Last year I wasn’t really happy with the path I was on nor the results I was getting. Fitness declining, weight increasing, serious acid reflux, occasional migraines, mediocre sleep, lower back pain and the asthma that I’ve battled for decades. Over Christmas I read a bit of Tim Ferriss’ latest how-to: The Four Hour Body. Some interesting stuff, some crazy stuff and definitely some thanks-no-thanks stuff. Inspired me, but I won’t give it two thumbs up.
However, I had a big take-away:
Track your data. If you actually want to know what works and what doesn’t you have to keep records.
Another important idea (not just from the book): If what you are doing isn’t working, try something else.
Well, Tim Ferriss is pretty down on simple carbs and some of my worst acid indigestion problems seemed related to them, so I decided I would cut way back on rice, potatoes and flour and track my results. I was in for a big surprise:
Within 4 days my stomach started getting better. Within 2 weeks I took my last antacid (haven’t had one since). My fitness level started improving. Sleep was better. Within 6 weeks or so I noticed that my breathing was better. I cut my asthma medication in half.
I studied the relationship between acid reflux and simple carbs. I found a gastroenterologist who didn’t know why it happens, but only that he had the same issue! I studied more. I found a correlation between asthma and acid reflux. I found high rates of occupational asthma among people working with wheat. I found that wheat lectins can block stomach lining regeneration in some people.
So I’m off wheat. I’m also keeping other simple carbs and simple sugars to a minimum and experimenting with the dietary and health advice from The Primal Blueprint. It’s dry in some places (you’ll learn a LOT about metabolism, insulin, glucose, etc), but the gist is to live more like our pre-agriculture ancestors did (which is the diet and exercise patterns for which our bodies evolved).
Bottom line: I’ve been off all my asthma medication for almost three weeks now. I’ve run over 22 miles and played two sets of tennis without asthma problems. I’m sleeping great. I’m leaner. I’m stronger. I’m happier. The transition (which I believe is 80%+ about wheat sensitivity) is amazing.
Will I miss cupcakes? Yeah… and I *might* break down and have a molten chocolate lava cake sometime, but seriously… to feel THIS good is ample reason to change my ways. Happy, healthy, lean and strong. It’s a brilliant trade-off!