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How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Another Way To Be Deliciously Gluten-Free

Post Published: 25 October 2009
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Category: Column, How To Kick Your Thyroid's Ass, Thyroid Nutrition and Health
This post currently has 26 responses. Leave a comment

November marks one year for me, being completely, consciously, deliciously gluten-free.   The improvements in my health really are so marked, and isn’t it funny what a little protein found in a “healthy” grain can do to one’s entire system?  Being gluten-free goes against conventional nutrition because we have been taught that grains, especially whole grains, are essential to good health and wellbeing.   But, I don’t buy it (remember, we’re trying to be nutritionally deviant, which is sexy!!!).   And so, in addition to being gluten-free, I am also grain-free because for me, my research and readings coupled with my personal experience (more energy, less infection, fewer migraines, weight loss and a stable weight, no digestion problems) allow a grain-free lifestyle to just make sense.   So many of you keep in contact with me either via Facebook, Twitter, the Dear Thyroid site itself, or email, and let me know that the same is proving true for you — you feel great, alive, amazing, and your levels finally seem to be balanced.   I love hearing this so much.   For those of you just starting out on your gluten-free (or grain-free) journey or for those who have been living the lifestyle for quite a while now, please keep at it!  It can seem difficult at first and all of your hard work may seem in vain, but in time, chances are, you’ll feel better!  Since I’m only one year in myself, we’re all in this together!

In light of all that, today I’d like to introduce you to one of my newest favorite ingredients: coconut flour.   It’s a flour made from the meat of coconuts, and is therefore, gluten-free and grain-free.   Coconut is, in my opinion, a superfood of sorts.   That is, it contains the substance lauric acid.   Lauric acid is a powerful antibacterial agent and immune booster, which is also found in human breast milk.   Remember, balanced bacteria in the body equals high immunity, and lauric acid consumption can regulate the “bad bacteria“.   It also stimulates the thyroid, which stimulates metabolism, which can equal weight loss.   (PS: You’ll also be receiving the benefits of lauric acid should you use coconut oil, which I do, and is delicious and thyroid-stimulating as well — good news for us hypos, though hypers should moderate their use).

Coconut flour is high in protein, low-carb, and contains fiber as well as other essential vitamins and minerals.   It’s low on the glycemic index which means it won’t spike blood sugar, contribute to weight gain, or leave you feeling fatigued after eating (you know, the way that, conversely, grains do).   And because coconut contains good fats, it will still give you the feeling of fullness and satiety that grains provide without the drop in energy afterward.

Since coconut flour is used as a replacement for grain flours, it’s typically utilized in baking and cooking: cakes, cookies, pancakes, scones, biscuits, crackers, crepes, muffins, brownies, and crusts, to name a few.   It’s also a great replacement for traditional white or wheat flour for breading, bread crumbs, or as a thickener in soups and stews.   A more coarse coconut flour (or even coconut flakes) can be sprinkled on yogurt, thrown into granola, made into trail mix, or blended in smoothies. Really, the possibilities are endless, as are the recipe resources on the internet.   Let us know how your recipes turn out and what you end up concocting!

Purchasing:

  • Tropical Traditions is sort of considered the gold standard in coconut products.   They are what we’d consider “beyond organic” — their family-run business places the health of their consumer and the health of their employees and harvesters as top priority.   Their organic coconut oils and flours are the highest quality.   And, good news for you — they’re actually running a web special until November 1st — buy one, get one free on bags of coconut flour.
  • Dr. Mercola also offers an organic coconut flour via his website’s store.   You can also read his reasons for using the flour — the associated health benefits and the drawbacks to other gluten-filled wheat flours as well as “alternative” flours, such as soy.
  • I have also found coconut flour (and flakes) at my local Whole Foods, or health food store.

Recipe Resources:

  • I’m a big fan of Elana’s Pantry — a great gluten-free, grain-free, and sometimes dairy-free recipe website.   This is the first place I’d direct you in your coconut flour experiments. ,  Several of her recipes call for coconut flour.   They look delicious.

Until Next Week,

Love Always,

Liz

Have a question, comment, story, love letter, or rant/rave to send me?: Liz@DearThyroid.com

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26 Responses to “How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Another Way To Be Deliciously Gluten-Free”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Liz, with every passing week, my love for you grows…not only was I *just* researching alternative flours because I love baking (and as you know, am now dipping my toe in the GF pool), but the top recipe on the Elena’s kitchen site is for zucchini chocolate chip muffins–something I promised my daughter to bake this week. It’s karma or fate, I just know it! Thanks so much, I could never have dared GF without your push and support!

