A Story of Recovery, and a Recipe for Simple Pear Sauce

I’ve been a nutritionist and chiropractor for over 20 years. In that time I’ve tried many dietary approaches with the goal of improving health conditions. The conclusion I’ve drawn from this, is that some will work for some people but not every diet will work for everyone. One size does not fit all. That being said, I have found the grain-free diet to work much of the time for many people.

My journey into grain-free eating emerged from the impassioned plea of a patient of mine. Her young daughter was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and she was desperate to find a good nutritional protocol that would work for her.

Finding Grain-free Diets

Her doctors insisted that diet had nothing to do with the condition, but as a health food advocate, she wouldn’t accept that. She came to me to help h

er find the right diet for her sick child.

It was flattering that she had so much confidence in me and this motivated me even more, because at the time, I didn’t have an answer for her. I was giving the low fat, eat lots of vegetables and buy at the health food store, kind of advice.

After finding The Specific Carbohydrate Diet and reading the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, I was convinced that this diet was the right one to follow.

The concept that eating the difficult to digest carbohydrates leaves them fermenting in the intestine where the pathogenic bacteria feed upon them and flourish — made so much sense to me, that I knew in my gut that this was the correct way to go.

As difficult as the diet was to start, having a sick and unhappy child who had to take strong medicines (tested only in adults, by the way) was much harder for this mom. It was much harder back then because there were not a lot of resources for some of the foods. However, she embraced the diet and gradually started to incorporate the grain-free way of eating into their lives.

As a matter of fact, we all started the diet together. I never recommend anything to a patient that I haven’t tried myself and I was also experiencing food allergies and chemical sensitivities. We all had a very positive experience.

The book says to start the diet and do it for one month to see if it helps. Within 4 weeks (and the beginning weeks were not 100%) they noticed a difference right away. The child had been delayed 2 years in her dental growth (still had many baby teeth) and she was delayed in her growth and weight.

go grain-free

When Nothing Else Worked, Grain-free Did

After one month on the diet she lost 6 baby teeth and she gained 6 pounds. After just one month of eliminating all grains and starches! She was finally absorbing nutrients! That convinced even the skeptical dad that the diet would work.

The rest is history. The child is grown up now. She stays on the diet with the help of her family and manages the colitis very well. For myself, I always feel really good when I adhere to a grain-free diet.

In my practice I teach these diets to many people with all kinds of health problems. Along with the principles of the Weston Price Foundation I have seen many people restore their health and become much more conscious of where their food comes from.

I have seen many people benefit from these grain-free diets — whether it is GAPS, SCD, Paleo or Primal. — for a wide range of health problems, from colitis, celiac and Crohn’s to food allergies, skin conditions, joint problems, neurological and mood conditions as well as learning problems.

It may seem daunting in the beginning – I remember feeling that way myself when looking at what you couldn’t eat. But look at what you can eat and you will see a wide variety of foods that will truly nourish and support health and healing.

Go Grain-free

I developed the Go Grain-free Cooking Class out of the need to have a handy method for getting this information to my patients in a clear and concise way. I wrote my new online cooking class: go grain-free for this very same reason, to get this cooking information to the people who need it.  The class features 12 lessons, 80 video tutorials and over 150 grain-free recipes to get you started (check it out).

Here is a simple, but delicious recipe from Go Grain-free, that is also useful for adding moisture when baking with grain-free flours.  Pear sauce is easy-to-digest and well-tolerated by most people.

Pear Sauce

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By real food forager Published: September 13, 2012

  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Ready In: 25 mins

Pear sauce is a simple, recipe that is pleasantly sweet without added sweetener.

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 Anjou or Bartlett pears (peeled, cored and chopped)
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Instructions

  1. Place pears in a pot and pour in enough water to cover them. Add vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Simmer over medium heat until pears are tender. Allow pears to cool, then remove cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans. Puree with an immersion blender. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

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What people are saying

  1. Rick says

    You said “Puree with an immersion blender or store in the refrigerator or freeze.”
    Did you mean “and” not “or”?

    Looks good… I will try this for my grain-free and sugar-free wife. :)

  2. Laurie says

    Thanks for this. I am just embarking on the grain-free diet just a few days ago. I also did Dr. Mercola’s nutritional typing survey and it turns out I am a Protein type. Makes sense to me. I really hope to try the pear sauce. His diet for PT recommends pears but good pears are hard to come up here in the north(Canada).

    • Summer says

      I live in Winnipeg, and we are lucky enough to be able to grow pears here. We just helped a friend harvest her many, many pears. Maybe not where you live in Canada, but just wanted to say that there are, indeed, bountiful and delicious pears here!

  3. Nicole says

    The pear sauce looks lovely and wonderfully simple to make!
    I agree that grain-free diets can be extremely healing but my understanding from what Elaine Gottschall and Dr Natasha teach is that you shouldn’t go grain-free long term as that can lead to other problems, for example with the thyroid. What do you think about being grain-free long term???

