I’m back and I can’t tell you how good it feels! We have had internet and then computer problems for weeks. I think this is the longest I have gone without blogging since I started last year. I have so much to talk about but I have to start with my new obsession! But, first a little background…
Like many of you, I have struggled with my weight since high school. I don’t mean to imply that I have a weight problem, but maintaining a healthy weight has always been ‘effort-full’. I am almost constantly ‘trying’ to lose a few pounds. Every year I am gaining and losing the same 5-10 pounds (see 5 pounds from february for a laugh). The crazy thing is that I could never figure out why. I am relatively smart, work in the health care field, read all the time, and ate a pretty healthy diet. You know: very few sweets, real food, healthy whole grains, etc. But still remained puffy in the tummy and would gain weight at the drop of a hat. It was obviously better when I exercised, but I never got rid of my stomach fat.
Recently someone asked me, “Have you read the book Wheat Belly? What do you think about wheat/gluten?” Honestly, I had done so little research on the topic because I have always thought that as long as I ate 100% whole wheat, I was choosing a health food. I would say things like: Grains are the base of our diet, and we need that extra fiber, and it’s good for our hearts. I take it back! All of it! I would consider Wheat Belly a must read! It changed everything I thought I knew about grains, wheat, and gluten.
Did you know a slice of whole wheat bread raises your blood sugar more than sugar?
One thing that I never took the time to research is what wheat does to our blood sugar. Right after you eat, you blood sugar goes up (a lot) and then 2 hours later it goes back down (a lot). Hence- being hungry 2 hours after eating breakfast and wanting to take a nap every day at 2pm. Maybe that was just me, but I suspect I am not alone here. I am not going to get into all of the details. Some people will take issue with this concept and that is fine. You can read the book and then decide for yourself what is right for you and your family. But I will tell you about my experience.
Within 1 week of cutting out wheat, I lost 2 pounds and 1 inch off my tummy. 2 pounds…meh… That’s not anything to write home about but the inch off my waist?! That was exciting. That puffiness that I accepted as my reality was disappearing. I am now 3+ weeks in and I am down 6 pounds and 1.75 inches from my waist. I have also been increasing the exercise a little. You can not take away from the combination of the two- no doubt, but I have never seen this kind of result before. I will say I am finally accepting the truth that ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’.
But, the weight and inches is a small part of the bigger picture. I feel amazing! I was never a bigger snacker (like cookies, crackers, etc.) but I did always get hungry mid-morning. I had breakfast #2 foods at work for 9:30-10:00am. I would justify this by saying, “I have a very physical job, I need extra calories.” Again, this was after a ‘healthy’ breakfast. Ever since I cut out wheat and replaced it with a higher protein, grain-free breakfast, I am not hungry in the morning. In fact I’m never hungry! I know that seems impossible, but it’s true. I eat when it is time to eat, and I eat until I feel satisfied. I have not been hungry OR stuffed since I went wheat free. This is not a will power thing, I used to eat until I felt ill regularly–like every day. It was because of that weird wheat relationship of feeling ravenous and then stuffed. This is the thing that I want to shout from the roof tops! (My poor family and co-workers are going to get so sick of me. Sorry guys!) I also don’t feel like I need to nap after lunch anymore. It’s glorious.
So what does wheat free mean?
No bread, no flour, no pasta, no cake, no cookies, no crackers, no cereal, nothing breaded, and almost nothing boxed/packaged. I know, it’s terrifying at first. And let me be clear. No one loves bread like I love bread! I used to make my husband take bread at weddings even if he didn’t want it. This way I wouldn’t be embarrassed going for a second roll. The other night when we were out to dinner, I had to have the waiter take the bread off the table before I rubbed it all over my face…I love bread. BUT, I love the way I feel right now more.
I eat lean meat, eggs, seafood, LOTS of vegetables, more fruit, healthy fats, nuts, and some dairy.
Let me be clear, because I know this will come up, this is NOT Atkins. The problem with Atkins or the people doing the Atkins diet is that it cut out ALL carbs and people were replacing bread with bacon and cheese. That is not what I am doing. If you are going to cut out wheat, you are going to need to replace it with healthy food. You are going to need to get your fiber from fruits and vegetables which is not hard to do. Fruits and Veggies are loaded with vitamins and fiber! In fact, I bet I am getting more fiber since switching. This is not about just switching to burgers with no buns!
I have actually been doing a lot of reading besides Wheat Belly. Right now I am reading The Paleo Solution and will probably lean into a paleo or hunter/gatherer type diet (more to come on this later). It’s an exciting concept though and it makes a lot of sense to me.
Now, I am not a doctor so don’t listen to me because I read something that one guy said in a book. Read the book(s) yourself and see what you think. He links wheat consumption to:
and Many more chronic inflammatory diseases.
I have no idea if cutting wheat will help you at all, but I certainly think it is worth a 30 day trial and see how you feel. Especially if you suffer from anything on that list.
And, I know this is a long post but this is the final thing! This is NOT a diet! This isn’t something that can help you drop weight and then go back to your old carby ways. This is a life style change. You will gain weight when you load up on wheat whether it’s now or a month from now. Just remember, there are plenty of amazing real foods out there that are not made from wheat. It is not about depriving yourself.
I’ll update you as things go and I promise I’ll admit it if it doesn’t work out for me. I will be posting updates and meal ideas on Candysbrain blog facebook page. ‘Like’ me if you would like to see them regularly. There is a button on the right for your convenience!
I’d also love to hear what you guys think. Feel free to leave comments.
****This is an addition to my original post, sorry, I forgot.
Buying Gluten-free products is not the answer though. Maybe a gluten free beer, or a gluten free fish sauce is a good idea- but gluten free bread? We just, flat-out, don’t need bread. We don’t need crackers. We didn’t evolve to have snacks while we are bored watching TV. Want a food with a little crunch? Eat a carrot. This way of eating should be replacing food that we don’t need with food that helps us thrive!