Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wheat Belly Wednesday - Week #1

It's been a while since I've posted to either of my blogs (about 3 months, to be exact).  My job has been crazy busy since we lost a lot of staff (moved to other locations) in the first quarter of the year, and then two people in my department retired.  I am going to try to get back on track and post at least three times a week, also answer the comments that people leave.

About the title of the post:  a couple of weeks ago, I came across a review of a book called Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.  I was interested enough from the review to go buy a copy of the book during my lunch hour.  It isn't just another diet plan -- it's about how the wheat that is used in food today is completely different genetically from the wheat that was used prior to the 1980s.  The new strain of wheat, a thick-stemmed dwarf or semi-dwarf plant that grows about 18 inches tall with a very heavy seed head, was created with the very best of intentions:  a hearty, disease-resistant strain of wheat with high yield that would grow in virtually any climate, to help combat world hunger.  Around 1980, this new breed of wheat became the standard that is grown all over the world.

Unfortunately, this new type of wheat appears to have some unexpected side effects, including stimulating the appetite and a tendency to gain weight in the belly area (hence the title Wheat Belly, which for many of us could just as easily be Bagel Belly or Donut Belly).  There are some nasty health issues as well, including the rise of gluten intolerance.  Can you think of anyone who suffered from a sensitivity to gluten prior to 1980?  There are a number of other health issues that the new strain of wheat causes or aggravates.  Dr. Davis' book is full of well-documented studies - at times, it gets very technical and scientific.

I had good success with low-carb eating in the past, but with the government's push toward eating many daily servings of "healthy whole grains," I moved away from the low-carb lifestyle.  As a carbo addict, I was in carbo heaven.  But no matter how I tried to balance my calorie intake with daily exercising, I just couldn't seem to lose any weight, and even began gaining weight.  (Why I would believe what the government says is beyond me - these are the same people who said it was perfectly safe to live next door to the Rocky Flats nuclear plant in Colorado, where plutonium was released almost daily into the air and the drinking water).

So this week, I started on Dr. Davis' eating plan.  After reading the list of foods that contain wheat, I thought "What's left?"  But the plan is based on eating real or whole foods, things like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, and even dark chocolate.  You don't have to give up all grains, just wheat.  Since I'm trying to lose weight, I am eliminating almost all grains and sugars, at least for the present time.  Today is day #3 - I've lost 3 lbs., slept well the last two nights, and feel a lot less bloated.

It takes some planning.  Yesterday I was hungry when I came home from work, and the chicken that I had defrosted would take at least 45 minutes to cook.  My immediate thought was crackers and a glass of wine.  But I stopped and thought about how well I had done during the day, and ended up snacking on a piece of string cheese, a few plain unsalted almonds, and a wine spritzer, until dinner was ready.  Not perfect but it felt like victory!

Believe me, if I can do this, anyone can do this.

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