Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Gluten Free Experiment: Recap

Good morning!  Mine has started a little late.  I slept in (good) but totally missed my WW meeting (bad).  

For the month of August, I decided to not eat gluten.  The decision was based on a whim, really.  I have always thought (and still do think, mostly) that whole grains are good for the human body.   However, after reading about books like The Virgin Diet, Wheat Belly, and It Starts with Food, I thought I would conduct a little experiment (N = 1).  (<--nerd joke)

Here are a few observations I had: 

1. Cooking my main meals wasn't hard.  Really, it wasn't.  I barely changed the way I was cooking, because the only things I used with gluten in them were soy sauce, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat bread.  So, I bought tamari, brown rice pasta, and stopped eating bread.  There are so many good foods without gluten in them, I rarely felt like I was restricting myself.

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(zucchini brownie fruit pizza)

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(Stuffed peppers with brown rice)

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(chili with cornbread)

2. What was hard:

  • Going out to eat (but many restaurants have gluten free options)IMG 1571
  • Eating at others' houses
  • Negotiating dinners / restaurants with Dan (No, Dan, I can't have chicken and noodles and it is 95 degrees outside, anyways)
  • Finding easy snacks - no more granola bars or sandwiches for this girl

3. I feel so much better.  Granted this may be completely placebo, but I feel like I have more energy.  

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This is in a time where my energy is in high demand and sleep isn't happening regularly.  Also, for years I would wake up in the morning to little aches in my feet, and now those are completely gone.  There were a few days during this 30 day experiment where I later found out I had eaten gluten and the next day I woke up achey.  

4. I lost weight - around 4 pounds, and finally went back to my pre-Ina weight.  I know that isn't earth shattering, but this is the same month that Dan had surgery and Ina went on a sleep strike and there were a few weeks I only exercised twice.  I wasn't counting points or calories.  I was just trying to eats mostly power foods and no gluten.  

5. I started reading ingredients lists in food labels and what I found in some really surprised me.  I couldn't believe that some things have gluten in them, and then other things I was surprised were gluten free (thank God for gluten free coffee creamer).

6. There are so many gluten free options out there. I think if I would have started this experiment a few years ago, this would have been a different story, but now there are plenty of GF choices.  I would not regularly eat food that is made gluten free (gluten free pizza crust or gluten free bread), and instead eat things that are naturally gluten fee (brown rice, oatmeal) but every once in a while it is nice to have that option.  

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(gluten free chocolate chip cookies - flat but tasty)

For now, I am going to continue to eat this way (most of the time).  I really like the outcome and don't see a reason to change.  Having this one restriction forces me to eat clean most of the time, and when I don't (like the chocolate chip cookies), I have to make the conscious decision to have something special.  However, I will eat wedding cake in a few weeks and I plan to enjoy a few of my grandma's rolls at Thanksgiving.  

I hear a little one crying - I am off for now!  Have a good day!

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