Fatal mistake

Craig related this story of inadvertent wheat re-exposure:

I’ve been wheat-free for just about three months. Last night, I went to my niece’s wedding reception (some of you can see it coming, can’t you?) and I knew I’d have to be careful what to pick from the buffet. Goulash: obviously not. Beef on kummelweck, well, no roll, of course, but a big heap of beef is good. Oh, look! Green salad and fruit salad. Big helping of each.

So far, so good, eh? But then the fatal mistake.

You gotta have something on green salad and there sat a big decanter of Italian-looking dressing. With just a tiny voice in the back of my mind warning me, no, I lathered it on. And it didn’t take long for the consequences to begin.

Went to bed at 10:00 and woke up every hour thereafter ’til 3:00 when I finally gave in and got up. I’ve been sleeping like the proverbial rock for months, so I knew right away that I’d been wheated, starched, or both. And it had to be the dressing. All of them contain some sort of modified food starch — that’s why I’d thrown all mine out. I’ve found that, since giving up wheat, I’m very sensitive to starches. And a lot of commercial dressings have wheat as a thickener. But all I could do now was sit and wait for what was to come.

And it started: runny nose, trips to the bathroom and, by late morning, brain-fog so thick I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I’d had beef soup cooking in the crock pot overnight and when I went to strain the broth, instead of lifting out the ceramic bowl, I, in my dazed, herky-jerky state, grabbed the whole pot which then flew out of my hands as it was still plugged into the wall, spilled hot soup over my arm burning it (not seriously, but it hurts!) and flooded the kitchen floor as well as splattering the cabinets.

And after a lost half-hour of cleaning up the mess, let me tell you, my mood was black.

I’m so mad at myself. The last couple weeks of wheat-freedom had, in addition to the weight loss [35 lbs], the skin-clearing, the lower back pain and bursitis disappearing, and the arthritis in my neck virtually gone, had seen my mood go almost euphoric. I’m temporarily working out-of-town with an hour-and-a-half commute each way. I’ve been dreading this assignment, but found that I would wake up each morning excited about the day. I would use the drive to think all sorts of interesting things, and had so much energy at work that I couldn’t believe it.

So, sitting here tonight downing a stiff gin-and-tonic to get some semblance of a good mood back (even if artificially induced), all I can say is that I’m so dam*ed mad. Never again!

While I wish Craig didn’t have to suffer through his tough night of wheat re-exposure, experiences like this are SO instructive. They remind us just how toxic wheat was to us in the first place.

We ate it for years, tolerating the headaches, fatigue, mind “fog,” impaired concentration, joint pains, heartburn, urgent bowel movements, increased appetite, etc., but developing partial tolerance to at least some of the effects. We go off wheat, endure the several days of opiate withdrawal from the gliadin protein, then feel wonderful and free of all the wheat-related problems . . . until we have a re-exposure, intentional or inadvertent.

We’ve heard many of these wheat re-exposure stories the past 2 years, but stories like Craig’s are worth hearing over and over again as they remind us that “healthy whole grains” are not! They are perfect chronic poisons that revisit us with a vengeance when we drift back.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Kathryn

    LOL – “fatal” on a doctor’s page left me expecting, um, death. Glad it wasn’t that bad.

    • Dave

      I had the same reaction, thinking someone died. The burns as well as the re-exposure symptoms clearly are serious.

      But I’ve been there, kicking myself for accidental exposure when I’ve known better…

  2. Jim Herrmann

    I had a re-exposure experience when I was playing disc golf in the National Senior Games in July of this year. It was a two day competition with box lunches provided. The first day I shot a 63 in the morning, which is not stellar, but OK for me. Then there was lunch. I thought well, it’s part of the package, and surely one little sandwich won’t hurt. Boy was I wrong. I blew up the second round that first day. Shot a 70. 7 shots worse than my morning. I just could not focus on my shots and just missed a bunch of them. That night and the next morning I made sure I had no wheat, and the morning I shot a 61, skipped lunch that was provided and shot a 63 in the afternoon. Both acceptable for me. The 70 just killed me, but I know why I shot that bad, and it won’t happen again.

