Wheat Belly – part I

For the last two weeks, I’ve been embarking on a bit of an experiment.  Some good friends of mine have been talking about Paleo diets and also a book called Wheat Belly.  And saying enough good things about it all that it made me really think seriously.  So – I bought Wheat Belly because I was intrigued by the concept – does wheat cause cravings and help to generate hunger pangs because of its impact on glucose levels?  I’m not a heavy person – but recently it has felt really hard to keep my weight from rising.  Too hard.  Certainly too hard to maintain for the rest of my life.  And that just didn’t seem right – do you really have to deprive yourself this much, and feel slightly hungry all the time just to try and keep your weight in check?  And would it only get worse as you got older?

I felt like there has to be something that makes it easier, or at least not as hard.   And many of the concepts in Wheat Belly made sense to me – particularly the part about wheat products being addictive and about people experiencing hunger pangs every 2 hours.  I have definitely gotten emotional satisfaction from bagels and other baked goodies.  And I can eat breakfast and then feel starved 2 hours later – I often feel like I am always hungry.  The information about other disease impacts (arthritis, osteoporosis, etc.) just scared me, too.  It definitely felt worth an experiment.

My plan was to go wheat-free for some period of time – at least 2 weeks, possibly a month – and see what kind of impacts I might feel.  Clearly, going wheat-free takes some effort and seemed a little daunting – because our society is definitely set up to promote wheat at every turn.  Especially for breakfasts for me – it’s hard to imagine what to eat for breakfast without some kind of wheat.  And I’d have to say goodbye to my favorite cereal – Kashi GoLean Crunch.  I’ve developed a slight love affair with that cereal this past year…

And frankly, I had cut a lot of wheat / carbs out of my diet already last year.  I had noticed that heavy carbs or starches increased my weight and when I cut down on it, my weight went down.  So I had essentially made my lunches and daytime snacks starch free (for the most part, occasional cheats with animal crackers or sometimes even cheez-its).  But most days – lunches at the office were salads and hard-boiled eggs with fruit for mid-morning and afternoon snacks.  And – being of Asian heritage, rice (now brown rice) is the starch of choice at night.  So – would this really make a difference?  Just cutting out my morning cereal?  I wasn’t confident.

Finally – while I’m not a heavy person – my whole life, I’ve always had a belly.  I often wondered – how skinny would I need to be for that to go away?  It seemed omnipresent and just frustrated me.  Bikinis were not in the picture for me.  Wheat Belly’s argument was that people’s large bellies are driven by wheat – this intrigued me.  Would this finally help me get rid of my belly?

After reading the book – I spent a little time thinking through what to eat for breakfasts, copying some recipes from the book and blog sites on the web, and buying necessary ingredients.  Key ingredients seem to be a lot of coconut products (oil, milk, flakes, flour) and lots of nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds).  I found everything I needed at Costco and Whole Foods.  And off I went! (stay tuned)

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Branford Road Race

Sadly – another pictureless post.  I need to get better at remembering to take pictures and prioritizing it!

Last week Derek and I ran in the Branford Road Race.  It’s a popular 5 mile road race that starts and ends at the Branford Green.  It’s also the Connecticut state championship – but the only impact that has on us is that it’s a fast race.  This year would be the third year that I’ve run the race.  Even though it’s held fairly late in June (Father’s Day Weekend generally) – they don’t start the race until 10:15am.  Which, if you ask me, is too late.  It’s always hot and often humid – so I’d much rather start as early as possible.  But they have a bunch of festivities on the green – so I guess this needs to fit in with the rest of the fun. Continue reading

AbD Box ‘o Goodies

Derek and I are heading off to Peru with Adventures by Disney soon.  We booked this trip last fall and were super-excited about it then.  To be honest, it’s been such a long time since then and we really hadn’t had any additional information about the trip – that the whole thing has felt like something very much in the background.  But recently, we received our “travel box” from Adventures by Disney.

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Odds and Ends

Yesterday we took a trip up to the REI in West Hartford.  We are getting ready for a trip to Peru and I needed to get a new travel backpack.  About 20 years ago, I was planning a trip across Europe – the Eurorail, backpack, youth hostel kind of trip.  My sister bought me a backpack for Christmas 1992 from REI – one that had nice padded straps, a waist belt, and could zip up the straps so that it looked more like luggage.  I loved it. It served me wonderfully over those six weeks in Europe and has also been my go-to bag for any trip where I expect to be schlepping my luggage a bit (bike trips, other trips to Europe if we’re taking the train a bit).  Sadly – it’s seen better days and the handle has ripped out of the fabric.  We’ve duct-taped it and tried to salvage it, but it’s time to say goodbye. Continue reading

Derek’s Birthday

We tend to be pretty low-key when it comes to birthday celebrations nowadays – and this year was no different.  However, Derek did want to go out for a fun, relaxing evening with our close friends and neighbors – Jim and Sarah Fisher.  He decided that we’d try out a new place (new to us) in New Haven – The Cask Republic – for dinner and then move on to 116 Crown. Continue reading

Via Napoli (Epcot)

It seems to me like Via Napoli just opened up yesterday – but my friend Beth says that it’s been open for a couple of years now.  Somehow though – Derek and I had never tried Via Napoli out until this May.  The day that we were running in the Expedition Everest Challenge, we decided to make late lunch reservations at Via Napoli in Epcot.  Three of us went – Derek, my Team Peacock teammate Beth, and myself. Continue reading