Today I have a wonderful guest post from one of my favorite people, Lucy Hendricks. Lucy did a short internship under my business partner Jim Laird while she was in school, and is currently finishing up a longer, more in-depth internship with us, and we were lucky enough to be able to bring her on staff starting next month! She may be young, but she has a ton of great information to share. Today she shares some information about going grain-free.
Yes, I realize this is a hot-button topic in the fitness industry right now, and yes, there are brilliant people on both sides of the argument. Since my business partner and I both have autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s and Ulcerative Colitis respectively) we both avoid gluten 100%, and avoid other grains 80-90% of the time. We often recommend our clients go grain/gluten-free for 30-60 days and then add them back in to see how they feel. We find that most of our clients feel best on minimal gluten/grains, but it’s important to us that they discover for themselves, what makes them feel best, as everyone is different.
So if you CAN eat grains and feel good, then by all means… go for it. I am slightly jealous and I may just hate you from now on… but that’s neither here nor there. If you CANNOT eat grains and feel good, or you’re not sure if you can… this is a great guide to experimenting with a grain-free lifestyle OR living a grain-free lifestyle. Enjoy!
I remember the first time I was introduced to The Paleo Diet my face looked like this….
A life without bread? Without pasta? Without pizza?! What do you mean?
After a year of studying, researching, and reading a book called “Wheat Belly,” by Dr. William Davis, I decided to cut wheat out completely. I added a lot of veggies, grass fed beef, fish, and other good fats to my diet.
And what do you know…? I’ve never felt better!
Cutting out wheat is like quitting cigarettes. It IS an addiction, and if you quit cold turkey you might end up going right back.
That’s right! Wheat IS addictive! It can also have a lot of other negative effects on your body, but that is beyond the scope of this article. Here are a few articles that are easy to read that may help you understand why living a grain-free life might be worth trying:
-The Gluten Thyroid Connection By Chris Kresser ( I know many people with some type of Thyroid problem. If you have any type of thyroid condition I really recommend reading this!)
I always introduce a Paleo-style diet to my clients so they can try it for themselves, and this is usually the reaction I get…look familiar?
NOTE FROM MOLLY: We encourage our clients to try a Paleo-style diet as well for 30-60 days. If nothing else, it gets them eating more whole, unprocessed foods, specifically meat, vegetables, and good fats. After 30-60 days, they can add certain foods back in and see how they feel, and go from there. We have numerous clients who have adopted a Paleo-style and absolutely love it, and we have a few that have added in things like grains, dairy, and legumes with minimal to no side effects.
If you’re wanting to adapt to a paleo lifestyle here are a few things you need make sure you do.
1. Get educated:
If the reason you’re cutting out wheat is because Miley Cyrus came out with the secret to weight loss (her gluten free diet) and now you want to cut out wheat and lose some weight? You will most likely end up giving in and going back to your old habits. When cutting out wheat out of your diet, its important for you to know WHY exactly you are changing your lifestyle. I like to recommend the book I mentioned above called “Wheat Belly.” Its easy to read, and it will take you through everything you need to know about wheat.
2. Figure out what you CAN eat:
Make a list of all the foods you can still eat. People will get freaked out when they only focus on the foods they are cutting out. Here are a few sites that will help you figure out what you can and can’t eat.
3. Have fun with it!
You are finally ditching the calorie counting and fat restricting diet you’ve been fighting with all your life. Its time to go out and eat with your friends and order a huge steak, some ribs, and a side of veggies. And if you love to cook? Going grain free will be a lot easier for you. You can be creative, come up with your own recipes and make pretty much whatever you want. Here are a few sites with some great recipes:
-Jen Comas Keck has amazing recipes! I’ve tried a few of them. My favorite one so far is the gluten/wheat free almond flour banana bread.
-Paleo Table. - You will NEVER run out of ideas.
-Nom Nom Paleo. This website also has an App you can get on your phone!
After going on a paleo diet for about 30-60 days some people (like me) realize they actually get sick, break out, get tired, and feel like crap after consuming wheat/gluten. Some people will feel fine and are able to tolerate it every once in a while, and some people won’t have any apparent issues (although there may be underlying issues looming).
Most people I know who have tried a grain-free diet have never gone back. They see the benefits, and feel a lot better. If they decide its not for them, at the very least they usually start eating more real food, and they become more aware in what they are putting in their bodies (which is a really huge step in itself!) So if you’re curious, check out the resources above and give grain-free a try! And definitely let us know how it goes for you!
Note from Molly: I hope you enjoyed Lucy’s article about easing into a grain-free diet. Let me know what you think below! =) And if you want to see more from Lucy, follow her on Twitter here and check out her blog here!