September 2, 2011

Wheat-Free Goodies

By Tim Lochhead

We have just completed our countdown of the Top 10 Surprising Facts about Wheat/Grains.

We’ve learned the concept that all living things, plant or animal, have defensive or offensive mechanisms for survival.

Wheat and Grains have several offensive ones that work to disrupt predators (anyone who would eat the grains).

Wheat and Grains contain lectins (a type of protein in grains) that don’t get digested properly and passes through your intestines intact. Things leak out where they shouldn’t and your immune system responds. Even good protein sequences and foods get identified as harmful and your body’s immune system attacks! Foods that were once tolerated now cause harm, and you can attack your own body tissues (because it attacks those sequences) Hence autoimmune conditions.

There are protease inhibitors and phytates that inhibit protein breakdown (digestion) and block the absorption of valuable minerals. If not managed properly the high starch content (starch is just stored glucose, aka sugar) results in high spikes in blood sugar and thus insulin. This, along with the stomach issues also adds up to inflammation!

Other “side effects” of wheat include acne, skin issues, impaired gallbladder signalling leading to improperly digested fats and higher potential of gallstones, acid bodily conditions (not good for health period), all while providing minimal nutrition that certainly does not offset the above.

If that weren’t enough, there are several ways wheat and grains trigger addictive behaviour. Peptides in gluten can attach to opiate receptors and mimic a drug-like effect.

Do you like being in control? Who’s really in control of what you do, what you eat?

Take the Power Back! And kick the wheat habit. Minimize grains in favour of foods our digestive systems have evolved to eat over millions of years (not a few thousand, which is like a pin drop in history).

Of course the alternatives include healthful vegetables, fruits, and meat – how to effectively incorporate and make the switch so it’s long lasting and enjoyable is a part of the YML nutrition method. There are several wheat-free alternatives to all our favourite foods…

Wheat-Free Flours

Did you know that there are tons of great substitutes for flour, that are all wheat-free? Many of which are also grain free. (No I’m not condoning unlimited carb binges, but these alternatives are waaaaay better for you):

Even my mom is valuing her health and cutting out the wheat. She made a pound cake this past weekend with almond flour; and it was amazing! (My mom is an amazing baker though, from what I remember from my childhood). Still, I had to try it (really, I can’t endorse lousy tasting flour alternatives even if I don’t eat them frequently – it’s still a much better substitute and had a great almond kick to it!)

And here’s a link for coconut flour recipes:

I read that coconut flour is supposed to be great for frying fish or chicken (I also cook in coconut oil, which can take high heat and is incredibly healthy of course). So I tried this out and one of my new favourite dishes is fried fish coated with coconut flour! That’s right, yours truly pan fried some fresh (wild caught) fish in coconut oil and butter and it was delicious. If you know the real deal about protein and fat you can enjoy meals like this all the time. 8 lbs barely lasted me 3 days.

Tip: coconut flour is high in fiber (75% of the carb content is fiber) so this soaks of the oil more than other flours. It’s not an issue, you just have plan for it and adjust recipes accordingly – this site lays out many uses of the fantastic ingredient!

More Wheat-Free Treats

There’s more alternatives to wheat; just check your local health food store and you’d be surprised.

Here are some things I’ve tried recently (yes, more stuff I tried. I’ll repeat because I know I’m going to get a tough time from some friends: No, not every day and not a box at a time – but a well timed carb intake, maybe including a little treat, leaves me leaner the next day; again, the YML nutrition method isn’t about depriving ourselves, it’s about being smart, finding what’s right for you and getting results.)


Enjoy these and more wheat-free foods and all the great health benefits! (Well, really more like the absence of several harmful things going on inside our stomachs and bodies; but I’m one for semantics as you can tell).


Eat Smart.
Train Smart.
Be Smart!