My Wheat Belly Journal
Going Wheat Free
Finally, a cookbook that is completely wheat free, refined-sugar free, and chemical-sugar-substitute free. It doesn't restrict healthy fats, has great tasting recipes with very simple ingredients and results in weight loss.
The "Wheat Belly Cookbook" by William Davis, MD is the cookbook I have been looking for all my adult life.
A Little History
For years I have struggled with my weight. Intake of carbs, especially wheat and other grains and refined-sugar related carbs, always seemed to be the key to losing or gaining weight.
Many of the cookbooks I looked at reduced calories by some combination of reduced fat, inclusion of "healthy grains" and using refined sugars or artificial chemical sugar substitute.
Quite a few of the recipe seemed to be made of unusual or exotic ingredients that I would not routinely have in my home and I was usually hungry and craving carbs, especially sweets, when following these different plans.
It was hard to stay on them as a lifestyle plan.
Two days ago I started using Dr. William Davis' cookbook and I am starting this article as a journal of my progress, critiquing recipes that I liked or disliked, and how my physical and emotional well being was impacted by this nutritional change.
Video Interview of Dr. Davis
Why wheat is Bad for You
There is an introduction in the cookbook by Dr. Davis which explains why wheat is bad for you.
He was also interviewed by Dr. Oz on a recent show and you might find it of value to look at this interview before making any decisions about whether this is something for you.
This link takes you to part one. To get to part 2 and 3, scroll down below the short description under the video choices and there are verbal links to the 2 addition videos.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Journal Entry Day 1
I've lost 30 pounds over the past three and a half years with diets restricting my calories to about 1400 a day, logging food in (almost) faithfully in a great, free program at SparkPeople.com.
I've been plateaued for the past 6 months and made several different attempts to break it without success.
I'm a chocoholic so the first recipe I tried in the Wheat Belly Cookbook was the peanut butter chocolate chip recipe.
Because I have previously tried to convert recipes to eliminate wheat, I had a supply of almond meal/flour and golden flax seeds. The rest of the ingredients were the usual, eggs, baking powder, sea salt, bittersweet chocolate chips (the only kind I've ever used) and a few other standard things.
Once they were cooled, I had to give them a try. They are about 2.5 inches round and 1/2 inch thick. I ate one and WOW was it good and I was completely satisfied. I had my usual dinner with 3 oz of protein, lots of low carb veggies and a pear.
At bedtime I was a little hungry and had a mild headache which is not uncommon if my blood sugar is getting low. Since I'm a diet-controlled diabetic, I decided to have another one of those PBCC cookies instead of the usual cheese and crackers.
I slept the best I have in a long time, got up with a normal blood sugar of 95 and had lost 1 pound. YEAH!!
Wheat Belly Cookbook
Tried and true recipes that I have enjoyed and made modification to that all comply with the wheat and grain-free concept.
This is a great reference book for your health library. Dr. Davis explains about the impact of wheat on your health. He gives you lists of foods to avoid and reasons why.
He also includes lists of recommended food to use to replace wheat. Mainly through using nut and seed flours, you can reproduce your favorite recipes with high protein content and low carbohydrates to reduce the sugar highs.
Journal Entry Day 2
So I'm a pound lighter this morning. and ready for breakfast. I usually have mushrooms, spinach and over-easy eggs along with Ezekiel bread for toast. The Ezekiel bread has sprouted wheat in it so that is out.
I looked in the cookbook and found a recipe for a flax seed wrap. I had golden flax seeds in the house, and ground them in a coffee grinder that I haven't used since my husband passed away 11 years ago.
Four simple ingredients and 2 minutes in the microwave produced a very tasty, but large wrap. I cut it in half and ate it with a little butter/olive oil, cinnamon, ginger and pure Stevia powder as my toast and was very satisfied.
The other half I used for lunch to make a chicken, lettuce and tomato sandwich with a some Smart Balance lite mayo (my usual) which is gluten free.
Mid morning snack was a grapefruit off my own tree and a Laughing Cow Mini Babybel.
Mid afternoon, after an hour of tennis, I had a pear and one of the PBCC cookies.
For dinner, I checked out the soups in the cookbook and ended up making a big pot of soup with gluten-free, organic, low sodium chicken stock I had in the house, left-over chicken breast from before I started this, some brown rice and lots of low carb veggies. I had another PBCC cookie for dessert.
