Friday, April 12, 2013

Wheat – the root of all evil?

I've been waiting all week for today! Gotta love Fridays :) I'm taking a rest day so I can get things done (apartment looks like a bomb went off which is very unlike me and I'm currently out of clean dishes…). So I thought it was about time I did a post on the wheat-free diet I've been following for the past couple of weeks.

I found about about it from my parents who have been "wheat-free" for about  the past month or so after reading the book Wheat Belly by William Davis (you can find out more about it by visiting the WheatBellyBlog). It says some pretty interesting stuff. It basically describes the transformation of wheat through genetic modification into the new "modern" wheat we eat today. Davis believes that the current sky high obesity rates are due to over-consumption of this new/modified wheat. He also talks about how many health problems such as fatigue, digestive issues, even skin conditions can be solved by eliminating wheat from your diet. The book is a good read and a lot of his arguments against the grain are well put, although there are a few problems as with any new "miracle cure" (illustrated well in this Globe and Mail article).
Wheat belly
Despite the controversies, I do believe a wheat-free diet could be beneficial for many, but not for everyone. It is likely that different people are affected by wheat consumption in different ways (obviously, if wheat is THE cause of modern obesity then why isn't' everyone overweight?!). A lot of people I know eat massive amounts of wheat on a daily basis and don't have any health-realted problems (that I or they know of). But, as described in the book, I definitely used to notice changes, with regards to my appetite, after eating wheat products. If I ate toast or pancakes for breakfast in the morning I was likely to eat a much larger breakfast or be hungry less than an hour later. Even after a HUGE bowl of pasta can you honestly tell me that a little while after you couldn't eat seconds? Wheat has been shown to increase insulin production which leads to increased appetite and storage of fat so it makes sense. It's also a good decision to eliminate GMO food from your diet, as best as you can. Although it's hard to escape GMO food these days, as it is the more efficient and cheaper method and most packaged/processed food is likely to contain GMO ingredients, by cutting out wheat I have somehow also been steered into a total healthier diet altogether!

By cutting out wheat I've had to make sure to purchase alternative flours and grains to make my own breads, cereals, etc. In doing so I've changed the way I eat in general. I've been cooking at home more to have things to take for lunch, snacks, etc. since eating-out is pretty difficult (in such a way that you can't just get whatever you want, you need to check the ingredients first. A LOT of places now a days have gluten-free alternatives so I shouldn't say it's difficult, it's just not as easy?). Thus, I also spend less money and eat less processed food as I love to make things from scratch at home. By making most of the things I eat myself, I also know exactly what's going in them and am paying closer attention to which food groups I'm eating or need to include more of. By paying closer attention to everything I am eating I'm also able to cut down on fatty and sugary foods which you don't think to much about if you're grabbing lunch at a restaurant or buying some pre-packaged foods. Since I'm eating really well, it drives my need for exercise even more (training for the half marathon is a pretty good motivator too!). And to top it all off I don't feel like I'm actually depriving myself of anything in particular as you can continue to eat the treats you love as long (as they don't include wheat of course). Other diets I've tried all tell you to cut calories and sugar and fatty foods (which is obviously healthy) but when this the main driving force of your dieting mantra it can be extremely difficult to maintain in the long run since you feel like you're cutting out a lot of treats you love (especially for me, I would be shaking with withdrawal if I had to go without icecream!)

All-in-all I've been feeling great lately, eating healthy and exercising more all by cutting wheat from my diet. No, it's not as easy as I'm making it sounds as you need to have a some self control (especially when you co-workers are having birthing cake and you can't have any!) and be willing to put in a little extra work if you'd like to have some wheat-free alternatives of staple foods such as bread, pasta, etc. in order to still have a balanced diet (bacon and chips are wheat-free to but they can't be all you eat!) I will say brown rice pasta is identical in taste and texture to whole wheat pasta, in my personal opinion!

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So basically, I don't believe wheat itself is the demon behind people's weight issues these days and that cutting it out is all you need to lose weight and feel great. I think once you're ready to make the decision to go wheat-free, you're also finally in the mind-set to living a health life style. Only took me 25 years!



I got myself some new shoes this week! I am absolutely in love with them :)

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{I think the crochet pattern adds a nice touch for the summer}

As I have unfortunately been cursed with clown-size feet, my shoes seem to barely make through each season. So although I love Toms and Keds, it's hardly worth me spending $50 - $60 on shoes that will fall apart after a couple of months. So I was ecstatic when I found these at Walmart of all places! And since they were only $12 a pair...

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I got them in black as well!

Happy Friday :)

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