Free Wheat Bellies!

      148 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.”

“Nope.”

“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.


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148 thoughts on “Free Wheat Bellies!

  1. b-nasty

    That Wheaties Fuel is particularly bad. I guess by designing it for active athletes, they feel justified in cranking up the sugar/carbs. For example, Cinnamon Toast Crunch (candy sold as cereal if there ever was) has 130kcal, 22g net carbs, and 10g sugar per 3/4 cup, and it tastes better.

    Breakfast cereal has to be one of the biggest food scams ever created. Load up $.50 worth of wheat sludge with HFCS and artificial flavors and sell it for $5.00/16oz.

    Professional athletes who burn thousand of calories in a short span can probably get away with eating that junk. Most of us can’t.

  2. Diane @ Balanced Bites

    Great story. I see pregnant men all the time, it’s very sad. If only they knew that bacon and eggs would keep them slim, perhaps they’d be able to enjoy eating and not being pregnant again.

    Cheers.

    As someone who ended up looking like a pregnant adolescent as we were all dutifully avoiding bacon and eggs because my dad had high cholesterol, I agree.

  3. Drew

    You should them eat it in raw milk!

    That’s half a good idea. The other half is cereal.

  4. Kim

    Tom,

    Way to stick with your guns! If I had found this WOE when my kids were young I might have made a difference. They aren’t obese but have been slowly gaining as adults. Can’t believe it came with the paper!

    I asked my seven-year-old later, “Does Daddy tell you not to eat cereal because he’s a mean daddy?”

    “No,” she replied, “it’s because you want us to be healthy.” She knows.

  5. Laurie-Avalanche

    Sad when I think that when I was a kid I WAS that girl getting out of the pool… and the chubby daddy would be my dad. That’s probably about the age my weight problem started. At least I can do something about it now.

    And you have.

  6. Drew

    Shame on you, Tom! Have you not taught your children to beware of strangers bearing carbs? = )

    I’ll enroll in parenting classes to get a refresher.

  7. Deanna

    Geesh… you turn your back for 5 minutes, and the whole-grains attack!

    I’m so glad your children have the benefit of informed parents who understand nutrition.

    You know, it makes me so upset when I think of how I used to feed my daughter on the advice of her pediatritian and the government. Skim milk, cereal, pasta, bananas, orange juice… basically sugar, sugar, sugar!!! I was so frustrated because I couldn’t figure out why she was so heavy.

    She spent her entire childhood being heavy and risking the onset of adult health-problems, all because I listened to others, instead of educating myself. I’m happy to say that she has lost 65 pounds since we watched your video in April. Her insulin resistance and the start of diabetic retinopathy are gone. At least she didn’t go her entire life this way.

    No one on this Earth can ever convince me that we were meant to eat Franken-wheat and other whole grains. I don’t care what the package says!

    For me and my house, we’ll serve the LARD! 😉
    LOL

    Your daughter, plus millions of other frustrated, overweight kids. I know; I was one of them.

  8. Katie

    Even primal kiddos don’t usually lose the baby belly until five or so.

    This wasn’t a baby belly, I’m sorry to say. I saw baby bellies on my daughters and their friends. This poor girl had quite a pot belly.

  9. Beowulf

    Cereal always left me hungry in an hour or two no matter how many bowls I ate. On the other hand, eggs and bacon keep me happy until well into the afternoon.

    Cereals a great deal for whoever sells lunches.

  10. Bradlee Clark

    2 cups?!? There wasn’t a bowl big enough in my kitchen to contain the amount of cereal I could eat in one sitting.

    So you ate from the Jethro bowl? (I know … showing my age with that reference.)

  11. Be

    I thought you were gonna march down to city hall and protest that they allowed marketers to distribute crap to your house!