That satisfied me all evening without any cravings.
At bedtime I was a little hungry so I did have another PBCC cookie and slept really well again.
A little note about Stevia. If it is mixed with maltodextrin such as in Truvia or GNC's product, be advised. According to Dr Davis, the maltodextrin is a wheat product. Look for "pure Stevia extract." Most of the recipes in his book call for liquid Stevia, but I use the pure Stevia powder and just use 2 or 3 of the very tiny scoops provided with the powder. You'll have to experiment with you taste.
Wheat and Carb Sensitivity
Wheat and other grains contribute to a lot of weight problems. Wheat especially, is associated with weight gain and other things such as inflammation, bloating, RA, Lupus and other auto-immune disorders as well as the gluten intolerance of celiac disease
Do you think that you are sensitive to wheat and other grains.
Journal Entry Day 3.
I'm down another pound this morning and feel very energized and encouraged.
My sinuses seem to be draining a lot today. My nose is always plugged. It sure would be good if it wasn't anymore.
Today I made the basic bread recipe in the Wheat Belly Cookbook and had it for dinner. It rose very well, but I was not able to get the loaf out the pan for cooling on a rack as suggested in the recipe.
It was tasty, definitely filling, but a little dry with only butter on it. I took another thin slice and put natural peanut butter on one half and cream cheese on the other half.
I started to put my favorite blueberry jelly, Polaner All fruit with Fiber, on it, but I discovered that it contains that pesky wheat product, maltodextrin. as the fiber source.
Oh well, out that goes. I put on my homemade cranberry jam that I make using glucomannan powder as fiber and thickener. I sweeten it with pure Stevia extract powder. I guess I'll have to start making my own blueberry jam again, too. Yum!
I order the glucomannan through Amazon. I know the Konjac brand is gluten free, but I'm not sure about the Now product.
Journal Entry Day 4
I was up four tenths of a pound today. Yesterday was a very sedentary day with a lot of computer work. I did go for a moderately-fast walk in the evening for a half an hour, though.
I'm a little more stiff and sore this morning. I'm not sure if it is the beginning of the withdrawal process or the fact that a huge weather change is coming. We will be 70 degrees today and overnight we will drop down into the 20's and only get to the mid 40's for the next 5 days. Either way, I'm going to stick with it.
Oh, I read in the Wheat Belly cookbook that coconut flour is a good thicker for gravies and sauce. I think I might try it with my blueberry jam. It will add more calories to the jam, but it will also add protein to balance the carbs of the blueberries.
I went out to lunch today with a friend and then played tennis for an hour. The lunch was a little challenging because there was a delicious fig sauce on the salmon that was hard to resist. I'm sure it had some thickener and probably more sugar than I'm used to but hopefully most of it was natural from the figs themselves.
I tested my sugar an hour after we ate and it was up to 165. We went to play tennis and when I tested afterwards, it was down to 93, so I was happy. Later I had a piece of the basic bread I made yesterday with cream cheese and my homemade cranberry jam. The bread was much better today. I think it was more moist and reminded me of a banana nut bread without the banana.
Tonight I'm watching the grand kids so I'm bringing my chicken vegetable soup I made two days ago with me. I'll probably sneak in one of my PBCC cookies for later, and a piece of fruit. I have to wait until they are in bed for the cookie though, because they both have severe nut allergies.
Journal Entry Day 5
My weight stayed the same today, but I don't have all the aches and pains I had yesterday. The major change in the weather from the 70's down to the 40's happened overnight so that may have something to do with the decrease discomfort. Typical of arthritis, weather changes to have a significant effect on how you feel.
We opted not to play tennis today, but my friend and I did take her dog for a very brisk fast walk for about 30 minutes in the evening. Here in the southwestern US, we are spoiled with warm weather.
I continue wheat free and am not having any problems in keeping it that way and enjoying many tasty foods including my favorite tomato cucumber salad which has a dressing on it that I use for all salads. If you would like the recipe, it is in one of my other Hubs. Check it out.
Journal entry Day 6
YaHoo! I got on the scale this morning and am now 3.3 pounds down since starting being wheat free 5 days ago.
