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.
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.
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.
- 6 to 8 Anjou or Bartlett pears , (peeled, cored and chopped)
- 2 vanilla beans
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Place pears in a pot and pour in enough water to cover them. Add vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks.
- 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.