One Year Wheat-Free! A List of 45 Things I Have Learned Along the Way!

27 Mar
One Year Wheat-Free! A List of 45 Things I Have Learned Along the Way!

That’s right! It’s been one full year that my entire family has been eating wheat-free! Thanks to a friend who introduced me to the concept, and thank you to Dr. Davis, author of “Wheat Belly”, my life has changed for the better! A little later on today I will post an article I am writing about some of the biggest health benefits my family has experienced, but for now I want to post a list of 45 things I have learned during the past 365 days.

Before I do that, I’d like to thank YOU, my readers, who have helped to make this year an amazing one for me. Writing and blogging was completely new to me when I posted my first blurb last March, and it’s been a journey of sharing and learning that I could not have anticipated. So whether you are subscribed to my blog, post comments and banter with me about food, have shared your personal story, or just read quietly and scan the recipes, I am thankful you have been a part of it!

As of this morning:

  • I have 305 people following my blog!
  • I’ve had 74,807 page visits!
  • This is my 96th post!
  • I’ve had visitors from 124 countries!

So to continue with the numbers… here is a list of:
45 Things I Have Learned This Year

  1. It’s not always easy to go against the grain (pun intended :)) but it IS worth it.
  2. My family is awesome, and I am very grateful that we all do this together!
  3. Wheat is a toxic, manipulated substance, and NOT a food fit for human consumption.
  4. Large corporations do NOT have your best interests in mind, so be proactive and educate yourself.
  5. Wheat Belly, Primal, and Paleo ways of eating have more in common than not.
  6. When in doubt, eat food without labels.
  7. Stay away from the Gluten-free aisle at the grocery store; it’s a Carbohydrate Hell Hole.
  8. Just because the USDA or the FDA approves something, does NOT mean it’s healthy.
  9. Men seem to lose weight more quickly on this diet (any diet?) than women.
  10. Brussels sprouts are an awesome food, and I am very sorry I hated them my whole life.
  11. The scale is a tool, not a God. Remember to use a tape measure too.
  12. It takes time for your body image to catch up with reality when you’ve lost weight.
  13. Almond flour is awesome, but for those trying to lose weight, moderation is the key.
  14. The friends I’ve made online who also eat grain-free are an invaluable source of support and information, and I am very thankful to know them!
  15. Conventional wisdom regarding nutrition is deeply flawed; many dieticians are brainwashed and many doctors care nothing at all about nutrition.
  16. I enjoy writing and blogging and think it’s one of the best things I have ever done!
  17. Weight loss doesn’t usually occur in straight line, and plateaus can be valuable for learning how to maintain.
  18. One size does not fit all; we need to tweak and experiment and be open-minded.
  19. Dark chocolate is one of the best things in the whole world. (OK I already knew that one ;))
  20. There will be people who are hungry for the message, so share freely.
  21. There will be people who need the message most who are not open to it. Move on.
  22. Learning the language of the body is an art, and it takes time to fully interpret what it has to say.
  23. Don’t be surprised if wheat isn’t the only thing that you need to eliminate to feel your best.
  24. Headaches and joint pain are NOT caused by a deficiency of Motrin.
  25. Chronic inflammation is the cause of MOST chronic complaints, and it’s mainly caused by diet.
  26. You will have good days and bad days, congratulate yourself and forgive yourself.
  27. What works for a friend may or may not work for you. We all arrive at today with different health backgrounds and genetics.
  28. There is wheat in places you would never think to look; avoiding all packages is best.
  29. There is no natural sweetener that tastes like sugar to me, but some do a decent job.
  30. My Ninja blender kicks butt and I use it nearly every day.
  31. Zucchini “noodles” are awesome.
  32. Sometimes losing weight makes wrinkles appear… smile so that they blend in!
  33. We go through more eggs now than I ever thought possible.
  34. Cholesterol is no more responsible for heart disease than a Band-Aid is responsible for the burn it covers.
  35. Coconut oil is one of the most versatile substances! For sautéing, for baking, for skin, for hair… it rocks.
  36. Avocadoes and cauliflower are able to be virtually neutral and can be used in ways I never thought of before.
  37. Having an ice cream maker is a GREAT thing.
  38. Thrift stores and consignment shops are a valuable source for clothing when you are dropping sizes and don’t want to spend a fortune.
  39. Giving up wheat didn’t cure my resistance to exercise (gasp!) I guess this year I will work on that!
  40. Enjoying dining out is possible, just be careful and ask a lot of questions. Most servers have no clue.
  41. It’s best to focus on all the great things you CAN eat, rather than what you can’t.
  42. Most recipes can be tweaked to be wheat-free and low-carb if you are creative enough.
  43. Parmesan cheese and almond flour as a “breading” is yummier than Panko ever was.
  44. Even dogs do better on a grain-free diet.
  45. There are some people who will think you are completely insane. That’s more than OK! 😀

