Wheat… gluten… two little words that are probably some of the most talked about in health; and for many the most scary. If you have ever talked to someone who has eliminated that from your diet you probably have heard a bunch of horror stories. Or you may have gone out to eat with them and they can’t find anything to eat. Or you have visions of chocolate cake running away from you. I completely understand. Many years ago (before it was cool) I read a book on the ER4YT and followed that diet religiously for years. I remember the first time I went into the grocery store and read every label of anything I put into my cart. I had a long list and walked out of the store with two tiny bags and sat behind my steering wheel and cried because I couldn’t eat anything… that I liked.
Fortunately, times have changed quite bit and there is a lot of good and tasty food that falls into the no wheat or no gluten category. Add to that tons of websites and books dedicated to the topic and so many recipes, you can find a recipe for almost anything that is tasty and diet friendly.
If you are sitting there reading this and your knees are shaking and a cold blanket of fear is creeping up on you as you chant the mantra don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it. Take a deep breath and relax, I’m not going to say you have to go gluten free. I’m not even going to say you have to go wheat free! That said, this week’s step into better health is no white flour and no flour that is not organic. That includes unbleached wheat flour and enriched wheat flour. If you look at the ingredients and it doesn’t say 100% whole wheat and it contains wheat, don’t eat it (unless it is your one cheat a week).
Before you panic it really isn’t that bad. There are plenty of breads on the market that will meet this diet’s requirements. You might have to go into the health food/organic section but you can find one. Today there are many choices and many of them are quite tasty. Some so much, you’ll think they are better than what you were eating before (like Dave’s Killer Bread, green label). Trust me, it is so much better than when I started and there was one loaf in the freezer section that cost three times what the most expensive loaf on the shelf was. If pasta is your worry, brown rice pasta is actually really good and it reheats very nicely.
So why are we going here? There are tons of studies on the effect of modern day wheat on the body, relationships between it and specific health conditions. In addition, many of the cutting edge professionals are recommending that it be avoided. While I’m tempted to site a bunch of studies and dig in, I recognize that while I think that is interesting reading, most don’t so I’ll let you research that area on you own so I don’t bore you.
From an experience stand point, I find that most people consume too many simple carbohydrates. Having fiber and whole grain helps make you feel full faster and is more nutritious. The extra fiber is necessary for healthy digestion and keeps things running smoothly. Many products with white flour are loaded with sugars as well. Many foods will surprise you as to how much added sugar is in them. I’ve also seen many people discover that they don’t experience as much bloating and afternoon energy dips. People just feel better when they stick to whole grains that are organic and GMO free. It raises some interesting questions when people that previously felt sensitive to those things, no longer struggle.
I hope you’ll embrace this week’s step and eliminate white flour from your diet. Most people who do just feel better and often lose weight!
Follow the other weeks for the Make It Your Year Program