Daily Bread. Life Abundant.
Have you ever experienced something so wonderful you couldn't help but share it with others? That's how REAL bread is for me. The first day I tried it, I knew there was no going back. It’s like my eyes were opened and foods that used to have a hold on me now looked fake. Real bread gave me energy, clarity of thought, clear skin, less pain, and left me satisfied without carb-crashes, headaches, or bloating. I didn’t realize how sick I was until I felt well. Taste and see for yourself.
Milling sounded so intimidating at first, but it’s as simple as the push of a button. God has gifted us with a vision to make whole grains convenient and accessible for everyone regardless of experience level. You don’t need more time, you don’t need more baking experience. We are a come as you are business.
Keira is a lifelong baker, the type of person who makes cinnamon rolls from scratch for all her coworkers each Christmas. I, however, sometimes struggle with box-mixed brownies! What I love about our stories is that we are at opposite ends of the baking spectrum, yet whole grains have been easily incorporated into both of our lifestyles. I hope that between the two of us you will see how whole grains might fit into your life as well.
What I love most about our stories is the way God has used whole grains to draw us closer to Himself, shining light into our fears and doubts and replacing them with freedom and trust. We have learned over and over again that God’s purposes are not hindered by our imperfections, and His power is truly made perfect in our weakness. He continues to weave our inadequacies into a tapestry of grace, and His provision humbles us daily. Our prayer is that through Unsifted you would experience God’s goodness and love, His provision, protection, and perfect design. We pray that God would be glorified by this business and that through the healing gift of whole grains you would experience the true Bread of Life and Life Abundant. Taste and see!
My family has fondly told me, "sometimes people want a dose, not a douse." I have yet to perfect the dose mentality, but I hope this story brings you encouragement and confidence as you consider milling for yourself.
- - - - -
I love food. And eating out. For most of my adult life I have eaten out three meals a day. People regularly called me for restaurant recommendations and I had earned the nickname "Yelp". I'd buy my breakfast from a local coffee shop, order lunch from the grill at work, and then treat myself to something delicious on my way home. I know, I know, that's so expensive! Which is true... but I was not much of a cook and restaurants worked great for my single-income-no-kids lifestyle. When COVID hit, that all changed. Suddenly restaurants, my nourishment lifelines, were closed. Faced with a pantry of canned green beans, popcorn, and 4 boxes of LIFE Cereal, I genuinely did not know how I was going to feed myself while the world was shutdown.
My first thought was to call my manager, who happens to be a national trivia champion and a bit of a survivalist. I knew he would have an idea for me.
"No civilization has ever survived without a grain source," I remember him saying. He went on to describe that wheat was the primary grain in America, and most of our foods are made with some kind of wheat. "The best thing you can buy is flour: you can store it for a long time, it's relatively cheap, and there are lots of things you can make from it. For bread, all you need is flour, salt, and water, so if you had to survive, you could with just three ingredients."
Note: this might not be an exact quote, but you get the idea.
Now, I have LOVED bread for my whole life - I can vividly remember the first time I had Red Lobster garlic cheddar bay biscuits. I shamelessly polished off 15 of them. I was blessed with a fast metabolism and I absolutely indulged in my younger years. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to experience “carb consequence”: headaches, bloating, and weight gain, and had made a conscious effort to avoid bread for the past few years. So when my manager told me to make bread, I dreaded the consequences of such an unhealthy food, but I thought it was better than starving. (I may have been a little dramatic in my thinking, but we didn’t know what we were in for with the lockdown...)
Unfortunately (or fortunately), I was about the last person in America with the idea to buy flour – it was sold out in all my local stores! Back to square one, I called my manager again.
“Well, you do live in the bread basket of America. Why don’t you just buy some wheat from a farmer and make your own flour?”
Make my own flour? Are you kidding me? I immediately pictured large mill stones, cows, and a long pole with water buckets on either end draped across my shoulders. Milling my own flour sounded ridiculous – I was sure it would be a time consuming, tedious process, and I didn’t even know what to do with the flour once I had it. Things were looking bleak. I was now on a mission to find wheat from a farmer I’d never met, to grind it into flour using a tool I didn’t have, and then to bake it into a food that would make me gain weight and get headaches. Still, better than starving.
