Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
18 Jul

Is Wheat Addictive?

Within the Primal/paleo community and elsewhere, it’s often stated offhandedly that wheat is addictive. And absolutely, wheat for many people feels like something they could never give up. I hear it all the time: “I couldn’t live without bread.” “What would I do without cereal, dinner rolls, toast, {insert your favorite grain-based food item here}.” And wheat is often the main culprit in the sugar/insulin rollercoaster that drives sugar-burners’ need to eat (more wheat) every few waking hours. But is wheat addictive in a different sense – as an opiate like heroin and other drugs? Today I take a look at the research and attempt to separate fact from fiction. What do we really know about wheat as an opiate? Let’s find out…

Humans and other animals have something called an opioidergic system – an evolutionarily-preserved way for an organism to modulate behavior, addiction, and reward. When you exercise, for example, a lot of the euphoria you feel comes from endogenous (produced in-house) opioids interacting with your opiate receptors. This is the body’s way of dealing with a stressful experience (physical exertion), reducing pain, and it also has the effect of reinforcing a behavior that is positive, healthy, and in the organism’s best interest. The opioidergic system also interacts with the immune, endocrine, and central nervous systems (in other words, this is physiology, so it’s all interrelated), but we won’t get too much into that today. Now, it’s not just endogenous opioids interacting with our receptors; certain substances, like heroin and other opiate drugs, act as exogenous (produced out-of-house) opioids, thereby hijacking and “supercharging” our physiology. Cocaine, alcohol, and tobacco also interact with opioid receptors. The addictiveness of these substances is infamous, so these interactions exist shouldn’t surprise you.

However, there are other exogenous opioid peptides, also known as exorphins (exogenous morphine), found in substances that we don’t normally consider to be repositories of potentially addictive morphine-analogs. Like wheat.

Some of the most extensively studied food-based exorphins – gluten exorphins, from gluten, and gliadorphins, from gliadin – are derived from wheat. In a previous post, I raised the possibility of a wheat addiction. But are these exorphins actually problematic? Do they really interact with your opioid receptors to make you crave another “hit”? Well, an early 1979 paper (PDF) on the topic suggests that in order for them to actually function as in vivo opioid exorphins in our bodies, wheat exorphins must appear in our gastrointestinal tract after ingestion and during digestion, they have to survive degradation by intestinal enzymes into constituent amino acids, they have to be absorbed – intact – into the bloodstream, and they must pass the blood-brain barrier.

Do they satisfy those requirements? Let’s take a look.

When wheat is applied to conditions designed to simulate the human gut (complete with physiological amounts and proportions of stomach acid and digestive enzymes), exorphins are produced. This suggests that applying wheat to actual human stomachs (by eating it) should also produce wheat exorphins. Satisfied.

There’s also evidence that gluten exorphins do show up in the bloodstream after ingestion of wheat, at least in subjects with celiac disease (PDF). But let’s temper our conclusions; remember that celiac disease is usually characterized by a severely-compromised intestinal lining, and that the subjects who had exorphins in their blood tended to have the most intestinal damage. It remains to be seen if wheat has the same effect on people with healthy, intact intestinal linings. Satisfied and satisfied.

I was unable to find hard evidence of wheat opioids crossing the blood-brain barrier. There is this rat study, which found that gluten exorphins stimulate the secretion of prolactin (an excess of which can lead to loss of libido in both sexes) by interacting with opioid receptors located outside of the blood-brain barrier, but not inside it. On the other hand, Dr. Emily Deans says that exorphins “definitely end up in the body and brain of rats fed gluten orally.” She also uses low-dose naltrexone (an opiate blocker) to treat celiac patients who can’t seem to give up wheat, which would suggest that something’s getting through to interact with those receptors. Still, not completely satisfied.

We’ve all had people tell us “but I could never give up bread!” In my experience, and from talking to hundreds upon hundreds of newcomers and sharing emails with many more, this is common in folks going Primal. Your pastas, your breads, your pizzas, your pastries, your muffins, your cookies are the foods that people have trouble giving up and the foods that, once expunged from the diet, have the greatest tendency to cause “relapses” if eaten again. Part of it is cultural conditioning, I’m sure – the whole “staff of life” thing, the inundation from birth with the message that whole grains represent the pinnacle of healthy eating, the bread basket at dinner, the pancakes on Saturday morning, the birthday cake that you’re practically excommunicated for refusing – and part of it is the fact that wheat flour goes well with vegetable fat, refined sugar, and low prices, but I wouldn’t be surprised if wheat has addictive properties mediated through its unique exorphins.

