I’ve been Wheat-Free for One year and 5 months….. And I don’t miss it one little bit.
I started on my Wheat-Free journey on December 26th 2012. Looking back now, I realize that I’d been having Wheat-Issues for quite some time, but it wasn’t until I quit the wheat and began to heal that I realized the full extent of the damage that wheat had caused. I didn’t quit wheat to lose weight. I quit because, quite frankly, I was miserable. I was suffering from terrible stomach problems (you don’t need details… you know what I mean), blood sugar fluctuations (but I didn’t realize that was what it was at the time), allergic type reactions (hives and throat swelling), headaches and nausea. At one point, my husband was forbidden to cook anything with “smell”…. he ate in the basement a few nights. By the end of 2012 I was ready to try anything. (Yes, I’d tried the doctor… she ran a ton of blood work and told me that I was “normal”…. and basically to go away.)
When I was a kid, I’d had terrible food allergies (and the regular airborne stuff too). I was allergic to Wheat, Milk & Eggs….. my poor, sainted mother. She took me off the offending foods for a year…. and I got better… and my doctors said, because of my age, I’d grown out of my food allergies and I could go back to eating regular foods again. So I figured, if it worked then….. maybe I just needed to detox… get all those foods out of my system and “re-boot.”
I decided that a two-week detox would be the way to start… I told myself that I could make it that long and then I could have “real” foods again. No Wheat, No Milk and No Eggs for two weeks.
Three days into my “detox” I slept through the night. I hadn’t slept through the night in years…. I mean YEARS… like 15 years. Normally I lay in bed for an hour or so before drifting off. I would get up 4 or 5 times to go to the bathroom… and each time it was a struggle to get back to sleep. I never felt refreshed when I woke and I often struggled through the day. Mid-afternoon was the worst… about 2:00 I couldn’t hardly keep my eyes open…. coffee and Red Bull were my best friends. I would try to take naps, but I couldn’t fall asleep. I had talked to my doctor about my insomnia. She gave me sleeping pills and anti-depressants. (Which didn’t do a damn thing but make me feel worse!)
Five days into the detox I noticed that my hands didn’t hurt and my fingers were no longer swollen. (Dr said it was arthritis and she’d be happy to prescribe something.)
During the first two weeks:
- My stomach quit “misbehaving”
- The allergic-type reactions quit
- My knees & hands quit hurting
- I lost six pounds
- The headaches went away
- I lost 1/2 a shoe size
- I slept through the night
- My skin cleared up
Sometime during those two weeks, while looking for Wheat, Milk & Egg free recipes, I came across the Wheat Belly Blog. Dr William Davis, a cardiologist, had written a book called Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health. Dr Davis asserted that wheat was the enemy. Now, I know what you’re thinking… I thought it too…. Humans have been eating wheat for centuries… if it was as bad as he claimed, shouldn’t we all be dead by now? Well… what we buy at the grocery store these days… it’s not the same stuff our ancestors ate… hell, it’s not the same stuff our grandmothers ate! In the 1960s scientist began tinkering with the genetic makeup of wheat to produce higher yield crops (they were working to fight famine… which is great… too bad the human body doesn’t like the new stuff). Read the book. I didn’t read it at first because I thought I got the main idea… “Wheat = Evil.” Got it. I was perfectly content with the result I was getting. Happy tummy, sleeping at night, headache free, joint pain free…. good enough. I wasn’t getting the massive weight loss like the people on the Wheat Belly Facebook page talked about, so I decided to read the book. I felt a million times better and had no inclination to go back to wheat… ever… but I wouldn’t mind losing a few more pounds. So I read the book…. I didn’t discover any amazing weight-loss secrets… I did learn a whole lot more about wheat’s effect on the brain though. Did you know that wheat has the same effect on the brain that opiates have? Like cocaine!? No wonder it is SO hard to quit! Really though… read the book. (If you know me, I’ll share my copy… it has post-it notes now!)
I’m not really here to review the Wheat Belly book or rehash what Dr Davis says…. I want to share my experience with and without wheat. I didn’t quit wheat to lose weight (that’s just a nice bonus… and truthfully, other lifestyle modifications were necessary too). I quit wheat to get my life back…. to get healthy… to feel good.
So you’re saying, “But I don’t feel bad.” That’s what my husband and my mom said too…. but after I made them read the book and ranted a bit… and because they love me and figured “what the hell?” they tried living wheat free. Guess what? Mom sleeps through the night now, she’s lost weight, her allergies are much better, her joints don’t hurt, she has less headaches. My hubby didn’t have any of those complaints to begin with…. he just lost 20lbs. Both mom, hubby and I have all noticed that we are less hungry and we don’t have the afternoon blood-sugar crash anymore.
I’m not telling you that this is a super easy lifestyle… (it is getting better with more restaurants and food manufacturers labeling their Gluten-Free items). Fast Food is almost impossible to eat…. but its not like that was good for you anyway… this is about getting heathy. Cooking at home is really the best option… not that processed stuff in the boxes…. you want to be healthy… lose the chemicals and carbs too.
I don’t get a kick-back. I’m not a paid blogger (sadly). I don’t profit financially from sharing my experience with you in any way. So why am I writing this? Because I feel better. And I know you can feel better too. Just try it for two weeks…. seriously try it. No halvesies… all the way… you have to get the wheat out of your system. Once you start reading labels and looking around you will be stunned by how many products that you consume everyday have wheat in them.
Try it. Two Weeks – No Wheat.