Free Wheat Bellies!

      74 Comments on Free Wheat Bellies!

Chareva was out at the farm this morning while I stayed home to record a podcast interview.  When the interview was over, I took off my headphones and became aware of an odd sound coming from the living room, where the girls were watching TV.  It was a crunching sound.

Are they eating nuts? I wondered.  Nope, I went looking for nuts last night while watching Sons of Anarchy.  No nuts in the house.  Bacon?  Nope … there was no cooked bacon around when I grabbed a cup of coffee before the podcast interview, and the girls wouldn’t dare fry bacon themselves.

When I went to investigate the mysterious crunching, I found the girls eating from a dish of dry cereal.

What the heck?! We don’t keep cereal in the house.  Was Chareva persuaded by the wheat-promoting troll who left all those nonsensical comments on my latest post about Wheat Belly? Did she decide to conduct a blind wheat challenge?

Turns out our Sunday newspaper had arrived with three free samples of cereal, courtesy of General Mills.  Nice of them to give away free health food … and I know it’s health food, because as you can see, the words Whole Grain appear on each box.

Realizing they were busted, the girls began negotiations.

“Can we eat these?  They’re just little boxes.”


“How about if we just eat one box every day?”

“Nope.  Cereal is junk food.”

“Uh … can we split one box a week?”

“Okay, you can split one box, once per week.  That’s it.”

They had already finished half of the Wheaties.  Here’s what they were splitting:

That’s for 3/4 of a cup.  Back in the days when I thought whole-grain cereals were health food, I ate the stuff for breakfast.  But I never ate 3/4 of a cup and then said, “Boy, I’m full!”  I probably ate more like two cups, so I was starting my day with around 130 carbohydrates by the time I added the milk (low-fat, of course), but only 16 or so grams of protein and not much fat.  No wonder I was famished by noon.

When Chareva came home, we went to the county recreation center, where she and I usually take turns lifting weights while the girls swim.  A cute little girl who looked to be about four years old was also swimming.  When she got out of the pool, I noticed she (like her father) already had a pot belly.

I’ll bet they eat whole-grain cereals for breakfast.


74 thoughts on “Free Wheat Bellies!

  1. Bridget

    I am taking a nutrition class as one of my courses this semester and thanks to you I can’t read my textbook without hitting my head on my desk. It’s full of fats are bad grains are good rhetoric. Sigh.

    I apologize. Perhaps you can wear a helmet to class?

  2. Remnant

    Don’t you get it? Wheaties are designed to be a cereal for high-performance athletes. So by eating it, you are magically transformed into a high-performance athlete. Understand? It’s that simple.

    No wonder I was such a jock as a teenager …

  3. James Oliver Deckard

    I agree about not being so strict with the sprogs. Nothing worse than a fanatical parent. What are your thoughts on apple juice? I ask because I love the stuff. I eat a good amount of bacon, olives, feta cheese and anchovies so I get quite thirsty. Also after workouts. London (England) tap water is disgusting and I am too mean to buy bottled water – I use a water filter but much prefer glugging apple juice.

    I read somewhere on some GI index page that pressed apple juice , not from concentrate, has a low GI index. And when we talk about carbs, it’s the GI index that is really the issue with insulin spikes and whatnot, isn;t it?
    I can’t get hold of any low-carb ice-cream in England either. Even the Cornish icecream made with real clotted is also full of sugar and other questionable junk. The point (you and others have made) about fat being important in satiety needs to be emphasized more I think.
    Commiserations about your distributor. I’d like to see Fathead in shops over here. Maybe by the meat counter 😉

    We stopped buying apple juice a long time ago. Too much sugar. When we go out for a meal, they sometimes have apple juice.

  4. Gina

    I’m probably older than you, and my mom did feed us eggs, bacon, sausage and maybe oatmeal for breakfast when we were young. The mailman used to distribute the single-size samples of cereals – remember the ones you open and eat out of the box? My mom was an immigrant so I think in the beginning she couldn’t read all the boxes and cans in the market, and in her country people are (were) more wary of crappy foods, and mothers are supposed to cook meals from scratch every day using good ingredients, so she cooked relatively whole foods. When we got older and she got busier she succumbed and started buying the cereals. I mean, the U.S. is an advanced country, right?

    Yes, we have many advanced cases of diabetes now.

  5. moreporkplease

    ““Other Carbohydrate”

    This usually means cellulose, a.k.a. sawdust, which many “healthy foods” add to increase their fiber counts.

