This is not just another Thanksgiving in our household… It’s our first Thanksgiving…without BREAD! Gravy! Pies! Oh My!
This time last year, the idea of our most thankful holiday without our daily bread and giblet gravy might have caused us to pause… I’m pretty sure we thanked God especially for the crackers that topped the broccoli casserole and the delectable cinnamon rolls we ate that morning.
And the thought of any day without wheat-infused products like cereal, sourdough bread and chocolate cake may be one many of you just don’t want to think of because you still eat wheat.
Sept 2012 to Oct 2013
But for our family, it’s a welcome thought this holiday. In my recent post, Thinking of Going Gluten-Free?, I shared our story with you about our decision to hit the delete button on wheat from our food intake. And literally, we have taken back our health. At more that 52 pounds lighter between my husband, 54, and myself, 43, we are in the best shape of our lives.
But it’s not just about weight, although that is a welcome benefit.
It’s about the overall improvement–the actual disappearance of sore, inflamed joints and arthritic symptoms. It’s about our daughter’s allergy “rash” under her nose going away and her hyperglycemia tendencies stabilizing. It’s about our lowering our cholesterol and regulating blood sugar. It’s about the brain fog lifting, extreme hunger between meals becoming a thing of the past, energy levels boosting, sleep improving and more. It’s about our body shape returning, revealing the true body that was under all the inflammation caused by wheat.
Did you know that over 55 ailments are attributed to wheat? Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution, wrote an excellent article for the Huffington Post giving more detail and great information.
Did You Have a Gluten-Intolerance?
You may wonder if we had symptoms of gluten-intolerance, allergies or Celiac Disease. And the answer is no–sort of. I had symptoms I didn’t know were caused by wheat, until I eliminated it from my diet. I didn’t choose to stop eating wheat because I was tested or diagnosed with Celiac disease. I chose to stop eating wheat after I learned what it does to my body… OUR bodies. The fact is, wheat punctures holes in the gut. And I prefer my gut to remain whole, thank you very much. No one is immune to the effects. I chose to not eat wheat much like choosing not to smoke cigarettes.
Cigarettes and Wheat
What in the world does wheat have in common with cigarettes? Dr. Davis compares the modern food industry to the tobacco industry of years ago… He suggests being told that wheat is healthy by the media, doctors and the government is much like cigarette smoking years ago, when we didn’t know better, when cigarettes were promoted by the media and doctors as safe (even Santa!), healthy and beneficial. Today, we would think it absurd. Perhaps one day, when we “know better,” modern day wheat will be viewed the same.
Where Did We Start?
It all started in January 2013 when I read the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. But here’s the clip that motivated me to buy the book. Watch this interview for a quick summary as well.
Where Do I Start?
Many of you have asked me this question. And I say, just do it.
- Start by eating less wheat this Thanksgiving and holiday season. Less bread, dressing, stuffing, casseroles, pasta, gravy, pies and cakes. Add in more veggies, fruits, a little more turkey, cranberry sauce and water. After the holidays, make up your mind to omit wheat completely from your diet. You CAN do it. There are no nutrients in wheat that humans need to function or survive.
- Read the Wheat Belly book today. There another book supporting and even going further than just wheat that is worth reading: Grain Brain.
- Educate yourself and others about wheat. Look for resources on the web, google “wheat belly” and learn all you can. Knowledge really is power.
- Cook and eat more often at home. There are multiple benefits to cooking and eating at home versus eating out.
- Get creative with food. When you have to eat out, get creative. Order a burger with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun. Forego the gravy on the buffet and get an extra helping of carrots. Try different foods you may never have tried before. Your tastebuds and cravings will change as a result.
- Eat more veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Adding in other foods will keep you full and satisfied, helping you reduce cravings for bread, pastas and other wheat foods.
- Get determined. Decide now to give up wheat FOR GOOD. This cannot be a half-way decision. Even small “doses” of wheat will continue to wreak havoc on your body. Eating small amounts of wheat still damages your gut, increases inflammation and foils your attempt to get healthier.
- Steer clear of processed foods and added sugar. These foods will inhibit your progress, too, and will continue to thwart weight loss progress. Eating healthy, whole foods is your best solution. To quote Dr. Hyman, if it has a label, don’t buy it. But if you have to buy food “with a label,” look for those with 5 ingredients or less.
The real you is there. Your job is to find her or him. This isn’t about being skinny… It’s all about being healthy. Thriving instead of surviving. Living a life full of happiness, health and hope. And yes, eliminating wheat can be your biggest first step.
Let’s do this, Y’all.