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Grain Free for Over a Year

It has been over a year since we began on our Primal/Paleo journey, going grain free, sugar and dairy free etc.  Our teen the most affected by acne has not eaten grain bread in all that time! You may remember after reading Loren Cordain’s Dietary Cure for Acne we embarked on this journey to help rid our teens of acne.

In the beginning we began most enthusiastically, the whole family, all at once.  Well some were more enthusiastic than others;)  We were eating no processed foods, we were eating real food; plenty of meat, seafood, eggs, lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and omega 3 fats.  We weren’t eating; white potatoes, grains, sugar, dairy, legumes and omega 6 fats.  After a few months some of these food groups began creeping back in, albeit on a small scale, for some family members.  A lack of preparation and the expense for a large family were my excuses.  However throughout the year the teen the most effected has been very diligent and only eaten grains by error.

Menu planning is essential and at first takes a lot of research and organisation. Dinner meals are the easiest to plan for but you must not only plan meals but plan snacks for hungry, growing children.  This I found a challenge and breakfasts.  Finding treats for birthdays is difficult, anything that does not contain wheat contains corn.  You must thoroughly read labels, after a few months of being very diligent and wondering why the acne was not improving as well as expected, we discovered that the stock cubes being used twice weekly contained wheat!    The hardest area for us to eliminate and the first food group to ‘sneak’ back in was white potatoes.  Not only do we love these vegetables, they are cheap.  Eliminating dairy was not difficult as we were previously vegans for nine years, hence buying so much more meat does seem very surreal.  We have continued being legume free and we still only use Omega 3 fats. (We use Extra Virgin and Extra Light Olive Oil)  All our shared meals continue to be grain free, and I’m currently searching for an alternative to sugar for our snacks.  Cost is more when you are trying to support two lifestyles, partially real foodsand partially some processed foods, over the year I have been discovering ways in which to bring our expenses down.

Have we met our original intent?  When we stick to the Paleo diet then skin improves dramatically.  We have discovered different grains affect each teen to varying degrees.  One is severely affected by wheat, moderately by rice, corn and oats.  Another flares up at oats far quicker than wheat.  Dairy and sugar effect to a lesser degree but they still have an impact.  As we only ever eliminated potatoes for a few months, the months where we were still unsuspectingly having wheat, we are unsure of the starch effect.

TheAlong the way we also discovered other benefits.  When we started this lifestyle I was pregnant with Bass and 38 years old.  It was my best pregnancy, I had no heartburn, no lethargy and no mood swings, I was so sang-froid it was hilarious.  When I follow the Paleo diet I have far more energy, am calm, lose weight rapidly and my brain is sharp.  Angela has asked for company on the Whole 30 Day challenge and I’m joining in.  This time I’m focusing on me, and I’ll slowly bring the whole family along for the journey as I tweak the areas that need adjusting.

If you are interested in reading more about the effects of a Standard American/Australian diet and ways in which to address this I recommend reading; Wheat Belly – William Davis, Why We Get Fat- Gary TaubesEveryday Paleo – Sarah Fragoso and Comfort Foods – Julie Mayfield or check out the authors blogs or any of the many Paleo, grain free, sugar free blogs.

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  • JOYfilled Family

    congrats on the 1 year mark.

    my family has adopted a primal lifestyle. it has been an answer to prayers and although, i'm no where near 100%, i am experiencing great benefits. i've posted about my journey at

    i pray that my family be given the graces to continue to make this a permanent lifestyle change.

    i'll be certain to checkout the whole 30 day challenge.

    ALL FOR!

  • Erin

    So excited to find another family:) Love your blog and really thrilled about your food blog. Have added both to my reader:) Look forward to journeying with you:)

  • Gae

    Dear Erin,
    I am always interested in these but like you cost and ease of use are important.
    Trying to add this research to my other stuff too
    Love Gae

  • Erin


    I'm considering writing a monday menu link up (actually I'm hoping another dear friend will host;) with recipes to share how large families do it. This would help immensely I feel to beginning.

    as the year has progressed I have found I have reduced my grocery bill, it is all about what we eat, planning the cheaper meal.

    ease of use, well you bake from scratch, cook a family breakfast, so for you, you're already not choosing the easiest way.

  • Cinnamon

    Erin~ Thank you for your visit and encouragement. I'm going to carve out some time to read your back posts about your journey. I am encouraged. Thank you!!


  • Tracey Mansted

    Hi Erin – wow a year is very impressive! We are just at the end of 8 weeks of the Failsafe diet (also called RPAH Elimination Diet) where we initially eliminated dairy, corn, soy, gluten (had already been gluten free for 18 months), and ate only low salicylate, low amine, low glutamates etc. Then one by one we introduced foods, wrote it all down, then back to the basic diet then tested the next group. Found out some amazing stuff like loads of fruit and vegetables don't suit our tummies and high amines (like cherries, plums, pork, bananas, chocolate) make all the girls here anxious and cranky, and my DH sleepless.
    White potatoes are a staple here and white rice too…and loving stir fried white cabbage! Lamb cutlets for breakfast has been a great find : )

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