    I think in this case it’s just starch from the what. The fiber count was listed separately.

  6. Stephanie

    what’s this about Fat Head not on anymore? Thats very sad, I’ve been telling everyone I know to watch it! SO glad I saw it while it was available!

    It’s over a battle with our international distributor — who hasn’t distributed anything, but want to hang onto the rights. We’ll be filing a lawsuit to get rid of them.

  7. Brooke

    I’m sorry, totally unrelated, but just read a crawl on CNN that said, “Denmark imposing tax on foods high in saturated fat”

    So idiocy seems to be world-wide affliction..

    I’m afraid we’ve managed to export it.

  8. A dad

    I’m relieved to hear that your daughters will still crave cereal after all that you’ve learned in your household. Our household is very similar, with barely a trace of wheat, yet our six year old daughter (who notices and makes fun of all the wheat that people eat) would still happily consume a box of wheat cereal if I let her.

    I guess there’s just something irresistible about wheat to a child.

    Like you, we’ve decided not to be wheat Nazi’s, allowing her to have wheat once a week or so. It just doesn’t seem right to allow her to attend her little friends’ wheat parties (I mean, birthday parties) and not allow her to have a cupcake or a square of cake. In addition to that making her an outcast among her friends, we fear that totalitarian no-wheat enforcement now would just cause a rebound, effect when she’s out of our sight.

    At this age, I think it’s more about laying a good foundation and educating our child about the ills of wheat than it is to strive for 100% adherence.

    Sure, why wouldn’t most kids like a box of sugary grains? I loved that stuff as a kid.

  9. Jared

    Thats crazy! I was at my local gym and they had a big basket full of Wheaties Fuel for free samples!! at the gym!! haha, still promoting it as health food.

    You know it’s cheap when they can just give it away.

  10. Susan

    I wonder how many parents have come home and found their gluten intolerant children, or worse yet, their children with known celiacs disease, sitting in front of the TV eating the cereal they found in the Sunday paper?


    Let’s hope not many.

  11. Underground

    “Even the Cornish icecream made with real clotted is also full of sugar and other questionable junk.”

    You can always crank your own you know. We had lots of summers of grilling out, then hand cranking some homemade ice cream for dessert. Maybe with some fresh, hot blackberry (with blackberries we picked) cobbler.

    We have an ice cream maker. We don’t use it much, but when we do we use cream, berries or cocoa powder and Truvia.

  12. Midwestern Housefrau

    Have emailed you once or twice with articles but thought I’d comment on this post. I think it’s funny that you mentioned on one comment that one of your girls stopped eating and mentioned a stomach complaint. My hubby pops rollaids all the time, every day and made a doctor’s appointment next week because its becoming a real issue for him. He’s not even overwieght. I’m trying to convince him to stop eating the nutritional refuse aka wonderbread, buns, chips, and more bread. He is all on board with the low-carb thing and tells me all about the stuff he wants on the shopping list ……while he’s fixing a bacon and egg sandwitch between two pieces of white bread..grrrrr I’m going to challenge him to go without wheat for a week and see if the stomach and fatigue issues lessen.

    I hope he tries it. I used to pop Pepto-Bismal pills at least a few times per week. Haven’t needed one of those in years.

  13. Sid Mannluv

    Man I used to wolf down Wheaties! I think the serving size per container was listed at two. I feel so much better starting off my day with sausage, eggs (fried in coconut oil), and bacon. I have it every morning and don’t feel tired of the same old same old. Gee I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that I am feeding my body what it wants and that it tastes good. Which reminds me, thanks to you I cook with coconut oil almost every meal. I have a shrine dedicated to you, where I give thanks for being enlightened through Fat Head about the wonderful world of coconut oil.

    Oh and lets be honest now, we all know the wheat troll was giving you and your wife some serious doubts about Dr. Davis and his claims.

    Yeah, that theory about psychosomatic reactions to wheat had us going for awhile there.

  14. Lynnanne

    @Galina L.

    I keep a jar of coconut oil in my desk drawer. It’s my guilty secret. If I get peckish mid-afternoon…hmm…I COULD go get myself a nice hearthealthybranmuffin from the cafeteria, or I could sneak a teaspoonful of coconut oil when no one is looking (I sneak it because I’d rather not explain why I’m eating spoonfuls of a weird-looking waxy substance from an unlabeled jar; it smacks too much of the macrobiotic crowd and their bizarre “food” choices). It feels like I’m hiding a vodka bottle in my desk. OKay, I am, but that’s a different desk drawer. 🙂

    Hiding coconut oil in a drawer? That’s just silly. Get yourself a hip flask.

