Saturday, October 1, 2011
I've been following Dr. William Davis' blog for a long time, and I've made enough links to it, that I have sometimes felt like a bit of a groupie. So when his book came out recently, I didn't think I needed to read it. After all, I thought I'd already absorbed his message.
But then I did recommend it to a friend who had been diagnosed with a dairy allergy in childhood and has been living with IBS for most of her life. As it happens, we went camping together on the trip I described last week, and she couldn't believe how good she felt after a couple of days of eating almost no grain. I had told her about going grain free before (I was worried I was beginning to sound like a proselytiser), but for the longest time she wasn't convinced. We share an interest in wholesome cooking, and like most people, she found it very difficult to believe that whole grains might be bad for you.
Yet she felt so good after our camping trip. And she lost 4 lb as well, which was a bonus. So when I told her about Wheat Belly, she picked up one of the last few copies on the shelf at her local bookstore, and has been most enthusiastic about ditching grains ever since. Not only is she feeling fantastic after about a month, but she has continued to lose weight and is now down almost 16 lb. Effortlessly.
You see, she realized her dairy allergy was most likely either a misdiagnosis, or she may have grown out of it. Because she doesn't have it anymore. However, she most definitely does have a severe gluten intolerance that she hadn't been aware of. This would explain the chronic IBS symptoms. Incidentally, her family physician had told her there was little to do about this, and that she would most likely have to live with it for the rest of her life. He never mentioned that avoiding gluten is often an effective way to alleviate IBS symptoms. How pathetic is that?
While I was at her house the other day, I peeked inside Dr Davis' book lying on the coffee table. I realized it was worth a second look. For one thing, it has some interesting looking recipes in the back. I happened to open the book on his recipe for a pizza crust made of cauliflower. I had found a very similar recipe online myself some time ago, and have made it several times already. It's a big hit at our house!
If you haven't encountered it before, I'm pretty sure you are totally doubtful. However, it's really delicious and even if you eat loads of it, it doesn't leave you feeling bloated afterwards the way regular pizza does. I don't cook the cauliflower beforehand though; I mix the raw florets in the food processor until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. I like to lay the crust on a sheet of parchment and bake it in the barbecue on a pizza stone. Oh, and since I'm incapable of following a recipe, I throw on ingredients that catch my fancy. The version in the picture above had tomatoes and yellow peppers from the garden, blobs of pesto from last summer's harvest, and mozzarella. Yum.
But to get back to Wheat Belly, I decided to buy it after all. Actually, I downloaded it onto my eReader, thinking this will be a useful format in the kitchen if I want to try out the recipes at the back. If you're unfamiliar with eReaders, you should know that you can download the desktop application for free, and download books either from the store, or from your local library. It's much cheaper than buying the book itself, and doesn't take up any shelf space either.
And I don't regret that I did it. I'm finding the book very enjoyable to read - he writes humorously and explains metabolic processes in an easy-to-read manner that people who are as biology-challenged as I am can understand. As he says, bear with him, and you'll understand more about lipoproteins than 98% of physicians.
I won't write a review, because I haven't finished the book yet. Besides, you can find plenty of them (70 at last count), including many descriptions of personal experiences, on Amazon. The only negative review I found seems to come from somebody who likely didn't read the book. (Dr. Davis suspects it came from a grain lobby insider).
Go check it out - this book is especially well-suited for anybody who can't seem to lose weight in spite of eating "healthily". Or if you (or somebody you know) suffer from celiac disease, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease or poor cholesterol. Or even if you are simply curious about what the low-carb movement is all about. I'm pretty sure you'll agree with me that Dr. Davis makes a compelling case against the consumption of wheat.