I was wishy-washy on whether or not I wanted to try this whole dairy-free thing. I started to feel like I was depriving myself of something I really wanted before I even TRIED it! That’s not a good mindset to have. A few readers suggested I try it in February because it’s the shortest month. Psychologically that worked for me. Sure it may only be like 3 days short of a typical month but mentally it feels like doing something like this in February is doable. Not only that, Michael said he was on board. That definitely made it easier to wrap my brain around.
So for February we are going to go dairy-free and try gluten-free. It’s sort of like the Slow Carb Diet we tried a few years ago, but I’m not giving up fruit. I refuse. There are a lot of similarities to the Four Hour Body Diet.
Have you ever Googled “What foods have gluten in it?” Let me save you the trouble: EVERYTHING. Apparently! 😛
I don’t know how diligent I’m going to be quite yet. I’m taking it one week at a time. I know that a lot of products have dairy in them. I will try my best to avoid those things but I know stuff happens. As for the gluten–I will not be eating bread products or pasta but I doubt I’ll get super focused on things that might have gluten in them–like soy sauce.
I’ve made up a meal plan for February for lunches and dinners. It was actually really easy and not much different than what we normally eat now. Where I saw a difference was lunches: no more sandwiches. Snacks will be the hardest for me because I eat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt before going to the gym. It works really well for me and I’m not sure how that will fair. I haven’t found anything that works as well as that for a pre-workout snack.
What Do I Expect?
Honestly? I don’t expect to lose any weight. Sadly, I gained a few pounds on the Slow Carb Diet. I have no idea why. Michael dropped about 25 pounds. It worked really well for him. I am expecting this experiment to go about the same. It would be really nice if I lost a few pounds, but I’m not expecting it.
My hope is that I see a difference in my skin. It would be awesome if my acne cleared up due to diet and I could stop taking the acne medicine I hate. I also hope it fixes my runny nose. Other than those two things, I don’t have any expectations.
In preparation for this, I made a grocery list of must haves. I won’t get super specific but to give you an idea here is the list:
- Pork chops
- Almond Milk
We already have a lot of the stuff. We have canned veggies, peanut butter, frozen seafood (scallops, shrimp, salmon), a bag of Quinoa from Costco that should last the month and some other items. I’m going to look for some things like salad dressing that don’t have dairy in it. I need to find an alternative to the coffee creamer I use.
Like I said above, I’ve made a food calender for February. I don’t know how closely we will follow it, but it’s nice to have a general idea of what meals to expect. I plan on making a bunch of soups on weekends for the week’s lunches. I printed a bunch of easy, simple recipes to make.
What Will Be Hard?
Giving up the dairy will be the hardest. I love sour cream, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. I also eat a lot of it! It’s funny–we haven’t had ice cream in the house in over a month and yet knowing I won’t be able to eat it in February makes me want it more!
Going gluten-free means no beer. Or at least, not very much. Michael’s friend Mike is gluten-free due to a severe allergy and he’s mentioned that there are a few beers that are gluten-free but honestly I think I’d rather just skip the beer.
The hardest part for Michael will be giving up pizza for a month. He gets slices for lunch during the work week and his go-to dinner when he doesn’t want to cook is pizza. It’s a huge no-no having both gluten and dairy! Also, I know he’ll struggle with giving up cheese (I think it’s his favorite food).
Somehow I need to change my thinking away from “What I Can’t Have” and focus on what I can eat, otherwise this will never work and I’ll be a crabby mess for a month!
I’ll do a post about once a week with an update on that week. I’ll include the high notes (good recipes, etc), challenges, observations and thoughts.
QUESTION: Are you dairy-free or gluten-free? Please share any tips, ideas, or suggestions!