I finished the last of the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies yesterday, so today I am making the gingerbread cookies. Ginger is a real good anti-inflammatory spice and I've been craving, but avoiding, store-bought ginger snaps for a year. I can't wait to make them and savor the spicy sweet flavor without guilt.
I finally made the ginger bread cookies this afternoon, and "Are they Good!" They are crispy, spicy and mildly sweet. I wonder what they'll taste like tomorrow. Usually something spicy improves in flavor with time.
I did get to play an hour of tennis today with my friend. It was pretty cool and breezy, but we warmed quickly and had a lot of good, healthy fun. I'm so glad I started playing tennis again this past Spring after 40 years. My friend, Linda, has never played and is really having a fun time learning. We are both in our 70's, but since I started playing, I can run, jump and keep up with some of the best of them in a senior group I belong to.
Journal Entry Day 7
Up 3 tenths of a pound today, but I'm not concerned. I've been sticking to staying wheat free with no cheats or feelings of wanting to cheat. The recipes give you so many satisfying treats that you don't have to look elsewhere. The secret is to always have something made in advance.
I made the gingerbread cookies yesterday and today they are even better. I treated myself to one while I was cooking breakfast because I was hungry. I also had one for desert at lunch without any guilt.
One Week Down - Bring on Week Two
Today is the start of week 2. I got on the scale this morning and I'm down 3.9 pounds, so close to 4 that I can taste it, and it tastes pretty sweet.
I had a friend tell me the other day, "Keep up the hard work." I have to tell you what I told her.
This has been the easiest nutritional change I have ever made in my whole life. "I can have my cake and eat it, too." All the breads and sweets are made with nut flours instead of wheat. They taste good, are filling, satisfying and guilt free.
This is probably easy for me because most of the changes I have made over many years.
I am a diet-controlled diabetic so I have watched my sugar intake, eaten mostly low-carb foods and have experimented with nut flours. The difference now is I don't have to struggle converting recipes. They are all done for me.
Previously I had to take the time to track every morsel that went into my mouth. Now I have that time to prepare good wheat-free meals and snacks. When I'm looking for something to eat, it is all right there; nutritious, great tasting and guilt free.
My energy level is high so I'm able to keep up with line dancing, tennis and walking without a problem. So bring on Week 2.
Sorry this is so long, but I just read a blog by a 15 year old on Spark People written in the Wheat Belly forum. It is very impressive and inspiring and I really wanted to share with you all.
Here's the link: Blog Entry
Journal Entry Day 9 and 10
Yesterday my weight stayed the same. I decided to try another new recipe for breakfast. It was the coconut flapjacks in the wheat Belly cookbook. I served them with some unsweetened applesauce. They were very tasty and filling.
The recipe made four servings of 4 pancakes each so I took and parchment paper in between each pancake and and stacked them. I put them in an airtight contain and refrigerated them to use some other day this week.
Today I made the #1 pizza crust from the cookbook and put my homemade meat sauce, sauteed mushrooms, onions, red bell peppers, spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. It was delicious. who says you can't have your pizza.
It was so good, I decided to have another piece for dinner. I popped it in the microwave on high for one minute and it was as good as it was at lunch time. The only thing different was that the crust wasn't crispy like at lunch time.
I might try the next piece in the toaster oven to see if I can get the crispiness again.
I did get an hour of tennis in today and am off for my evening walk shortly.
Journal Entry Day 14
Tomorrow morning is the big weigh-in. I don't think I lost much weight, but I sure have been enjoying all the foods I've been cooking and eating. I haven't had any withdrawal problems other than the slight headache the first night.
I finished most of the pizza from the other day, but saved one piece in the freezer to see how it does being frozen. I used the toaster over on the other pieces I reheated, and they were much better that way than in the microwave.
Three days ago, I made the NO-Macaroni and Cheese recipe with cauliflower. It had all the cheesy, mustardy flavors of real mac and cheese but without the macaroni. The sauce was very good but a little thin. That didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying it though.
The next day it was even better because the cauliflower had absorbed the flavors. I added some diced cooked chicken breast to it and that was so Yummy, I had it for lunch and dinner. I meant to take a picture of it but forgot and ate the last helping today. Oh, well; there will definitely be another time.
Two Weeks Down
Today is 2 weeks since I started and I have remained completely wheat free without any problem. I only lost a half pound this week, but that brings my total up to 4.4 pounds in 2 weeks, so that makes me very happy.
