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My Relationship With Wheat: What I Ate Wednesday

Potentially triggering material in today’s post.  If you find yourself sensitive to food myths and easily absorbed into food scares, please be careful when reading. 

 

I have a really unfortunate relationship with wheat. 

Well, with carbs in general, but wheat is by far the leader of the pack. 

Let’s go back, oh, 7 years. I remember the afternoon quite clearly. I was browsing some random mini-mall book store with my brother and Dad when I walked past this:

…. your brain’s silent killers

Geez Louise. 

Well. For my young, increasingly disordered and susceptible brain… this was all that was needed to officially put a massive red stamp of “danger” onto all things wheat. One book, one subtitle, and that stamp has been imprinted, grudgingly not moving, in my brain ever since. 

Then of course the danger signs started dropping into my brain  – like quarters into a pinball machine – in every book store I entered.

*plink*

….wheat will make me gain weight. *plink*

…wheat is dangerous to my health. *plink.* It will do bad things to me. *plink plink*

…NOT eating wheat will make me lose weight. *plink plink pliiinnnnnnnkk*

Wheat will make me bloat.  It will put too much sugar into my body and my body won’t work it off.  It only gives my body bad things. It immediately will turn into belly fat. 

Society – in its truest attempts – successfully instilled the fear of wheat into me. Well done, society. Well done. 

Of course as my disorder grew that fear expanded to any sorts of carbs and grains. But wheat always remained the biggest fear. 

In the thick of my disorder, one serving of wheat in a day was a big thing. For example – a sandwich. A sandwich was “work out food.”

As I progressed in my recovery, two meals with wheat in them grew to be “okay.”

Now, I’m at the place where having three wheat based meals in a day is a common enough occurrence, but four would be a big – not very comfortable – thing. I know this is a fear and challenge I need to address. 

But for now, I’m still working at making those days when I have three wheat based meals something that I don’t even have to think about. 

I know wheat is the first thing to go away when I begin to get restrictive. The week before my parents came to visit, it definitely wasn’t a large part of my diet.  So last week, not surprisingly, I found myself craving toast. Toast with peanut butter. Cereal. Even when I went out for dinner and expected to get something gluten free, all I wanted was a big ol’ wrap. 

And I embraced it. With my parents here, I found myself eating wheat based meals three times a day, most days. I gave into those cravings. It was very conscious and in my thoughts – absolutely – but you know what? My anxiety decreased. My irritability decreased. My mood and happiness increased. And… it was easy, convenient and delicious. 

 

Breakfast:

My parents and I went out for a simple cafe breakfast before I had to send them to the airport. I had a bacon cheddar scone with 2 packs of butter and shared my Dad’s organic granola with hot steamed milk. 

breakfast scone wheat WIAW

breakfast scone wheat WIAW

Cheddar Bacon Scone / Granola with Milk 

Lunch:

There was a leftover burrito from my dinner out on the weekend. These things were MASSIVE. You know – those wheat tortillas that restaurants have that are super elasticy and probably the size of three regular wraps? 

wrap lunch wheat WIAW

Vegan black bean burrito with avocado cream, vegan cheese sauce, tomatoes, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, cucumber / red peppers on side

Snack:
snack wheat WIAWTwo of these handfuls of old chocolate covered coffee beans

and an unpictured chocolate covered toffee mini bar 

Dinner:

Pasta is just now getting to be a safe food. But having it on a day when I also ate a scone and a wrap/sandwich!?? I actually don’t think that has happened since I was in the hospital as an in patient….wow…

pasta dinner wheat WIAW

Homemade Macaroni Lasagna Casserole made with shell pasta, ground turkey, 2% cottage cheese, Monteray Jack cheese, salsa, tomatoes, peppers and cilantro / steamed broccoli on side

pasta dinner wheat WIAW

Pastaaa

Snack:

snack wheat WIAW

Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Bar / Coconut Greek Yogurt / Peanut Butter M&Ms

Now – OF COURSE – many people and many of you have gluten/wheat sensitivities, digestive issues, or even full blown celiac disease, so of course wheat is NO BUENO for you. This is an unfortunate inability many peoples’ bodies have and it is by no means easy or idealized. But I do not. I am so blessed that my body – as far as I can tell – works extremely well with wheat. So, you with sensitivities should have a certain ward against wheat, but I should not. No one without a gluten/wheat sensitivity should. I could get into all the good things wheat gives your body but this post is getting long enough already. Just go here and let’s just cap up with: essential B vitamins, manganese, zinc, iron, fibre…. energy for your brain to think     

This is as much as a lecture for me as it is to anyone else. I need to continually challenge that danger sign that is still implanted in my brain and remind myself that wheat – and carbs – are good for me. They are GOOD for me. 

