Thursday, July 8, 2010

Too Much Flour

I must admit. I kind of cut loose on vacation in the food department. While we did bring in all kinds of healthy food to Block Island and we didn't drop the ball with dinners and veggies, it wasn't quite the same as eating at home.

I have a well stocked pantry at home where I keep nuts and Larabars and healthy snacks. I have yogurt on hand and oatmeal at all times. But with limited space in our city car, I couldn't bring the entire refrigerator with us to the Island. So we definitely went out and bought our fair share of Goldfish crackers, bagels, muffins and hot dogs. Even if most of it was locally baked and 'high-quality', what really got me was all the flour.
I didn't realize it, but I don't usually eat alot of flour. And I mean all flour, I am not just bashing white flour here. I will eat pasta once or twice a week, and of course my homemade pizza. I do get a hankering for a bagel once a month or so, and my City Bakery croissants are really a substance that should be controlled by the DEA. So I do eat flour. I love my flour products and I have no intention of going flour free (for now). But to go from eating flour foods maybe 6-8 times per week to 3-4 times per day? That is where I got into trouble.

On vacation we would have bagels for breakfast, Goldfish crackers (more on that later, yipes!) for a snack, sandwiches for lunch and pretzels for a snack in the afternoon. A few days of that and I was in a bad way. My tummy is still a little upset, I was very full, but constantly hungry and my energy is pretty low. I cannot wait to detox and get back to whole grains and raw veggies. I was never anti-carbs. I have always loved potatoes and embraced pasta. But after a week of changes from the norm and I could see it clearly. All this flour was really a problem. Eating potatoes never makes me feel like this.

There are people still that do not think that obesity is related to our exorbitent sugar and flour intake as a country (or perhaps they just haven't publicly admitted it), but I am completely convinced that it is as a result of just a week of change from my normal diet. I am so used to my body running at top efficiency, slow downs as a result of something I can control like diet is not acceptable. I recently read an article that I think summed it up pretty well. Dr Michael Roizin wrote for ivillage that "White made from wheat grain that has been stripped of the outer shell and germ. Why is this a bad thing? When you eat breads and pastas from this type of wheat-also called enriched, bleached, unbleached, semolina or durum-or rice flour, your body quickly converts this carbohydrate to sugar in your bloodstream. Your brain likes the feel-good rush of the sugar and sends out the message, more, more more!" That is EXACTLY what I felt like after eating too much floury stuff.

I am going to limit my flour intake more than normal this week to get back to feeling like myself. I am even thinking that I should upgrade from the 'half-white' or brown flour I have been buying and go to full on whole wheat. I have been a little nervous because so many people have told me that you can't use exclusively whole wheat in most applications. But to heck with that. I suppose I should just try it and see what I think!
I will report on my findings later. Uggh. I can't wait to get back to normal. Next year I am packing more yogurt and no more Goldfish!!!!

1 comment:

  1. To bake bread with 100% whole wheat flour, all you need to do is add vital wheat gluten, to help the bread rise. Vital Wheat Gluten is pretty inexpensive (I buy Hodgson Mill 6.5 ounce boxes), and should not be confused with vital wheat gluten Flour, which doesn't do anything for your bread, but is quite expensive. Typically you add about 4 teaspoons per loaf of bread.
    I don't know if the same ratio would apply to other baked goods, but someone else out there probably does! Happy Eating!