  15. Nowhereman

    Tom wrote:

    “Sure, why wouldn’t most kids like a box of sugary grains? I loved that stuff as a kid.”

    Yup, which explains all too well why many of us developed health issues as teens and young adults.

    It’s why I spent most of my youth ashamed to be seen in public without a shirt.

  16. Paul B.

    There are some foods that are pretty much impossible to buy in a healthy version at a grocery store. All the cereals I see have some type of sugar added. It’s a major ripoff too–a few cents’ worth of flour and sugar for 4-6 dollars a box!!

    Also I can’t find any salad dressings that don’t have sugar and corn/soybean/cottonseed/peanut oil. Even the ones labeled “olive oil dressing” contain only a small amount of olive oil and are mainly Frankenfats.

    You pretty much have to make your own if you want to avoid the garbage.

  17. Nowhereman

    Paul B. wrote:

    “Also I can’t find any salad dressings that don’t have sugar and corn/soybean/cottonseed/peanut oil. Even the ones labeled “olive oil dressing” contain only a small amount of olive oil and are mainly Frankenfats.”

    Yeah, tell me about. I just make a nice light dressing out of either coconut oil and or extra virgin olive oil with apple cider vinegar. I also sometimes just pour a couple tablespoons worth of melted Kerrygold butter or goat’s milk butter as well. It’s cheap, quick, and IMHO very yummy.

  18. Tessa Childs

    I too keep coconut oil at work, in one of my filing cabinets. Not too sure what to do as my secretary is going to re-arrange these when I go on holiday, but I haven’t got room in my desk!!

  19. Nick S

    Those “healthy whole grains” are incredibly pervasive! Yesterday, representatives from a local gym came to my workplace to provide a “healthy” lunch and (the un-advertised catch; no such thing as a free lunch) try to recruit people for a corporate fitness challenge. The “healthy” food they provided was grilled chicken or Boca burgers on “wheat” (not actual whole grain, but “wheat” buns made with white flour and a little bit of whole wheat flour for color) plus baked “whole grain” chips, and a fruit and veggie tray with, of all things, caramel dipping sauce.

    I asked them why they chose those foods, and they said, basically, “well, we want to show people that healthy food can be delicious, too!” I was like “but there’s some incredibly unhealthy stuff out here! “Enriched” bread buns? Caramel dip?” The response? “Oh, those things are okay in moderation.”

    That mindset is just insane to me… the implication is that healthy food is punishment, so you have to mix incredibly unhealthy foods like caramel dip (16g of sugar per 2 tbsp serving!) and white bread (28g carb per bun) in with your actually healthy vegetables, fruits, and meats.

    The worst part was that I took a couple of chicken breasts and a pile of veggies, and they told me that without the bun, I didn’t have a “well-rounded meal.” I replied that I’d just lost 50 lbs by avoiding “well-rounded meals” and left before succumbing to the urge to pontificate.

    Well-rounded meals can make you well-rounded.

  20. C

    I haven’t eaten breakfast regularly since, like, third grade. I used to go on nothing; now i just grab a cup of coffee with cream (real cream, of course; the USDA would be horrified at my lack of soy). If I do eat breakfast I probably have a big test that day. Some people call it unhealthy, but that’s really just what my body’s used to.

    If you’re not hungry, you don’t need to eat.

  21. Marc Drops

    Great post on the wonders of Whole Wheat! Glad to see you are training your children to avoid the problems with genetically modified wheat. Carbs are killing us and we better learn how to get through life with a minimal amount of them.

  22. Julia

    Wow..I really wish I was given this kind of direction growing up. I remember as a child I would eat a burger and always take the bun off. I never wanted the bread. My mother would yell at me for not eating the bun and force me to put the bun back on and eat the rest of the burger with it. This happened with various other sandwich-esque meals as well. She also made me drink liquid sugar..I mean orange juice…with every breakfast “so I wouldn’t get sick”. Needless to say I grew up an extremely pudgy child and evolved into a fat teenager.

    I’m sure your mom meant well. So did mine when we started eating Egg Beaters and cereal instead of eggs.


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