Wednesday, February 08, 2017


Healthy Mar = Happy Mar
Yep you read that title right. Today marks my six month of eating almost no bread.
It was the end of summer last year when I finally made an effort to make a doctor's appointment. At the same time I promised myself that if this wouldn't lead to finding a solution to my health complaints I would call up a dietician. Luckily it never came to that thanks to a brilliant suggestion my doctor made: "Why don't you try cutting out bread for three weeks?"

So many great things have come from this simple idea. I am truly a happier and healthier person because of giving up bread. All this probably sounds a bit sudden to you so let me start at the very beginning.For as long as I can remember I've had digestive problems, often combined with painful bloating and feeling unenergetic. At times the pain became so unbearable that I couldn't walk or sit up straight. The only thing that would make the pain go away is sleep. So this is often what I did: hit the sack early and hope for a flat belly in the morning. Obviously this can't be the solution when it's early on in the day and you have work meetings or date nights planned with friends. Imagine having a very important day coming up (a job interview, your wedding day!) and you're worried it might all be ruined because of your tummy. No fun!
Enjoying a healthy smoothie and a plate full of veggies with my parents
I never knew what caused my issues. For year I had many prime suspects. Pancakes for example always seemed to have a connection with my digestive issues. But then there were times when I ate like five or six huge pancakes and nothing happened. A couple of years ago I saw a doctor and the advice she gave me was: exercise daily, drink a lot of water and eat foods that contain a lot of fiber. But no matter how I tried to live by those three rules I still felt sick to my stomach a couple of times each week. When you're not feeling well it really affects every aspect of your live: it lowers your energy level, decides for you whether or not you are going to the gym that day and can shift your entire mood from happy to grumpy.

Back to the doctor's last summer. I remember her telling me my symptoms sounded similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We discussed my vegetarian lifestyle and the things that I eat on a daily basis. My mom and dad always buy whole grain bread. We eat brown rice and I like my wraps to be whole wheat. But I do sometimes eat a few slices of French bread or a butter croissant. Not the best choices for me! And I almost always regret eating it because of the cloggy heavy feeling the white bread leaves on my stomach.

After a couple of days of eating no bread I experienced something incredible.... no more belly aches!!! I wanted to be sure this was a result of not eating bread and not some coincidence so I kept going without bread. And now, half a year has passed and I am never going back. I occasionally eat a whole wheat toast or a freshly baked whole wheat bagel but those are the exceptions.

The comments from my close friends and people that I work with varied widely, from "But if you don't eat bread than what do you eat?", "Are you gluten intolerant?" to "I wouldn't know what to pack for lunch..." and variations thereof. I understand all of these questions. In another post I will specifically address these questions and answer them.

I'm not saying bread is bad. But I would encourage you to quit bread for a couple of days and see if it does anything for you. This will also give you the opportunity to get creative with different breakfast and lunch ideas (more veggies and fruits please!). If you need a little inspiration feel free to check out my Instagram and Pinterest. I know bread is easy and versatile. At the same time there are many other options out there. And let's be real here, you only have one body, better take good care of it <3.

One thing I would like to stress is don't recklessly cut out food groups without consulting with a professional first. This could lead to vitamin deficiencies for example and you don't want that.
I am planning on writing more blog posts about health and food in the near future. Stay tuned to read what I eat instead of bread!

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