I know I missed a bunch… so what would YOU add to this list?


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69 responses to “One Year Wheat-Free! A List of 45 Things I Have Learned Along the Way!

  1. sz

    March 27, 2013 at 11:51 am

    You go girl!! 7 months for me. Wish I’d done it long ago.. Have a great day!

    sent from my iFone

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 11:54 am

      Thank you! I wish I had done it long ago too… but we can only do the best we know how, and 7months is awesome! ~Gretchen

    • Elizabeth

      March 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      I’m 68 and have been on W.B. for nearly 8 weeks. I zeroed in on how the men lose faster than women even on this!!! I “know” I’ve lost weight because of clothes fitting better/looser…BUT it’s still not all that evident to the eye!! I’m insulin resistant so this will be a journey for sure in the weight loss area. The other are where it’s working is my personal glucose tests each morning…I’m in the “normal” range! YAY!!! I’m anxious to find out what my labs will be in May when I get checked again!! I’d LOVE to personally communicate with others who are on gluten-free. Oh…I might mention that I have rheumatoid arthritis and secondary fibromyalgia so the main reasons I’m on this is because of my inflammatory issues…and the pain that comes with some of them.

      • Gretchen without Grain

        March 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm

        Hi Elizabeth, Congratulations on making the decision to follow WB! Hang in there, you are already seeing progress, which is wonderful. Check out the WB Facebook page if you would like to get to know others in the community, there are some great, informed, and very dedicated people there. Not to mention that Dr. Davis still visits that page regularly, even with his very busy schedule! I had many issues with inflammation, so I can relate. I am blown away by the improvements. I hope you enjoy my blog! ~Gretchen

  2. Deb

    March 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Great list! Congrats on one year grain-free! I’m just getting started on the wheat and grain-free journey. At 59 I hope it’s not too late. It sure is tough though. What an addiction! I want to add that cats don’t need grains either! My cats are completely grain free and very healthy. 🙂

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Deb! It’s never too late to apply things you have learned. It can be tough, but I do think that it gets easier as we go. And yes, cats are meant to be grain-free too!

    • Cindy

      June 5, 2013 at 11:07 am

      I’m sixty years young, just started wheat free about 7 weeks ago and feel just great. I want bread though for my almond butter and jelly (homemade) sandwich and have found NO suitable alternative. Rice bread is nasty. Otherwise, feel great, lost weight and am on the road to permanent change.

      • Gretchen without Grain

        September 5, 2013 at 10:38 am

        Good for you! This change in lifestyle takes some getting used to, but it is SO worth it 🙂 Perhaps the craving for bread will diminish over time. Perhaps try some of the muffin recipes as a vehicle for your jellies and nut butters? I wish you the best~ ~G

  3. stefanie

    March 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Great blog…Im so going to share this!

