April Danann

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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Grains, Gluten, Quinoa & Mold - My Story So Far....

The very first time I ate QUINOA…..I didn’t feel right. Only I couldn’t fully explain that feeling, it was just a weird sense of something not sitting well in my stomach. Then, I went to bed later that night and had strange disturbing dreams as if I’d eaten something that didn’t suit me.

I’m an Intuitive by profession and I place a lot of stock in my dreams. I rely on them to inform me of general goings on in my body and throughout my life.

So…..I got up the next morning and ‘knew’ it was the quinoa that wasn’t right. I remember saying to someone that week…..I don’t like the quinoa it gives me nightmares and the energy of it is all wrong.

Just something wrong about it – but at the time, I had a young child, I was a student and I was working part time in my clinical practice so I didn’t spend much time looking into it. I just didn’t want to use it in my cooking!

However, time moved on and so did I, this was probably sometime in 2004 -05. I didn’t go out of my way to eat quinoa nor did I go out of my way to avoid it either. If it was there in front of me (at a friends house for instance) I usually ate it, however, I never forgot that very first strange encounter and those ‘feelings’ did not go away.

A couple of years later, because we had been gluten free for so long, I decided I wanted to make some bread. Of course, the only few options open to me where making bread from several types of flours at the same time, to get the dough to hold together.

One of those flours I ended up experimenting with was Quinoa flour. At first I was just happy to be able to make some sort of a bread for the family. But then….I noticed a peculiar thing about the quinoa that I wasn’t seeing on the other flours.

I mean, perhaps (it is!) it was there on all the different types of grain in varying degrees, however, on the quinoa I was seeing it, and tasting it…..

In fact, the very first time I noticed something – I had opened the top of a bag of Quinoa flour, used a couple of cups of it from the top half of the package. When we ate the bread, I remember saying; this tastes funny.

I was re-assured everything was fine, put some jam on it and it will be grand. When I went to make the next batch of bread a few days later and dug more deeply into the package – I could see a greenish looking flour and it now smelled more strongly of mold.

That was what I was tasting! I quickly threw out the package and chocked it all up to just one of those random things….that is, until it happened again this time with a bag or box of quinoa grain. I noticed they tasted ‘off’ and examined the grains deeper down into the box and found this same dark green mold.

This one I took back to the health food shop, where I was re-assured it must have been a rare occurrence but that quinoa was perfectly safe to eat. Then it happened a third time – again with the flour I was desperately trying to use to make bread.

By this time in my life, I had eaten my fair share of so many different types of grains -  (wholegrain, flakes, flour etc.), yet never encountered this anywhere else and was having nothing more to do with the quinoa.

The reason this became an issue was because, during that time I was exhibiting symptoms of mold toxicity from all of these non typical grains I was using while I was vegan (sugar free, dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, meat free, Night Shade free and so forth) and I knew my system was not used to the types of molds found on these grains I was not accustomed to eating.

At the time we were using Amaranth grain and flour, coconut flour, quinoa flour and flakes, grains, gram flour, rice flour and flakes and so forth – each of which was new to our systems. Any grain, as well as nut and seeds contain a high amount of molds. Perhaps it was the entire combination of all of these items in our diets that caused some of these problems?

However, we did not eat bread that often or use the flour on a daily or even weekly basis as it was just too much work to make the breads stick together. Besides we were quite happy with our diet and had adapted quite well to a general whole food vegan diet.

Some of the symptoms I had at the time were;

Pins and needles in my hands & arms
Tiredness
Weight gain (without diet change)
Headaches
Rashes
Joint pain & muscle aches
Fever & chills

I just started to not ‘feel’ well. These symptoms were not there all of the time – they would come and go. It was just often enough, that I knew something was not right and I needed to get to the bottom of it. Once I realized I was eating moldy quinoa – I was able to trace back the worst symptoms to the days following eating this stuff!


In some ways, I think I am still not 100% over the effects of these molds and I would not ever go near quinoa again. I am also a little more cautious with all grains – we eat them and now enjoy our sourdough breads, rice and oats; but I am watchful of any ‘new’ untried grains on our digestive systems!

April
My lovely Sourdough breads that makes me feel great! 

1 comment:

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