The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 19 November 2017

Pantries and Preparedness. Grain free with Laine.

A couple of weeks ago I shared how I am experimenting with not eating grains in an effort to rid myself of pretty bad aches and pains.  I wrote about that here with help from Cookie.

I am up to week seven now with no grains at all.  I no longer have aching legs, arms, joints... I wake up feeling much better in the mornings,  I have a lot more energy and I actually FEEL LIKE exercising and am walking or swimming everyday.  And even then... no pain!

This experiment has worked so well for me I cannot see myself ever eating grains again.  I had a week of pain after eating seeds so I got a great big reminder of what it feels like.  I was miserable. It was just awful.  So no grains and no seeds.    And I don't care a bit.  The way I feel is so drastically different it is worth it!

The photos today are from Rachel. She got chickens! 
She sent me this series of pictures to show me.
Each time she said "chickie chickie" they pretty much said they were too busy to pose for photos! 
It became a little story that reminded me very much of Winnie the Pooh!
They are gorgeous and funny!

Now this is not for everyone.  But I am sharing in case it does help someone.  If you suffer pain, inflammation, chronic disease or exhaustion then read up on foods that are natural anti inflammatories
and suggestions that might be worth trying.  I found it only took five days to know it worked. This was a small investment of time and effort for such big results. It cost nothing.  I just had to get organised!   Several of my good friends helped me very much.   One of them was Laine who many of you know so well!

Back in the days of Laine's Letters she was very interested in health and eating natural foods.  She has helped me a lot and was another voice that encouraged me to try what I thought was quite radical... going grain free.

Today we get an insight into Laine's diet and reason for her making many changes.

Over to Laine...

Dear Sisters,
I just celebrated three years grain free! And I say celebrated because going grain free has reduced pain considerably in my gut and bladder, for I suffer with a condition known as Interstitial Cystitis ( IC) which often stems from problems within the gut. I read a fascinating book called Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall years ago which shares how she helped her daughter with gut issues through a grain free diet. But it was more than just going grain free, it was eating specific carbohydrates (as stated in the book) to help the gut soothe and heal, and to bring down inflammation; that inflammation, in turn, aggravates the body to create other conditions -many of them autoimmune- as in my case with IC. The diet is called The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). 

Unfortunately, just implementing the SCD diet did not solve all of my problems. I had to keep a copious amount of notes on my diet to learn that in the confines of the SCD diet I could not tolerate dairy, honey, anything fermented, nightshades, or very little fruit. Nor could I tolerate too much raw of anything. It has been a very slow climb back to feeling normal, but well worth all the prayers and effort to be out of daily pain and aggravation. I thank the Lord daily for the food He has given me to eat. I really enjoy my diet so much. I had to learn how to cook many new things, but even my grandkids love my food! 

Here was my menu yesterday :

Breakfast: pot of light tea
                   1/2 c coffee with cashew cream
                   1 egg and lentil flatbread with a big side of kale chips 
                    6 roasted pecans, 1 frozen kiwi slice, and 1 blueberry cashew cookie

Lunch: chicken breast soup with lots of green beans and navy beans
             Light Tea with 1 warm blueberry cashew cookie and 2 T banana vanilla N'Icecream on top, 6 roasted pecans, 2 Brazil nuts, 1 fresh ginger tea

Dinner: Poor Man's  Stew with carrots and rutabagas, lots of kale chips,
              6 roasted pecans, 1/2 small Apple, 1 blueberry cookie, and 1  fresh ginger tea

I am not on any medicines. I take the tiniest pinch of a probiotic as prescribed by my Chinese practitioner. I have been with her for six years now, and she has been a great help in getting my IC stable. I ask her before trying new foods so as not to upset my IC condition. Unfortunately, I didn't ask her about a change to an under eye cream which sent me into a very painful flare that lasted over two weeks this past April. So what goes on my body is as important as what goes into my body, which is why I keep a lot of notes to connect all the dots. 

The good news out of all the trials of gut problems, IC, plus  painful arthritis and rosacea -besides it being nonexistent at this time- is that I have been able to help others in my family. My granddaughter is benefitting greatly on the SCD diet without nightshades or dairy too. She is two years old and has been suffering from excema and severe mood swings coupled with joint pain and mouth pain. It's so good to see her thriving on the version that works for her in the diet.

Perhaps someone reading this has been suffering for some time with debilitating symptoms. My symptoms were bad for many, many years. I didn't want to take pain meds to cause further damage down the road, so I had to get to the root cause and change a lot of my diet over time to see success. Hippocrates said, "Food is medicine, and medicine is food" could not be more true, even after all these many, many years. For months I wrote down the food I ate on the days I felt good. It took me weeks and weeks to get 4-5 good days. I took those "good day notes" and set them next to each other. This is how I realized what foods my body liked and what became the basis of my diet. I built upon those foods slowly as I healed. 

