John has become a vocal advocate for the wheat- and grain-free lifestyle, having experienced reversals of obesity, hypertension, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and joint pains. Here’s his terrific story:
I started my journey I was 252 pounds, my blood pressure was 180/120, and I could not do my favorite physical activity, tennis, for more than 10 minutes without being out of breath. I was also having extreme trouble sleeping, I was anxious and depressed, and I had arthritic symptoms in my knees. Not sure about blood sugar, but I am sure I was prediabetic. I was also a 38 waist pushing 40 and my body fat percentage was estimated by a friend’s calipers at 30%.
My first solution towards regaining myself was exercise. I built up to be able to play hours and hours of tennis a day. I quickly realized however that 1) it is impractical to demand that of my body, and 2) not as much weight was coming off as I had hoped. So I turned to diet, and my idea of healthy was to go with “healthy grains.” I ate Subway with whole wheat for two months, oatmeal or bagels almost every morning, and my favorite snack was granola bars. After two months of this I had lost a little weight, maybe down to 235 at this point, but I felt highs and lows in energy throughout the day and I definitely hit a wall where I couldn’t lose anymore.
I saw your book promoted on a favorite site of mine, and I listened to a few podcasts of you. I had been thinking of giving up the carbs by that point, but you provided me with the confidence and scientific knowledge I needed. My diet gradually evolved into a vegetable- and protein-based diet with moderate fruit consumption and absolutely no wheat whatsoever, though I also avoid grains altogether 90% of the time.
My typical eating is fast ’til lunch, then have a big spinach or kale salad loaded with veggies and a healthy protein such as grass fed beef, organic chicken breast, free range eggs, wild Alaskan salmon, wild caught shrimp, or sardines. Dinner is more of the same, but I do things like cauliflower rice and fried cabbage, and I always cap the night off with a probiotic dessert: full-fat Greek yogurt with cocoa powder, nuts (macadamians, almonds, or walnuts), and a melon or berry fruit. Sometimes I add organic honey and a mashed avocado into that, or dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder. I am very big on avocados. When I get in the mood for breakfast, it is almost invariably a free-range omelette and a glass of green tea. Snacks are vegetables, nuts, and cheese combinations, and sometimes a piece of fruit or raw tempeh. Loads of spinach, kale, and vegetables of all kinds are my must-haves each day. Besides yogurt and cheese, I don’t consume much dairy and I switched to coconut or almond milk.
Wheat doesn’t factor into my diet whatsoever anymore. I avoid almost all processed foods, make my own dressing, and don’t take supplements. Currently , I am 179 lbs [down 73 lbs!], my last blood pressure reading was 115/74, my waist is now a 34 pushing 32, my body fat is 15%. I have abundant energy, I sleep like a baby, I virtually have no arthritic conditions or symptoms in my knee. Headaches I was getting are a thing of the past. I feel neither anxious nor depressed, and am very competitive on the tennis court again. And, while I do exercise, it is no where near the insane amounts I thought I had to initially. The thing I find most amazing is that I am never hungry or experience that “must eat” feeling, such as right after work or in the morning. It’s so different now, almost like a daylong satiation. To eat a salad and a steak and not even feel disgustingly full after it is such a drastic difference from the pasta plates and pizza I used to consume. It’s a beautiful thing.
The blog and facebook page that I run, Truemarrow, is all about the lifestyle I now lead and helping others for inspiration, examples of what to eat, and the process of transformation altogether. It is 100% committed to helping people live beyond wheat- and grain-based diets. It takes a holistic approach and will focus on things like exercise and meditation and simplicity, and will be told through my story and ongoing experiment.
John has created a YouTube video summarizing his experience.