Wheat-Free and Trying to Stick With It, But Not Doing So Well

This is a story of enlightenment, dedication, and giving up. Hold onto your swivel chairs, people, this is going to get pretty intense.

Step #1: Enlightenment

So in my apartment building, we have a small workout room in the basement that has an elliptical machine, two bikes, a set of weights, and two treadmills, one of which is eternally out of service. After my workout on Monday, I was stretching and watching commercials on the workout room TV, when a commercial for yoghurt bars came on. I was like, “Cool, cool”, because I don’t have any particularly strong emotions for or against yoghurt bars. But the other person in the room – an elderly gentleman who works out every MWF at noon like clockwork, did not feel the same way.

“Those will kill you,” he said. To which I, of course, replied, “What do you mean?” Thus followed a thirty minute speech on the evils of gluten and wheat. According to him, humans were never meant to eat processed wheat, and not only does it make you unhealthy, it actually eats away at your internal organs over the years. He quoted several reputable sources, and told me to read a book called Wheat Belly. I then recalled my doctor mentioning that I might want to give up gluten, so I was understandably terrified by his anti-gluten/wheat lecture.

Thus, I vowed to never eat wheat or gluten again.

Step #2: Dedication

I’ve toyed with giving up gluten in the past, but I never last more than a couple of weeks. And let me clarify – I’m talking giving up gluten for health reasons, not because I’m a hipster who feels that gluten is uncool or whatever. I have a lot of trouble digesting food, so I’ve tried cutting out many different foodstuffs in my two decades of existence. These diet restrictions rarely last, however. It’s really hard to avoid things like gluten or dairy, especially as most of North American cuisine seems to revolve around them.

Anyway, on Monday, I gave up gluten. I had rice instead of pasta, avoided cookies and cake, etc. I immediately developed a huge craving for pizza, although I re-discovered the fact that Pizza Pizza makes gluten-free dough. It was going really well, although I wasn’t feeling noticeably better. However, my life coach/mother advised me that these things take time.

Things were looking up.

Step #3: Giving Up

This morning, mother returned home from a breakfast outing with leftovers – namely, a bacon, egg, and cheese crepe from Cora’s. She brought it home for me, and when I said, “But I’m not supposed to eat gluten,” she said, “You know, you don’t have to quit cold turkey. Give yourself a break.”

Her siren song was all I needed. I immediately scarfed down the crepe like nobody’s business. And man was it tasty. Actually, it had swiss cheese, which I really don’t like, but I was able to ignore that due to the sweet, sweet taste of the crepe.

Thus concludes my epic tale

So basically, I tried to make a major life change, stuck with it for four days, and then caved under the pressure of some well-meant but probably detrimental words from my mother, and a tantalizing crepe.

As the inventors of the crepe would say: “Le sigh.”

Has anyone else tried to cut out a type of food from their diet? Did you succeed? My next step is clearly to get away from my mother, who is apparently attempting to convert me to the dark side (ruled by Darth Glutinous, and his tattooed apprentice Darth Wheatus). My second strategy will be to actually research the whole wheat/gluten thing, and make an informed choice myself, instead of being scared into action by a random guy at the gym.

It occurs to me that, as this is supposedly a writing blog, I should probably relate this whole misadventure to writing. Let’s see … okay, got it! If we pretend that my diet = my writing, gluten = writer’s block, and the crepe = inspiration, we create the following moral:

She who wishes to unblock the digestive tracks of creativity must seek inspiration in the tasty, tasty innards of a savoury crepe.

That made no sense. Maybe I should just call it a day.

Unrelated image:

Unrelated video:

This one requires some explanation. As you know, I’ve been playing the new WoW expansion. They’ve added a new race – the Pandaren – and like all new races, the Pandaren get unique dances. The male panda dance is the Party Rock shuffle, but I didn’t recognize the female panda dance. So I looked it up. Apparently the dance is from a viral youtube hit called “Caramelldansen”, released by a Swedish band back in 2001.

To quote Wikipedia:

It is also a popular Internet meme that began in the second half of 2006 in the Internet community 4chan.

The meme started as a fifteen frame Flash animation loop showing Mai and Mii, characters of the Japanesevisual novelPopotan doing a hip swing dance with their hands over their heads to imitate rabbit ears, and the chorus of the sped up version of the song “Caramelldansen” sung by Malin and Katia from Swedish music group Caramell. The sped up version of the song is now known as “Caramelldansen (SpeedyCake Remix)”.

I therefore present to you, for your viewing pleasure, the original Caramelldansen:

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “Wheat-Free and Trying to Stick With It, But Not Doing So Well

  1. Oh, that’s nice, blame it all on your mother! lol

    • At least I don’t have Yoda on my head.