    I am constantly humored when I go to the breakfast buffets at hotels and they have NO Whole Milk – you can choose skim or 2%. Along side they have fruit juices and tons of carbs. If I am lucky I can get a hard boiled battery egg (whatever they put in their pre-made eggs is NOT just eggs and processed meats that include MSG and sugar (which only cultists like us would recognize). Of course they always have the cereal churns!

    Yesterday I ordered the “low-carb” special at the hotel restaurant. They brought me a HUGE side of potatoes! I should be grateful they didn’t bring me toast.

    As I navigate my way to something almost resembling breakfast I always get stares from those carbing up on whole grains -they are sure that I am killing myself by having only Eggs, bacon and water.

    I’m familiar with that look. I enjoy what I get that look from people who look pasty and ill.

  12. Beccainsc

    When I saw the Tweet I was thinking (hoping) you were giving away free books!

    It’s been so long since we had cereal in the house I had forgotten how tiny the serving sizes were.

    To eat enough cereal to feel as if you’ve actually had a meal, you have to ingest a major carb load.

  13. FormerTNGuy

    But look at all those vitamins they are getting. I mean not only are they getting “Heart healthy whole grains” but they are getting 100% vitamin E, some vitamin D in there. I mean that stuff is just great. Never mind the wheat, sugar and “Other Carbohydrate”??? It has been so long since i have eat cereal what in the world is “Other Carbohydrate”?

    Probably mutant wheat.

  14. Lori

    Carbohydrate in general causes intestinal gas, and my experience was that wheat was one of the worst things (along with apples) for making me bloated. Having dropped wheat (and a lot of carbs per day), I dropped over 20 pounds, the bloated belly and a thick waist. I putter around the yard in shorts and a swimsuit top now with no more embarrassment than a four-year-old.

    I can attest that three bowls of cereal isn’t as filling as a cup of homemade low-carb hot cocoa. Yet what would most people regard as the junk food?

    When I stopped eating grains, I waved goodbye to frequent stomach upsets.

  15. Mike

    I am from Europe but currently being in the Northern American for 4-month studies. Now I can clearly see why there are so many obese people here. The food you eat. It is all bread. Doesn’t matter in what form: in form of taco, sandwich, hamburger, sub. And what food I can see in our university canteen: candies, chips, cereals, doughnuts, subs, sandwiches. What the…? Is it food? I cannot understand how people can eat this all the time. Canteen workers cannot get so surprised when i ask them to fry eggs, give meat without any bun. Another reason is noone actually walks here, everybody just drives, even if distance is just a few kilometers.

  16. Peggy Holloway

    Two weeks ago, our Sunday paper came with a very small box of whole grain cereal and a chocolate cereal bar of the same brand (I think they were both GM Fiber One). The bar was about 2” square. These products were being promoted as healthy, low-calorie choices. The cereal had 80 calories per box and the bar had 90. How hysterical – if you eat a a small enough portion, anything can be low-calorie, but these samples were really tiny! How could anyone fall for the idea that eating that junk could be healthy? We, of course, threw them both away, after I had read the “nutritional” info and had a good laugh.

    It tells you just how cheap subsidized grains are when they can give them away to draw customers.

  17. Jennifer Snow

    Now that I’ve gotten in the habit of checking food to see what’s in it, I’m frequently shocked by just how many grams of carbs there are in some foods. Every so often I’ll take a look at something in the hopes that it’s relatively low-carb so maybe I can sneak it in on a day when I don’t have much else on the way of carbs. I then put it back on the shelf where I found it.

    Then I go fry up some eggs in lard.

    Walk through a grocery store, and other than around the perimeter where the meats and produce are sold, you’re mostly looking at bags, boxes and cans of carbohydrates.

  18. b-nasty

    That Wheaties Fuel is particularly bad. I guess by designing it for active athletes, they feel justified in cranking up the sugar/carbs. For example, Cinnamon Toast Crunch (candy sold as cereal if there ever was) has 130kcal, 22g net carbs, and 10g sugar per 3/4 cup, and it tastes better.

