Here’s a newsflash: going without wheat is kak. It’s like that week you were off sick from varsity and just discovered a new free gentleman’s website, and got a severe case of chaff just when you figured out how to access the premium flicks.
So there we are, my wife and I, at the checkout at Pick’n’Pay… “Ooh look, the Cornetto Classic is only R9.50,” Monique exclaims (with a bit more enthusiasm than the comma implies).
“You know what’s crap about Cornetto?” I prod, knowingly.
“I don’t know, but you’re probably gonna tell me,” she responds.
“We can’t eat it because the cone contains wheat.”
Here’s a quick backstory: when my wife and I were newly-weds in the big bad city of Johannesburg, we afforded ourselves one small weekly luxury; a Sunday night Cornetto. If you’re married and paid for your own wedding, you know that the first couple of months are a bit skraal. And when she was pregnant and could stomach treats other than fruit-juice ice-lollies, I used to brave the Highveld chill and return… Bottom line, the Ola Cornetto is sacred in the Schutters household.
And I was the asshole who ruined it for her. It’s not only the Cornetto. On Saturday she also had to swear off her beloved KitKat, cheese sarmies, All Bran Flakes and Roman’s Pizza (another firm Sunday evening takeout favourite). We’ve also given up on eating pasta because the gluten-free brands are almost twice the price of the usual stuff! If that’s not bad enough, we had a peek at gluten-free flour and that is marked at almost four times the price over normal cake flour.
We now understand why people who swear by these eating plans lose weight so quickly: either you eat yourself bankrupt or you eliminate all flour-based products from your diet.
The saddest part of it all is that we’ve only cut out the wheat. Proper gluten-free eating is void of rye and oats as well! And those are the only two things left that bring me any comfort. I have oats for breakfast and rye is my bread alternative.
I’m not alone, though. My colleagues and fellow MHTeamFit challenge participants Jason, Arthur and Ian the hippie are all purging grains from their diet. Men’s Health have even launched an investigation into the food fad and we’re publishing our findings in the May issue.
The benefits of a wheat-free diet are almost immediately noticeable, but the costs are astronomical. If you are considering swearing it off, take solace in the lack of guilt when loading up on protein to make up the portion size.
Food was always gonna be my mountain, and I haven’t even started climbing yet.