"Think beyond the wheat"

WheatFreeBelle left this wonderful comment about the first 4 weeks of her wheat-elimination experience:

4 weeks ago I started my wheat free lifestyle and I am happy to say that since then, I have lost 12 lbs, 5 inches overall (hips and waist) and above and beyond that, I feel GREAT! My partner started with me and has lost 7 lbs himself and the recurrent IBS and tummy issues, and sluggishness have all disappeared.
I can eat foods that used to give me so many digestion problems and I’m not scientist or expert, but without the components of wheat to react with . . . the stomach issues have literally disappeared.

I am a foodie, and love to eat and cook and my weakness . . . pastries!

I didn’t think that I would be able to make such a drastic change to my diet, but after the first few days – it became easier to let go of the idea of wheat and eating it. I became more conscious of the foods that are all around me, at the grocery store, at the coffee shops, everywhere! I have to say that breakfast was the hardest meal to adjust – what would I do without my low-fat cranberry bran muffin, cereal or banana loaf everyday?? I learned that there are options, lots of them, if you allow yourself to think beyond the wheat.
I eat and enjoy many foods that I never thought to try before and continue to educate myself on wheat free recipes and meal plans and most of all, without feeling deprived.

In one instance where I had very little options for dinner (was on a road trip and nothing was open) so I did the old drive thru window and chose the breaded chicken, not thinking that breaded meant wheat filled! What a mistake!! The next day was absolutely horrible on my system and I have to say, its just not worth that kind of suffering to bring wheat back into my diet.

The change to my overall wellness is more than I imagined. I have a better attitude overall, and the afternoon withdrawals have disappeared. Blood pressure and stress have also lowered significantly.
Muscles and joint pains are gone and if I have a craving for a treat once in awhile I know that there are a multitude of wheat free foods.

Dr. Davis, THANK YOU for your inspiration and the tools to educate myself and so many others on the damaging effects of wheat.

I know that I have a long way to go yet but I am sure that this lifestyle change will be something that I can stick to for as long as I choose.

This success beats any slice of cake or buttered toast and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Many see the Wheat Belly approach as a diet. But it’s so much more than that, as WheatFreeBelle’s story demonstrates. It’s about feeling happier, being better able to focus and concentrate, freedom from the multitude of aches, pains, and swelling that wheat consumptions causes. The total effect of wheat elimination is truly greater than the sum of its parts: 2 + 2 = 11.

How many of us have had to endure, for instance, that feeling of bowel urgency that springs on you while driving or in the middle of a meeting? Or the hand swelling and wrist pain that impairs your ability to write, type on a keyboard, or play a musical instrument? Or the overwhelming mental fog and fatigue that follows in the wake of your bran muffin or turkey sandwich?

“Think beyond the wheat” and reopen your eyes to the many foods that don’t inflame, impair, immobilize.

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37 Responses to "Think beyond the wheat"

  1. This is SUCH an excellent testimony!
    I am SO happy to hear about this :)
    It’s amazing when we find a way
    to get to the root of our health problems
    and restore our health
    so we can the life the we deserve!!

    CONGRATULATIONS WheatFreeBelle!!!!

    -Rochelle
    Simply Natural Ideas

  2. Carol Omer says:

    Carol Omer ‎4 weeks… 4 lbs for me.. Lots more energy, regularity and growing insight to the insidiously wide spread consumption of wheat flour which i now recall we added to water to make cheap GLUE when we were kids. That must by why they call it GLUEten..it sticks to ….everything within….

  3. Drew says:

    Another 4-week check in: the increase in energy from going grain-free is absolutely amazing. Also, my adult ADHD is much more controllable now. I can actually concentrate again! :)

  4. Carol Schriner says:

    I too am about 4 weeks in and loving it..it’s not a diet. I am not restricting or counting anything. I just think of any thing wheat as having a big “Mr Yuk” sticker on it! I still have some heartburn off and on but having more heartburn free days. My tummy has flattened quite a bit and my aches and pains and fatique are a bad memeory. I was almost bouncing through the grocery store yesterday instead of leaning on the cart for support.
    My brain fog has lifted to.

    I am 56 and am now realising that I have been more or less sick my entire adult life.

    Carol S

  5. Rob says:

    I love hearing all these success stories. However, I have been wheat free for 4 weeks and have seen no real change. I am not really overweight, although I would like to lose 5 pounds and I have no real health problems. My LDL tends to be high but I take no meds. Could I be one of those folks who just doesn’t react to wheat? Or am I missing something? Thanks, Rob

    • kenji says:

      I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve not ingested anything with wheat in it for 3.5 weeks. I’m not feeling much different than before. I’m wondering if my eating habits and exercise habits are so different than the majority of people already, that changes may take longer or might not be as apparent as others.