    Breakfast cereal has to be one of the biggest food scams ever created. Load up $.50 worth of wheat sludge with HFCS and artificial flavors and sell it for $5.00/16oz.

    Professional athletes who burn thousand of calories in a short span can probably get away with eating that junk. Most of us can’t.

  19. Diane @ Balanced Bites

    Great story. I see pregnant men all the time, it’s very sad. If only they knew that bacon and eggs would keep them slim, perhaps they’d be able to enjoy eating and not being pregnant again.

    Cheers.

    As someone who ended up looking like a pregnant adolescent as we were all dutifully avoiding bacon and eggs because my dad had high cholesterol, I agree.

  20. Kim

    Tom,

    Way to stick with your guns! If I had found this WOE when my kids were young I might have made a difference. They aren’t obese but have been slowly gaining as adults. Can’t believe it came with the paper!

    I asked my seven-year-old later, “Does Daddy tell you not to eat cereal because he’s a mean daddy?”

    “No,” she replied, “it’s because you want us to be healthy.” She knows.

  21. Laurie-Avalanche

    Sad when I think that when I was a kid I WAS that girl getting out of the pool… and the chubby daddy would be my dad. That’s probably about the age my weight problem started. At least I can do something about it now.

    And you have.

  22. Drew

    Shame on you, Tom! Have you not taught your children to beware of strangers bearing carbs? = )

    I’ll enroll in parenting classes to get a refresher.

  23. Aaron Blaisdell

    You should aur the newspaper publisher for delivering toxins to your doorstep.

    And btw, next time you visit LA please look me up so I can show you how wonderful the city can be if you avoid the whole Beverley Hills/Hollywood area.

    I lived in L.A. for 11 years.

  24. Deanna

    Geesh… you turn your back for 5 minutes, and the whole-grains attack!

    I’m so glad your children have the benefit of informed parents who understand nutrition.

    You know, it makes me so upset when I think of how I used to feed my daughter on the advice of her pediatritian and the government. Skim milk, cereal, pasta, bananas, orange juice… basically sugar, sugar, sugar!!! I was so frustrated because I couldn’t figure out why she was so heavy.

    She spent her entire childhood being heavy and risking the onset of adult health-problems, all because I listened to others, instead of educating myself. I’m happy to say that she has lost 65 pounds since we watched your video in April. Her insulin resistance and the start of diabetic retinopathy are gone. At least she didn’t go her entire life this way.

    No one on this Earth can ever convince me that we were meant to eat Franken-wheat and other whole grains. I don’t care what the package says!

    For me and my house, we’ll serve the LARD! 😉
    LOL

    Your daughter, plus millions of other frustrated, overweight kids. I know; I was one of them.

  25. Katie

    Even primal kiddos don’t usually lose the baby belly until five or so.

    This wasn’t a baby belly, I’m sorry to say. I saw baby bellies on my daughters and their friends. This poor girl had quite a pot belly.

  26. Bethany

    Have you heard anything about colic being prevented by a mother having a low carb diet? I wondered if there were any studies done on the subject. I have had 5 children, and my first 4 had severe colic for the first 3-4 months of their lives. I have come to expect to be worried sick about my babies for the first months of their life because it happens every time. I actually thought maybe something was just wrong with my breastmilk. However, with my 5th baby, I decided to continue low carbing instead of giving it up after she was born (I was originally doing it to control my gestational diabetes). I didn’t do it for that reason- i did it because of all the research I had done and also from reading your website, realizing that none of that stuff (wheat, sugar) is good for me or my children to be consuming at all. But a pleasant side effect of this diet (among dozens of others) is that my daughter does not have colic! She doesn’t scream in pain for hours, and that is such a BLESSING! I have talked to doctors about colic in the past and they always told me to avoid dairy and vegetables like broccoli, because they cause gas. Well, I am eating more dairy than anything right now, and broccoli too…and all of the spicy foods I want, and my daughter is happy, content, and only cries when she is hungry…she doesn’t have gas all of the time, like the others did. I have no doubt it is a direct result of the low carb diet because it is the only thing I have done differently…and I’m so thankful because I have always been so distressed about colic, since doctors always have told me there’s no real way to prevent it from happening for sure.

