nu·tri·tion (n-trshn, ny-) n. 1. The process of nourishing or being nourished, especially the process by which a living organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and for replacement of tissues.
Today is the tenth day of a complete halt to eating refined foods, dairy, wheat and gluten which has been an interesting experiment. Interesting because the first week was total body shock but the second was a blessing. Shock was coming from withdrawal symptoms (cravings for honey waffles) which are no doubt part of the detoxing taking place but after a few days the blessing was found in restful sleeping, a noticeable change in energy levels (no highs or lows) and a slight drop in weight. It’s a big shift to drop wheat from the diet and a big challenge to learn to maintain proper nutritional levels to keep up with the consumption demands of training.
Making a shift in a lifelong process, or habit, usually comes in an abrupt fashion. Like an addict you either go cold turkey or you stay addicted. The perception to others can also be dramatic, most likely because we want to passionately share our personal change which is usually framed with great zeal and annoyance. The steps leading up to the change, however, have been and should be well thought out. Research and anecdotal observations just made sense to drop the wheat but the final spark came from looking at Wheat Belly and learning as best I can from Greg’s experience at CrossFit Canmore.
Going in to the second week the definition of nutrition becomes more apparent and you start to nourish your body with whole foods. Going wheat free and mostly Paleo makes you think and plan your inputs and how those inputs are going to positively affect your body and your training. Previously we would consume a lot of empty carb based calories to make up the day but now we are finding it a pleasant challenge to plan meals made from real foods which is usually found on the outside perimeters of the grocery store; this was what life was probably like before the industrialization of food processing. To make the dietary change stick you have to keep working at it, find likeminded bloggers and recipes for ideas and plan your meals for the week. You also need to learn how to bake and non-wheat flours don’t behave the way you think they might.
In the end the irony of going wheat free is that you actually land up feeling full but not congested after you’ve finished your meal. Food inhibitors kick in with proper nutrition and that can leave you pleasantly content.