Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wheat Free, the New Me

Over the holiday season, I noticed something about my body. I had been consuming a RIDICULOUS amount of pastas and breads during this period of time. The days following my over indulgences I felt miserable. I was bloated, tired, and even sick to my stomach. Not to mention I felt like a huge, heavy loaf of bread. I had made a comment on Twitter and one of my followers suggested I read the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. She said she had had similar issues. She cut the wheat and felt a zillion times better. She even dropped a few pounds. Hello?! Feel better AND lose weight? I'm intrigued. Being the cheapskate I am, I reserved the book at our local library and patiently waited for my turn.

Prior to reading the book, I decided to go ahead and start cutting out the wheat. What could it really hurt? It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I typically hadn't been eating a lot of wheat before, save for the holidays. It was no big deal for me to have a sandwich sans bread or skip over the mac n cheese. My true weak points are donuts (obviously, because I'm an addict) and crackers. I stopped buying chips and the like on a regular basis a couple years ago. Crackers are our go to snacks around this joint. Let me tell you, girl LOVES her Cheese Nips. Cheez Itz are ok, but Cheese Nips are where it's at. To fill the void of wheat, I started snacking on more veggies and almonds. This definitely helped with my cravings for something crunchy. I love crunchy things. No. Carrots and celery are not the same as crackers, but I had to be strong.

I wouldn't say that I had eliminated the wheat completed, but I had drastically reduced my intake. I begin to notice some things going on with my body and my mood. I felt better. I didn't feel like a lumpy, dough ball. I had more energy and had fewer "crashes." I also noticed that I wasn't as hungry. I was snacking less and eating smaller amounts at meals. As far as my mood goes, I wasn't having as many mood swings or losing my patience easily. I felt more calm, cool and collected. It was a subtle transformation, but I was really digging the way I  felt.

I finally got my paws on the book, and boy, was I intrigued. The general premise of the book is wheat is bad. The wheat we eat today is not the same wheat that was first harvested thousands of years ago. No. Seriously, wheat has been genetically modified over the last hundred years for mass production and plants that are sturdier and hardier. It comes at a cost. Hybridized wheat is bad for you. It gives you a higher spike in blood sugar than actual sugar. (I didn't do these studies. I'm just paraphrasing from the book.) As wheat has changed over the years, society has seen a growth in obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even Celiac. The book goes on to suggest cutting all grains because, while not exactly like wheat, they do affect the body similarly. Wheat Belly goes into great depth on the chemical processes and how they ravage your body. I won't bore you with all of that business. I do recommend reading it, though.

So, I'm feeling better physically and mentally. What about the weight loss you ask? I'm proud to report after being mostly wheat free for the better part of 2-3 weeks I have dropped nearly 4 pounds. I know 4 pounds isn't a lot of weight but considering I had plateaued and then gained, I was over the moon excited to see the loss. Not only that, I'm at the lowest weight I have been in a good 7 years. I think I may be done with wheat. I'll allow myself to splurge every now and then and have a donut or a plate of pasta, but wheat will not be a part of my every day diet. Will I go completely grain free? Not right now. I won't completely rule it out, but one thing at a time.

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