At the beginning of this week, I gained a half pound even though I was continuing on the diet and keeping up my exercises. Over the last 2 days I lost that half pound plus another half so that made me really happy. This is typical of my pattern of loss. No matter what plan I have used in the past I do the same thing. The key is to not get discouraged and go into week three as strong as week one.
I was watching the BIggest Losers last night and Bob comment that he did not expect his team members to lose as much weight as the previous week because it was the second week and that is a normal occurrence.
So I'm all ready for week three and raring to go.
Chicken Nuggets with Parmesan Cheese
Journal Entry Day 16
I made some chicken nuggets from the Wheat Belly cookbook last night, and they were great. They were crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. I left the shredded Parmesan cheese rough so I would get more cheesy crunch.
For a smoother crust, the cookbook has you process the shredded cheese to a smoother consistency. They were very filling and satisfying and I think they taste better than store-bought or fast-food ones.
Today I reheated them for lunch in the toaster oven and they were just as good as last night.
Journal Entry 17-19
I been busy with an art class and tennis so I haven't had much time to write. But, I have definitely left time to cook and eat wheat free foods.
Just so you don't think that I only treats, Here's a picture of the ground pork dinner I made one night. I sauteed the pork in a wok and then poured off most of the fat since there was a little too much for my liking.
Then I added zucchini, red bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms and some marinara sauce and simmered it until the veggies were cooked. I served it over spaghetti squash and had a very tasty and filling dinner.
Yesterday I made Orange Cream Cookies from the cookbook and they were definitely a keeper.
The touch of orange from the grated orange peel and the texture of the coconut made them very enjoyable.
Since I had some canned coconut milk left over from the cookies, I decided to make a pumpkin pie today to use some more of it up. I didn't make the crust, though, only the custard.
It has quite a few calories per serving with the crust. I can always sprinkle some nuts on top if I want. I just really like the custard alone, anyway. There was all the traditional spicy flavors and texture so It was really a treat.
Here's my recipe for my Crust-less Pumpkin Pie
Journal Entry Day 21
I started today with my favorite breakfast; one half a flax-seed wrap covered by sauteed mushrooms, spinach, garlic and two eggs. I topped that off with a half a grapefruit from my tree in the backyard and some tea.
Tomorrow is weigh-in and I don't think I'll be down anything. I've stayed pretty level all week but today I played tennis with my family and then went out to lunch at Chipotles.
I had the grilled chicken over a big bowl of romaine lettuce and some grated cheese on top. I asked what the dressing was and they said told me oil and vinegar with spices "and some honey." I ended up just having some sour cream over the salad. It is a good thing I did because the chicken was too spicy for my taste.
When I got home, I got the munchies for the first time in three weeks and attacked the chocolate chip cookies I had made from the W B Cookbook. The cookies tend to be a little dry and the only sweetness in them is from the chocolate chips. They just didn't satisfy me like the other cookies that are sweeter and also have flax seeds and other flours, not just the almond flour.
Oh well, I hope I didn't do much damage. It could have been a hot fudge sundae or something really bad. We'll see tomorrow.
Three Weeks Down
Well I was up a half a pound this week, but I'm really feeling so good, I'm not going to let it discourage me.
Just being able to play tennis at 70 years old with my son, his wife and grand kids once a week and with other senior friends 4 times a week, makes me very happy.
Several years ago I had been inflicted with some form of auto-immune problem. It stopped me from even walking a half a block, getting up off a chair or toilet without having them raised 4 to 6 inches, or getting out of my son's hot tub with out him lifting me up. It took almost a year to get back to normal and I don't ever want to get back to that point.
So, today is the start of week four and I'm still as motivated as I was three weeks ago.
Four Weeks Down
I started out this week by gaining another half pound during the first two days and then finally started dropping a few tenths every day and weighed in today at 4 and a half pounds down in 4 weeks.
Naturally, I wish it was more, but a pound a week is a healthy way to lose.
One thing I noticed about the time period where I was gaining weight, most of the foods I was eating did not contain any flax seed. As soon as I started making recipes like these carrot muffins that contained flax seed, I started losing the weight again.
When I made the muffins, I left the nuts pretty chunky to satisfy my crunchy cravings. I also didn't have enough pecans, so I used some cashews and almonds to equal the amount called for. They were definitely tasty, crunchy and very satisfying.
