Last month I gave up wheat for the first time. Now that may not sound like a lot to you but for a person who starts the day with a fried egg on toast, has a sandwich-on-the go for lunch and for whom dinner time usually means pasta (homemade, but no points for that), wheat forms a fair share of the dinner plate.

So as you can probably guess it’s been a tough couple of weeks.

It all started when I read about the significance of that first food that one reaches out for. That first food that your taste buds yearn for when you sit down at the table. That first food may actually be the biggest stumbling block towards good health.

Is it fried chicken? The glass of chilled wine? In my case it is always been the bread. And when my kids and I started to choose our Friday night restaurant based on the quality of bread basket I knew I had to make a change.

No more wheat

I like trying unfamiliar dishes and ingredients, and cooking with new techniques. Many of these experiments are successful and others leave a bad taste in the mouth. Literally!

My weakness though is bread. I have yet to meet a bread I didn’t like. Freshly baked garlic bread with crunchy sesame seeds, that’s MY Achilles Heel, which brings me to a wheat-free diet and giving up my favourite food. And why everyone should try it.

It is a test of your will power.

There I said it. I’m not a marathon runner, or a runner of any kind. I don’t lift weights, or do chin-ups. I’ve been chubby all my life, and I am used to people telling me, “Have more self-control” at dinner time.

This month I realised that I do have self-control even when faced with a great weakness. Willpower is like a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly or it becomes flabby and useless. Self-control around the dinner table can only help our strength and determination to face the world around us.

Going wheat-free has taken a chunk off my plate.

A wheat-free diet is growing in popularity. The good part is that it limits your options so it’s burgers without the bun and curry without naan. Since I’m a closet vegetarian I find I’m choosing salads and other vegetarian options to round out my meal. And no, I’m not starving myself.  I can still inhale a bag of potato chips without missing a beat – it’s wheat-free after all 🙂

The impact on my body

I’ve noticed some small changes. My belly is a little flatter and I feel less bloated at the end of the day. My rings fit me a little better during the day, and my pants are a little less snug despite little weight loss.

What about my mind? 

I have felt a big difference here. I feel calmer. I’m better able to manage my stress and I feel as if a fog has lifted. And I’m not yelling at my kids as much. It’s still early days though so I am looking forward to how I will change over the next few months.

I am looking forward to the change, in my body and mind, yes, but also my habits. I have made this commitment for at least three months. I know that this may seem like a random length of time, but research says that it is an appropriate time to cleanse the system and also learn new habits. And that’s what I’m hoping will come out of this exercise. Healthy new habits. And the ability to say NO to that delicious bread basket.

What is your favourite food? Have you thought about staying away from it for a while?