  3. Tara

    The same thing happened to me today with tacos. I’m relatively new to wheat-free and did it on my own, not for medical reasons, so occasionally allow myself to go back to old ways – you never know, maybe I’m imagining things?! Nope. INSTANT reaction. SUPER FULL feeling, bloated, DULL headache that still persists three hours later, HUGE brain fog, and the gas… ugh. Never again.
    It’s amazing how once you detox your body, you can REALLY tell the effect.

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Everyone is different. Reactions, if any at all, are different for everybody. It also changes as your health improves.

  4. Why do you have to have dressing and sauce on things. I always eat my green salad dry. I actually like the taste of raw veggies and salad greens without having those tastes drowned in something else.

    • HS4

      The nutrients in vegetables, whether raw or cooked, are absorbed better in the presence of fat. Thus it’s always a good idea to at least drizzle some good quality olive oil (as well as some lemon juice or vinegar) on salads. That said, i agree there’s no need to drown it!

  5. Try again, Why do you have to have your salad drowned in some sort of dressing or sauce. Try actually tasting the veggies and salad greens as they are. You might like then.

  6. DJ

    All I can say is WOW. I am new to all of this and have been off wheat for about 2 weeks after finding your blog. It was quite the eye opener. I am shocked at how many products have wheat in them. It is really scary. Thank you for this blog and all of the stories, recipes and scientific info which, for me, was what I needed to make a choice.

    Salad Dressing…really?! I am wondering if there is a list of products or wheat derivatives/byproducts that I can look for on labels to recognize them. Does such a list exist?

    New York

    • Craig Howard

      The ingredients will list wheat and some sort of starch quite clearly by name. I’m rather the rookie at this stuff, too, and only know to look for the obvious.

      There are some commercial dressings such as “Marie’s” and “Marzetti’s” that I can tolerate without problems, though they do often contain soybean oil which some find troubling. Maria Emmerich has come up with a nice list of salad dressing recipes that pass Wheat-Belly-muster.

  7. Alice

    Man, I went to a wedding reception a couple of weeks ago with a buffet and I have never seen such unhealthy food, and ALL of it involved wheat. People were piling their plates high, too, and it was all so stunningly horrid I felt like I was from another planet. Even the pans of vegetables were full of all kinds of sauces and flavorings full of heaven-knows-what. A big fuss was made about making me a special “gluten-free” plate in the kitchen. I ended up with flavored white rice which I did not eat, vegetables cooked to death in some kind of sauce, and fried potatoes (can you imagine what the oil probably was). I just couldn’t get over how bad it all was……almost everything I eat I make myself out of whole foods, and I am unused to what the rest of the world thinks is good food….no wonder they all had such bellies. :-(

    • Neicee

      Alice, same here. Went to a stunningly beautiful wedding a month ago. Everything went well until the reception. The buffet was loaded…with just about anything/everything I couldn’t eat. Shoot, even passed up a piece of the chocolate wedding cake (it did look soooo good). In solidarity my husband didn’t eat any either. Then, one week later, experienced the same thing at a 50th anniversary party. The two menus were so close you would have thought they used the same caterer, yet they were a couple of hundred miles apart. To me though: not worth it to consume it.

  8. Debrah

    I had a similar experience this last weekend. A co-worker had invited me to a dinner party at his home as part of their Iftar (breaking the day-long fast during Ramadan). He and his wife knew I required a wheat free diet, and graciously made a lovely meal that had no visible wheat products. Things were fine until dessert, when I was served a homemade dish that is very traditional in their homeland of Palestine, and it was delicious. It never occurred to me to ask for the ingredients. About two hours later, I was hit with a headache, nausea, and severe abdominal cramping, which lead to the inevitable prolonged stay in the bathroom. After three months of wheat-free living, I had forgotten what my life had been like before leaving wheat behind. I spent the following day researching the recipe for the dessert I had been served, and found it was made with semolina, which I am certain my friend and his wife never considered as a wheat dish, as I probably would not considered it before reading “Wheat Belly”. I have learned a valuable lesson, and will ask first before trying unknown dishes.

  9. Skeptic

    Why do you automatically assume it was the tiny amount of starch (maybe) in the dressing? There are other things that can cause a runny nose, foggy head, trips to the bathroom, etc. Like maybe, oh I don’t know, a cold or a virus?

