wheat belly

5 Aug

Eric and I have experimented a lot in the past couple of years…


with our diet!  (hahaha I really had you going there.)


Eric has colitis.  I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).  Eric’s written plenty about how his diet affects his disease.  When he eats things he shouldn’t, he flares, badly.  It’s not fun for either of us.  I have not really written as much about my PCOS and diet issues.  PCOS is linked with insulin resistance–no one’s really sure which causes which.  I used to think that it had to be PCOS causing IR because we eat a pretty healthy diet (especially more recently), but I have recently began to wonder if maybe it’s IR causing PCOS.  Growing up, my diet consisted largely of pasta and bread–white, processed pasta and bread.  I love it to this day, even though I know now how bad it is for me.  I wonder if maybe 20-some years of eating unhealthily has just created health problems that will take longer than a few months to cure through diet….

classic spaghetti carbonara

classic spaghetti carbonara (Photo credit: Wikipedia)










Anyway, I’ve written before about how I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 19, but never diagnosed with IR until a couple of years ago, despite many questions to my doctors about how I could gain weight when training for half marathons and eating “healthy.”  When I was finally diagnosed with IR, I was put on Metformin, a diabetes drug, immediately losing 10 pounds.  However, no one ever spoke to me about the ways my eating habits should change.  I think the assumption was that the Met would just treat/compensate for any of the bad carbs I ate.  This is a huge flaw in this country’s health care system–that we focus on medicating, rather than on correcting the problem at the source.


Anyway, we have tried many diets in our experimentation in the past couple of years for a couple of months at a time (in no particular order):

  • South Beach/carb free (I wanted to kill someone for most of the 2 weeks we were on this strictly.  No carbs at all–not even fruit–seems dumb to me. Also, I felt like my running REALLY suffered–I had a break-down in the middle of Webster Park in the middle of a race, in fact, because I thought I was going to die in the woods alone. We continued this diet with phases 2/3, which allow some carbs like fruits and I was much better.)
  • vegetarian (It was OK, although I really wanted a hamburger every now and again AND i’m not much of a bean fan, so getting protein was tough.  Tofu is ok, tempeh is IMO gross.)
  • gluten-free (Surprisingly easy, but we have Wegmans, which is full of gluten-free options.  HOWEVER, gluten-free does not mean healthy–that bag of potato chips is ok based on gluten-free requirement, but we all know that’s not good-for-you nourishment.)
  • paleo (We kind of did this.  I find it hard because most recipes call for nuts, and I am allergic to tree nuts.  I dislike because of that.  Also, I dislike the emphasis on meat–not much of a meat-eater.)
  • healthy, balanced meals (I find this is too easy for us to get off track–a little cheat here, a little extra there, and we are where we currently are.)


While none of them have been perfect, I think we have found the most success with cutting out processed foods and white carbs.  Duh.  No one should be eating that stuff, but both of us, with our various health concerns, should certainly not.


Grain products are often baked, and are rich s...

Grain products are often baked, and are rich sources of complex and simple carbohydrates. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



































When we went to the library the other day, Eric grabbed a book called “Wheat Belly.”  The Dr. who wrote it talks about how wheat has changed (via human-forced genetic alterations) and how many people who are not necessarily Chrohns patients will experience “wheat belly,” or a bloated, swollen tummy that results from your body trying to break down this new, bad-for-you wheat.


Wheat Belly

Wheat Belly (Photo credit: Earthworm)
















I don’t know if it’s true or not.  All I know is that there is a marked difference in my stomach when I am eating “healthy” and when I am eating carb-y, delicious foods.  For the past week, I have been eating whatever, whenever.  Last night, we had our annual pie iron party–hours worth of various pie irons, made with mostly white bread.  Today, I am bloated to the point of it being painful.  Not cool.


I hate my stomach.  I work out hard, and I was finally starting to see some results, then we got off track in our diet, and suddenly it seems like all of my hard work has disappeared.  I know that’s not true–it’s still there, just hidden under the bloat.  But I want to see them again.  If I’m not going to be able to have a fat pregnancy tummy, then I want to have a tight one instead.


Don’t get me wrong.  This dietary change is not JUST an aesthetic one.  My issues with infertility terrify me–mostly because I am worried about potential side effects of seriously messing with my hormones to get me ovulating.  Will our baby have 3 arms?  Will I end up carrying quadruplets?  Will I die of cancer 20 years from now because of it?  (I know those things are all unlikely, although I did read an article the other day about how autism may be linked to Clomid–the drug they use to induce ovulation.)  I would much rather find the root of the problem and fix that.  So we will clean up our diet for a bit, see how that helps (or doesn’t).  I will soon enough go on some crazy hormone drugs that hopefully produce healthy, normal children.   All I know is I want to have a strong, healthy body to grow some beautiful babies for Eric and I, and then be able to protect them (this weekend’s car break-in and a story I read about a mom whose son was slapped by a stranger for wearing a headband has also led me to think a lot about how I want to be strong enough to protect our kids from the trash of the world).


SO we are cleaning it up.  This is a good time to experiment with new recipes so that when I go back to work, we have some good new ideas to keep things fresh in the kitchen. 😉  And to hold myself accountable, I am going to post every day with a “what I ate.”  This is more for myself–if I know that it’s getting put out there where other people may see it, I will be more likely to stick with it and not give in to temptation.  In addition, I am taking it easy with the rules this time around (when we did South Beach, we were a little crazy, and it was unsustainable, IMO).  There are certain things that are not necessarily OK on the plan OR that are supposed to be used “sparingly.”  I figure if I can stick with it for a week or so, then I can start to look at things like ketchup and decide if I need to make my own–however many of the recipes I’ve found thus far don’t really have anything I’d want to eat ketchup with anyway.  Also, on wheat belly, you should not eat many potatoes, fruits or corn…I am ok with eating these once in a while, as I feel they are healthy and natural.  As we go, if I think it might change something, maybe we’ll eliminate them, but most likely, those things will stay.


Vegetable tray

Vegetable tray (Photo credit: Sakurako Kitsa)











So yeah.  That’s the plan for the week.  Healthy eats, blog recaps of my day, and recipe links so if you want to try a recipe, too, you can.  🙂  Hooray. 



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