flowers & going wheat free


It has been brought to my attention that there are other things that need addressing besides dreamily walking around the yard with your felco’s cutting flowers. I have been told there is laundry to do and bathrooms to clean and meals to prep and a wage to be earned. But who wants any part of that at this time of year?

In other news our whole family has given up wheat for the month of May. This is the third time I’ve done this. I did give up wheat for week in ’08 and then Scott and I gave it up last summer for a few weeks. We found some interesting discoveries last summer when we gave it up, like how Scott’s allergies completely went away and how we both felt lighter. This time we gave it up to see if it could clear up our daughters eternal eczema and help my son’s asthma. We are 14 days into it and while it hasn’t helped her eczema yet, it does seem to have helped with the asthma. And my usual spring time allergy induced sore throat has disappeared. It’s hard though, for us bread eaters to be off of wheat. I haven’t felt as much sacrifice as our kids, especially our 8-year-old (the one with asthma), who thinks this whole giving up wheat is a bunch of hooey. He wants pizza and pasta and bakery pastries and that’s all there is to it.

We’ll give it another couple of weeks and if this doesn’t clear up the eczema we’ll try a dairy free month (oh that somehow sounds even more tortuous than a wheat free month! Especially during hot ice cream season!). Knowing now that wheat really tends to ease our allergies and asthma during the heavy season is a great bit of knowledge going forward. Maybe every spring will become a wheat free time for our family.

Have you ever given up something? Did you see noticeable changes in your body because of it?


Filed under Flowers, what we've learned

27 responses to “flowers & going wheat free

  1. Good luck going wheat free is pretty hard, it’s in almost everything.

    • Kim

      This isn’t about giving up anything, but something that helped a family member with eczema. Try a daily scrubbing with Pert dandruff shampoo. It made a wonderful difference, and no more cortisone cream needed..

  2. We have been gluten-free (no wheat, rye or barley) for many years due to celiac disease. You certainly don’t need to give up breads and other things you love because of it. I use many of the recipes from Jeanine’s “The Baking Beauties” site. They are easy to follow and delicious. They also don’t call for expensive flours, but use the basics that are easy to get. Here is her website.

  3. I started the Daniel Fast ( on Easter and haven’t gone back to wheat since then. Well that’s not true, I have tried it a couple times with painful results. I’ve lived with chronic headaches for years. I’ve always blamed hormones or the weather and for the last 4 years I’ve been struggling with chronic fatigue, joint swelling and general ill feeling. My dr just blames my age, I’m early 40’s and I’ve refused to accept that. I’ve felt pretty good lately without wheat in my diet. I ate wheat a couple times last week and felt like I had been run over by a truck. All the symptoms came back, with a vengeance. After lots of research, I believe that I have a gluten intolerance. I’ve also learned that the wheat protein can take awhile to purge from your system so hang tough with the eczema, it might just take longer to clear the wheat from the system. Have you read Wheat Belly by William Davis M.D.? It’s eye opening. I’m with your son, I thought it was a bunch of hooey too but my body’s proven me wrong. Even though I’m actually mourning bread, I’m determined to stay away from it.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us, I always enjoy your posts.

    • Many people that have problems with gluten also have problems with dairy. Some can resume dairy after they have healed their intestines by going gluten-free for a year or more. Soy could also be a problem. It is a huge step to eliminate the gluten, but if there are still issues, the other food culprits need to be gradually weeded out too.

  4. Cate

    I’ve given up wheat on occassion, and I definitely don’t eat a lot any more (bread is a treat these days). Although I didn’t clock any particular health gains when I gave up, I certainly did notice bloating and excess gas when I went back to eating it. I think it’s like everything, some people are more sensitive than others. Wheat Belly is an interesting book but some have also argued that his evidence is sometimes misleading. Best to do your own experiments I guess!

  5. Kerstin

    Good morning!

    First, I would like to say I really enjoy your pictures of your garden – it helps me stay inspired as I work in my gardens.

    Next, I just thought you might find this article interesting – esp. at the end, where he comments on dairy and gluten jointly…just in case that helps with some information.