We just can’t say that yet, not definitively. It may be addictive, but not to everyone. If your gut is permeable enough to allow passage of opioid peptides into your blood, I could see it causing problems. If your gut is healthy and intact, maybe it’s not such an issue. More research is clearly required. Still, until this all gets sorted out, I’d suggest people continue to avoid wheat and other gluten-containing grains (and heck, all grains for that matter). And if you’re going to mention the opioid stuff to any skeptics or interested parties, don’t sound too authoritative. Admit that while evidence for wheat’s addictiveness exists, it’s far from conclusive.

Besides, wheat’s not the only food whose proteins are degraded into opioid peptides (PDF):

Casein, a dairy protein, can also be cleaved to form exorphins. Human milk even contains a number of dairy exorphins, most notably beta-casomorphin (casein morphine). In fact, beta-casomorphin levels are highest in colostrum, the highly nutritious “first milk” that infants get from their mothers. Perhaps that’s a way to get babies hooked on the sweet, nutritious, essential breastmilk right off the bat? The old “bait and switch,” where you slip the customer the pure stuff, get them hooked on it, and subsequently sell them the stuff that’s been cut with filler? We don’t know for sure, but I would assume that the most nutritious, perfectly “designed” food for human infants contains opioid peptides for a very important reason.

Hemorphins, a class of opioid peptides, come from hemoglobin, a protein found in the red blood cells of vertebrates. If you like your steak bloody rare, you’re likely consuming hemoglobin, and your stomach is probably cleaving the hemoglobin up into hemorphins. Of course, since hemorphins already appear naturally in your cerebrospinal fluid, brain, and plasma, I wouldn’t necessarily worry about becoming addicted to blood sausage.

Other food compounds can act as exorphins, too. Flavonoids, those bioactive plant compounds with antioxidant properties, may interact with opioid receptors. Epicatechin, a flavonoid found in green tea and chocolate, can act like an exorphin, at least in mice. Its cardioprotective effects are even thought to be mediated through its opioid activity.

Interestingly, even spinach contains an exorphin which, along with a gluten exorphin variant, has actually been shown to improve the learning ability of rodents.

That doesn’t mean you should pound spinach and wheat gluten before finals week and hope for a miracle. It also doesn’t mean that you should avoid chocolate and give your baby formula instead of breastmilk because you’re worried about addiction. It simply means that the effects of food exorphins aren’t clear-cut. They aren’t necessarily “bad.”

I’m definitely anti-wheat. I think people eat way too much of it, and it appears to perpetuate its own consumption. I wish I could say definitively whether wheat is addictive as an opiate or not – but I can’t. Not yet.

What say you, folks? Were you addicted to wheat? Are you? What about any of the other foods that break down into opioid exorphins – any spinach addicts out there?

Thanks for reading.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I wonder if food addiction only applies to processed food only? I used to LOVE white rice, noodles, bread, ice cream and chocolate and CRAVED for them constantly. Ever since I switched to whole food, I don’t crave for brown rice or cocoa or real whole wheat hot cereal. But if I eat white rice again, I instantly want to eat more and the same go as for noodles, bread, ice cream, etc. All these food are processed, so I wonder if the processing changes something in the food that trigger our craving instead of the food itself.

    Saia wrote on July 18th, 2012
  2. I’m curious if the studies found any differences between the properties of just ground wheat products, sprouted wheat products, or fermented wheat products.

    Kathryn wrote on July 18th, 2012
  3. What an interesting theory presented here, Mark! I was having a hard time really commiting to the switch to primal even though I had done it in the past and felt awesome. I felt literally addicted to wheat and the less I ate, the more I wanted it.

    So what did I do? I did the Master Cleanse. I know it gets mixed reviews in all communities but for me it was like hitting the reset button on my food cravings. After the cleanse all I wanted was fresh veggies and clean proteins. Every now and then when I am PMSing I really want junk food and I turn to olives, macadamia nuts, and yams. If that doesn’t help, I’ll have a bite or two of macaroni or Ben and Jerrys but it usually doesn’t get that far.

