gluten free update

Dairy-Free Conclusion

I MADE IT.

You can read the first post here. The other updates are here:

Dairy-Free Update #1

Dairy-Free Update #2

Dairy-Free Update #3

I’m glad it’s over. I didn’t see any drastic changes and I don’t see why it would be beneficial OR pleasurable to continue. Now the breakdown.

Challenges

Now is a good time to address this question: Was there cheating involved? Yes, a few times. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% perfect for the whole month of February. There were some weak moments when I just needed REAL CHOCOLATE and not fake crap. I had several small “fun size” candies (i.e. a mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, a Dove chocolate square and a mini Twix bar). I had about 5 total the whole month. I felt mildly guilty for giving in and having chocolate but I tried not to beat myself up too much because overall I did very well resisting things that had dairy or gluten in them.

What I Liked

I actually did discover a lot of things that I enjoyed and will continue to eat. The Omission gluten-free beer was a really good alternative. Almond Milk is something I will continue to drink instead of regular milk. It was a delicious enough substitution that I never felt like I was missing out on something.

Frozen grapes were an excellent dessert option, as was frozen banana slices with peanut butter on them. I loved the RiceWorks chips we bought and will continue to buy those in the future.

What I Disliked

I hated how much processed foods I ate in February. I was trying to find gluten and dairy free options and while I did eat a lot of natural things (fruit and veggies), I also ate more foods that came out of a box. Gluten-free crackers, chips, dairy-free cookies, etc etc. I did not like that aspect of it.

I also disliked feeling restricted. That lead to feelings and desires to binge. I couldn’t wait to be done with diet and I planned all the dairy and bread I was going to eat! I don’t like feeling like that. I think counting my calories and eating whatever I want that fits into that calorie range works best. This experiment is just another confirmation of that.

Weigh-In and Measurements

When I started this challenge I weighed 145.2. I wasn’t expecting any weight loss, so I was happily surprised when I stepped on the scale after one week and saw over 1.5 pounds lost. So what was my final total? 143. I lost 2.2 pounds, which is decent but not mind-blowing enough for me to continue this diet.

As for measurements, there wasn’t a lot of change:

February 1st February 28th
Hips: 37 inches Hips: 36 inches
Waist: 34 inches Waist: 33.5 inches
Thighs: 18 inches Thighs: 18 inches

 

I wish there was more of a drastic change but I did lose an inch around my hips, so that’s something.

Final Thoughts/Observations

It didn’t take long for me to conclude that I could pretty easily go gluten-free but never entirely dairy-free. I didn’t really miss the bread (despite the two food p0rn dreams I had about eating freshly baked bread). My mom commented that when she gave up gluten, she stopped craving sweets and the second she ate it again, those cravings came back. I experienced something similar. I didn’t really crave sweets or candy or chocolate (except for a few crazy cravings in the beginning) and definitely didn’t miss bread or pasta.

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The dairy was another story. I craved cheese and sour cream. I didn’t think about Greek yogurt or milk as much as I thought I would. As the month stretched on, all I wanted was pizza or a grilled cheese sandwich!!!

Something else I did notice: it did not take very long to adjust my thinking and get used to looking for gluten and dairy free choices. It took about a week and a half and then I just became that person that was gluten free. It felt normal and familiar and not awkward like it did the first week. It almost feels strange to go back to eating the way I used to!

I will probably do another update as I re-introduce gluten and dairy back into my diet and let you know if I felt anything different. Other than that, I’m pretty glad I’m going back to normal.

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I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t feel any differently or see a drastic change because that means I don’t have to continue the diet.

Now pass me the ice cream!

Dairy-Free Update #2

Time for the second update. You can catch up here: So it Begins and Dairy-Free Update #1.

How Am I Doing?

I still don’t feel any different. I suppose I feel “healthier” but I don’t see a change in my skin or my runny nose issues. Michael, on the other hand, remarked after only  a few days that going gluten free has made him feel a lot better. He has a narrow esophagus and that causes swelling, snoring, etc. He said it feels like his esophagus isn’t swollen anymore.