It may be just coincidental and my body was just adjusting to the change, but at least the weight started going in the right direction again.
Week five here I come. I still love all the recipes I've tried in the cookbook and look forward to trying some more.
Five Weeks Down
This has really been an exciting week. I ended up losing one and a half pounds for a total of 6 pounds in 5 weeks.
The weather has been a little cooler so I treated myself to a hot bowl of butternut squash soup I made from the cookbook.I sprinkled a little fresh nutmeg on top for a very tasty soup.
I froze half of it and varied the other servings with grated Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, chunks of cooked chicken and /or cooked turkey. No matter what I added, it was always very enjoyable.
Week six begins today and I can't believe that I feel so good, I'm 6 pounds lighter, and I'm eating so many great things. I still have no desire to go back to wheat and other starchy things. Usually by 6 weeks into a"diet," I'm starting to look for cheats. There is no need to with all the great recipes in the WB Cookbook.
I wonder what new thing I will try today. I definitely will be sure there is plenty of flax seed in it.
Two Months Down
Today finishes up two months being wheat free. I feel great. My weight is down 7 pounds and my waist is down an inch. I have no problem staying on this way of eating and it has become second nature.
I had blood work done last week and had very good news. One of the tests that measure inflammation had over a 50% reduction since last tested in October while I was still eating wheat. This level had been steadily increasing over the past 4 years from 60 to 220. The results last week was 106, right in the center of normal.
My three month blood sugar (A1C) was down significantly also. It was 6.8 when I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1994 and I have maintained it at 6.2 without any medication. The test last week had it at 5.8 which is only one tenth of a point above normal.
One of the few medications I take has been reduced to half the amount it was for the past several years and seems to be doing it's job very well.
I continue to make different recipes from the WB cookbook and on my own now that I know the mechanics of this type of cooking. I'm eating lots of good food and keep my cravings under control with great alternatives to sugary, wheat-ladden carbs.
Three Months Being Wheat Free
It's hard to believe that is has been three months without wheat and other grains and completely gluten free. I feel great and can't even think of anything I would want that has wheat in it.
- I'm down 10 pounds.
- My waist is an inch and half smaller
- My "skinny clothes" are getting too big.
- My A1C (three month blood sugar average) is down from 6.2. to 5.8.
- My blood level that shows inflammation in the body dropped from 220 to 114 in the first 6 weeks and I'm due to have it tested again in three weeks.
- I'm playing tennis 3 times a week, line dancing twice a week and walking at a moderately fast pace for an hour every night and I don't dread getting out to do like I used to.
- I've been very productive and creative in getting many new and exciting paintings done. (click the picture to see more)
- In summary, I feel great. I have lots of very good foods and treats to eat so I don't have any cravings for foods I done need or shouldn't have.
I'm ready for the next month and starting my next 10 pound goal.
Four Months and Going Strong Gluten Free
I still love being wheat and grain free. I have so much energy and get really excited going shopping for new smaller clothes.
I've been doing a lot of experimenting with recipes and have come up with some pretty great treats. They follow all the rules set down in "The Wheat Belly Cookbook."
If you want to see these recipes, I have written several Hubs on these recipes I have developed One of the Hubs is Grain Free Cake-in-a-Cup including:
- chocolate pecan
- ginger spice
- apple cinnamon
- and rye bread.
The best part of all these recipes are that they take 1 to 2 minutes to mix up and under 2 minutes to bake in the microwave. Check them out.
Five Months and New Adventures
Five months have flown by and I can't imagine ever going back to how I used to eat. I feel great. My waist and hips continue to get smaller, even though my weight has stabilized.
It has been a hard month for me, though, but only emotionally. I am an emotional eater and use food (sweet) to deal with my emotions. Fortunately, I have created a great deal of satisfying treats that are wheat and grain free so that helps, but not completely.
I drove across country in mid-May leaving the southwest and sunshine everyday to go to the northeast for the summer. It has rained 12 out of 18 days and there has been no sunshine for 5 and 6 days at a time. I shouldn't complain. I could be out west where it has been above 100 degrees on a regular basis.
I also shouldn't complain, because God guided me through Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri with sunny days only 5 days before all the tornadoes hit the area and caused so much loss. My heart goes out to all those people. Thank you, Lord.
