Hi, I’m Rebecca.
Food and drinks have always been great loves of mine, but I have come to understand that foods which are considered normal or everyday, like bread and croissants, or pasta and cereals, or sunflower oil, can in fact, have some ugly consequences for one’s health.
It’s the gluten, stupid!
A couple of years back, my partner discovered that he was gluten sensitive or maybe even intolerant. After several years of mild intestinal troubles, things had come so far that he wouldn’t go out the door without a roll of toilet paper in the back of the car anymore.
Hasty exit strategies were a reality for him for years, until one slightly clever doctor suggested he try eliminating gluten. We did not even know what that was. But we did try, with great results. A calmed stomach, no more rushed emergency toilet trips.
In the summer of 2014, my sister’s five year old daughter, who had since her earliest infant years been plagued with loose stools, and whose tests for gluten sensitivity came back negative (!), started eating as her uncle did, with great results also.
Eliminating gluten is such a simple solution to so many people’s digestion troubles, yet most doctors don’t even suggest this completely harmless dietary intervention. They are very good at suppressing symptoms of diseases and healing diseases but not at preventing them from happening.
Beyond gluten free
So, ever since, I have been reading up on gluten free cooking. Not just the practicalities of it, but also the science of why these mysterious gluten thingies cause your intestines to shrivel and give up on digesting. Why would some ingredient in grains, however healthy they are said to be, be so terribly bad for one person, and good for the next?
By digging a little deeper, I found what seems so logical to me now. Eat as you would be fed when held captive in a zoo. Eat what is your natural food. Do not try to digest what makes your head ache, or your skin lose its glow, don’t eat what makes your stomach bloat, or your teeth rot. In short, Don’t eat what could kill you slowly, in the long term. Just don’t, why would you?
Although my health wasn’t too bad to start with, I have noticed several noticeable differences since eliminating the non human foods, and they are delightful: no more headaches, even after too much wine the night before. No more weak nails or hair loss. Clearer skin. No more bloated stomachs. No more menstrual cramps. Less irritability. More energy. Better sleep. No more painful hunger or cravings. And I’ve lost several pounds in all the right places.
So, what is a human diet supposed to look like?
Some ten years ago, I wrote for an organisation that lobbied for the rights of the world’s indigenous peoples. Indeed, it is not necessary to go back in time to see what our hunter gatherer ancestors ate.
There are still hunter gatherers on this planet, who against all odds, still make do with what nature provides, and consume what can be regarded as an ancient, natural, human ancestral diet, free of processed, industrial foods. These diets are still around. Or they have been extensively described by anthropologists..
These peoples, provided they haven’t started eating westernized diets, were and remain disease free. They have robust health and seldom, if ever, develop diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or cancer. Their teeth are free of caries. They know no arthritis or acne. Isn’t it obvious that their way of eating is much better adapted to what our bodies need than ours?
They all eat meat or fish by the way, there is no such thing as a vegetarian indigenous people. Nor has there ever been a vegetarian tiger. Or a meat eating cow. Eat as humans are supposed to eat, and health will naturally follow.
Sounds too good to be true? Too good not to try, actually!
Mealplans and grocery lists
Gluten free cooking or eating out is not that difficult, but it takes some adapting.
It is still quite hard to find restaurants were they understand what you mean when you say you don’t tolerate the stuff. They say: “ok sir, no problem”, and then proceed to serve bread and starchy sauces anyway. You have to know your stuff and stand your ground.
Of course, supermarkets are full of processed foods with gluten, refined starches, seed oils and added sugars. That’s why I like to cook from scratch, a lot.
I write my weekly mealplans, shopping lists and recipes down here. If you are contemplating going soft or hardcore paleo, or just gluten free, and you like to look into someone else’s budgeting and planning, you can have a go here.
I live in Mechelen, Belgium, so prices and measurements, when provided, are local. Please feel free to share your thoughts and say hi! I speak Dutch, French, German and English.
Thanks for stopping by.