Goodbye, Bagels. It’s been swell.

I never in a million years would have predicted that I would end my long-standing love affair with wheat.  Simply put, I love wheat.  I actually have sentimental feelings towards bagels.  If I open up the cupboard above the microwave and there is a bag of bagels in there, I get this warm, happy feeling of relief.  Everything will be okay.  Bagels are here.

I was the typical carb-obsessed wheat-eater.  A typical day’s meal plan would go something like this:

Breakfast

  • Big bowl of Vector cereal
  • A bagel with cream cheese

Lunch

  • Sandwich on whole wheat bread or a wrap
  • A granola bar
  • An apple

Dinner

  • Pasta with meat sauce, a pot pie, a wrap, or pizza
  • Probably a cupcake because my roommate is a baker

As you can see, I was neither the healthiest or least healthy eater.  The thing is, I ate mostly wheat products.  I never really thought this was a problem until I read the book, “Wheat Belly,” however.  Let me preface this by saying that I am not fat by any means. I am 5’7″, 130lbs, and fairly slender (and female, if that wasn’t already obvious). I am incredibly, almost impressively, inactive.  I am perpetually sitting down. I take very short walks each day because my dog forces me, and I don’t go to the gym. The fact that I am not fat is actually quite astounding, and infuriating, to some people.

So I read this book because my mother forced me to and it was actually pretty interesting. Its overall point was that wheat is no longer what it once was; it’s unnecessary, sprayed with chemicals, and actually unhealthy.  The author boasts that he has cured all kinds of illnesses and ailments by simply telling his patients to cut out wheat altogether.  For me, cutting out wheat was on par with cutting off a limb.  It would be like if someone chopped off your hands and said, “Now, go mow the lawn.” You have to get pretty creative and completely relearn how to do something that was once pretty straight-forward.

You may be wondering why I gave up wheat, and I have a few reasons behind it:

  1. I have horrendous allergies — to everything.  Dust, dogs, cats, grass, trees, flowers, perfume, smoke, nuts… you get the picture.  Luckily, none of these are life-threatening , except for the fact that they are so brutal they make me want to kill people.
  2. My complexion is garbage.  I’ve had relatively decent skin over the years but battled acne on and off since I was 13 (now 23).  Last year though, for whatever reason, my skin exploded with acne and shit just got real.  I mean, the kind of acne you see on someone walking down the street and you actually feel bad for them. I was put on Accutane, which thankfully is working miracles, but I don’t want to just break out again after I stop taking it. Apparently, wheat can cause acne (bastard!).
  3. I have some visceral fat I wouldn’t mind ridding myself of.  I am slender, but I have this layer of fat around my lower “abs” and obliques that is practically angling for squatters’ rights.  Bikini season is coming… I’m painfully aware of it.

I cut wheat 100% out of my diet a week ago exactly.  If you’ll take a gander at my eating habits prior to last week, you’ll probably wonder what the hell I’m eating.  I actually find this to be a relatively easy diet because it cuts out most unhealthy foods, forces you to eat veggies, and has actually turned me into a bit of a chef!  Without the convenience of wheat-based foods like granola bars, frozen pizzas, pot pies, and pasta, I actually have to PLAN my meals and think about what to eat rather than mindlessly grab something out of the cupboard.  I make different salads, oat muffins, chicken, fish, etc. and it’s way more enjoyable than the garbage I ate before.

Here’s what I’ve noticed: I have EXPONENTIALLY MORE ENERGY.  I used to be a professional sitter-downer. I could lie around doing nothing all day and never got the urge to do anything. If I accomplished ONE task, maybe do a load of laundry, I considered it a successful day.  Now, I do a million different things every day.  I clean constantly, which is completely out of character (just ask my roommates).  I reorganized my entire room, cleaned the fish bowl, cleaned the bathroom, bought a new duvet cover, went to the dog park, grocery shopped, etc., etc., because I felt like DOING SOMETHING.  I have never felt more capable of doing things.

Another weird thing, my sense of direction has improved markedly. I know lots of people say they are “the worst at directions,” but those people usually meet me and can’t believe how bad I am.  I have lived in the same city for about 20 years and I have never been able to navigate it, even with numbered streets.  I was driving my roommates across town two days ago and they were both completely stunned that I wasn’t constantly asking where to turn or what direction to go in.  I didn’t even realize it until they said it, but I actually understood how to get where I was going.  It was very liberating.