    Now eating grains, especially wheat, makes me sneeze and get congested as well as feel stomach sick! Another benefit of the cleanse for me has been that i can identify types of cravings and am generally more in tune with my body and dietary needs. It’s also made the primal life easier! It’s been about 12 weeks now and I’m down 21lbs!

    Emily wrote on July 18th, 2012
  4. Interesting post. I’ve always been able to take or leave bread, which always gets a glare or two from other paleo folks! I like rye or sprouted grain toast every now and then.

    Funny that people are commenting about their cats. I wonder if that’s what turned my poor baby into a big tubby muffin. I was a kid when we owned him, so looking at his cat food wouldn’t have crossed my mind, but when I do it now I realize he was better off eating the meat I slipped him when no one was looking!

    Lisa wrote on July 18th, 2012
  5. I have been gluten free, and pretty much starch, lectin and salicylate free. I am intolerant to all of those, including nightshades. Which leaves meat, a few veggies, and the occasional pear.

    German rye bread (I am German) and potatoes used to be my favourite foods. I was definitely addicted to them! After SEVEN years I STILL crave rye bread and potatoes.

    No, I don’t give in and ever purposely eat anything with gluten. Because the next day I will have such horrendous stomach and bowel cramps that I literally pray to die (I don’t go to the hospital, they are so ignorant here, they treat me like a joke). It is a relief when finally the explosive diarrhea hits (sorry to be so graphic), because then the cramps will start to get better.

    I don’t have any cravings when I eat enough fat (lard, butter, coconut oil)…. but everybody around me keeps telling me that it is no wonder I am overweight when I eat so much fat! If ignorance would kill they’d all drop dead.

    I am fortunate that we’ve had an excellent butchershop for the past two years, which only carries organic meat.

    Ursula wrote on July 18th, 2012
  6. I feel like I have a serious wheat addiction. I’ve been able to cut out sugar and dairy for the most part (I still cheat a little) but wheat is AWFUL. I have to count by the day. The longest I’ve made it is 3 weeks and then the pendulum swings back and I end up annihalating an entire order of breadsticks. And the next day my throat feels swollen, I feel off, I feel guilty and weak… It’s terrible. I’ve been told to go so far as to try hypnosis. I feel like I must have some deadly combination of a psychological and physical additiction to wheat. I hate it. I wish I could just stop but in the last two years of attempts it just hasn’t stuck. I don’t even enjoy it particularly, I’m just compelled. ugh.

    Chantel wrote on July 18th, 2012
  7. Wheat being addictive is believable to me. Lately I’ve been broke and getting my food given to me, ultimately resulting in me eating something closer to 20/80 than 80/20.
    I try to ration so I don’t power through the primal / primal-substitute food first and be left with nothing but second-rate factory fare to depend on but I’ve found myself crunching through Triscuits and cereal with fervor and having cravings for them and other wheat products like bread or biscuits the more that I eat them, then all of a sudden I get sick of them for a little while. However the cravings aren’t more intense than those I get for healthy primal foods like meat and fresh vegetables, especially if I’ve been on the SAD for an extended time. It definitely was a chore this morning to have a breakfast of grains and chickpeas when I had cans of salmon sitting right in front of me. If I don’t get my salmon / other meat and fresh veggies for a few days I can barely make myself chew before swallowing when they finally become available.
    In conclusion I think wheat’s addictive potential is minor and the body’s intuitive cravings will overpower wheat cravings except in those who are seriously metabolically deranged or conditioned to wheat.
    Apparently the price of grains is supposed to increase over the summer from drought. Hopefully the price of primal food doesn’t go up too much along with it and people will start eating more primal as a result of bargain shopping.

    Animanarchy wrote on July 18th, 2012
  8. I like this post. It makes a more measured statement which I respect for people trying to accurately describe the data and not contort facts to support a bias. Thanks mark, keep it up!

    Tyler wrote on July 18th, 2012
  9. Letting go of wheat and other grains was a cak walk compared to alcohol, perscription drugs and, the worst by far, nicotine!

