Goobye gluten, hello green drinks

Originally published in The Kingston Whig-Standard on March 21, 2013, all rights reserved.

Second in a series of columns by Kingston Whig-Standard columnist Jan Murphy, who is chronicling his battle with weight loss and using DDP Yoga.

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It was a week of firsts, and incredible results, in my foray into the world of DDP Yoga.

As I wrote last week, I have decided to try DDP Yoga, the brainchild of former professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, in an attempt to lose weight, get healthy and overcome chronic knee problems.

Two weeks ago, as I read through the guidebook, my interest was piqued by Page’s thoughts about going gluten-free. As a journalist, I’m naturally curious about anything I don’t know a lot about.

To the best of my knowledge, I am not allergic to wheat, nor does my body reject it. If anything, my issue with wheat is that I enjoy it too much. Barely a day goes by that I don’t eat it, whether in the form of my favourite meals, like submarine sandwiches, or pizza,or toast, etc.

It was for this reason that I began to give serious consideration to cutting gluten out of my diet. I’ve always believed that only when you are completely honest with yourself can you truly tackle something major like quitting smoking, curbing eating habits and losing and controlling weight.

So I decided to be honest with myself this time. Bread is a real weakness for me. It is also undoubtedly one of the main reasons I struggle with my weight. More than pop, chips, chocolate, greasy foods or alcoholic beverages, bread and bread products are something I eat too much of.

My thinking was, if I committed to going gluten-free, I would undoubtedly find myself eating fewer bread products.

I’m happy to report that my thinking was bang-on. As I write this, I’m in my eighth day of gluten-free living. Along the way, I’ve discovered that I’m still able to enjoy many delicious foods – I’ve just had to look a little harder than usual.

A co-worker told me about the gluten-free bakery/cafe Silly Yak, in the west end. In my first week of new living, I visited it on a number of occasions. For anyone interested, you can get a mean sandwich on homemade gluten-free bread there, as well as some pretty healthy, and tasty, pizzas. They make some awful tempting sweets there, too, but so far I’ve managed to limit myself to sampling only the peanut butter cookies. I defy you to be able to tell the difference between the cafe’s gluten-free cookies and cookies from any other bakery. Delicious.

Gluten wasn’t the only thing I took aim at as I ventured into the world of DDP Yoga. I also cut out a significant amount of sugar, which I always seemed to be drawn to in the form of diet colas or chocolate bars, neither of which has passed my lips since I started my healthier approach to living.

I’ve also cut down on the number of dairy products I consume, and upped, dramatically, the number of raw foods I eat. Fruits and veggies have become my go-to foods, though I am attempting eat my fruit earlier in the day.

I’ve also began purchasing organic products where I can find them. Count me among those itching for the return of the fresh fruit and veggies at our local farmers’ markets this summer.

The other major change has been with regard to my drink of choice. I’ve increased the amount of water I drink and completely cut out not just pop, but also sugar-laden juices.

I’ve also added green drinks to my diet. Following a recipe in the DDP Yoga guide, I purchased romaine lettuce, green apples, kale, parsley, cucumber, celery and lemons and dusted off the juicer that hasn’t seen much action and began making myself one of those every day or two. I also added carrot to the mix. I’m still working to perfect the taste, but the energy I get from these drinks is unmatched by anything I’ve had before.

The results have been significant. I feel better, have more energy, no longer struggle with feeling bloated and I’ve lost a staggering six pounds in seven days.

And as you can probably imagine, success has bolstered my commitment.

I’m a realist. I don’t expect to go through the rest of my life without ever putting an unhealthy thing in my mouth again. That would be foolish and, quite frankly, if I promised to do that I’d be lying to myself.

That said, I do plan to remain gluten-free, as I’ve discovered many foods that are as tasty, if not more so, than those I enjoyed before. I’ve also eaten significantly less bread. Significantly.

As I incorporate the DDP Yoga programs into my healthier lifestyle (more on those next week), I plan to continue to teach myself better discipline with my eating habits and hopefully try some new foods along the way. If anyone has any gluten-free recipes I might enjoy, please email them to me.

In the meantime, I have some workouts to do.

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