Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2011-10-02
Journey to Wheatlessness
The USDA and other “official”
agencies all shake their fingers at us and say,” You’re
overweight because you’re gluttonous and don’t exercise
enough! You drink too many soft drinks, eat too many chips, play too
much XBox, and watch too much TV.”
But my experience, even in young people, has been
different. Sure, there are young people who drink Slushees, live on junk
food, and lay on the couch most of their day. But there are plenty of
people who are not this way, yet struggle with weight and health.
Graham is the story of a young man who, despite
doing everything “right”–organic gardening, exercise,
yoga, etc.–still couldn’t find perfect weight and healthy
. . . until he rejected conventional advice to eat more
“healthy whole grains.”
I had been a 26 year lacto-ovo vegetarian
(since I was 11) who long suspected that replacing animal based food with
massive amounts of carbohydrate-rich food wasn’t necessarily doing
my system any favours (to be fully blunt, I had met a lot of fat
vegetarians and vegans over the years- a disproportionately high number
I thought, considering the apparently healthy choices we were making).
I have been somewhat active my whole life,
and have always eaten as well as I knew how. But I had carried extra
weight since I was a child – no matter how much I worked at it
(at times very diligently, exercise- and diet- wise) I could never
seem to shake the spare inner tube. And as the years advanced, I added
a little weight. I was around 170-75 in December last year, up
from around 140 at the end of high school (even then I still had my
belly rolls). Fatigue had been a constant in my life – I never
felt I had anywhere near the energy a young man in good health should
have. And despite my apparently healthy eating habits, I have always
been susceptible to illness, and worried about my immune system.
Earlier this summer I had finally read Michael
Pollan’s latest book “In Defense of Food” – the one
with the opening line, “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
I had read his other books and consider him an excellent investigative
jounalist, one who, like yourself, has nothing to sell me (incidentally
his book pairs very well with yours – he voices suspicions about a
seed based diet, and I would love to see a second edition that included
your work). So by July I had all but eliminated the “white”
foods – flour, sugar, rice. Very little processed food too, which
has been the case for me for years. My wheat consumption was at a lifetime
low, and I enjoyed modest health benefits. I should mention I had
started incorporating small amounts of carefully sourced meat. Where I
live I can buy 90% of my food directly from the farmers, and I only eat
meat that has been traditionally farmed (grazed), and it is usually
organic. I am also a diehard organic gardener, so lots of food from
my backyard too. I have probably eaten meat once a week since July.
I think my weight was down to 160 on September 15th when I
read your article.
Yesterday morning I weighed 143, at the two
week mark. The weight just kind of vanished, and I have eaten like crazy.
I started by cutting out wheat, and after reading your book I have
drastically reduced rice, oats, corn and starches as well. I have
had a few tiny portions of brown rice on a couple of occasions, some
airpopped organic popcorn (I have a healthy fear of GMO corn for
so many reasons). But basically I have adhered quite strictly to your
I was so apprehensive to cut that wheat
umbilicus! It was something that had been with me almost every day of
my entire life. Wheat in all it’s forms is just so comforting to
a vegetarian; it seems a staple of unquestionable virtue. Of all the
analyses I did of my eating over the years (I flirted at various
times with the philosophies of veganism, raw food, Fit-for-Life,
Body-for-life, Diet for a Small Planet, Diet For a New America, probably
a few others I can’t remember) I could never find a way to
nourish myself properly in order to feel well, stay lean and stay in
good health. These eating regimens were so difficult to sustain in
the long term.
In addition to my rapid weight loss, I have
energy and focus like I have never felt before. I no longer have
the endless cycle of energy surges and crashes I now recognize have
always been with me. I still eat “Food. Not too much. Mostly
plants.” But I have tempered that with your excellent caveats
Dr. Davis, and it has truly changed my life. I had a moment
or so five days into “wheatlessness” (probably not a real
word but I like it) where I mourned a little for the foods I will probably
never eat again. But now I look at foods with wheat, and all I can think
are thought of being heavy and tired. I am a sporadic home yoga
practicer (Baron Baptiste! fantastic stuff) and I hadn’t done
any for a while until this week. It’s amazing how much easier
“side plank” gets without the wheat belly! I’ve
also been a lifelong insomniac, and I seem to be sleeping for several
hours at a stretch almost every night, again a lifetime first.
Hunger is never an issue as well – I
just eat when I want to, as much as I want to. At times in this two weeks
I have absolutely feasted, even completely overeaten, while adhering to
the instructions outlined in your book. Last Sunday I was visiting a few
people in Toronto, and due to the social nature of the day I indulged
richly throughout, tons of everything and even a few questionable things.
I know full well that 4 deep fried spring rolls and plum sauce
don’t do me any good at all…. Woke up, did that morning thing,
and I was lighter than the previous day.
Now I am always travelling with raw nuts
(a staple for years for me), veggies, cheese, maybe a little fruit
as well. I find I go long periods without thinking about food –
once my body is receiving what it needs, it just stops bugging me!
It’s truly too early for me to be making
global health claims, but in short I feel better than I have ever felt in
my life. I used to imagine aging as a long slow decline in one direction,
and it’s a pleasure to know it doesn’t have to be so! I’ll
send along some photos. I didn’t take photos two weeks ago, but I
have some shots from about 9 months (about 30lbs!) ago. So
I’ll send some “before” and “during” shots
along (there is no after).
Thank you Dr. Davis, I can’t tell you how
grateful I am for being given this knowledge.