    Anne Wayman wrote on July 18th, 2012
  10. If you’re a younger person, you may not notice anything for quite some time when you consume wheat year after year.
    I noticed that every bodily condition I had that was helped by getting rid of wheat showed up after I turned 50. Yes, it will eventually catch up with nearly all of us — but some very sensitive people will start having problems much sooner, because their stomachs and intestines just cannot handle wheat consumption.

    Lynn wrote on July 18th, 2012
  11. Really I would love to have a PB&J sandwich on fluffy white moist bread! I could eat this every day! So I am really hoping for a maintenance type program with maybe once per week a splurge that won’t blow my health. I could live with this the rest of my life if I knew that I could occasionally have that which makes my mouth salivate!

    Melissa C wrote on July 18th, 2012
  12. Although bread is a staple food in France where I’m from, I’m not addicted to wheat but I do like bread. I make my own whole wheat bread, never buy the industrial garbage anymore. I never eat a lot of it but I’ll have a thin slice with my lunch sandwich every weekday lunch at work. Once in a while a slice with a piece of good cheese and butter at dinner, that’s heaven to me and it’s really not a whole lot. I very rarely eat any cake, even before following this life style but once or twice a year I’ll enjoy a old family recipe of chocolate cake. Every 2 or 3 weeks I’ll also indulge on a delicious home 100% home made pizza. You can’t exclude all little food pleasures of life all the time. This being said, if I eat too much of it, my heartburns let me know of it quickly.

    Geo wrote on July 18th, 2012
  13. I have a rather addictive personality, but fortunately, neither carbs nor wheat trigger me. Now nuts…. that’s a different story. once started, very very hard to stop. Same with tortilla chips and guacamole of all things. But I can stop with meat, fruit, veggies, etc, so good thing that is mostly what I eat. Let’s not talk about wine though…..

    ChiroLisa wrote on July 18th, 2012
  14. I know I’m addicted to wheat – I’m in the middle of weaning myself off of it, again. This lapse has been bad in that most of my normal symptoms have taken a while to kick in, so I’ve kept eating it, mindlessly unaware I’m eating it until it’s too late. Ugh.

    Home is wheat free, it’s work with all the cake floating around that does me in. Need to bring in more of my good chocolate so I have a square of that instead of the wheat.

    Kethry wrote on July 18th, 2012
  15. Mark,
    Your article was so helpful! My son with autism has been GFCF for about 2 yrs now. He’s been on low dose naltrexone and antibiotics for his PANDAS, and we noticed he has not been reacting recently to wheat or dairy when he got ahold of them by accident. We plan to keep him on this diet for health reasons, but the part where you mentioned a doctor treating celiac patients with low dose naltrexone to offset their wheat consumption and antibodies made this all click.
    Perhaps the low dose naltrexone and the enzymes we give him afterwards are blocking the opiods from the wheat and dairy, for the most part.

    RM wrote on July 18th, 2012
  16. I have coeliac’s disease and when I use to eat grains (gluten free grains) and dairy I found they definitely had an opioid like/addictive effect particularly yoghurt.

    Jessica wrote on July 18th, 2012
  17. I guess when I gave up wheat, I never really thought about it afterwards. I mainly gave it up because my husband has had some serious intestinal problems that we were trying to sort out. ( of course, no wheat has helped immensely, particularly because he is missing 12 inches of intestine)
    I still eat some grains maybe once a week, like quinoa,millet, or very rarely rice. I don’t guess I really thought about bread much afterwards. meh.

    Sandy A. wrote on July 18th, 2012
  18. Good info. I might have to try primal again. There must be a hump I don’t get over. It is like living on sides instead of a main course to me, if I am not entirely happy with the result of my current choices, I never seem to be satisfied on what I understand of primal. Wheat and sugar go hand in hand for me. If I stay off both, I have a shot. If I go back to one, the other is almost certainly soon to follow. Carb of choice for now is a rinsed/soaked/cooked/fermented (yes, after cooking with a probiotice starter)brown rice that seems to have a shot at sustainability without a crash, but really also no lift I might look for from eating. Boring carbs have no crash, but no lift, just medium blah for this person. This goes for my whole experience with primal up to this point.

