Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2011-11-20
Is it too much
to say that eliminating wheat TRANSFORMS lives?
I don’t think so.
Because I see it every day. I see people discovering
that the “secret” to weight loss has been staring them in the
face for years in the form of the bran muffin or breakfast cereal, all
while they search and search for complex answers, exercise themselves silly,
and cry in their pillow in frustration. I see people identifying the
key to multiple facets of health, like arthritis, depression, and
gastrointestinal struggles, by recognizing that the pretzels and bread
crumbs have been the source of the pain. Walking away from wheat yields so
many unexpected and dramatic turnarounds in weight and health that, even
in the few weeks that Wheat Belly has been out, I’ve
already got enough great stories to fill a book–no, several books.
Wheat Belly Blog reader DeeDee posted this
wonderfully detailed story of wheat-filled floundering, followed by
rediscovery of health and weight control sans wheat.
Three weeks ago my husband, who is in severe
pain from osteoarthritis of the knees, came home from his orthopaedic
surgeon’s office. “You definitely need your knees replaced”,
the surgeon said. “You have to lose 100 lbs. first, though.”
My husband used to be an active man who
could outwork and outwalk me. Major depression and major weight gain as
well as severe arthritis pain hit him about 15 years ago. Then he
was stricken with sleep apnea and high blood pressure. I became the
person doing the heavy lifting and carrying in the family, but my weight
was creeping up, too. We tried the low carb diet but as soon as we
started adding in carbs (whole grains!), we started eating everything in
sight and fell off the diet. His blood sugar became elevated, and he
started taking Metformin along with his antidepressants, blood pressure
medication, and anti-inflammatories for his joint pain.
In the meantime, I had been compulsively
exercising to keep my weight under control, putting in 6 miles daily
on the track and weight training three to four times a week. My weight
continued to climb, although more slowly. I was also aware of a
brain “fogginess”. It was nothing I could really put my
finger on, but I just didn’t feel as sharp as I used to. My energy
level was way down. I was having some memory problems. When the
economy hit the skids and my company shut down, I took a job at a quarter
of my former salary because I just didn’t have the energy, stamina,
or brain power to work in a demanding job. I went to several
physicians with my complaints, for I was really alarmed. I was told
“welcome to middle age”, or variations thereof. Then I started
having severe bilateral foot pain. I developed a raging case of
plantar fasciitis (and heel spurs) and, even though it was supposed to
resolve after @ 12 months, mine was still going strong after
four YEARS. By the end of the work day, I could barely walk. We started
eating nearly all of our meals out because it was too physically painful
for me to stand and cook after a long day on my feet at a low-paying job.
When my husband came home in despair at the
thought of another round of calorie restrictions and out of control hunger,
I broached the subject of a wheat-free diet. A friend of mine, younger
than I am, had recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and, upon
testing, was found to have gluten sensitivity. My mother has rheumatoid
arthritis, and my family is plagued with autoimmune problems. In my
research, I came across information about the Wheat Belly Diet.
“We’ll try it for two weeks!” I told my husband.
“If we don’t feel better, we’ll do something else.”
The only thing we cut the first week was wheat.
We still had potatoes and rice and, occasionally, grits. We limited, but did
not cut out, sugar. At the end of the first week, my husband said
“This probably sounds weird, but I’m not really coming home so
hungry that I would stop at a drive through for a snack before we went out
to dinner like I was before!” I had noticed the same thing. After a
breakfast of bacon and eggs or an omelet (we have lots of chickens on
pasture and unlimited eggs!), I would eat a salad and some cottage cheese
for lunch, and pass all those lovely fast food restaurants on the way home
without incident. Hunh. My feet felt better, and I quit taking the strong
anti-inflammatory medication that I needed to get through the day.
By the middle of the second week, I had so much
energy after work, feeding the livestock, and cooking that I worked late into
the night cleaning my neglected house. Then, over the weekend, I saw that I
had some instant breakfast drinks left, and I had a couple of them after
working out in the yard instead of water. I spent Sunday tired and low
spirited with my shoulders, elbows, knees, and feet aching.
I couldn’t figure out what had happened! Then I read the
ingredients of the instant breakfast drink. Wheat starch was down toward
the end. It must have been a very small amount, and I couldn’t
believe it had that big of an effect on how I felt but it did! Meanwhile,
my husband was out happily working away in his workshop after work,
spending hours building new workbenches. He also announced that for lunch,
he wanted some meat, like a hamburger patty or a piece of grilled chicken,
and lots of salad greens sprinkled with a little parmesan cheese with
salsa for topping, nothing else. He craved salad! My husband had never
even wanted to see salad come into the house before and refused to have
it on his plate.
By the end of the third week, we’ve both
lost weight effortlessly! Both of us are limiting our carb intake not because
we’re on a diet and have to, but because we just don’t have the
taste for it any longer. We had our Thanksgiving dinner at work last Thursday.
It was quite a spread. I was quite happy with my sliced ham, greens,
green beans, and fruit salad (grapes, nuts and citrus fruits sprinkled with
coconut). I passed up the stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes without
regret. Three weeks ago, I would have been all over the dessert tray.
I just didn’t have any desire for the sweets. The fruit salad
was sweet enough for me.
My husband mentioned to me today “You know,
I’m happier now than I’ve been in years. Do you think cutting
the wheat out could affect my mood, too?”
Isn’t that great? We’ll have to wait for
DeeDee’s update to know whether wheat-freedom will be sufficient for
her husband’s knees to improve enough to avoid having them replaced.