I have never ever given this a thought. I ate bread and grains all my life and never ever thought of opening any book about grain like the Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter or the Wheat Belly Total Health by William Davis, MD but that has changed. The change came in 2 steps and only the second step connects to these two books.
The first step was that as a migraineur, if you read my book, you know that carbs disrupt electrolytes and simple flour breads are high in carbs so I switched to Ezekiel, which is a terrific bread! Not as high in carbs as other breads since it is from sprouted grains and legumes, like lentils. It is also rich in fiber with lower glycemic index (GI) than other breads so I thought I am doing great by switching but otherwise retaining my old habits.
Not so fast, said my body, and decided that while this bread is certainly healthier, it is still grains! I was still clueless at this point so I purchased Farro and Bulgur and Couscous. All three are high wheat (read gluten) foods though they are high in fiber and protein so I thought they were super foods (they in fact are considered as such) and cooked up a batch only to end up running for a Benadryl from starting to have my throat close up. I first tried Farro and so that was out. Next (still clueless) I cooked Bulgur (and Indian wheat version of even higher fiber and protein) and ran straight for a Benadryl. Then I ate Couscous that at first was just fine. It was Israeli Couscous with mushrooms and I had no problems. Later I purchased plain Couscous to flavor it myself and again, throat was tightening from 10 little grains of it on a fork.
This time though I did not take Benadryl albeit had it in my hand. I wanted to know if it was truly an allergy or just an irritation. Sure enough, after drinking some cold water and milk, the swelling went down. So it is not an allergy but what the heck is it? I asked for a blood test to check for food allergy and while waiting for the results, I went on a grain free diet and purchased the above mentioned two books.
I was 5 days into my grain free diet when my hubby said “it looks like your body is changing shape” but since my weight was the same I did not notice. The tape measure was used next that showed I lost 4 inches of belly! I found that amazing and started to spread the news among friends and my migraine group. Then the 7th day came about and I wanted to see if the 4 inches still stood or was that an accident and wow: 5 inches are gone!!!
Allergy or Inflammation Caused Resentment by the Body?
In the meantime my blood test came back completely negative, showing no allergies to gluten at all. It is interesting how much belly can be dropped from something you have no allergies to! If not allergic, it must be that wheat does something else: inflammation. Inflammation can give you close to allergic reaction if it passes a threshold and I suppose I reached that point!
So does it matter if I am allergic to gluten or not? I absolutely don’t care!!! Grains will no longer touch my lips! Ever! Because as a migraineur we are sensitive to carbs. Maintaining a low carbs level is important. Now imagine also that if I lost 5 inches of belly on my waistline, how much inflammation have I lost in my brain? Probably a ton! And how much carbs have I also not eaten by not gaining back the 5 inches of belly? Great migraine foods start with carbs cutting.
My recommendation: stop eating breads and pastas–do not go gluten-free and eat GF breads and pastas because they are made from higher carbs non-grains like corn or rice. Instead, grab two slices of cheese and make a sandwich from the cheese (no bread) if you are a sandwich person or eat food without any need for bread or pastas!
Comments are welcome, as always!