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Wheat Elimination Tips

Since many people on here are talking about eliminating wheat from their diet, I thought I would humbly offer what I have learned in my attempts. BTW, I should stress here that I do not try to follow a low carb diet, since I run. Low carb diets are not a good choice for me. If you are doing low carb, I think going wheat free becomes much easier, since you just eliminate starchy foods.

First, you need to decide if you are going wheat-free or gluten-free. By wheat-free, I mean that you don't mind small amounts of gluten in your diet, so that you can continue to eat items such as soy sauce and various sauces they you will find in restaurant dishes. Gluten free is much harder, as you find if you ever ask for the gluten-free menu in a restaurant. I am going to focus on just trying to follow a wheat-free diet.

And this bring us to the main challenge: eating out. If you eat out a great deal, this is going to be much harder. No bread, no pasta, no noodles, no breaded items, and very limited dessert options. Besides salads, which will not provide enough carbs for an active lifestyle, you fast food options are slim. My emergency stand-by has been the Chipotle burrito bowl. But you can only eat that so often before getting sick of it. Another option includes tacos or burrito wraps with corn tortillas. But these are harder to find, as many wraps use wheat tortillas. Sit down restaurants generally will have more choices, but your wheat-free starches will be limited to potatoes and rice.

I think that if you are going to get more serious about this, you are going to have to cook more. That's what I would like to focus on here. The main challenges for me are to replace bread, pasta, and sweets. I like to think in categories, so here goes.

Bread Replacements

1) First, if you must have bread, try the Bob's Red Mill Wonder Bread Mix ( This is the only gluten free bread mix that I found that does not taste like shit. Most health food stores will have it.

2) Use corn tortillas to convert sandwiches to wraps.

3) Use wheat-free chips and convert the "sandwich insides" into a dip. This works with tuna salad, salmon salad, guacamole, chilli, etc. You can also chop up ham-and-cheese insides, for example, into a dip. The options are endless. Many wheat-free chips are available, including corn tortilla chips, bean chips, wheat-free multigrain chips, etc. You have many options here.

Pasta Replacements

Here, the idea is to use some kind of sauce over a bowl of grains or another starchy staple. I like to use the following:

1) a bowl of quinoa

2) colcannon - This has become a staple for me. You can live off this stuff indefinitely, if you had to. Colcannon is mashed potatoes with chopped up steamed kale. I like to use Yukon Gold, German Butterball, or other yellow potatoes. I mash and mix with some butter and milk, add the kale, and season with salt and pepper. You can generalize this to the following equation:

colcannon = mashed root veggies + butter/milk + steamed greens

For example, the last mix I had included potatoes mashed with cauliflower, along with chopped swiss chard. Another time I mashed potatoes with broccoli stems and added chopped kale. The possibilities are endless. If you want a sweet version, mash up squash with sweet potatoes.

3) Polenta - if you get the quick kind, this can be ready in minutes. Just top with your favorite sauce. Use polenta from heritage corn, if you can.

4) Kasha - this is mashed buckwheat and has a strong taste. Not for everyone.

As for the sauce, this can be anything you would pour over pasta. Here are some ideas: tomato-based sauces, cream-based sauces, stir-fried veggies, eggs scrambled with bacon and veggies, chilli, etc.

Sweets Replacements

If you love pastries and cookies and such, this one is the hardest. Here are some ideas.

1) Wheat-free waffles. Check out this guy for many ideas:

2) Wheat-free pancakes. Many options here as well. The old paleo pancakes standby (coconut milk, eggs, almond flour) can be modified in many ways, and be topped off with chopped fruit or a blended fruit sause.

3) Flourless brownies - just make brownies without the flour or replace with nut flour. Warning - very calorie dense.

4) This is my favorite protein bar:

I might add to this later as I think of more stuff. This was just off the top of my head. Feel free to add ideas in the comments.

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Any sauce you'd put on pasta is wonderful over roasted spaghetti squash, or sauteed/steamed zucchini, or skillet fried cabbage.