What happened next was nothing short of miraculous. This non-baker, through a series of God-orchestrated events, started researching whole grains and learned that wheat berries are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and one of our highest food sources of antioxidants (better than blueberries!). I read study after study from Universities across the country, as well as medical journals, health publications and 100’s of testimonials from people who changed their lives and health with whole grains. After all my research, I had to try it.... I was a bit suspicious though; I'm not a baker (box-mixes are my go to) and most of the "whole grain" bread I'd eaten in my life was dry and didn't taste very good. Regardless of how healthy something is, if it doesn't taste good, I won't eat it!
The second problem: I didn’t know how to mill. Thankfully, with the WonderMill, making fresh flour is as simple as the push of a button. It mills a beautifully fine cup of flour in less than 15 seconds, faster than I can take the eggs out of the fridge! It’s so simple and easy – there’s nothing to be nervous about! God also put the two most incredible women into my life (Sue Becker and Ashley McCord) - they have been milling since the early 90s and taught me amazing lessons about whole grains, bread, and the True Bread of Life. I admire them both so much and couldn't be more thankful to know them.
I started milling my own flour in April and have been eating 3-5 servings of delicious whole grains a day ever since (and by delicious, I mean cinnamon rolls, bread, tortillas, muffins, and cookies!). I noticed an immediate difference in my health: no carb-crashes, no headaches, no bloating. In fact, at my last physical (3 weeks into my whole grain eating) I had lost 6 lbs. of body fat mass and maintained the same muscle as last year. My inflammation had dropped in half, my liver was twice as healthy as it was in 2019, and every metric affected by diet was PERFECTLY normal! My doctor was shocked- “You must be eating real food,” she said. She was right. I had no idea real bread and whole grains could be not only delicious, but give me such amazing health results.
From that point forward, my life could be summarized in two words: Bread Evangelist. I couldn’t stop sharing bread with people I loved (and anyone else who would listen!) and everyone who tasted it had the same amazing results. The problem was I couldn’t make enough bread for everyone, and there really wasn’t a good way for them to easily start milling themselves. It had taken me months of research and over $1200 to start my milling journey, and that is WAY too high of an entry cost. I started Unsifted to make sure people I loved could easily access the amazing gift of whole grains and transform their lives and health. I could do the research and build the supply chain to help feed others real Bread that truly satisfies. My goal is to make whole grain baking as easy (and delicious) as box-mixed brownies, so that anyone and everyone can enjoy their amazing taste and nutritional benefits.
Perhaps the most amazing part of all of this is that once people taste the bread and see for themselves how delicious it is, they immediately think of who else could benefit. "I would love to get this for my mom, she just got diagnosed with cancer." "Wow, I bet my dad would like this; he's pre-diabetic." "My neighbor has terrible digestive issues, can I have extra to take to her?" I’m convinced that REAL bread makes you more generous, more compassionate, more selfless. It’s been a wonderful thing to experience and watch time and time again. There is so much more I would love to share with you, but I will save some of it for another time.
A year ago I prayed that God would put me to use, that my life would be of value to help others. I believe God gifted me with a vision for Unsifted to do just that. My prayer is that your life would be transformed by the healing gift of whole grains and that you would know with certainty the depth of God's love for you. Come as you are.
This is never something I expected to be writing. Largely because I feel awkward and uncomfortable selling anything. And yet, God has changed me and my dreams. Neither Sarah nor I could not have personally orchestrated or planned all the details leading up to the creation of Unsifted or since then, so we never want to take credit for them. This is all a gift. Anyone willing to journey with us and support this business is a gift. Truly, thank you! This is an idea and dream that God put in our hearts and wove together with so many details from our pasts. Serioussssllly, who would have thought that in college God would give me an internship in a professional kitchen in Jacksonville, FL to teach me more of the art of baking? And a passion years before for photography of my family that would could now be used for food photography? Or my husband remodeling our kitchen which works for a wonderful photo backdrop? For however long this story of Unsifted exists, it’s a story of God’s continual mercy and kindness as he “unsifts” me showing me who he created me to be and the kindness he has for His people.
