Eliminating products made with modern semidwarf wheat, a creation of genetics research, is an astoundingly powerful strategy to regain control over health and weight, more powerful than any other single strategy I have ever encountered. Peruse the Wheat Belly Success Stories or the thousands of experiences discussed in the Wheat Belly Facebook page, and you get a sense for the power in following this lifestyle.
But anyone who has consumed wheat for any length of time has accumulated health problems that do not fully reverse with wheat elimination. It is therefore necessary to take steps to fully recover health. My solutions for these next steps are discussed in the new book, Wheat Belly Total Health.
The book begins with a discussion of the science and rationale for recognizing this dietary blunder we made as a species 10,000 years ago: turning to the seeds of grasses as food. It began with einkorn wheat in the Fertile Crescent and teosinte in Central America. We are now told that the seeds of grasses should dominate the human diet–our own USDA mistook us for ruminants, or at least chose to sacrifice us at the altar of Big Agribusiness. Grasses, including their seeds, are largely indigestible, yielding components that underlie disease in unwitting humans who eat the stuff. The seeds of grasses, first consumed by hungry humans, were never meant to be anything more than the food of desperation when nothing else was available. Understand this essential truth and you are off to a terrific start in regaining control over health.
But full recovery in the aftermath of wheat requires specific efforts. This applies to everybody, but especially includes people with health conditions such as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, neurological conditions such as peripheral neuropathy and seizures, complex gastrointestinal diseases ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and excess weight not fully responsive to initial efforts.
Just as an alcoholic who stops drinking two fifths of vodka on Tuesday is not fully recovered and healthy by Wednesday, Thursday, or even next week, so it goes with the former wheat consumer: more needs to be done.
Among the issues to address in the new age of the wheat-free:
- Why the seeds of ALL grasses are related to wheat and therefore overlap in many effects. We therefore aim for total grain elimination.
- Follow a full program of bowel flora management–probiotics are a start, but there’s more to do to cultivate healthy species that yield, for instance, butyrate that achieves further metabolic benefits.
- Correct nutritional deficiencies–especially of the nutrients previously bound by wheat phytates
- What steps need to be taken to reverse or minimize diabetes, gain control over cardiovascular risk, and reduce or reverse bone thinning (osteopenia/osteoporosis)
- How to know when endocrine disruption–shockingly common–is a factor in health and what steps to take to reverse it
- The crucial steps to take to minimize or reverse autoimmunity and yield the best odds of reversing the pain and disability of rheumatoid arthritis, the cramping, pain, and diarrhea of ulcerative colitis, the dangers of a multitude of others.
- A checklist of factors to address if weight loss plateaus or if you fail to lose weight at all
- How to take mental and physical performance to higher levels once you say goodbye to grains
To help achieve these goals, I also include what I call “functional” recipes, i.e., recipes that help achieve your goals.