Linking up today for What I Ate Wednesday to celebrate the goodness of all foods

The myths of the wheat scare. Has society tricked you, too? #realfood #health #nutrition… Click To Tweet

Tell me,

Has society ever succeeded in implanting wheat fear in you? 

Is wheat a daily/regular part of your diet? What is your favorite way to eat carbs?

If you need to be gluten free, do you find yourself still seeking out plenty of gluten free breads and pastas? 

 

31 COMMENTS

  1. Kate | 21st Feb 17

    Steamed milk with granola? Wow that sounds amazing!
    I’ve never had a specific fear of gluten, but definitely carbs in general. Wanting to balance them “just perfectly” and not eat the same type of carb more than once a day was important to me. Not so much anymore since I know my overall health cannot be exemplified in a single day. However I’d say that I more than likely eat wheat everyday!
    And those books seriously piss me off. Grains have been referred to as the “staff of life” for many reasons- they are incredibly nutritious and compatible with the majority of our bodies.
    What doesn’t piss me off is the magic that seems to come from the presence of your parents. Incredible.
    Kate recently posted…A brief rant about health headlinesMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      The first time I had steamed milk with granola I nearly died. Its amazing. But I never get to have it because I don’t have a milk steamer….
      Balancing the types of carbs in my day – which was the next step after getting over my fear of them in totality – was and still is something I’m fighting against. I’d feel “better” having oatmeal at bfast, bread at lunch, and rice at dinner rather than bread, bread, bread just because of this fear of “too much of one thing”… which just shouldn’t make a difference at all. Grains have so many needed nutrients. And I friggen love breads.

  2. Cindy | 21st Feb 17

    CORA! I love you for this post. For some reason, I naively thought I was the only person who felt ‘personally victimized’ by the wheat police. Wheat seemed like such a DANGER food that I should avoid at all costs. Thanks, society.
    You need to share all the names of these Toronto cafes – because I really need that scone in my life. You are the scone queen! #newblogname
    Also, talk about a BURRITO! That looks glorious. And I am loving that dinner; is there anything more comforting than pasta BAKED with cheese, peppers, and good old broccoli? I literally copy-pasted the ingredients of that meal into my shopping list so I can add it to next week’s meal rotation. Brilliant!
    PS: favourite way to eat carbs would have to be MUFFINS, toast, sweet potatoes, granola… man, this list could go on forever.

    • Cora | 21st Feb 17

      Eeeee!!! 🙂 🙂 I’m going to email you a list of my favorite cafes and their corresponding scone/muffin specialties. Enjoy the pasta!! Anything you make would be delectable.

  3. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 22nd Feb 17

    Love love love.
    Society always needs something to blame, and they love to go to extremes (look at this election). Shock value sells more books than “eat in moderation, and don’t be stupid.” But then again, society also doesn’t teach basic nutrition concepts, so we can’t but help be uneducated.
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…How to Make Running into a Moving Meditation (Coaches Corner)My Profile

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      Snap snap snap. Yup. That is society for you. They know that we will be lured in by anything that fears or shocks us and anything that will make us feel like we must do something to be “better.” The uneducated piece is a whole other side of this…. it is true, unfortunately.

  4. Dee | 22nd Feb 17

    Cora,
    This post was a gift from God to me today. I know if I feel like this, so many others do as well. This has been the biggest struggle of my ed the last few years. I’ve read that damn book. I’ve heard him and others preaching against grains for years. I’m trying to get those messages out of my head. The funny part is, I do well with wheat when I have it too. The funny part is, no matter how many damn veggies, fruits, and lean meats I eat, I can’t function the best until I have grains. I’m talking Energy, Moods and going #2. I’m saving this article . Part of the reason that I said this post was a gift from God is because this morning I already made of goal of challenging a fear food today. Ezekiel Bread. I know, how dangerous! I love Ezekiel toast but it terrifies the hell out of me when i’m wrapped up in all that crap. Thank you Thank you Thank you for sharing your struggles so we all can relate and gain strength -sort through all of this damaging messages together.

    • Cora | 22nd Feb 17

      Dee…
      YES!!! This has made my day to read this – not because of the fear that is also instilled in you from those damn books, but to know that you were making a conscious decision to face that fear today, and that this post worked some lovely synchronicity for that challenge. Ezekiel bread. I get it. To this day, choosing toast for breakfast is still a “thing” in my brain that takes energy and choice. Even though, like you, everything in me works better when I have grains. I just made a sandwich for lunch with two big fluffy slices of white bread and I’m damn excited for it. You got this girl. Go get ’em.