Since I have only been able to play tennis 4 times in the past 18 days, (usually 4 to 5 times a week) I have done other old and new things to make up for it.
My home in the east is two stories so I have a great set of stairs to run up and down on rainy days or when I need an emotion boost. There's always WII tennis and bowling which helps but is not quite as good as the real think.
I just got a new 21-speed bike that I can ride near home when the roads are dry enough and light enough to put on a bike carrier if I want to ride on the university campus after tennis on a sunny day.
I also joined a local singing group, something I have wanted to do for a long time. It is great exercise for my lungs and vocal cords.
The only down side is that they like to go out to eat after the practice sessions to places like Pizza Hut. I'll have to check out their salads.
I continue with all my painting which fills many hours.
I did move my work area out of the great room, which includes the kitchen area, into a spare bedroom at the other end of the house. Not seeing the refrigerated helps keep my mind off of food.
Well, I finally got tired of my old scale that changed readings every time I stepped on it. I had no clue as to how my weight was really doing.
I think I gained about 3 pounds since I came back east with all the rain and not being able to play tennis on a regular basis. Eating out of boredom, even though they were all wheat-free snacks, also contributed to it.
I finally succeeded in playing tennis 4 times last week and 3 times so far this week in between the rain. I was really getting depressed when my weight was up again even with all the exercise, so after tennis yesterday, I made up my mind and got a new scale.
It actually seems to be constant even when I try to trick it with holding heavy objects or leaning on something for support. (I'm sure you are all familiar with those trick techniques for getting the best reading.)
From what is said this morning, I'm only up 1.5 pounds since leaving my home out west, so that is encouraging. Even though it is raining again today, my day has been much more productive and I feel good. Ten more days to my 6 month anniversary. I hope the scale, and weather, cooperate.
Six Months and Proud of it
I can't believe it has been six months. I still feel so great and can't imagine going back to wheat and other grains. I've lost the 1.5 pounds I had to go to get back to the 10 pounds for the 6 months. I wish it was more, but feeling good and looking good is terrific. I really am proud of myself.
A positive self image, and knowing that all I can do is get even better, makes it all possible.
People ask me, "Isn't it hard?" I always answer "No!"
It is not hard, because there are so many great things to make and eat using nut flours and pure stevia extract. I've created quick, easy recipes that I can make in less than 5 minutes which are good for me and satisfy my craving. The english muffins pictures here are an example.
The new scale is working great. It is so nice to step on it and know that it is consistent and responsive to small changes.
We're still having a lot of rain, but I am getting more tennis in than I had been during late May and early June. I'm just more flexible in my time to play and keeping a close watch on the weather.
Seven Months and Savoring it
What do you think? Do these look good, or what? I've been wheat free for seven months now and just keep finding great, new, scrumptious food to eat.
The first are almond flour pancakes I found at How to-make-almond-flour-pancakes. I added a tablespoon of ground golden flax seed and a little stevia to them and they are great. The left over ones I eat cold later in the day or the next day spread with some of my homemade jam which I make with stevia.
The drizzle on the pancakes and the chocolate on the quinoa crunch nuggets, strawberry, banana and nuts are all made with my stevia chocolate candy recipe found right here on Squidoo. Check it out.
Nine Months Wheat Free
I just had my blood work this week. It is the second time since eliminating wheat and most grains. I was so excited when the doctor went over the results. My bad cholesterol is down another 10 points. My ratio is perfect. My triglycerides are right in the middle of normal. My three month blood sugar is very good. My liver function is perfect.
Best of all, the one test that shows inflammation and muscle damage is right in the middle of normal. Four years ago it was 60 and progressively got worse so that just before stopping wheat, it was up to 220. Six weeks after the diet change, it was down to 114 and this time is 98. WOW! I see the cardiologist next month and he was thrilled with the last improvement. He'll really be excited this time.
I continue experimenting with recipes (following Dr.Davis's criteria) and last week I finally made his flax seed crackers and were they good. I don't know why I didn't do that earlier because that is one thing I have missed. I started playing around with the recipe and have come up with some good modifications which I hope to make available in another lens soon.
I am so glad I found the Wheatbelly cookbook and I took the time the try it out. It has changed my life. Oh, I forgot, I'm 12 pounds down and my waist size is 2 inches away from where it was in college. It is also 7.5 inches down from what it was four years ago...tennis really helps along with the good food choices.
