A Week Without Wheat

{Image: Tarwe/Wheat by ntone.be on Flickr}

Conversation with the naturopath: 

P: “Let’s try taking you off wheat for the week, and see what happens.”

Me: “No wheat.  So by no wheat, you mean no bread.  NO bread!  Ugh.  That means no wheat-bix in the mornings either!”

 The thought of no wheat for a week is daunting, but I’m prepared to give it a go….

Day 1:

Breakfast: Porridge with honey, walnuts and cranberries.  Thankfully I can still have my porridge…

Lunch: A mandarin, dried fruit and salted chickpeas – not the lunch of kings, I know, but I was feeling a little stumped.

Dinner: Curried cauliflower and lentil pilaf – yum.

Day 2:

Breakfast: Eggs and mushroom, followed by lemon myrtle yoghurt.  I desperately wanted a bit of toast to dip in to my runny eggs, but I resisted.

Lunch: Leftover dinner and a mandarin.

Dinner: Slow-cooked chicken, bacon and mushroom stew/sauce with spinach pasta (no wheat in it, I checked.  Rice flour instead).

Day 3:

Breakfast: Forgot to soak my oats last night, so this morning it’s oats and cornflakes, malt extract (instead of honey), cranberries, walnuts and yoghurt.  Plus my coffee (can’t forget the coffee).

Lunch:  Left over dinner and a mandarin.

Dinner: Turkey mince patties with smashed potato and purple cabbage salad.

Day 4:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and my kick-starter coffee.

Lunch: Got a bit spoiled today and had lunch out with the Husband.  Proved a little difficult to order something that didn’t have bread served with it – so I opted for a Roasted Vegetable and Bacon soup.  Delicious!

Dinner:  Home made curried prawns and rice.  We make our curries on coconut cream, but tonight it’s given me a pain in the stomach.

Day 5:

Breakfast: Oats, cornflakes, walnuts and craisins this morning, with my coffee.

Lunch: We had soccer with the Little Man today, so had lunch out (two days in a row, aren’t I lucky!)  Lunch was snapper with a macadamia and parmesan topping, beer battered chips and greek salad.  The fish was divine, I ate some chips (I’m not a big fan of potato chips anyway) and I picked the olives and feta out of the salad.  All washed down with a beer (which is wheat I know, but it was lunch at the pub).

Dinner:  Still stuffed from lunch, so Husband made chicken sandwiches.  I’d picked up some gluten free cardboard , I mean wraps while doing groceries today.  Yuck.  Even the dog didn’t like them.

Day 6:

Breakfast: Oats, cornflakes, malt extract + coffee – quick breakfast as we are off on a wood-chopping mission today.  Husband and Daughter had Cafe-style raisin toast this morning.  The smell of raisin toast… ohhhhhh….

Lunch: We’re having a bush BBQ on our wood-chopping mission and there are white bread rolls!  I usually won’t touch a white bread roll with a 10-foot pole, but the temptation is strong.  Bread… wheat….  And biscuits to go with the beetroot dip.  Wheat biscuits.  No Tasha, no!

Instead I eat 2 chicken sausages, 4 mini chicken meatballs, and two finger scoops of beetroot and spinach dip – lunch.  Plus a glass of white wine.  It’s a bush-barbie after all !!

Dinner:  Usually on a Sunday night Husband will make me a toastie.  No wheat = no toasties.  And no quesadillas either, I realised today.  Will have to try the cardboard wraps from last night and see if a quesadilla improves their texture at all.

Day 7:

Breakfast: Porridge with almonds, cranberries, walnuts and malt extract.  Plus my heart-starter.

Lunch:  Corn crackers with left-over beetroot dip from yesterday.  A carrot and water.

Dinner: Wheat free pasta with bacon, mushroom and garlic sauce.

So how did I fare?

Not too badly.  I put in an emergency email to my naturopath on Day 5, querying if wheat withdrawals could account for why I’ve been soooo short-tempered this week.  Her response was interesting:

“Absolutely and often quite severe…  wheat proteins (as can milk proteins) can work very similarly to opiods in the brain, so yes withdrawal will make you irritable and cranky just like other opiods like heroin! It will pass…”

Will I keep it up?

Definitely.  I have felt ‘lighter’ around the mid-region – no bloating or stinky-butt (to quote the kids).  Sure, the finding of food that doesn’t contain wheat can be a challenge at times, especially when eating out or at other people’s places, but there are plenty of options out there for the non-wheat eater.

Breakfast will be my difficult meal, because I’m not one to want to cook a hot breakfast every morning.  Perhaps that will change as I get sick of eating the same cereals every morning?

I’m also curious to see how my body will react if I do eat wheat again.  How it will make me feel, both in the body and mood-wise?

If you are off-the-wheat (for whatever reason) please leave a comment letting me know how it goes for you, and of any non-wheat food tips you might have. They will be much appreciated!


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2 Responses to A Week Without Wheat

  1. Ainsley August 8, 2011 at 9:05 PM #

    Wheat is bad. I struggle with my weight (my own fault for poor eating habits). If I kick the gluten for a week my stomach shrinks and I feel sooooo much better.
    My naturopath put me on a sugar free/wheat free diet for a while and I lost 10 kilos. Best thing I have ever done. Worst thing was picking up the bad habit again!

    • Tasha Chawner August 9, 2011 at 7:43 AM #

      After how I felt over the weekend Ainsley, I’m going to stay off the stuff for good.
      Interesting to hear that you’ve lost 10 kg when off the wheat. I’m doing more for over-all health – can’t afford to lose too much more weight as I’m currently in the ‘healthy’ weight range again, after having been under it for a while.
      Try and break the habit again love. You’ll feel better for it – you know it!
      T xo

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