I have tried adding in oats or brown rice this year in small amounts, but it didn't go over very well. So presently I am still on the SCD diet and very happy. My weight is normal , sleep is good, hair and nails healthy, and energy is great. The best is no pain where I had pain for so many years. How I thank God! He has taught me so much. I am so very grateful.

"Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers." 3 John 2

Yes, yes, yes!


Thank you Laine for writing this for us.  As well she has helped me so much as I have asked her so many questions.  How lucky I am to have her as a teacher once again!  (and how amazing is life sometimes that this could even happen...) 

If you were to Google Laine's disease you will find it is very painful.  This is entirely different to what Cookie suffers and yet both of them have so much relief.  This is what made me prepared to try it.  Both Laine and Cookie lead wonderful lives and without the pain of their illness, this has to tell you something.  

From Laine's advice I have found a food diary very helpful.  I have had times where I would swear I had not done anything different but felt pain creep back in.   But the food diary means I can check, see patterns and be reminded of what I have actually eaten.   From this I have found I get pain sneak back in my joints after days I ate cashew nuts!   So this has been very helpful.

Many times we have some idea of what agrees with us and what doesn't.  But life gets in the way,  food is very tempting, we are busy looking after other people....  but the best thing we can do for our families is be as fit and health as we can and be there!   

I hope you have a good new week! 
I have been going through my present cupboard, I have stuff everywhere!  But I have enough for December and January Birthdays plus Christmas!  
Our weather has warmed up and we are going to be swimming for a few days in the evenings.  I can swim laps now and have no aches and pains afterwards!  Progress, progress... xxx

Thank you Rachel for the photos! 
Chickens make me happy! 
So do eggs! 


  1. Thank you Laine and Annabel for these wise words! So sorry that you ladies (plus Cookie) had to live in pain. I pray that many will be blessed by your testimonies.
    We have been using high protein breakfasts to help my husband avoid diabetes. It runs in his family and his blood sugar was once high. But praise God, concentrating on protein helps him limit his carbs through out the day.
    I believe the food diary is key. Everyone has a different normal. God wants us to understand our bodies so we can honor His mission for our temples.

    His great blessings on you,

  2. I enjoy blogs so much! I learn new things every day and it is such a treat to be able to read blogs from all over the world!
    I don't write a blog but I read so many! I have MS so my physical ability is somewhat compromised and I stay home a lot but that has become a real treat with all the blogs out there!

    While it isn't easy to change we are learning that we are able to find solutions to many of our health problems with food. What a time of trial and error though! Thankfully it is so much easier to learn of things we might try because of all the blogs and the way they share. They really make you think of things you never would have.

    Last week I saw the following post on making homemade yogurt and thought you might want to try it. I made it this morning and I'm so happy that I did because it is great! I have several yogurt makers but they all make just a little over a quart and I use at least that much each day so I was having to make it every day. Today I made 8 quarts at once!! And it is so unbelievably easy! No electricity and you most likely have what you need right at home. She writes a lot about frugality to so I think you will enjoy her entire blog. Here is the link if you want to check it out.

  3. Dear lovely Laine and Annabel, Rachel and of course chickies.
    Just thank you , if there was a way to say more than thank you I would do it, seven days into not eating cashews, the rashes on my legs are fading fast I mean from full on red lumps to a one patch on each leg. Thank you, I will wear my shorts proudly in summer instead of hiding my legs with skirts. I have started to already.
    Love this post.
    Thanks so much.i love eggs but they do not love me!.
    Love Barb W

    1. Hi Barb,
      Great that the diet changes are making such a positive difference. Eliminating items from our diets and noting the results seems a very good way to go. Very interesting reading about this topic. How are the budgies? Cheers, Jo

  4. I am so pleased you are now feeling better, Annabel. I can't imagine what it must be like to suffer pain from what you are eating. Racheal from our simple living group had a similar problem and wrote about what she has learned about glysophate and its effect on food in this article It is a real concern.

    1. What an interesting article Rachael wrote! I'm only just beginning to study the effects of roundup so this came at a good time. What ghastly stuff...and what horrendous effects.

  5. I am happy to read that you are feeling so much better Annabel. It is amazing what things can affect our health. After changing jobs earlier this year I was able to go off medication that I had been taking for heartburn and acid reflux.

