Wonder Bread?‎

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Corita Kent. that they may have life, 1964; Corita Art Center

Wonder Bread or White Trash?‎

Have you ever noticed the aura of health that wheat (whole) holds in some circles? ‎

With great pride I presented my food journal to my healer. He could not help but notice the ‎multiple “whole wheat bread” entries. To my dismay, I quickly learned that he was less than ‎pleased.‎

When did “whole bread” become synonymous with whole health?‎

Our western culture holds a place of honor for the venerable loaf, front and center stage at any ‎meal or ceremony. The “holy bread” is passed row-by-row to the congregation, blessed to usher in ‎the Sabbath and swathed in love in our children’s lunch boxes.‎

Ah, the heavenly aroma of fresh bread that fills the air. Joy is preparing homemade bread: ‎kneading, licking one’s gooey fingers, hand in hand giving form to the glob. Who does not hold a ‎soft spot in his heart for the divine taste and smell of challah fresh from the oven?‎

You dump on my bread and you dump on my world…‎


I especially loved the inner white fluff of warm challah. I would tear out a fistful; roll it hard in my ‎hands and plop the white ball of yummy directly down the hatch with delight.‎

My mother was no diehard health advocate, but there were certain foods which would never ‎reach our shopping cart. “Wonder Bread” was not welcome. That was too bad as the ever white ‎and ever soft loafer was a perfect candidate to make wonder balls. I did so envy my friends who ‎brought their white wonder sandwiches to school.‎

A wheat kernel has three main parts: bran, germ and endosperm.‎

The bran boasts B vitamins, fiber and minerals.‎
The germ harbors antioxidants, vitamin E, B vitamins and fat.‎
The endosperm contains the carbohydrates (energy) and protein.‎

The modern white flour industry has its roots in the late 19th century. Bread was no longer a seed ‎to plate affair, the family table near bare of homegrown fare. With the onset of the industrial ‎revolution, workers were forced to seek nourishment elsewhere. ‎

Long term storage of whole flour was problematic as it quickly became rancid. In an effort to ‎prevent waste and preserve health, the problematic components were ditched.‎

All Things White

Hopalong Cassidy Orig Wonder Bread Commercial

Original commercial from my collection that was transfered from 16mm film. Wonder Bread commercial form Hopalong Cassidy Show.

Pure white flour was the solution. All things white are beautiful, blessed and simply better. If ‎formerly white flour was the privilege of the wealthy elite (ancient Rome, Egypt…), suddenly ‎it became part and parcel of the common man’s diet.‎

The production of white flour meant tossing two thirds of the wheat kernel aside. As such, the ‎pure white powder was naked of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fat: a dark storm looming in ‎the disguise of an edible work of white art.‎

In time authorities realized that the nutritional void manifested itself as disease and illness. By law ‎the white flour was to be fortified with the lacking nutrients. Healthy minded consumers began to ‎search for healthier alternatives. In time a demand for whole grained breads developed and later a ‎boutique artisan trade emerged. In the U.S., the year 2009 marked a turning point: for the first ‎time whole grained bread outsold its white counterpart.‎

Black is the New White

It would appear that there is more to the matter than meets the eye. It is not clear how healthy ‎wheat is, even if it is whole.‎

It's not what it used to be.

Modern wheat is markedly different than the wheat originally found‏ ‏in the Middle Eastern basin ‎thousands of years ago (prior to bringing GMO – genetically modified wheat into the equation). ‎

In the ancient wheat kernel, for example einkorn and emmer, there is more protein but less ‎chromosomes and less gluten. If an einkorn kernel had only two sets of chromosomes, modern ‎wheat has six (three ancient sets of parent plants became one)! Even the esteemed spelt has six ‎sets of chromosomes. ‎

Gluten is the common name given to two types of proteins found in the wheat kernel nucleus: ‎gliadin and glutenin. These proteins endow the bread with its elasticity. ‎

We can upgrade our health by embracing new habits, big and small alike. At times, a subtle shift ‎incites massive change. Such was the case when I decided to remove wheat from my diet. ‎

I was no stranger to those moments when I had to eat something NOW! Just like a small child, this ‎lady had to eat and pronto!‎

The first days were challenging to say the least. I wallowed in thoughts about all of the tasty foods ‎which I was denying myself of. The tribulations of kicking any habit are painful.‎

At the end of the tunnel there was precious light, as my agony gave way to a delicious secret.‎


Removing wheat from my diet created a shift. I began unintentionally and effortlessly losing ‎weight. Moreover, all of my urgent hunger pangs dissipated. It was not long before I was able to ‎look any banquet table square in the eye without feeling pangs of longing or envy. I no longer felt ‎that I was missing out.‎

Did you know that it is no simple task to avoid gluten? It is much more complicated than merely ‎avoiding bread and other baked goods. Gluten is often hidden in sauces and dressings, French ‎fries, meat and vegan patties, soup, fish, hot dogs, puddings, oats, alcohol, cosmetics and many ‎more.‎

This week once again I met another “sister from another mother”. I grew up with three brothers. ‎How exciting it was to suddenly be surrounded by my sisters from other mothers! This sister, who I ‎recently met on social media, came to visit the land of milk and honey. She is not gluten sensitive ‎but rather suffers from celiac disease, "The Gluten Free Diva" no less!