      For the last two years I changed from eating a normal Western diet to only eating “Real Foods”. After reading Nina Planck’s “Real Food: What to Eat” book, I switched up my diet 180 degrees to where 85% of what goes in my mouth I make from scratch. For the last two years I also changed from being sedentary to working out 5-6 times a week, with about 6 hours of cardio work a week, I swim laps for my cardio and put in 6000-8000 yards per week. I also do 5 hours of free weights and mobility/stretching per week.

      I’m 51, 5’8, 200lbs, 35 inch waist

      So far no weight loss after I’ve quit ingesting wheat.

      To replace the whole wheat I was eating I turned up the fats with EVOO, some home rendered lards, true brown rice, and a minimal amount of real whole rye bread.

      I’ll check back in about month from now and report back.

  6. Moran says:

    Hello Dr. Davis
    I’ve been on this diet for 3 weeks now and I do feel the difference – feeling more energy , no headaches
    and less hungry overall.
    But after about 10 days of being on this diet I started having diarrhea and my
    whole system is rumbling constantly.I don’t have any stomach ache or discomfort.

    Do you have any suggestions to the cause ?

    other than that I’m very happy with this diet and wouldn’t want to go back to wheat

    Thank you, Moran

    • PJ says:

      Sounds like you’re going through an adjustment/cleansing period. Supplements such as probiotics (very important!), B-complex and glutamine may help even things out. Make sure you take care of your liver with something like milk thistle. : ) Good luck!

      • Dr. Davis says:

        Exactly what I was going to say, PJ.

        There is an intestinal adjustment to the “deprivation” of wheat amylopectin, lectins, and gliadin. You might smooth this over with use of probiotics.

        If this fails, then there may be pancreatic insufficiency issues to consider. That’s a whole conversation by itself. Perhaps its something I should cover more formally in future.

        • Moran says:

          Thank you, I already feel better . the probiotics started to work………..

        • Moran says:

          Hi Dr.Davis
          I wrote to you two weeks ago about having diarrhea after starting the non gluten diet.
          I took probiotics ( Gramse Mega Probiotics – 2 pills each morning)
          it was starting to get better ,but after having a cup of coffee I understood it was a bad idea .
          I then decided to quit coffee for now, but there was no improvement so
          Today I started taking another 2 pills of probiotics in the evening too .
          Still there”s no improvement and actually today it”s even worse.
          It”s been 3 weeks now that I”m with diarrhea and I”m quite worried.
          Do you think I should do any tests . I did some blood tests just after being on this diet and everything was fine.
          Any suggestions will be very welcome.
          Thank you , Moran

          • Dr. Davis says:

            It could simply be a coincidence, Moran, that you acquired some new cause for diarrhea with beginning the diet. Beyond the shift in bowel flora and improved absorption with wheat elimination, I can conceive of no other cause related to your diet change.

            It might involve examining any medications you are taking, collecting stool for culture and evidence for malabsorption, something you might require the assistance of a gastroenterologist to get done.

          • Moran says:

            Thank you I”l go back to my doctor and ask for more tests…..

          • T Woodford says:

            Hi Moran,
            My husband is having the same difficulties you experienced — feeling great, down about 10 pounds after 2 weeks, but terrible diarrhea for the last few days. If it is not asking too much, I was wondering if you were comfortable telling us how your problem was resolved?
            Thanks,
            T&J

        • JENNIE B says:

          Thank you for this response as that is currently my issue (not a very pleasant thing to google, but I am glad I did. I will take some probiotics)

          I actually bought these two books on a fluke. After talking to a friend who lost some weight by cutting out all carbs I was telling my hair stylist I had just started doing the same. (bread, pasta, rice and potato) He then told me that he had just read your book, and I was intrigued by what he was telling me. I immediately went and bought it, and am still reading it. I have been wheat free for three weeks and I definitely feel the difference. Although the past week I have had a serious case of the runs! Not fun, although usually it means losing weight (lol) I did not weigh or measure myself before I started this because I didn’t want to obsess over it daily. I want to lose about 10-15lbs and some inches in my thighs and butt (that’s where I mostly gain) that suddenly appeared in the last couple years now that I am in my mid thirties and about to get married on a beach (but mainly for my own confidence). I could tell after only one week that my pants fit a bit looser in the butt and this is how I will continue to measure my loss.
          I have also told my mom about this book and bought it for her along with the cookbook. She has also spread the word to her best friend who has diabetes and she is taking this on full charge! My brother, who has some definite weight to lose has also just converted. I am now trying to convince my fiancé to go along with me although he is 6’4 and only about 175 so he doesn’t take it as seriously but he respects what I am doing and is helping. I am so convinced I have facebooked friends who I know are trying other methods but are not seeing success.
          I look forward to cooking some recipes now that I know I can use different flours and seeds, as I have not had any type of those replacements since I started. Eating the proteins and fats surprisingly took away my carb cravings and chips and pizza (I thought) are (were) my ultimate weakness. When pizza is ordered I eat a few unbreaded chicken wings and that is suffice!

