Sunday, September 22, 2013

THE WHEAT / WINE CONNECTION

It's been four months since I last wrote on this blog. I've learned a lot during that time that I'd like to share, but where to begin...Probably I should start with the most profound thing I'm discovering: the effects of wheatlessness.

My last post was about giving up wheat.... Here's what I have to say about that: After 170 days of no wheat, it has had no effect on my weight, even though it has stopped  food cravings, and it has had no effect on my rosacea.  I had hoped it would help me with both of those things. When you read Wheat Belly or go to the WheatBellyBlog, you discover that giving up wheat has helped people with weight, skin, arthritis... But not for me. For me, it's my brain that has felt the profound effect. 

I have loved the freedom of no food cravings. Now  four or five hours may go by when I don't think about food at all, whereas when I ate wheat I felt hungry all day long. Why? Because wheat protein (gluten), when broken down by the body, creates exorphins -- opioid substances which effect the brain a little like morphine -- producing feelings of euphoria, happiness, pain reduction, relaxation, and a desire for more. This is what wheat does to me. And so does alcohol. Like with wheat, after I have a little alcohol  I immediately want more! But guess what.... Once I'd given up wheat for a couple of months I suddenly felt like giving up alcohol, and whereas I'd wanted to quit my evening wine habit a thousand times before, it was suddenly easy.  I can honestly say that I hardly ever feel like eating wheat OR drinking alcohol any more.

My theory for how this worked is this: once I stopped letting those little devil exorphins into my body, my mind cleared, which was rewarding in itself. I also had  more energy, so I had to move around more to burn the energy. Moving my body more created endorphins -- the body's own opioids. I had always feared that giving up alcohol would mean that I might not  have fun. But guess what? Now I generally feel: Life is Fun.

This may sound crazy, but I think wheat (and sugar -- though I gave that up some time ago) were my gateway drugs  leading to my alcohol habit. Wheat was my morning and mid-day opioid (one my mother, like many mothers, started me using at a very early age). Alcohol was my evening opioid.   They  let my body off the hook from producing its own feel good chemicals -- endorphins. I, like many people, became dependent on using certain foods and drinks to provide what my body would have naturally provided.

Yesterday, I  found this interesting explanation for why humans  went from being hunter gatherers to being dependent on agriculture (http://www.ranprieur.com/readings/origins.html). It has to do with humans discovering grains, grains providing exorphins,  humans getting addicted, and this addiction leading to the building of communities to protect  their source of gratification.  In other words, this theory says civilization as we know it today was built around addiction. I believe it!

These days my brain feels sharper and has more feel good thoughts. I'm less likely to be depressed or negative. I conclude that my body actually prefers endorphins to exorphins. I bet a lot of bodies do! Imagine what will happen as more people discover this... For one thing, it won't be good for Kelloggs or Budweiser, just to name a few...

References: http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/07/doped/


Update: I asked people on the Wheatbelly Facebook page if they had to choose ten foods/drinks to live on for a month, what would they be? I got quite a few answers and hardly anyone chose a beverage (water was a given). So I asked someone: "Nothing to drink besides water?"

His answer:


Nope. Since giving up wheat I've not had any desire to drink anything but water, and this is HUGE for me, as I was a soda addict for many years and even when I'd done a low carb diet before I'd never been able to completely give up flavored drinks, but within a day of giving up wheat I just didn't want anything else. Do I sometimes drink other stuff? Yeah, but then I usually think I should have just had water.




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