We Can Rebuild Him (Phase Two in which Doris has her oates taken away…)

Posted: September 12, 2013 in Equipment, Run, The Plan
Tags: , , ,

…well, the glutinous kind anyway.

Yes, it’s true…the next phase of the ‘We Can Rebuild Him’ plan has been initiated; I’ve gone gluten free.  ‘So long, sammiches!  Hello, leafy greens and cornmeal flatbreads!

While I’m only two weeks in, I’ve already been noticing lots of positive differences which will lend themselves well to regaining my running form. I’m down 4 lbs. from my original 205.5 lbs.; my left foot has made some miraculous improvement in reduced swelling, stiffness and soreness; the ever present runner’s rash on my ass has all but disappeared; my allergies have dissipated; my ravenous appetite is under control and, best of all, I feel amazing.  Like, seriously amazing.  It’s almost too good to be true.  But most importantly, my confidence with this overall plan is on the rise.  So its wins all around and everything seems to be coming up Terry!  All from cutting out one thing…wheat!  Well, that and Dr. Burr of course but, still, who would have thunk it?

So why gluten then?  After all, there are plenty of other diet trends on the market like the Paleo diet, the Atkins diet, the Mediterranean Diet, Jenny Craig, the Master Cleanse, etcetera and so forth (hell, there’s even the ridiculous Subway diet if you really want to stretch) and, hey, whole grains are supposed to be healthy aren’t they?  Well, as it turns out, not so much.

I know!  Say what?

GlutenForget all the popular buzz words circulating in the press lately serving to scare you off your morning croissant like GMO, Monsanto, Round-Up, et al.  The theory regarding gluten particularly is that what we are now passing off as ‘wheat’, however cleverly disguised as an innocent bran muffin or slice of whole grain toast is actually the transformed product of years’ worth of intensive genetic research conducted during latter half of the twentieth century.  So the long and short of it is that this bastardized form of ‘wheat’ as we now recognize and consume regularly with, like, everything, is not really compatible for proper digestion and use by our bodies at all.  Our bodies are now having to deal with this completely alien food stuff that serves no more purpose to our health and well-being than, say, the Kardashian’s contribute to Astrophysics.

So the real problem now is that this Frankenwheat is now responsible for a whole host of bodily health issues like weight gain, inflammation and pH effects that erode cartilage and bone, digestive issues, migraines and headaches, chronic fatigue…the list goes on and on.  Shit, throw ‘anal leakage’ in there and it begins to read like the last few nanoseconds of a really bad Infomercial.

In fact, there are over 250 recognized symptoms with wheat intolerance.  So with that many possible issues coupled with the amount of gluten I consumed daily (multiplied over the 41 years I’ve spent on this earth), well, that’s a buttload of possible issues, right?  Shit, the chances are good then that I’ve just simply learned to live with these issues as a part of my everyday life despite the detriment they’re having on my training, performance and everyday life.  And, furthermore, if any of this is actually true, then my body has seen more harsh realities than a Detroit trauma ward.

But let’s back up a little bit for a moment.  What the hell is gluten?  Gluten is the generic name for certain types of proteins contained in the common cereal grains wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives.  Simply put, gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and maintain its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture.  Gluten may also be found in some cosmetics, hair products, and other dermatological preparations.  Since the recent trend started not so long ago to reduce our fat and cholesterol intake and increase carbohydrate calories – deemed as healthier – a unique situation was predicated where products containing wheat have come to dominate the marketplace.  In short, it’s in absolutely everything.

Look at your average Supermarket, just about every aisle is absolutely dominated with pre-packaged products that contain gluten.  From the bread aisle to the frozen food section, it’s a literal Glutenfest.  How about most neighborhood restaurants, cafes, and breakfast nooks?  Fuggedaboutit!  So, if this protein actually turns out to be as bad as I have suggested, well, that’s just a big ‘ol pile of fucked up if ever I saw one.


Anyway, I can’t for certain say that gluten is good or bad for you or bad.  The simple truth is that I’m undecided.  To speak to some people you’d think they consider gluten to be the Devil incarnate, to others it’s simply the next fad in dieting.  So while I accept that there is a strong case to be made for the anti-gluten platform, there is also the strong argument that sammiches are fucking awesome and I do LOVE my sammiches.  But if my beloved sammiches are keeping from achieving my best performance-wise, then I will suck it up and ditch those gluten laden fuckers quicker than you can say ‘pass the ibuprofen’.   Nothing is going to come between me and my goals.

All I really know for sure at this point is that without giving the gluten-free lifestyle a chance and experiencing the difference for myself firsthand then I might be missing out on a huge opportunity for potential improvement.  If my running is ultimately going to improve, then my body will have to HTFU.  That’s a fact!  So losing some of the added fat I’ve managed to accumulate this past year while further reducing the amount of inflammation in my joints and muscles (particularly when I start ramping up the distances) can only be advantageous.  It’s a simple equation:

Fat ass – sammiches = success. 

Well, something like that anyway.

Now that Kelly and I have launched ourselves headlong into this little kitchen laboratory project I have already seen some impressive results that I mentioned earlier.   The sore toe on my left foot which has been causing me grief has made some significant improvements and I even completed my first pain free run only three days into the diet so, hey, there has to be something to this gluten free thing.  I’d be an idiot to not recognize it and as a triathlete, I literally had a complete and utter ‘Nerdgasm’ over the whole revelation.

But that doesn’t mean that switching over and avoiding gluten is going to be easy.  Hells no!  In fact, it’s going to a monumental change in our lifestyle, especially given that we still have an eight-year-old running around who loves her Twinkies, cookies and breakfast waffles.  Who would blame her?  The other challenge is that gluten free products aren’t exactly cheap.  Likewise, for whatever reason, the absence of gluten doesn’t automatically mean they’re ‘healthy’ either.  In fact, many gluten free products are high in sodium.  So we need to figure how to be cost effective and practical when it comes to our weekly grocery shopping trips which is harder than it sounds.

We have already practiced making gluten free bread and tortilla wraps (click HERE  for our latest effort) but, mostly, we’re attempting to eat simply by including more natural fruits, nuts, and vegetables.  And, yeah, no more sammiches…of course.   We don’t want to over-think it any more than we want to over spend, dig?  So providing we’re successful in this new Phase Two endeavor, I hope to see the weight continue to drop off, my body regain its strength and natural form, and my overall fitness skyrocket prior to my next competition season.  Oh, and Kelly has some personal goals in mind she wants to accomplish with this as well but she doesn’t post those to public websites like me so you’ll just have to live in suspense.

Cross your breadsticks, folks!


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