Yogi diet: More on this whole wheat fast

Day 1.5 of the no wheat week, and I’m miserable.

Headache. Body ache. My vision was blurred for pretty much my entire drive to work. It was like the whole world was a bit distorted.

I don’t think any of those things have to do with being nearly 24 hours sans wheat, though.

The headache, I can’t figure, I’ll admit. I think it’s stress, because it feels like it going down the back of my neck.

The body ache — that’s just from a few extreme forward folds in practice yesterday plus being seated at work too long.

The vision problem? Well, it’s raining here in Los Angeles, so I’m 99.9% sure that was the issue.

But I do quickly want to address one thing about this whole wheat fast we’ve undertaken. I’ve had a few emails, some Facebook comments and there have been comments here, too.

This isn’t about gluten. It’s to check the claims by cardiologist William Davis that wheat is “addictive” and, after too much hybridization, really isn’t all that good for us anymore. The key from the interview we found is this; from an answer by Davis:

It contains amylopectin A, which is more efficiently converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate, including table sugar. In fact, two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar to a higher level than a candy bar does. And then, after about two hours, your blood sugar plunges and you get shaky, your brain feels foggy, you’re hungry. So let’s say you have an English muffin for breakfast. Two hours later you’re starving, so you have a handful of crackers, and then some potato chips, and your blood sugar rises again. That cycle of highs and lows just keeps going throughout the day, so you’re constantly feeling hungry and constantly eating. Dieticians have responded to this by advising that we graze throughout the day, which is just nonsense. If you eliminate wheat from your diet, you’re no longer hungry between meals because you’ve stopped that cycle. You’ve cut out the appetite stimulant, and consequently you lose weight very quickly. I’ve seen this with thousands of patients.

So the idea is to see if our appetite changes, and then if drop more weight and become suitably thin to make the cover of Yoga Journal. (A joke!)

Worst-case scenario, I’ve always wanted to do a food blog, so there’s that. But I’m not sure I’m sold on the raw oats we chewed down for breakfast.

Posted by Steve

Farewell wheat, my tasty but evil friend!

In a few minutes, I’m going to eat my last wheat for at least a week.

But if things go well — by which a large part of me means badly — it could be much longer than that.

Bobbie, in her post on the yogic diet, made a passing mention to the evils of wheat. I have to blame myself for sending that to her. Because now, we are about to act on it.

Our shopping trip last night included the usual: a ton of vegetables, from parsley and dill to spinach, squash and cilantro and a few raw treats. But it also included the unusual: replacements for wheat.

It looks so innocent and harmless

Stuff with a dreaded set of words on it: “Gluten free.”

How have we come to this?

In part, it is in reaction to there being any layers of fat left on us. A raw diet — I’m sure, even with weekend cooked meals, we are at 80% or more raw — combined with four to six days of Ashtanga a week should be stripping every tinge of flab away, right?

But that last little bit is stubborn. And, after reading all about the horrors of wheat (talk about a wonderful friend betraying you!), we thought: Is that the missing piece?

Ah, who am I kidding. I want this to sound like a communal act so I can point fingers and lay blame elsewhere.

It’s my idea. And, between the two of us, I’m definitely the one who loves bread. Loves. It.

And in a few minutes, the last piece of bread is going to enter my mouth.

We are following, essentially, the same path that Bobbie first went down with her raw diet. Give it a week or so, her doctor said. And that week has become, what, a few years now.

Even as we were shopping last night, and I was trying to think what possibility could replace my raw almond butter sandwiches — on flax and sunflower seed bread — I asked Bobbie: “Isn’t the Ashtanga supposed to allow us to eat what we want?”

“It’s the Ashtanga that’s got you eating like this,” came her reply.

So it is. One of those reasons not to do Ashtanga, I guess.

We’ll see what this little tweak to the diet does. I’m anticipating, at the very least, its making me incredible cranky.

Posted by Steve

Yogi diet: No hybrid wheat, being mainly raw

Since Ashtanga is the “yoga of no,” and that leaves us fewer interesting things to talk about — no late night band reviews, can’t try out the newest happening bar, won’t be running down LA’s best donuts anytime soon — we are left to talk about other things: our restricted diets, our curious Saturday regiments and other unmentionables.

We’ve had quite a bit of interest and emails about our giving up wheat, following Bobbie’s foray into the book “Wheat Belly” and her leading a writing course at UC Irvine with a food theme. (It wasn’t a fun food theme, it was a here’s-all-the-terrible-things-we-eat theme.)

So, for those with ongoing interest in this subject, here’s our diet- and wheat-based posts. We’ll add to it as we add new ones.

And, on the benefits of coffee: No coffee, no prana: