A week ago I e-mailed many friends about the touted benefits of refraining from eating wheat. The claim is that wheat plants are treated with toxins by agribusiness to grow fuller crops which can get to market faster. Apparently, the toxins don’t go away in the processing from plant to flour and have negative effects on our health.
An acquaintance raved about the benefits for his and his wife’s arthritis. After three days wheat free, they were pain-free. I looked up an article on the internet and read that people who quit wheat watched pounds melt right off their bodies, saw their good cholesterol skyrocket and their blood pressure drop through the floor. I couldn’t wait to get started.
Here is the update I promised those friends. I didn’t think it would come this quickly but I have hard and fast evidence of the results of giving up wheat and its benefits for the body, not to mention mind and spirit.
My wife and I wondered what we would do to find substitutes for wheat. The young woman in the condo immediately beneath us, a veteran of five years wheat free, helped immeasurably. We had already purchased a package of organic brown rice pasta, but she gave us another brand that she thought was better and actually gave us the gift of a package. She said we could do a taste test.
Also, instead of wheat crackers for our cheese snacks, we found rice crackers and low-calorie rice cakes.
Knowing that most vodka was made from wheat, I visited the local grocery store and discovered a potato vodka for a fairly reasonable price. At an upscale liquor store, the clerk introduced me to some upscale vodka made from grapes. Grapes, of course. I didn’t buy the vodka but I did buy lots of Pinot Grigio. Red wine gives me a headache. No wheat in wine.
And so the experiment began.
We had brown rice pasta each night with various wheat free sauces and meats with a small side salad, of course. The left overs became breakfast with a different sauce under melted cheese (no wheat in cheese) and topped with two poached eggs (the healthiest way to prepare an egg). The neighbor’s pasta choice was a bit better we decided. When the pasta ran out we turned to rice, brown rice, lots and lots of brown rice for dinner with delicious sauces. We looked forward to trying the brown rice with wild rice. When the rice ran out, we used baked potatoes as our veggie with delicious rib-eye steak grilled medium rare. Can’t get enough great protein from grass-fed beef. No wheat there. Each meal was washed down with the reasonably priced wine.
For another meal we bought brown rice hamburger buns. They were delicious buttered and toasted on the grill to be used with the luscious hamburgers I grilled and topped with delicious, melted Irish cheddar cheese with shallots. The left overs again were used for breakfast. The brown rice hamburger buns became buttered (no butter substitute) toast served with organic jelly and organic peanut butter. The left-over burger was used in a three-cheese, three-egg omelette (poached is so mundane after a while).
Being full from breakfast, we didn’t need another meal till dinner so for a snack those brown rice crackers and rice cakes came in handy with the cheese (one can’t get enough organic cheese), sardines and smoked oysters in oil for happy hour to go with our potato vodka. If we wanted to go out for happy hour we found a great deal at a local Mexican restaurant: two corn tortilla (no wheat flour for us) tacos with ground beef, rice and refried beans which we split, of course, for $4.95 and $1 Margaritas. Those babies do go down like soda pop.
After dinner, wanting something a little sweet but healthy and wheat free to finish off the day, we bought some absolutely delicious, organic dark chocolate peanut butter cups and one (or several), wee little night-cap to go along.
So here are the amazing results after just one week. Oh, as an aside, I decided to clean up my appearance to go with my new resolution to eat healthy in the new year so I shaved my head.
Well, back to the results. I have gained seven pounds in seven days and before going to bed, after all that wheat free wine and vodka, I look like a giant, round, white, bobble head bowling ball. I have found that in the morning, the bobbling continues but with significant pain for a while. By happy hour the pain is usually gone and afterward, it is definitely gone.
One morning, wife Chris informed me that on the previous evening I single-handedly had attempted to re-enact the entire Bolshoi Ballet much to the distress of the young woman in the condo below. Fortunately, I had no recollection of any such behavior and am inclined to think my wife is pulling my leg. She’s such a kidder.
By the end of the evening, I’m having such a good time, I don’t really give a damn about the cholesterol or blood pressure, but in the morning I am panicked that my HDL is burrowing its way to China and my LDL is skyrocketing to the moon. I’m glad my cholesterol test is next August. That will give me a chance to turn things around. And I don’t dare get anywhere near the blood pressure machine at the local pharmacy for fear that if I took my blood pressure, alarms would go off and the EMT would show up.
But, hey, you can’t expect success on all fronts. I have had zero pain in the arthritic middle knuckle on my left-hand pinkie.