  4. Geraldine Duddleston Young

    March 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you. I am only just starting (day 4) but people like you encourage me that it can be done and will be well worth it.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Geraldine 🙂 I am so glad that you find encouragement here. It is more worth it than I can put into words, even though I keep trying lol. I will be posting again later today with some specific health outcomes, maybe that will help a little more! ~Gretchen

  5. Lynda

    March 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I love that list and I hope you don’t mind that I copy it (linked to here of course). Well said.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Lynda, Glad you liked it! I don’t mind that you used it, thank you for linking back to me! ~Gretchen

  6. Steve

    March 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I would also add that acid re-flux instantly disappeared within 48 hours after I quit eating wheat. I feel so much better I will never go back and have not had an episode of acid indigestion or heart burn since.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Steve, Absolutely! In fact, in my longer article I write about exactly the same thing with my husband. It’s quite wonderful to live without that discomfort. ~Gretchen

  7. Debby Robic

    March 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Great list, Gretchen! I’m 8 months grain-free, and I’ve never felt better! (I had previously gone low-carb and sugar-free to fend off a diabetes diagnosis, but didn’t win the battle until I gave grain the boot!) Keep up the good work!!

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Hi Debby, Congratulations on being 8 months grain-free! I’m so glad that the lifestyle is working for you. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment! ~Gretchen

  8. johnnysenough hepburn

    March 27, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    – Well done, on all counts!
    – I was having a late lunch at my place with a friend who is vegan. As she was hoping to get pregnant at the time her (female) doctor advised seeing a nutritionist to help with her diet. My response was, if you get a consultation for free take it. They’re not going to be as ignorant as a doctor about health and nutrition. Anyway, I happened to have a borrowed book about nutritional facts to hand. Out of the top 100 best foods, with meat, poultry and fish being listed as one category each my friend was able to eat 96 or 7 of them. Not bad!

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      Thanks Johnny! That’s great that your friend is able to eat so many of the healthy foods! Hopefully working with food and nutrition will be helpful as she wants to increase fertility. I think just about everything comes back to the food we eat or don’t eat! ~Gretchen

      • johnnysenough hepburn

        March 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm

        Well, it must’ve worked as my friend now has a rather beautiful four year old girl! 🙂

      • Gretchen without Grain

        March 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm

        LOL I didn’t realize that was so long ago! It sure did, 😀 Gave me a laugh there.

  9. Leah J. Utas

    March 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Go you. I love your list. I’m gluten intolerant and decided to see what would happen if I punted gluten from my diet. Breathing trumps fast food any day.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks Leah! I doubt you will regret ditching the gluten from your diet, and if you add eating whole, healthy foods instead of anything processed, you will likely be amazed! Breathing is excellent 🙂 ~Gretchen

  10. Zazalu

    March 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I’ll have to try #43. And you’re right about #32 . . . but I’ve discovered that it’s a way of eating I can live with. I feel so much better. I would add #46. Even though my metabolism has slowed down, I’ve discovered that it’s not that difficult to lose weight — and belly fat — after 50 when you’re eating the right foods.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      Zazalu, that’s true… it’s possible to make changes at any point in life! Eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones makes all the difference in the world. ~Gretchen

  11. CJ

    March 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    This is gonna be one hard journey for me…but thank you for your blog to help me along…

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      CJ, It seems hardest at first, but there is more support available than you may realize. Once you have seen the benefits, you can find strong motivation to be able to eat this way and flourish! I hope you do find my blog helpful, as well as all the other blogs out there that focus on a grain-free lifestyle. ~Gretchen

  12. Brenda Montfort Ucherek

    March 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Have been all over your blog – Although I have been wheat free for over a year – my husband and 3 sons (19, 16, 11) are going grain free with me. It has been a journey to search out things they can/want to eat. I just ate salads ALL the time! #21 above is soooooo important – I guess those people will just have to watch and see how good we feel – maybe then they too will take the grain free plunge. Thanks for sharing all this information – really liked your flour chart comparison.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Thank you so much Brenda! #21 is one that I struggle with sometimes, as does my husband. It can be challenging when we want to help people who either are not ready for help, or feel that we might be crazy, lol. It’s kind of like an airplane emergency… you put your air mask on first so that you are in good enough shape to help those around you 😉 The proof is hard to deny when lives are so completely changed! ~Gretchen

