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So it Begins

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

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  1. Jane

    I am not gluten free but I am wheat free. I am not dairy free but I am down to only greek yogurt, whey protein and the occasional pat of butter or bit of milk in coffee when I am out and cannot get the almond milk.

    I have noticed a huge difference in less dairy and it is enough that I want to stay less dairy and even have a bit less than I do now – but not try the all or nothing route with it. I recently switched to egg white protein powder and brown rice protein powder instead of whey protein. I am dropping back to having the yogurt only three times a week. I have coffee out maybe twice a week. Butter is perhaps once a month.

    We shall see how it all works.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Honestly I think I’m leaning more toward wheat free than gluten free but I’m going to at least try to go gluten free to see what happens.

      Everyone I’ve talked to that has gone dairy-free noticed a huge difference. I’m so curious to see if I will notice anything. I really want my skin to clear up and my runny nose. But if I don’t see a drastic change, I may do what you do–just limit the dairy to once or twice a week.

  2. Lori

    I never went dairy free, but I went completely grain free for 3 weeks. Surprisingly, it was not hard once I just assumed everything had corn in it LOL! My family even had ordered Chinese food for a picnic during that time and I got steamed broccoli and shrimp without rice and loved it. I didn’t feel deprived or anything. There is so much to eat that you have to not look at it as being restrictive.

    I have to say I think it is a lot to give up gluten and dairy in a month, but if you aren’t completely grain free, it won’t be so hard. Potatoes are a great starch item when you want that. I also did a lot of recipes with coconut flour for biscuits and things when I wanted something ‘bready’.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Yep! When we did the Slow Carb diet, I didn’t miss bread at all.

      We don’t currently eat a lot of rice or potatoes, so adding that stuff to our meals will be a change as well.

  3. Esther

    Husband and I are going gluten free very shortly. I sort of forgot that tomorrow is February, so it won’t be for another week or so. Good luck!

    Oh, also, if you’re wanting bread and pasta, look into Udi’s GF bread and Trader Joes Brown Rice Pasta. I hear they’re the best.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Good luck to you and the hubby!

      I am making a trip to Trader Joe’s this weekend to get some gluten and dairy free stuff. I didn’t find a dairy free creamer I wanted at my grocery store; I’m hoping TJ has that.

  4. Yum Yucky

    I’m not gluten free, but I go really easy on the dairy because I feel that it bloats me. I may seriously have to have my hubs try gluten free for awhile. We need to pin down what’s bothering his tummy. 🙁

    Good luck with your February adventure!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I think this challenge would be a lot easier if I was doing this because I had some ailment. Like Michael has gallbladder issues and carbs and cheese aggravate that–so a diet like this will most likely help him. But me? It’s just the runny nose and acne. If dairy-free or limited dairy can fix that, I’ll be happy.

  5. Carbzilla

    My boss has been gluten-free/wheat-free for a year. What I’ve learned from including him in company meals is that this way of eating requires a knife and fork. Meaning that in a lot of cases bread is only used to hold stuff together, and it’s pretty easy to lose it and still get the overall flavor of a dish. It just takes a little creativity. For pizza, you can do the cauliflower crust and no cheese or just eat the toppings from a dish (I know that seems weird but you get the same flavor, sorta). Order a burger with no bun, no cheese. Have a taco salad, no shell, no cheese. No reason you can’t eat sandwich fillings with a fork. Once you get in the mindset, it’s actually pretty easy logistics-wise. Just remember, brown rice tortillas are the work of the devil.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      We do that often–make taco salads instead of using tortillas. Mostly because it’s just easier and quicker. Lately I’ve been going bun-free in order to save some calories. I’ve been using Bibb lettuce or Boston lettuce as a wrap for the turkey burgers. It’s messy but it works pretty well and saves me a good 250 calories from dinner.

  6. kalin

    My niece is allergic to wheat and dairy! If you want carb-y things the bob’s red mill all purpose GF mix works well for making pancakes (I just use a normal recipe with the GF flour and soy milk) and cornbread (I use my normal recipe but again GF flour and soy milk)- I haven’t tried it with a lot else. And if you mix up 1 c peanut butter, 1 c sugar, and 1 egg, it makes for really good cookies!