          Anyway, to sum it up, I am still reading the book and now feel like I am an expert on wheat knowledge lol .

          I will continue to spread the word , but more importantly I now pay attention to what goes in my mouth in a way I never have before!

          Thanks Dr. Davis!!!
          Jen
          (Toronto)

          • JENNIE B says:

            Oh and I am an always have been a terrible nail biter and I have the weakest most brittle nails that never, ever grow. Yesterday I was just thinking that my nails are suddenly very strong and growing and I was trying to figure out why… I just realized that it’s the wheat free diet!!! Could you have cured a lifetime nail biting habit?? Sure hope so!!!

            I also love to drink my wine (daily) and I go out often drinking with friends. I have not cut any of this out at all…. still seeing results (I suppose I will have to omit beer, but I can do that!)

            :)

            Jen
            (Toronto)

      • Moran says:

        Thank’s for the good advice…..I’m eating probiotics and only 24 hours later its much better (:

        • kenji says:

          Not sure what probiotic products you are eating/drinking now, but wanted to let you know I just love kefir. I’ll take make smoothies many times a week using kefir and low sugar fruit juices and mix them together. If I use the whole fat kefir (not reduced fat product) I can go 4-5 hours without feeling any hunger pangs.

  7. Linda Olson says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    I would like to share my story with you. I am a 61 year old woman who has spent most of her life chasing after the elusive American dream of a thin healthy body. I joined Weight Watchers at age 12, when it was brand new. I have tried it again and again with limited success. Once I got to within 5 pounds of my goal- for about 5 minutes-but always regained the lost weight plus 10 pounds. I payed big bucks that I could not afford for the Optifast program. I tried TOPS, the diabetic exchange diet, Atkins, yada yada yada. 5 years ago I had my body permanently altered- I had gastric bypass surgery. I lost 88 pounds, but have steadily regained about 30 of those pounds back. I have no doubt that I was working my way back up to my top weight. Last November I was talking with a co-worker, and she mentioned that wheat was an appetite stimulant. It was like a lightning bolt going off in my head, why hadn’t I heard of this before? She told me a little about Wheat Belly and her wheat free journey. When I got home I downloaded the book onto Kindle and read it straight through. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Anyway, on December 1, 2011, I began my wheat free journey and have had remarkable things happen. In 6 weeks I have lost 10 pounds, lost 4 inches in my waist, my cholesterol has dropped from 206 (stable on statins) to 125, my LDL decreased and my HDL increased, I stopped my twice a day GERD medicine, I was able to drop one blood pressure medication (HCTZ) and decrease the dose in the second (Benicar). And the very best thing of all is that I no longer have food cravings, I no longer binge! What a victory!
    Today I was talking with my Wheat Belly buddy, and I shared with her that I was discouraged about weight loss being so slow. (I am eating very low carb and am on thyroid medication). She shared with me the changes she has noticed in my face and my body and my energy level. She encouraged me to look at how my clothes fit instead of a number on a scale as an indication of my body changing. The important thing is to lose fat, and weight is not always the best way of evaluating that. I would encourage anyone who is discouraged about weight loss to take measurements and watch those change, and not be so obsessed with numbers on a scale.
    Thank you, Dr. Davis, for a miracle.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Thanks for posting your story here and in Facebook, Linda.

      I love that you found the solution after struggling for so long. I’d like to feature your comment as a blog post.

  8. Tyrannocaster says:

    It’s great to read stories like this one because it means more and more people are experiencing this seemingly miraculous change in their health. I have found that people are initially very, very skeptical (especially online, where you can’t interact in person) and sometimes dismissive (“so what if a few people can’t tolerate wheat?”) and sometimes even insulting, but in the end, my presence in front of them (having lost 22 pounds and several inches from my waistline, and that’s only the beginning of the physical changes, many of them not visible) wins the argument every time; there’s just no denying it.

    What makes it so hard is that wheat tastes *good*. I don’t have much trouble avoiding it intentionally because now I know what it does to me, but for everybody else it seems to be a case of “Well, I must say you look great; maybe I should try to eat less wheat.” I suppose that’s better than nothing, anyway. But you know what? This is the same response you get from heroin addicts when you mention the idea of kicking the habit; it’s always something they’re “going to get around to pretty soon”. I think Michael Pollan could have made a good case for wheat domesticating people to further its interests in his book “The Botany Of Desire”, as he did with corn, apples and marijuana.