  13. Denise

    March 27, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I read an article on The Wheat Belly diet and went cold turkey January 28th. I had withdrawals for the 1st two days then I was fine. I noticed almost immediately that the pain I was having in my knees (which I chalked up to the good ol’ aging process was to blame) was literally gone!!! I felt so good and less in a fog as they say. I try to eat fairly clean byway but always had my yummy Ezekiel Bread and whole wheat products thinking I was doing my body good! The past week I have slacked because it was my birthday so there were dinners out with bread baskets passed. I will just have 1 piece. I convinced myself it wouldn’t be a problem as I was not a celiac patient who had to avoid wheat and/or gluten! Immediately my knee pain returned as did my lower back which is chronic. I hadn’t even realized my lower back pain had drastically dissipated. It was proof enough for me and I am back to wheat elimination in my diet!!! Thank you Dr. Davis for the insight into this wheat elimination. It truly did make a difference for me! Thanks Gretchen as well for sharing your journey!
    To all of the doubters, try it for yourself and see if it makes a difference in your circumstance. What other than pain, weight gain, bloating, etc. do you have to lose??? 😉

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 31, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      Hi Denise, It’s amazing how loudly our bodies can speak when it comes to inflammatory foods! I think that social events can be some of the hardest things to navigate when you are eating with any type of dietary restriction. Many don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings by turning down food, so they end up hurting themselves instead. It gets easier as time goes on! And I absolutely agree, that giving this WOE a try is the only way for people to know for sure what could change in their lives as a result! Thank you for commenting and sharing your story 🙂

  14. Karen Brenneman

    March 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Hi Gretchen…congratulations on your successful wheat free journey!! My hubby and I have been wheat free for almost 8 wks now. Hubby has lost 6.2 pounds and I’ve lost Is this a fair amount to lose in this amount of time. My husband gets discouraged because we’ve read about losing a”a pound a day” (at least for awhile) with this way of eating, and for us, it seems like a pound a week. Also we’ve lost a inch here and there in a few places in the first couple weeks, but seems like nothing has changed since then,

    Hubby has gotten rid of his acid reflux and some IBS symptoms. He is diabetic and we are trying to reverse that. I am in good health but did notice I have no more arthritic discomfort. We both do need to lose abit of weight…hubby 40- 50 pounds and me 20.

    Can you give me any suggestions of what else I need to be doing? We don’t eat any grain, and only have potatoes maybe twice a wk as hubby isn’t happy if I take them completely away. I use coconut oil and and butter, and have switched to Pur Kal Stevia, and or Xylitol for occasional sugar use. I use coconut and almond flour…..?????maybe using too much almond flour?????, and use unsweetened almond or coconut milk occasionally. One thing I think that is part of the problem, hubby gets bored with eggs everyday, so i make either coconut or almond flour pancakes, and he has to have his syrup and doesn’t like sugar free so he’s been using the “light”. I’ve just ordered the Nature’s Hollow sugar free syrup made with erythritol and told him no more pancakes until it comes.

    Again, congratulations to you and your hubby!!! And thanks for any advice you can give.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Hi Karen, Welcome to your own wheat-free journey! It’s great to hear that you and your husband have had health improvements already 🙂 As for weight loss, you answered most of your own questions! The almond flour can slow down weight loss for some, and the sugar syrup is definitely something to fix (which you are.) For those who are wanting to experience weight loss, the potatoes are probably a factor. Wheat Belly recommends keeping carbs to 15g per meal, 3X a day… so around 50g per day total. If he is bored with eggs for breakfast, consider thinking outside the box and don’t eat just “breakfast foods”. Many people have leftovers from the night before or make smoothies. As long as you keep an eye on the carbs, you can eat a wide variety of foods, and not get bored! I hope this helps, and that you and your husband find success beyond what you are already experiencing! ~Gretchen

    • Ali

      March 28, 2013 at 5:49 am

      I would add that although the nuts and potatoes may slow down the weight loss, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The faster the weight comes off the less able the skin is to adapt and wrinkles are more likely.

