Sunday, July 06, 2008

No wheat? What do I eat?

I was interested to read KatieP's post yesterday about wheat sensitivity and the problems she's been having. Then this morning, Charlotte blogged about it too. I know that wheat-based foods are triggers for bingeing/overeating for many people, especially when combined with sugars in cakes, muffins and so on.

I discovered for myself a few years ago that wheat is not only a bad thing for me to eat because of the binge factor (I mean, really - who eats an entire Baker's Delight apple & walnut log? That is NOT normal!), but also because too much of the stuff sets off my IBS. In the beginning, I was all despondent - if I don't eat wheat, what CAN I have? At first glance, there's that whole wheat/gluten-free manufactured foods industry....but look a little closer and you discover that all of those foods are still: a) incredibly over-processed; and b) full of sugar, so basically things that we really don't need. Take a look in the supermarket "health food" section - it's all cakes, biscuits, sugary breakfast cereals and so on.

So I realised that it wasn't such a big deal. The no bread thing took a little while to get my head around. We're just so used to having a sandwich, or some substitute (roll, wrap, etc) for lunch that at first it's difficult to imagine alternatives. But I'm quite used to eating potato, sweet potato, rice, or fruit for my lunchtime carbs now, and I don't even give it a thought.

I'm luckier than some - I can eat wheat in small amounts with no ill-effects. So some multigrain bread (preferably sourdough), a small serve of pasta or cous cous, a little flour to thicken a sauce or in my pancakes, or the traces of wheat found in many products, simply don't cause me any dramas. If I allow my wheat quota to creep up past say 3 or 4 serves a week though, I quickly know about it. Bloating, incredible, gut-wrenching pain that can go on for days (I'm talking serious pain here, sometimes to the point of passing out), constipation, and did I mention bloating? The occasional nasty episode reminds me to be good and stay away from the evil grain - the cost is simply not worth it.

Oats and rice are the grains I mainly eat, with some buckwheat and quinoa thrown in. That works pretty well for me - and along with starchy veggies like potatoes, chick peas, sweet potatoes etc, that gives me plenty of choice.

Since I now have my licence to coach clients in using the Precision Nutrition system, I've been thinking about how to change some of my usual meals, to make them PN compliant. So this morning, I decided to have a try at a new version of my favourite breakfast pancakes. This is what I came up with:

Fruity pancakes

1 egg
1/2 a banana, mashed
1/2 a smallish Granny Smith apple, grated
30g frozen blueberries
30g vanilla whey protein
7g flax seeds (it was a spoonful and that's what it weighed)
5g flaked almonds
20g oat bran

I ground the flax seeds in a mortar and pestle*, added the almonds and ground some more. Then I just mixed everything together and cooked it in a non-stick pan sprayed with cooking spray. It made 4 smallish pancakes and I ate the lot with a big glob of natural yoghurt. YUM!

The oat bran was a last-minute addition, because the mix was pretty sloppy and needed thickening. So it didn't quite make it as a PN-compliant meal, although post-workout it would be perfect (and I'd probably throw in some whole oats too). I'll think on it some more and see what I can come up with - it was delicious anyway.

This quantity would make a couple of perfect-sized snacks, but I ate the lot, about 430 Calories in total ....hooray for higher calorie days! :o)


*I keep whole flax seeds in the pantry, because flax meal goes rancid pretty quickly. We can't digest the whole seeds though, so they need to be ground before you eat them; hence the mortar and pestle. It only takes a minute... Also, I would have used almond meal, but couldn't find it, so that's why I ground the flaked almonds.


Kathryn said...

Sounds yummy! I think I should give the no wheat thing a try.

Vickie said...

I have a couple things that I do that might interest you.

I steam cabbage or lettuce leaves and use them in place of wheat products to "hold things" - like you would use an eggroll wrapper. It works very well.

I also use sliced (raw) cucumber or sweet potato or part of a tomato in place of a cracker.

I eat almost no wheat. It was pure convenience (on my part) - I was just very dependent on the "instantness" of it.

If I had to bake my own bread and make my own noodles and crackers - I am sure I would have found many, many substitutes long ago.

And I wanted to thank you for your belly encouragement.

IT is indeed getting much better all the time.

Not only flatter in clothes, but excess wrinkles are starting to smooth out.

Will be interesting to see how much it will be improved in another year.

I can't believe how much progress I have made in the past/last year.

And as I increase muscle in butt and thighs - waist is also more proportional looking.

thanks again for telling me that someone that in their late 40's and has had 3 babies and has a bad back - CAN DO. Because I am.

Vickie said...

ps - my hubby has dropped most of his wheat consumption and went down a belt notch in one week - men!

Charlotte Orr said...

Thanks Kek, the recipe looks yum. We have a mostly gluten-free house because my husband is a celiac, but sometimes I buy muesli/fruit toast for myself. Never lasts long though (ie a day), and I'm beginning to think that giving in to my cravings for them is not worth the mental/physical anguish that follows when I overeat. I am enjoying finding things that fill me up and don't give me that 'EAT MORE' sensation.

Sara said...

What's the Precision Nutrition thingo? I mean, did you do a course or something?

ss2306 said...

I got out my old recipe book from my days with you and cooked some old favourites yesterday. Protein pancakes and raspberry and walnut muffins. They were so yummy I'd forgotten how good they were! Hope you're having a great weekend.

Kek said...

Kathryn, I think you'd be surprised at the quick weight loss/lack of bloating. It's not necessarily the wheat itself (not with everyone anyway) but most of the things you substitute are lower in calories, carbs and sugar.

Shelley, I love those raspberry/walnut muffins. Hmm, must try to PN-ify them!

Sara, the PN coaching thing is basically available to PTs and other related professionals. I'll email you.

Vickie - thanks for the suggestions! And how awesome are you doing? Keep it up, girl! :o)

Kek said...

Charlotte - thank GOD someone else is completely uncontrollable in the presence of bread etc... I thought I was a freak. LOL. Actually, the internet has opened my eyes to just how "normal" I am!

Post a comment

Join the conversation...leave a comment.