    Wheat-free or not, one is not immune to the occasional bout of sickness, and at different times of the year bugs of various sorts run rampant. To immediately jump to the conclusion that the salad dressing was the culprit ignores that obvious fact. Next thing we know everyone will be blaming blizzards and tornadoes on the slice of bread they had.

    As the old saying goes, “When you hear hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” In other words, look for the most likely explanation, not a less probably one.

    • Dave

      I have been wheat-free for five months, and have accidentally wheated myself a few times. I caught a cold Sunday night, and I can tell you, the differences are obvious. One of the most obvious indicators: speed. Colds come on relatively slowly; it was a good 24 hours between “I feel something” and “Yup, I caught something.” Wheat exposure is like a light switch. For me, I can tell within 45-90 minutes of a meal, and then I’m in the bathroom. Typically by the time I go to sleep, the worst is over. Colds last days, and the expression is markably different.

      Was the condescension in your post intended or not?

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      You are not far from the truth about your morning toast causing much of our weather problems.
      Many books have been written about farming, natural resources and feeding the world. Dr. Davis has announced that he is currently working on several that address these topics.

      Most people become familiar with the specific symptoms of being re-exposed to grains or sugars.
      They rarely mistake this for a cold or flu.

    • Craig Howard

      Why do you automatically assume it was the tiny amount of starch (maybe) in the dressing? There are other things that can cause a runny nose, foggy head, trips to the bathroom, etc. Like maybe, oh I don’t know, a cold or a virus?

      That’s a good question, Skeptic. In fact, your explanation is exactly what I’ve assumed all my sixty years — sometimes you just inexplicably get sick.

      But after three months without wheat, repeated inadvertent exposure to wheat or starch provokes the same reaction. I no longer believe in inexplicable illness. There’s always a cause and most of it is the food we eat, I suspect.

  10. Annie D

    I remember hearing Marilu Henner on a talk show once saying how she went to a party and couldn’t eat any of the food…but the centerpiece was actually made up of edibles, so she ate that!

  11. Emmy Grainless

    My biggest trepidation involves telling someone…”I’m not eating grains…I’ll bring my own food to your [fill in event here] only to have them bend over backwards to make or buy things filled with no-no starches that I end up not eating. I don’t want to put people out…just let me bring my own food!

  12. John

    Dr. Davis – Do probiotic teas fit within your dietary guidelines? I’ve used a product called “Kombucha” in the past, and it lists lemon juice in the ingredients, along with 2g of sugar. I’m guessing that is too much, but please let me know.

  13. Great story! Afraid Gin also contains wheat :( but Trader Joes in California sells a certain potato based gin (yes a starch but at least not a wheat!…and we should limit alcohol anyway right?). Monopolowa Vienna Dry Gin

    • Craig Howard

      Afraid Gin also contains wheat

      It doesn’t seem to have any obvious ill effects on me, though I might, indeed, find unexpected benefits were I to stop imbibing. For the time being, I shall enjoy my pleasurable little vice. Same goes for sugar. Since I’m ten pounds below my originally-targeted weight, I occasionally indulge in a big bowl of “all-natural” ice cream, too.


      • Neicee

        If you’re celiac or gluten intolerant try Titos Vodka made in Austin, TX. Carries a 95 pts. rating. Filtered 5 times. And, the $$$ stays in the good ol’ USA. Bing his website, it’s great.

  14. I am so happy Craig was able to endure the consequence. I make my own salad dressing and I take it with me to events. I know some people will say…good grief! But I say, I’m better safe than sorry.

    • Michele

      Lynne, That is such a good idea to make your own salad dressing to bring with you when eating out. I would love to know your wheat-free salad dressing recipe.

      • janet

        This is mine: I can whip it up in about a minute and it can be adapted, like add horseradish, different mustards, lemon, etc.

        6 Tablespoons of olive oil
        2 tablespoons of stone ground mustard
        2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar (or any vinegar)
        1 tsp. honey (optional)
        salt/pepper to taste.