      This way of eating, especially with the good fats, the butter, coconut oil, etc., does help to restore the elasticity of the skin but it still helps not to lose weight too fast. I know quite a few people who have managed to lose a lot of weight without having any sagging skin by eating this kind of diet and not losing too fast.

      I have been gluten free for five years and still struggle with losing weight, but then I’ve had an awful lot of gut damage and malabsorption to deal with, not to mention diabetes and pancreatic damage.

      I am finding that the greatest help in healing is green vegetables. I still eat protein, eggs, fish, meat, but love my cooked green soups. Now my gut is working better I hope to add in some green smoothies too. My weakness is pistachios and I do need to get a handle on that!

      • Ali

        March 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm

        I would add that going gluten free/low carb within hours of dumping the gluten stopped my 12 years of IBS-D that had culminated in virtually everything I ate going straight through me, and, although I didn’t know it at the time, the floaty, frothy stools that are often a typical symptom of Celiac Disease.. It also resolved raging restless legs (gluten ataxia), burning feet (neuropathy), palpitations, hot flushes, night sweats and has immensely helped my long-term digestive issues. Oh, and I am no longer a walking ‘fungus factory’! As long as I stay low-carb I can manage my diabetes just on insulin – no more Metformin, and about 3 weeks into gluten free I threw away the horrible toxic blood pressure tablets when my BP went back to normal and haven’t had to take them since.

        My digestion still is work in progress, but is far better than when I started (the gas was so bad I would have to keep getting out of bed every 10 minutes and jumping up and down to release it because my stomach was so displaced the sphincter muscle couldn’t open properly. It felt like the organs in my upper chest were trying to climb out through my throat. That has all resolved and I rarely, if ever, get any gas now.

        I am sure I was on the path to a very early death back then – my mother, diagnosed with Celiac Disease just 4 weeks before she died of multiple organ failure from severe malnutrition, had similar symptoms to me from around 2 years before she died. I am eternally grateful for finding the link between my then symptoms and Celiac/gluten intolerance online when the Medical Profession had dismissively told me there was ‘nothing wrong’ with me. I might not have been here relating this experience……

      • Gretchen without Grain

        April 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm

        Hi Ali… You are certainly one of the people who has experienced the EXTREME health transformation of going off gluten/wheat. It’s amazing to me how this cluster of symptoms is just starting to gain some recognition, when for so long we were collectively told there was “nothing wrong with us” or “it’s just stress” … leading some of us to feel like hypochondriacs! I am very sorry for your mother, and at the same time, thankful for you that you found the key to taking control of your own health. We get a lot of criticism from the nutrition and medical communities for “self-diagnosing” with celiac or gluten intolerance… ummmm, we HAD to self-diagnose! It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. Fortunately there is a strong (and growing) community for support. Thank you for sharing your experiences! ~Gretchen

  15. Ruth

    March 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I so agree with you on the egg one.And the dietitians diets. OK, may of them are so right on!
    I use ground flax for breading. I will have to try almond flour.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Ruth, Glad you liked my list! I hope you enjoy the almond flour and Parmesan cheese for breading, it’s sooo good! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂 ~Gretchen

  16. Patti

    March 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I am one year wheat free as well. I would add that because I just do not eat wheat and it is non negotiable, it is really easy to walk on by the bakery!

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      Hi Patti… you are SO right! I may have had more carbs some days, but not once have I intentionally eaten wheat in the past year. I not only have zero desire for it, I actually find it repulsive! What a change of mindset 😉 ~Gretchen

  17. Ruth

    March 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Initially I ready the Wheat Belly book for its weight-loss benefits only and since I had 25 lbs of baby weight to lose, I was motivated. I have been wheat free for 6 weeks and have lost 10 lbs (today in fact was the 10 lb. milestone) and only have 15 more to go to reach my goal. The first week was the hardest and after only two days I gave in to my cravings and had pasta. That has been my only moment of weakness and it has been a great journey so far! After a week of going wheat (and mostly sugar) free, the cravings stopped. I don’t need will power anymore to fight my food urges because they are not there. But besides the weight-loss, this has been great for getting healthy from the inside out.I feel energized and have had no headaches. But the biggest thing for me has been my digestive system. I no longer have any digestive issues. This has been life changing for me and its only been 6 weeks. I look forward to continuing to see the weight loss and health benefits. The above type of blogs are the ones that keep me motivated and let me know its possible long-term. Thanks for sharing!