One thing I DID notice was that my taste buds have changed.  Not really eating candy/chocolate/sugar for about two weeks, when I do have any candy it tastes weird. I had a few pieces of sour gummy bears at work (no dairy or gluten in them) they tasted nasty. It was like eating chemicals. My tongue felt weird and not because it was supposed to be sour candy, but it felt tingly like a chemical reactions–if that makes any sense.

Challenges

I did have one sort of “cheat” meal. I didn’t plan on having ANY cheat meals or cheat days in February but I already had plans with my friend Erika to go out to dinner at an Italian restaurant. I tried my best to find something on the menu that wasn’t pasta in a cream sauce but it was hard! I *think* I was successful. I asked the waitress if they had anything that was gluten and dairy free. She surprised me by saying that yes, they did. They had gluten free pasta and the marinara sauce was the only non-dairy sauce they had. At least it was something.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/LisaEirene/status/298963302757851138″]

I ordered the gluten-free penne with marinara. Originally I wanted meatballs but she said they were made with parmesan, so they substituted sausage. I also got a salad and they left off the cheese. The waitress said the walnuts were cooked in butter, so she substituted toasted hazelnuts instead. I was really appreciative that she had other options available for me. I’m slightly skeptical that the penne was actually gluten-free because it tasted just like normal pasta. BUT I’m hoping…

Foods of the Week

The second week is when I craved desserts. It wasn’t a physical craving but more of a mental one. I wanted a treat! Instead of having a piece of chocolate with lunch every day, I tried raisins. It helped quite a bit but didn’t completely cure the cravings.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/LisaEirene/status/297454835622608896″]

Our house was also free of any kind of dessert and that kind of frustrated me. I want something sweet! I made Jello once, which helped. I also had some peanut butter and honey on gluten-free crackers which was a nice treat but still, I needed more.

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I will admit, I was struggling with the no chocolate thing. I went to the grocery store ($50 in food) and concluded that you have to be rich to be on any kind of dairy or gluten diet. That stuff is so freaking expensive it’s ridiculous. I did splurge and buy one high priced item — gluten and dairy free chocolate chip cookies. I was desperate.

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The cookies were decent but not the greatest. It was a good substitution but didn’t come close to a homemade chocolate chip cookie and didn’t give me that satisfied feeling after I ate it.

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I also got a box of apple cinnamon chex cereal. It definitely works in a pinch for a sweet tooth! I opened the box and ate handfuls, unfortunately, because it was like crack. Oh so good.

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One dinner that I really liked wasn’t all that out of the norm for us. Michael sauteed some shrimp in coconut oil (the first time we’ve used that) and sprinkled cayenne pepper on the shrimp. My mouth was burning, but in a good way. I also had some black rice and a spinach salad. I loved all the flavors and the simpleness of the dinner. It took less than 60 minutes to do everything and most of that time was letting the rice cook.

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I like shrimp because a serving size is 100 calories (around 9 or 10 shrimp) and it’s a healthy protein that’s easy and fast to cook. It’s really an ideal meal for a busy work night. The entire dinner was less than 500 calories total and I didn’t feel hungry afterward. 

Thoughts/Observations

One night I had a dream that I was at a restaurant eating freshly baked bread that was oozing with butter. It was fluffy and thick with a crust to die for and the butter was drenching my hands. Talk about a food p0rn dream! Then the next night I had another–this time it was a Middle Eastern restaurant and I was eating lots of bready things.

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Gluten is sneaky. It’s in things you’d never think it would be in. Same with dairy. But if you look hard enough, you can find some tasty treats. Like this one I had for lunch one day:

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I think it’s important to change your thinking to what you CAN eat, not what you’re being denied. If I focused entirely on everything I can eat, it will make me crazy and I’ll fail!

QUESTION: Do you focus on what you CAN eat while losing weight, or focus on what you CAN’T eat?