  5. Kat | 22nd Feb 17

    Oh man girl – I 100% feel you here. Back in the old days [hehe] I gave up bread and wheat because of carbs. I did it because Jennifer Aniston and all those hot celebs were ditching wheat – and they are all so freaking gorgeous – so I thought “if Hollywood does it then it must be right!” I still don’t get how those people can live like that, but I guess fame is more important to them than actually treating their bodies right. But you know now how much I love my carbs and even though I don’t eat wheat because of the gluten – I do still love my “wheat-like” products! Breads, pasta, pastries, etc – I couldn’t live without them!
    Kat recently posted…Broccoli & Cheese Quinoa Stuffed Bell PeppersMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      Yup. The celebrity thing definitely lured me in, too. “If THEY all aren’t eating wheat, and none of them are bloated or “flabby” then wheat must be the cause!!” POOOH. When we meet we are going to blaze pizza – you’ll get the GF of course – and we will eat the whole damn things crust and all.

  6. Emily Swanson | 22nd Feb 17

    YES YES YES to all of this. I think I got a little of that wheat scare especially with having a lot of people go gluten free around me; but I’ve actually realized that my body likes wheat/bread and I need it for energy. I’m so thankful you’re overcoming that fear too Cora. I’m so thankful that you are growing <3.
    Emily Swanson recently posted…WIAW: Finally Figuring Out Digestive ProblemsMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      I am so thankful for it too, Emily! (atleast – mostly). I LOVE my falafel wraps and pizza and to think I used to never give myself these things unless I felt like I deserved them… ugh… I was missing out on so much. My body definitely works so much better with wheat.

  7. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 22nd Feb 17

    The media (and society at large) are so influential on consumers, and I despise it for reasons like this, and all those fad diets. I’ll tell you what though – you know how to do pasta, with all that cheese. And that burrito, oh my gosh. I think many people fear carbs for this very reason, and they are easy to demonize. But in reality it’s hard to cut cards because they are in so many things, that bring us happiness (since they raise serotonin). I’ve played around with manipulating my macronutrients before, but I never feel good when I go too low carb, probably because I thrive on them for fuel.
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…Wellness Wednesday: Promoting Heart HealthMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      Huh. They raise seratonin, eh? I’m not sure I knew that. But that sure makes sense. I feel soooooo much better (both mood and energy) after some good carbs – especially breads. I wonder if you often see clients who think bread is bad for them, even if they aren’t gluten intolerant? My dietician this past summer was great at reminding me of all the good nutrients that breads and grains have. I know you would do the very same.

  8. Evangeline | 22nd Feb 17

    Yup. Wheat in multiple meals is still scary for me, but it’s getting better. My dad has celiac disease. In the past, I thought that it might be the cause of some of my digestive issues, but as I think about it more and more, I realize that it was just an excuse to cut out another “fattening” food without being questioned. Argh. No good.

    The sheer number of conflicting health/nutrition books, articles, etc. is INCREDIBLY frustrating. I just have to keep telling myself, “moderation, moderation, moderation.” Ooh and my favorite way to celebrate the goodness of wheat is with homemade bread. Love it.
    Evangeline recently posted…Week in Review: Kindness is HardMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      I get you. I used to tell people I had a gluten sensitivity….. as an excuse for why I was ordering the gluten free option or not having the breads. How sad. Especially since there are REAL people, like your Dad, who would probably give anything to not have their disease. So…… we need to eat their breads for them. HOMEMADE bread preferably. Oh my gosh there is nothing better.

  9. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 22nd Feb 17

    It’s so interesting how what can be a safe food for one person can become a fear food for another. Wheat was never a fear food for me–even though, ironically, I now find that eating wheat-free helps my digestive problems a ton. Yet, I can totally see how it could become that. Our society has such an irrational fear of wheat.
    The other notion I find funny is that gluten-free alternatives are somehow “healthier.” I was once working at a coffee shop and someone came up and asked if we had anything “gluten-free.” We did: lots of muffins, cookies, cakes, and pastries. But he was not gluten-intolerant; his wife had told him that eating gluten-free would be healthier. I thought (but didn’t say) dude, a brownie is still a brownie. Like, eat the brownie if you want it, but it’s not going to be any objectively healthier (or less healthy) than the regular, wheat-based version. Just more expensive. 😛
    I have a heavily carb-based diet. Muffins, pancakes, pasta, bread, and rice all the way!
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…Eating to Gain, Part 2: Eating “Healthy”My Profile

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      That is a very interesting part of eating disorders. Which also goes to prove the fears really have no merit, but are construed in our own personal heads. And YESSSS. Ugh this is sad and frustrating. I used to – and sometimes still am – one of these people. A gluten free muffin has just as much oil and sugar (if not more) than a regular muffin, and the amount of calories from the wheat flour would be exactly the same as with oat/rice flour etc. Yet somehow the alternative of wheat tells people “healthy.” I sure hope I continue to boot these lies out of my head. I friggen love my muffins.