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 29, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      Hi Ruth, thank you for sharing your positive experiences! When you have such great results in just 6 weeks, it makes it easy to stay the course so that you can see long term results 🙂 Hope you enjoy my blog along the way! ~Gretchen

  18. gloria spradley

    March 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Gretchen..I started the wheat belly diet the week before Christmas and really love it. My cholesterol levels have dropped significantly and i have lost about 15 lbs.. I was wondering if you have any ideas for a gluten free vegetarian. I have trouble getting much protein because I don”t like eggs or milk and Dr. Davis says to eat beans in moderation. Would appreciate any meal ideas.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Hi Gloria, I think it can be a challenge to get lots of protein when you are vegetarian, especially as WB also recommends not having a lot of soy because it is mainly GMO and can also have an estrogenic effect. If you still eat eggs at all, I would recommend incorporating them as much as possible. If you don’t like them straight, perhaps baking with them would help. Coconut flour recipes generally use a lot of eggs and can help to sneak them in unnoticed. Beans in moderation are a good suggestion, and can be main dishes or even sprinkled on salads. Without meat, fish, eggs or dairy, I think that lack of protein could be a serious concern for health. Perhaps in your case using a protein powder added into smoothies would be beneficial, and there are also some recipes that use protein powder in baking (cookies, waffles, etc.) Best of luck with your plan! ~Gretchen

  19. LisaG

    March 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Hi Gretchen, I am a wheat-free dietitian that teaches my clients how to begin a wheat-free lifestyle may I use your list and reference your website. I think it will be very helpful to newbies 🙂

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 29, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      Hi Lisa… so wonderful to see a nutritionist who understands the value of being wheat-free! I am sure that you have run into a lot of opposition in your field. You are welcome to use my site as reference if it is helpful, and point clients to my online list as well. ~Gretchen

  20. Kimberly Robinson

    March 28, 2013 at 4:23 am

    It’s funny how the only truth I gleaned from conventional diet non – wisdom was the fact that you need to do something you can do forever. Especially since not one single “diet” I ever tried fit that criteria. For the first time in my life I know with certainty that the choices I make are contributing to my vibrant good health and making me feel better than I ever thought possible. Can I do that forever? You bet I can. So I’d add:do something you can do forever. And PS This is it. 🙂

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 29, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Kimberly, You are so right! Doing something that can be part of a long-term lifestyle is critical for success, and this is the first plan that meets that criteria for me as well. I never even question whether this is a permanent change; I know I will never eat wheat again! I think that is a great addition to the list 🙂 ~Gretchen

  21. Amanda Blanda

    March 28, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I have been wheat free for ten months. My son has many issues and I did it to help him along. I haven’t lost much weight but I was not over weight to begin with. I am 51 and teach fitness for a living (hobby) I have to learn many routines and choreographed dances and I learn them with such ease now I have no brain fog… My acne is so much better and I just look great. I have people that ask me all the time why am I looking so good? I think they think I’ve had work done but I am so happy to declare I am wheat free. It is a challenge. Eating out can be daunting but the way I feel now feels better than any bread basket or pasta!!! I think the lesson I learned quickly is gluten free bread is awful so skip the sandwich or wrap it in lettuce. I have a Nutri Bullet that is invaluable and I love to drink smoothies for breakfast or a snack. I do not miss cookies, cakes and bread…I think Dr. Davis is wonderful and I applaud him for speaking out, he has changed many lives!

