Challenge

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?

32 Things

In honor of my 32nd birthday this month I want to make a list of 32 goals to achieve in 2012. If I break them down it’s a little over 2 goals a month, which I think can be done. It took me a fairly long time to create this list, which surprised me. I thought I had more things I wanted to do! But I also wanted to make sure my goals were realistic.

1. Finish the rough draft of my memoir.

2. Host a dinner party.

3. Read 32 books in 2012.

4. Donate items I don’t use anymore, downsize.

5. See 32 movies I’ve never seen before.

6. Smile more.

7. Run another 5k (and try to beat my old time).

8. Wine taste at wineries I’ve never been to.

9. Try 32 new recipes.

10. Bike the Burke-Gilman Trail for the first time as an adult.

11. Perfect a signature dish.

12. Learn how to can food.

13. Learn how to use my new camera.

14. Eat at Beast.

15. Go to Vegas.

16. Try pilates.

17. Go on 12 hikes.

18. Go snowshoeing with friends who I’ve never done it with before.

19. Take yoga more often.

20. Go to a museum.

21. Do the Corn Maize in October.

22. Do the Roy Webster Columbia River Cross Channel Swim in September.

23. Bike a full Century.

24. Wear my bikini–in public!

25. Take a class that is NOT fitness related.

26. Organize a book club.

27. Enter some writing contests.

28. Perfect my book proposal.

29. Take a day trip to the beach.

30. Make some new friends.

31. Go camping more.

32. Have another flourishing vegetable garden this summer.

QUESTION: Is your birthday a time of reflection and goal setting?