  4. Carol says

    Hi , we just picked a pear tree and this sounds great..can you can it afterwards if you cook it in boiling water in a jar for 10 minutes like when you make jars? or does one NEED to add sugar and /or pectin? thanks!

  5. Karen says

    I am only 29 and have just recently started experiencing some arthritis symptoms in my hands and right foot (maybe from an injury). I try to eat real foods most of the time, though we don’t always exclusively. I’ve increased my dose of fermented cod liver oil to see if it could help with inflammation, though I can’t say I’ve noticed any improvement. Can a grain-free diet help with arthritis? This may be something that I need to research and consider more seriously.

    • says

      Karen, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with arthritis! I got arthritis in my late 20’s as well, and YES, in my experience, going grain free can totally cure you from arthritis! Another food that seems to irritate my arthritis is potatoes–especially leftover potatoes for some reason. (There are studies about the way cold-and-then-reheated-potatoes will deplete your stored nutrients, so I think it has something to do with that). Anyways, it is worth a try! Good luck!!

  6. sonya says

    Pear has been the only fruit my 2 older kids have been eating due to intolerances, gut issues etc…now, wouldn’t you know it, my 7 month old appears to react to them!

  7. Michelle says

    I had really ripe pears in my fridge and I wasnt sure what to do with them so I looked in the cupboard and did exactly the same thing and made a pear sauce! I love it more than apple sauce in baking and on top of pancakes. I also went grain free about 6 months ago and my skin cleared up right away and I had alot more energy. I believe it works for me.

  8. Sherry Chinn says

    My husband has ulcerative colitis and I always wondered if we could not improve his condition with diet. My son also has issues, but with eosinophilic esophagitis. We are also a asthma and allergy family (myself and son). I just don’t know how on board my husband would be to try grain free. He travels with his job, as a commercial pilot and brings lots of snacks, which all consist of grains, carbs, etc. What would you recommend we try? He is in remission and is still on a dosage of asacol.

  9. Gi says

    I had difficult with grains, gave them up and later learned that I was not metabolizing carbs due to vitamin deficiency, low sodium and potassium as well as being deficient amino acids, low hydrochloric stomach acid, low blood sugar, burn out adrenals, goiter, etc…..I was a mess. I agree to a hair analysis although skeptical and it worked. Pam Killeen put me on the correct diet, supplementation, sauna therapy, rest and coffee enemas. I am now able to eat properly prepared grains once again. I will never eat wheat again considering it is difficult to find wheat that is not hybrid. I have had success with many clients using this approach. I tired GAPS and SCD, and many others and none of them worked. I was mineral deficient and toxic.

  10. says

    I never thought of using pears instead of apples, but this sounds really good. I use a pear in my green smoothie every day – I have a combination of a pear, a few berries and some green leaf lettuce. Pears are very mild and make things a little sweeter!

  11. says

    I have been making hot apple, peach and or pear dishes with granola, cinnamon and butter, but never thought to make pear sauce. I would actually prefer pears, so I’m happy that you posted this…thanks.
    I know what’s for a late night snack tonight:)
    Karl

  12. says

    Thank you so much for this post! I was on the SCD for about a year and I felt pretty wonderful- I have ulcerative colitis and am trying to go back on the diet after being off for 9 -12 months during my pregnancy. I’m so happy to of found your blog and really commend you on going for the diet yourself- it makes me frustrated when the gastro drs really think diet has NOTHING to do with our recovery!

  13. Lizabeth says

    I have Crohn’s and have been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for years. It has been a tremendous help since I am allergic to the sulfa-based maintenance meds. Now I also have SIBO (fairly common to IBD and IBS patients) and must refrain from high-FODMAP foods, as well. I’ve had a lot of fun working with new recipes and am enjoying all the foods I tolerate. Being on a low-FODMAP plan has made me feel so much better. I noticed the post from the mom whose child reacted to pears and it could be due to fructose intolerance, which makes apples and pears difficult to digest. Sometimes it’s just a matter of the portion size, and amount of a particular FODMAP per day. Sometimes the food has to be avoided altogether. There is good info. out there from King’s College, London; Melbourne, Australia; Univ. of Virginia GI Dept. I really enjoy this blog and the recipes, thank you so much!

  14. says

    I’ve had this recipe bookmarked since it appeared and I’ve just now found the time to try it – on just about everything I eat! I love pears and this is a great complement to both sweet and savory courses.

  15. Mami says

    This post is so inspiring and it hits so close to home… My 4yr old daughter was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis a year ago, and it has been an intense journey to say the least.
    We started the GAPS diet this week instead of giving her prednisone, which is what her Dr recommends. I need to keep reading posts like this to keep my strength and go through this with her. My little trooper.

  16. Marilyn O'Brien says

    Wonderful recipe. I made it this afternoon, and had it on a grilled chicken breast for lunch. Yummy. I had to pour off some of the water before I blended it though. It will go with sweet, on ice cream etc, or savoury.
    Thank you!

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