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WIAW: The Wheat Experiment

Note: Shortly after publishing this post, I had a very bad IBS attack and have gone back to a mostly gluten-free diet. But I leave this post up here because re-introducing high-FODMAP foods is important, even if the results aren’t always lovely.

Friends: I eated wheat.

I am not gluten-intolerant, as I sometimes (but rarely) take the time to explain in face-to-face “real life.” I’ve avoided wheat for over a year now because it contains fructans, and fructans can be a trigger food for those with IBS. (For more about the low-FODMAP diet, an elimination diet I followed to help minimize my symptoms and identify my personal trigger foods, see here.)

However, I recognized a while ago that I could tolerate a fairly high amount of fructan-containing fruits and veggies, such as onions, garlic, grapefruit, brussels sprouts, etc. I also often eat a big bowl of oatmeal, which contains fructans as well, although not as much as wheat. Surely I’d be able to tolerate some wheat, I thought.

So this last week I’ve been adding wheat to my meals a couple of times a day. This has allowed me to expand my repertoire of foods that I can eat here at the YMCA, and I got to try dishes like French toast, a few bites of biscuits and gravy, chicken parmesan, and meatloaf.

The results?

Inconclusive.

I have still felt fairly functional most of the time since I first started re-introducing wheat about a week ago. For me, fairly functional is about as good as it gets.

I did have very uncomfortable cramps and discomfort on Sunday night. However, this might have been caused not simply by the wheat but by the breakfast combo of several high-FODMAP foods: French toast (high in fructans), grapefruit (high in fructans), Greek yogurt (high in lactose), and tea with soy milk (high in fructans and GOS.) All of these I can tolerate individually, but together might be pushing my limits.

Here’s the conclusion I tentatively draw from this experiment: wheat is okay, but I may want to go easy on it. I may want to continue to choose gluten-free options at home when possible. I may also want to be careful, if I eat wheat, not to pair it with too many other high-FODMAP foods.

Which means I can’t go crazy on the raisin bran. A little sad, since raisin bran is my favorite cereal. Especially amazing with walnuts. 😉

Still, even though I’m a little unsure of the results of my test for the time being, I’m still glad I did it, and I hope to stick with it at least a little longer. Even if I have to be careful when I eat wheat, it’s one more thing I won’t have to turn down when friends go out for pizza, serve a birthday cake, or order an appetizer of pita and hummus to share.

And without further ado, here’s what I ate on day 3 of my wheat experiment. (Also–last WIAW featuring food from the dining hall at the Y–hooray!)

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Breafast: wheaty (i.e. non-gf) waffles with peanut butter, honeydew, mandarin oranges, Yorkshire Red tea

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Lunch: Mediterranean-style rice, chicken, feta, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red and green peppers

Snack: potato chips, orange

Snack: potato chips, orange

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Supper: rice, steamed veggies, beef stroganoff

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Dessert: raspberry bars (another wheaty treat!)

Have you ever tried to re-introduce something after eliminating it from your diet for a time?

What’s your favorite cereal, and what do you like to top it with?

 

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6 comments

  1. I am lactose intolerant and also gluten intolerant. I tried a little bit of dairy and it was a no-go. It can be so frustrating! That breakfast looks awesome though!

    1. Joyce says:

      I’m sorry, Heather. I hear ya on the frustration–it can be frustrating when just a little tiny bit of something sets you off 🙁

  2. Evangeline says:

    I don’t usually eat dairy, and a few days ago, I just had a very dairy filled day. It was delicious, but boy was my tummy angry. I think it’s good to reintroduce foods every once in a while and just see how your body responds, especially if it’s a food you really love or miss eating 🙂 Good luck with the wheat experiment!

    1. Joyce says:

      I think so too. There’s a fine line between cutting something out for health reasons and unhealthy restricting. Sorry about your angry tummy. I find lactose pills help some with that, but I know the protein in dairy is also very hard to digest.

  3. That mediterranean lunch looks delicious!

  4. Ellie says:

    I’ve never eliminated anything (other than animal products but that was for ethical reasons). But when I was training, I went off most gluten. When I was done with the race, I started eating it again and was fine. I mean, it’s not like I binged on it, I just started eating sandwiches occasionally again. I’m glad it’s working for you 🙂

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