Breadless in Prague

Large Order Of Toast“Of course I can give up bread for thirty days, are you kidding?”

This is something I am apt to say nanoseconds before realizing three things.

First, I don’t have the slightest bit of interest in giving up bread. Second, I don’t have the slightest ability to give up bread, and third, I should not give up bread, but I should give up speaking after four beers.

But, what the hell, right? There’s something about being in your late thirties and still writing verbal checks that my Gluteus maximus has no interest in honoring that makes a guy want to walk head first into a shark tank covered in chum. Other highlights in this area include: “Sure, I’ll go skydiving with you,” or “Sure, I’d love a cat,” and “Of course I’ll go out with your sister, I love mustaches, I have one myself.”

Not only am I a schmuck, but I am a stubborn schmuck. Always finding a need to go through with my moronic promises. Besides, the mustache was ticklishly pleasant and the cat has taught me math. Nevertheless, now, I am a stubborn schmuck who is not eating bread.

The first three days on the bread-wagon I was in a continuous state of confusion. I would find myself hungry and instantly go for bread to make a sandwich, but find none. Only then would I remember my foolish conquest, and thus display a face you might imagine on a recently neutered dog trying to lick clean the old speedbag. Only double the misery.

But no worries, instead of bread there’s always carrots.

This venture is made far more difficult for two reasons in particular. First off, I was bred on bread. Growing up in my house meant eating bread, or at least carbohydrates, with everything. We had pasta sandwiches, bread and butter with lasagna, and rolls on the side of everything. Everything: shepherd’s pie, chicken pot pie, apple pie, and even some non-pie foods. In my college years I worked at a restaurant where would dine often and the bartenders called me S.O.B. – Side of Bread. I always liked to believe that this was my nickname as flutist in their imaginary thrash metal band, but I suppose deep down I always knew the truth.

Second, I live in the Czech Republic, a country in love with its bread, potato and cakes. Rumor has it that the Czech Republic has been on Dr. Atkin’s enemy list for a long time.

My major mistake in the first week was forgetting to pack lunch. As the university is surrounded by grocery stores, I assumed that I’d be able to find a non-bread lunch somewhere. I was wrong, thereby punishing myself with a lunch of cucumbers and ham. Upon arriving at home that night I made the largest salad ever seen in the Czech Republic and devoured it covered in a potpourri of glee, pride, misery and French dressing. That night, I dreamed a turkey sandwich was chasing me down and feeding me parts of himself. When I awoke, my mouth had become one with my pillow.

I made black coffee and ate four oranges.

The second week, I improvised and adapted a bit. On Sunday night I hard-boiled a whole carton of eggs and baked a whole week’s worth of chicken breasts. I started making sure that I had a supply of apples, nuts and carrots on me at all times. However, I had never realized just how many bakeries and pâtisseries there were along my daily commute. Overwhelming thought this week: How we have not built a literal shrine to peanut butter suggests our failure as a people.

This week, the third, there has been progress. I don’t slobber over the rolls as I walk past the bread bins in the shops. I haven’t tried cat food once and I have stopped crying almost totally. Office relationships have improved as I have not thrown anything at my sandwich loving colleague.

I feel great. In fact, I bet I can pull off sixty days without bread, no problem!


Any tips for staying carb free are totally, fully and desperately welcome!

  1. #1 by greg galeone on March 14, 2013 - 5:26 pm

    great article damo. reminds me of the fellow that always ate dessert berfore the main course. when asked why he said-you never know when you’ll die.-love-il papa. and god bless our first jesuit pope.

  2. #2 by Gabrielle Piccari Luongo on March 23, 2013 - 1:15 am

    You are already through the toughest phase of weening yourself off the dependency on carbs. I would say preparing simple meals ahead of time is a great strategy. Having many things to put into a salad on hand and pre chopped for a week is great. They also have things like spaghetti squash pasta and rice is gluten free unlike other carbs, so I would suggest finding rice substitutes for things. Rice crackers and cakes are super low in calories and can be made into sandwich like stuff. Are you loosing a lot of weight with this? I’m interested in going bread free too. Protein will keep you fuller longer. So those nuts and lean meats are a great choice. Bread will fill you up fast and feel satisfying but only for a short time. Good luck Dam.

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