Today, I would like to touch on the topic of health. Not that I am a fitness guru or uncertified dietician but I just want to share a little bit of my findings in the areas of health. And like it or not, diets and health are a part of personal and professional development.
Do you guys remember this food pyramid? | certainly do. It was pushed down my throat during Health Education classes when | was 7 to 9 years old.
During those days, I didn’t really ask many question. Being an Asian with rice as our staple diet, I really thought this pyramid was a no-brainer. I mean, we eat rice every day and noodles once a while. Learning and following this pyramid ‘rule’ was as easy as ABC.
As I grew older, I came across articles, books and even attended health seminars, and the information from those sources did create some doubt to what I’ve learned so far.
To cut a long story short, I made a short cartoon below to show you what I really mean..
Sugars are bad for you. It increases your blood sugar level and too much sugar can be harmful.
A few years later, I came across an article saying that the food pyramid was no longer a good reference, especially for those in developed nations where food has gone to the level of luxury and not just necessity. We have more choices over what to eat and with the modernization of the way we work, we definitely need a new diet guide.
Many jobs now are more automated than during the industrial age and even before that.
Taking over the food pyramid was the MyPlate model…
It’s a very colourful plate and labels for each food group, and as far as health and diets are concerned, I think this one makes better sense than the traditional pyramid.
For me, being Asian, I love my rice and noodles. If you put a plate of rice with some stingray cooked in assam pedas or spicy mutton curry etc, I would be wondering if there’s enough rice for seconds.
Food is more than what we eat, in most cases, it has almost become a culture. Cutting down on rice and noodles did not seem a big challenge to me at that time. I thought, what’s the big deal. It’s just rice and noodles.
I tried it and it comes to a point where I began to wonder if I was actually ADDICTED to carbs.
ADDICTED? Why so serious? Let me explain..
A few months before I attempted this experiment, | came across a health podcast called The Model Health Show and the host, Shawn Stevenson, interviewed Dr William Davis on his book titled Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health.
The book is basically talking about how wheat is contributing to obesity, inflammation and other diseases.
You can listen to this podcast yourself from
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-model-health-show/id640246578 , episode 95.
In this interview, Dr Davis spoke about what will happen when you cut down your wheat-related foods and warned the listeners not to start this ‘wheat elimination diet’ program if they are working on something important i.e. a project deadline.
I thought to myself, how hard can it be? It’s just going a few days without rice, bread, wraps, biscuits etc
And so, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try it out..
On the first day of this wheat free diet, I had
-tuna with cucumber slices for breakfast,
-chicken with stir fried vegetables for lunch,
-an apple for snack and another apple with some grapes for dinner.
I didn’t feel anything different. No pain, no discomfort. Everything felt normal. I remembered laughing at the ‘challenges’ I had overcome.
The second day was a different chapter ENTIRELY. It was quite a painful process. I had headaches in the afternoon and I remembered feeling frustrated over small matters, matters that I would usually brush off. I was feeling uncomfortable and cranky and got agitated so easily that my wife and daughters started calling me “grumpy old man”.
On the third day, I noticed that my driving was affected. I made several bad judgement on a road. Riceless and wheatless days made me an irrational driver! I cannot even believe what happened!
Finally, I decided to give it up before my experiment lead to any unwanted accidents. You have no idea the amount of relief I felt as I munched on my first plate of rice in 3 days.
That was quite an experience. Felt almost like a cold turkey.
I have been eating rice and wheat related foods for almost 40 years now. And an attempt to go without it for 3 days seems to be troubling my mind and body. Now | start to wonder if I am actually addicted to rice and wheat related products.
After some research, I learned that most carbohydrates, such as rice and wheat products, are broken down into glucose before entering the bloodstream.
On a separate finding, I came across an article that says sugar is as addictive as cocaine!
And for so many years, I have been taught that the edible evil was fats!
Sugar addition can lead to over-consumption, and in turn results in diabetes. Diabetes alone is the mother of most complications which includes stroke, heart problems, kidney problems and the list goes on.
I will be making another attempt to ditch sugar, and all of its forms, out of my life. I’m already 40 this year and if I don’t change my lifestyle, then it’ll be like me abusing this body which God has entrusted to me.
How about you? How long have you gone without rice and wheat? Did you face any form of withdrawal symptoms? How did you overcome them?