Read this wonderful tale of freedom from the bonds of wheat’s grip over appetite, as well as relief from decades of Crohn’s disease.
I am 42 years old and I work as a flight attendant. I eat an excellent diet, I exercise regularly and I live a very active lifestyle. I run approximately 30 km [about 18 miles] a week. I am 5’7” and weighed 160.2 lbs.
I have been tracking my calories using the “MyFitnessPal” app on my iPhone for over a year and I have not been able to lose the 15-20 lbs that has crept up on me in the last 10 years. I carry the extra weight from the bottom of my rib cage to my mid-thighs. I thought this was normal for a woman my age but I always wished I could have that whole area sucked out and then my body would be perfect to me.
After discussing my weight-loss issues with a co-worker, she lent me the book “Wheat Belly.” I read it on my vacation and I decided to take the 4 week challenge of eliminating wheat from my diet. The first few days were not pleasant. I had a constant headache, I was irritable and felt achy all over. I had a sore throat and I thought I was coming down with a cold. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to find anything to eat that wouldn’t have wheat in it.
I have now been wheat-free for 13 days. I cannot believe the difference. I have lost 5% of my body weight in a week and a half. I now weigh 152 lbs. The most significant difference I have noticed is that I am no longer on the feast or famine rollercoaster I previously lived with. I am rarely hungry, I don’t have the massive starvation-like episodes if I didn’t “feed the monster” every 2 to 3 hours. I used to get shaky, irritable, cold, and completely obsessed with food and carbs if I didn’t have constant access to snacks. This has miraculously disappeared. I am taking in fewer calories because I am not starving hungry all the time but I am not taking in so few to warrant such a massive loss in weight in such a brief period of time. It is most curious.
My “skinny jeans” are looking fantastic on me, my belly is flat, I have this calmness and peacefulness about me that feels very foreign but wonderful. I don’t dream about food or wake up fantasizing about what I will have for breakfast like before. It’s like I went to bed fat and woke up skinny. I do not miss wheat nor do I crave it. I am drinking more water for some odd reason. I don’t know how to describe it but I genuinely feel thirst and hunger, whereas before I was just manically putting stuff in my mouth. It’s hard to forget what you’ve learned about nutrition and how to “eat well” when the Canada’s Food Guide Pyramid has been turned upside-down. To eat avocados, raw nuts, eggs, lean meats, healthy oils, etc. and not worry about the caloric implications is weird but wonderful. I eat carbs. I enjoy reasonable quantities of rice and potatoes and sweet potatoes and red wine and fruit and it doesn’t seem to matter.
The only thing I have changed is I have eliminated that one ingredient from my diet: wheat. It is in a lot of what we commonly consume. Every can of tomato soup, every salad dressing in the fridge, every chicken bouillon granule, every cereal, etc. contains wheat, wheat flour and/or hydrolyzed wheat protein. Even some ice cream and packaged oatmeals have wheat. I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist but it sure makes you wonder whether food manufacturers are fueling our addictions to wheat by making sure it is in everything.
There are many products available that are easy substitutes for the wheat-laced food that makes up such a large percentage of our diets. With a little creative swapping, you really don’t miss it. I made the flax wraps in the book and they were awesome. The local Bulk Barn store has all the ingredients you need to make all your favorite foods without wheat. I have a smoothie in the morning, lots of veggies everyday and a healthy normal supper. Last night, I made a beautiful roast beef dinner, mashed potatoes, veggies, etc. just watch out that the gravy doesn’t have flour or Bistro!
My story is interesting but my Mom’s is astounding. My Mom is 64 years old, she is 5’2” and 107 lbs. She has suffered terribly from unmanageable Crohn’s Disease for 25 years. She has had 3 major bowel surgeries to remove blockages and has very regular bouts of extremely urgent explosive diarrhea. Her doctor threatened that one more blockage and she will have to have a colostomy bag.
Even though she is up at 6 a.m., she doesn’t leave her house until mid-morning because she has to be near the washroom for 5-10 bathroom visits. She has been on prednisone, Asacol and many other medications. She is anemic and gets regular iron shots because the Crohn’s basically leeches vitamins and minerals out of her. She has osteoporosis due to calcium loss. She gets Vitamin D shots and she is unable to take some of the newer drugs on the market for Crohn’s because her vitamin levels are not what they need to be to make her a good candidate. She has always looked like she was 5 months pregnant even though she is a very petite woman.
I asked her to read the book and several of the ladies in her apartment building were reading it so we decided to try the 4-week challenge together to support each other. We listened to Dr. Davis on CBC’s Maritime Noon a few weeks ago and we were further convinced.
The changes in my Mom’s health are unbelievable. After 25 years of her body being wracked with uncontrollable diarrhea, she has not had an episode in 13 days. This has not happened in 25 years. Her stool is firm and she is able to control her bowel urges. Her stomach is completely flat. All her pants are loose and comfortable at the waist. It is nothing short of a miracle.
She was tested for celiac years ago and tested negative. She tried eliminating sugar and dairy with no success. She has suffered so much and the cure is seemingly so easy. She couldn’t continue working as a bank teller because she had to run to the bathroom constantly and without warning. She has been on a disability pension due to her medical issues. I am feeling angry at the medical community and society in general that no one ever suggested to my Mom to eliminate wheat.
I am having a hard time believing that these miraculous changes will be sustainable. I don’t crave wheat. I am not tempted to eat it for some odd reason, even though two weeks ago I fantasized constantly about multigrain bread, crackers and nachos. I can’t imagine it being this easy to lose weight. If I continue at the rate I am going I will have lost 10% of my body weight and reached my goal weight in 4 short weeks. I’ll keep you posted.
Grateful in Nova Scotia
Is it possible to overstate the enormity of these responses? Can you appreciate how different this is from just reducing carbohydrates?
This is about eliminating this grain that has worked its way so deeply into the human experience, endorsed by official agencies, blessed by the dietary community, become the currency of international trade, yet wrecks health in so many ways. Rid it from your life and, more often than not, you will be astounded.