Sunday, January 22, 2012

Breaking A Habit

Have been eating grains and grain products -- anything made with flour -- my whole life. Bread was also part of the recommended wisdom of the food conglomerates and abetted by their compatriots in the US government. I liked bread -- especially when it was loaded with butter.

After reviewing Gary Taubes book in Mainlining Butter, a follow up read was The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. Both books spoke to me. Just made sense. That was early last summer. Bad time to start new eating habits when I would be dining with friends and relatives during my summer in Colorado.

Both books said to eliminate grain products from the diet. My diet changed. The result was Wandrin Lloyd's variation of a paleo diet. I ate mostly salads, vegetables, some legumes and meats (grass feed beef) or chicken (dirty feet free range) or fish (wild). However, the grain products still had a very small place in the diet along with the occasional sweets.

Two months ago, it was time to get serious and eliminate the grain products (breads, pasta, sweet rolls) from my diet. After about two weeks, I no longer was gobbling antacid pills after every meal. Hmmm. Interesting. Costco was going to be in trouble economically. For many years, a large economy size container of antacids had a place in my larder. I ate them like candy after almost every meal.

No indigestion. Took a while to figure that out. Then I also noted that I hadn't had an attack of GERD (acid reflux) in the last month. Could these body reactions actually be attributable to grain products.

Then there was the time when the indigestion lingered for two days regardless of my antacid ingestion. So I headed to the hospital emergency room with what appeared to be a heart problem. Appears I had a "gluten attack". I am embarrassed to recall that experience. Seems there might be some new questions the doctors might want to ask the patients after discovering there really is no heart problem. Perhaps it might be a gluten problem.

Time to search the internet. Yes. Gluten can cause acid indigestion and GERD flare ups. And I had been living this way for seventy years. As a child, my parents correctly recognized that I had a food allergy to whole wheat products. My gut ached within an hour of eating whole wheat products. So while everyone else ate whole wheat, I ate white bread and white flour products. That didn't bother me. At least I didn't think it did. That was the end of the issue and life goes on.

As I thought about gluten and grain issue, I recalled the chest pains I had 40 years ago as a result of drinking beer. Another aha moment. Beer is made from grains. Further research on the internet. Turns out there are traces of gluten in beer. Guess I had found the trace. Pain is an incentive. Quit drinking beer at that time and switched to hard liquors.

Drinking beer was an easy habit to break. The bread habit is harder. Each time I go through the grocery bakery section, I have to move quickly through the breads and cookies. Gosh that loaf of Kalamata olive bread would be great. How about a chocolate chip cookie. Note to self -- NOT. Indigestion and pain are good incentives to change a habit. Seems to be working.

The yearning (or habit) for the bread remains, but at this point I am a "recovering bread eater".


  1. Good for you and your diet! I started the low-carb thing about a year ago and lost 20 pounds w/o any real pain. I, too, miss the bread, and will occasionally indulge, but not too often. Mostly I miss ice cream....

  2. Have you looked at Elana's Pantry?

    She has a lot of lovely gluten free recipes. I use some of her almond flour recipes because I am allergic to casein protein in cow's milk and now drink almond milk. I wanted a way to use the pulp left from making the almond milk.

  3. My niece is gluten intolerant and a dietician. She has a blog with some wonderful receipes. I just made her Brownies. Awesome.

  4. Interesting post... some of it might pertain to my life. I get pains in my abdomen when I drink beer, so I don't drink beer. I assumed it was the carbonation.

    The gluten free diet might be something I'd like to try out and see if I can dump the Prilosec pills, which I don't like taking. (They affect calcium absorption, not good for the bones.) Thanks for the info.

    It's amazing what we live with, without even considering that there might be a dietary cause. :)

  5. Welcome to the club, Lloyd! I think you'll find that the craving for grains will disappear before too long.

  6. That good info Lloyd, as I get up at 2am to not only take some fruit flavored Tums and check on the latest weather radar to see if this storm is almost over.

    Lately I have been eating Tums like candy and know my heartburn is diet related. I started making a list a couple of months ago on things I ate that would activate my Tums intake plus drive my sinuses to just this side of insanity.

    Like most people, the list contains most of my favorite things to eat.

    I know dairy products hurt me and probably pasta, tonight was lasagna night. I may have to donate my Costco purchase of a lot of pasta last month to the local food bank.

    I am to the point of making the change and I will go "cold turkey" when that change happens.

    Is it too ironic I get up in the middle of the night to check the storm radar, a couple of tums and to see if the storms are affecting any of the people I am following by their blogs ... only to see your post?

    Hmm .... interesting.

  7. That's wonderful! We love that! We just eat fruits and vegetables. So we are a kind of raw vegetarians. There are some books by Dr. Norman Walker. We are never ill or have any diseases. Simply feeling great!

  8. Oh no! Does that mean no more searching for the perfect cinnamon roll?

  9. Zainab and Domi, Considering your travel mode without food prep or storage facilities, a raw vegetable/fruit diet would seem the best way.

    John V, Yup. No more cinnamon rolls. Actually gave up the search long ago. Interesting wonder... If I travel through Green Bay in the future, could I pass this Stadium Bakery. Considering the ownership had changed, the "greatest" cinnamon roll may also be gone.

    Glenn, Actually, I'm finding little craving for bread. Butter is another issue.

    Everyone, It was an anecdotal experience related. Would it pass the science test. What can I blame future indigestion on. What else might be in the diet that causes indigestion. Life is never dull.

  10. Wandrin - another good read along these lines is "Wheat Belly" by Dr. William Davis. Reading it changed my life! After that I read Gary Taubes---good stuff!

  11. I just watched "Forks over Knives" Interesting movie about protein and disease.

  12. Bob, "Forks Over Knives" is based on a book "The China Study". Read it several years ago and was seriously concerned about the very narrow focus about milk protein and bias throughout the book. Checked the internet. Appears I am not the only one wondering about the study and any science behind the study.

  13. Thanks Wandrin'. I'm still up in the air about which (eating)direction I should choose. I've always have ate a lot of protein, and needed a stent a couple years ago, so I think I must be doing something wrong. Would like to try fruits & veggies only but don't like them raw, and no time to cook. Can't afford quality meat. Maybe I should just quit eating. Anyway thanks, I will research this more. Enjoy reading your blog. Have a good day!

  14. Hi Lloyd... Saw this today on another wanderin RV blog I follow. Got to check into this paleo diet some more.

  15. Tom, Been following Glenn (tosimplify) for a long time. Crossed paths with Glenn in Silver City, NM last spring. Very fascinating, creative and multi-talented guy. Glenn posted on this post above earlier.

  16. Do your self a favor. Get a gallon of Aloe Vera juice. All of you. Drink 2 oz. before each meal and 2 oz. before bed time. It is awesome for ulcers, diverticulitis, colon cleanse, etc. etc. Its healing, soothing and cleansing is the best treatment you can gift your self with. Its the best advice I have ever given my family, friends and others. Believe me its priceless. Mary B.

  17. Came here from Goin' RV Boondocking's blog. Found Mark Sisson's site (Mark's Daily Apple) in November and have been making the paleo transition since then. First thing I noticed after a couple of more swelling of the my finger, feet & ankles. Second thing I noticed after a couple months...dropped two pant sizes without going hungry or exercising.

    Can't wait for the nice weather to come along and get outside walking again. I have so much more energy now that I have changed some of my eating habits.