    Robert wrote on July 18th, 2012
    • The no lift, no crash description is apt, and reminds me of how I’ve heard being on anti-depressants described. The lows aren’t as low, but the highs aren’t as high either.

      I’m with you that living without wheat is like living on side dishes and no main course. It’s a struggle every day. I’ll successfully stay off wheat for months. Then I’ll have one indulgence and next thing you know I’m back on sugar and wheat every day for weeks. Currently there now, struggling to make it back.

      Thanks for this post, Mark. I don’t think wheat addiction, or whatever, is paid enough attention.

      Anonymoose wrote on July 18th, 2012
  19. I haven’t had withdrawal symptoms from wheat at all and I find it pretty strange. Does my body just not crave as strongly, or is it because of my age (17)? Thoughts?

    Daniel wrote on July 18th, 2012
  20. but yes in terms of carb intake.. i say no to rice as well… people back in the day,way back.. walked a lot, need to carry water.. etc… so they can handle rice. with the current lifestyle in this urban world, regular rice intake definitely contribute to high diabetes rate.

    Gift Clumsywarrior wrote on July 18th, 2012
  21. I was absolutely addicted to wheat. But when I developed severe leaky gut (with its attendant severe gluten intolerance), I didn’t have any trouble giving it up. I know it’s something that actively damages my body, and tastes WAY too good to be true.

    Interesting note, though: a friend has an inside line on local, organic, heirloom wheat. Grown by the farmer and his father and grandfather, it has been untouched by modern GMO crops or chemical cocktails . . . and when she brought me bread she had made from it, I ate some (without any gluten-guard enzymes!), and I felt amazingly good. No driving cravings for more, no carb or sugar cravings, nothing. Just satisfied, and happy.

    I personally believe that what we call “wheat” isn’t anything like. It’s frankenwheat (six sets of chromosomes, anyone?), and it’s killing us.

    Annalea wrote on July 18th, 2012
  22. I was totally addicted to dairy – which is what triggered me to give it up. I would have 5-7 serves a day and crave more. Maybe I should say I now limit the dairy – after 4 years I still have not eliminated it entirely. However since being diagnosed as wheat intolerant with a predisposition to celiac I have not purposefully touched wheat in 2 1/5 years. The times I have accidentally had wheat (think coating on chips – before going primal) were ‘nasty’ to say the least. Moving from no wheat to no grains is getting easier – but I still find it hard to pass by GF chocolate cake (probably the sugar as well).

    Maggie wrote on July 18th, 2012
  23. The thing that convinced me that wheat was a drug was when I gave it up. I switched wheat for rice, for one week. I kept the carbs the same, and the diet the same, for comparison.

    But after about 30 hours, I felt like I got kicked by a horse. Seriously. I could barely function. Thereafter followed a few weeks of misery, then I finally gave in and had some bread. Which made me feel better. But I really didn’t expect that result.

    Since then I DID stop eating wheat. When I did eat it, I started getting intense depression and anxiety the next day, to the point that it affected my family badly.

    Is this opioids? Zonulin-mediated brain barrier leakage? Fungal toxins? I have no idea. Someone with some good laboratory will have to answer those questions. But does it act like a drug? YES. At least for some of us. And a very bad drug at that.

    HeatherT wrote on July 18th, 2012
  24. Honestly I don’t miss bread at all. Now I eat my meat and cheese on a plate, or occasionally wrapped in Romaine lettuce. Get ALL the meat flavor instead of just a little meat with my bread. However there is another grain that I do miss, especially since it’s summer in Indiana now….corn on the cob! Who am I kidding? I still eat it every once in a while.

    Robert wrote on July 19th, 2012
  25. I was surely addicted to wheat… in the form of pasta. I ate pasta everyday and I would crave it constantly. I could eat insane amounts of it and still want more. I went Primal from one day to another and knew that pasta would be the thing I would miss the most. I also, for this reason, experienced baaad low-carb flu for 3 days, but after that, I felt fantastic, and have ever since. I haven’t touched pasta since I went primal (6 months now), and I won’t. It’s very addicting for me and I’m scared I’m going to miss it too much if I have it again. No pasta in the world beats the feeling I have in my body now that I don’t eat it (or any wheat for that matter) anymore. Great post, thank you Mark!