    When she visits Portland her favorite places to eat are laughing planet (easy to do no gluten no dairy there!), pizzicato (GF pizza without cheese-I’ve tried it and while it’s not the same as normal pizza, it’s actually good), and anywhere with Hawiian food (no mac salad, and nothing with soy sauce unless they use GF soy sauce), and mexican food (corn tortillas, no cheese). Some burgervilles even have GF buns!

    If you search “portland gluten free” and theres a great site for GF places to eat. I’ve heard Crave in Lake Oswego is awesome for GF baked goods.

    Oh and Deschutes has a gluten free menu and at least one GF beer on tap-I tried one once out of curiosity (pre-pregnancy obviously!) and it was actually pretty good. Like, if I idnd’t know it was GF I would’ve thought it was just an average beer-didn’t blow me away, but didn’t stand out as being weird.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Okay you rock! Thanks for all the ideas and local tips. I figured it would be fairly easy to find restaurants in Portland that are vegan/vegetarian/glutenfree etc. I will check out the places you suggested. Bob’s is a good one. We buy our flour there. I wonder if Dave’s Killer bread has gf bread? We don’t live too far from there.

      I love Laughing Planet. So good. In fact, I’m going to model some of their “Bowls” for my lunches in February.

  7. Roz@weightingfor50

    Good luck Lisa!!!! Hope things are easy and go well for you and Michael.

  8. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

    This will be really interesting to follow . . . . advantages, disadvantages, changes, etc. Good luck!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I hope I can report on SOMETHING!

  9. Ali

    Good luck with your February challenge!! I have friends that have done it and really felt differences with their bodies.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thank you, Ali! I hope I notice some kind of difference–even if it’s a small one–to make it worth it.:)

  10. Gbea

    Never gone gluten free – I’m too chicken. However, except for ice cream on the weekends (can’t help it) I’m pretty much dairy free. It was for vanity’s sake – I have acne problems too. The no-dairy has really helped – I don’t fight constant bacne anymore and my face doesn’t break out as much. I still get the occasional hormonal cyst (or could it be the weekend ice cream? not sure) but I used to constantly fight whiteheads and they’ve pretty much cleared out. Sorry for the TMI but there it is. I also lost weight but this may have been because the no-dairy rule meant the end of my nightly Greek-yogurt-with-granola habit. I tried this because of a book (in case you haven’t already read it!): The Clear Skin Diet by Alan C. Logan. I think what was most interesting about it was how some scientists and doctors just seem to dismiss a lot of research about food and its relationship to acne. Frankly, I’m still surprised they haven’t found a cure for acne – maybe they’re not motivated? I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t dealt with acne understands how it impacts your entire life. Really.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I’m glad you found something that worked for you. I agree, unless you suffer from bad acne, you don’t get it. It’s such a blow to self-esteem to have humongous hormonal cysts on your chin that stick around for a month sometimes!!

      1. Julie

        Lisa, have you tried the oil cleansing method? It sounds weird, but lots of people have been able to clear up their skin using a combination of oils and then a few swipes of a hot wash cloth. Google it!

        1. Lisa Eirene

          I haven’t heard of that. I will check it out.

  11. Deb

    The brewery up the street sometimes offers a gluten-free beer- people seem to like it, but I haven’t tried it myself. Good luck on this! I hope you do see some positive results from it.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I hope so too. I don’t want this to be all for nothin’! 😉

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thanks. I’m gonna need it! 😉

  12. Valerie B

    After your previous post when you were considering this, I decided to see if drastically reducing my dairy intake would make any difference. I switched out cow’s milk for soy, cut out cheese, and allowed myself just 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt a day (love it in a smoothie). Anyway, weirdly, when I weighed in on Wednesday at Weight Watchers I had lost 6 pounds (each of the three weeks previous had been 2, 1.5, and 2 pound losses). I don’t know if it is the dairy or the swimming or a combo. So I think I am going to keep going on it for another week or two and see how it progresses. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Wow! 6 pounds? That’s so great. Good for you. Keep me posted on how you do if you keep trying the diet.

