Our Daily Bread

August 16, 2012

Okay you guys, I am totally fascinated with this article all about Gluten and Sourdough and Heirloom Wheat. I keep reading parts aloud to Ben Blair. It’s in the latest issue of Whole Living (which is one of my favorite magazines these days. Do you subscribe?) and it’s written by Todd Openheimer.

Part of the article profiled the husband + wife team that runs the famous Tartine bakery in San Francisco (it’s one of my sister’s favorite spots). The wife (a pastry chef) has developed a gluten intolerance and can’t even test her own creations, or eat her husband’s bread any more! But they’ve found an interesting workaround.

At our house, we haven’t had any gluten or bread allergies/reactions but I feel like it’s happening to many of my dear friends, so it’s been on my mind. I hope you read it and tell me what you think. Do you have gluten or bread struggles at your house? Was anything in the article news to you?

image by Tartine Bakery

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephanie August 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm

It is a fascinating topic, no? I stumbled on the book Wheat Belly a few months ago and was hooked. I’ve eliminated most of the wheat from our family’s diet (who knew that wheat is in toothpaste? Toothpaste!) and we are all realizing the benefits….more energy, better digestion, and we eat less but are never hungry. I’m so glad this topic is being taken seriously and is catching on! Now that we have removed the wheat I’m researching heirloom grains that are gluten-free since the kids are missing their favorite….pancakes. Thanks for sharing this article!

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2 sarah August 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm

see if your regular grocery store carries Bisquick brand gluten free pancake mix. we use it once a week and love it. it does awesome pancakes, biscuits, and strawberry shortcake breads!

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3 Stephanie August 17, 2012 at 8:08 am

Oooh, I’m headed to the grocery store this afternoon. I will definitely check it out…thanks, Sarah!

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4 Tanya August 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

I would use coconut flour over Bisquick! You can find in the health food section. It is really yummy. You will likely have play around with consistency; just add the flour slowly.

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5 atout August 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm

We’re a paleo household and have tried many terrible wheat-free pancakes. But, we recently tried these coconut flour pancakes and they are our favorite.

http://www.cheeseslave.com/coconut-flour-pancakes/

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6 Martha August 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Amazing article. Thanks for sharing!

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7 Andrea August 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

When I lived in Santa Monica I would occasionally buy Bezian’s bread, it truly is delicious! And his theories don’t seem to far-fetched at that particular Farmer’s Market, it is full of very passionate and dedicated vendors.

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8 susan August 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Pancakes…Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. Fabulous and found at most large grocery stores in the Health Foods section.

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9 susan August 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Interesting article. For my 2 kids with Celiac disease this bread would be a no, no even with all the fermenting. They can’t even eat anything that has been cooked in the same oil as a wheat product. Think french fries and chicken nuggets cooked in the same fryer. Nor can they handle Play Dough because it is made with wheat. I pity the person who has to restrict their diet because of wheat. It is in so many things.

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10 Sonya August 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Yep, very familiar. My fiance is a celiac disease sufferer. I am gluten free at home and I haven’t necessarily gone out of my way to avoid it entirely, outside of the home But I am starting to avoid it entirely. I definitely notice a difference in how my gut feels, my energy level is better and I feel much less congested as well.

Thank you for linking to the article.

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11 KelliK August 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Some of my worst imaginings are being unable to eat wheat or milk. Thanks for sharing the article! I love how it describes how the evolution could have happened, and why the intolerances are happening now. I think I’ll need to try making sourdough in addition to my regular loaves!

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12 Fannie August 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I have Celiac disease. And contrary to what the article makes it out to be, isn’t a disabling, death sentence. I have a very strong family history of Celiac’s and although my daughter is just 15 months, and my husband doesn’t have Celiac’s – our home is completely gluten free. Even down to my kitchen aid which has never, blessedly, been touched by gluten.

