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:
- Big bowl of Vector cereal
- A bagel with cream cheese
- Sandwich on whole wheat bread or a wrap
- A granola bar
- An apple
- 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:
- 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.
- 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!).
- 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.