        I just whisk it until thicker and I get enough for about 3 days worth on my evening large salad.
        I don’t buy any prepared salad dressing anymore. I keep small little containers and take it with me sometimes. Otherwise, I don’t mind salads at all with no dressing other than a lemon or lime squeezed. In the summer, juicy tomatoes are enough too.

    • Craig Howard

      I know some people will say…good grief!

      Heh. Three months ago, I would have been one of them.

  15. Joe Illingworth

    I fell for the wedding cake instead of the salad dressing, but it was instructive. I had been WF (wheat-free) for 2 months and had observed that complex salads were tasting INCREDIBLY good, like I was completely aware of each ingredient and how it added to the varied and delightful taste. At first I just thought that as my life-long sweat tooth had faded with my wheat addiction, I was also acquiring a much greater appreciation for veggies and healthy foods. This seemed like a very positive thing. Eating a small piece of wedding cake prove another possibility to be true. My sense of taste for EVERYTHING had gotten much, much better. The wedding cake was Fabulous! My sense of smell is also better and I think even my hearing. Wife no longer tells me I am talking too LOUD. I’ve also noticed sounds around the house of which I previously was not aware. I also experienced much greater sense of touch as my skin has become much more healthy. Not sure if the better senses are from the absence of brain fog or just the better body you get when it isn’t spending so much energy clearing toxins.

    And yes, I did pay a price for my wheat. I now throw a few hands full of nuts into a sandwich bag for my pocket when I know real food may be scarce at an event. This works great at amusement parks or sporting events with lots of unhealthy temptations. .

  16. Cranberry

    I sooo relate to the highs n lows. Here’s to living n learning. And awesome freedom from inflammation here forward. :)

  17. Evelyn

    The sad truth is that the “chosen” (those of us who don’t eat gluten for many reasons) have to go hungry sometimes, just to be sure.

  18. Jean

    I keep thinking and hoping it isn’t the wheat. It is. I feel GOOD without it! I feel bad with it – swelling in hands and feet, constipation, sore neck, bloated stomach, tingling feet(hate this), weight gain and general yuckiness. I love to bake and I have a hard time giving that up. I know I can bake without flour but it’s just not the same. I also don’t want to be the “weirdo” who always has issues with food. I don’t want to ask the waitress about ingredients, I don’t want to sit in the pew during communion, I don’t want to have to say, “no thanks, I can’t eat that”. I don’t like the attention and I don’t want to explain it. I realize there’s no other way. It’s just hard. Forgive me for whining and I will try again today.

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      It gets easier the longer you are grain/sugar free. I , took, enjoyed baking and have made wonderful tasting and looking pastries, cookies, cakes, breads. Sigh. Those days are a fond memory now.

      Would I give up my new found vim, vigor and vitality for all those items? Not in a New York Minute!

      To avoid always having “issues”, I order salads with lemon or oil and vinegar, broiled fish or meat and veggies, politely decline bread or grains and ask for extra veggies instead. If I am visiting, I let the host or hostess know when invited that I have developed a severe allergy and cannot eat any wheat and would be happy to provide my own food at the gathering. Or, I eat before I go to the party. No fuss!

      Some people just mentioned going to weddings and only being able to eat the parsley, kale, radishes and other decorative trims on the food served!

    • Joe Illingworth

      Jean, I totally understand and empathize, but realize every time you ask for a wheat or glutten free menu, you are helping to educate a waitress, chef, or restaurant owner making it that much easier for then next person. One possible solution to communion (my church now offers wheat-free, but you have to ask) is to just fake it, go through the motions, but not the consumption. Its mostly a spiritual exercise anyway. It gets easier and the health benefits for so many of us are HUGE!
      All the Best

      • > … every time you ask for a wheat or gluten free menu,
        > you are helping to educate …

        I recommend asking first for a wheat-free menu, and when they can’t comply, ask for a gluten-free. They need to be educated that the problem is wheat, and not just gluten.

        Much of what else you need to know is provided by the Nutrition Facts that [U.S.] restaurants are supposed to have available. Drilling down to oils and non-GMO is for some time in the future.