  13. Karen P

    Cheering you on for your experiment. Once I read about how low inflammatory being grain and dairy free could be AND it might be helpful for weight maintenance- I was sold. One year down and I feel younger and better than I did in my 20’s (I’m 46). Rarely ever sick! It’s amazing. My blood work has never been better. (I’ll be blogging about this soon…)

    I hear you on the acne. Holy smokes. Painful and not fun to deal with . Mine is not totally gone, but I don’t have the painful stuff since going grain and dairy free.

    Here’s some more good things about being grain free that I found, your experience may be different.

    – less snacky and bingy
    -fewer carbs so I can have more avocados, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil- this healthy fat made me lean out. Keeps my hunger at bay, too.
    -food tastes way better, including spices, and especially vegetables
    – I didn’t have as many cravings
    – I became fat adapted- basically I could work out or go between meals without getting shaky or sleepy. my body burns my fat when it needs energy. I got pretty lean this way.
    – less belly bloating
    -almost 0 gas!!! :0
    – much easier time with weight maintenance. +/- 2 pounds for a year!

    Here are the best things I found with being dairy free- your experience might be different
    -less bloating
    – almost 0 gas!!! :0
    – almost no cystic acne, very little regular acne
    – my sinuses are clear
    – I can sleep better, no snoring
    -better focused during the day due to the sleep
    – fewer allergies.
    -fewer headaches.

    Honestly, I did not realize how bad I was feeling day in- day out until I tried being gluten free. The rest fell into place. I can still tolerate a little bit of dairy now and then. Blue cheese on a cobb salad.

    Good luck, I found the first week or two to be the worst. You’ll be able to customize what works for you as time goes. I’m excited for you. 🙂

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I really appreciate your comments with your experiences and observations. It gives me some hope that I will, too, see some sort of change. It doesn’t have to be drastic…but something!

      Like I think I’ve said before, I don’t feel “sick” in any way eating bread and dairy as much as I do. But i’m sure it contributes to other underlining things I just may not notice.

      When I decided to cut out most processed foods, I also found that food just tasted better.

  14. scarlet

    I’m dairy free for the most part and grain free. I do still eat butter and ranch dressing maybe once per week. I’ve been eating like this solidly for 7 months. It has made a huge difference with my weightloss success! I also no longer crave sweets or carbs at all. I used to get acne during my moon, but not anymore. I used to also have stomach issues which are gone as well. I take probiotics since I don’t eat yogurt anymore. Instead of rice you can make cauliflower rice. Instead of yogurt you can make chia seed pudding. You can use almond flour and/or coconut flour to make low GI bread, cookies and bisquits. I use truvia baking blend or liquid stevia to sweeten any recipes that require sugar. Silk has yummy soy coffee creamers. There are also coconut creamers that work well. If you shop at winco, you can buy nut flours and all kinds of whole nuts for cheap out of the bulk bins. I find that eating the extra fat from the nuts doesn’t hurt my weight loss as long as I stay in moderation and eat plenty of low GI veggies each day. I also eat low GI fruit, poultry and fish.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thank you so much for the tips! Especially about winco. I didn’t even think about their bulk bins. I will go there next week when I get groceries for week 2.

  15. Trevor

    You’ve chosen a seriously ambitious goal by excluding both gluten *and* dairy. It may be tough, but like you say, it’s a short month. I’m looking forward to your updates.

    Good luck Lisa!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Yes, perhaps I’m biting off more than I can chew. Time will tell…

  16. Jess

    Just curious if there is a reason why you are going dairy and gluten free? Neither is needed unless there is a medical reason. Hope you don’t mind my asking!

    Also, I loved Las Vegas! It was amazing! I went to the Bellagio fountains, the roller coaster on New York New York, walked the strip, and did way way too much shopping!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I cover it in this post:

      So glad you loved Vegas!!!!

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