I won't leave you for another year! I'll be posting some of my favorite recipes that I've found and created soon!