If you’ve seen one food documentary you’ve seen them all, right? Nope, not in my opinion. We are at a time in history where we need to change our relationship with food. We have been sold the idea that exercise is the sole strategy for weight loss. That idea is plain false. The truth is, 80% of weight loss is what we eat. Not that exercise isn’t important, it most certainly is important but if we’re using the wrong fuel it doesn’t fix our overall health.
The examination of our food sources is slowly coming into focus. Various documentaries (Food Inc., Food Matters, Hungry for Change, OMG GMO, Forks over Knives, Seed: The Untold Story, etc.) have helped raise awareness about why we are where we are with food choices readily available to us today. This film, What’s with Wheat, is unique as it shines a light on the American “amber waves of grain.” This grain is so much a cornerstone of our culture that it’s mentioned in songs as popular as our national anthem. If we can’t evaluate and critique the current state of wheat, it can never improve. And it must improve for our health now and the health of generations to come. With that, here are my 5 reasons to watch What’s with Wheat on Netflix today.
1. It’s not the villain.
Wheat is not inherently “bad” suddenly. It’s not about policing what we eat. It’s not the new villain. The film covers things like the great contributions wheat has made to society, why production expanded to begin with and the myth that we need to expand production to ‘feed the world.’
The filmmakers point out that wheat has changed so much throughout history, “it doesn’t even resemble what it used to.” It’s more about showing the current condition of wheat and what it is doing to the human population. For instance, even if you can eat pizza without issue now it may not be that way throughout your life. Why? For one, the chemical processes applied to wheat build up in your body and they become part of your toxic load. Chances are, you know someone right now that has to avoid bread/pasta/pizza because of negative symptoms they get (headache, “foggy mind,” joint pain, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, etc). As one expert in the film says, “no one’s thinking maybe there’s something in the wheat now that’s causing this problem.”
2. It’s pervasive.
There are lots of places wheat shows up these days, beyond bread and pasta. For example, it’s in some 80-90% of beauty products (shampoo, face wash, lotions, makeup, etc.). It’s in places you wouldn’t normally think to look. You’ll find wheat derivatives in beauty and skincare products that are somewhat recognizable (Hydrolyzed wheat gluten) to those that are completely unidentifiable (triticum vulgare, dextrin and Vitamin E). Check out this list of hundreds of wheat-containing ingredients: http://www.glutenfreemakeupgal.com/gluten-info/not-safe/possibly-gluten-filled-ingredients
3. It triggers autoimmune.
Modern wheat has contributed to the increase of chronic disease wreaking havoc on our bodies while we chase tests and doctor visits without answers. Even doctors themselves, in the film, have had these aches and pains and have had trouble identifying the cause. It’s now getting a name… non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In other words, you don’t have to have full-blown celiac to have sensitivities to wheat.
So many of us have body pain and accept it. We pop some OTC anti-inflammatories to be able to carry on with our lives. So how can we find out if the pain we have regularly it’s related to gluten when we have common symptoms like headaches and body aches? First things first, do your own examination by keeping a food journal. Write down your moods and bowel movements after you eat for 3-5 days. (Yes, I said BM.) This will allow you to have a written record to reflect on and share with doctors if you need to in the future.
There certainly has been an increase in celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity but buyer beware, when you start to see a bunch of product labels with what looks like the latest “health” trend, that’s the time to ask yourself questions. The kernel of truth is that there is a rise in people needing to eat a gluten-free diet full of whole foods but the answer for being gluten free doesn’t come in a packaged product with a label.
4. It’s impacting generations.
If you don’t want to look into how wheat may be negatively impacting your own health, then do it for the future generations of your family. If that sounds like an emotional plea…so be it! Because as the film reveals, modern wheat and the chemicals that are used on it are destroying our bodies. There are at least 10 chemicals applied to wheat during the sprouting and growing phase, and then more during processing. And if that’s not enough this process is actually impacting our GENETICS! These effects get passed down to your children, and your children’s children. Now that is some food for thought.
5. It has addictive qualities.
While the film doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on this concept, it bears repeating. When you talk to people about quitting bread, the look they get on their face does replicate the sheer panic (denial and mourning) of quitting an addictive substance. Just like its buddy highly-processed refined white sugar, modern wheat has become so processed and pervasive, it’s the current state of wheat that makes it harmful and addictive.
For more on the addictive qualities of wheat check out this interview with one of the experts from the film, Sayer Ji, creator of GreenMedInfo.com. He describes quitting wheat as giving us a “heroin-like” withdrawal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43oF7uF4G7g.
To Sum Up:
I recently shared in casual conversation about the awesome factor of this film. As I did so I heard someone say, “ugh, what’s left to eat these days? I’ll still eat pizza!” As a wellness coach, I know that our human brain wants the path of least resistance (a.k.a. no change). It’s normal. I get it. We all do it. So our brain just naturally goes the easier route, eating the same way we’ve always eaten. If we want change in any area of life, we have to train our brains and set our mind up for success which takes some effort. It’s different than our norm and that can be uncomfortable. But once we can turn our animal brain off, it’s really about gaining information, not losing anything through deprivation. It’s about getting educated about what’s in our modern food that will allow us to avoid pain and live a happy, healthy life!
If you’d like to learn and grow into the healthy lifestyle you deserve, let’s chat. I always offer a FREE initial consultation so reach out and book a time with me today. As a wellness coach I’m here to be your ally in visioning, goal setting and accountability to create your life of thriving!