We all come to the wheat-free experience from our own unique directions, with our own unique perspectives. Here is how Rick was shamed into embracing the wheat-free lifestyle:
Last March I tried to put on a 38-waist suit I bought a few years ago and it was impossible to squeeze in. So on our way to a wedding I had to stop and by a pair of 40″ slacks. That should have done it – but no. I blamed gravity.
The doctor said 212 pounds wasn’t a problem for a 62-year old, 6’2″ man, but he wanted me back on the terrible pain-inducing Crestor and once again I balked.
Later that month we went to Florida. I was quite comfortable with myself and my 40” stomach ’til we were on the beach with old friends and the husband said to my wife, “How can he look like that?” I was bitter, but later on the trip, we saw my cousin and he looked like a rail and talked endlessly about your book.
I was a lifetime bagel breakfast, deli sandwich lunch, pasta 3 times a week (3-plates), and would–if no one was looking–eat a whole pizza anytime. I used to say when I ate a slice that I missed it and had to eat the next one slower so I could remember it. This is not a joke! I was terribly addicted. I didn’t understand. I haven’t eaten chips or candy in years; haven’t had a soda in 30 years. Why was I fat and getting fatter?
I finally accepted there was something wrong. In the 1st few weeks while reading your book, I started a gluten free regime. Every few pages you would kill another sub-product I had added. I finally stopped the halfway measures and abandoned all grain and all forms and sources of sugar, except for a few berries a day and the wonderful stevia. I have been on a basic meat and vegetables diet since then. I’m in the hunter-gatherer clan of your followers. I eat a ton of nuts too. I have invented many almond flour recipes and have outdone KFC with an incredible extra crispy recipe for chicken. I also have converted 3 old friends who were equally as tragic.
I personally went from 212 to 177 and it seems to have leveled off. Between me and my 2 friends, both 6′+ ex athletes, we have collectively lost over 90 pounds.
I will never go back. I love what I eat now. My arthritis has diminished. I feel great.
Rick’s experience is all too familiar, isn’t it? Ex-athlete, avoiding soft drinks and chips, trying to eat “right” . . . yet gaining more and more weight, wondering why his cholesterol was high, waist size growing–despite cutting his fat and eating more “healthy whole grains”!
Rick’s comment about the addictive effect is the key: Wheat stimulates appetite. It’s that gliadin opiate at work again: It makes you want to eat the whole pizza, it makes you want more carbohydrates, it increases calorie consumption by 440 calories per day, every day. With wheat in your life, control over weight and health is a losing battle. Remove it and the battle is won a lot more easily.
Rick also makes another essential point: After wheat, other grains are also problems. Grains are, at best, an expedient, a convenience, a source of cheap calories. But, like wheat, grains do not belong in the diet of modern Homo sapiens. Grains have been consumed by humans for 0.4% of the time we have inhabited earth, meaning 99.6% of the time we ate no grains. When Homo sapiens of 10,000 years ago consumed einkorn and emmer wheat, teosinte (corn), sorghum, millet, and rice, we experienced smaller femur size, a reduction in height, more iron deficiency anemia (evidenced by porotic hyperostosis in skulls), transverse ridges in the incisors signifying malnutrition, an explosion in tooth decay and loss, shrinking faces and jaws resulting in crooked teeth and deformities. This is why I say that, like wheat, consumption of grains is for the desperate or the misinformed.