Workout Wednesdays: Wheat Belly Diet Review

Technically..it’s Thursday. And technically…this is not a workout. But sometimes people get caught up watching the Olympics, drinking some red grapes, and burning cookies and forget about blogging. I don’t know those people, but I’m sure that’s happened.

Moving on. A couple months back, my mom texted me on the way home from the doctor. For various reasons, the doctor recommended cutting gluten out of her diet for a few weeks, in hopes that it would make her feel better. After she told me, I wanted to know more about gluten and how it works within the body. I first asked one of my good friends, who is a practicing dietician, about the diet and if there were any health benefits. She said it’s particularly beneficial for those with Celiac Disease. I knew I wasn’t gluten-intolerant, but I wanted to try it out and see if it really did make me feel better overall.

Shortly after exploring this new diet, I discovered a book, Wheat Belly Diet: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health. The book is written by a cardiologist by the name of William Davis and it centers around the dangers wheat has to one’s health. At first, I was a bit skeptical. I figured it was just another diet book with some guy telling you not to eat carbs blah blah blah. But…I was wrong.

This book was awesome (if you’re a nutrition geek). Not only does Davis explain how wheat has evolved through the years, but he backs up his reasoning with scientific evidence and numerous case studies. Davis essentially says that wheat is the cause of obesity in the world today, especially in America. I’m not too quick when it comes to science, so I got a little lost with the technical terms. However, I understood all the adverse effects quite clearly. “Wheat belly” or a stomach bulge, rashes, inflammation, high blood sugar, bloating, joint pain, diabetes, heart conditions, weight gain, fatigue, etc. The list goes on. The point Davis is trying to get across is that wheat is a different product than we believe it to be and it has been genetically altered for agribusiness. It raises your blood sugar higher than table sugar and even triggers cravings. Sketch!

I actually don’t eat too much wheat. Like the kind that comes in the form of pasta, bread and rice. But then there’s the sweets. Cupcakes (obvi), cookies, cake, Ritz crackers. Darnit. And then I realized William Davis is right. If I cut that processed junk out of my diet, I’d feel like a spring chicken! The best part of this book, is that he provides you with a plan to becoming wheat-free. Recipes, suggestions, substitutions, meal plans. It’s all right there! I already know that I should eat fruit, veggies, animal protein, raw nuts, and food without a crazy amount of ingredients. I was just nervous about how I would BAKE! How in the heck am I supposed to replace flour in all my recipes. Davis knows. Almond flour, coconut flour, flaxseed meal. And to his credit, it’s delicious. And so much better for you.

I finished this book a couple days ago and I’m ready to commit to this lifestyle. While I set out to do this a few months ago, I can’t say that I’ve been 100% wheat-free. But I do intend to be, because I hate feeling weighted down. I had a Red Velvet cupcake a couple days ago and it didn’t make me feel too hot. I want to adopt this lifestyle because I want to be as healthy as I can. (I’m talking about food, not caffeine and wine, get serious). After reading so many case studies and success stories, I want to join in on the fun too! I highly recommend you pick up this book. It could change your life, even just to give you a different outlook on what you’re eating.

Cheers to being wheat-free! xx

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Cure

There are some days when I just feel like I’m in a sort of weird funk. Those days where no matter what I do, I just can’t be in a good mood. No amount of coffee, upbeat music, or exercise can turn my frown upside down. Sometimes these days can last for a week. And I hate it! I hate feeling so bleh. That’s how I felt all last week. Everything and everyone annoyed me. (My mom used to joke that “annoyed” is my favorite word…and I think she’s right). My boss even called me a grump. Oops. I pretty much just wanted to be alone, but at the same time I thought maybe some company could lift my spirits a bit. So first, I bought these to greet me when I woke up every morning…

They did help to brighten my mood. Until I had to actually get OUT of bed. And go to work. I don’t think the incessant rainy days helped either. Luckily, by Friday, the rain ceased and the sun came out. Just in time for happy hour the weekend. A few of these gems….

and I was ready to pppaaaaarrttyyyyyy (I really hope you’ve seen Bridesmaids). Yea, I was a combination of rockstar/dancing queen/20 years old. Until Saturday rolled around and the couch wouldn’t let me get up. All I could hear was a little man living inside my head, beating it with a hammer, saying “HEY! You’re 26 years old! 5am bedtimes aren’t acceptable!”

Whatever. Four hours later, I peeled myself off the couch in an effort to be somewhat productive (at 7pm). I decided that the one and only thing that could make my life worth living, was cookies. Chocolate Chip cookies. Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Oy vey. These hit the spot. All 10 2 of them. I’m still in the process of adopting a wheat free diet and these make that transition much easier! They taste just like your bakery chocolate chip cookie. With a few of these puppies, I was on the up and up.

My girlfriends and I got together for dinner, grapes, and a Bachelorette finale viewing Sunday night. I was Team Jef since their trip to London, and of course that heartfelt letter on the hometown date, so I was on cloud nine when she made the BEST decision of her life. We were all teary-eyed and giddy by the time the 3 hour showing was over.

What started out as a bleh, grumpy, gray week, ended up being a pretty awesome summer weekend. Cheers to cookies, grapes, and sappy love stories!

Baking with Blueberries

Fruit is something I can eat all day every day. Every morning, I bring a tupperware of mixed fruit to eat at work. It’s usually a mix of cantaloupe (my favorite!), watermelon, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. You know how I know I’m getting older? Because I actually pay attention to what fruits and vegetables are in season now. Summer is for watermelon, berries, peaches, cherries, etc. I stock up on the same fruits every week at the store and I know exactly how much I need to make it last until my next grocery trip. Normally, I pick up a pint of blueberries and put them in my mixed fruit, as well as my Green Monster protein shakes. This week, I decided to do something a little different.

I used these beauties to make Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins. Since I’ve been reading a new book about going wheat-free (book review to come), I’ve been wanting to bake with almond flour. I had never thought about it, but almond flour has many more health benefits than all-purpose. It’s made from almonds, so it’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

I was a little nervous for the outcome seeing as I’d never experimented with this type of baking. But, I had no reason to be. They were absolutely delicious! This will not be the last time I bake with almond flour (though it’s a bit pricey :/).

Baking these might have been the highlight of my week, if it weren’t for…

Channing Tatum and Magic Mike. I mean…wow. Not the most compelling plot, but let’s be serious, who doesn’t love watching men like that dance around with shirts off for 2 hours? It makes me a bit awkward to know that my mom and her friends saw it before I did. Seriously though, look at the price on that ticket….$10.50!!! I absolutely love a trip to the movies, but with a price like that (and no student discount on Saturdays, still got that student ID) my trips are few and far between. It also forces me to pop my own popcorn beforehand and sneak it into the theatre. I like to live life on the wild side.

I hope everyone had a great week! Cheers!