This is the bottom line for Dawn’s story in her own words: “75 lbs off, high blood pressure meds gone, no longer pre-diabetic–sugar levels normal!. No more anti-depressants. I have gone from a tight size 16 to size 2/4!! Weight has been off over a year, the longest I’ve ever maintained a loss!!!”. So how did she do it? Here’s a Q&A with Dawn from Dr William Davis of Wheat Belly…
What prompted you to eliminate wheat?
I was told by my doctors that I was pre-diabetic. They told me to eliminate everything white from my diet–and I interpreted that as wheat, sugar, potatoes, rice. I was already suffering from a number of other ailments (obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, glaucoma suspect, bad knee), so I figured I needed something to help me.
Did you experience a withdrawal process? If so, what did you experience?
No withdrawal. I ate a lot of fruit when I wanted something sweet.
After about a week, I had no cravings for any wheat or sugar-related products.
Have you experienced any improvements in health?
75 lb weight loss, kept off for over a year (best ever), normal blood pressure without pills, no more anti-depressant meds, off of cholesterol meds, glaucoma less of an impending problem (probably more from exercise, but losing weight helped me exercise more).
Because of rehab, orthotics and losing weight, I can exercise an hour or more at a time, so I’m in great shape and can walk for miles at a time. Obesity made me depressed and lacking in energy and self-confidence, for which I turned to an antidepressant. Since losing the weight and exercising, my mood is great without it!”
Can you describe some of your favorite wheat-free foods that help you navigate this lifestyle.
I eat an apple with natural chunky peanut butter every day for breakfast. If I can’t get that, I have an egg white omelet with cheese and veggies mixed in.
For lunch, I might have that again, or a salad with beans and protein, or even Kentucky Fried Chicken without the skin.
For dinner, I try to eat chicken or fish and veggies. If I really need a starch, I use quinoa, but it’s rare.
I find I can eat wherever I go: Thai (Veggie Curry), Mexican (chicken, beans, cheese, or I eat the insides of a fajita), Italian (I eat the toppings off of veggie pizza or I have fish or chicken), fast food (the inside of the grilled chicken sandwich), Indian (Chicken Tikka Masala without rice or Vegetable Korma without rice–I eat it on top of salad). You can always make anything work if you set your mind to it.
I snack on nuts, fruit, tea with coconut/almond milk.
I try to exercise 5 mornings a week for at least 30 minutes. I try to get at least 3 miles in on the elliptical or lift weights or take a class.
Dawn went beyond cutting out wheat by cutting out other rapidly-digested carbohydrate sources. She also exercised. The predominant effect of wheat elimination for Dawn appears to be freedom from appetite-stimulation from the gliadin-derived opiates of wheat and probable freedom from the depressive effects of the same opiates. But she did nothing particularly extraordinary beyond just sticking with these changes, yet obtained some spectacular benefits.