Dairy-Free Update #1

This is the first update for the month of February’s goal of going dairy-free. You can read the first post here. WHY I decided to do this is explained here. I encourage you to follow my progress on Facebook and Twitter as I will be posting more updates in those places.

How Am I Doing?

Doing okay. I didn’t go through any “withdrawals” that a lot of people said I might experience. On day 4 I did feel shaky all day. I’m not sure why because I ate enough calories (or at least, a normal amount) for a rest day. I had a Jolly Rancher candy to suck on to try and help with whatever blood sugar stuff might be going on.

I don’t plan on weighing myself each week as part of these updates but I did step on the scale just to see. I was so tempted I couldn’t resist. And I was happy to say that I lost some weight in only one week! Starting weight: 145.2. First Weigh-In: 143.6!!! A loss of 1.6 pounds in less than 7 days!

Cost

I spent $56 at the grocery initially. I got a bunch of fresh fruit and vegetables. To be fair, I did buy some non-grocery items too. I also went to Trader Joe’s to get more specific items I knew they’d carry at a more reasonable price. I spent $37 at Trader Joe’s.

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Trader Joe’s was also a great resource. I guess I looked frustrated because a guy asked me if he could help. I said I was trying to find gluten and dairy free items but having a hard time finding things that were BOTH. He said they have a list of both G and D free foods and printed it out for me! That was awesome. I went through it at home and highlighted the things that were both. It will make it easier in the future when I go to the store.

Foods of the Week

I found that I didn’t miss dairy or bread much the first week. My foods didn’t change all that much. My snacks were still fruit, my pre-gym snack was hummus and carrots. Dinners weren’t all that different than what Michael and I have done for a few years now.

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I tried one new recipe: Curried Quinoa with Chicken and Peas. It was pretty good but I wish it had been spicy. Michael and I also went out to eat with my parents last Sunday and I was able to order a vegan and gluten-friendly dish that was around 500 calories. It was delicious, filling, and on the plan.

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One night after the gym Michael and I had taco salads for dinner. It was salad, black olives, jalapenos, orange peppers,  ground turkey and onions and topped with guacamole. I love Michael’s guacamole. It’s super simple: avocado, jalapenos, pepper, garlic, worcestershire sauce. We usually add sour cream to it to make it even creamier but we skipped it this time. I also love putting sour cream on top of a salad like this. That’s my norm and it felt weird not to do that. But dinner tasted fantastic! I loved the guacamole and didn’t even miss the sour cream.

Challenges

I went to the grocery store with a list of must buys. Most of it was fresh veggies, fruit and proteins. I did get some almond milk to try. I also bought a box of gluten-free crackers just in case we get the craving for crackers in February.

I tried my best not to buy any items that had dairy or gluten in them. I went to the “organic hippie” section and found some items. Two problems: 1) A lot of things were only dairy OR gluten free but NOT BOTH and 2) The dairy/gluten-free stuff is effing expensive! I’m sorry but salad dressing should not cost $6.

My goal is to eat as much natural foods and not substitutions or fake foods in order to avoid dairy and gluten. I got the almond milk to test it out in my coffee, or in recipes that require milk. Absolute love it!

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Another challenge: Googling recipes. I searched for “gluten free and dairy free breakfast” to get some ideas other than eggs. It was really frustrating to just get recipes for fake food. I don’t want pancakes made with weird ingredients I can’t pronounce or find in my local grocery store. And it seemed like that was kind of it. Or smoothies. I didn’t see very much by way of variety and that was discouraging.

Thoughts/Observations

There’s apparently dairy and gluten in everything. I know that’s kind of a “DUH” statement, but when you’re not usually paying attention to stuff like that you just don’t realize. I didn’t care before, so I never looked. Now? I find it very frustrating to pick up something you think is ok and then you read through the list of ingredients to find dairy or gluten. For example, we have some bean dip from Costco–it contains dairy. Why?? It’s beans! Also, a can of tomato soup has wheat in it. Come on!

I read a really interesting article you might want to check out called Gluten-Free, Whether You Need It or Not, you might want to check it out if this is something you are considering.

“It is not a healthier diet for those who don’t need it,” Dr. Guandalini said. These people “are following a fad, essentially.” He added, “And that’s my biased opinion.” Nonetheless, Dr. Guandalini agrees that some people who do not have celiac receive a genuine health boost from a gluten-free diet. He just cannot say how many.