Another side dish I love is garlic mashed cauliflower.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

I tried gluten free...

for 6 weeks. I found there are plenty of gluten-free breads available, although pricey unless you have a discount health store which we have here where I live. The first week or so I literally felt "high". I was light-headed and I figured my intestines were getting unclogged and the blood flow and digestion was improving. After 6 week, I binged on gluten to see if I would get any signs of allergy. I did not. So, I'm back to gluten, but now I am thinking I should go off again. If you go off gluten, you go off wheat. If you go off wheat, you still eat gluten.

I would like to know what positive effects people felt when they went off wheat?

Michael Nystrom's picture

What I've noticed

After going off and on it a few times over the past year, I notice that wheat makes me bloated. Samantha was initially skeptical, but she has noticed it as well. Bloating leads to discomfort, leads to lack of energy.

So like you, without the wheat I felt much lighter, and more energetic.

People also talk about the 'brain fog' caused by wheat, and I have definitely noticed this, especially after a big plate of pasta. A big plate of pasta makes me feel sleepy, bloated and dull. My thinking isn't sharp.

Samantha gets rashes on her skin if she eats too much bread and pasta!

All my life I just thought that is what 'food' did to you. But it really isn't 'food' - it is the kind of food.

Try it again, Puma, and see what you notice. If you didn't notice any signs of allergy, maybe its because you weren't looking in the right place, or looking close enough. The changes can be subtle.

Good luck!

I will try it again..

you might be right about not looking close enough. I am lactose intolerant and when I tried to go back on dairy after several months I had an immediate and very noticeable result, so there was no doubt.

I was looking for something intestinal with the gluten, but that may have been not the only place to look...brain fog does happen to me; I need to be more aware of when that happens.

I know one thing, being lactose and gluten intolerant makes it nearly impossible to eat out.

Bloat is from sedentary behavior

Stop being seditious and get up and do some physical work.
You eat.
You work.
You fart.
You think better.
You're happy.
Be happy.
I think I heard someone say it's a 2 fart problem.

Oh my

Read 'Nutrition and Physical Degeneration' by Dr. Weston A. Price.

2 Part Problem

I'm leaning toward the theory that wheat is a 2 part problem: wheat has changed, I have changed.

I've eaten wheat daily all my life, and so has much of mankind. Wheat has been bred (no pun intended) to have more protein than it used to have, and this can cause a problem depending on your immune system. Wheat has changed.

I suspect that it is the genetic modification in corn, soy, and canola that has done damage to our digestive systems, allowing gluten and perhaps other things to get into our blood, when in the past they were eliminated more easily. I have been changed.

Do not give up wheat by substituting corn! Especially GMO corn (virtually all of it).

What do you think?

Wheat has changed...

I read somewhere, I will try to find it, that wheat today has more gluten in it and that is what is causing the problems.

Edite: here is an article about today's wheat:

I Had No Idea I Was Addicted to Wheat Until I Quit

I was already on a no corn diet. No corn, corn syrup, or anything from corn including all its hidden uses in table salt, powdered sugar, Jello, Twizzlers, hard candy, jerky, etc. To the best of my ability.

When I first stopped wheat, I fed my cravings with chocolate, wheat-free toaster waffles from Trader Joe's, maple syrup (real maple, not corn), potatoes, and rice. For about 3-4 weeks, I ate these substitutes, until one day, walking through the grocery store, I realized I did not crave them anymore.

That's how I realized that I had been addicted to wheat, and once the wheat craving was gone, much of my craving for candy, baked goods, and other things went with it (i.e., they weren't addictive, they were a side-effect of wheat).

My sinuses cleared up, too, and I finally noticed that on those rare occasions when I would have wheat after that, it would cause the familiar immune response that I had thought was a normal thing. I rarely have to blow my nose anymore.

This effect may be different for others. I'm blood type B, and can eat potatoes, but they're not good for most people.

What do you think?

Yeast is the killer for me


The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good things is my religion. Thomas Paine, Godfather of the American Revolution


What about spaghetti squash? Yum.

PS - Thanks for the thread.. Good info

proverbs 20:15
There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.

Spaghetti squash


Stop shoving your beliefs down my throat!

Anti-wheatism is a mythology based on government control tactics dating back to the 1st century.
The Government Made It All Up!
Read The Bible. Jesus Said, "I Am The Bread Of Life."!
You Get It?
B-r-e-a-d Find Out What It Means To Me.
Show me some Respect!