Thus far I’ve dropped 1.6 lbs in 7 days, now weighing in at 128.4 lbs.  Honestly, I can’t tell the difference, but who cares.  Makes me feel successful.

I’ve included a photo of a hangover sandwich my roommate and I enjoyed a couple weeks ago.  It consisted of bread, cheese whiz, three hot dogs, and Singles cheese. You can’t make this stuff up.

Oh, you will be missed.

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8 thoughts on “Goodbye, Bagels. It’s been swell.

  1. I enjoy wheatbeater and especially your recipes. I have a few questions. I noticed a few of your recipes have oats or rice in them. Dr. Davis in Wheat Belly emphasizes grain free not just “wheat free” so goodbye rice and oats too. They also raise your blood sugar and trigger insulin as well. I will not deny that is very difficult to give up all grains. I have succeeded in giving up grains. I feel better. My skin is clearer. No more brain fog. No more 10 o’clock need for a snack. I have lost 10 lbs and feel so much better! Keep it up but look into grain free recipes and you will see more results!

    • I agree with you, but my main objective is giving up wheat. I have definitely lessened my intake of grains overall, but not cut them out entirely. He does say that depending on the person, some rice and oats are okay in moderation. I have a problem using many of his suggestions because I’m allergic to most nuts (not deathly, but I get a reaction) so his recipes don’t work for me a lot of the time. I’m trying to track down some coconut flour but I can’t find any! Congrats on losing 10 lbs 🙂

  2. I have cut out wheat for about 3 weeks now and have seen a gain of at least 5 pounds on my scale. I am more tired than before and feel bloated. My husband however has lost 8 pounds. What am I doing wrong ?

    • That must be frustrating for you! I’m no nutritionist or doctor, but I would recommend looking at what you’re replacing wheat with. Are you replacing it with healthy veggies and lean meats, or are you subbing it for sugary things or starchy foods? If you feel like you’ve been eating healthier and gaining weight, I would talk to a doctor. Sudden, unexplained weight can be a signal that something else is wrong in your body, so it’s important to find out the root cause.

      • Thank you. I am not eating sugar just Vegies, fruit, lean grassfed meat, chicken, eggs and 95 percent of the food I eat is organic and not processed.

        I have scheduled an appt with a NP and going to get some blood work done. I have been trying to loose weight for years and not seen any results. Hoping I can find answers.

  3. First of all . . . someone should sue you for false advertising for posting that picture of pink cupcakes–I thought, yeah, where’s the wheat-free recipe for that? But second, I want to suggest a cure for you allergies: “neti pots” (look it up on wikipedia for pictures). This was invented by the ancient yogis. It’s simple, warm salted water poured into one nostril and out the other–all the pollen in your sinus cavity goes down the drain in about two minutes. Many people with allergies swear by this method. Feels weird only the first or second time you do it, after that it’s like brushing your teeth, ie. routine. (BTW, yogis also invented the toothbrush.) And finally, my story. Been wheat free since May 1st (3 weeks). The mental clarity was the first thing I noticed after week-one. Even my vision improved, colors are more intense. This, plus the energy boost was enough alone to convince me that wheat is out of my life forever. My normal exercise routine is super-charged suddenly, ie. using high gears to bike uphill, and rowing my kayak on Lake Sebago without any rest breaks, effortlessly. My work (voice and speech trainer via webcam from the Maine woods) benefits as well, because I no longer have insomnia issues. If I have a training session with someone in Japan that starts at midnight my time, and I have only time for five hours sleep, it’s enough for me to recharge and refresh, because now I sleep deeper no matter how mixed up my work hours are. One more thing, girl, your roommate is a pastry chef?! You have tremendous willpower! You are an inspiration to us all.

  4. I could have wrote this blog entry. After years of being diagnosed with IBS and never having any relief. I had a allergy blood test and it showed that I had food intolerances to everything. After giving up almost everything (gluten, wheat, dairy, and a lot more), I spoke with my allergist who suggested I only start with dairy. He had a lot of great information about why the test was not accurate. I have been feeling better but completed. So I will again attempt to do without wheat, because I truly believe that is a big part of it. I did Wheat Belly and was sold on it and amazed. I’m nervous though, because I carb load, I have the convienence of granola bars. I’m not a good cook and I don’t like many veggies. BUT I know I need to learn and try. I’m just wondering where a good starting point is? Thank you for this informative blog.

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