Michelle: Goodbye to wheat, goodbye to acid reflux, diabetes, headaches, gastrointestinal distress . . .

I‘m a 48 year-old woman. The pic on the left was taken in April, when I was at my heaviest – about 169 lbs. My A1C had gone from a 5.4 in December to 6.5 in April, as my weight ballooned. I found that I had intense carb cravings. If I went out to eat and started in on the bread on the table, I would literally keep eating it till the main dish came, or until I’d finished the basket of bread. Same with cookies, pasta (couldn’t just have one serving!), basically anything with wheat or sugar in it.

I realized that I was on the verge of diabetes, which runs in my family. I felt tired and sluggish all the time, despite working out three to four times a week. I had acid reflux to the point that I was taking Prevacid every day. Headaches were a regular occurrence – in fact, not to have a headache was the exception. Intestinal distress was “regular” for me “:-)

I read Gary Taubes’ book “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It” and realized that carbs were killing me. I decided to cut out anything “white” in my diet. I added Jorge Cruz’s Belly Fat Cure idea of only eating 15g of sugar and 6 servings (about 120g) of carbs per day, but I did not like his addition/inclusion of wheat toast. I knew that if I ate one slide of bread, all bets were off.

From April through June I slowly weaned myself off most carbs, and all white flour products. I ate mainly meat proteins, eggs, cheese and nuts, and high fiber veggies like broccoli. My acid reflux disappeared almost immediately. Headaches became rare occurrences. I started losing weight. But I’d have an occasional bite or two of pasta, or a brownie. Usually I would get a headache or acid reflux, but I was losing weight (10-15lbs at that point), so I didn’t really care.

Then, for my birthday in June, I decided to “splurge” at dinner. I had a steak, sweet potato, and two (or maybe three!) dinner rolls. I also had cake for dessert. Before I even got home, I had a splitting headache. I crawled into bed feeling like I just wanted to sleep for a year. But I woke at 3am – feeling like I had tied one on the night before (I’ve been alcohol-free since August 2008). The next morning felt like a hangover. Headache, brain fog, sluggish. Awful. Terrible diarrhea for two days (I called it the diarrhea diet, but wouldn’t recommend it to anyone!).

At that point I scheduled an ALCAT food sensitivity blood test with my doctor; I knew that something in my dinner had almost killed me. Two weeks later, in July, I got the results – extreme gluten intolerance. The gluten intolerance found in my blood test only confirmed what I had already suspected (I’m also highly intolerant of high-fructose corn syrup!). At that point, I got serious about being wheat free. No more cheats. I was dead serious about losing weight. Even by July, on my 90% wheat-free diet, my A1C had dropped to 5.8. I had lost almost 20lbs, and I was feeling better than ever.

By late September, when the pic on the right was taken, I had dropped more than 25lbs. My A1C was down to 5.7, and my doctor pronounced me out of danger of diabetes.

I recently found out about “Wheat Belly” through a friend who works at a bookstore in Canada. I immediately read your blog. It made total sense to me. I would love it if we could convince the FDA that their food pyramids and plates are killing us. People can’t believe that all I did was cut wheat out of my diet, along with other high-glycemic carbs like rice, and cut back my sugar to 15g or less a day (they don’t realize that there is hidden sugar in everything – I have to thank Jorge Cruz for that one – who knew yogurt was so full of sugar? Natural (if you eat the right stuff) but still sugar. Bananas? ditto… milk? same thing).

So – NO wheat, limited carbs and VERY limited sugar, and I’m now down 33 lbs. I weigh 136 lbs. I am starting to recognize the woman in the mirror as the same slim woman who was in the Army 30 years ago! I think I can get to my “fighting weight” of about 130lbs with no effort if I just keep eating the way I am. I figure my body will stop losing weight when the fat is gone. That’s one thing I learned from Taubes’ book – our weight should be self-regulating, like that of wild animals, if we are eating the right foods and not messing up our hormones with sugar and carbs and gluten and gliadin.

That was probably way too much info. But I want people to know that they too can lose the weight, and feel like they’re young again. It came off almost effortlessly for me. I haven’t looked at calories or fat, just sugar and carbs, and I don’t touch wheat or other gluten-containing products. Even with the “gluten-free” pastas, etc. I either eat VERY small portions (which wasn’t possible for me with wheat-pasta) or skip it. Gluten-free cookies, etc. still contain as much sugar as regular cookies, and I don’t want to spike my blood sugar, so I look for those sweetened with stevia or just skip them. I find almond butter or peanut butter on a lentil cracker (low carb yummy goodness) or even on a piece of 85% dark chocolate is enough of a treat for dessert.

