I started on my grain-free journey 19 years ago when my husband became extremely sick. He was eventually diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. We rejected drugs and surgery, which were the only options given to us by mainstream medicine at the time, and we started looking for a natural solution. We tried raw food, fasting, and other dietary modifications, all of which helped to a degree. It wasn’t until we learned of the link between grain lectins and autoimmune diseases that things really turned around.
I spent 3 months teaching myself how to be a grain-free cook and we haven’t looked back since. It required a huge amount of discipline on his part, at a time when eating “hardcore gluten free” food was not as accessible and as common as it is now. The paleo movement was not commonly known about in Australia, alternative grains like quinoa were new, expensive and hard to find. At the time our understanding of what was and wasn’t a grain wasn’t nearly as refined as what it is now. Our naturopath gave us the go ahead to eat pseudo cereals (quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat), so we embraced that approach for many years. In hindsight, I believe we would have made even faster progress if we had known about the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, or even the specific carbohydrate diet or GAPS. These approaches to gut healing were not available to us back in the early 2000s, so we did the best with what we knew and did see amazing results.
Eating this way means that his life threatening crohn’s disease has been in “remission” for several years now. Aside from occassional flareups from certain nightshades and dairy (which he now avoids), he has been mostly symptom free and has never needed either drugs or surgery.
Our version of grain free is he eats pseudo cereals, I follow the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, and our kids are gluten free. We stick to fermented forms of dairy, eat minimal nightshades, and are mostly sugar free, or keep to more natural unrefined forms of sugar.
For a few years my oldest child also needed a FAILSAFE (low food chemical) approach, which means very limited almond meal and coconut, the mainstays of many a grain free cook, and which is why many of my recipes are nut free/low food chemical. I do not follow any particular grain-free diet philosophy, but learn and use what I can from most of the grain free approaches I am aware of: paleo, primal, caveman, GAPS and SCD among others. This website is a little like my home: its personal and reflects my own personal journey of being grain free. What has worked for me probably won’t work for everyone.
I have been cooking grain free for a long time now, long before it became fashionable, and long before the massive amount of fantastic information about eating grain free became freely available on the web. For many years, I was really on my own and had to figure a lot out by myself. What really helped is that my background is a “natural” one: I grew up in the Australian countryside on a goat farm with a mother and grandmother who cooked and baked everything from scratch, made yoghurt, jam and preserves. My father was a naturopath. This early life has really stood me in good stead for my lifestyle now, and has definitely influenced my cooking preferences.
I am not a practitioner or healthcare provider and legally it is not appropriate for me to advise you on your personal health issues – you need to speak to a qualified healthcare practitioner. Primaldocs.com is a good place to find a healthcare practitioner near you who understands and endorses a grain-free diet.
If you are new to grain free eating and feeling perplexed as to where to start, all my posts relevant to starting out are here. If you would like to read about my own personal experience of going grain free (as I found out along the way I also benefited from being grain free, so it’s not just about my husbands crohn’s disease anymore) it is here.
This website started, and continues to be, my own personal place to record my grain free musings. I am happy if it helps just one other person who is feeling overwhelmed, like I was, at the start of a grain free journey.
A final clarification – this website is my hobby, it doesn’t pay any bills, I’m not a “blogger”. Comments are closed – I don’t have the time to moderate them – I’d rather put that time to better use: either in the kitchen, making food for my family or generally living life! If you want to get in touch, you can email me at janelle -at- grainfreeliving -dot- com.
Thank you for visiting, and happy Grain Free Living.