I’m a planner. I haven’t always been but I’ve realized over the past few years that to function well in spite of my ADHD, I need to plan. When I decided to start the “Wheat Belly Challenge” with Katie, I knew we really should be going totally grain-free, but all my recent cold-turkey attempts have failed and I was worried I’d fail again. Katie’s Crohn’s stays under much better control when she’s gluten-free, but she seems to be able to tolerate some grains and starches. I, on the other hand, don’t tolerate anything starchy at all.
I’m aware that most ready-to-eat gluten-free foods are highly processed and contain other starches and grains that might not be very healthful. Since I’m easily overwhelmed, I decided that my plan would include a brief phase-in where I’d buy store-bought gluten-free substitutes for the things I knew Katie’d miss a whole lot. I knew that would help me get through the hardest part, which would be parting with my old standbys.
This slow phase-in of all things gluten-free (and eventually grain-free) is also giving me some flexibility with the holidays. I don’t *have* to face Thanksgiving without bread stuffing, and so forth.
October 28th-November 29th is Phase 1.
Phase 1 is wheat-free month. Any and all non-wheat/gluten-free substitutes are allowed. I stocked up on Udi’s bread, GF-pasta, chocolate-covered Glutino pretzels, GF stuffing mix for Turkey Day, and so forth. I also began my research on homemade gluten-free (and preferably lower-carb) breads, meals and treats and got a few cookbooks for inspiration.
Phase 2 begins on November 30 and goes through January 1st at bedtime. (Our tradition is to stay up till midnight or later.)
Phase 2 begins an embargo on those expensive, processed GF substitutes. I will have to start making my own sandwich bread, for example. We are planning GF cake pops and other holiday treats.
Phase 3 starts on January 1st and goes indefinitely.
Phase 3 is where I need to attempt to keep my carbs waaaaaay down (via almond flour and coconut flour rather than rice and other starchy GF flours) while keeping things palatable for Miss K. I hope to avoid having to make separate breads/meals for myself but I can’t handle those high-carb GF foods indefinitely. Personally I will need to get back to eating as close to Primal as I was able to in 2011.
As far as the rest of the family goes, I’m not going to force them to eat according to Wheat Belly. I’m still buying regular bread for them. Kate and I use our substitutes but a lot of the meals I make are GF already, since a lot of our family favorites are recipes I learned or created during the six months I was strictly primal. That’s my long-term goal, to be as close to the “Wheat Belly” way as possible and from what I’ve learned, that’s very close to the primal style of eating I’m already familiar with.
With my phase-in, although it probably is totally anal, it gives me a plan and small goals and allows me to avoid the pitfalls of making drastic dietary changes which is difficult any time of year, but especially during the holidays!