    Yes, I’ve heard of that. Can’t remember which podcast interview it was.

  27. Beowulf

    Cereal always left me hungry in an hour or two no matter how many bowls I ate. On the other hand, eggs and bacon keep me happy until well into the afternoon.

    Cereals a great deal for whoever sells lunches.

  28. Bradlee Clark

    2 cups?!? There wasn’t a bowl big enough in my kitchen to contain the amount of cereal I could eat in one sitting.

    So you ate from the Jethro bowl? (I know … showing my age with that reference.)

  29. Be

    I thought you were gonna march down to city hall and protest that they allowed marketers to distribute crap to your house!

    I am constantly humored when I go to the breakfast buffets at hotels and they have NO Whole Milk – you can choose skim or 2%. Along side they have fruit juices and tons of carbs. If I am lucky I can get a hard boiled battery egg (whatever they put in their pre-made eggs is NOT just eggs and processed meats that include MSG and sugar (which only cultists like us would recognize). Of course they always have the cereal churns!

    Yesterday I ordered the “low-carb” special at the hotel restaurant. They brought me a HUGE side of potatoes! I should be grateful they didn’t bring me toast.

    As I navigate my way to something almost resembling breakfast I always get stares from those carbing up on whole grains -they are sure that I am killing myself by having only Eggs, bacon and water.

    I’m familiar with that look. I enjoy what I get that look from people who look pasty and ill.

  30. Beccainsc

    When I saw the Tweet I was thinking (hoping) you were giving away free books!

    It’s been so long since we had cereal in the house I had forgotten how tiny the serving sizes were.

    To eat enough cereal to feel as if you’ve actually had a meal, you have to ingest a major carb load.

  31. FormerTNGuy

    But look at all those vitamins they are getting. I mean not only are they getting “Heart healthy whole grains” but they are getting 100% vitamin E, some vitamin D in there. I mean that stuff is just great. Never mind the wheat, sugar and “Other Carbohydrate”??? It has been so long since i have eat cereal what in the world is “Other Carbohydrate”?

    Probably mutant wheat.

  32. Christopher

    You know, while it is true that anything can be low calorie or some other such thing, it’s always an extremely small portion. I love how everything these days is ALL about portion size. Yes, if you eat too much of ANYTHING it’s unhealthy, but that doesn’t mean that scaling down the size will suddenly make something healthier in terms of actual nutrition. I’m quite amazed Tom that they sent this stuff to you for free. After all, if you and many other people are getting it free, how will the executives in the big industries that make the stuff manage to pay themselves million dollar bonuses? It’s not like we can expect them to live on the same amount of money the average person makes. These people (and quite frankly their cereal) make me want to puke. Especially every time we get an olympic athelete to endorse a product like ‘Wheaties’. The only reason I can see that is they want people to associate the cereal (and grains in general) with good health and peak physical performance. I may not have the best health (I practically live off of sandwiches. Better than the stuff they serve at school. Last year, they even said I wasn’t allowed to salt my food, because it was unhealthy.). But i do however have fairly good physical fitness. I do this crazy thing a lot called…EXCERCISING!!!!! Both Tae Kwon Do and my fair share of walking. When the weather is nice, I even walk to work, which is a good three to three and a half mile distance, possibly more as I’ve never checked it out. I work at a buffet restaurant. I rarely actually eat the food, and although as an employee I get free beverages, I always take water before soda. Anyway, I’m way off topic. The point is, these people are sending out these to ‘promote good health’. The fact of the matter is, and correct me if you think I’m wrong, they want people to eat the stuff, find it tasty, get hooked and buy more. They don’t care about what it’s doing to people as long as they have more money in their pocket than the average American

    I don’t mind cereal companies marketing their products — that’s business. But I very much mind that the grains they sell are subsidized and promoted as health food with my tax dollars.

