Say Goodbye to Joint Pain, Ear Discomfort, and Swollen Fingers
Meeting the needs of my daughter is how I found my energy, improved my ear health, and reduced my joint pain. At the time, I had no idea what grains to buy and where. I was horrified by the cost and the high-calorie, high-carb ingredients listed on gluten free packaged products. Most discouraging, I wondered if I would have to give up all the recipes I had created over the past 12 years. Thankfully, once I figured out my new flour blends, I was able to use my old recipes with just a few minor tweaks.
Writing this series of gut health blogs continues to expand my understanding of ways I can improve my energy and my overall health. What you learn about non-GMO grains can also improve your energy and overall health.
Induced Arthritis, Joint Pain, and Inflammation
About 13 years ago, I remember how completely overwhelmed I felt after my daughter’s bloodwork showed induced juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. My daughter’s joint pain and hives started at 18 months of age. Throughout her childhood, her pain led me back to a sports medicine doctor over and over again. He puzzled over why her foot bones failed to grow correctly; why she developed a curve in her spine that began to cause her physical daily pain. Unfortunately, physical therapy only provided some relief.
The rheumatoid arthritis doctor ordered an MRI Scan, which showed fibroids and white sheathing on her muscles. I was speechless! Now, we all understood why her joints became impacted whenever she grew. The fibroids prevented proper growth of the bones in her foot.
Her IgE food allergy test results found a slight peanut allergy. However, her IGE food sensitivity test results revealed 10+ markers of inflammation in her blood caused by gluten full grains and milk protein known as casein. To put this in perspective, doctors typically recommend removing foods for six months with 0.5 inflammatory markers. Her doctor recommended the permanent removal of inflammatory foods and a celiac diet.
I was totally overwhelmed!
How I Found My Energy and Reduced My Joint Pain
Although I was relieved to finally have answers, the doctor’s words forever changed the way we ate. Not right away. There was so much to learn. Never would I have imagined that a year later my doctor would utter the same words to me. When I got out of bed, my feet hurt the minute they touched the floor. My joints constantly ached. Blood sugar lows were a daily battle. Could my life-long battle with pain in my ears finally end?
Seeing the improvements in my daughter’s health, gave me the encouragement to eat gluten and dairy free. Now, there was no option to cook store-bought expensive products for just one. I was ready to relearn how to affordably cook and bake for a family of five. But first, what grains must I purchase and where?
Do I buy Non-GMO Grains?
Conventional, non-organic, unbleached flour comes from grains that can be genetically modified or not genetically modified (Non-GMO). Surprisingly, both GMO and Non-GMO crops can legally be sprayed with herbicides. Recently, I learned about one particular herbicide called glyphosate. Glyphosate was originally used as a pipe cleaner. It comes as no surprise that this “safe” herbicide is stripping minerals and nutrients from our food. It also has significant negative effects on your GI tract. Thus, the increase in GI diseases like Ulcerative Colitis and Celiac disease. Scientists now understand how Glyphosate harms our bodies:
“By interfering with the biochemistry of bacteria in our GI tract, consumption of glyphosate depletes essential amino acids and predisposes humans to a host of chronic health problems. Specifically, glyphosate depletes the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, which can then contribute to obesity, depression, autism, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.”https://www.cornucopia.org/2014/03/gut-wrenching-new-studies-reveal-insidious-effects-glyphosate/
When you look at Celiac rates over the last 30 years, it is astonishing.
1 in 2,500 people affected
1 in 133 people affected
Glyphosate usage has drastically increased over time:
🌱1970s (patented as an herbicide in 1969): We begin spraying approximately 9,200 tons of glyphosate on our commercial crops.
🌱1996: introduction of GMOs and glyphosate usage increases exponentially
🌱2014: we are spraying 138,000 tons.
🌱Today: we are spraying 150,000 tons. This equates to 1lb/year per person living in the United States.
Do you want an easy way to avoid glyphosate? I found my answer and chose to buy organic flour and grains. Thankfully, it is illegal for organic crops to be sprayed with glyphosate or any herbicide. It is also illegal for an organic crop to be genetically modified.
Learn more from the United States Environmental Protection Agency
Should I Buy Organic Flour or Organic Grains in Bulk?
Milling your own organic grains provides highly nutritious flour. When compared to flour, grains are much easier to store. Knowing I have lots of grains for cooking and baking gives me a sense of food security.
