Many preppers are storing buckets of wheat as survival food. A number of other preppers are going gluten free for good health and survival. The two approaches seem totally opposite.
Is there a conflict here? Is going gluten free just a fad? Or is it truly a way to improve our health and even survive?
This week’s DestinySurvival Radio is about going gluten free. How do you know if it should be part of your prepping strategy? I spoke with the Gluten Free Girls to get some answers.
Who Are the Gluten Free Girls?
The Gluten Free Girls are Kathy Strahan and Ros Andrews. You might remember Kathy who has been on DestinySurvival Radio a couple of times before to talk about food fermentation.
It’s amazing how the wonders of modern technology can bring people together. Kathy is from southern California. Ros is from Australia. I’m from Missouri. We came together on a conference call, and now I share it with you, wherever you are.
But back to the Gluten Free girls. They’re both knowledgeable and passionate. I believe you’ll appreciate their encouraging way of dealing with what could be a difficult and intimidating topic.
Kathy has a deep passion and goal to share with you all the powerful health resources, techniques, supplements and tools that have helped her and thousands of others get well and stay well.
She firmly believes that each one of us must cultivate true health, happiness, love, joy and peace. If you want a long healthy life that is free of disease, the resources she shares will help you achieve these amazing virtuous goals. Then, it’s up to you to take what you learn from this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, and at KathyStrahan.com.
Kathy has overcome many health challenges in her life including retinal cancer at age two which left her totally blind.
A trip to Africa was the start to Ros Andrews’ gut problems. After years of trying to find out why she could no longer eat any of the foods she liked, and fed up with seeing doctors and specialists with no improvement, she studied over 8 years as a natural therapist and herbalist.
After developing a simple system of digestive principles which eliminated all her symptoms, she decided to concentrate on gut issues and conditions. She then set up a website called GutMatters.com and a clinic, Accent on Healing, to help others, as so many seem to have similar problems.
Ros and Kathy met as a result of their mutual interest in nutrition and its role in digestive issues. Both of them had similar digestive issues and had a belief that what we eat is critical to good health. It seemed natural then to share that passion by writing a book entitled The 14 Day Gluten Free Guide.
What’s the Problem?
The guide starts by saying that something you’re eating is killing you. That sounds like sensationalism, doesn’t it? The reference is to wheat and the gluten found in it and a few other grains.
As the ladies pointed out during our conversation, wheat–particularly in its various processed forms–is killing us slowly and silently. It’s causing all kinds of health problems you wouldn’t normally expect. In fact, many foods we’ve been told are good for us are really not.
You might be gluten sensitive and not realize it. So how do you know if you are?
Digestive problems are common. You may also have diabetes, heart problems, allergies, or dementia. Autism in children may be a result of problems with gluten, too. I know that last one is controversial, but I hope you’ll hear what Kathy and Ros had to say about it.
I realize there may be skeptics, and I understand that. After all, I had a great aunt who had Celiac disease and had to be extremely careful about her food and how it was prepared. And she lived to be 88. I suppose it could be argued that, if not for eating wheat most of her life, she would have lived to be as old as her mother who died at 97.
But wait. Her mother ate wheat all her life. Hmmm.
Seriously though, sensitivity to gluten isn’t the same as having Celiac disease. Only a small percentage of the population has to deal with that. And those who have it must avoid gluten. They must be stringent and meticulous in how they prepare their food.
Meanwhile, the majority of us may have gluten sensitivity issues and not realize it. It’s the volume of grain we consume which causes us problems. So much of what we eat contains processed flour and gluten.
Ros and Kathy encourage us to eat less grains than what we do. It’s those ubiquitous processed foods which are the problem. Gluten is everywhere in our food. We end up eating it whether we want to or not. It’s even in ice cream and chewing gum.
In fact, your kitchen contains all kinds of things that contain gluten, and you may not know it. Many foods use gluten as a binder. You’ll find it even in baking ingredients, besides wheat flour and spices.
Should we go on a low carbohydrate diet or eliminate carbs? Not according to the Gluten Free Girls. Instead, we should change the kinds of carbs we eat so we’re not taking in processed foods. Believe it or not, eating a couple slices of whole wheat bread can raise your blood sugar more than eating a candy bar.
I realize wheat is coming across as the villain here, but the wheat we consume today isn’t the same as it was just a few decades ago. It has been hybridized for higher yields. On top of that, genetically modified wheat is being experimented with. And as many of us already know, conventional agricultural practices have been more harmful than beneficial to our soils, causing nutritional deficiencies in the crops grown and the foods we eat.
Who knows what chemicals and even pesticides are in processed flour? It’s definitely not the same as the flour you grind yourself.
We’re all different and react to foods differently. Still, some general principles for good health apply to all. And just because various health problems are common to many people, that doesn’t make those ailments normal or ideal.
Where Do We Start to Find Solutions?