      • Sean

        Wouldn’t that instill her with endless wisdom, thus making her statements correct?

        And ironic you would point that out after talking about Darth Glutinous, no?

        For whatever it’s worth, I’ve heard the same stuff about the health effects of grains, but I’m not entirely sure I buy into them or not. I still need to look into it more.

        • I’m sure the whole gluten thing is perfectly scientifically sound. However, living without gluten … I’m not sure that’s something I want to do, y’know?

          And I believe one has to actually BE Yoda in order to have his wisdom. Wearing an amusing hat shaped liked his head doesn’t quite cut it.

  2. If you choose to follow this: Here is a tip I learned.
    When you fall off the wagon, acknowledge that you fell and then wipe yourself on and get back on.
    Two years ago, I decided to loose weight. I was very overweight, I started exercising (first time ever in my life) and eating healthy. It was hard but after a few months, I wanted to be doing it, I wasn’t forcing myself to do it. Now after eating “healthier” not wonderfully healthy but better than before, I don’t like the way some food tastes.
    Point being if you keep working towards it you will find you don’t like the taste either.
    Don’t beat yourself up.
    I know some girls who get very ill when they have gluten and my son has extreme food allergies. You get use to not having the food, but it will take some time (months).
    Hope that helps.

  3. When my gall bladder went bad, I had to alter my diet. I can’t have caffeine, save for the little bit in green tea and chocolate (no black tea or colas). Considering I could drink 3 liters of Mountain Dew in a day without thought, giving up colas was hard. But being sick in the bathroom was harder, so that made it easier to motivate. I also had to give up raw fruit, all fruit juices, sugar alcohols (found in sugar free products), milk (I can handle other dairy products, though), and I had to cut way down on the fast food.

    When I decided to convert to Judaism, I gave up pork. I thought it would be easy, since I never cared much for ham or pork roasts, and I was already eating turkey bacon, then I realized there was pork in pepperoni–pepperoni pizza being my number one favorite food. I think I came close to tears. Then I learned of turkey pepperoni. I can’t eat pizza out, but I’ll get frozen cheese pizzas and put turkey pepperoni on them, and it’s all good. I also can’t have good spaghetti (love Olive Garden’s), because it seems that good spaghetti requires Italian sausage in it. Beef-only spaghetti isn’t as good.

    I was also a big eater of shellfish. In fact, if it was in the ocean and unkosher, I liked to eat it. While on my honeymoon in Charleston, SC, I ate she-crab soup twice a day, every day, for a week. I became a connoisseur. (I was already a connoisseur of clam chowders.)

    My resolve to turn down shellfish every single time I encounter it isn’t as strong as it is with pork, but I have been shellfish-free for months now. I’ve also recently begun working on beef and dairy products, which means turning down lasagne! (Also, Chef Boyardee ravioli, which has cheese flavoring in it; another former staple of my life!)

    The bad gall bladder made me think about what I ate before I ate it. And having a HORRIBLE reaction to even a half a gram of sugar alcohol in a single piece of chewing gum (and having diabetic family members who consume that stuff) got me used to looking at labels. So, it wasn’t too big a leap to change my diet to avoid pork. And, after doing that for about a year and a half, it became easier to give up the shellfish and the beef/dairy.

    So, if you can somehow find the motivation to stick with a single diet change, subsequent changes become easier. Finding the motivation is the hard part.

    • That’s incredible. And you’re still cutting things out, and successfully too! I’ve been slowly whittling down my food choices (I’ve cut out most alcohol, sugary drinks, and anything with tomatoes in it), but wheat … man, wheat is hard. Still, I’m inspired by your story 🙂 My new plan is to cut down on it, if not stop eating it entirely. That way, when I do go cold turkey, it won’t be such a shock.

  4. So you were quitting this whole wheat/gluten thing “before it was cool”. 😛

    Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t really give that up. Being allergic to dairy and nuts, there’s not a whole lot I can eat. I could never be vegan either as there really isn’t a suitable protein source other than meat for me. I quite often cut out sugary drinks, mostly soda. I stick with it for a while then cave. It’s too delicious to give up forever! Good luck though.

  5. Dietary restrictions are lame. I met a gluten-free vegan (health reasons) and very proudly told her she could eat BOTH of the things I brought to the lolita picnic.

    • Nice! I have a friend who had her gall bladder removed recently, so now we’ve all been training ourselves to make low-fat food when she’s around. It’s good practice, not to mention much healthier than what we usually eat.

  6. Ah yes, the gluten-free diet. Not an easy thing to do, and not enough ancient grains around to fill the void!

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