  2. Robyn says:

    Oops, that’s not anonymous, it’s me 😉

  3. Alexia Dunay says:

    coconut flour???? Got to get this.. Liz I am also grain free save wild rice because wild rice really isn’t a grain, it is a grass!

    Your wealth of information is wonderful

  4. Marie says:

    Whoa. What? Wild rice not a grain? Where can I find more info on this? I want to believe you but I’m terrified to try and be wrong.

  5. Marie says:

    I don’t do grains and it’s not just because of the gluten. I just can’t digest them. Even rice. I’m afraid to try wild rice even if it isn’t technically a grain but I am interested in learning more about it. I’m always happy to find out about things I can eat. Interestingly, tubers don’t seem to be a problem for me. Whereas, rice tends to elicit the same unfavorable GI response that gluten does.

    I saw my doctor a few days ago and he’s starting me on a ten day cycle of antibiotics. I’m leery about them but he seems to think it’s necessary. He thinks I have low stomach acid because (warning: TMI) I have undigested food in my stool. Also, bloating after innocuous things like veggies. Low stomach acid causes bacterial overgrowth that colonize on the undigested food particles which causes an immune response. So I’m taking HCL, enzymes and will start the antibotics on monday. Hopefully, this will get my immune system under control. Just got back a blood test and apparently I still have mono (I have had it for a couple years now). Ugh.

    The Specific Carb diet has me interested. It looks like it restricts sugary carbs, which is good. I’m strict compared to most people but not as good as I should be. I have Hashi’s, Adrenal Fatigue and chronic epstein barr, so sometimes the energy it takes to be any mores strict than I already am just seems like an uphill battle!

  6. anita says:

    wow. you know, all these years i thought i just had a bad roll of the dice with my stomach and issues. i had no idea just eating those “healthy” foods was killing me. i’ve read for years that coconut oil is great, even had some when i was home. i’ll look for this stuff here. coconut is a HUGE food here. they serve whole coconuts, broken open, with straws in them in almost all restaurants here! but then all fruit juices are made fresh here too. very lucky on that score. you want mango juice? you will be drinking fresh peeled fruit. it’s great.

  7. amy says:

    I have been totally grain free for a month and I am loving it! I have also bought some coconut oil from tropical traditions and coconut flour will be next. The coconut oil is very yummy. I even use when scrambling eggs, a little strange, I know. I would really encourage any one who is having trouble to try grain free! It has been profound for me! Gluten free, for me wasn’t good enough. I still ate way too many starches and carbs! And all that sugar… Well, a new challenge. Get some coconut flour and experiment. Right up my alley!

  8. Natasha says:

    I completely agree with you about gluten!! I have not felt as well or as good in years since I stopped eating it this summer! Stomach problems that I thought were normal (annoying, but normal) magically disappeared within weeks of taking gluten out of my diet. I hate being *that woman* who interrogates waitstaff at restaurants but I find if I eat *any* gluten now my body totally revolts – skin, gut, digestive issues, etc. Even my thyroid symptoms have decreased! I am a believer 🙂

  9. Lolly says:

    I tried going gluten free but it didn’t last long with me I just couldn’t sustain it.

    Great write up though one day I may try it again.

  10. Yes, dairy does feed yeast, but if you aren’t off fruit, you’re still getting enough of the kinds of sugars that also feed yeast. But very very simple sugars, monosaccarides, like those in fruit and honey, break down in the very first parts of the digestive tract, and if you are able to go to stage 2 of the SCD, you can take those and not contribute to SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). The home-made 24 hour yogurt has no sugar, the probiotics eat it all up, which is why it’s allowed on the SCD. I don’t think Elaine believed that commercial yogurt was adequate in getting rid of the sugar, and I’m finding I can’t tolerate it either.

    I’m afraid, that once I get my thyroid levels stabilized (forgot two doses this week! No wonder I’m nutty) and am over the starch-jonesing, that I may have to give the yeast-diet full attention. Man, that is a bitch, though. If I go without fruit I get the nasty shakes and headaches, which is why I could never do the Atkins thing back in the day.

  11. Phil, you are absolutely correct, it shows that you’re an authority on the subject. I admire someone that takes the pride you have and with your projecton of information. oSo when i actually do sit down to read material, I appreciate well written and organized blogs like this one. I have it bookmarked and will be back. Thanks.

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