  6. Thankyou Annabel, and thankyou Laine for this post. I saw a Chinese practitioner about ten years ago, and likewise, found it life changing. I was permanently exhausted and suffered chronic back and muscular-skeletal issues from being the primary carer of my disabled son. I could not believe what a difference simple dietary changes made, and as you say Annabel, within a very short space of time. Wonderful advice. Mimi xxx

  7. Dear Annabel and Laine,
    Thank you so much for this post. I've been totally grain and seed free for 8 months now and the rewards have been phenomenal. I feel so blessed to be out of pain, have clear skin as I have had psoriasis never knowing that its flares were contingent on gut health, as well as so many other benefits. Blessings, Cookie. P.S. As always, I love Rachel's photography. The chicks are so cute.

  8. Laine, I remember reading once that you had Celiac Disease. Since I have that condition, I thought you might have something to say about it. The gluten free diet is a little different than what you describe.

    1. Dear Carole, I can answer in part... I know that Cookie and Laine had great improvements with going GF. They were both GF for quite some time. But both were on it for reduction in their symptoms and pain and trying grain free made even bigger results. With Celiac disease you may not have other issues just gluten itself. A simple way to go GF is just to go grain free but you might still enjoy some things and be well on them. If I went GF it would do me no good as I appear to react to the grain itself rather than the gluten only. I should have known this as I never could eat oats at all or barley. Being GF is less restrictive than grain free that is for sure but I am not finding it hard at all now which is surprising really! Im not sure if that helps! With love

    2. Gluten free means not eating anything with wheat, oats, barley and that includes malt products or rye. Gluten is in many things and one can be "glutened" if something is processed in facilities that process any of these products. Nannie

  9. Thank you Annabel and Laine and Rachel for the beautiful chicken pictures! I have been diagnosed with having an allergy to all meats and am trying to work my around this. I'm thinking a food diary such as you and Laine mentioned would be of help. This is an encouraging post, thank you!

    1. I am so sorry to hear that. I lived like that for years and it is so hard. I did find that I could eat buffalo but it is hard to find. Publix used to carry it.

  10. Thank you Laine and Annabel for sharing this wisdom with us!

    I hope you will share lots of pictures of what’s in your present cupboard and how you’re grouping things together!

  11. I am glad you ladies are feeling better. I walked the food intolerance road for 27 years and after working with an alternative medicine practitioner am healed of being intolerant of all foods. I can eat anything again!

    Some things that I learned along the way are that anyone with food intolerance and gut issues should be checked for intestinal parasites. This is not something anyone talks about and is considered to be third world country but they are extremely common and and so easy to pick up. Unfortunately they are difficult to diagnose because they stay high in the small intestine and eat all the good food coming out of the stomach. Yes, gross because then they poop in your body. But, apparently I had them for a long time which was a huge cause of my gut issues and food intolerance. Add to that the fact there is an epidemic of pin worms in the USA right now because the pharmaceutical company who makes the good drug to kill them has pulled it off the market to keep from losing their patent and having it go generic. It took three months for me to be clear of the parasites and I was immediately hugely better and my foods started to come back.

    Another thing to consider is the pH of the body. Eliminating grains and with that often comes a reduction in sugar consumption which lowers the pH. If the body was acid and the diet change caused the pH to balance it may be assumed that the elimination of the food was the reason when it could just be the change in pH. Most people have never even considered this but having an acid body does cause all kinds of problems. You can purchase pH test strips to test your saliva. Alfalfa is very helpful in getting the pH back in balance along with diet and eating raw foods daily.

    I learned to not eat foods repetitiously because that could bring on another intolerance. I also learned to be suspicious of any food that I felt I needed to eat every day or meal because that is a way that the body copes with an intolerance.

    One way to test foods without making your self really ill is to take your pulse, put 1/4 t. of the food under your tongue and hold it for 3 minutes and then retest your pulse. If your pulse changes more than 10 up or down then you probably are intolerant of it. I found this method to be fairly reliable for me and was much better than making myself ill over and over.

    When reintroducing foods that I had not eaten sometimes for decades I found that my body did have to go through a period of adjustment to it. I learned that feeling 'off' was not necessarily a reaction but just the body way of re-acclimating itself. I needed to eat the food three times for it to relearn that food.

    Hope this information is of help to someone.

