Trader Joe’s lunch

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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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?

One Sunny Day

I changed things up a little bit on Tuesday’s commute to work. I parked on the other side of Sellwood, to lengthen my bike ride a little bit. I knew it would only add a few extra minutes, but I was okay with that.

Because I was lengthening my ride, I didn’t stop at all. I peddled like mad and my heart rate definitely increased. At one point there was a guy right on my tail while I road through the detour around OMSI. It was rather annoying. I wanted to yell at him to pass me. I knew he was drafting off me, but I don’t know you dude, stop drafting off me. It was just creepy. I mean I’m a girl riding all alone the last thing I want is some strange guy riding my tail.

I eventually lost him because I started peddling really hard. He just made me uncomfortable. If it was Michael drafting off me, or a stranger in a race, that’s one thing.

I crossed the Hawthorne Bridge in no time at all and was on my way to work.

I somehow shaved almost 8 minutes off my time! I’m guessing it is because I didn’t stop at all and I pedaled faster than normal because I was worried about having a longer ride and being late.

Ride Stats:

Time: 30 minutes

Calories Burned: 255

Miles Biked: 5.9

Almost 6 miles! It was a great ride in, even being a little bit on the cold side. I wore my new gloves too.

They have extra gel padding on the palms, which is nice because my old gloves were losing their padding.


For lunch on Tuesday I had a Trader Joe’s frozen Indian food meal. I’ve had it for a few weeks but I didn’t realize when I bought it that it had 500 calories in it! The package was deceptive: at first glance it said 250 calories but there’s two servings in it! It wasn’t larger than the other Trader Joe’s frozen meal I bought, so I didn’t think it would be two servings.

Sneaky! I brought it for lunch on Tuesday because I could justify eating 500 calories for lunch after riding twice in one day.

It was a yummy dish but I wouldn’t buy it again simply because of the calorie count. I’ll stick with the chicken one I usually buy because it’s around 330 calories for the whole thing.

It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Portland. I hope my ride home is nice and easy!

QUESTION: Do you think there’s etiquette in regards to drafting? Would you ever draft a solo rider you don’t know, or am I being weird about it?