When I started telling friends and family that my family was going wheat-free beginning this week, the resounding response was, “Why?”
It’s a complicated answer, but here’s the basic deal. Studies are now showing that wheat isn’t good for us. In fact, it’s really bad. It’s been connected with increased symptoms of diabetes, asthma, allergies, migraines, Autism/Asperger’s, depression and a whole host of other things. The list is really long. And it contains pretty much every problem my mom was having when she died one month after she turned 65.
When I started listening to The Wheat Belly Diet book in the car two weeks ago, I got worried really quickly. Not only were my mom’s health issues on the laundry list, but so were my biggest issues (pain, inflammation and migraines) and Scout Son’s.
So I came home from a job interview and said, “Hey, guess what? We’re giving up wheat.”
But when I started sharing everything I learned, everybody was on board, even Sarcastic Roommate.
I know what you’re thinking. She’s crazy. Wheat’s been around for centuries. How can it be bad?
Well, here’s the deal. The wheat our grandparents and all the generations before them ate, had 14 chromosomes. But it was a bitch to grow. It’s tall. It’s prone to bugs and disease. So in the ’50s, scientists got the great idea to genetically alter it. And then did it. Today’s wheat is dwarf wheat, easier to grow, drought and bug resistant. And with 42 chromosomes, it’s barely related to the wheat we used to eat.
Now if we’d done some, I dunno, animal or human testing before releasing our miracle wheat on the population, we might have figured out that what we’d made was a health issue monster. But there were starving people to feed worldwide, and money to be made. And realistically, I’m not sure we had the testing know how back then to realize there was a problem.
Today, we know better. So, today, no wheat.
Want some more joyous data about today’s wheat? It triggers the same responses in the human body as heroin. Enjoy that bagel! And when you get off of wheat, you go through the withdrawal symptoms equivalent to quitting smoking. Headaches. Crankiness. Lethargy.
Now, I questioned some of what I read. I mean, seriously. Inflammation? Headaches? Pain? But last week, wanting to look and feel my best (and because we had all these wheat products in the house), I ate wheat. Hell, if I could have rolled around in it, I would have. I ate more wheat than I have eaten in months.
And I felt like shit. By day 3 of Eat the Wheat, I was ready for Vicodin for every injury I’ve had over the past ten years, and a bunch of those places were swollen again. I had headaches, stomach aches, and was always desperate for my next meal. It was insane.
So I was really happy when Day One came around. But I won’t lie. There’s some withdrawal going on here. And I have a humdinger of a headache, although that may be because the coffee table jumped up and beat me in the forehead. That’s the only possible explanation, because the other option is that I didn’t see the corner there, where it’s been for the past five years.
Anyway, it’s the end of Day One, I’m cranky and I have a Jumping Coffee Table induced headache. But I didn’t have wheat, which is saying a lot considering my family bought a total of 11 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from Snarky Daughter. The kids are tapering off wheat and can have a cookie a day. I’m trying to stay clean.