    • Lyra

      Jean, I too did lots of baking and had a great reputation for homemade cakes, breads, and even chocolate covered homemade caramels at Christmas. I ran a little at-home chocolate caramel business for awhile. Now that I am grain-free, as well as sugar and dairy, I am so amazed at the wonderful world of baking! Have you ever used coconut cream (not the coconut milk in the dairy department, but real thick Native Forest brand), coconut flour, flaxseed meal, free-range eggs, and some of the delicious alternatives to create your original recipes? Organic real vanilla, sea salt, pure baking soda or powder without starch, butter, coconut oil! I love it. I have used Stevia for sweetener, but have even begun leaving that out as well. I am completely inspired, even when I am the only one eating the results. Thank you, Doctor Davis.

      • Joe Illingworth

        Lyra: Thank you for that great, positive post! Indeed, after wonderful health the next best thing about being wheat-free is all the new and wonderful foods you discover visiting your local health food store. Organic is the best!

  19. organicguy

    Should all starches be avoided? Even brown rice,which has starch. I wash and rinse my rice. I wonder if that helps?

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Not much. 1/4 to perhaps 1/2 cup of rice as part of a larger meal has been suggested. This is occasional. The starches are high glycemic as well as high carb. This is why rice, other grains and
      beans are not recommended.

  20. Susan Fox

    This happened to me so often that I finally stopped eating out or trusting anyone else’s cooking. I travel with ingredients and utensils, cutting board, bowls, etc. What a difference. I’ve now had no incidents since March. Knock on wood!! But I also had eliminated sugar (occasionally tiny amounts) and use xylitol, eat no starch whatsoever, and always eat real food, no processed. I feel so great that if I didn’t know my age and wisdom level I would think I was 18 again. I’ve been spreading the news about Wheat Belly, Dr. Williams and The Wheat Belly Cookbook as much as I can. I’ll be 67 soon and can still wear a bikini. I do work out but not to extreme. ..Push-ups, crunches and leg and other arm exercises. I followed Dr. Williams advice on purchasing ingredients. I buy a lot from Nuts.com and from our local farmers and food co-op.

    One last note is that I’ve noticed there are lots of copy cats using Wheat Belly in their book titles. We all need to spread the word that only Dr. Davis’s books are legitimate.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, thank you, Susan.

      Lots of copycats out there and getting the message wrong! We don’t want people getting confused. The differences can be fatal!

      • Susan Fox

        I have suspicions that the big food companies or the wheat lobby have put many of those out there to distract people from your message.

  21. Terry

    I hear ya. I was wheat free for about three months and decided to indulge in a few scones over a few days. My daughter was working at an upscale bakery and decided to bring some of her skills home for us to try. To be honest with you…I was just ticked. In spite of being wheat free and mostly sugar free, I hadn’t dropped any weight so I had a “to heck with it moment” and ate the scones.

    Oh. My. Gosh. The fibromyalgia that I deal with came roaring in with the worst flare ever. My changes have been so gradual, I didn’t realize I WAS feeling better. Ever trigger point in my body woke up and I felt like a old woman (I’m 49), nodding off in my chair SEVERAL times in a day. It was horrible.

    I will never, ever knowingly touch wheat again. And I’ve since step up my efforts to eliminate grains. The Wheat Belly Cookbook has been a lifesaver for me in learning this new lifestyle. Between cleaning up my diet and practicing mindfulness meditations every day, the chronic pain I have dealt with for the pass 10 or so years is abating.

  22. June

    I have had this happen at parties when I ate something that didn’t LOOK like it had wheat in it. I am much more careful now!

    Tonight at a meeting I was attending someone told me that I look so much more healthy than when she met me a year ago. And next week I am going to my annual reunion with my three sisters. Last year they had to slow down for me. This time they will have to keep up with me!

    I am so grateful that I picked up this book nine months ago. It is so interesting to me that even on a couple of private facebook groups I belong to, people have started to ask about gluten. You have truly started a movement, Doctor Davis! Thank you for changing so many lives!

  23. William

    This is a bit off topic but if cholesterol isn’t the problem or not as big a problem as led to believe, why does the Track your Plaque program target 60 LDL?


  24. Steve

    I had a similar experience. I made pizza for the family, and then made a spelt pizza dough for myself, hoping it wouldn’t have the same effects on me as modern wheat. Well, a couple days later I started feeling anxious and, well, full of mysterious anger and rage… It went away the next day, but I wonder if the spelt is to blame?