I feel as if I’ve gotten a degree in nutrition over the last six months. My friends tell me I look 10 years younger (and the pics attest to that), and I feel younger and better for sure! This is not a diet. This is a lifestyle change for me! Thanks for filling in the final blanks with “Wheat Belly”!

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51 Responses to Michelle: Goodbye to wheat, goodbye to acid reflux, diabetes, headaches, gastrointestinal distress . . .

  1. Jacque says:

    Need your help, feel sure this may be a dumb question but not dumb for me if I really don’t know the answer. Do I need to get off of this, is this the same Wheat? : Organic Wheat Grass,
    Organic Barley Grass, Organic Alfalfa, Organic Spirulina, Organic Spinach, Organic Chlorella (cracked cell-wall), Organic Broccoli 3252 mg

    Made With Organic Green Foods
    Cacao Chocolate Infusion
    30 Day Supply
    Gluten Free & Vegan
    Our Premium Blend of Organic SuperFoods that Provides Amazing Energy and Amazing Health

    A delicious chocolate drink powder to help achieve your 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables
    Naturally detoxifies and boosts your immune system
    The added benefits and great taste of cacao
    Complete raw food with powerful phytonutrients
    Alkaline green plant foods balance acidic pH levels
    Whole Food nutrition, no fractionated vitamins
    More organic whole leaf greens per gram than any other green superfood-not from juice.
    Featuring Sambazon organic pure acai powder
    No soy lecithin fillers
    Probiotics and Enzymes to aid digestion and absorption
    Suggested Use
    Mix 1 scoop with 8 oz of your favorite milk. We recommend 1 to 3 servings daily.

    Mixing Tip: dissolves best when mixed with 1 oz of water prior to adding milk.

    Supplement Facts
    Supplement Facts
    Serving Size: One scoop (8 grams)
    Servings Per Container: 30
    Amount Per Serving % DV
    Calories 30
    Calories from Fat 5 0%
    Total Fat 1 g 0%
    Sugar 0 g 0%
    Cholesterol 0 g 0%
    Sodium 38 mg 2%
    Protein 2 g 4%
    Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1%
    Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%
    Vitamin A (100% as Betacarotene) 3115 IU 65%
    Vitamin C 18 mg 30%
    Vitamin K 25 mcg 30%
    Riboflavin .23 mg 15%
    Niacin .3 mg 1%
    Vitamin B6 38 mcg 3%
    Folic Acid 16 mcg 4%
    Cobalamin (B12) .9 mcg 15%
    Calcium 19 mg 3%
    Iron 1.2 mg 6%
    Iodine 6 mcg 4%
    Selenium 2.5 mcg 4%
    Manganese 151 mcg 6%
    Potassium 76 mg 3%
    Chlorophyll 19 mg **
    Organic and all natural whole food ingredients:
    Amazing Grass Green Food Blend
    Organic Wheat Grass, Organic Barley Grass, Organic Alfalfa, Organic Spirulina, Organic Spinach, Organic Chlorella (cracked cell-wall), Organic Broccoli 3252 mg
    Chocolate Blend
    Organic Dutch Cocoa, Organic Redwood Cocoa, Organic Cacao, Natural Chocolate flavoring 3068 mg
    Antioxidant Blend
    Organic Acai, Organic Maca, Organic Carrot, Organic Beet, Raspberry, Organic Rose Hips, Pineapple, Green Tea, Acerola Cherry 295 mg
    EFA Fiber Blend
    Organic Flax Seed Powder, Organic Oat Fiber, Apple Pectin Fiber 833 mg
    Digestive Enzyme and Active Culture Pre & Pro Biotic Blend
    F.O.S. (from Chicory Root), L. Acidophilus, Alpha and Beta Amylase, Protease, Lipase, Lactase, Cellulase 440 mg
    Energizing Herb Blend
    Siberian Eleuthero Root, Peppermint 20 mg
    Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    **Daily Value not established.

    Other Ingredients
    Organic sea salt.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I really don’t know, Jacque, since I have yet to see an analysis of what is in wheat grass. It is clearly different than flour made from the seed head, but I am unaware of any analysis to see what precisely is in wheat grass.