There are some serious differences between gluten intolerance, choosing to be gluten free for health reasons, and celiac’s. I think the article, serving a public audience, should have been a little more clear about that.

Whole foods, real foods, and cultured foods are great; however, they don’t solve everyone’s problems, even the gluten intolerant. And although gluten free eating can be more expensive if you buy all the replacement foods, many many people do it everyday, EVEN for their kids and have figured it out.

From my perspective the article was a little too negative about navigating the gluten free eating world. It’s not that bad, especially with the internet full of resources.

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13 Sp August 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I am gluten-intolerant, and I cook all of my meals and hardly ever eat at restaurants. In the past, I had great difficulty finding gluten-free food that was nutritious and tasted like something other than cardboard. Gluten-free diets are far more common now, so companies are making an effort to make delicious food that is packed with vitamins and minerals. Traveling is always a time that I fear, because I have to pack a suitcase of food and still starve during most of my trip.

If anyone is looking for yummy, nutritious products, check out Udi’s. It is a brand that can be found at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and similar shops.

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14 Lamchops August 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Wow! That is really hard. I have two sisters & a mom who have celiac. My one sister has always been very strict & is now healthy (yea). She has found that there are several resturants that will accomodate celiac. You just have to do the foot work on finding out which ones. And as long as you make sure they understand your intollerance to wheat/gluten & they are allready aware of the cross-contamination issues it can work. Good luck!
P. S. I know that she has been to a few places with us like PF Changs, Carrabas, In N Out (protein burger cooked on different part of grill) & Red Robin. Plus Sammy’s Woodfire Pizza & Iggy’s.

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15 Ellen W August 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I have been gluten free for the last year and a half after a diagnosis of celiac; I believe I had it about 10-12 year before being diagnosed. Interesting article – fermentation seems to be gaining popularity. Learning to eat gf can be challenging especially when eating outside of your own home. If you already do most of your own cooking and baking the transistion isn’t as difficult. My main baking challenge now is trying to make yeast based baked goods as the texture is very different from dough with gluten.

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16 mandi@herbanhomestead August 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Isn’t it interesting how so many of our advancements in the realm of food have only led to dis-ease? Thank you for posting this link. I had seen the headline at the store and meant to pick up a copy, primarily for this article! I have been living wheat free for the past month to see if it would help with fatigue, and it has! And I should note that I eat a very healthy, whole foods diet. However, we had been letting “whole wheat” bread slip into the house more often than we should. I feel challenged now to make the perfect loaf of sour dough! I have caught my own yeast in the past, and I’m thinking I’ll start that up again.

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17 Monique August 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm

If this article struck your fancy you must, must, must read “The Vintage Remedies Guide to Bread: Unlocking the Mysteries of Grains, Gluten, and Yeast.” Fascinating book on this topic, well researched with loads of footnote references, and includes sourdough recipes! I now have a sourdough starter happily at home on my kitchen counter because of this book, and daily make muffins, pancakes, and bread for my gluten-intolerant kids with it. Whole wheat flour too! It’s just wonderful information for those who have been avoiding gluten!

The Amazon listing: http://www.amazon.com/Vintage-Remedies-Guide-Jessie-Hawkins/dp/1938206010/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345150330&sr=8-1&keywords=vintage+remedies+guide+to+bread

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18 Mare August 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm

My husband has celiac so this was very interesting and exciting for us! Thanks for sharing!

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19 Torey August 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Thanks for sharing this. My daughter has celiac and I discovered I was gluten sensitive after going GF for a number of months (and then trying gluten again).

The article was very interesting, although it does paint GF eating with some broad (and inaccurate) brushstrokes. I feel our diet has been much healthier since we have been GF…we eat less carbs overall, more veggies, and a greater variety of grains (brown rice, quinoa, GF oatmeal). Whereas before our diet was the typical American diet of wheat for breakfast (cereal), lunch (sandwiches), dinner (pasta). Back in the day I thought if you ate something whole wheat that made it healthy. . now I know that healthy eating goes way beyond grains of any kind.