So how did I get interested in fresh flour? I had been experimenting with sourdough (like millions of others in the pandemic!) because for most of my life I’ve had chronic GI issues. When I was little I remember crying after meals and waking up at night with stomach aches and then for the last 17 years I’ve struggled with severe acid reflux that turned into GERD and caused me to be on a very strong PPI prescription for 12+ years. Not to mention I had usually felt bloated, had milia bumps which can be from malnutrition, and had regularity issues…. all of which which was only made worse by eating normal breads. In summary, I was in chronic stomach pain and stuck on medication to make it tolerable. I was even hospitalized with gastritis for a few nights several years ago along with a very inflamed small intestine.
Okayyy, back to the story: I was wondering if sourdough’s fermentation would help since it’s touted for more enzymes and lower glycemic index. I had all the symptoms of gluten intolerance, so when sourdough didn’t do the trick I was bummed. It was better, but not good enough. I was still in pain.
"Stop eating them," you say. Thanks, good suggestion. I was severely cutting back on breads but the problem is that I was raised in a house of bread making. Baking is in my DNA and some of my favorite memories, I couldn’t bear the thought of raising my kids in a house with no muffins or breads. That just didn’t feel like home to me. Soooooo while commercial breads didn’t love me back, I loved them so I was trying to only eat them very minimally, but not cut them out completely. **Enter April 2020.** It was in this wonderful month when I began milling my own fresh flour and my love for baking actually turned into a life-giving food source for my family, AND it is when I finally experienced stomach pain relief.
Like I mentioned, there were a lot of things leading up to April. For instance, I’d been researching Einkorn grain and health in general, but with young kids I did not have time to follow through on researching what to do next. **Enter my friend, Sarah.** She called me and told me about all the research she'd done on mills and whole grains. She also told me about the last two WonderMills available for sale during the pandemic (that she could find). After more research and discussions, my husband and I agreed we'd try it in hopes to bring about better health. I'll be honest with you-- it was a lot for us at the time. We had to spend tons of time finding out how to get all the right kinds of grain to Kansas City, what recipes to use, and how to buy grain in bulk all at the same time. So, it was expensive to get started and we bought over 18 gallons of grain without even knowing if we liked it! It felt risky. This is where one of the driving motivations of Unsifted was born actually. Sarah and I want to remove barriers for entry so more people can experience this goodness. We want to make it ridiculously easy so you don't have to repeat all the research we’ve done. We are both engineers and love details and data, but we fully realize not everyone does.
I digress. Anyway, after experiencing the change in my GI system and losing weight, I was continually more and more passionate about sharing these whole grains with everyone I knew, partially due to the disconnect in what the world screams about bread. The thing is, what we've all experientially discovered is true....RUN far away from refined grains- they are starchy, insulin-spiking carbs which studies show add to your waistline, inflammation, and lack of immunity. Even whole wheat flour at the store is usually manufactured on the same mills as white flour and technically it has to contain only 51% of the whole grain to qualify. I didn't think I liked whole wheat anything, because I equated it to a bitter taste and dry texture, so I always had to add in half all-purpose flour to make it tolerable. It turns out it was just stale and over-processed with chemicals. So, I would never have expected to be obsessed with milling my own flour and eating 100% whole grain EVERYTHING, but here I am! It has been so fun to see my little boys love eating what I make and to know it is nourishing them well so I feel no guilt giving it to them. Everything I make now is so much more filling and we no longer have any issues with constipation in our house, which my youngest especially had routine issues with prior! It still feels weird to say that I mill my own flour and use it for everything my family eats. I picture a hand crank...haha. Wrong! Instead, it’s super easy... and super tasty.. and super nutritious... and enables my family and me to eat tons of bread to improve our health trajectory. Sound too good to be true? I understand. It is my story and sometimes I still have a hard time believing it. But I love it and I want you to, too. There's so much more I could share, I'm just so passionate about this, but I'll leave that to our Instagram and other pages of this website!
There is so much research about whole grains and health. Milling them into fresh flour is one of the best ways to take advantage of all their goodness. Learn more about the research HERE to see how fresh flour helped both of us so tremendously!
Thank you for taking the time to read our stories!
Have a wonderful day! 💕🌾🍞
Matthew 4:4 “...It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
**Headshots taken by Kristen (@kloneyphoto)
Information published by Unsifted.com is no substitute for medical advice. For questions or concerns, please consult your health care provider for your own specific individual nutritional and medical needs. For more information, please visit our disclaimer page here.