    1. Lana, thank you for this information!

    2. Thankyou Lana, that is very interesting to read. I remember going to a health talk and we were all tested for our Ph level and most were on the acidic side but one lady had perfect PH and she was very slim, and ate a lot of asparagus.
      Years ago I was havign migraines daily and my chiro asked me to bring in small amounts of 6 foods I ate daily and liked , and then he tested me and the main culprits were oranges especially rind ,dried fruits and to a lesser degree chocolate. I then had to abstain form those 3 foods for 6 weeks , and introduce one of those foods alone for one week and if that caused no migraines then the second food for a week and so on. And that stopped the migraines then. Stress was also involved as it was pre Christmas.
      I became more aware after that of indulging in one or other of foods too much, not to say I dont relapse now and then;-) Take care , love Maria x

    3. Dear Lana, Something you said clicked... if I really crave something and as you say feel I have to have it at every meal... that has turned out to be something I shouldn't be having at all! So this can be a clue. Thank you for your help, with love

  12. It is always good to hear from Laine!

    My daughter and two close friends are now on either all grain free diets or modified grain free (I think all three can eat oats). I was talking to my daughter today about how grains grown in the U.S. are mostly GMO and hard for some people to tolerate.

  13. Wonderfull going grain free has been so successful for you Annabel, my hubby is a carpenter in constant pain in his muscles so I am going to try him grain free most gf bread mixes seem to have some grain component tho so it’s going to be a big effort to fill his work esky grain free. He usually has a meal of leftovers to heat up so that part is ok but he loves peanut paste sandwiches unfortunately. He is always happy to try anything if it will help him so as of today I will start to research.....thank you Annabel. Sharlene Salmon

    1. Dear Sharlene, I hope it could help your husband! If he is in pain in his muscles try him on magnesium. This seems to be one I see coming up all the time for muscle pain. Also separately (like allow time so you can tell what is working and what is not) try grain free for a week. I think you know fairly fast ... for lunch boxes if he likes peanut butter the cookies I make are 1 cup sugar, one egg, one cup peanut butter, thats it bake on lowish temp until a bit golden. They are good and no grain. Also I make crustless quiche in muffin tins or use a slice of ham instead of pastry, sliced ham and cheese, chicken drumsticks, that kind of thing. It is worth a try I feel so sorry for anyone with daily pain. Especially when also trying to work and keep going. I sure hope something clicks that helps. Good luck! He is lucky to have a wife who will help trying things. With love

    2. Peanuts could be the cause of his pain. My late Father in law had constant pain in his shoulders until I convinced him to stop eating handfulS of peanuts every day. His pain cleared right up. Peanuts are very high in mold which causes the problem for some.

  14. I am so very happy to hear that you, Cookie and Laine are all finding relief from your pain following these diets. That is wonderful! I went gluten free for about 3 months years ago and it did not make a difference but I have discovered that hazelnuts really do a number on me. They actually make me nauseas. I tried going dairy free also...that did not work either. I am however trying to add more anti inflammatory foods into my diet and am cutting out more and more fats and "rich" foods that cause my intestinal system distress.

    1. Dear Debbie, Nuts seem to be a common one Im glad you found this out. It is helpful once we know. Gluten free wouldnt work for me since it is the grain itself that I seem to get problems from. You have narrowed it down with trying the dairy and it is really good you can still have dairy. I feel lucky I seem to be ok on it too (so many nice things!)
      It is a process. Laines food diary idea has been helping me figure a few things out. When we are feeling better it is amazing! I hope you find what makes you feel the best, with love

  15. Thankyou Annabel, Laine and Cookie and Lana and other bluebirds, pleased for you all to have found pain relief through diet.
    The photos are lovely also , with Racheals little chickies. My daughter got two little miniature bunnies recently for the kids and boy they are cute. I watched one the other night hopping and flinging herself around like a spring lamb, enchanting to watch and they are so pretty too.
    Happy health to all ! Love Maria xxx

  16. Thanks Annabel. I'm so pleased to hear of the success you and Cookie are having by eliminating gluten. I know my chronic migraines (up to 12 a month) increase when I have sugar or yeasted bread and nightshades.
    Another thing we discovered is that my 15 month old granddaughter cannot tolerate dairy - she got a rash that wouldn't go away and since about 4 mo looked very overweight. My daughter took her off all dairy and all the bloating disappeared along with the rash. She dropped from a size 2 (at 1yo) back to a size 1 because her huge tummy disappeared. She was put on almond milk and seemed fine except she was becoming angry and violent, always hitting and biting. I found a comment on Sue Dengate's site where a mother told how almond milk made her child aggressive. My daughter replaced the almond milk with brown rice milk and overnight all Cully May's aggression vanished! She went back to being a happy sweet natured toddler. It's amazing the difference to a life when a food intolerance is discovered.

  17. I found the SCD diet as well, a few years ago. I have celiac disease and an auto immune disease called collagenous colitis. This diet has changed my life. Before starting this diet I had chronic diarrhea and joint pain. Now the joint pain is gone as well as the diarrhea. God is good.


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