Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Review: Wheat Belly

The last couple of weeks I've been reading "Wheat Belly: Loose the Wheat, Loose the Weight, and find your way back to health! "  By Dr.William Davis

First a short story about how I came to be in possession of the book . . . my mother in law mailed it to me for my Birthday. I'd never heard of it before, all I saw was "Wheat BELLY, Loose the Weight!!"  haha
I had a mild freak out (seriously my mother in law just bought me a weight loss book for my birthday), I then remembered that My Mother in Law definitely doesn't think I'm fat (quite the opposite in fact, she always says I'm too skinny) so I started reading it!! And I'm glad I did!!! It just proves Mothers Know Best!


Half of the book I loved and couldn't put it down and the other half of the book ? ? ? just seemed like a re-packaged Atkins Diet!

The first part of the book spoke about what humans have done to wheat. We have genetically modified it so badly that we've basically ruined it! When I think of wheat I think of 4 foot tall fields of amber colored plants, but currently Wheat has been genetically modified to be much smaller, around 2 feet, and now produces more wheat from a smaller plant. Which sounds great . . . but . . . these new smaller plants only share about 95% of the same genetic makeup as ancient wheat!!! (to put that another way . . . humans and Monkeys share roughly about the same percentage of DNA as these two forms of wheat).
Furthermore, these new hybrids are unable to live in natural conditions and require large amounts of pesticides and chemicals in order to live.

Then the book segways into how wheat affects us . . . Wheat raises your blood sugar more than any other carbohydrate (even more than a candy bar). Dr. Davis Lists off a number of medical disorders and diseases and just plain ailments that can be the result of wheat consumption (number 1 being obesity).

Dr. Davis provides TONS of hard evidence to prove his theories (which really aren't theories because the evidence is very undeniable), but this is where the book looses me.

At this point in the book he moves into diet recommendations . . . most of which seem . . . well. . . . a bit EXTREME. I agree, we (as a society) shouldn't be eating so many wheat products, but then Davis goes on to recommend cutting out all Carbs everything even starchy vegetables like potatoes and Legumes. That seems extreme and un-necessary to me, and the evidence he uses to support this theory is shaky and definitely NOT as concrete as the evidence he used earlier in the book.
Also . . . . Artificial Sweetener goes against everything I believe in . . . you know things like Taste Buds and nature etc . . .

Lastly the book goes into a full blown weight loss program I totally skipped this part, I think that's what my Mother in Law would have wanted! :)

So there's my review. . . The first part of the book was AMAZING! And definitely still worth buying the book for.



On a side note: Does anyone else suffer from FOOD GUILT stemming from all the books and documentaries out there. Thanks to Food Inc. and Forks over Knives (an amazing Documentary by the way, one I might even say changed our lives) I feel awful about eating meat. And now thanks to Wheat Belly I feel bad about eating wheat! I'm glad people are shedding some much need light on these issues but I'm HUNGRY darn it! haha I'm headed to the bookstore to buy a Vegan Cookbook this week!!! Wish me luck!




27 comments:

  1. You may enjoy a documentary called "Our Daily Bread". It shows how food is harvested, from meat, to grains to veggies. There is no narration, or interviews or even much music, but it's enchanting. The director was not trying to take on stance on whether the processes you are watching are good or bad (which is refreshing from all the in-your-face documentaries out there). I'll admit, I couldn't watch any of the meat segments. The most shocking part for me was watching baby chicks being tossed around on conveyer belts like they weren't live creatures. Seeing how olives are harvested was interesting too.

    The documentary is German and a bit older (2005) so you may find it on Netflix. If not, your local rental shop that has a good international section should carry it.

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  2. You should see the movie Fresh, and if you really want to get riled up, watch The Future of Food on Hulu.

    But don't go Vegan. That's just crazy talk. I mean, giving up cheese? Honey? Bacon?! Then again, I still eat at McDonalds even after watching Food, Inc, and seeing Jamie Oliver.

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  3. You should check out Omnivore's Dilemma as well. I used to have a lot of guilt eating meat, but now we purchase our meat in bulk from a local farmer who treats the animals with respect and lets them live the way nature intended (Cows graze, chickens scratch, pigs wallow in the mud, etc).

    I've been wanting to read Wheat Belly too. We've been eating mostly Paleo/Primal for almost a year and it's amazing, seriously. We do still eat some legumes, and cheat here and there though :) It will fix bodily problems you never even knew you had!

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    1. I agree! My family follows a paleo diet and feels great - our immune systems are stronger and my migraines are totally gone! We buy all of our meat from a local farmer who treats the animals as nature intended.