    As for replacement meals – check out Elana’s Pantry ( she has some great recipes for things that are baked yet wheat-free. She has teens, but cannot do wheat herself – so she has some great recipes for subs that, as she puts it, get approval from her kids and their friends.

    Good luck with your progress, hope it helps. I ate wheat products over the weekend and noticed my allergies came back with a vengeance, so it definitely helps me to stay wheat-free…and hope it helps you as well.

  6. doro

    it’s a good year now we gave up wheat but we eat spelt and I make everything out of spelt: bread and pizza as well as cookies and cakes, we eat pasta made from spelt or other grains. I noticed though that keeping the amount of refined spelt low is anyway the thing to stick on; as also high amounts of spelt or other grains in diet in the end can irritate on the long way. My daughter is intolerant to wheat, egg and milk and whenever she eats those ingredients she gets a rush which will develop to eczema if she goes on. The thing is that the rush or eczema stays for a while also after she changed diet. After six month without egg I recently introduces them again and it seams she is ok with them now. Anyway I don’t want to exceed
    with them. Milk is special as she can get without any problems milk or any dairy product from grass fed cows, so the are demeter controlled and get only grass all year long, in winter hay and in summer fresh one outside. All other diary products cause her sever rush almost immediately.
    For my feeling you should give eczema more time by going wheat free; when you’ve done a month two weeks more want be that bad but it could be crucial for the results on eczema.

  7. mims

    yes, no wheat for almost three years now. It gets easier with time. My asthma improved dramatically, but did not go away until I gave up corn and fermetned foods. Turns out it was the high histamine in all the kraut, water kefir, pickles etc that helped trigger my rosacea and asthma.

  8. I gave up wheat almost 3 months ago, and don’t really miss it at all., doing that has cleared up my acid reflux and heartburn issues. Wheat is a horrible grain, they have modified it so much it isn’t wheat. If you need help giving up wheat, read “wheatbelly” it is an amazing book, or just google and check it out., but seriously if you really don’t want to give up wheat, DON’T READ THE BOOK! 🙂 love love love your blog.

  9. Heidi T

    Our family went dairy, grain and gluten free. We did this due to eczema and ear infections for one child and tummy issues for the baby. There was A LOT of complaining by the kids but they did adjust! I think the benefits are endless as far as health and just feeling better. We bake with almond and coconut flour and use pure maple syrup or honey for sweetening. We did go through allergy testing but there are no indication of allergies, basically they don’t know what causes eczema. I love your lotions and use them religiously. However, the only thing that has cleared up our sons eczema is Sea Buckthorn oil. I use a few drops and spread it on affected areas or a product called Monkey Balm which has Sea Buckthorn oil in it. I would continue to give up your wheat. There is a lot of research that indicates it’s highly addictive. Good luck and thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures.

  10. Aubrey

    Howdy! I enjoy your blog and have few suggestions for your daughter’s eczema as I have skin issues myself.
    When I have an eczema outbreak DermaE makes a great cream that soothes and clears it up. It’s called Psorzema cream and works on a variety of skin issues, very gentle and soothing.

    To help prevent skin issues, one, I have also reduced my dairy intake and that has been very helpful. No soy milks either since the extra hormones add to other problems, just organic rice or almond milks.
    Two, people with issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc. often have higher level of Staph. aureus on their skin (opposed to the less pathogenic Staph. epidermis). While this is not cause, it’s elevated presence can lead to secondary infections, more inflammation and longer healing time. You can try dilute bleach baths to help clear up the Staph. aureus. The baths aren’t irritating at all and I am not a bleach fan so that is saying a lot 🙂

    Hope this helps your daughter as it has helped me. Best to you and your family.

    • I also stopped eating dairy. I’ve noticed that I have clearer skin now. I also don’t eat soy because of what I’ve read about it. People have said it can cause health problems later in life. One of the problems it can cause is different types of cancer.

  11. Joanna

    For the ones missing goodies: cookbook Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts…all recipes using rice flour (from Authentic Foods in CA)…chocolate chip cookies so good guests ate the gluten-free and left the “normal” cookies…

    For asthma: I was diagnosed in my 40s and HATED everything about it….purely by accident discovered that the elimination of high fructose corn syrup (which is in everything) from my diet also eliminated the asthma…

    Good luck with gluten-free…it’s been almost six years and we feel so much better!

