March 4, 2020

Starting Out. Eliminating Wheat, Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup.

This was my typical dinner but with a small portion of white rice on the side.

This was my typical dinner but with a small portion of white rice on the side.

After reading Wheat Belly, I started incorporating the things that I had learned into my daily eating habits. I decided to become grain and gluten free. Also I decided to eliminate high fructose corn syrup. These two changes were the foundation of a healthy eating pattern that I continue even to this day. I don’t consume regular pop. I do consume an occasional diet soda. I try to stay totally wheat and grain free.

The first thing that had to go was bread. Yeah, but how do you eat sandwiches? That was my question. So I started just eating the interior of the sandwich, or wrapping it in lettuce. I would order a hamburger at the restaurant and throw away the bun. I found that by eliminating the bun I could eat two hamburgers… and that made me happy. I was never hungry eating like this. But I never really felt full. The full feeling that I used to get from eating carbs was slowly disappearing.

Later in the Wheat Belly book, Dr. Davis recommends not only dropping wheat and bread products from your diet, but eating real foods and eliminating processed foods. He recommends replacing bread with vegetables, raw nuts, fruits and eggs.

This sounded quite good to me because I had never been a big fan of bread anyway. But as soon as I tried eliminating it, I started feeling hunger pangs. This was unacceptable. I did not want to feel hungry. I knew that I had to eliminate most processed foods and starches. So I had an idea. I would pick one starch, or high carb food and include small portions of it with my meals to alleviate hunger pangs. What I didn’t realize at that time was that those pangs were really withdrawal symptoms from the Standard American Diet (SAD).

It is so difficult to give up carbs at the start, especially bread. In the Gradual Diet we ingest small amounts of carbohydrate with a large meal of real food. A good example would be a nice steak, done medium with Tabasco sauce on the side. Steamed broccoli with real butter. A small amount of rice on the side to alleviate hunger pangs.

Here is a tip. When you first start eating like this, you may chose one carbohydrate from the following groups:

Rice – All types but mostly white Jasmine rice from Thailand.

Pasta – All types but mostly high quality and cooked al dente. Whole wheat pasta has a lower glycemic index rating, but wheat is to be avoided.

Potatoes – All types. Sweet potatoes and yams have the lowest glycemic index rating.

Beans – I prefer Lentils. Generally I try to avoid beans but I will eat them from time to time.

Bread – Just don’t do it. You will lose your craving for bread in time. Be strong against it. Go back and read Wheat Belly again to strengthen your resolve.

So my carb choices were pasta or noodles, potatoes, rice or beans. Bread was totally out of the question because of what I had learned from reading Wheat Belly. I thought about it and then remembered that millions of Asian people eat rice every day without becoming obese. So I chose decided to chose rice as my daily carb. Pasta reminded me of fat Goombas eating spaghetti. I was familiar with the effects of daily potato consumption from growing up in southern Idaho and seeing girls develop what we called Spud Butts. In other words, large posteriors from eating potatoes with every meal. Beans were full of fiber but still heavy and carbey. So rice it was. My meals mostly consisted of meat, vegetables and a little rice. This was enough to satisfy me.

At the same time I was still drinking beer. I searched for gluten free beers on Wikipedia. Of course there were a few craft beers that were gluten free, namely Omission and some more obscure ones from Oregon. But what really jumped out from the Wiki page was that Corona beer is 99 percent gluten free. Wow. I liked that. And Corona Light is relatively low in carbs and calories. And of course, it is ubiquitous. I started drinking Corona Light exclusively. I tried Omission but I found it pricey and kind of heavy. It had much more carbs and calories than Corona Light. I started drinking 4-5 Corona Lights every night. Not much else except water. Lots of water. The occasional clear diet soda.

I followed this pattern for the first few months: My breakfast was tea, sweetened with Stevia, with a bowl of Rice Chex and some fruit and a glass of grapefruit juice. I liked grapefruit juice because it was less sweet than other juices except for tomato. I had read that it also had some fat burning attributes. So Rice Chex with banana or apple for breakfast. Grapefruit juice. Tea. Water. I changed it up from time to time with scrambled eggs and bacon. I usually had a small portion of rice with this to alleviate my hunger pangs.

Lunchtime was canned tuna, celery, or sardines, a few raw nuts and a hard boiled egg with plenty of salt.

You might also find the following blog post interesting: HCG Protocol, The Paleo Diet and Atkins Induction.

Dinner was any kind of meat. Steak, chicken, pork chops, fish or even hot dogs. Always with mustard or Tabasco. No steak sauce or ketchup. Both contain high fructose corn syrup. No soy sauce. It contains wheat. Vegetables, lots of different vegetables. Just no starchy ones. I liked them steamed, boiled or sauteed in butter. I add garlic and chopped onion to sauteed fresh vegetables in real butter.

You might also like reading Atkins and the Glycemic Index – A Synthesis.

Dessert was plain Greek yogurt with blueberries or blackberries added. Late night snack was a banana or dried fruit. Raw nuts, but never peanuts. Pork rinds were acceptable too.

I ate like this for months. I also continued drinking Corona Light. But shockingly, I started losing weight. After 3 months I had lost 20 lbs. I started feeling and looking much better than I had in years. The Gradual Diet was working.

You might also like reading Atkins Induction and the Ketogenic Diet