It’s been over a year since my last post and I have been thinking a lot about my next topic (I am just not a blogger yet). I have friends and clients who used to ask me all the time when my next blog was coming out. I didn’t have any answer for them because there is so much to write about I was overwhelmed. When folks stopped asking, I knew it was time to get back to writing and educate everyone on what I have been experiencing with the different kinds of grain I have been experimenting with.
Since my clients gave me the unofficial title of “The Gandhi of Gluten Free” I have often wondered, should it be…
“The Gandhi of Gluten…?”
In March of this year (2015) I heard rumors that a well known German restaurant located near me uses European Einkorn, unprocessed wheat in their kitchen. The restaurant imports some items straight from Germany such as the barley, hops, & wheat grain they use to brew their beer as well as their pretzels, it’s all from Germany. So, I have been anxiously waiting for the right time to try out the menu.
A little background first…
It’s been almost 5 years since I have purposely ingested gluten. For those of you that don’t know my story let me give you a quick recap. I discovered I was gluten intolerant when I removed it from my diet. It changed my life. I discovered that all it takes for me to have a reaction is a crumb of our durum hard winter or summer wheat and I feel it both mentally and physically for about 3 – 5 days. So you can understand why just the thought of consuming wheat and barley gives me a panic attack. I had to psyche myself up and make sure I didn’t have to do anything substantial w/ the business like be w/ or cook for clients.
And a little background on the wheat we use in America…
See the wheat we use in this country to make pasta and cakes and bread is our own “brand” of American durum hard dwarf wheat or Frankenwheat as it is often referred to in our GF community, makes me severely ADD. Barley brings out my ADHD. Both give me a constant bloating in my gut and my bowl movements aren’t normal. I also can’t catch my breath if I am in any stressful situation ie; panic attacks. Never knew all this until I removed these nutrients” from my diet. My thyroid, which regulates my hormones and metabolism, go haywire as well. I knew I wasn’t “right” but I didn’t know what the cause was. I did know, even 20 years ago, it had something to do w/ my nutrition intake.
The wheat we consume here in American was created in a lab by the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize award winner Scientist, Norman Borlaug. He crossbred and modified a our durum wheat grain in a one-of-a-kind wheat which produces 28 chromosomes compared to the ancient grain Einkorn which has just 14.
Frankenwheat is a term used to describe the modern wheat Americans eat today. While our ancestors mostly consumed einkorn wheat, decades of cross-breeding and hybridization (to create high-yield crops) have created a shorter, stockier “dwarf wheat” that now makes up almost all of the wheat we consume in America. According to Dr. Hyman, a leader in Functional Medicine and a four-time New York Times bestselling author of such books as The Blood Sugar Solution, this new wheat is a triple threat:
It contains twice the number of chromosomes as mentioned. This means it codes (DNA) for a much larger variety of gluten proteins, or “super gluten,” as Dr. Hyman likes to say. It contains high levels of a “super starch” amylopectin A, which excels at making both “Cinnabons” and stomachs swell.
It is also full of wheat polypeptides called gluteomorphins, which trigger an opiate-like response in the brain, so guess what? You’ll want more Frankenwheat.
I had some time a few weeks ago where I didn’t have any big parties or business dealings I had to be a part of so I went w/ my wife @DivaofDairyfree who also has issues w/ the same grains as I do and we bellied up to the bar (table) and started to look at the menu.
Back to my experiment…
I asked our server a whole bunch of questions about the pretzels and the beer and I was a little miffed she didn’t know the answers. So, I simply asked if their pretzel (that is imported from Germany), is made from einkorn wheat? She didn’t know but suggested that she ask the chef. I was not surprised when Chef came out and sat down w/ @DivaofDairyfree and myself and started a great conversation. He said the wheat was einkorn but that there were other ingredients in the pretzel that he didn’t know. I said that was fine because I was researching the difference between the einkorn German wheat and our American Durum hard wheat as well as the barley they use in the [malted] beers. I told him who I was and what I did for a living and he was really interested because he said he has had customers come in and ask the same questions I did. So I asked him about the beer too and he told me to wait a minute and he would see if the Brew Master was available to talk about the grains they use to make their Hefewiezen (wheat) and lagers (barley). This conversation will come in my next blog.
Out came this gorgeous looking piece of food, a Pretzel and my Lager (Barley, no wheat).
Let me set the scene for you:
We stared at the pretzel and beer as they stared back at us. It was like a recovering alcoholic or heroin addict looking at temptation. “What did I have to lose…” I thought to myself. We are doing this in the name or research!!! I picked up the stein of beer and brought it to my mouth (I hadn’t had a real beer in over 4 years since going gluten free) and w/ in the first few seconds my taste buds knew exactly what they were tasting and it went straight to my brain.
BEER!!!!!!! “Where have you been?” I asked myself. But then my real mind set in and I was waiting for the ADHD to come out (Barley makes me hyper and an A$$hole, ask my ex). It usually takes about 5-8 minutes before I get any kind of autoimmune response so as I drank my barley lager(and felt fine) I picked up the pretzel and went through the same thought process. This time, the feelings of comfort came back because I knew I was eating wheat, it was only a matter of time before I became ADD again or so I thought. Wheat though, affects me a lot quicker, like minutes. If I was a “wheat addict,” I was falling off the wagon and I kept telling myself I didn’t care because it was all in the name research.
As Chef Klaus and my wife were chatting away, there were no issues in my gut and no “real” issues w/ the beer either. WTF!!! American wheat and barley make me a completely different person and plays havoc w/ my thyroid. But I was feeling nothing, Nothing, NOTHING!!!! Again, WTF!!! I finished the lager and my wife and I were eating the pretzel like it was our last meal, EVER!
Still, no reaction from either of us.
I ordered another beer because I was “ok” I thought. Then the psychosomatic affect was kicking in. Was I getting edgy again? Was I starting to act like a jerk again?
Nope, it was just old habitual thinking. I was fine. My gut was still good too, no issues whatsoever and yes, my wife said I acted “normal”. I am sure she was waiting to see if that “other guy” came out but nothing. I was fine…
When we arrived home, I couldn’t stop talking about how my stomach was not even fazed. It wasn’t bloated; it wasn’t “tight” and I could breathe. My mind, on the other hand was “racing” a little but not even close to how my mind used to react when I ate our American durum wheat. I was able to stop and think what about was happening and not have ADD. I didn’t forget what I was thinking because I was thinking of 10 different things at once.
My mind was working…it was a little spacy but I could deal…
The next morning and the coming days were fine, not great, just fine. I dealt w/ the ADD/ADHD, it was back but only a little. My mind could still process thought and I noticed I had a little “hyper-ness” back but it wasn’t anything like when I have our durum wheat “gluten” in me.
Last couple of things to mention: No one was harmed, yelled at, or treated poorly in this eating experiment nor did I gain any additional weight. I expected maybe an increase the next morning by a few lbs. but nothing.
This report is part 1 of 2, (maybe 3) of my experiment on eating einkorn wheat.
To leave you with something to “chew” on, watch this episode of Star Trek – “The Trouble with Tribbles” It will BLOW YOUR MIND what Hollywood knew in 1967 about GMO WHEAT.
Thanks for reading…Stay tuned for Part 2