Post Holiday bloat. Chelsea Handler made a pretty good joke about it last night. I generally don’t find her particularly funny but she nailed this one. She said something along the lines of us all being too fat and bloated post holiday to want to have sex, in less PG related terms.
There are so many grainy treats out there during the holidays. Even I indulged a bit. 3 butter cookies and a couple bites of toffee. I know I know… what a REBEL. But really, I do feel it when I eat these things. I bloat. I feel lethargic. I also start to crave the all those things that take me to the dark side again. People ask me, why cant you just have one? I don’t crave them, I don’t feel like I am missing out. I have no desire to put these things in my system. I feel incredible with out them. Don’t cry for me Argentina!
Now, let’s get to the saga you came here for. The war on grains.
If you want to go to one of the most undesirable places in the entire universe, visit your intestines during an immunity response. You’ll hear bombs dropping, literally. You’ll feel rocket launchers traveling across your gut. You’ll see things you never thought possible happen in the privacy of your bathroom that every news channels would camp outside to report if this war was on a larger magnitude.
If anyone knows what kind of war can go on in your gut regarding inflammation and immune reaction it is me. Spending 5 days hospitalized with 60% of my intestines inflamed and infected was comparable to an all out war. I have diverticulosis. That means little outpouchings in my intestinal walls. When I eat things that cause inflammation, those pockets get undesirable content stuck in them. Kind of like your jean pockets post Holiday bloat. Just try to get that dollar bill out of the little pocket in your painted on jeans after a bagel and a muffin and oh that cookie, or three. Cameltoe anyone? Oh ok off track again!
Let’s get back to the war. When I have inflammation, those pockets get infected and inflamed. From there, more talk of hospitals, colon resection surgeries, and colostomy bags. That is conceding- waving the white flag. General Colon’s last stand.
Grains cause this type of response. Your body is doing exactly what it is suppose to. Fighting something that does not belong. Rebelling against the indigestible. Your gut is incredibly powerful in it’s ability to protect you. Gut stand HUT! We hate grains yes we do! We hate grains so much we will poison you! Sound off! Blood sugar! Sound on! Type 2 diabetes!
Reality is …. Grains are BAD. Very bad. Forget all the government has taught you. Forget the old adage that if our ancestors were really that healthy they would have lived past 22 years old. Those things in reality are not true. Visit any pathologist, not nutritionist… PATHOLOGIST. So many of our modern day diseases were not around until the GRAIN REVOLUTION! This will be a difficult pill to swallow. Everyone seems to pop pills these days like tic tacs, so go ahead swallow this one. It certainly can’t make it worse!
Learn about our history as man and how the agricultural era has changed our entire way of health. Not for the good. Sure science and modern society is wonderful to discover things like penicillin, antibiotics etc. Those things reserved for life saving moments would have made our ancestors live longer. But moreover, these developments have caused an overabundance in little pills to fix every little ailment we have. This dependency has created an economic culture and a health system that is too overwhelmed to see the forest through the trees.
We find ways to treat and live with diseases instead of finding what will prevent or reverse them. The more pills we pop, the more we have to develop other pills to counteract the side effects of the initial fix. These things all affect our hormones. Insulin, cortisol, leptin, the list is pretty long of what this all does to our natural systems put in place to keep us lean and healthy. Hormones will be another post at another time. This fight is for the war on grains!
So you’re asking…. Have I become one of THEM?? Ohmygooodness. Yes I have. I am a rational scientific person who listens to logic. I also have had the pleasure of feeling and seeing how this logic has changed my life. It may seem completely bananas, but until you try it yourself and feel the difference, you will continue to avoid eye contact with me and those like me, like we are legumeless lepers of society. When you do inquire you ask us silly questions like ‘you don’t eat carbs?!’ I DO eat carbs! Remember our good ole soldiers Corporal Vegetable and Sergeant Fruit?
