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I Eat Bread, and I’m Doing Just Fine

By July 8, 2017Eat, Nutrition, Think

If you don’t know me that well,

you wouldn’t know that I used to maintain a nasty attitude towards bread. After a while, this angry demeanor regarding an inanimate food object not only annoyed me, but my family and friends, most of which quietly kept their mouths just when I went on rants about why bread was “bad” for us. Once I became far too invested in Paleo dieting, I announced that I’d never eat bread again because it was ‘bad for me’ and ‘didn’t make me feel well’. Over the last year, I’ve learned that my original ‘I can’t have bread’ excuses are complete lies, and they’re humorous to me now. 

LET’S BREAK IT DOWN: 

1) “Bread is bad for me.”

This was my secret, easy code for: “I believe bread will make me gain weight and that it will completely obliterate and annihilate my digestive system, and therefore I will be a ruined human being forever. But mostly, I care that I think this bread will make me gain weight and therefore I will not eat bread.” 

Of course, no one knew this whole reason during my rigid, “healthy” Paleo dieting phase. 

Since experimenting with breads of all shapes, sizes, and ingredients, I’ve learned that eating a piece of toast with jam or a slice of pumpkin bread does not “make me gain weight”, and furthermore, who the hell cares?! Reintroducing grains into my diet and eating them whenever I desire has brought me so much freedom, sanity, and happiness, all of which are far more important to me than any biologically normal and healthy weight fluctuations that may happen over the course of, oh, I don’t know, my joyful and fulfilling life. 

Here I am, holding a new loaf of bread, at the farmer's market in Palo Alto 

2) “Bread makes me not feel well.”

This one was total bull-shit. For my body, at least. Now, if eating bread-FREE makes you happier and makes you feel well, that’s cool. It’s awesome that you know this about yourself. I have some lovely friends in my personal life and people who I know from Instagram that keep bread out of their diets because their digestive systems really do have trouble processing gluten and gluten-free grains.

However, I personally used this as an excuse to keep bread out of my diet. I wanted to avoid all of the questions from friends and relatives as to why I was skipping the stuffing at Thanksgiving, the garlic bread at the restaurant, and the cake at the birthday party. I found that when I told people that I was intolerant to gluten, they accepted that excuse and skipped a longer inquisition. 

Does this mean eating an entire loaf of gluten-filled pumpkin bread make me feel like a badass unicorn that can take on the world and fly? No…but neither does eating an entire jar of almond butter, or a gigantic steak.

I’ve learned that for my body, a slice of pumpkin bread, an English muffin, or a cashew butter and jelly sandwich does not wreak havoc on my digestive system, and that I shouldn’t use the ‘it doesn’t make me feel good’  excuse as to why I’m not eating it. That is a real, legitimate reason for some people, including some of my best friends, and I no longer want to employ it as an excuse when, in total honesty, it does not apply to me. 

 

No MindBodyGreen “sugar free week” is going on over here because justified restriction & undercover dieting are not my things anymore (I think the IG stories I made about this are still alive if you click my prof picture)โœŒ๐ŸผInstead, I want to tell you more about this avocado TOAST that I had this weekend. It came on a beautifully thick piece of sourdough bread with arugula, garlic, lemon zest, a drizzle of olive oil, & radicchio. That’s my deeelicious pineapple kombucha in the back, and Michelle / @healthfulbites gave me her plain piece of toasted bread. Give me all the GLUTEN! @theplantcafeorganic ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’• #HannahEatsGluten #WholesomeGoesWest #WholesomelyHannah

A post shared by hannah | almond butter guru (@wholesomelyhannah) on

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU?

Unless our reactions to gluten and gluten-free products are physically and physiologically negative and we notice positive changes by removing grains, what are we truly doing by keeping bread (and pasta, and muffins, and doughnuts) out? I encourage you to think about this.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to totally change your diet from what it is now, but reflecting on our individual food behaviors can be an interesting, and oftentimes very beneficial, exercise. Eating can and should be an intuitive, personal experience, but it’s hard for it to be that way when new “health” Instagram accounts keep popping up telling us to eat X foods and cut out Y ingredients. You do YOU, friend; listen to your body and your thoughts when eating and cooking. No one else’s. In doing this, you will be able to best figure out what foods work for you and what foods don’t. In my case, I learned that bread does work (quite wonderfully, actually) for me, but I hadn’t believed that in the past because of “health” advice-givers on the internet who told me I’d be better off without it.

We’ve been put on this Earth to learn, grow, and experiment; I challenge you to go out and do just that with food! 

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Author Hannah Liistro

Hannah is a third-year at Northeastern University in Boston. A yogi, chocolate & coffee lover, and grocery store aficionado, she writes recipes, college advice, and skincare reviews on wholesomelyhannah.com (@wholesomelyhannah on Insta).

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