  10. Bess | 22nd Feb 17

    Wow I can totally relate! I convinced myself I was gluten intolerant for several years until last month when I started eating real bread and non-gf cereal again! It’s opened up a whole range of foods (including things like baked goods and processed food) which is scary but I think it will be worth it! Thanks for this post!

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      I hear you, Bess. I hear you. It’s sad. But I’m so glad you have started to reverse those fears!! I personally feel SO much better eating bread/wheat/carbs… I hope you are finding this too!? It will be sooooo worth it. Especially if you love your baked goods half as much as me 🙂

  11. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 22nd Feb 17

    I think these books are the devil. They distort so many things and new science is coming out every day dismissing these theories.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: Sunshine, Social and Sickness (#71)My Profile

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      These new scientific theories need to make bigger, shinier, sparklier books to kick the others off the shelves.

  12. Ellie Pell | 22nd Feb 17

    I have listened to all the podcasts and read all the books about wheat. The same could be said for sugar, dairy, meat etc. All food has positives and negatives, both for our bodies and for the planet. I know thoughts have circled in my head after reading a convincing article, but honestly, I let them pass. I enjoy wheat and it works for my body. I also enjoy other things without wheat. It’s all food.
    Please kill me if I ever refer to foods as specific nutrients. I need to do a ranting blog post about this. Food is not a “carb” or a “protein”. Food is life, food is love, it’s complex and not a single nutrient.
    Ellie Pell recently posted…Long Run Fuel: Run GumMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      Oh definitely … the same things ARE being said for sugar, dairy, meat, you name it. Society loves to hone in on anything specific that it can tell us is bad for us. ALL food has positives and negatives. Yes. Absolutely. We need to keep this in our thoughts.
      Well I will not kill or even harm you, but I’d definitely back you up on a good ranting post on that. Do it girl.

  13. Casey the College Celiac | 22nd Feb 17

    YES YES AND YES! As someone with celiac disease, I obviously can’t ingest wheat and even a crumb can leave me sick for weeks. However, I never want people to avoid gluten if they don’t have to. To be honest, sometimes being gluten free freakin’ sucks – especially when you’re trying to be social or spontaneous. I’m all for people eating (or not eating) what makes them feel groovy, but listening to your body is much better than listening to a book! And congrats on all of your eats…they look scrumptious (especially that burrito!).
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…A Healthy Chef’s Guide to Cooking Gluten Free with (Sweet) PotatoesMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      I was hoping you would comment on this, Casey – being someone with Celiac disease, you stand in a very specific circumstance. Because in a way all those books and theories ARE true… for you. What you’ve said here is smart and mature. I wish you could enjoy all foods, including wheat, but we each have to know what does and doesn’t work for us. And you do a mighty impressive job of doing that, while still promoting health in all forms for all sorts of people/diets.

  14. Kristy from Southern In Law | 23rd Feb 17

    From someone who medically CAN NOT EAT WHEAT or gluten, I WISHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH WISH WISH WISH WISH WISH WISH WISH WISH that I could… because it tastes really freaking good and life is not easy when you can’t eat gluten.

    In fact, I get really cranky with people who choose not to eat gluten for either attention reasons or because it’s trendy because I just can’t understand. Those books make me SO mad because it’s ridiculous… especially when gluten free doesn’t mean healthy. They make freaking gluten free oreo cookies for crying out loud! 😛
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: Easy Vegan Baked Rice PuddingMy Profile

  15. Abigail T | 23rd Feb 17

    Love this post. What has helped me is that (personally) it is just too much work to think about not eating carbs or not eating wheat and finding alternatives. It’s just not worth it.

    • Cora | 24th Feb 17

      AMEN. Oh my gosh. Ive started having this same feeling soooo much more lately. The thought of grabbing that sandwich or falafel, instead of figuring out where I can find a salad or constructing something gluten free at home, makes life just SO MUCH EASIER.

  16. Kaylee | 28th Feb 17

    I’ve seriously got to up my scone game to your level.

    It’s so awesome that you allowed yourself to embrace your cravings and listen to your body despite what society says about wheat. If we followed every rule out there, there wouldn’t be anything left for us to eat. I have struggled with wheat too especially “unhealthier” types of wheat. White bread I’m looking at you! Definitely something I need to challenge.

    With all this talk of wheat, it’s time for some toast for breakfast!

    • Cora | 1st Mar 17

      Ha – ain’t that the truth. If we followed every rule there would be NOTHING left. You enjoy that toast, girl. It’s got way more good things in it than “bad.”

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