Andy’s college friends tell the same (admittedly funny) stories about him every time they are together. Then they all remark about how much he has changed since he met me.
I politely laugh, but really the current Andy is the same Andy that I have known for 8 years. The same Andy who does. not. like. changes.
This is a man who ate Fudge Poptarts for breakfast every day from the age of 13 to age 29. The man whose lunch I pack the exact same every day. Turkey sandwich with only Roundy’s oven-roasted turkey breast. If I get the smoked or mesquite, he knows it. Pretzels, graham crackers, and cookies round out his lunch.
The biggest change he ever made was switching from a white bun to a whole wheat flat bread. (Although he did mutter about them being more like pancakes than buns)
In one month, Andy eats 30 hamburger buns, 60 sheets of graham crackers, 100 cookies, and 6 POUNDS of pretzels.
That is a lot of wheat.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Andy is not unhealthy. He is not overweight. He does not have chronic health problems. He is rarely sick.
He simply got tired of feeling tired – and listening to me remark how great I feel eating wheat and dairy free.
I am currently gluten-free, dairy-free, and mostly grain-free. I feel the best I have felt in my entire life. I am 25 pounds lighter. My chronic headaches are gone. I have more energy. I often say that eating this way costs two times as much, but feels ten times as good. It truly has been life-changing for me.
Noah has been unable to eat wheat for 4 years now. Andy has watched the rest of us eat gluten-free, but he has never joined us. He eats a Standard American Diet (SAD) of hamburgers, pizza, chicken tenders, and white pasta. Gluten-free would mean taking away, or at minimum, changing his favorite foods. He always felt he couldn’t do it.
I really thought that if Andy ever went gluten-free, it would have to be out of solidarity with Noah.
Surprisingly, he did it for himself, which I now realize is an even better reason.
Andy often complains about just “not feeling right”. (Typical male description) Usually it means he’s lethargic, unmotivated, and wants to take a nap. (I love Andy dearly. He’s a great husband and father. This is NOT meant to insinuate otherwise. It simply explains part of what motivated him to go gluten-free. He has given me permission to write this. 🙂 )
He wondered if he would feel better without wheat, too. I have always told him that I will gladly put in the effort in the kitchen for him to go gluten-free on one condition: He must commit to it 100%, no cheating, for 30 days. If he’s only going to halfway do it, we shouldn’t spend the extra money. I did not want to do the extra work to make gluten-free lunches only to have him sit and eat a bag of pretzels that night.
Well, September 2, Andy went gluten-free.
Anna, the family nutritionist, excitedly packed away all of the wheat items in our house. Pretzels, crackers, cereal – all out of sight.
Honestly? I secretly thought he’d quit within 48 hours.
The first week without wheat is awful for me. I go through a miserable detox stage where I crave breadsticks like crazy and am super crabby. I had warned him about this.
Well, this is Day 4 and he is going strong.
He hasn’t had the awful detox stage that I usually have. I’m super thankful for that!
Today he said that he didn’t know how to describe it, but he just feels “lighter” – that his stomach feels lighter.
So all in all, 4 days in, zero wheat. He claims he feels better. I see him happier and more energetic. He hasn’t come home from work wanting a nap.
Now, both of us readily acknowledge that there could be some placebo effect and that after 30 days, he may decide that wheat does not bother him. But it’s worth trying for a month to see what difference it makes.
If you know Andy, you know that it will take him feeling A LOT better for him to give up late night Pizza Hut. So I’m not too worried about a placebo effect.
I’m pretty sure the fact that he tackled a dead animal under our porch after supper and now grabbed a gluten-free beer and sat down to watch football says it all.
He’s signed on to this gluten-free thing. For real.