Oh I wish I could eat it all without any problems!
Over the last couple of years I have been fighting a real battle with weight. I do so much walking and training you’d think I’d be skinny as a rake! Sadly not.
For some strange reason the weight just keeps sneaking on. I have tweaked my food and tried a variety of diets and ideas, with the help of doctors, dieticians and fitness instructors. I have foxed them all!
My regular intake of porridge, Soreen Malt loaf, and some Nakd bars have now been crossed off my list as I am now trying the latest notion, at the request of the doctor, and that is to be totally wheat free. Not even oats or barley! Or spelt or buckwheat! Not even if it says gluten free! Nothing with the four wheat proteins, from the same grass family as wheat, is to pass my lips for three months. I haven’t been diagnosed as a coeliac, but there is the possibility that I do have a high wheat sensitivity, and my body sees wheat as a toxin. It stores it as fat cells on my body.
Being totally wheat-free is not easy. You only have to try giving up wheat to realise that it is contained in all of the foods I most enjoy, pasta, bread, cakes, biscuits pastries. Its in sauces, yoghurts, gravy..oh the list is endless. Wheat is in all processed and ready made food. Zimples..I think of my Nana and go back to basics and cook food from scratch. I was brought up on Lebonese/mediteranean style cooking. Hmm, just lacking the sunshine! I also have to plan ahead better. Cant do a wrap or sandwich for an easy lunch. Nowt wrong with a potato, sweetcorn & hard egg salad though. Just have to think, plan and relax. Food is to be enjoyed.
Wheat has a number of problems. Firstly, because wheat is so predominant in Western food, we tend to eat too much of it. When we eat a particular food too often we are in danger of developing a food intolerance. The reason why wheat and dairy are the most common triggers for food intolerance is because they are the most common foods in our diets. Eating a particular food too often can cause the digestive enzymes to be overwhelmed. When this happens the particular food is not digested properly. This is more likely to happen with foods which are not particularly easy to digest in the first place. Wheat is not an easy food to digest.
Wheat is highly sprayed and heavily processed. During processing wheat germ is stripped from the grain and this reduces its nutritional content. This means that the body is less equipped to process the toxins from the chemicals from spraying and from the refining process. The liver quickly becomes overwhelmed and stores the toxins in fat cells. Secondly, the wheat protein, called gluten, is very hard to digest.
When we become intolerant to a food eating it causes bloating and water retention making us appear overweight. When we cut out that food the bloating and water retention subsides.
Secondly, when we eat a food we are intolerant to it affects the efficiency of our digestive system. Poor digestion causes constipation which means we are not getting rid of waste products. This causes the toxin levels in our body to rise and the liver stores the toxins in fat cells. As the toxin levels rise, fat cells are created and maintained to assist with storage of toxins. When cut out the food we are intolerant to, our toxin levels fall and the body disposes of the fat cells.
I am having fasting blood tests each month for the next three months to monitor the effect a wheat free diet has on me. I am also living by a diabetic diet, as there is also the implication I may have diabetes 2. I also have a high cholestral which was lowered with the use of statins. These didn’t agree with me, and I often had cramps. I don’t want my biggest muscle, the heart, cramping out on me, so I came off those tablets. My cholestral is also being monitored to see if I need to go back on the tablets, as I may have a genetic issue, so diet alone may not help me.
I also have high blood pressure, and this doesn’t ever seem to go below 138/92 despite being on 160mg valsartan per day, walking a minimum of 10 miles a day, training and eating a sensible diet. So all the above tweaks should help too. I am also cutting out caffeine completely. I already drink 2 litres or more of water a day, and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, pulses and nuts.
Yes, I am a doctor’s conundrum at the moment. But other than that I am fit, healthy and well, with a cheery disposition. Hopefully my issues can be solved with a change in my diet; some people don’t have that option. Thinking of you with fibromyalgia, cancer, crohns… and so may other illnesses where research is still a long way off from finding a cure.
Thankfully, Nakd do have a range of gluten free bars that I can still enjoy. When I am doing my long distance hikes and endurance training I like to have a quick energy fix of a delicious moist bar. There are 7 yummy flavours to choose from - Cashew Cookie, Cocoa Orange, Ginger Bread, Pecan Pie, Berry Delight, Cocoa Delight & Cocoa Mint.100% raw 35g bars that are all natural, no added sugar, gluten, wheat, dairy & GM free. Just raw fruit & nuts cheerfully smooshed together in Wales. Try them! You can order mixed cases of the GF bars here.