Embracing a Gluten-Free Lifestyle
I had plateaued with my weight loss and my body felt absolutely awful. Half the time I felt as if my blood had been poisoned and I was always tired and had to push myself to get moving. Slogging through life.
The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin didn’t work for me. She doesn’t advocate moderation because if someone has a peanut allergy, the tiniest bit of peanut is still going to be disastrous for them. But I cut what allergen’s I could easily cut (corn, soy, peanuts) and kept the others in strict moderation until I could deal with them separately. I worked in baby steps cutting back on sugar. It took a long time but that’s the way I work – baby steps.
My weight began dropping off again but the more it dropped and the longer I went with moderating and lowering certain allergens, the stronger the side-effects became.
What Did I Discover?
After a time I came to realize that my two main problems were gluten and dairy. When I cut them out of my diet entirely, I felt great.
But it was difficult keeping those two allergen’s out of my diet altogether. Namely because my favorite foods include pizza, beer, and chocolate chip cookies. But every time those foods would make an appearance in my system, I’d suffer through the following:
- Painful Gas
- Water Retention
- Feeling of Blood Poisoning
How Have I Taken Out Gluten From My Diet?
A gluten-free diet is not cheap. At all. When people complain that they can’t eat healthy because veggies are so expensive, that’s not far from the truth with gluten-free items.
Now, if you want to take the organic route, it can be cheap enough because contrary to what people say veggies are not that expensive.
Here’s a list of substitutes that worked in my diet:
- Peanut Butter –> Almond Butter (MaraNatha)
- Bread –> Rice Cakes (Quaker)
- Crackers –> Crackers made of Seeds or Brown Rice (Organic Baked Brown Rice Snaps Unsalted Plain, Van’s, etc)
- White/Wheat Flour –> Gluten-Free Flour (Arrowhead Mill’s, Chebe, Namaste, etc)
- Cheese –> Goat Cheese
- Milk –> Coconut Milk, Almond Milk (Silk)
- Whey Protein Powder –> Brown Rice, Soy (Plant Fusion, Brown Rice Protein Powder, Soy Protein Powder)
That’s mostly it. What? No cookies?
Before you ask, yes, there are non-dairy chocolate chips out there. It took a long time but I found them!
What kind of snacks are available other than crackers, veggies, and fruit?
- Pamela’s cookies
- Granola (my fav is Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola from the dispensers…I think it’s organic; careful – some granola has added ickies)
- Banana Chips (again, I get mine from the dispensers)
Yep. My diet can be very plain. But you can make lots of really yummy things with those substitutes and fruit/veggies.
- Rice Cake with Almond Butter, drizzled with Honey – Dessert
- Rice Cake with Almond Butter, topped with sliced Bananas – Snack/Breakfast
- Goat Cheese mixed with Fig Jam spread on Brown Rice Snaps (a little goes a long way so keep it light) – Dessert/Snack
- Chocolate Soy Protein Powder, Banana, Strawberries, Peaches, Spinach, Unsweetened Original Almond Milk blended in a Blender – Breakfast Smoothie
Sounds yummy to me! When I want something really special, I’ll get the baking ingredients and make it myself like I do with pizza:
- Chebe Pizza Crust Mix (allergen-free except I use real eggs instead of egg substitutes)
- Montchevre Goat Cheese
- Tomato Paste (try to spread it light)
- Black Olives
- Pepper, Garlic Powder, Basil
It was absolutely delicious! There was something about either the crust mix or the goat cheese though that didn’t agree with me and made me painfully gassy. My belly was literally inflated to the point of looking 6 months pregnant. I hadn’t tried either kind before so I don’t know which one the culprit was. I don’t remember what kind of pizza crust mix I used before. I’d hate to think it was the goat cheese because it was really yummy. Not too sharp like the previous kind I used.
It’s really disappointing because Chebe was the easiest/quickest pizza crust mix so it didn’t take nearly 2 hours to make like the previous attempt with the other mix. But there are other flours and mixes available so it’s not a big deal.
This isn’t the first time Chebe has disagreed with me but I thought the other times were from sugar because they were hand pies. I may have to watch my step with them in the future.
Is it easy keeping gluten out of my diet? Not at all. It seems everywhere I go has mostly gluten products. And when they do have gluten-free food, it’s horribly expensive. I’ve never been more encouraged to eat home in my life. Even going to a friend’s house can be difficult unless they know I avoid certain foods and are considerate enough to cater to that.
What’s the hardest part of being gluten-free for you?