  12. Brittany McDonald

    I have been gluten free for a few months due to celiac. My severe allergies have lightened very much, i have lost about ten pounds, I feel really good too. I still eat pasta, breads, cookies, ect. I use use rice flour, potato flour, ect. It really has been great for me

  13. I am wheat and gluten free in an attempt to clear up skin problems and to deal with my weight and digestive problems. Don’t give up on it too soon. I’m off the mind that humans shouldn’t be eating this icky modern wheat. I suggest the book “Wheat Belly” for you. it’s a good read, and very informative.

  14. I despise anything described as a “lifestyle” or preceded by the word “going”. However, I had to try cutting out wheat at my doctor’s recommendation due to chronic GI problems. So out went everything with gluten, and this is the first year in 23 years that I have had zero allergies AND no GI problems. Oh, and my chronic seborrheic dermatitis cleared up too. One caveat, though: I still like to occasionally eat my husband’s fabulous pizza and on those occasions I take an enzyme pill (found at Whole Foods and at my doctor’s recommendation). This makes all the difference in the world. Thanks for your great blog. My dream is to move to Sonoma when the kids are out of school, so I keep reading your blog and daydreaming.

  15. Gorgeous flowers! And I agree it is very difficult to work and do other stuff when the garden and leisure is calling.
    Last year I went sugar free for months. Probably around six. Wow, it was incredible. I lost the three kilos that were bugging me right away and I felt great. After being very ill this spring I lost weight but I seem to have made up for it way too much and brought the three extra kilos back. So, I have decided to do a month without sugar again. I’ve done it before and I know I can handle the urges. They go away totally pretty quickly.

  16. I’ve toyed with wheat free off and on b/c I’m pretty sure it’s what gives me horrible sinusitis ….. super encouraging to hear that you feel the difference this spring allergy season. Making me realize I should get back into it.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  17. 1. Wheat. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia & chronic fatigure with arthritis in my joints almost 20 years ago. When I am wheat free, I have NO PAIN in my joints & my fibro & chronic fatigue are lessed considerably. I’ve got to get my diet clean again.
    I also used to have chronic sinus infections and no amount of antibiotics or steroids would heal them. Within a week or two of getting off wheat, my 10 year chronic sinus infections went completely away.
    Chronic constipation: I also noticed that my chronic constipation has disappeared with living without wheat. If you think about it, when we were in school, we made paste from flour & water.. Thats what its doing in our guts. Making paste and getting stuck. Yuk! I also eat oatmeal every morning & that keeps things moving daily. After living for 50 years being constipated & in severe pain.. I’ve found a simple way to resolve it.

    2. In my teens & 20s, I had severe gastro-intestinal pain. They were doing colonoscopies in my early 30s but found nothing. By accident (or by the Makers Design) I wasnt able to get my daily allotment of sodas I drank and miraculously I didnt have pain that day nor did I bloat almost 2 sizes larger thru the day.. Turns out it was the soda. I think it was the carbonated water myself because I drink coffee (Caffeine) and I dont have any problems with it.

    3. Salsa, or cooked peppers & tomatoes when eaten at night. Im not sure what the true issue was.. but if I ate anything with peppers or tomatoes at night without taking a benedryl before I went to sleep, I would wake up with a headache very similar to a migraine. They still sneak up on me every once in a while but not as often as they used to. I quit eating most anything tomato based at night.. and if I do, its benedryl for me.

    4. Vinegar.. for some odd reason, I started reacting to vinegar with those same severe morning headaches if I consumed vindgar (vinegar water) the day before. I stayed away from it for a while so it may have resolved itself now. I havent noticed any issues lately.

    Im pushing 52 years old & I’ve had lots of opportunity to listen to my body.. Hopefully it wont take you as long as it did for some of my issues.

    • Heidi T

      Have you been tested for Celiac’s Disease? I’m assuming you have. I have a friend with Celiac who is also sensitive to vinegar. Interesting. Glad you have figured out what foods to avoid so you can feel and live better. It’s amazing how much food impacts the way we feel and functions. I avoid all grains, sugars and dairy and I notice a significant difference in how I feel, sleep and function. It’s not easy though, I love anything with sugar!

