Thursday, June 23, 2011

More Thoughts on Trying Grain and Sugar Free

I want to thank those of you who commented so thoughtfully on my Two Week Experiment post the other day.  Especially reader Leila who stated that after giving up grains and sugar and embracing lots of good fats, she was no longer hungry all the time, she finally felt FED.  I love that statement, because that is exactly how I feel.  

Feeling FED is much different from simply feeling full after eating a meal.  Feeling FED is true satisfaction, physically and mentally, not being hungry even several hours after a meal, not craving sweets after dinner or salty snacks while watching a movie.  Knowing that what you are eating is nourishing to your body but still providing pleasure while eating.  Feeling FED is freedom from food addiction, overeating and the end of the binge/diet cycle.

The subject of grain/sugar free may also have hit a few nerves because I lost a few followers soon after posting it.  I wish people had commented their feelings rather than flouncing away.  But I do I realize that there are many people out there looking to have their cake and eating it, too, when it comes to losing weight.  But it's not all before and after photos, and when one is battling disordered eating, there is never an end point to learning newer, more healthful ways of doing things.  The tenet of "never stop learning" truly applies to living a healthy life in the long term.

It's true, I have managed to regain my health and lose a good bit of weight and still eat homemade bread, bagels, cupcakes, potatoes, brownies, etc.  But what I ate more of was vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, raw dairy, organic or pastured proteins.  And when I ate too much of the former, I felt tired, bloated, hungry and cravey.  I have read many articles about sugar and grains being the cause of many ills, including obesity and wanted to investigate further and see just how it made me feel living without them.  It proved to be a revelation to me and once my eyes are opened to a better way of doing things, it's hard to my your back.  I want to learn more.

I encourage you to give going grain/sugar light or free for a week or two while embracing lots of healthy fats (flax, grass fed dairy, meats, virgin oils, nuts and seeds) and see how it makes you feel.  At the very least read more about it. Here is a wonderful article from The Nourished Kitchen giving 10 great reasons to give it a try.  If you do take on the challenge, please come and post about it.  I would love to hear how you got on!

My life is constantly evolving and this blog is going to reflect that.  I will continue to write about things I learn about health and new recipes that I try, food porn and of course, my struggle with exercise (which still plagues me more than I care to admit.)  I hope you continue on the journey with me.


  1. I enjoyed your blog entry yesterday a lot! It brought back some memories for me and may just inspire me to try this lifestyle again. As you may recall, I lost 100 lbs. on a low carb lifestyle back in 2004/2005. As you also know, I have since regained a lot of that weight. One thing I do remember about not eating grains and sugar was how energetic I felt all the time, that I never had that "starving" feeling I get a few hours after eating grains or something sugary. I also felt GREAT and my arthritis aches and pains went away completely. Anyway, keep up the good work! You're an inspiration to me.

  2. Grain free isn't all that hard, and it doesn't mean low carb, either. I think that is what people are afraid of.

  3. I like two of your terms here: FED and cravey. I have cut down (not out) significantly on refined carbs (sugar, pasta, white bread, potatoes, etc) for the past couple of months. I too am still learning how this all works but I think there is something to it. When I'm hungry, I'm really hungry for food not a dessert. That's how it should be.

  4. I tried going grain free and I missed out on a lot of good b-vitamins that way--I wouldn't do it again. But if it works for you, more power to you :).

  5. WOOHOO, you mentioned me! that's awesome! =P

    I LOVE that you mentioned eating disorders, binge eating, addictions, and the like. It's about FEEDING the machine called your body that works so hard to help us function all day, and treating that machine WELL!

    AND, as it so happens, feeding my body good stuff makes me full and satisfied so that I don't even over eat anymore! Because I'm not depriving myself necessarily, but eating THAT WHICH MY BODY NEEDS! thus I'm full.

    tada! who knew I was hungry all the time bc I was feeding my body CRAP!!! And therefore, despite what went into my body, I was STILL HUNGRY for all that nutrition.

    You know, I also bought a juicer after reading your blog about how you juice all the time. ;)

    you're inspiring people to live healthy, to eat healthy, to LOVE food, to LOVE life, to make choices that bring out life, to honor our bodies, and to have fun while doing all of this! Your attitude on your blog is positive and wonderful. I love that you're passing on your genuine excitement for life! and as you treat yourself with YOUR BEST, did you notice that your body just "lost weight" as a result. Not saying it wasn't hard work... it WAS!! But when we treat our body the way they're supposed to be treated, we balance out and the fatty tissues get smaller.

    now only if i could stop eating emotionally. lol. that would fix LOADS of problems. ;)

    Keep on being inspirational. we need more POSITIVE outpouring instead of all that negativity out there.

    yay! GO LIFE!

  6. Leila, your enthusiasm is inspiring! Thanks for commenting. :)

    Laura, the health of grains are much overstated. Processed breads and cereals are "fortified" with B vitamins, which means they are stripped away in processing and then added back. You could take a B complex supplement and be better off.

    But even better, B Vitamins are available higher quantities, not to mention more absorbable, when found in other places like legumes and seeds like flax and sesame, egg yolks, raw milk.

  7. If you are feeling good, more power to you. Personally, the older I get, the less I'm able adhere to any "rules".

    I once tried cutting out all sugars (except naturally occurring ones) for several months and just felt increasingly angry and dissatisfied. I actually gained weight since I ate more to make up for how deprived I felt. And I'm telling this story as someone who has pretty much always been able to "eat just one" and who has never been a binger.

    I have also found that the most satisfying breakfast for me is not protein (i.e. eggs or yoghurt), even with the addition of fruit or a slice of whole grain toast--in other words, something which is traditionally considered "healthy". No, the most satisfying breakfast for me--one that keeps me going all morning long without a hint of hunger--is a big, fat, nasty muffin accompanied by a cup of coffee.

    Do I eat that nasty muffin, which probably contains too many calories to disclose in polite company and enough sugar to make a sumo wrestler run a marathon in record time? No, I don't, because despite having observed on numerous occasions that it suits me just fine, I know that it's really not good for me. And I end up eating less calorie-rich breakfasts, containing good servings of protein, some carbs and lots of other nutrients, plus I take a multi-vitamin and 1,000 IU of vitamin D and by 10:30 a.m., I would gladly roast my first-born on a spit and eat him down to the bones.

    I wish I could find the holy grail that would enable me to reach a slightly lower weight while not feeling constantly hungry and deprived but maybe I'll have to wait to be reincarnated into another body. I doubt I will see it in this lifetime!

    Well, that's just my experience and I certainly wish you well with your experiment, which I will still follow with great interest. You're still on my blogroll!

  8. "Laura, the health of grains are much overstated. Processed breads and cereals are "fortified" with B vitamins, which means they are stripped away in processing and then added back. You could take a B complex supplement and be better off."

    I wasn't talking about processed grains, but brown rice, quinoa, etc. My body feels amazing with these grains--it did not feel good when I didn't eat them. I'm glad you've found what works for you, but it wasn't the best thing for me. Although I'll definitely add more of the other b vitamin-rich foods you mentioned to my diet. Thanks!