It’s those who believe in the Holy Grain VS. those who denounce Holy Shit aka leaky gut. As someone who ate ‘healthy whole grains’ my whole life I saddled up and jousted through the endosperm, through the germ and strait through the heart of the bran with my lance. I took those grains apart and figured out the reason they put up such a fight.
Let’s talk a little more about the nitty gritty of grains. Wheat, rye, millet, barley, hops, oats, corn, rice, and even the beloved QUINOA. While it is not technically a grain, it still has evolved in a similar way- it initiates chemical warfare just like all the other grains. Sprouted, not sprouted, soaked, not soaked. Grains are grains. They are experts in chemical warfare. Think about plants in general. They all have defense mechanisms.
Chemical Warfare!! Weapons of mass destruction. Grains put up one heck of a fight. Let’s talk about plants and the toxic chemicals they can and do release to procreate . The goal of any organism is to reproduce. Plants are very tricky in their efforts to make this happen. When you live in the Southwest and are outdoors as much as I am you constantly run into all kinds of animal droppings. Coyote dung is a very common one. How I know it is Coyote dung – without going all Yukon Cornelius on it, I can tell based on the seeds in it. It is a seeds dream, packaged in with the fertilizer and all.
There is a give/take with those items. However when we look at other toxic plants like poison ivy and oaks, those will do just about anything to keep us from ingesting them, even touching them sets off the drone attack. Our counter attack is to alert the immune system, white blood cells ATTACK! Pro-inflammatory chemical agents release making a rash. We eat grains at a point where they are no longer able to reproduce once ingested. They die without reproducing. Old maids! War widows! They also put up one heck of a fight internally before they wave the white flag. Lectins are the enemy here. If you want more on Lectins, check out this blog post:
So hopefully you are still with me. I feel like Forest Gump carrying Lieutenant Dan out of the jungle. Do you still have all your limbs in tact? Good. At least now we can work on keeping your gut in tact.
So, why then do these grains taste SO GOOD. Why do I NEED THEM. You don’t. But your body is like a military hospital and you are injured now and in triage. Here you are capable of delivering and making narcotics. Endorphins. Ohhh I love them. I make them daily during my exercise. But not those endorphins, the fake ones. The manufactured ones. The dairy and grain drug dealers.
Wait, we have already had a artillery war, chemical war, medieval war, and now a war on drugs??? Yup. Those grains are sooo good because they reward you very short term, leaving a wrath of carnage in their wake. Why do I have to ruin everything? Because. This is war. It’s not pretty.
Here is a good article regarding this mental hospital full of tricks:
Ok Ok. I will concede the fight for now. I have dropped enough bombs for this battle. I will let you take some time to not digest those grains and regroup. What I would suggest, try it. Give it a couple weeks, or say a month. Cut out the grains, add more fruits and veggies. See what kind of peace talks begin to rumble in your GI tract. Sign the treaty already! Put down the bagel!
If you are really intrigued, a couple books to learn more:
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf
It Starts With Food by Melissa Hartwig
If you are totally crashing from not eating sugar or grains while reading this LONG POST, I probably lost you long ago and your not reading this anyways.
For the rest of you war hero’s I offer up peace, love and happy digestion in 2013!!
I am not a dietitian, nutritionist, or certified trainer. I am a normal, smart, professional Woman who is also an athlete. I was diagnosed with a very serious case of diverticulitis and within moments almost lost 60% of my G.I. tract due to it. Once in recovery to avoid surgery going forward I did a tremendous amount of research and adopted a Paleo lifestyle. The results I have personally seen and felt are worth sharing. I am fortunate to have a network of professional athletes from many walks of life, nutritionists, trainers and other medical professionals to learn from. I am sharing my personal journey for those of you who experience similar types of health issues or are simply interested in the information I gather. I hope it encourages you and points you in the right direction to research further for your own personal well being. For those of you who are looking to share in my relentless hiking passion, or those who simply enjoy learning about the things I come across I am happy to have you all along on this incredible ride!