Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wheat Free (Almost): On the Right Track

It's been three and a half weeks since I stopped eating wheat (except on my weekly free day). I haven't changed my exercise routine, just my diet. Keep in mind I that about the only wheat I ate in one day was two slices of bread, maybe a pita too on a rare day. I've substituted fruit, beans, rice and potatoes for wheat. Results:

  • My cravings for junk food have disappeared. I've stopped snacking on caramel corn, chocolate and diet soda on my non-free days. I eat two tiny pieces of chocolate per day, at most.
  • My hair stays clean longer.
  • Certain foods taste better. Coconut chai tea tastes like a candy bar in a cup (yes, I drink it straight) and even sardines taste better.
  • Since I got a scale ten days ago, I've lost two pounds. I even had to tighten the straps on my backpack today.
  • Three happy words: no menstrual pain.
  • I have more energy. If I were a horse, my name would be Secretariat.

My mother, who is diabetic and in a rehabilitation center with a broken leg, agreed two days ago to try a wheat-free diet. Results so far:

  • Her blood sugar the first day was 110--very close to ideal.
  • The second day, it was 130. That day, she ordered white toast because she didn't want the wheat toast. Oops. We had a conversation about what foods are made of wheat. "Well," she said, "most food is just trash, isn't it!"
Just to be clear, most foods that are made of flour contain wheat, even if they aren't named "Wheat Thins" or "Wheaties" or "Whole wheat bread." Even potato bread might have wheat in it. Read the label! All of the following foods are made mostly of wheat unless the list of ingredients says otherwise:

  • Breakfast cereal
  • Crackers
  • Cake
  • Pie crust
  • Rolls
  • Bagels
  • Bread
  • Buns
  • Pastries
  • Pitas
  • Pasta
  • Noodles
  • Doughnuts
  • Tortillas

But what about "healthy whole grains"? Those are what you'd give to Secretariat's friend Bessie the Cow if you wanted to fatten her up. Grains are what I eliminated from my dog Sasha's diet when he had cancer. The results left my veterinarian flabbergasted. More on that in my next post.

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