Saturday, December 1, 2012
Taking a walk this winter
Dr. Oz will have Dr. William Davis on his show Monday, December 3, 2012.
Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he said on CBS.
Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison."
Today's wheat, he said, is responsible for a lot of diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol and blood pressure, bowel problems, headaches, inflammation, overweight, lack of sleep, etc. etc. Click HERE for an article.
To that effect I've been reading up on wheat genetics, gluten varieties (not all created equal), alternative flours, medical articles, etc. and have come to my own conclusion.
I'm walking away from modern wheat.
And not just because of Davis's book Wheat Belly, but from my own experience.
I've gone carb-free on a couple of occasions (which, obviously meant no wheat and, at that time, bread/pasta was my primary carb of choice) in the past and as I recall my cholesterol, triglycerides, sugar and blood pressure dropped (heck, plummeted!). But I'd done the carb-free thing for weight loss and, since I got to where I wanted weight-wise, I brought back the carbs (including wheat). After that, the weight has crept back up. Same with the others for which I now take meds.
Well, gosh. Guess I didn't learn the right lesson from the carb-free diet. Oh well, better late than never. I'm in my mid-60s and have a couple more decades left (I hope). Still time to turn myself around and walk away from modern wheat.
I say walking because going cold turkey would only invite distress. First off, it's hard to get away from modern wheat which is pervasive, like corn sugar. Secondly, modern wheat is, apparently, addictive so no sense going straight into withdrawal.
No, my plan is to start finding ways to start replacing modern wheat in my diet. Unlike some folks who are totally allergic to glutens, I am not, so I am free to seek out alternative grain/glutens to add to my diet as I subtract the bad wheat.
Winter is upon us and it's a great time to read, research further, and experiment in the kitchen. My goal is to create modern wheat free items to replace:
Bread. Not the normal sandwich slicing bread. But something for dunking in soup, sopping up sauces, a platform for pizza. Something probably in the flatbread area.
Pasta. Even today's 'multi-grain' pasta are mostly wheat. I will look for 'legacy' grain products: spelt or bulgar (older, unmodified wheats), etc.
Thickening. I will not use wheat for thickening and will switch entirely to cornstarch and arrowroot. Barley is also nice.
I found a good website (<= click) that lists a myriad of wheat-free and gluten-free flours. I'll be visiting it regularly this winter as I see what's what.
I'm also lucky that we have a natural foods store nearby so I'll be checking out their grains/flour selections.
Bottom line - watch my "Chef's Table" blog (listed on top of right sidebar) for posts labeled "wheat-free" as I look for other grains, existing products or create my own. I have written up a baseline for myself. Luckily I'd just had blood work on Nov 12 to check my liver enzymes (because I take a statin for cholesterol) so that will come in handy when I get the blood rechecked in 6 mos. I'll also keep a "How am I feeling?" journal to monitor joint pain, sleep patterns, moods, appetite, energy, etc.
I'm expecting only good things in the end. Feel like joining me for (even a brief) walk this winter?