    • It’s wheat no matter how it’s spelt.

      We do not know for sure that heirlooms are significantly free of all the toxic effects of modern techo-triticale. Part of the problem with modern goat grass is its pervasiveness. Someone would have to run an experiment where hapless volunteers consumed as much heirloom-based products as the general public today consumes of modern-based products. I’m not volunteering. You might reconsider.

      • Roxie

        haha I like the joke “no matter how it’s spelt” !

        I just think all grains are bad (except for my beloved white rice – for me at least), they shred your guts. I have a little mantra that I try to recall whenever the thought passes through my mind to eat a little wheat … would I seriously consider eating something that perforates my gut?

      • > Is it the inflammation that cause anger and rage ?

        Hard to say, but I can make some layperson conjectures, which, as always, may not be worth what you’re paying to see them :).

        Keep in mind that it has been known since WWII that if schizophrenics don’t eat wheat, some of them improve. That was 25 years before semi-dwarf hybrid wheat escaped from Mutant Meals, Inc. This means that wheat has always harbored some brain effects, which probably affect those who aren’t schizo. Eat heirloom grains; experience heirloom pains.

        Another possibility is hyperthyroid (not hypo). I have hyper in my family, and “irritability” is one clear sign of a flare-up. You can check:
        and see if anything rings a bell. Hyperthyroid does seem to show up in the standard, otherwise mostly worthless, TSH & total T4 tests, and the treatment doesn’t involve the normal jaw-dropping incompetence of consensus medicine which one encounters with hypothyroid.

        Dr. Davis has written extensively on watching out for the emergence of undiagnosed thyroid problems when ditching wheat, but doesn’t seem to have opined on what’s causing all these thyroid problems in the first place. Is there a wheat connection?

      • Here’s an interesting Mercola article, on the wheat-brain connection, written two months before Wheat Belly was published:

        And to circle back to your original remark about spelt pizza. What is the actual genetic analysis of that spelt? Does it have any genes from techno-wheat? Bottom line: heirloom wheats are worth avoiding, even if they really are heirloom wheats.

        Wheat Belly pizza is a big hit at our house, even for guests still addicted to wheat.

        • bh

          I had a long-standing problem with depression. Since being wheat free for about 18 months, I was able to ditch the antidepressants. If I am accidentally wheated, my only symptom may be depression the next day.

        • Craig Howard

          The article you linked to was very interesting — and it specifically listed spelt as one of the grains that is high in lectin.

  25. Rich

    It is always a problem when invited to an event or travelling. Today, I had to turn down a friendly invitation for a quick lunch at Tim Horton’s here in Canada. I know there is nothing on the menu that I want to consume. I had my bag of nuts and my water bottle in the car. So and handful of nuts and water was my lunch today.
    While consuming it, I was thinking about extending the list of items one can take on the road that do not easily spoil. Perhaps beef jerky, made at home in a food dehydrator from gras fed beef, may be good addition? Are there any concerns about consuming dehydrated foods (other than large quantities of fruit)?

    • Wellness Meat has a grassfed/grass finished beef jerky that is sugar-free….also, as a traveling treat, we like kale chips which we make in the oven with olive oil and smoked paprika.

    • Erica in RSA

      Rich, have you thought of keeping a cooler bag in your car? That would increase your options. For instance, you could put chilled cans of tuna or sardines in it, perhaps add some baby tomatoes and sliced cucumber and cheese. I’m thinking in terms of things which you can eat with your fingers, apart from the tuna/sardines – for those you merely need a spoon, and perhaps a can opener depending on whether or not you have the sort of cans which require it. In all but the hottest weather a cooler bag should suffice to keep the food fresh.

  26. Jesse

    Dr Davis is there any brand of protein powder you recommend while being on Wheat Belly? or any ingredients in protein powder you recommend staying away from whilst on the diet? I’m trying to build muscle and not sure if protein powder is wheat belly approved. Thanks

    • Dr. D. has said previously when this came up:
      “I’m not a big fan of whey, so don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the best brands. At the very least, look for brands without added sugars.
      “I think that dairy and whey are fairly small issues for most. They are insulinotrophic, i.e., they stimulate as much as a tripling of pancreatic insulin production. But I don’t believe this is such a big deal that we should avoid.”