Eleven Months and First Reaction
I'll Never Eat Wheat Again.
It all started out so innocently. My neighbor had told me earlier this year that she makes a great cake for her husband who is diabetic and eats only low carbs. We had talked about almond flour and she said she uses it for him. she told me that she would make some for me sometime.
About a week ago, I came home late and found these beautiful pieces of what looked like a banana-nut cake with chocolate icing on it. I assumed it was from my neighbor because she has been known to give me a special treat at Christmas. I had a piece that evening and another piece in the morning. I didn't get to see my neighbors all that day to thank her.
I wasn't feeling real good that evening and felt kind of bloated. I didn't eat much dinner and went to bed at the usual time. About 3 AM, I woke up with severe pains in my stomach and bowels. I went into the bathroom praying that I would throw and also clear out my bowel, but nothing happened; just severe pains for what seemed to be about an hour and half. In the morning I finally went and clear out. It was very liquid but not explosive like it normally would be. The rest of the day I was fine, but just tired from lack of sleep.
That afternoon, I found out it wasn't from that neighbor, but a different one who uses wheat flour. Of course, I didn't tell either of them how sick I got form the cake. But, I know that I will never eat something again that I am not completely sure is wheat free.
Yesterday, one of the women I play tennis with said she was going to bring Christmas cookies to tennis next time. I told her to count me out because of the wheat. She didn't think that her ginger bread had wheat in it, but had no idea what flour she used. She felt it would be all right for me since there is "very little flour in them." I told her I appreciated her thoughtfulness, but I just didn't want to take a chance after being so sick two nights earlier.
I decided that I would bring some also, but made with almond and coconut flour.
I've found some really great recipes from Melissa McGehee who follows the Wheat Belly recommendations totally. She is a mom with two small children and has written two cookbooks with quick, easy-to-make, tasty recipes that are delicious.
One Year Grain Free
I can't believe that a year has passed since I eliminated wheat and grains from my diet. I have had so many measurable health improvements that I look forward to every day with excitement. I learned quite a bit about being wheat free over the past year and will share some of the key things here.
1. It is easy being wheat free. The secret, though, is that you make your own foods whenever possible. You stay away from pre-packaged gluten-free foods because most of them are loaded with other fattening carbs that make you crave more and put on weight.
2. You have to be aware of how things are cooked by other people. I thought I had food poisoning 2 days after Thanksgiving when I got terrible, painful stomach bloating and severe bowel cramps which only resolved by purging my body from both ends (sorry).
It wasn't until the same thing happened two days after Christmas, that I realized that a turkey filled with bread stuffing is just as full of gluten as if you had eaten the stuffing itself. This time, though, it wasn't turkey, it was a beef roast that had been dredged with flour for pre-browning before it was roasted. I guess I'll have to bring my own meats next year. It is just too painful to go through the reactions again just to be polite.
3. I was listening to an interview the other day of the man who established testing for Celiac's Disease that is still being used today. He has been focusing on Non-Celiac's Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) and has noted an association between NCGS and nickle allergies. Nickle is the metal in jewelry that people who are allergic to it react to with rashes and itching.
I've been allergic to nickle all my life which may be co-incidental, or it was a sign of wheat intolerance. I have a pair of earrings that my late husband had given years ago. I could wear them about 6 hours before starting to react to the clip on the back of the post. I haven't worn them in years, but now I'm going to try again and see what happens.
4. I'm suddenly loving foods that I would never eat because I didn't like them. Now I seem to be enjoying a lot more of these hated food, brussel sprouts for example.
Today I was getting hungry and started looking for a quick snack (sweet and/or crunchy) to settle the craving. I suddenly remember the great brussel sprouts I made last night with sauteed turkey bacon, onions, garlic, mustard and lemon. I remembered how wonderful they tasted last night and took them out to heat up. I realized it was almost lunch time so instead of a snack, I cooked up a buffalo burger and the sprouts and had a terrific lunch.
5. Always keep good healthy snacks or prepared meals around for those minutes when you have a craving.
6. There are more and more great recipe books coming out following Dr. Davis's recommendations, including his newest one, "Wheat Belly 30 Minute Cookbook."