  33. Lori

    Carbohydrate in general causes intestinal gas, and my experience was that wheat was one of the worst things (along with apples) for making me bloated. Having dropped wheat (and a lot of carbs per day), I dropped over 20 pounds, the bloated belly and a thick waist. I putter around the yard in shorts and a swimsuit top now with no more embarrassment than a four-year-old.

    I can attest that three bowls of cereal isn’t as filling as a cup of homemade low-carb hot cocoa. Yet what would most people regard as the junk food?

    When I stopped eating grains, I waved goodbye to frequent stomach upsets.

  34. Mike

    I am from Europe but currently being in the Northern American for 4-month studies. Now I can clearly see why there are so many obese people here. The food you eat. It is all bread. Doesn’t matter in what form: in form of taco, sandwich, hamburger, sub. And what food I can see in our university canteen: candies, chips, cereals, doughnuts, subs, sandwiches. What the…? Is it food? I cannot understand how people can eat this all the time. Canteen workers cannot get so surprised when i ask them to fry eggs, give meat without any bun. Another reason is noone actually walks here, everybody just drives, even if distance is just a few kilometers.

  35. Roby

    After reading “Wheat belly” I looked around at my already low-carb diet to see what had gluten in it, I found it in odd places. Luckily I only had to eliminate about 3-5 items from my diet. I didn’t think it would make a difference but I was amazed at the difference it did make… in a very unexpected way.

    Sorry guys lol

    Usually my “monthly” is very painful, bad bad cramps. I used to take about 3000mg of ibuprophen a day! but this time around well.. almost no pain or pms! my husband is thrilled! I honestly never thought gluten would have an impact on that. It’s amazing. I’m shocked!

    I don’t know if it was just me, but I would love to hear input from other women.

    No worries, the subject doesn’t put me off. Better not, since I have a wife and two girls who will eventually become young women.

  36. Peggy Holloway

    Two weeks ago, our Sunday paper came with a very small box of whole grain cereal and a chocolate cereal bar of the same brand (I think they were both GM Fiber One). The bar was about 2” square. These products were being promoted as healthy, low-calorie choices. The cereal had 80 calories per box and the bar had 90. How hysterical – if you eat a a small enough portion, anything can be low-calorie, but these samples were really tiny! How could anyone fall for the idea that eating that junk could be healthy? We, of course, threw them both away, after I had read the “nutritional” info and had a good laugh.

    It tells you just how cheap subsidized grains are when they can give them away to draw customers.

  37. Jennifer Snow

    Now that I’ve gotten in the habit of checking food to see what’s in it, I’m frequently shocked by just how many grams of carbs there are in some foods. Every so often I’ll take a look at something in the hopes that it’s relatively low-carb so maybe I can sneak it in on a day when I don’t have much else on the way of carbs. I then put it back on the shelf where I found it.

    Then I go fry up some eggs in lard.

    Walk through a grocery store, and other than around the perimeter where the meats and produce are sold, you’re mostly looking at bags, boxes and cans of carbohydrates.

  38. Aaron Blaisdell

    You should aur the newspaper publisher for delivering toxins to your doorstep.

    And btw, next time you visit LA please look me up so I can show you how wonderful the city can be if you avoid the whole Beverley Hills/Hollywood area.

    I lived in L.A. for 11 years.