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    2. I agree! My family follows a paleo diet and feels great - our immune systems are stronger and my migraines are totally gone! We buy all of our meat from a local farmer who treats the animals as nature intended.

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  4. If you do start dancing with veganism, can you start a separate blog about that? I have never been able to figure out how to track all the vitamin targets on a vegan diet. I would also be curious how long it would take to let your gut adjust to bean and rice combination to get complete proteins. I know it happens eventually, but (tmi) I never make it past the first few days of cramps and GI problems from getting two servings of complete veg protein from beans and rice.

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  5. I too have seen those documentaries and loved them! I have been meat free for about a month now and I am slowly giving up dairy. I don't like to call myself a vegan (or attempting to become one) but instead I prefer to say that I eat a whole foods plant based diet. You should check out the Idiots Guide to a Plant Based Nutrition. Although I am not finished with the book yet, it has been very helpful in my journey. And since giving up meat I have never felt better!

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  6. I have read a handful of books about food, but I don't feel guilty about eating any particular food group. I would recommend "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver or "In Defense of Food" Michael Pollan. Both are excellent and not gimmicky at all.

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  7. I've been reading your blog for many months and love your ideas and projects. Today I needed to comment. I am a prairie girl (SK) and grew up farming. Grain only (hardwheat and durum) as my Dad would have never been able to eat one of his own animals! I have to say that farmers in Canada are not growing GM wheat. It is still tall and blowing in the wind. In fact the only time in the last 95+ years of farming our land the wheat or durum has been short has been because of drought, hail or grasshoppers.

    Canola, YES totally genetically modified. No argument there! GM Canola is contaminating the non GM fields of canola (Monsanto denies this of course)

    GM wheat may be growing in experimental and research farms somewhere in Canada BUT it is not sold.

    I'm sure that it is going to happen in our lifetime as they are always trying to up production no matter what the implications may be. It is sad.

    For what it's worth:
    http://money.canoe.ca/money/business/canada/archives/2011/09/20110919-163352.html

    I don't want to get into a big debate, I just don't want you to think badly about what is a major world food source right here in Canada.

    That being said eating less wheat and more vegtables is always a good idea!

    Bonnie

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  8. My husband has been on the "caveman diet" for a few years now. He doesn't eat bread, wheat, or anything starchy... he looks great and feels great. Lowered his blood pressure. I still love me some bagels... and garlic bread. It's so hard to give up.

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  9. Hi i’m Heather! I have a question for you! Please email me :)
    HeatherVonSJ[at]gmail[dot]com

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  10. I just read this book too, and like you I agree with the beginning, but I don't understand the cutting of ALL carbs??? We also just watched Fat, sick and nearly dead last week and almost purchased a $500 juicer because of it. All of these documentaries and books are great to motivate people to think about what they are eating, but you don't have to get that extreme. Just cut what makes you feel badly right? And be conscious of what you are eating!
    I had to stop watching the animal rights videos because I would feel so badly about drinking milk and eating meat.

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  11. My family has come head on to this issue from a totally different source- my 4 year old daughter as well as my husband were both diagnosed with celiac disease last summer. Celiac disease means the body is unable to process wheat, barley, rye, or contaminated oats (contaminated b/c oats are often grown and processed with wheat). In addition, my daughter is allergic to peanuts, eggs, milk, and soy. Talk about hungry! We have to eat meat and other starches like rice or corn or she would have nothing to eat! I have come across research since she was diagnosed about how wheat is genetically modified to contain more protein (gluten) than it used to. Which is why more people than ever have celiac disease, which is the intolerance to gluten. I've also run across questions about genetically modified ingredients being one of the possible reasons so many children have food allergies now than they used to. Peanut allergies have doubled in the last ten years in the US. One out of every 13 US children has a food allergy. (I live in the US, and don't know how these numbers might apply to Canada.) It does sometimes make me a little afraid to eat anything, but we must eat. Very frustrating!

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  12. I think people are having such a difficult time eating right due to all the conflicting messages out there, through books, tv, magazines, doctors pushing what they believe to be true. My thought have always been...go back to the basics...before everything was mass produced, pumped with hormones and chemicals. Eat as much food as you can in its "natural" state. I do understand and sympathize with those who have to be on restrictive diets, whether due to diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, gluten and other allergies. The rest of us just need to use common sense.

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  13. THANK YOU BONNIE,
    I didn't know that here in Canada we weren't growing GM wheat!!! That's great to know!!!