    • RenegadeRN

      I learned about the Jay Robb brand of protein powders from nutritionist Maria Emmerich.
      Dr. Davis posted a couple of her recipes here, and ever since I visit her site frequently. Great recipes!

      I can’t do ANY dairy products due to severe intolerances to whey and casein, so I use the egg white protein powder from Jay Robb. It is made with no hormones, antibiotics, and only uses stevia as a sweetner.


  27. Mike

    Dr. Davis: At restaurants, along with my meat or chicken or fish entree, I’ve been replacing the potato and mixed veggies with tomato slices and cole slaw. Is that all right?

    • > … been replacing the potato and mixed veggies with tomato slices and cole slaw

      I’d agree with ditching the potato (hi gly), but mixed veggies are fine as long as there’s no sauce, or a known low-gly wheat-free sauce (there may be residual cooking oil, tho). Tomato is fine. Cole slaw may or may not be a hazard, depending on what the sauce is. Many contain sugar.

      • Neicee

        I haven’t purchased frozen veggies in sauce to microwave in years. These are reserved by millions for those nights they’re tired or too busy other than to go through the rote of cooking. But, my hubby did. Asked him to stop off and pick up some veggies…..I had to know so logged in for some fascinating stuff.
        Butter sauce:
        Water, butter, food starch modified, salt, natural flavors, maltodextrin, modified butter oil, dehydrated butter, shortening powder, guar gum, sodium bicarbonate, annatto and turmeric, xanthan gum, sodium lactylate (sp?), beta carotene and may contain milk!
        So if they’re sold in stores I’m betting that’s what you’re getting in many restaurants too!

  28. Michael Kovacs

    Last night I went to a local restaurant to celebrate my niece’s birthday. It was “Wing Night” so I decided to go with it and not make a scene. It was the worst mistake I’ve made in the 4 years I’ve been wheat/Gluten free. I had the worst Migraine in my life today. I know they dip the raw wings in flour so the sauces stick to the wings. Lesson Learned. Not going to do that again. Why cant Restaurants voluntarily put allergen warnings in there menus so people like you and I can be spared the embarrassment of having to ask.

    • Dave

      Wings are probably what I miss most about this lifestyle. (Whole Foods is the only place I know where you can get wings without flour, although the wings tend to be small and mostly bone. I guess that’s from the lack of drugs they give to chickens at most farms.)

      We have to ask (demand, really) for allergen information, and hopefully the more questions we ask, the more likely restaurants will provide that information on their menus.

      • Dr. Davis

        You know, Dave, you can make healthy and delicious wings yourself just by using a healthy sauce!

        (I have included some chicken wings recipes and recipes for sauces in my new Wheat Belly 30-Minute Meal Cookbook, but not out until December, 2013.)

  29. Loekie

    I am wheat free since february 2012. My weight went from 94 to 90 and stayed there a long time. Lately my weight is dropping down more quickly, at the moment 87 – is alright. But lately I also have sometimes convulsions in my leg at night. Should I take a magnesium supplement?

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Dr. Davis,

      I wonder if you have any additional insights on magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin D and iodine supplementation? Your 2008 article is wonderful, but I am hoping that it has been studied more and you have more information and recommendations now.

      What about silica? Food grade diatomaceous earth has been discussed as very beneficial for remineralizing bones and healthy, cellulite free skin. Your recommendations?


      • Dr. Davis

        Hi, Barbara–

        Hmmm. Substantial discussions on each of these issues.

        Stay tuned: I will work on ways to get this content out.

    • culinary adventurer

      Hi Loekie,
      Three words: Apple Cider Vinegar – a teaspoon is plenty and it works real fast to stop leg and muscle cramps. You can mix the Apple Cider Vinegar with water or anything you like if the taste is too intense.
      Also, Tonic water that contains trace amounts of Quinine works but only use a little because it has sugar and Quinine has some effects too if overused.
      When I had leg cramps (and sometimes still do) they also happen if I do not stay hydrated. Statins also cause them and I no longer take those. I know how painful they are and how quickly they come on so I do empathize – deep breathing helps bring more oxygen and that helps too. Hope this helps.