    Anne wrote on July 19th, 2012
  26. It’s totally addictive. There is no way I would have eliminated wheat from my diet if I hadn’t been diagnosed with a major wheat intolerance. Im also dairy intolerant, and have discovered that legumes and all grains (except white rice) give me major gut issues. So I’m paleo (almost) by default! It is wonderful not to feel constantly nauseated however, so I do not miss wheat one little bit.

    Sally wrote on July 19th, 2012
  27. Naltrexone cured my addiction to sweets which in turn corrected my life long eating disorder. Combined with meditation and a primal centric eating plan I have never been healthier. So, I have to think there is a possibiliy wheat is addicting.

    Keith wrote on July 19th, 2012
  28. Mark, thank you for a well-researched, honest, and level-headed article.

    D wrote on July 19th, 2012
  29. Wow, is that why I love Spinach so much and it’s one of the only things that satisfy me as much as bread used to? I’ve even got my 8 year old and 3 year old loving spinach. They steal it off my plate!! I usually put some fat free cottage cheese and salsa on top of it, but my kids want the spinach leaf plain. So weird but so awesome at the same time! I do however, disagree that “all” grains should be completely eliminated from the diet. If you’re trying to lose weight then yes, it’s a good strategy to stay off “all” grains for a while. But completely and forever? white flour yes, “all” grains, no.

    Jenel wrote on July 19th, 2012
  30. Mark, the low dose naltrexone connection is interesting, but I don’t think you are characterizing it correctly. My partner has an autoimmune condition which is helped by LDN therapy. Some patients with neuro-degenerative disorders see benefit as well.

    As I understand it, the drug at low doses stimulates the production of new opioid receptors, in response to the drug’s action of blocking the existing opioid receptors for just a few hours, while the patient is sleeping. (You take it before bed.) The theory is that some people with chronic autoimmune or neuro-degenerative disorders have a below-normal level of opioid receptors, and so increasing that level can reduce/reverse their symptoms (but not permanently; most patients who benefit must continue the drug indefinitely).

    The original “high dose” naltrexone therapy works more like how you (incorrectly) described LDN: Naltrexone stays active in the body and blocks the opioid receptors until the next dose. Thus helping the patient break the addiction cycle. This therapy is extremely unpleasant, since all pain is left unmitigated by endorphins. There is no physical pleasure.

    Anyway, thanks for the link to Emily Deans.

    Jacob wrote on July 19th, 2012
  31. I was definitely addicted to wheat. I used to have to have bread with EVERY meal, sometimes half a loaf by myself, even as a child!

    I have been diagnosed with gluten intolerance, and am in the process of being tested for celiac disease. I had to go off wheat suddenly because I couldn’t keep anything down and was breastfeeding – the first 3 months postpartum is the prime time for a woman to have an autoimmune condition show up. I went off gluten and all my symptoms cleared right up. These days I have to be really careful about cross contamination or else my belly swells up like crazy, hence the testing for celiac disease.

    Those first two weeks were a crazy ride. Migraines, shakes, mood swings, depression, bouts of rage, body aches, fevers, if it was a symptom that could be associated with withdrawals from an opiate, I had it.

    Something I have heard is that certain people, I believe it is a subset of people with celiac disease, their body chemistry is different and gluten interacts with it in a different way to make them addicted. I can’t find where I heard that though!

    Rachel wrote on July 19th, 2012
    • Hi Rachel,

      You sound just like me. I have a wheat intolerance but have tested negative for celiac, however testing was done (both blood test & biopsy) after I had been gluten free for months.

      Today I ate about one tablespoon of fried rice that probably had soy sauce including wheat in it, and my belly blew up like a balloon about 45 minutes later. I am a skinny woman so it looks really obvious, I look 6 months pregnant! I also became really tired, like I have been run over by a truck. Serves me right, I knew I shouldn’t have eaten it…

      Anyway, don’t be surprised if you test negative if you’ve already eliminated gluten but I certainly suspect from my extreme reaction to even a trace of it that I might be celiac too. Before I eliminated gluten from my diet I was extremely nauseous 24/7. It feels so good to feel normal!

