From Wheat-Addict to Reformed Wheat-Addict

I am a carb junkie.  I love cereal and bagels for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and pasta for supper.  My snack of choice is pretzels, a granola bar, or whole-grain anything.  I have a weakness for fresh bread and any kind of ‘doughy’ dessert.  Coming from a background of long-distance running, this is not entirely surprising, as I was always coached to carb-load to fuel my runs.  Upon entering into the world of Crossfit a couple of years ago, I was introduced to the Paleo lifestyle- essentially a hunter/gatherer diet that focuses on protein, fat, and vegetables.  Quite the shift from my carb-heavy nutrition.  But I wasn’t quite sold, and continued along eating a ‘healthy’ diet, complete with mounds of carbohydrate, mostly in the form of wheat.

The Universe tapped me on the shoulder a second time when Wheat Belly became a NY Times Bestseller.  The buzz surrounding this book was big and I was intrigued with the research angle.  Written by a cardiologist, Wheat Belly points out many observations that I was noticing in myself: despite all the training I was doing, my body was holding onto abdominal fat, I felt the highs and lows of my blood sugar throughout the day, and I felt bloated a lot of the time.  The wheels in my head were spinning as I ate my breakfast bagel.

The final push for me came through my baby girl.  She is exclusively breastfed, and when she was six weeks old, I started to notice that she was developing an eczema-like rash on her feet and arms.  Being a chiropractor who supports natural medicine, I decided to try eliminating wheat from my diet to see if I noticed a change in her- after all, wheat promotes inflammation in the body.  I am not exaggerating when I say her eczema cleared up completely.  Immediately.  Within a day or two, her rash was gone.  And another side-effect that I hadn’t anticipated was that her spit-ups also stopped completely.  Immediately.  She went from being a twice-a-day puker to never spitting up again.  She is 19 weeks old now, and she has not spit up since the day I eliminated wheat when she was 6 weeks old.  Pretty compelling evidence if you ask me.

As is the case many times as a parent, we will sacrifice for our children, but not for ourselves.  My daughter was the incentive I needed to try a wheat-free diet and now we’re both reaping the benefits- no more bloat for me, no more mid-afternoon cravings and fatigue, and I’ve lost five pounds.  Does this mean I’ll be wheat-free always and forever?  Probably not.  My mother-in-law’s homemade bread is too good to pass up from time to time, and I never say no to birthday cake, but for the most part a wheat-free lifestyle is the new me.  My name is Ashley and I am a reformed wheat-addict.

Casey and I enjoying the beach

Casey and I enjoying the beach!

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6 thoughts on “From Wheat-Addict to Reformed Wheat-Addict

  1. Lisa says:

    Great post Ashley! I’ve been avoiding reading Wheat Belly because I know that I’ll learn that my beloved carbs aren’t as good for me as I think they are. Thanks for the information – looks like I’ll have to take a peek at this book.

  2. Angela says:

    My name is Angela, and I am also a reformed wheat addict! Welcome Ash! Our family has been “mostly-wheat-free” for 6 months now. Honestly, it’s a very difficult thing to do 100% of the time, but, it is worth it. Yes, we have gone as far as changing the “sauces” in our fridge (who knew soy sauce had wheat in it) to avoiding having bread, bagels, etc in the house. Noodles are in the form of rice and NO ONE knows the difference. And yes, loosing some “wheat weight” is SO nice! Wheat Belly is a great eye opener on so many levels. I have some great recipes for cookies and muffins if you ever need! Food is medicine. Wheat, unfortunately, isn’t really doing us much good.

  3. Wendy says:

    Love your story Ashley. We have agreed to do the same: no more wheat in the house but we will indulge every now and then in a pasta dish we like when in Italy. I will also make the occasional spelt pizza dough (as I always have) but we will not be buying any wheat products for the home. I’m hoping to get my dad on board with this too as he has type two diabetes and a nice little round “wheat belly”.
    It is also important to underline that ancient grains are not so much the issue as is the genetically modified dwarf wheat we have come to know as common wheat since the 40s.
    The main issue with modern wheat is that it is a GMO and even those who do not have telltale signs of intolerance (bloating, diarrhea, constipation, anemia etc…) will benefit from a wheat reduced if not wheat free lifestyle. I hope everybody reads this book.

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