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20 sarah August 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm

we are gf in our house due to celiac disease for me…i am keeping our little guy that way, and at two and a half, he is doing just fine. has tons of energy and eats the gf food with no trouble. we are finding it easier and easier to get gf things in most big chain grocery stores as well as restaurants that take the time to make special gf menus.

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21 Kim August 16, 2012 at 9:02 pm

We knew something was wrong with our daughter when she was just 1 yr/old. She would frequently become anxious before a bowel movement and was uncomfortable being hugged and cuddled. :(.

It took years of visits with various pediatricians to finally find an answer: gluten intolerance. We had tried using a daily laxative to help with the anxiety (though she wasn’t constipated), eliminated dairy, took her for x- rays, etc. Ultimately, completely eliminating gluten was the miracle cure. It did take almost 6 months for us to feel that she was “cured”, and that her body was fully healing.

We never did do a full Celiac screening, which we were told would mean a blood test and intestinal biopsy. No way were we going to put her through that when we were seeing such positive changes. The ped said that the confirmation of the tests is more for the family — it can be hard to change dietary habits! However, it just wasn’t that hard for us. Our daughter felt great and enjoyed being hugged and squeezed and tickled!

I am excited to read this article as it seems our whole family can benefit from using sourdough and other ancient grains. Like the pastry chef at Tartine, I have been wary to try them. In the meantime, our whole family has benefitted immensely from going gluten free. More energy, clearer heads, weight stabilization, fewer cravings and crashes. There are so many good things to eat and ways to be creative in the kitchen — even desserts! Flourless chocolate cake, macaroons, puddings, baked fruit and crumbles/crisps. The only thing my daughter says she misses are baguette and an occasional croissant. Maybe we will find a sourdough version?

Thank you for sharing this article, Gabby!

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22 Dale Coykendall August 17, 2012 at 5:36 am

very interesting, thank you
Dale

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23 everton terrace August 17, 2012 at 7:58 am

I live this, sometimes hard to navigate, GF life as well. It’s better now than when I first discovered my intolerance, but as one person said, very difficult when travelling – which I do quite often. The article was interesting and has lead me on a search about sourdough bread now :)
I have discovered Johanns bread in CA, which I think is pretty good. I pick up a freezer full of loaves when I’m there. Would love to be able to get that Santa Monica sourdough there.
I think anything that gets us talking about and paying attention to nutrition and health is a good thing. Thanks for the post.

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24 Marian August 17, 2012 at 8:23 am

While living in Germany, I noticed that the bakeries there all offered bread from a variety of grains like spelt, millet, barley and oats. And when I had a baby and was looking for baby cereals – likewise, they had all these grains available for baby food, too. Even in the fruit puree jars, they add grains to help with digestion. I wonder what the gluten intolerance rate is there….

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25 karen August 17, 2012 at 8:33 am

It’s amazing how many conditions can be traced back to gluten intolerance…most inflammatory and auto-immune disease in fact.

If you do not have Celiac, it may take quite a while to figure out that it is gluten intolerance/sensitivity, as it slowly affects your immune system—a small but steady progression to a problem.

Thanks for this post Gabrielle!

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26 Caroline Armelle August 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

Yes! I read this article too last week, and I found it very interesting since my husband was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance about 5 years ago. He had side effects for about 5 years before that, until a dermatologist finally linked it to gluten.

All so interesting!

