I read Wheat Belly in the course of 5 days. During the first 4 days, I’d gone from eating wheat (sliced whole grain bread for my tomato sandwiches, whole-wheat tortilla’s for my wraps, spelt crouton’s for my spinach salad, etc) to eating ZERO wheat. Why? Well, during the first 4 days of reading Dr. William Davis’ book, I’d become convinced that something is seriously wrong with 99% of the wheat (‘dwarf wheat) grown in the world and used in essentially everything from the organic whole wheat breads to the overly processed crackers, salad dressings and cookies.
According to Dr. Davis, wheat and its unique composition of carbohydrates (75% amlopectin and 25% amyloses) causes an extremely negative regulation of blood sugar, which then creates an insulin response that encourages the storage of fat around the mid-section (the ‘wheat belly’). This, as he calls, visceral storage of fat, causes metabolic havoc on our body and can lead to diabetes. It is also implicated in celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis and neurological problems/conditions.
I have stopped eating wheat for over a week and something miraculous has happened: I no longer feel bloated and (apologies for the details) excessively gassy, which, to my dismay, I thought was my ‘normal’ state. I thought I’m simply someone who just gets bloated (to the point where my pants won’t fit me) after I eat. However, since I literally stopped eating wheat (cold turkey), I haven’t had that bloated, painfully gassy feeling. Not once. Is this for real? Is it placebo? I haven’t the faintest idea….I just know I won’t be eating any more wheat for as long as I live.
With this said, by the time I got to the final few chapters of Dr. Davis’ book (day 5), I was extremely disappointed and irritated with the book. After giving some, what I think, are convincing arguments and demonstrations of the wheat situation, Dr. Davis beings (in last 1-2 chapters) to attack non-gluten foods like fruit, buckwheat flour (teff flour, brown rice flour) and even BEANS for their carbohydrate make-up (and therefore, their impact on our blood sugar levels)! He even blasted the BANANA! Call me an old fashioned girl (when it comes to diet and nutrition), but I’m having an extremely difficult time understanding how fruit, beans and other, non-gluten flours like teff (which the Ethiopians and Eritreans have eaten for over a millennium) is something that humans should be wary of, particular when he did not offer up any substantial SCIENTIFIC evidence (in the way he more convincingly did with wheat) to demonstrate his concerns/advice.
Have you ever met anyone who subsisted primarily on fruits, vegatables beans and even wheat (!!!!!) with a diet/health issue? Perhaps you have, but I bet that you haven’t met as many sick and unhealthy fruit/vegetable/bean (and wheat) eaters as you have sick people who eat nothing but meat/cheese/wheat and no fruit/vegetables. Am I right?
In any case, I’m not recommending the book, but I do recommend you try this gluten free Orange Almond Cake. It. Is. Heaven. The cake is moist, light, extremely flavor and NOT for the tree nut allergic. Obviously.
Honey Citrus Almond Cake
Adapted from Eating Well
1 ½ cups almond flour (I use Bob Mill’s)
4 extra large eggs, sat our over night, separated
Zest of one orange
Zest of one lemon
½ cup of honey
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and coat a 5-6 inch spring form pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
In an electric mixer w/paddle, beat the 4 egg yolks, zest, honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt until very well combined. Do not over beat as you do not want a lot of air to build up. Add the almonds on low until full combined (as there is no gluten in this dish, you don’t’ have to worry so much about overbeating the batter).
Then, in a separate bowl add the 4 egg whites. Mix, using a handheld mixer until the egg whites have doubled in volume, but not so stiff they make peaks. Gently fold a 1/3 of the egg whites unto the batter until completely added. Make sure the egg whites are well combined.
Scrap batter into spring form pan and allow to bake in oven for 30-35 minutes. Use a toothpick to make sure it is cooked through – you don’t’ want to over bake this cake or it’ll become dry. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove. Serve with powdered sugar on top and with a delicious cup of coffee.