  39. Bethany

    Have you heard anything about colic being prevented by a mother having a low carb diet? I wondered if there were any studies done on the subject. I have had 5 children, and my first 4 had severe colic for the first 3-4 months of their lives. I have come to expect to be worried sick about my babies for the first months of their life because it happens every time. I actually thought maybe something was just wrong with my breastmilk. However, with my 5th baby, I decided to continue low carbing instead of giving it up after she was born (I was originally doing it to control my gestational diabetes). I didn’t do it for that reason- i did it because of all the research I had done and also from reading your website, realizing that none of that stuff (wheat, sugar) is good for me or my children to be consuming at all. But a pleasant side effect of this diet (among dozens of others) is that my daughter does not have colic! She doesn’t scream in pain for hours, and that is such a BLESSING! I have talked to doctors about colic in the past and they always told me to avoid dairy and vegetables like broccoli, because they cause gas. Well, I am eating more dairy than anything right now, and broccoli too…and all of the spicy foods I want, and my daughter is happy, content, and only cries when she is hungry…she doesn’t have gas all of the time, like the others did. I have no doubt it is a direct result of the low carb diet because it is the only thing I have done differently…and I’m so thankful because I have always been so distressed about colic, since doctors always have told me there’s no real way to prevent it from happening for sure.

    Yes, I’ve heard of that. Can’t remember which podcast interview it was.

  40. John U.K

    Should have thrown it on the fire and cooked some bacon over it, that stuff burns real good! 😀

    Of course! Kindling.

  41. Christopher

    You know, while it is true that anything can be low calorie or some other such thing, it’s always an extremely small portion. I love how everything these days is ALL about portion size. Yes, if you eat too much of ANYTHING it’s unhealthy, but that doesn’t mean that scaling down the size will suddenly make something healthier in terms of actual nutrition. I’m quite amazed Tom that they sent this stuff to you for free. After all, if you and many other people are getting it free, how will the executives in the big industries that make the stuff manage to pay themselves million dollar bonuses? It’s not like we can expect them to live on the same amount of money the average person makes. These people (and quite frankly their cereal) make me want to puke. Especially every time we get an olympic athelete to endorse a product like ‘Wheaties’. The only reason I can see that is they want people to associate the cereal (and grains in general) with good health and peak physical performance. I may not have the best health (I practically live off of sandwiches. Better than the stuff they serve at school. Last year, they even said I wasn’t allowed to salt my food, because it was unhealthy.). But i do however have fairly good physical fitness. I do this crazy thing a lot called…EXCERCISING!!!!! Both Tae Kwon Do and my fair share of walking. When the weather is nice, I even walk to work, which is a good three to three and a half mile distance, possibly more as I’ve never checked it out. I work at a buffet restaurant. I rarely actually eat the food, and although as an employee I get free beverages, I always take water before soda. Anyway, I’m way off topic. The point is, these people are sending out these to ‘promote good health’. The fact of the matter is, and correct me if you think I’m wrong, they want people to eat the stuff, find it tasty, get hooked and buy more. They don’t care about what it’s doing to people as long as they have more money in their pocket than the average American

    I don’t mind cereal companies marketing their products — that’s business. But I very much mind that the grains they sell are subsidized and promoted as health food with my tax dollars.

  42. Roby

    After reading “Wheat belly” I looked around at my already low-carb diet to see what had gluten in it, I found it in odd places. Luckily I only had to eliminate about 3-5 items from my diet. I didn’t think it would make a difference but I was amazed at the difference it did make… in a very unexpected way.

    Sorry guys lol

    Usually my “monthly” is very painful, bad bad cramps. I used to take about 3000mg of ibuprophen a day! but this time around well.. almost no pain or pms! my husband is thrilled! I honestly never thought gluten would have an impact on that. It’s amazing. I’m shocked!

    I don’t know if it was just me, but I would love to hear input from other women.

    No worries, the subject doesn’t put me off. Better not, since I have a wife and two girls who will eventually become young women.

  43. johnny

    It’s all a promotion to increase lagging sales of their products.

    I see a day in which your Sunday paper will include a loaf of bread.

    I was hoping for a free canned ham next time.

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