Being home in the states again after being away for a year (and losing over 30 pounds since most of my family saw me last summer), has brought up many questions from relatives wanting to know what I've done and how I've done it. I strongly suspect many in my family suffer gluten-related illnesses, too... come-on, we hear how celiac is genetic, so it makes sense that any intolerance would be, too!
So, my sister wrote to me about the Chex cereal that is now spouting "gluten-free' labels and boasting this claim via the television... Here's how our conversation went:
Sister to Me:
I just saw a commercial for Gluten free chex...what do you think of them?? I love my a.m. cereal, vs no breakfast....
Me to Sister:
Gluten-free just means they've used something that isn't wheat. If that's your goal, probably OK. However, I've stopped eating all grain (genetically modified and bad for the gut... even corn and rice), so I won't eat it. Most likely it's just rice or corn chex. :) If you like it, try it. I only eat eggs, steak or yogurt for breakfast now... oh, bacon too!! :)
Sister to Me:
Thanks for the info...trying I guess. no corn?? Don't you miss corn on the cob?? lol.. that's basically the only corn I eat. Most diets are too expensive..they need to make veggie's n fruit less expensive!! :)
Me to Sister:
I only miss it if it's here... however, I've gotten into reading a LOT online and to see what/how HUGE companies like Monsanto are genetically altering our corn, wheat, soy, rice and canola, I'd rather not eat it. I fear that they truly are poisoning us from the inside out. Now, there are a LOT of low carb dieters who use corn and rice. IF I 'cheat' on my diet, those are the two I 'cheat' with... rice first and foremost as I live in Japan. However, looking at it for what it is: a filler, I realize I don't eat it for nutritional content. We've known corn is non-digestible since we were little and first spotted a kernel in our poo. lol! So, if I eat something these days, it's not mindless eating, I want to enjoy it and have my body benefit somehow/someway from eating it. Far cry from the Debi who got so sick that she stopped eating anything (well, except for maybe 2 apples a day and some rice at the end nearing my gallbladder surgery). It's only a hard lifestyle IF I dwell on the changes and what I cannot eat. Instead, so I don't feel like I'm missing something, I dwell on what I CAN eat. I CAN eat all the freakin' bacon I want!! Whoo hoo!! I can have 2-3 eggs every morning for breakfast (and still have LOW cholesterol)!!!! I CAN eat dark chocolate!!! I CAN eat all the meat (fish, bird, seafood, cow, pig, etc) I want without worrying about serving size!! I CAN eat veggies... more than one serving and more than one type at any meal, AND I can put butter on them!!
So, as you see... it's not just changing WHAT I eat, but how I think about what I eat. It must be healthy and healthfully grown. It must be non-GMO (genetically modified organism)... or as close to a non-GMO as I can get (in Japan, they don't allow GMO, so it's easier over there except for all the prepackaged American foods in the commissary...). I also stay away from prepackaged foods. I have gotten back to making supper from scratch. I also don't succumb to cravings, except chocolate when I have my period... but, hey, that's OK... full of antioxidents!! I also do drink wine and vodka/tequilla. I don't drink bottled juices, alcoholic drinks (nope, no more ICE or others), etc. Just water for me. Yeah, I do break that rule for 100% cranberry juice, lemonade (as long as it's natural and not high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)), limeade (I make a mean margarita with "Simply Lime" limeade!!), and tonic water. Why tonic water? Well, I do love a vodka tonic, but the truth is that I get BAD muscle cramps. Always have and they are, at times, worse. So, I find that if I have tonic water on hand to drink about once a week, and eat something with yellow mustard (the tumeric supposedly helps cramps) about 2 to 3 times a week, I'm fine.
Well, this letter went on WAY longer than I anticipated, but I get wordy when I explain how and what I eat. I get the "WHAT??!! NO bread? NO pasta? NO corn/rice? NO tortillas? NO chips?" a LOT... amazing how people focus on what they cannot eat, and forget all that I DO eat. As a matter of fact, a family member is now trying to make me 'see' that people 'need' fillers like potatoes (I do eat sweet potatoes, but only about once a week)... whereas she, like our mother and their generation, always have some kind of 'filler' (my word) each meal.... bread on the sandwich (I eat the meat and cheese rolled and dip in the mustard), dinner must have bread or pasta or rice or potato as a side (remember? Mom brought us up to have one 'starch' at dinner... meat, veggie, starch, drink and desert)... or, as she says, I'm too expensive to feed. Possibly. I get a LOT of frozen veggies every two weeks. I usually just have double veggies for dinner and make my hubby and teen the rice/pasta/corn-on-the-cob(COTC). Now, with that being said... I will 'cheat' and have COTC once in a blue moom, not daily, weekly or even monthly. Rice when I go out to Japanese restaurants or have sushi... not daily. So, I'm not missing anything :)
I'm sure some of what I've written just brings more questions or advice from many readers, but remember, I'm not trying to scare people off of Primal/Paleo, but to give a little groundwork to entice someone, especially someone who I love very much (my sister) to eat 'better'. Yes, I could have talked more about corn being a grain and GMO'd, or the benefits of sat fat and MUFAs, or the evils of trans fats, PUFAs/omega 6s.... the list goes on. This is just a quick groundwork email chain and I'm sure this isn't where it stops, just a point at which I'd like to share with readers. :)
Whatever your reasons for being primal... stick to your system, especially if it works. By and large my family and friends have been supportive while here in the states for these few weeks, but I really have to use self-control. At home, there are NO chips to tempt me... NO fresh bread just out of the over... NO potatoes... NO corn on the cob. I can control what's in MY house, not someone else's. Hey, perhaps that's a blog for later!!