Image of a loaf of bread.

Breaking (Up with) Bread: Why I Go Against the Grain

It was my friend Pascha’s picture that stopped my scrolling finger, that eventually led me to the vida low carb. Not only was she toned and trim, she possessed a sleek felinity. I want that, I thought.

Beneath Pascha’s photo, she’d written, “This is what I used to look like and now I know why—because back then I ate like this book recommends.” She provided a link to a book, and because I wanted that ribbony, cat-like grace, I clicked on the link and bought the book. Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog.* 

When I explain the basic premise of the book to someone, they usually roll their eyes and say, “Yeah, yeah. The Atkins Diet revisited.” But it isn’t. Not really. I could offer a list of reasons why you should give the EBDJ-way a try. Instead I’m going to suggest you:

Take one simple step. Not forever, but just for 30 days.

That step is eating gluten-free. Don’t panic. Hear me out. Believe me, I was just like you. Actually I may have been more stubborn than you. For years, I scorned the ban-bread movement, telling anyone who raised the subject:

If bread was good enough for Jesus at the Last Supper, it’s good enough for me.

It wasn’t until reading what Grant Petersen, the author of EBDJ, had to say on the subject that I was willing to go against the grain. His compelling arguments, paired with the recollection of Pascha’s sleekness, prompted me to decide:

I can try anything for a month, even eating gluten-free.

I will not tell you it was easy to do. For nearly a week, I longed for my daily, toasted Ezekiel Bread slathered with salted Amish butter and raspberry jam. And then I didn’t. The craving simply went away. For a bread-lover as devout as I’d been, it was nothing short of a miracle.

What also disappeared was the approximately every 90-minute stirring of my entrails, demanding sustenance. In between breakfast and lunch, then again mid-afternoon, I would insist I felt woozy, that I must have low blood sugar, and I’d inhale seven Rosemary-Olive Oil Triscuits or a granola bar. Or eight baby carrots.

Assured by various magazine articles that “grazing” is good for you, I constantly fueled my body.

Following the EBDJ-way, I now aim to eat three times a day—hearty meals that include quality protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. No more snacking for me. Unless it’s the 10-12 macadamia nuts I munch while preparing supper.

With these changes, a funny thing happened. I became less hungry. Finally, Starvin’ Marvin was vanquished.

For the first time in my life I felt like I controlled my appetite, not vice versa.

Not only that, my energy slumps stopped. For years, sleep like a warm fuzzy bear snuck up on me every day, right after lunch. I’d set a timer for 17 minutes (supposedly the optimal nap time) and lay my head on the nearest surface. Sometimes I’d need a nap after supper too. These days I can’t tell you the last time I took a nap.

One day my clothes were roomier—in the belly, in the butt, and in the thighs.

Curious, I stepped on the scale. I was five pounds down. Glory! I remembered the part in EBDJ where Petersen explained that once you stop frequently fueling your body with carbohydrates, it remembers how to burn its own fat for energy. This may be my favorite part about low-carb living.

I should recommend the Bible as often as I recommend EBDJ.

I started telling friends about my passion for EBDJ and some of them took the 30-day challenge. Most had the same experience as me. Pounds dropping off. Dress sizes decreasing. Energy levels increasing.

Of course, these are merely anecdotal observations. However, other people, medical professionals even, are saying similar things.

In his book Grain BrainDr. David Perlmutter offers more reasons to break up with bread. Perlmutter makes a case for a connection between carbohydrate consumption—simple and complex—and a number of debilitating conditions, including dementia. He says,

“The biggest issue by far is that carbohydrates are absolutely at the cornerstone of all our major degenerative conditions.”

The book Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD, explains why my stomach became flatter when I decreased my grain consumption. “A wheat belly represents the accumulation of fat that results from years of consuming foods that trigger insulin, the hormone of fat storage.”

Davis specifically identifies wheat-based carbohydrates as the culprits.

“…wheat products elevate blood sugar levels more than virtually any other carbohydrates, from beans to candy bars.”

For the record, I have not given up grains forever. I now view items made from grains as an occasional treat. Pizza once a month. Same with pasta. Wedding cake? It’s my appetite’s Achilles’ heel. I’ll gladly suffer the subsequent carbohydrate coma for a perfect piece of white bakery cake with fluffy white icing.

Not only that, from time to time, I still bake. In fact, this week I made a Pecan and Peach coffee cake. If I can modify a recipe to use less wheat I will. In baked goods, I typically substitute at least a half cup of buckwheat flour and/or almond flour for wheat flour.

Zucchini noodles—aka “zoodles—” make an interesting vehicle for tomato sauce and meatballs. Grated cauliflower, lightly sautéed, can stand in for rice. Tony Bear agrees. Junior-Man does not.

 

Breaking up with bread

 

Honestly, it took me less than a month to get over grains.

And now, the benefits are too enjoyable for me to go back. Which is why I’m suggesting you try it too. An excellent time to attempt it would be when you have a special occasion coming up—a wedding or high school reunion maybe. One gal I know ate the EBDJ-way in order to trim down for a television appearance.

Let me know if you decide to try my EBDJ Challenge. Or if you’re already loving low-carb, let me and everyone else know what you think down below in the comments. One random commenter will receive their own free copy of Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog.

FYI, I’m working on a PDF document of EBDJ-friendly recipes—tested, tasted, and Tarantini-approved. The document won’t be free, but it won’t cost a million dollars. When it’s ready, I’ll announce it in my monthly e-newsletter.

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Suggested blog pairing: To read more about the low-carb, high-fat way of life, check out this post.

*This post includes affiliate links.

 

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