    Lee grew up in Sask. Saskatoon actually!! :)
    I'm very happy to know that Canadian Wheat is still un touched!!
    And thank you very much for the Link it was super informative!!!
    Lots of Love
    Ashli

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  14. I don't think we'll ever go full blown vegan . . . but I do plan on adding more vegan meals to our weekly schedule!!! And I will definitely blog about that!
    I think everything in moderation (unless you have a medical reason for cutting something out!!)
    Our plan has always been Less Meat, more whole foods!!! But definitely keep an eye out we'll be posting a few more vegan recipes :)
    Lots of Love
    Ashli

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  15. My husband would love reading this book and I probably should read it. I have also been hearing alot about wheat. Thanks for the info.

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  16. You might enjoy Heidi Swanson's blog, 101cookbooks.com., if you don't know about her already. (A kindred spirit cookbook collector :) ... me too ). She's vegetarian, but not preachy at all. She has a nice way of informing about healthier choices and sharing what she's tried and enjoyed. Her recent book, Super Natural Every Day is lovely (she's also a photographer).
    Btw, I just recently found your blog, love, love, LOVE it!! Sooo jealous of your library.! Thanks for the inspiration. Love, Nancy

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  17. Don't feel the good guilt! I find it helpful to remember that a lot of this stuff is based more on fashion than science. Seriously. In the 90s, pasta was the new health food. In the naughties, it became the work of the devil. Meat and dairy was 'in' in the 50s, then margarine was the new vogue. Don't know about you, but I wouldn't touch margarine with a barge pole.

    The best thing is to eat a balanced diet with a little of everything. And to remember that the most natural thing is usually best. And yes, that means I eat butter. I'd rather eat something people have made in their own homes for centuries, than something that has to be made in a factory process.

    Try not to get too hung up on it - that's the most unhealthy thing of all.

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    1. I have to agree with you on this one! It is based on "fashion" instead of science. A quick google search would give you "science" that backs up Dr. Davis' view "science" that contradicts it.

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  18. I think you might like the book "Skinny Bitch". It shed a lot of light for me on what gets put into food. But that was the push for me to go vegetarian. My husband and I eat vegan 95% of the time now and vegetarian the rest. We've really liked the change in our lifestyle and feel much healthier. I'm excited that you'll be including more vegan meals in your diet and hoping you post a few recipes on the blog! :D If you need any cookbook recommendations let me know.

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  19. Vegan food is SOOOOOOOo yummy because there's so much attention to subtle flavours and textures. It can be tricky to buy a good vegan cookbook though. I recommend Isa Chandra Moskowitz's books (Veganomicon, Appettite for Reduction, Vegan Brunch, etc...). You can look up the reviews. She's the best selling vegan cookbook author for a reason.

    Good luck and please post vegan recipes you've made!

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  20. P.S. I disagree with the above comment about not getting hung up on foods. If the industry didn't use such poor practices, we wouldn't need to worry. But reality is that they do, so it is the socially responsible thing to be aware and opt out of buying certain products so that we don't support something we don't believe in. It's annoying and hard to change lifestyles, but each of us have a choice. And that's powerful.

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    1. I am part of "the industry." We raise turkeys and we, with other farmers, are working hard everyday. We are not perfect. But we care about the food we produce and we are trying to get better everyday...more efficient, better animal welfare, smarter use of natural resources, better nutrition.

      And actually, I think the "socially responsible" thing to do is support practices that produce enough food for a growing world population, while also minimizing the natural resources and land used.

      I would love if you would visit www.findourcommonground.com and meet some more of us in "the industry."

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  21. I just heard about this book! My hubby is on the Paleo Diet - basically no grains, starchy vegetables, legumes or dairy. He definitely feels better but it sure has been a challenge to cook for him!

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  22. look for the Animal Welfare Approved sticker, It means the animal led a well cared for, cruelty- free life, on pasture, wasn't given un necessary antibiotics, growth hormones or genetically modified feed; and it met a painless death. very strict standards, and it helps the small, family farms that meet their standards. That or certified organic food. there's no need to give up meat and dairy. probably safer than the genetically modified fruit and veggies.

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  23. Ashli, I've been a follower for a long time. I was just catching up on your blog tonight because it looked like you are going for a different color scheme in the living room, and I was intrigued.

    But this post (and its comments) have been a big disappointment to me.

    Please, please visit www.findourcommonground.com and get to know some of the people who raise food for the world. Food production is a hot topic right now that the media is trying to profit from. We are just trying to do our best to grow enough food for the world, and honestly, when I see things that criticize modern farming, it literally hurts my feelings.

    Now, I'm going to back to figure out what you're working on in the living room.

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