First, there’s a super easy way to find out if you’re gluten sensitive. Start by simply taking the 14 day challenge. That’s the message of The 14 Day Gluten Free Guide, and the Gluten Free Girls walk you through how to do it.
If you’re going to go gluten free for 14 days, don’t cheat during that period of time or the test won’t work. Kathy and Ros say you’ll notice a difference. If you like, introduce some foods containing gluten to see how you react after the 14 days is up, and you’ll be able to make an intelligent decision about the future of your health.
Going gluten free for longer than the 14 day trial has several health benefits. You’ll feel better, look better and lose weight. While some people may handle gluten better than others, you’ll never really know for sure until you take the 14 day gluten free challenge.
Fresh and simple is how we should do our meals. Eat the kinds of things that are more wholesome and natural–the things our grandmothers would have recognized. Get away from the typical American packaged and processed diet. As Kathy puts it, “Dump the junk.”
What About Buying Gluten Free?
Believe it or not, Kathy and Ros don’t advocate it. For one thing, so-called gluten free products are very expensive. Also, not all labels are accurate. It’s possible a product labeled as gluten free has been manufactured using machinery contaminated with gluten from the manufacture of other foods.
This is also important to keep in mind when you’re buying storage food products labeled as gluten free. More companies are offering gluten free foods now. You’ve probably seen ads on this site. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of the company you’re buying from to determine whether what they’re selling is truly gluten free.
Turning Negatives Into Positives
In case this all sounds negative, the Gluten Free girls don’t want this to be daunting or overwhelming. In their guide they offer plenty of helpful suggestions and alternatives. You’ll find recipes for all kinds of foods, including pasta dishes, smoothies and desserts.
There’s also info on healthful grains and flours. Try alternative grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and millet.
The guide contains plenty of references and links for you to check out as well.
This isn’t just theory. Kathy and Ros have found these foods to be good for them, and they encourage you and me to try them, too.
- Baked Avocado Cheesy Egg
- Banana Muffins
- Berry Nice Smoothie
- Brown Rice Salad
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Chocolate Covered Banana Pops
- Coconut Crepes
- Detox Energy Salad
- Easy Vegetable Soup
- Energy Smoothie
- Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce
- Gluten Free Porridge (minus the oats)
- Greek Salad with Feta
- Homemade Baked Beans
- Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
- Mini Frittatas
- Pan Fried Chicken Breasts
- Piri-piri Chicken
- Quick Black Bean Chili
- Quinoa Amaranth Porridge
- Raw Chocolate Brownie
- Salmon and Avocado in Coconut Crepe Wrap
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Sweet Potato Lentil Chili
- Tofu, Potato and Spinach Scramble
Admittedly, going gluten free does take some planning and preparation ahead of time. Cook big, freeze small. Make a large batch of soup or entrees once or twice a week and split it into smaller quantities for freezing. That way you’ll have your own version of fast food–meals ready to warm up and eat. You don’t have to put a lot of effort into each meal at mealtime.
By the way, Kathy says if she as a blind person can cook simple and wholesome meals, surely anyone else can.
The Gluten Free Girls assure me you’ll feel satisfied, not deprived, when you go the gluten free way. And you’ll save both time and money.
What about eating out? Or what about having a special dessert now and then? Ros and Kathy talked about those questions, too.
By the way, if you have buckets of wheat stored, I suggest you make your own flour. Sprout your wheat. See how you get along with it. Try it now before it’s absolutely necessary to eat that wheat without knowing how it will affect you.
Going gluten free involves a change of lifestyle and attitude. But aren’t we doing that as preppers in other areas of our lives anyway? Improving our health is always beneficial, but especially in stressful times, such as those we may face in the future.
You’ll find the Gluten Free Girls to be very knowledgeable and encouraging. I believe you’ll really appreciate our conversation. What you do with what you hear is up to you, but you have no cause to feel intimidated by what they have to share.
Find Out More
I’ve written plenty here, but you really do need to hear my conversation with Kathy and Ros. Listen to DestinySurvival Radio for November 20, 2014. (Right click to download.)
Get your copy of The 14 Day Gluten Free Guide by going to TheGlutenFreeGirls.com.
It’s also available in the Kindle format, and you can click on its title wherever you see it in this post to be taken to the page that lets you order the kindle edition.
Have you gone gluten free? If so, what difference has it made for you? Will you make it part of your preparedness strategy?
During my conversation with Kathy and Ros, Kathy referred to a book by Dr. William Davis, called Wheat Belly. In it he makes the case for having better health by not eating wheat.
On the other hand, if you’ve stored buckets of wheat, and you’re prepared to grind your own flour or sprout your grain, you’ll be interested in John Hill’s book, How to Live on Wheat.
Body Ecology–This is where you can connect with Donna Gates, who Kathy mentioned during our conversation in connection with improving symptoms of autism. The products and resources are specifically designed to help you cultivate, nourish, cleanse and repair your inner ecosystem.