    • Gretchen without Grain

      April 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Amanda, Congrats on your renewed mental focus and clear skin! I agree that eating this way is a minor inconvenience (in the beginning) compared to the benefits. And yes, gluten-free bread is for the birds! I make a banana bread once in awhile or muffins (mostly for my son) but have zero desire to replace the role that bread used to play in our diets. Lettuce, cabbage leaves or a fork work just fine! ~Gretchen

  22. Jeanette

    March 28, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Oh I am so happy to have found your blog! I am 13 weeks wheat free and learning more every day. I also jumped on the men lose faster thatn women statement. My brother started WB 6 weeks later than I did and has lost more weight than me already! I can’t wait to go through your archives and see what other ideas and tips you have!

    • Gretchen without Grain

      April 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Jeanette, Don’t be discouraged that the guys seem to have it easier in terms of weight loss. There are so many other benefits to skipping the wheat that it is worth the tweaking to figure out just what works for you. I hope you enjoy the blog and find some help here! ~Gretchen

  23. Karyn E

    March 28, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Thank you for your great article and congrats on 1 year wheat-free! I have been 9 weeks GF and DF and feel the best I’ve ever felt. I have lost 17 lbs. I’m also doing pilates-but had been doing that prior, just increased my frequency. Thanks for the tip on almond flour for breading. That will help immensely, especially when I switch my kids over.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      April 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Hi Karyn, You’re welcome! I’m happy to hear that you are feeling so good with the changes you have made to your diet. The almond flour/parmo breading is super simple and has a great texture… and you’re right, it’s awesome for kids! My son loves it on pork chops, chicken tenders, even zucchini. ~Gretchen

  24. Pam

    March 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    This is a great list, Gretchen. I sat here agreeing with all of it. It makes me so happy to find like minded people….because as you know….there’s lots of people out there that are not so keen on giving up what they’ve always eaten…..or giving up what they’ve always been told/believed. I understand. It was scary two years ago to let go of processed foods, sugar, and grains……but it has been MORE than worth it. I shed 70 lbs and feel better than I have in years. In fact, I tell people that I feel like I’m in my 20s again. (I’m 52….and lovin’ it!) Thanks so much for your site. I have several favorite blogs…..that encourage me along the way and give me great recipes to try when I have those brief moments of feeling “deprived”. It’s nice to try new things. They are not always a success or exactly what I’d hoped……but it is encouraging to know that we can work together to beat this system that truly has been brainwashed. You’re a delight…..and I’m so glad you share from this platform. Many many blessings to you…….

    • Gretchen without Grain

      April 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Pam, thank YOU so much for your kind and encouraging words! There are a lot of us that are like-minded and deal with the same challenges, doubts and victories! It is a bit of a crusade for me, because I don’t want ANYone to live the way I lived for most of my life, when there is a simple answer based on DIET, not drugs. My whole life would have been different had I not dealt with mysterious, chronic health issues. Every voice counts 🙂 Thank you for adding your comment, and congratulations on your wonderful success! ~Gretchen

  25. Mary D

    March 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I have been wheat free since January. It is funny how people react. They feel “sorry” for me when I feel better than I have for years. What is so surprising is how much more I am sleeping. I have lost some weight and a lot of bloat. Congratulations on a full year of being wheat free.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      April 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Mary, It’s ironic, isn’t it? How people have pity on us for excluding a toxin when it makes us feel SO much better?! I am just thankful that I found my way to deleting the wheat and congratulations on your own success! ~Gretchen

  26. Joan G.

    April 5, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Love all the comments and I am definitely going to start my regime as well. Will keep in touch and thank you all….

    • Gretchen without Grain

      April 8, 2013 at 6:44 am

      Hi Joan, the comments are so helpful, aren’t they? I love the feedback and knowing that other people are experiencing similar benefits! Good luck on your new journey 🙂 ~Gretchen