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27 amy August 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm

No way would I eat that bread. I have celiac–I suspect I had it for well over a decade before it was diagnosed, despite seeing a nutritionist and a gastroenterologist during that time. There is no safe wheat for a celiac. Articles like this just dilute that message, in my opinion. Did you know somebody could have celiac and be asymptomatic? So eating bread that doesn’t cause symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not doing unseen damage. More than two years after going gluten free, and the test that measures my body’s “anti-self” antibodies–that is, the measure of damage done–is *almost* normal. More than two years of no gluten at all, and I’m almost back to baseline. There is no way I would mess with that for a slice of bread.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the way in which grain is grown and processed has contributed to celiac disease, but once you get to that point, it doesn’t matter, really. There’s no going back, so I just focus on what I *can* eat, not on what I can’t, and I focus on the fact that I finally realized what was wrong and am now caring for my body properly, and it doesn’t require horrible medications to treat this, just paying attention to what I eat. Logistically, it can be challenging, but I have three kids and my health is more important than being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want.

(Also? Seven loaves of bread for a family for a week?? That is a LOT of bread!)

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28 Amy August 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Two years ago I began to be constantly sick. Tired, brain fog, depression. I slept constantly. Took the 95 food allergy panel and BINGO. Gluten was the biggie. I can tolerate minimal dairy and no eggs. At first I was pretty shocked and awed and sad. But it wasn’t hard to change like I thought it would be. We eat great, I feel GREAT and I also lost ten pounds.

Try http://www.julesglutenfree.com. Amazing flour you do not have to add anything to. Great cookie mixes, cornbread, etc., all gluten free.

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29 Erin August 21, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Okay, I have some important thoughts on the subject. If it’s all about us eating this crazy fake wheat bread stuff, why do some people not have a problem? Really, this is important to consider. Weston Pricers says it’s because we’re not eating real bread. Paleo people say it’s because humans aren’t meant to digest grains. Well then why can so many people eat it and have no problems? Why can they live to be 100 and disease free? I know, disease is on the rise, but why are some people healthy? We attribute it all to genetics, but I thoroughly believe it is not. Our bodies make us healthy, but it’s not our GENES that do so. It is our gut flora. That’s why probiotic stuff helps. We inherit our flora from our mothers who may or may not have been lacking. Nature used to keep humans healthy w/ survival/reproduction of the fittest, but not anymore. Unhealthy human beings are reproducing unhealthy offspring. Not to mention antibiotics killing off our gut flora. Natural health has been all about killing candida for some time now. We’re on the right track. But really, to be totally healthy, you should be able to eat EVERYTHING and have no reactions. Even if you pig out on pizza you should feel good, just like your neighbor next door does. You see? All of this eating raw stuff or eating paleo stuff is just a CRUTCH to mask symptoms. Go off the diet, and you will feel bad, which means you are NOT healed. Stop eating this bread, and you will feel bad, which means you are not healed. It helped you feel better, and perhaps even helped your gut flora somewhat, but you are NOT healed until you can eat whatever and feel fine, just like that oober healthy person you know. Make sense.

I have been on this gut healing path for a little over a year. For several years I was into natural health, but I realized this idea of true health 14 months ago, and have basically been chasing the fountain of youth ever since. I did the GAPS diet for a year. It was interesting, but I don’t think it’s quite right. Now I am doing Unique Healing. It is too early to say if it is right, but it makes sense to me. If I ever do get completely healed, I will be announcing it to the world.

Anyway, just a new way to look at things.

PS I eat 99.99% perfectly (no exaggeration). Not saying it doesn’t help to eat well. Just saying your body is what makes your healthy, NOT so much what you eat (though it can tear down your body over time). You know the saying “You are what you eat?” The GAPS viewpoint is “You are what you absorb.” That’s how my son tested to have a potassium deficiency even though he ate 3 bananas a day. Unique Healing’s perspective is “You AREN’T what you excrete.” If your bowel isn’t healthy enough to poop out the acids/toxins in your body, they stick around to cause damage. I am believing this right now. Raw food is alkalizing, so people feel good with it. But it doesn’t eliminate toxins, and if you stop the diet, you feel bad again. You aren’t healed. It was just a crutch to mask symptoms.

K I’m done.

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30 Todd O. September 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm

I just wants to thank everyone for your excellent, impassioned and thoughtful comments on my article. And to Erin, this last commenter, I think you may really be onto something.

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