      • Hi Heidi, Yes, I’ve been tested many times for celiac by blood test & via a colonoscopy. My endocrinologist told me to consider myself allergic though Im not truly allergic, but because of the way it affects my body I might as well be. I sometimes let it creep back in my diet as I do other things I know I shouldnt.. but yes it is amazing how our bodies speak to us if we’re open to listening. Im not a dairy fan and mostly live without it and always have nor was I ever a big grains eater with the exception of a hamburger here & there or rice occasionally. I probably would do much better without all grains in my diet but I havent managed to commit to that yet.. I keep thinking about it though. 🙂

  18. I find stories like this so interesting! I have found that going dairy free helps my seasonal allergies tremendously! After noticing this last summer, I went on an elimination diet this winter and discovered I have a sensitivity to dairy. While I will not be dairy free forever and always, I like the idea of a taking a dairy hiatus as allergy season looms and return to my cheese loving ways one fall rolls around.

  19. I’m so interested to see how the wheat-free adventure goes for you. Our 8-year-old son was just diagnosed with asthma, and he is truly a breadavore. If the child could eat nothing but bread, he would be thrilled. The medicine seems to help, but I hate for him to rely on inhalers if there’s a different solution. (Personally, I will be so sad if we need to give up wheat–I just ate the most scrumptious homemade bread at our favorite Italian restaurant tonight. Sigh.) Your flowers are just stunning. Good luck on your wheat-free trial!

  20. I’ve tried giving up everything for my migraines over the years and no one thing being eliminated from my diet worked.My mirgaines really are not caused by one thing I would think. It did seem however that the only relief was medication so I took that course but never stopped experimenting other avenues.

    Then at age 50 or so I started getting joint pain and body aches, they were horrible and interfered with my sleep something awful. Again I went to the elimination as my course of action. The result for me was I had to give up soda/caffeine drinks completely. I’m not sure if it was the the additives in the diet soda such as artificial sweeteners, the coffee or tea itself ;but I’m pain free and sleeping like a baby.

    My advice is just give it time and keep on trying and maybe with some luck you’ll find a solution!

  21. I’ve had massive migraines since I was a teenager; that was simply the ‘way things were.’ I’d discuss the migraines with my doctors, but their response was to prescribe heavier and heavier medications. I’d resisted the idea that the migraines were tied to what I was eating, but after a particularly scary incident with the medications, I decided to give this “Gluten-free Thing” a try; after all – it couldn’t hurt.

    The 1st month was hard; the 2nd month was harder. I could taste the muffins and buns I was passing by. By the 3rd or 4th month I realized I’d not had a headache for some time. Well, that was pleasant!! I continued to eat gluten-free. After some time, I realized that the cycle of almost weekly cold sores had ended. Oh, I’ll get a cold sore if I’m out without sunscreen on my lips, but I no longer have the cycling cold sores like I had in the past.

    So, what has it meant for me? No more continuous migraines that cycle and cycle and cycle. No more continuous cold sores. I’ve lost nearly 20 lbs, without the effort of dieting. I no longer crave Coca Cola. I no longer crave breadstuffs. I can pass the sweets because that craving is gone.

    I’m not chained to a gluten-free lifestyle because ‘that’s what I have to do” but I’ve been given the freedom to live life more fully than I ever did before.

    Will this work for everyone? I don’t know. I just know that the changes I made have released me from a prison I didn’t realize I was in. Even my husband, now, will agree he feels better when he eats gluten-free. There are a lot of helps out there that were not available even a few years ago. It’s no longer what I CAN’T DO, but now how I CHOOSE TO Live.

  22. Birgitt

    I gave up soy and I stopped vomiting… Except that soybean oil creeps into all kinds of things where is supposedly isn’t. Like EVOO, most of which is really SOYVO. *sigh*

    The really interesting thing is that most food items that contain wheat/gluten also contain soy – bread, crackers, cookies, pastry, filled pasta like ravioli, soy sauce (obvious that it has soy, less obvious that it has gluten). I often wonder when people tell me it’s gluten, if it isn’t soy instead,

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