      Sally wrote on July 20th, 2012
      • Have you heard of the stool test? It along with genetic testing is supposed to be much more reliable than blood or biopsy. Still researching what the results will be having been on a gluten free diet though, so I am not sure if it will make a difference there.

        It does indeed feel so good to start feeling normal again! The slip ups that happen all the time at the beginning are certainly a great reminder of – wow, I used to feel like this ALL THE TIME?!

        Rachel wrote on July 23rd, 2012
  32. Mark,
    I stick to the primal diet and exercise program 80 % of the time.I am considering running another marathon. I am 63 and have run two marathons in my life. I am only interested in finishing I could care less about the time. I do not want to endure the run training I went through in the past. Could you suggest a training program that I could use that would prepare me to finish the race but not take away my life in daily training. Thanks Terry Jenkins

    Terry Jenkins wrote on July 19th, 2012
  33. I was certainly NOT addicted to grains. Dropping them was rather easy, despite the fact that I neither did the shopping nor cooked dinner. I just quietly declined to take bread, had eggs for breakfast instead of cereal/oatmeal, and made salads for lunch instead of sandwiches.

    Bill C wrote on July 19th, 2012
  34. I guess what we can take from this is that the true problem lies between the ears. I know that’s been my issue and I still struggle with cutting down on the grains. If you can eliminate that then I think the battle’s all but won. But it is a struggle.

    Peter H wrote on July 19th, 2012
  35. I’m a great-grandmother and have been on paleo for about two months now. I can relate to the people who are being pushed to eat. My own mother pushes food at me. When I asked her if she would push a drink on an alcoholic, her answer was that she would if she thought she needed it. I think many people have this mindset but aren’t as honest as my mother. I just tell people that I do not eat such and such and thank them for the offer. I don’t and never have pushed food of any kind on my children or their children.
    I feel much better and apparently have become fat adapted as I seldom eat more than two meals a day now. If I get hungry mid-day I have a few asparagus, a handful of nuts, and a few olives.

    Patricia Kilbourn wrote on July 19th, 2012
  36. One easy way to deal with food at the office: Treats are almost always brought in first thing in the morning. I always take a helping and explain that it “looks delicious!” and the “I can’t wait to eat this after my lunch!”. Then I place it on my desk until lunchtime when it discreetly goes into the trash can when no one is looking.

    Kirstin wrote on July 20th, 2012
  37. I gave up flour and sugar when I joined a weight-loss organization. The thing I miss most is pasta. An Italian child, I was raised on pasta, and I love it. But since I cannot eat a normal portion, I completely gave it up. It’s hell for me, but in order to maintain my lifestyle (and my 130 lb. weight loss), I have to do it. It’s been seven years, and I miss my pasta every day. Giving up sugar was not nearly as bad, even though it’s my belief that sugar is also addictive. (That includes artificial sugar.)

    Marilyn wrote on July 20th, 2012
  38. If someone offers me a cigarette, I say, “No thanks, I don’t smoke.” If someone wants me to eat wheat, I treat it the same way. It’s not such a big deal. MY attitude always determines the reaction I get from others.

    Dr Laura wrote on July 20th, 2012
  39. The first night after I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I dreamed I was cooking a huge pot of spaghetti. It’s still the high-carb food I miss the most.

    Now living with lifelong type 2 diabetes, I am shocked at how others feel entitled to decide what is good for me. At a dinner with friends who knew I am diabetic, salad dressing with “a little bit” of sugar was served by a well-meaning participant. What does that phrase mean, “A little bit won’t hurt you”? How dare they presume to know this? I am managing a life-threatening disease every day. No one else has the right to decide what amount of any substance will or will not harm me.

    Anna wrote on July 20th, 2012
  40. Wow, 6 pages of comments in two days? Not a sensitive issue at all!

    Personally, when I’m eating primally, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by not having wheat.. Sugary things though (Damn you, ice cream!) are my downfall – and if I give in to the craving for sugar, it’s 3 days of constant sugar/wheat/carbs in general cravings until I get back on the bandwagon. Furthermore, the act of eating those kinds of foods is rarely satisfying – it’s just not as good as I remember! Overall, I’ve found it’s just so much easier to abstain. The dairy stays though. Mama needs her some cheese!

    Foncine wrote on July 20th, 2012

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