So that’s the first update. Stay tuned!

QUESTION: If you went gluten or dairy free, did you experience withdrawals?

20 Responses

  1. Have you tried the 1-minute muffin? That is really good GF, DF item for breakfast. You can make it sweet or not.

    I have never had withdrawals other than when I went caffeine free. Even when I ditched sugar I didn’t get withdrawals. Maybe a little cranky, but that was it.

    I get the unsweetened vanilla almond breeze. I don’t love it, but I use it in my coffee to save calories since I have a latte later in the day. I find the Blue Diamond brand to be smoother than the Silk brand. I don’t know why, but it also has less tendency to curdle in my coffee, which sometimes happens with the Silk brand.
    Lori recently posted..Baked Chocolate Donut

    1. Is the recipe for the muffin on your website? I’d give it a try.

      OH yes, caffeine withdrawals. Definitely have had that!

      I haven’t tried the vanilla almond breeze yet. I got the trader joe’s brand for both.

  2. Breakfast is always a challenge because the Standard American Diet has always been based on eggs and bready foods (pancakes, pastries, waffles, etc.). In many other countries, they tend to eat what we’d call lunch and dinner foods for breakfast – like soup, meats, vegetables, etc. So it’s a good start to change your thinking about breakfast to be just like any other meal. Problem is that it seems like those other meals take longer to prepare and who has time in the morning to grill up a burger?

    Sounds like you’re doing great. As of this morning, I was down 7 lbs so I’m happy. 🙂

  3. You should look into some of the Paleo websites/blogs out there. There’s a whole community devoted to eating “primally” and you’ll find a ton of recipes for gluten and dairy free meals. Just google “Paleo Diet” or “Paleo Blog” or “Paleo Recipes” and you’ll get a slew of good info. I would start with “Mark’s Daily Apple.” It’s probably the number one paleo site out there.

    Cheers!
    Trevor recently posted..3 Months of Blogging (with Screenshots!)

  4. I love that Trader Joe’s labels their foods so well for people with different dietary restrictions. It’s so handy. For breakfast, have you thought about trying to use quinoa like you would eat oatmeal or granola? I’ve heard that some quinoa with fruit can make a really great breakfast, and I think that would be dairy- and gluten-free.
    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise recently posted..Really Great Day

  5. For breakfast I always have an organic sausage patty and an apple or pear or I will make a smoothie with hemp protein powder.

    When googling recipes, I always just search for grain free. Then, if there is dairy (and also in my case, sugar) in the recipe, I figure out my own substitution. So, you could just search for gluten free and if there is dairy in the recipe, either omit it (if its cheese) or then do an additional search for replacing the dairy in whatever you are making. You can sub out dairy milk for almond or soy. You can sub out butter for applesauce or oil. You could also just search for “Paleo ___” because that takes care of the gluten and the dairy.

    I didn’t have any withdrawals from dairy or gluten, but… flour tortillas!! I ate a lot of flour tortillas growing up, they were a comfort food. I loved them with butter, cheese, plain, as burritos, as wraps, you name it. I don’t miss them much anymore, but every now and again I do find myself dreaming of them.

    1. Thank you so much for all the great tips and suggestions. I guess since I’m so new to this stuff I didn’t think that I could just take regular recipes and substitute the items with non-dairy things.

  6. I was dairy free after I discovered I was lactose intolerant, but it has gotten better over the last few years and I can now enjoy a little dairy everyday without trouble (although I mainly stick to Greek yogurt which is low lactose). So I know it can be a pain! Just keep looking at labels, and eating lots of fruit, veg, and lean meats!

    A dairy and gluten free option is bacon and egg cups.

    2 eggs wisked in milk alternative
    3 slices of chicken bacon (or normal bacon – is bacon gluten free?)
    Salt and pepper.

    Spray some oil into muffin tins. Split the egg mixture between 4 tins. Add diced bacon. Bake for 15ish minutes on in a moderate oven.

    These keep well, so you can triple or quadruple the recipe and have some for breakfasts for the week. Low calorie, filling and delish!! And so quick and easy!

      1. You could even add some diced veggies. I don’t because I am weird about food combos and I’d rather have them on the side.

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