  30. Neicee

    Loekie, I would guess the vast majority of us have had leg/hand/arm/ or buttocks cramps. It’s weird because I never had those after dropping gluten and then wheat free. It surfaced only after I dropped all known carbs (potatoes/rice/corn) limiting any exposure to those in vegetables or fruits. That also prompted water loss so the body was adjusting to it’s new mandated situation by the brain knowing I couldn’t give in to the cravings which I’d allowed over the years. Only after reading various posts here about increasing salt and magnesium did it stop. I’ve slowed down the salt because it’s no longer needed as much and still take at least 400 mg. of good magnesium, along with 4000mg of D3 – and use pure magnesium oil on areas that seemed to hurt because of my osteoporosis. Perhaps the K2 has helped a whole lot more than I previously thought too? I do know that things are way better because I’m the whirling dervish again doing housework, and no sore muscles.

    • Loekie

      It felt rather scary, but I read today on the internet that it’s also a symptom of the Atkens diet, the body is searching for a new balance. What a relief it was when I read that! What is K2?

      • Neicee

        Loekie, I’m still learning about K2. I am doing everything possible to avert the ravages of osteoporosis, which I received in March 2013. I had a very high blood serum calcium level – it was leeching from the bones. My endo thought it was hyperparathyroidism yet the surgeon said no (God bless the man). So I started researching. It was something Dr. Davis wrote about way back in 2008 on Lef.org that peaked my interest…way before WB. I found it the other day and couldn’t believe I’d missed it. Seems this is a part of the puzzle of where calcium is supposed to go when eaten or taken in supplement form. For whatever reason calcium can get confused and take a detour to your veins/arteries rather than your bones….thus, causing major damage and possible heart attacks or strokes. I’m sure he’ll address this when time allows. He did on trackyourplaque.com. which I’d saved to a folder and forgot it….what can I say, I’m blonde :)

    • Michael Kovacs

      Raw Cacao Nibs and Beans are loaded with Magnesium and prevent me from getting cramps. Sprinkle a tablespoon of raw cacao nibs over frozen blueberries, coconut oil and whipping cream cream. Delicious!!!

      • Loekie

        Nice! I have discovered that pumpkin seeds also contains lots of magnesium. I wonder if you might as well take pumpkin seeds in stead of a magnesium supplement or that it’s better to take both, and when you take a magnesium supplement it’s better to take a combination with zinc? I read somewhere that magnesiumoxyde is not so good as another magnesium but I can only find magnesiumoxyde in the shops.

        • Loekie

          Update: a blood test has revealed that my thyroid is too slow. That can causes cramps. Since I know this, I eat daily a tiny portion Wakame for the jodium.

  31. Willow

    My daughter has been grain free for about three months and, prior to that, gluten free for a few months. She asked to be tested for celiac disease because of the symptoms she has when consuming wheat. Unfortunately, you must consume gluten for weeks before the blood test. She lasted three days. She felt horrible, her sleep was impacted, she developed congestion and her personality changed for the worse. It got to the point where we just didn’t talk to her because of her mood. She will get the blood test but we know there’s not much chance of her having the celiac antibodies. She is also getting the genetic test which might show something since we do have celiac disease in the family.

    What is the bright side is that she has found out about this so young in life. I do wish we had known earlier since she has been moody probably since the age of two and this way of eating has gotten ride of her moodiness.

  32. Johanna

    Hey, keep it up. Just remember that Gin is made from wheat, and some ((not all of course) can react to wheat in gin. Vodka however tend to be made of potatoes. (I have a vodka tonic sometimes) I try to avoid wheat as much as possible and I feel great, so I was glad to come across your story. Take care!

  33. sara jacobsen

    I noticed recently that the premade vegan soups I eat (I don’t have access to a kitchen) contain food starch and corn starch. What is the issue with starches? Do they contribute to belly fat as well?

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      The issue is they rather quickly raise your blood sugar. You then burn sugar for energy rather than fat.
      Your liver stays fatty and your belly fat grows.

      This is explained in depth in the book and on this blog.