We regard high nutrition to be among one of the best “treatments” to helping troubled children heal.  That and a sound balance between nurture and structure … and severely-restricted electronic over-stimulation.  But I’ve battled a middle bulge for several years, too.  I had heard rave reviews about the book “Wheat Belly” by William Davis.  I read a bit here and there on genetically-engineered wheat (said to be worse than genetically-modified).  And I decided to conduct my own “scientific” experiment: using Einkorn as the ONLY  source of wheat in our diets for thirty days.  Since we work hard to incorporate the best nutritional resources into our ministry, what we discover here will, I already suspect, be widely incorporated into our nutrition program and recommended to the parents and professionals we work with.  We already grind our own flour and make our own breads and pastas, so this experiment fits in nicely with our current lifestyle.  For others who don’t have as much time or interest in that much effort, there are some ready-made pasta and bread products available on the market.

To begin with, I ordered 25# of Einkorn wheat berries from Jovial (www.jovialfoods.com).  I scoured the Internet for a variety of recipes, some of which I will try and post reviews of here — but my readers are certainly intelligent enough to find the recipes that suit their own individual tastes..  To get started, I ground enough flour to make three small loaves of bread, a batch of pita bread (made 27 six-inch pitas), 1.5 pounds of pasta (two meals for our family), two pie crusts for quiche, and the beginnings of a sourdough starter — nine pounds of berries.

Day One (11/11/12)

Bacon egg scramble
Einkorn pita bread

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Einkorn pasta with a simple sauce from homegrown tomatoes

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Chicken pot pie with a cheddar-Einkorn crust
steamed green beans

The pita bread recipe came from a source that was specific to Einkorn recipes; we simply  substituted fresh ground Einkorn flour for wheat in my regular pasta dough and pie crust recipes.  The pie crust seemed very wet and indeed it was too wet to roll out, but I just shaped it into the bottom of my pie pans by hand.  I coated the pasta dough with a bit of olive oil and wrapped it tightly, then  refrigerated it overnight, allowing it to rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes before rolling and cutting it.  As the photos depict, both turned out absolutely perfect.  The pie crust has a nice flavor to it and wonderful flakiness (shown in the photos somewhat).

It’s too early to tell yet whether I am going to feel better eating Einkorn than regular wheat or whether the higher cost will be worth it in the long run.  I noticed two things, however.  The first is that my stainless steel bowls and coated mixer blades washed clean with very little effort after soaking just a few minutes in hot water.  In other words, the residual dough dissolved, whereas regular wheat dough sticks much monger and requires more effort to clean.  That was interesting.  The second is that  I could not eat the entire pita at breakfast … something I generally do not have a problem doing.  That, too, is interesting because it means that my appetite will be sated before I eat all the calories from the serving sizes I have been accustomed to.  I wanted to really journal this journey fully because a LOT of folks contact me privately about nutritional issues with their RAD child(ren).  But alas my bathroom scale was broken when I tried to get a baseline weight.  It said I was 70 pounds … and much as I’d love to believe that, I ordered a new scale from Amazon and will note any weight variations over the coming 30 days.  My goal is not necessarily to lose weight (I am 5’6″ and weigh roughly 150 pounds) — although I would be delighted to lose that extra 15 pounds I’ve been carrying for the past decade — but it IS to determine whether I have better health, mental focus and clarity, less irritability (bodily and mood-wise), etc … as well as to see if I can nudge off that elusive thick middle.  My three youngest children, ages 6, 8 and 10, will be completing this 30-day challenge in its entirely; so hopefully I will find a nice balance in regulating my appetite while not interfering with theirs.  Otherwise, this experiment will be a bust in terms of incorporating it into our nutritional program here.

Here are some photos of the pie crust, quiche, and pasta I made today — well, I’m apparently not savvy-enough to figure out how to post multiple photos here, so I’ll add them to our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Respite-Retreat/141911862520126?ref=ts&fref=ts

Day Two menu:

Quiche with Einkorn crust
fresh fruit

Einkorn pita wedges with hummus

Einkorn pasta with white clam sauce
garlic bread made with Einkorn bread
tossed salad

Chicken stuffed with spinach, pine nuts and sundried tomatoes
Einkorn pilaf