(Ooh) Baby, I got
(Ooh) What you need
(Ooh) Do you know I've got it
(Ooh) All I'm askin'
(Ooh) Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home
(Just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)

I ain't gonna do you wrong, while you're gone
Ain't gonna do you wrong (ooh) 'cause I don't want to (ooh)
All I'm askin' (ooh)
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit), when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

I'm about to give you all of my money
And all I'm askin' in return, honey
Is to give me my propers
When you get home (just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah baby (just a, just a, just a, just a)
When you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

Ooh, your kisses (ooh)
Sweeter than honey (ooh)
And guess what (ooh)
So is my money (ooh)
All I want you to do (ooh) for me
Is give it to me when you get home (re, re, re ,re)
Yeah baby (re, re, re ,re)
Whip it to me (respect, just a little bit)
When you get home, now (just a little bit)

Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB

Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)
I get tired (just a little bit)
Keep on tryin' (just a little bit)
You're runnin' out of fools (just a little bit)
And I ain't lyin' (just a little bit)
(Re, re, re, re) 'spect
When you come home (re, re, re ,re)
Or you might walk in (respect, just a little bit)
And find out I'm gone (just a little bit)
I got to have (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)

Jesus wasn't made of wheat...

Jesus wasn't made of wheat...

If my need to be RIGHT is greater than my desire for TRUTH, then I will not recognize it when it arrives ~ Libertybelle

When I find articles here I don't agree with

or are irritating I just do not read them; simple. Seems many appreciate the link.

Don't Knock It Until You Try It

Try going without wheat for a week or three. See if you discover what I did: that I was addicted to it (see my other comments).

Bread in the Bible was not made using the wheat we have today, and "bread" in your quote was meant as an analogy, not a dietary recommendation.

What do you think?

There are many really

There are many really wonderful ideas here, only corn has it's own issues as it too is an inflammatory food. I stay away from all corn products myself.

When you take into consideration that our bodies are still in the hunter-gatherer diet mode, grains are relatively new food to our bodies and our systems have not had the time to adjust/evolve to this change. Hence it is possible - and there is scientific evidence that appears to back this - that many of the diseases and problems we suffer from may be caused by this change to a grain based diet.I have found the Paleo Diet to be the closest to what humans have evolved to eat.

We are grass fed cattle ranchers and have learned about grain issues with our cattle and made the transition to grass fed for healthier cattle and more nutritious beef. This naturally prompted us to investigate how grains effect human health and nutrition. Here's a website from a grass fed beef company that can get one started on learning about grain issues:

Here's an excerpt from that web site where it discusses grain based diet issues:

"...Amazingly, the worst grain is corn! And wouldn't you know it, corn is the most abundant grain produced in America! Not only does it have the worst fatty acid profile (Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio) of nearly all grains (which skews the fat balance in the membranes of all animal body cells negatively impacting cell function), but it is also a fungal host to 22 different fungi including Aspergillus. Some of these fungi put out body debilitating mycotoxins that can literally kill animals and people. This is why the US Government tests corn for aflatoxin, one of the most deadly and highly carcinogenic toxins on the planet. Many condemned corn supplies end up in animal feeds (not only for livestock in feedlots but family pets too.)..."

If my need to be RIGHT is greater than my desire for TRUTH, then I will not recognize it when it arrives ~ Libertybelle

All grains cause

All grains cause inflammation.

you're right! were just not

you're right! were just not meant to eat that stuff!

If my need to be RIGHT is greater than my desire for TRUTH, then I will not recognize it when it arrives ~ Libertybelle

" were just not meant to eat that stuff!"

That pretty much sums it up!

Nice Post!

I like to cook. Thinking about trying this out.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thanks for the tips Ed

The Chipotle salad bowl is a staple for me :)

I also love quinoa.

Quitting wheat reminds me of my experience quitting smoking. So far it has been in fits and starts. I'll go for a while, then I'll fall off the wagon. There is an addictive quality to it, no doubt, something the Wheat Belly book talks about.

Right when I was discovering this, and was quit for a couple of weeks for the first time, I went to meet a couple friends at the bar. I ended up breaking down and not only having a beer, but a burger as well. And after not having wheat for a couple of weeks, the feeling of biting into that burger was like a full body orgasm! No joke.

