Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wheat Belly Wednesday - Week #3

It was a good second week – I lost another 2 lbs. and felt great. On Sunday morning, I tried a recipe for almond flour pancakes, and they were wonderful, very much like regular wheat flour pancakes (the recipe is toward the bottom of this post).

But after two weeks of wheat-free eating, like everyone else, I wondered if eliminating wheat was really the reason I was feeling so well, or was it just that I was eating almost entirely whole or real food? Secretly, I thought all those people who said they got sick when they ate a sandwich after eating wheat-free for a while were just a bunch of wusses, and that it was all in their heads. So I ate a couple of big slices of thick crust pizza with a glass of wine, a normal dinner for me before Wheat Belly. (And it was delicious.)

I can’t believe how SICK I was.

It started with an almost instantaneous headache right after I finished eating, followed by mild heartburn. I thought, “not so bad,” took some aspirin and went to bed. I woke up at 3:30 a.m. with killer acid reflux and severe gastro-intestinal distress and barely made it to the bathroom. Not to be too graphic, I think my colon was as clean as it was when I went for my colonoscopy. I took a couple of Immodiums, went to work, and made it through the day, but all I could focus on was going home. When I finally did make it home, I took care of my dogs, put on my pajamas, and went to bed – I think it was around 7 p.m.  Not going to do that again for a long while.

On to the wheat-free pancake recipe: I found this on A nice man named Robert Burton Robinson included it as part of his 5-star review of Wheat Belly. The pancakes are made with almond flour, and they have both the taste and texture of regular wheat flour pancakes. Almond flour isn’t cheap, so I’m not going to be making these more than once a week. Red Mill Almond Flour was $11.99 at my local grocery store. I found it cheaper online at, just $6.99/pound, but since they use 2nd day shipping, it was almost as expensive as buying it locally (which makes sense, since it's a food product and you don’t want those boxes sitting around for days and days for some little critter to get at). Since I was also ordering coconut flour and gluten-free cornstarch, I decided to order from anyway. The almond flour IS cheaper if purchased in larger quantities – the price drops to $6.59/pound if you buy the 5 lb. size and the shipping is the same, so including the shipping, it comes out to about $8.40/pound. I think they sell even larger quantities. Since it is pure ground almonds, I am storing the almond flour in the freezer so it doesn’t get rancid. I bought the bleached almond flour but may try the natural almond flour next time I order. (Re the gluten-free cornstarch – yes, I know it raises your blood sugar as much as wheat, but I need something to thicken gravy a little. I used two tablespoons mixed with water to thicken a huge pot of stew – I figured out it added 2 grams of carbs per serving to what was otherwise an almost no-carb meal.)

Almond flour pancakes:

1 c. almond flour
2 eggs
¼ c. + 2 T. water
2 T. oil (I used coconut oil – warm in microwave until it liquifies)
1 t. baking powder

Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and stir until combined into a batter.  If the batter is too thick to pour, stir in a little more water.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat; grease lightly with butter or coconut oil if desired. When the skillet is hot, pour 1/3 of the batter (about 1/3 cup) into the hot skillet; cook about 2-3 minutes until the top is bubbly, the edges appear dry, and the bottom is golden brown. Turn and repeat with the other side. Remove from pan to a serving plate to keep warm while you cook the remaining batter. Makes three 6” pancakes (2 servings).

To serve, I cut the pancakes in half and arranged three halves on a sandwich plate and topped them with a little butter. I have not been able to find a sugar-free pancake syrup that I like, so I warmed a couple of tablespoons of sugar-free apricot preserves in the microwave until it liquefied and spooned 1 tablespoon of preserves over each serving. I cooked a couple of breakfast sausages to go with each plate – yes, I know they’re bad for you but it was Sunday morning.  Enjoy!

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