Friday, May 15, 2015

Is wheat belly standing in the way of your flat abs?

The last few weeks, I haven't been myself.  My energy levels are not where they used to be and I even caught a small cold for the first time in years.  I've also noticed a reduction in my sharpness & focus.  Worst of all, my belly is protruding more than normal.  Sure, I might have gained a little weight while taking a mini-vaycay recently. And I didn't do much moving around while I was sick, but that still doesn't explain the extra weight (bloat) that I was carrying in my midsection.

So I thought about it for a while and, like a flash of lightning, the answer came to me. Wheat gluten!  Years ago, my face was plagued with cystic acne, my scalp was in a constant state of inflammation and I carried extra weight in my midsection.  It was a bad time.  Then I was reminded of how food sensitivities show up on our skin.  After a little research and reflection, I came to the conclusion that eliminating wheat from my diet might make a difference.
So I did it.  Then everything changed.  My skin cleared, the dermatitis on my scalp subsided, I lost weight easily, and my stomach was flatter than it had ever been.  I couldn't believe how great this new diet was. So I went without gluten and reaped the benefits.  Then, years later, gluten crept into my life in small amounts. For example, most sushi restaurants don't carry gluten free versions of soy sauce.  I realized that my body could tolerate it in small amounts without adverse effects.

One thing led to another and somehow wheat products came back into my life.  Not on a full scale but enough to make an impact.  The itchy scalp came back, my skin is still calm but I can tell there's something going on beneath the surface.  Now that I've realized the error in my ways, it's time to take immediate action.  For those of you wondering about what's so bad about wheat. Long story short, it can be hard to digest. Gluten, they say, acts like a glue in the intestines messing with the integrity of our digestive system.  It's also said that wheat increases our appetite causing weight gain.  And when you eat it, your blood sugar spikes quickly.  When I removed wheat completely from my life, I became less hungry even though my diet was loaded with fruits and vegetables.  Those insane hunger cravings just left me.  Now I'm bombarded with cravings of gluten rich foods on a daily basis.

Not everyone reacts to wheat the same.  You might be one of those people who have no issues with wheat whatsoever.   But even if you feel fine consuming gluten on a daily basis, I invite you to try reducing/eliminating wheat for a couple of weeks and see if you experience even better results.  I look forward to seeing my stomach go down again, experiencing an increase in energy levels.

To kick start recovery, I'm focusing on fortifying my intestinal flora.  For instance, I want to increase my prebiotics levels.  Prebiotics are different from probiotics.  Prebiotics are essentially the food for probiotics.  One good source of prebiotics is with apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar.  Luckily, I have some coconut vinegar on hand which I decided to mix with a cup of bamboo tea because I can not stand the tasted of coconut vinegar alone.  But coconut vinegar and tea is a wonderful combination.  I found myself enjoying every sip.
I'm not saying that I'll never eat wheat again. But I do know how it affects me and I'll go in with my eyes open.  I'll counteract my actions with measure that rebuild what wheat destroys.   I won't fool myself into thinking I'm free of negative side effects because it doesn't happen right away.  But that's how life is. We do (or don't do) something, and nothing bad happens, so we assume our actions have no repercussions.  But the good news is that everything is pretty much reversible.  So in a few weeks from now, I'll be a different person.  And best of all, I'll be a bit wiser because of having gone through this experience.

  1. Good for you!My son has gluten intolerance, so 5 yrs ago we began our gf journey. Slowly, the rest of the family joined him and we have noticed the difference! I don't have issues, but even so have noticed increased energy and flatter tummy :)
    Keep at it! It takes about 4-6 mos. for your body to totally regenerate after exposure.
    Blessings! k