If you have some you have found and would like to share your experience with them, please go to http://judyfilarecki.hubpages.com/hub/review-gluten-free-cookbooks-2
We'd love to hear about them.
This is one of my newest discoveries. I'm pretty excited about it because it uses all different kinds of nuts and seeds and explains how to make your own flour from these.
It is especially helpful know this, because, what I do, is just keep a small supply of different nuts and seeds in the freezer or refrigerator. When a recipe calls for a cup of pumpkin seeds, for example, I scope up a little more than one cup of pumpkin seeds, throw them in my blender, and out comes pumpkin seed flour.
Just because one year is done, doesn't mean that I go back to what I was eating before.....NO WAY
I've been focusing on expanding my understanding of gluten sensitivity and have written another Hub focusing on being grain and gluten free: Going Gluten and Grain Free.
I've also been writing more lenses on recipes I have created and shared some experience with helpful kitchen aides I have discovered. Here is a lens where I talked about an inexpensive kitchen device that does wonderful things to veggies.
New Exciting Gluten-Free Recipes
I've been busy over the past several months creating some new and exciting gluten-free recipes. I've written several Hubs about them which I hope you enjoy as much as I do. Check them out.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention about my checkup with my cardiologist.
He did an Ultrasound of the heart and told me the plaque that was previously seen on one of the valves 6 years ago is gone and everything is completely normal.
I did the treadmill stress test and added 3 minutes more than what I had done 2 years ago including 30 seconds of running on a high slope. He told me that, of his 18 patients seen so far that day, I had the best test of any of them, and I did 3.5 minutes longer than the 41 year old (normal weight) man who took the test just before me.
We were both very excited about the results.
Every test I've taken over the past 15 months since stopping wheat have shown significant improvements from my eyes, to my lungs, to my heart, to my joints, to my blood work and whatever else.
Will I ever eat wheat again???? Absolutely not!
18 Months and Stronger than Ever
I just realized I have past the 18 month mark of being gluten free, and I'm the healthiest I've been in years.
I celebrate my 72 nd birthday this month and I can't believe:
- I'm playing tennis 3 to 4 times a week for 2 hours,
- I'm rebuilding a 108 foot handicap ramp and 12 x 36 foot deck which my husband and I built 25 years ago. I'm having to do it by myself since he past away 13 years ago and it needs doing.
- I'm singing in two chorus and having lots of fun. That's me in the front row on the right end holding the music, because that one particular song I hadn't learned completely yet. I can't believe how thin my legs are now. Several years ago I had lost my singing voice due to some auto-immune problem that weakened my whole body. 2 months after stopping the gluten, my singing voice started to come back.
- I can actually see a waistline now and really like how I look.
You can be sure that I will never go back to gluten and grains ever again.
I made it through Thanksgiving this year without getting sick. I learned a lot over the year of how to escape the pitfalls of unplanned exposure to gluten. This year I bought a fresh turkey thigh that was from a free-range turkey and cooked it myself.
I took the cooked turkey to my son's home where they had the tradition, bread-stuffed turkey. We all had a wonderful family time together and two days later I did not have the horrible reaction I had last year.
The mistake I had made last year was thinking that it was safe to eat the meat as long as I didn't eat the stuffing. I really feel dumb now as I think about all the gluten that saturated the meat from the bread stuffing.
Something else I learned from a gluten specialist is that any turkey that has been injected or says it has broth added, has a very high chance of having gluten in the broth. Because the amount falls under the limit set by the FDA, the gluten can be considered gluten-free even though it contains some. If you are extremely sensitive to it, you probably want to keep this in mind.
23 Months Gluten and Grain Free
As I'm writing this, I just realized that I am one month short of 2 years being gluten and grain free. When I started this, I figured I'd try it for a month, if I could make it, and here I am almost 2 years later.
It has been fun looking back over my journey and realize there were a lot of good, healthy things that happened to me. There were also many great things I ate that I have forgotten about. I'll have to give them a try again.
This Journal is getting way too long so I will end it here, but that doesn't mean I won't continue staying gluten and grain free. I may start another journal for the next two years, but I have to think on that first.
I thought about it, and here is the link to My Wheat Belly Journal Two Years Later.
Thank you all for having taken this journey with me. I hope many of you have been inspired to try it yourself and experience all the great health gifts I have received.