Vicki Wentz: Doing it the ‘Wheat Belly’ weigh
The newest craze to hit the diet circuit – and I am TOTALLY connected to the diet circuit, my friend – is the craze of throwing wheat out of your life, completely – lock, stock and bagel – right out the window or over the deck. They’ve now decided – and by “they” I mean “not me” – that wheat is basically Satan in the form of a cookie, and if you don’t give it up, you’re going to die of belly fat, probably sometime next week.
And so, in the interest of my readers and to become a part of our country’s serious weight loss research, I have decided to join the wheat-free revolution as soon as is feasible, within reason and realistic, although certainly not today. I’ve been so busy this holiday season that I haven’t had time to go buy all the non-wheat substitutes for the things I normally eat, like Golden Grahams, sesame bagels, pecan pie, and Oreos. (I’m sure there is a wheat-free substitute for Oreos, like ... uh ... well ... Snickers!)
You never want to rush into these new fads full tilt, at least until you have all of the accompanying tools, like if you’re starting yoga, you wouldn’t want to go in there without the correct yoga pants, a pretty DriFit T-shirt, with a cute little mat and good socks with no holes that you’ve tried lamely to darn. Or, say you’re joining a biking group, well, you’d better wait until your bike is top-of-the-line, and you’ve got a really cool helmet, and a biking outfit in neon colors so bright they’re annoying people in the space lab, and blinding the millions of cars lined up behind you.
So, until I have the correct food substitutes in my house, I cannot effectively participate in this wheat-free trend with any real passion or enthusiasm. I saw Dr. William Davis, who wrote “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight” (and a really catchy title that is) on “Dr. Oz”, and was very impressed by what he had to say. After years of studying the wheat phenomenon, he has come to some amazing conclusions, all of which boil down to one basic principle: SPIT OUT THAT DOUGHNUT, YOU BIG OINK!
I agree with this principle; it’s putting it into practice that I find a tad difficult. But, anything in life worth having is worth working for; in the end, anything that comes easy isn’t worth going after; the harder the work, the higher the satisfaction when you reach your goal ... whoa, you’ve all just met my father.
Therefore, tonight I will finish off the last of my mother’s homemade Christmas rolls with buttercream icing; I will have one last bowl of Golden Grahams; I will devour the Hostess Cupcakes I’ve been hoarding since October. And, I will eat every one of my Christmas caramels, even though they’re wheat-free, because there isn’t a diet or “healthy lifestyle” on the planet that lets you have a daily box of Milk Duds, am I right?
I haven’t actually read Dr. Davis’s book, but I’ve tried to find out the basics of the wheat-free plan online and I’ve been modestly successful. However, I looked at what is supposedly the Wheat Belly blog, and saw several letters from wheat-free wannabes to Dr. Davis, and many replies ostensibly from the man himself! But, I’m kind of questioning its validity because, for example, in reply to a reader’s question about whether she could eat quinoa (which is supposed to be pronounced “keen-wah,” which is ridiculous and was probably devised by some nerd at Wikipedia who wanted to prank us all, so I simply pronounce it the way it’s spelled, “kwin-o-ah,” and refuse to discuss it further) the doctor allegedly wrote, “Sure, if you want to kill yourself!”
Now, I’m not a huge kwin-o-ah fan myself, although in some recipes it can be quite tasty. But, I think, if this truly is the good doctor responding, this may be overstating his case just a bit. I mean, are you telling me that if I became a kwin-o-ah devotee and began eating it regularly here and there, that I might, while dining on kwin-o-ah with my friends Jamie and Alyssa, suddenly clutch my throat, fall to the floor and slump into a kwin-o-ah coma? Because I find that odd.
In any event, the wheat abolishment begins tomorrow. I’m in the mountains right now, and all wheat-containing items will be thrown from the deck – I’ve put notices on the trees, so the deer, possums and bears are already lined up in folding chairs down there. This is not a diet. This is not a New Year’s resolution. This is a lifestyle, and – wait a minute – is there wheat in bourbon?
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website, www.vickiwentz.com.