6 Week Detox Program finishing with a 2/3 day juice fast – This is a gentle Naturopathic programme that will change your lifestyle and make you glow from the inside out.
OK, so this is where it get’s tough for me. I love bread, I eat it every day and I crave it so eliminating Wheat & Gluten is going to be the toughest week yet. We are 2/3 rd’s of the way through the Detox programme, come on stick with it!
As a nation we eat so much Wheat and grains, it’s like with the dairy, we are constantly being told that bread/wheat is good for us and is a source of complex carbohydrates, minerals, dietary fibre and protein, however the processes that wheat and grains go through to make our beloved breads and cakes involves alot of processes mainly grinding, milling and crushing, this allows air and light to penetrate the sensitive interior of the grain and therefor the loss of nutrients occurs. The shelf life for most flours for optimum nutrition is 10-12 days.
Grains contain albumen, or the protein gluten. It is found in varying amounts amongst the grains with wheat, rye, oats, and barley. Wheat has the highest content, whereas millet, quinoa and buckwheat do not contain gluten.
Wheat consists of several varieties and three basic types:
- Hard red spring or winter wheat has a high gluten level and is used to make breads (bread flour)
- Soft red winter wheat (lower gluten content) is used as pastry flour to make sweet bakery products such as cookies, biscuits etc…
- Durum and red durum wheat is made into pastas such as spaghetti and noodles
The milling of wheat into refined white flour removes 40% of the Chromium, 86% of the Manganese, 76% of the Cobolt, 68% of Copper, 78% of Zinc, 48% of Molybdenum – these are all the trace elements that are essential for health!
In addition, 60% of the Calcium, 71% of the Phosphorus, 85% of the Magnesium, 77% of the Potassium and 78% of the Sodium is removed. This is crazy!
Gluten is a composite protein that is most often found in foods processed from wheat, barley or rye. Its “stickiness” gives dough its elasticity, helps it rise, maintain its shape and provides it with that “chewy” texture. Gluten is also an inexpensive and widely accessible source of protein that can be consumed directly from wheat products or as an additive to increase the protein value of processed or modified foods. Most supermarkets have a small gluten free section of packaged foods, these are not necessarily the best choice as they are highly processed and expensive, but if you are craving that slice of toast like I will be, go for it, a few slices wont harm.
Sensitivity & Disease
Eating wheat-free is particularly important for those with gluten sensitivities and for those with Celiac disease. When those sensitive to gluten or those with Celiac disease are exposed to gluten, the immune system cross-reacts with intestinal tissue causing an inflammatory response, which can interfere with nutrient absorption. This is obviously not ideal because inefficient nutrient absorption can lead to malnutrition and a variety of health concerns like anemia, osteoporosis, fatigue, stunted growth, the inability to “thrive” and can eventually lead to intestinal and bowel cancer. Common symptoms of gluten sensitivity or intolerance include: diarrhea, weight loss, stomach pain, fatigue and anemia, however its not uncommon to display no symptoms at all with such tremendous potential to harm.
There is no doubt that a gluten-free diet is extremely beneficial to those with Celiac disease or who exhibit sensitivities to gluten, but how about for the rest of us that have sluggish bowels, bloated, are tired, find it difficult to loose weight etc.. Well, by adopting a gluten-free diet in an effort to improve health may be misguided because gluten free products can be just as unhealthy as those containing wheat.
For those with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, a diet free of wheat and its relatives is the best way to prevent intestinal discomfort and the risk of health concerns. For those simply wishing to lose weight or regain health, Gluten-free is certainly an option if it encourages you to be more conscientious of your dietary decisions.
So here are some easy tips on replacing gluten in your diet, delicious and nutritious!
1. Smoothies: Chuck the bagel or toast breakfast and instead make a healthy smoothie/shake! Here’s a quick recipe:
- 1 cup berries (or other fruit)
- 1 big handful of spinach (kale is good, too, but spinach is more easily blended)
- 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1-2 scoops plant protein powder (I got Jarrow Formulas Optimal Plant Proteins from www.iherb.com) – not essential
- purified water or coconut water to get the consistency you like
2. Quinoa: It’s your new best friend! Quinoa is a complete protein (balanced amino acids) and is perfect for replacing white rice at dinner, putting in stirfries, or even having for breakfast in place of oatmeal. Delicious breakfast/lunch:
- 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup berries
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1 tsp natural honey
- small handful of mixed seeds – Pumpkin and Sunflower
- coconut milk or coconut water to mix to your desired consistency
3. Lettuce Wraps: Simply switch the wheat wrap for a big leaf of lettuce and you can still make delicious lunches. Try spreading hummus on the lettuce, filling with Tuna, Spinach, Alfalfa sprouts, and avocado and finishing with fresh squeezed lemon juice, a little sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. YUM!!
4. New way to snack:
- 1 apple with 1 tbsp almond butter
- Carrots and celery with hummus
- If you’re dying for something crunchy there are gluten-free crackers in the supermarkets you could pair with hummus
- Even a homemade green juice will totally keep you full until dinner
Going gluten-free seems like its going to be tough, I’m a total bread-lover and it’s going to be a challenge but I know that the health benefits are massive, if you can’t seem to get rid of that extra layer of fat or generally just feel bloated or low energy, eliminating gluten for even a couple weeks will really help you discover what’s right for your body!
Keep up the good work.