  27. ABinNOLA

    June 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Just came across your blog while doing a gluten free/ wheat free recipe search to prepare for vacation, THANK YOU! I’ve been at this for a month prompted by an appointment with a neurologist for my (more) severe migraines (suffered since I was a child) and the realization as I coast into my 30s that my diet needed to be looked at. Realistically I am 95% gluten free, and about 85% wheat free (I’m still learning) but just the change in this month has made such a difference! My husband still thinks it’s a fad but my aches have decreased tremendously, the migraines are almost non-existent for the month (they were 1-3 a week prior) and I just plain feel better. As I was researching into this about four months ago and reading WB, I noticed that I lot of the “symptoms” relieved were symptoms my old roommate suffered from, so I called her and told her she needed to look into it, the next day she caught Dr. Oz featuring a special wheat free segment so she felt compelled by the message(S) to do it, she swears it has relieved all of her crazy health ailments, so I’m on board. Although my neurologist wouldn’t “recommend it as a cure”, she did say a lot of people respond well to it and it was worth a try, I think healthcare professionals are coming around to it. Looking forward to reading more, and again THANK YOU.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      September 5, 2013 at 10:50 am

      You are very welcome, and it makes me so happy to hear that you are experiencing less pain due to a change in diet! While it can be difficult when a loved one thinks it’s a fad, he’s not alone. The evidence is growing by leaps and bounds, however, and the options for people needing or choosing to go gluten free are growing as well. There is NO question in my mind as to how inflammatory wheat and gluten are, how disruptive they are to our digestion and immune systems. Not everyone suffering will make the switch, but for those of us who do and feel the profound changes, it’s life altering!! So, good for you, carry on, and spread the word! ~G

  28. Renee Scott

    August 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    It’s NOT normal to eat a meal and be desperately hungry again two hours later.

  29. Serebyani

    August 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Found your blog today- I am looking forward to reading EVERYTHING!! My husband found and flipped through “Wheat Belly” at a local bookstore 3 weeks ago. He came home MAD… I’m talking spittin’ nails mad!! He was mad at the doctors- all the specialists we paid money to that we didn’t have for constant results of “Nope- negative… you’re fine!” when WE KNEW something wasn’t right… Mad at the medical community in general for not telling anyone about the hazards of wheat… mad at the Universe in general- for all the years of suffering with IBS-like symptoms, joint pain, weight gain, and so much more… Mad about the things he has been unable to do and missed out on because of his medical issues and weight! We went wheat-free the next day- my husband, myself, and our 13yr old daughter. I admit- she has less restrictions than we do- but that is just until she eats through her favorite foods we have in-house. Then it’s No Wheat for Anyone!

    If there are doubters out there… go wheat free. Give it a try. If you don’t think it’s making much of a difference… about a week into it- EAT ONE SERVING of something with wheat.

    Ours was by mistake…Hubby just didn’t think, and added ramen noodles to our oriental soup one night. We realized it about halfway through eating. RATZ!! We slipped up!! (and we were trying SO HARD, too!!) His “innards” gave him heck for 3 days after that… the joint pain returned… I was hungry ALL the time again, had digestive issues again, and I was horribly bloated! Amazing how we thought that there wasn’t that much of a change yet… only to realize HOW much HAD changed in a week! We still have some slip-ups… Hubby absent-mindedly snacked on a cracker yesterday… DOH! But we will succeed!!

    WE WANT OUR LIFE BACK!! The one Wheat stole from us!!

    THAT thought is what keeps me walking past all that cheap, processed food at the grocery store… and what keeps me driving past all those fast food joints we were so addicted to!

    • Gretchen without Grain

      September 5, 2013 at 11:08 am

      MAD is a totally legitimate response! I STILL get mad! It’s upsetting on so many levels, but changing that anger into positive action is the best thing that we can do, and you’re doing it! Ditching the wheat (and the specialists) is so life-changing for SO MANY PEOPLE. Don’t beat yourselves up for your inadvertent slips, just continue to learn from them as you already are. This isn’t about perfection, but rather about positive change. AND good for you that your whole family is on board! You can still have family pizza nights and find ways to indulge in teen faves, but you’ll have the added benefit of feeling physically and mentally GOOD afterwards 😉 Keep it up, I’m so happy for you!! ~G

  30. butterflypixie

    September 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    you asked what we would add- I would like to add, it’s ok to start over when over-whelming odds of life knock you off the wagon. Thanks for the courage boost to try again. 🙂


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