This is an autoimmune disease. The body attacks the gluten protein as a foreign invader. Internal ‎damage to the small intestine follows and the absorption of vital nutrients is compromised.‎

I was shocked to learn of the kissing regimen. Imagine that every time you wish to kiss your celiac ‎sweetie you must first rush out to brush, floss and rinse. Talk about putting a damper on a romantic ‎moment…‎

Only about one of every 100 people suffer from this disease.‎

What is all of the Fuss About?‎

On my healing path I met with more than one healer who instructed me to abstain from wheat ‎consumption and often remove all gluten from my diet. Even the conventional doctors advocated ‎a blood taste to rule out celiac disease. Today gluten and gluten free seems to be on everyone’s ‎radar. ‎

Dwarfed Wheat – Super Gluten – Super Starch ‎

Today’s modern dwarfed wheat is a superstar: with both an abundance of gluten and starch ‎‎(amylopectin A). Of particular interest is the lack of a difference in the glycemic index (GI – ‎measuring the rate at which foods impact on blood sugar levels) between that of white and whole ‎wheat bread! Moreover, while the GI for bread is 71 per portion, the GI for Coca Cola is “only” 63 ‎and a Snicker’s Bar is “but” 51!!!‎

Modern wheat is an exceptional player, great at raising blood sugar and distending “wheat bellies”. ‎Foods with an elevated glycemic index excel not only at raising blood sugar levels, but at ‎weakening immune systems, creating low level inflammation and aiding to create fatty livers.‎

The list does not end here. Wheat and gluten have been linked to mood and eating disorders, ‎autism, schizophrenia, dementia, nutritional deficiencies, diabetes and more.‎

The gluten can damage the small intestine even in absence of celiac disease.‎

Hunger Pains

Still the list goes on. Gluten has been linked to obesity and bouts of insatiable hunger. As gluten is ‎processed in our intestine, the protein chains are broken down into shorter polypeptide chains ‎called exorphins. These so called “gluteomorphins” bind to the opioid receptors in the brain. Much ‎like the effects of a runner’s high, a rush of ecstasy ensues as the pearly gates of heaven open ‎wide. Just like another junky, with shaking hands, in frantic search for the next “fix” the vicious ‎cycle continues.‎

Guilty as charged: the accused is the root of our cravings, overeating and obesity. Sound familiar?‎

I warmly recommend that you give it a try. Find the courage to dare and rid yourself of wheat. Do ‎not look at this as a life sentence, but rather as a trial period. Take the challenge for a period of one ‎month. I am willing to gamble that at the end of the month you will not only feel better but see a ‎lighter reflection in the looking glass!‎

Watch as this subtle shift incites massive change!‎

Avocado and Ginger Delights


If you haven’t noticed yet, ginger is a permanent fixture in my kitchen. I also love avocado, ‎although that was not always the case. Avocado will provide a pleasing texture to any green ‎smoothie or dessert. It has a neutral taste and will adapt well in any recipe. Mousse anyone?‎

Luscious Lemon

‎1 cored apple cut into eighths
‎½ lemon: juice and zest
‎4 strawberries (with hull)‎
‎1 T fresh chopped ginger
‎½ avocado
‎¼ t salt

Chocolate Orange

‎½ lemon juiced
‎½ t lemon zest
‎1 T ground flax
‎6 whole Kumquat oranges (with peel)‎
‎4 Madgul dates
‎1 t fresh chopped ginger
‎4 T cocoa
‎½ avocado
‎2 cored apples cut in eighths

For either recipe, blend all ingredients in blender. Best if chilled in freezer for one hour before ‎serving. Fast and easy, gluten free, vegan healthy desserts. Suitable for die-hard carnivores (but ‎best not to divulge the ingredients before giving them a bite…).‎

I would like to thank you for your patience in reading this post to its end.‎

If you liked what you read and you are not on my mailing list, you can sign up ‎here.‎

Finally I would like to request that you please share my powerful animated message!

Join me: CHOOSE abundant whole health!




4 Comments on "Wonder Bread?‎"

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maura shapiro

As always, your articles are informative and enlightening! I enjoyed reading your article. It IS hard to give up on the "white stuff", but even I, not exactly a health nut, do try to avoid eating empty, white flour.

Casaundra Bennett

Thanks for this blog post, Helene. I had no idea about the evolution of wheat as you describe it. I have always lost weight when avoiding wheat, and more specifically gluten. And, I too, have noticed how the cravings and hunger pangs go away. Alas, I somehow seem to slide back into old habits. The key, I think, is staying very conscious, and being prepared–especially in social situations where I'll be eating with others. Keep up the great work!