So there is a lot of experimentation for me. Just like with quitting smoking, there are strategies and management issues.

Thanks for the tips. You have some good ones and I'm sure they'll be helpful to many here and across internet land.

I forgot about beer!

I've been drinking apple cider instead. I particularly love Angry Orchard.

And yes, I can totally relate to the addiction aspect of wheat!

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

Michael Nystrom's picture

Ah yes, beer

Anheuser Busch actually makes a gluten free beer called Red Bridge. I've tried it. Like the other gluten free beers I've tried, it is 'meh.'

I'm not impressed with something trying to be something it is not. Cider is a good choice. It is what it is.

Lately I've been into Whiskey Sours - with fresh lemons & limes and a little sugar. Also Greyhounds with vodka and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. There seems to be something healthy about drinking alcohol with the fresh fruit juice.

I never noticed it when I was younger, but every form of alcohol has its own particular high to be appreciated. Champagne is a particularly interesting one, too ;)

I find beer too bloating..

all those carbs. I usually drink red wine. But recently, I was introduced to sake. Not only is it very good, but it is good for you! It is actually good for the liver and raises your good cholesterol. It's made from rice, so no wheat, but not sure about the gluten. I don't think rice has gluten in it.

Widmer Brother's

Widmer's in Portland makes a couple good gluten free/removed beers. It's a real treat but I don't know how wide the market is. That Red Bridge stuff doesn't cut it.


It's called Omission, and they have both a pale ale and a lager. Widmer claims this is the only gluten-free "real" beer on the market. Apparently they hold the patent on a mysterious process that removes the gluten from the beer after it's been produced. The FDA doesn't let them market it with a gluten-free label as of yet, but each bottle has a code that allows you to view the test results from that particular batch. It's pretty tasty stuff, especially the lager. I'm not gluten-free, but I'd drink one without hesitation.

Regarding tips to get over the hump of quitting

First, there can be a bit of increased irritability when going gluten free. Be prepared for the urge to snip at people more often. Going dairy-free can increase the intensity of your reaction when irritated. Do your loved ones a favor and don't do both at once.


Don't go overboard looking for alternatives to normally gluten-containing items. Gluten is a unique molecule and it's hard to simulate its effects in other foods. There will be many expensive disappointments in discovering what brands or types of replacements are acceptable. Those disappointments will make you want the real thing more.

Make your quitting phase about exploring all the great things that can be done with foods that are left. Get used to a fork and plate again. Cutting boards and soup thermoses are your friends. Get some potato chips, maybe even salt and vinegar potato chips, to cushion you while you handle the loss of the sensory experience of gnawing through that gluteny texture.

I can give you a few disappointment-free hints so you don't have to experience anything too inferior during your quitting phase.

Almond flour cheesecake crusts and crumble pie crusts are superior in every way except cost. The world has been making crumble crusts wrong.

Pancakes = 2 ripe bananas + 1 large egg + 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder. I'm serious. No flour needed. And it's too sweet to need syrup, unless you're talking about Hershey's Special Dark syrup which is bitter enough to complement it.

Domino's pizza makes a decent gluten-free crust.

I don't recommend quinoa. It has saponins which cause their own form of damage to the intestines.


If you do go back to gluten, remember that the gut flora that breaks it down has been starving. Whether you are sensitive to gluten or not, a sudden reintroduction will result in rapid gut-emptying. Only cheat with more than trace amounts when you have the next 12 hours free.

Defend Liberty!

and I don't recommend almond flour :)

It has a terrible omega-6 profile and is very calorie dense. Everything in moderation, my friend. Once in a while is fine, but not as a staple, IMHO. Too many paleo recipes rely on almond flour. You are just replacing flour with a higher calorie alternative.

For the pancakes, that's a great idea. I never tried paleo pancakes sans the flour. Have you tried it with chestnut flour? I have been experimenting with chestnut flour, since it used to be a huge staple both in Europe and here in the U.S. before the blight killed our chestnut trees. I did not include it in my tips, though, because it is rather expensive.

Mmmmm, salt and vinegar potato chips......that is like crack to me.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu