Number 1, I feel better. Like, way better. After just a few days of cutting down on it (I don't cut it out completely, come on...that would crazy hard for a lover of cakes and cookies like myself!) I noticed that the "tummy troubles" I had struggled with for years had simply gone away. Too much info coming at ya...it was common for me to have bouts of diarrhea a few times a week. And always feeling bloated and uncomfortable. I thought for a long time it was an intolerance to milk. Then I shifted my thinking to stress as it seemed to hit when I felt a little stressed and left it at that. But after reading some articles on what wheat does to your body (what's homemade playdoh made of? Flour and water. Picture that just sitting in your belly...yeah. That's what it does, just sits there!) I decided to try it cutting down on it. And the random bouts of running to the washroom like a mad woman totally stopped. And I no longer had that bloated, uncomfortable feeling anymore. Awesome right? Am I intolerant to wheat? I have no idea. I don't want to sound like one of those people that jumps on the band wagon of what's trendy ( seems a lot of people have suddenly having wheat allergies and intolerance's among other allergies and intolerance's we rarely heard of 10 or even 5 years ago) but I can't ignore how much better I feel when I watch how much of it I eat.
And the second discovery, in one week I lost 5 pounds. That's huge for me. I don't loose weight easily. But also, the huge discovery for me was that after just a few "bad" days of eating more wheat products ( pasta, pizza and cake...mmmmm!) than I had been, I gained those 5 pounds back. In just a few days!!!! So although it was not my intent to do this to loose weight, I did. More importantly, I realized how much weight I put on when I wasn't careful about my wheat consumption. Think of the homemade playdoh scenario again...I picture a big lump of dough just sitting in my belly when I go to reach for a muffin or a bun that is sitting next to my fruit bowl...be smart, be smart. Do you really need that pile of flour or would an apple fill the hunger void just a s well?
It's not always easy. And I by no means am ruled by it. I just pass up bread and pasta sometimes. And when I can, I use other products like gluten free pasta, rice four for baking...that kind of stuff. It's a little more expensive, yes. That's why I don't always do it. But I try to make better choices. That's something I never even considered doing even a year or two ago.
On that note, I am going to share a fave recipe of mine. It's a quinoa salad. I am a huge fan of quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). I discovered it while looking for gluten free alternatives to rice and pasta. Not familiar with it? Click here to read about how awesome it is for you. And it's not expensive at all, I get a 200g box of it at Walmart for around $3.00). I love quinoa salads...so yummy!
Quinoa and Cucumber Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper (I don't use salt or pepper in mine, just cause it seems to over power sometimes)
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar (I actually use rice vinegar sometimes instead, just cause I like the taste of it)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or more to taste)
- 1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 cup corn ( I use canned corn and it's fine)
- fresh diced tomato or halved cherry tomatoes (however much you want!)
- 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (I don't always throw this in)
(sometimes I throw in a few squirts of lime as well, it adds a little "summer" to the salad. Not sure how it would taste if you were using red wine vinegar though! I only add this when using rice vinegar. )
- Combine quinoa and the water in a medium saucepan; add salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and has absorbed all liquid, 11 to 13 minutes. (The germ ring should be visible along the outer edge of the grain.) Transfer to a medium bowl, and cool to room temperature.
- Add vinegar, oil, cucumber, corn, tomatoes and parsley; season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
And to all my Canadian friends out there...Happy Victoria Day long weekend!