If you are unable to purchase a mill, buying organic flour is a better choice than purchasing bleached flour and non-organic flour. However, remember what I shared in Why Milling Enhances Your Life and Saves Money. The nutritious levels within flour slowly deteriorate starting on the day the grain is milled into flour. Also, the germ part of the grain filled with healthy oils must be removed from store-bought flour to prevent the flour from spoiling in 3 or less days.
The best gift you can give your family this Christmas is a mill and buckets of grain.
Challenges of Purchasing Flour in Bulk
One challenge of purchasing already milled, organic flour in bulk is that it must be stored in a cool, dark place. Recommended storage time is only 3 months on a shelf and 6 months in the freezer. Also, after you open a bag of organic flour, freezing helps preserve the nutritional levels and health of the flour. Unfortunately, freezing also kills vitamin E whose job is to bind with nutrients and carry them into your cell. Therefore, I share how much grain you should mill in each of my recipes.
Wisely Choose Grains that Balance Blood Sugar
In my Old Fashion Gluten and Dairy Free Pancake recipe, I share the glycemic index of flours typically used in store-bought bread and processed foods. Rice, potato starch, and tapioca all have a high glycemic index and low fiber content increasing your risk of elevated blood sugar. To stabilize my blood sugar, I created a low glycemic index flour mixture that is high in fiber.
How I Found My Energy and Ear Health
Over the years as my knowledge grew, I experienced amazing changes in my health. Three specific moments stand out to me.
The First Time: Taste
The first time, I made simple changes like those shared in Save Money While Eating Healthier. Food began to taste more delicious.
The Second Time: Ear Health
The second time occurred by accident. One summer my daughter left for a month. I felt like a kid as I loaded up our freezer with real ice cream. Back then, dairy free ice cream was something to tolerate. As I enjoyed this delicious treat, the pain in my ears grew and grew. At first, I thought the pain was caused by seasonal allergies. But then, I began to wonder. Was it the ice cream?
The audiologist tested the health of my eustachian tubes. Unfortunately, my ears failed the test. My eustachian tubes were so swollen that my ear pressure was unable to normalize. No more dairy for me. Darn those genetics. I followed my doctor’s recommendation to remove milk protein (cheese, butter, ice cream, salad dressings, chocolate, etc.) from my diet.
Dairy is one of the 6 Foods contributing to inflammation in the hearing system. Wow! My efforts to help my daughter ended up explaining a lifetime of ear discomfort and pain. Now I understand why I developed sound sensitivities as a child. Learning to read and spell is difficult when sounds are distorted, unclear. Today, my ears let me know when I eat something with hidden dairy.
The Third Time: Joint Pain
All these years later, I am amazed that it only took one month to begin to feel better. I vividly remember getting out of bed and standing up. Then, suddenly realized there were no needles in my feet. The inflammation also left my liver causing me to dump toxins. With help from a wonderful holistic physician, I no longer needed medication to digest food.
For ten years, I felt no pain in my feet. However, a few months ago I started feeling that old needle-like sensation in my feet upon getting out of bed. Even more discouraging, my joint pain returned along with decreased energy. Oh no, not again! Thankfully, a webinar hosted by ION probiotics steered me in the right direction
What You Need to Know About Non-GMO Grains
Researchers shared that the demand for gluten free products increased the demand for rice. Today, rice is grown in many areas of the south where the soil is laden with pesticides and herbicides. I believe that is one reason it is difficult to find organic gluten free processed foods.
Rice flour is a main ingredient found in gluten free bread and processed foods.
I also learned about the association between inflammation, cellular death, and the harm of the herbicide, glyphosate. Researchers shared that glyphosate is associated with the development of diabetes and many other autoimmune conditions. It is legal to spray Non-GMO foods with glyphosate. When I started to pay attention once again at the grocery store, I realized that the Non-GMO logo misled me into thinking this food was safe to eat. Surprisingly, I found that gluten free sandwich bread is not organic, but may be Non-GMO.
Amazing Improvements in Energy and Health
I wondered if avoiding all purchases of non-organic, gluten free products would make the pain in my feet and joints go away. Could I find my energy? Once again, I am amazed by the changes in my body after just 6 weeks.
My feet rarely hurt and my joints no longer ache.
The size of my knuckles continues to get smaller.
I found my energy! Feeling almost pain free is worth giving up gluten free sandwiches. I now have the energy to once again bake gluten and dairy free sweet cornbread, pumpkin spice bread, and holiday zucchini spice bread. Soon, I will share all these recipes. Thankfully, I found an organic, gluten and dairy free bread made by Northern Bakehouse organic, gluten free bread.