  2. Jacque says:

    NEED HELP ASAP PLEASE: wheatgrass comes from the same plant that produces the wheat grain / wheatgrass is harvested before the plant matures and produces grain. Wheatgrass is a food prepared from the cotyledons of the common wheat plant, Triticum aestivum. Wheatgrass is also allowed to grow longer than malt is. It provides chlorophyll, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes.

    I called Life Extensions and they said that there is a difference between wheatgrass and wheat grains

    Although wheatgrass comes from the same plant that produces the wheat grain used to make flour, wheatgrass is harvested before the plant matures and produces grain. Wheat and wheatgrass are the same plant. When the grass is young, before it produces grain, it can be harvested and juiced or dried. Wheatgrass does not contain gluten, but is this on the list of things that should eliminated, they say NO….They endorse your book ~ and they sell wheatgrass >so what says you Dr. Davis. Are they saying it is OK to have wheatgrass because they sell WheatGrass? …. I really need to know for our whole family and extended family are drinking this daily. We have ordered your book and waiting for them to get here. I have several containers of wheatgrass from Amazing Grass, Green SuperFood, Chocolate Drink Powder – I mix with water 3 times a day.


    • Shea Tully says:

      I also am wondering about this. I drink Amazing greens everyday too and I wonder if it”s okay. Maybe we should replace it with plain spirulina or something?

    • Juls says:

      Come on Dr Davis, what is your answer to Jaques question? Is wheatgrass the same as wheat????

      • Dr. Davis says:

        This question has been asked countless times before: No, but it still contains wheat germ agglutinin, a bowel toxin.

  3. Dwigh McCoy says:

    Inspiring story Michelle and thanks for mentioining the book. I have already heard a lot about it, looks like I need to buy it now ;)

  4. Val says:

    Michelle, as others are saying, you look fantastic and are inspirational!! I am off the wheat and grains as of last week. I think I have lost about 1-2 lbs.(didnt really weigh myself at start). Can it be so easy? I get so impatient but I will do it for 30 days and see what results I get. I have a rash on my chest that I hope will disappear too. I am also looking for energy. I have much to do in the way of purging junk in the garage. When I drive in, I look at the stuff, shudder, then go in the house. I use to be a house on fire for energy and my husband says its the aging thing happening. I dont want to believe that cause thats just making excuses. Anyway, thank you for your story and you look amazing, so much younger. I hope to achieve that too. Keep up the good results. I am hoping I can post my ‘new me’ picture too. And I did notice that you are alcohol free…wondering if wine has any bad effect on weightloss. All I indulge in is red and white wine. Putting it out there, has anyone lost weight while still drinking wine?

  5. Val says:

    In addition for information only, I am a McCoy too. My husband is son of Carl Otto McCoy and we have been looking for him without success. I know there are alot of McCoys out there but I thought I would try anyway.

  6. Heya i?m for the primary time here. I came across this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out much. I’m hoping to give something back and aid others such as you helped me.

  7. Joe says:

    I started reading Wheat Belly 2 weeks ago and have been cutting out wheat since then. i am still experiencing acid reflux. I am hoping that as I lose weight my reflux will disappear. I am sick of taking Protonix daily! Has anyone else experienced a delay in the elimination of reflux symptoms?

    • arpitha says:

      Causes of acid reflux, known from personal experience:
      1. Over weight
      2. Excess belly fat (which puts pressure on stomach and causes acid reflux).
      3. Over eating
      4. Drinking lot of liquids during/after a meal.

  8. Maddy says:

    I am allergic to dairy, and get really sick from eggs (which I love). I am working toward following the guidelines completely. Haven”t made any of the recipes yet. Wondering if wild rice is OK. Looking at the soy yogurt I see it has tapioca starch in it and is sweetened. Eating a lot of raw almonds. Can”t eat other nuts or I get diverticulitis (spelling). Also, what about Quinoa? Maybe you answered that already, I just started looking at the blog. Thank you in advance for your feedback.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      With your unusual and extreme limitations, Maddy, you may have to strike some compromises along the way.

      The most frequent compromise is to rely on foods like quinoa, buckwheat, beans, and rice that potentially permit overexposure to carbohydrates. So just be careful and maximize your proteins and fats coming from “allowable” sources.

  9. C williams says:

    I’m recently diagnosed with gastric reflux and asthma, on singulair and prilosec daily. I love my bread, homemade biscuits, pancakes, rolls, etc. I eat wheat bread mainly for sandwiches.I have been suspicious of wheat and will be monitoring my intake of it now.I’m curious to see the change it will have on my daily symptoms.