“The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.”
(Melissa Hartwig, It Starts With Food)
My journey to better nutrition began in the summer of 2013. Inspired by the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD, my wife and I made the decision to eliminate wheat and other grains from our diet. I wasn’t too concerned about the difficulty of our decision until I realized eliminating wheat also meant eliminating beer! Giving up my lifelong love for beer seemed like a colossal commitment.
However, the very first day of my “wheat-free and beer-free” diet, I felt better. The bloating and stomach gas that had become normal for me began to dissipate. Over the next thirty days, I stuck to the diet and continued to feel better and better.
The Great Beer Challenge
To celebrate the conclusion of my thirty days, I planned a Great Beer Challenge. I scheduled an evening where I would enjoy several beers to test my body’s reaction. I was full of delight and anticipation to enjoy my first sip of beer in more than a month. But the experiment turned out to be a big disappointment — it just didn’t feel good to me. Bravely, I stuck with the challenge and drank three beers that night. The next morning, the bloating and stomach gas returned. My commitment to a wheat-free and beer-free diet was sealed.
My Discoveries About Inflammation
The book Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter also had a powerful influence on me. Reading about what Dr. Perlmutter calls, “the devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain,” strengthened my resolve, and my curiosity to learn more.
A diet high in wheat, sugar, bad fats, and toxins causes inflammation at the cellular level. When this happens, nutrients can’t get into our cells to create energy and antioxidants, and toxins can’t get out. Inflammation and cellular damage can make us sick and age faster.
This 8-minute video by Dr. Leona Allen explains these complex phenomena in easy to understand language and graphics.
Cellular inflammation is at the core of many modern-day health concerns. Eliminating inflammation restores the body’s ability to function properly and maintain optimal health.
My Inflammation Reducing Diet
I have modified my diet to eliminate (or reduce) foods that damage my health and replace them with foods that nourish my body so it functions the way it was designed to.
I do not eat wheat — unless it is hidden in something unknown to me. If an occasional social event makes being wheat-free difficult, I may choose to indulge. For example, my daughter’s volleyball team is having a pizza party to celebrate the end of their season. I intend to relax, enjoy a few slices, and fully celebrate the event… without guilt!
I have also significantly reduced other grains, added sugars, and processed oils from my diet. I eat organic whenever possible to reduce toxins in my food. I’ve increased my consumption of real and unprocessed meats, fish, eggs, full-fat dairy, and nuts. For carbohydrates, I eat unlimited vegetables and limited non-glutinous grains and fruit. This has been a real delight because I love these foods, and when I eat this way, I rarely feel hungry.
My beverage choices include coffee with organic half & half, water, gin and diet tonic, and red wine. In my research, I discovered a recommendation for gin and soda that I’ll be trying out.
Once every month, I do a 36-hour fast and deep cleanse.
Other Anti-Inflammation Practices
Exercise has been a daily practice for most of my life and I recently added daily meditation to my routine. I also try to get eight hours of sleep each night. In our home, I have started to identify and replace household and personal care products that contain chemicals.
Finally, I have learned that psychological stress also causes inflammation. So, whenever I am unable to eat right, sleep fully, exercise or meditate, I try to relax through it. I now realize that stressing about missing parts of my cherished routine from time to time actually causes the very damage I am trying to control.
Conscientious Advocate of Health & Wellbeing
What a person stands for is more important than what they stand against. Standing for something brings creativity, enthusiasm, and positive energy.
I have become what I call a “conscientious wheat objector” because of what I have learned about how wheat destroys my health. However, what I stand for is improving the health and wellbeing of the world, one person at a time.
I get excited learning how nutrition can improve my health. I get energized discovering that I can take actions to help nutrients get into my cells and help toxins get out. I get enthusiastic researching how to restore my body’s ability to function properly and maintain optimal health on its own.
This is my current practice to eliminate cellular inflammation with optimal nutrition. I intend to keep learning and experimenting. And I’ll continue to share what I learn so we can improve the health and wellbeing of the world together!
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