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16 Apr 2018
The Wheat Belly Trial - Part 2

If you read my blog, you know that about a month ago I decided to try a grain-free lifestyle.  My sister, who revels in the idea of pushing her body through painful experiences (think boot camp workouts, squat challenges, daily planking....) was actually excited about joining me on the venture and so we decided to embark together upon the wheat belly express. 

Here's a few things you should know before you too try this foray into Dr. Davis' twisted wheat free world.

#1.  You have to commit  It's a big investment both of time and money.  I had to go to 3 stores and multiple amazon sites to purchase all the necessary items.  This detailed analysis of meal delivery services and subscription boxes can help you out in planning ahead so you can have an easier time than me.

#2.  It's expensive  My sister said she paid $450.00 for her shopping excursion.  As you can see by my kitchen counter...it's a lot of stuff.  

#3.  It's messy  I mentioned this in my first blog - there is a lot of cooking.  Because you have to depend upon yourself, with no processed foods allowed, to make everything.  None of the recipes are quick or easy. They take a ton of prep, and a ton of bowls, utensils, and pans.

Wheat Belly Pizza

#4.  You have to prepare.  The only way I'm able to stay on track is by leapfrogging my food.  What I mean by this is that I make Tuesday's meals on Monday, Wednesday's meals on Tuesday.  Due to the prep time everything takes I'd be eating at 9:00 PM each night if I tried to make the meal of the day.  With a busy work schedule, that's just not going to happen.  Likewise, if you have a weekend free (which I hardly ever do, being that I'm normally off being Mary Poppins or some other cheery party personality) you can cook up a bunch of stuff ahead of time.

"Pasta" Salad

#5.  You may have to accept that there are just some things on the de-tox that don't work.

I don't know.  Maybe it's me, but I just can't do a "shake" that has 1/4 cup of oil in it or 1,200 calories in an 8 oz glass!  Especially when it looks and tastes like the sludge left over when the tide recedes at Oyster Point.  I don't know if that's affecting my overall detox, but truthfully, I'm willing to risk it.

Frittata

So...what's the verdict? 

Most of the food is pretty tasty, and very filling.  What it lacks in color and finesse it makes up for in palatability.  My parents visited last week, and were actually pretty impressed with the meal. Although I did provide them with a "real" dessert (my mom is a die-hard sugar addict, and I'm not going to deny her, enabler that I am). 

Which leads to my perspective: I don't crave junk food, or processed food for that matter.  I haven't felt the need to reach for a bag of chips or the desire to detour to the nearest McDonald's drive-through. I'm just not interested.  It's not even a blip on my radar.  So that's intriguing.

Another surprising side effect is that I'm actually enjoying cooking.  I've never been that great in the kitchen. My husband Scott is the gourmet of the family, I'm more of a comfort food gal; chili, shepherd's pie, cheesy mac - basically things you can make in one pot.  But now I'm finding myself checking out online recipes and signing up for apps like "Tasty" and "Mealthy", so that's a plus.  It will be interesting to see if I can maintain this once the party season really hits full speed.  Right now we are in the calm before the storm.  

My body feels slimmer, although the scale doesn't seem to reflect that.   I feel better in my clothes and I'm not as achy as usual.  My sister says she feels less bloaty and isn't hungry.  Let me explain one thing about my sister.  Usually, she eats 6 to 8 times a day. We refer to her as a Hobbit.  She is often seen having "second breakfast" or "elevensies".  At work she is constantly chewing.  Since starting the detox she's stopped entirely, eating only when she's hungry.  She says she's less gassy, and other than having a headache on day one and feeling a bit lethargic and muddled for the first few days, she's feeling pretty good.

So what's my overall impression of this "detox"? I think it's a great way to get off of processed foods, which are really no good for any of us.  I think it's helpful in getting back on track as far as paying attention to what we are ingesting.  But I also think it's a bit fanatical and flawed.  I think my plan from this day forward will be to continue in the grain free vein but cut back on the oil and fat intake Dr. Davis champions.  I don't personally believe that all the meat he uses is necessary. I think I will replace that with more fish, chicken, vegetables and fruit.  

What this really points out to me is that there is no perfect diet - although there are some really good ones; when it comes down to it, each person is different and reacts uniquely to food.  I think the main thing is to listen to one's own body and figure out what works.  To do that takes time.  I realize this is probably just one step in the direction I need to take for reaching optimal health.  The main thing I take away from this experience is that it's going to be a journey, not a day trip.  Reaching my goal of growing old but staying strong and agile is going to take work, time and energy.  But I do feel like I'm ready to take the challenge head-on.  So if the detox did anything for me, it's given me hope and a new outlook.  Hey...it's a beginning.  I'll check back in another month, who knows where this road will lead me.