    I figure my physical presence is like a sign post for them and that’s all I really need to do – be there, not criticize or preach. If they are ready to hear the message they will, and if they aren’t, no amount of hectoring will change them.

  9. Dr. Davis says:

    Agreed, Tyranno.

    And it will help if they encounter this argument again and again in magazines, TV, radio, as well as witness your transformation. Most people need to have it reconfirmed over and over before they will finally realize it’s true.

  10. Josephine Later says:

    I bought the book for my daughter who has more of a wheat belly than I do:-)-because she was calling me a “toastaholic”-also a food addict and mucho overweight–yet I had been on a modified “gluten-free” incl. wheat–and PRESTO–with no effort dropped 20 lbs–yet I do not have celiac disease per se.
    This indicates that everyone acts differently to the same stimulus or allergen–as pictures in medical texts show only the advanced cases.
    .. I plan to continue the “wheat-free” as it is 100% correct,regardless of the rumblings from the “Medical Mafia”-Thanksalot to Dr. Davis……………v152

    • Dr. Davis says:

      That”s right, Josephine: It does not require you to have celiac disease nor “gluten-sensitivity” to respond to wheat elimination.

      That”s because it”s not just about gluten. It”s about gliadin, lectins, amylopectin A, and the thousands of other components in this Frankengrain created in a laboratory.

  11. JUDY LADD says:

    Hi Dr. Davis….I’m excluding wheat from my diet and have done so since January….I’ve lost 10 lbs. and feel sooooo much better….No more bloating or feeling nauseated from foods…. Thank you for your teachings on this very harmful addition to our diets…I have a question for you…I’ve been reading that instant coffee has gluten…Is this true? I recently switched to instant from perked… I’ve read the label on my coffee and it says “100% pure coffee.” .. I’ll thank you in advance for your response…I plan to stay wheat free for the rest of my life..Judy L

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I’ve not heard that, Judy.

      You may need to contact the manufacturer of a specific brand to confirm, but I don’t think that’s true.

      There has been a discussion that coffee (not just instant) has a substance that cross reacts immunologically with a component of wheat, but I am uncertain of the accuracy of that.

  12. candy says:

    what is a standard lunch that you send with your grade school age kids? is there a recipe similar to flaxseed wrap that would be more conducive to say a pb and j? could i just leave out the onion powder and replace it with cinamon and replace paprika with stevia? ps just got the book and we are on day 2 of being off the wheat–kids keep asking for cookies. i live in rural kansas so will have to make a trip to the city for the nutflour and coconut flour recipes. they are also asking for chicken nuggets. since they are not needing to lose weight, is it ok for them to have some popcorn? my son has battled immune issues, GBS and constipation, he also has nite sweats and lost his hearing in his left ear at age 4 during his battle with guillian barre syndrome and subsequent bells palsy. he is 10 now. im thinking getting him off the wheat wont bring his hearing back but hopefully will help with contipation and giant stools. I suffer from weight gain, plantar fasciitis and cystic acne, and chronic migraines, so hoping this will help. my husband was diagnosed with pseudogout last year after all of his joints were hurting and he progressively got to where he couldnt walk–followed by panic attacks..my 5 year old daughter is normal weight and health so far. so glad to have found your book—it is going to be a challenge with all the shopping, cooking and cleaning on top of working and kids activites, homework, etc!thanks for the book!im going to order cook book as well –hopefully it gets here soon–i checked bookstore and walmart and did not find it-only found the main wheat belly book:(

  13. Lauren Paterson says:

    Hi everyone. I am 21 years old and I have been off of wheat for 4 days now and I have lost 6 pounds! I can’t believe it. I feel better too. It took about 4 days for the headaches to go away. But now that they have gone, I am starting to get some of the diarrhea that some of you described. It’s not painful and I’m not really concerned since I’m home most of the time.. just annoying really. I hope that it’s just my body starting to cleanse itself.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Great start, Lauren!

      Many people respond to a high-potency probiotic, e.g., 50 billion CFUs per day for several weeks. Your bowels are readjusting to the lack of the intrusive effects of wheat, including a transition to healthy bowel flora.

  14. Jo M says:

    Hello all, I too seem to have developed the same diarrhea. As mentioned, no pain or cramps, but going 4-5 times a day and (sorry for being graphic) food doesn’t seem to be digesting. I’ve just completed week 2, lost 2.2lbs. I can’t say that I’ve been feeling less brain fog, and I have had a terrible acne break out. Is all this normal for the breaking in period or is this diet not right for me? Cheers