Gluten + Dairy Free: Week 1

For those of you that follow along with me on Instagram, you know that I’m making a huge change to my diet for the next six weeks. (For those of you that don’t follow along with me on Instagram, you should. Find it here.)

I’ve been pretty vocal about my digestive issues on the blog, but just to recap, here’s what’s up. About a year ago, I went to the doctor about some persistent stomach pains after eating. After a simple blood test, they discovered that my body was low on amylase (the enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates), so they suggested that I cut back on carbohydrates. Fast forward a year later, and a few things have changed.

For one, over the last six months I’ve been trying to incorporate more whole grains like oats and quinoa. I’ve also added higher carb foods like bananas and potatoes. I mostly just shifted from intentionally eating low-carb everything to eating real foods with as few preservatives/junk/added sugar as possible. I also have loosened up on taking extra precautions while eating out because come on, this girl’s gotta live a little. My stomach pain hasn’t gone away, but I have found that avoiding certain foods makes it better.

Another thing I’ve struggled with since coming to college is cystic acne. In high school, I rarely ever broke out. I would get a few whiteheads here and there, but never a full blown colony of painful, under-the-skin zits. I’ve tried cleanser after cleanser and apply prescription cream religiously every morning and night, but nothing seems to cure my problem. It HAS to be coming from the inside.

After some research, I’ve learned that two of the biggest food intolerances are gluten and dairy, and they often go unrecognized. So I’ve decided to challenge myself and completely cut out gluten and dairy for the next six weeks to see if any of my symptoms subside. After six weeks, I plan to reevaluate and see what’s working and slowly add certain foods back in. I recognize that I am not a doctor and am unfit to make a diagnosis about my digestive issues. 

I will be using my blog to hold me accountable for this change and hope you’ll follow along. I’ll be posting weekly about what I eat, how I feel, and if I’m noticing any changes. If you have any expertise to offer, please do so in the comments at the end of this post.

Day 1

Breakfast: two eggs scrambled in ghee (clarified, lactose-free butter) with onions, sweet peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, + avocado

Morning snack: coconut chocolate RXBAR

Lunch: tuna salad, spinach salad with tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, salt + pepper, + Good Thins Veggie Blend Gluten-Free Crackers

Dinner: zucchini pizzas made with Trader Joe’s almond milk mozzarella + sautéed mushrooms with olive oil, salt & pepper

A bunch of people asked me on Instagram what I thought about the almond milk mozzarella. My honest opinion? It’s definitely not regular mozzarella. But it’s a decent substitute and melts well. It’s also extremely expensive, so I don’t think I’ll be buying it very often because I’m out here #ballinonabudget.

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Nighttime snack: Snyder’s gluten free pretzels + generic brand roasted garlic hummus

How I’m feeling: I have no stomach pain which is good, but it’s too early to tell a difference.

Day 2

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs with Trader Joe’s seasoned salt (cooked in ghee) with sautéed spinach + mushrooms

My stomach started to hurt after this breakfast, which led me to think that maybe it was the ghee. Even though it’s lactose-free, it’s still butter. I’m going to try frying my eggs in something else to see if this changes anything.

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Morning snack: sweet pepper slices

Lunch: quinoa with spinach, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, salt + pepper

Afternoon snack: peanut butter chocolate chip Larabar

Dinner: leftover zucchini pizzas + mushrooms

How I’m feeling: I feel pretty good today. I haven’t had any stomach pain, but I’ve been super tired and all day. (This could possibly have to do with the fact that I got 6 hours of sleep the night before.) I also didn’t feel like my lunch was very filling, so maybe next time I’ll add some chicken for more protein.

Day 3

Breakfast: smoothie with one frozen banana, 1/3 cup coconut milk, 2 tbsp peanut butter, + 1 scoop chocolate bone protein powder

This smoothie is my go-to for a quick breakfast or post-workout fuel. It’s super easy to make and basically tastes like a chocolate peanut butter cup. I use Ancient Nutrition bone broth protein which is made by simmering chicken bones. Gross? Sort of, but it’s also one of the only protein powders that doesn’t bother my stomach.

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Lunch: Banza chickpea pasta with dairy-free cheese sauce + peas

My gluten- and dairy-free attempt at mac n’ cheese was a total fail. This was pretty disgusting if I’m being honest. I miss cheese already.

Dinner: turkey burger with lemon garlic aoli, sautéed spinach, mushrooms, + red pepper, + roasted sweet potatoes

Nighttime snack: Snyder’s gluten free pretzels + generic brand roasted garlic hummus

How I’m feeling: The night before I had to turn down a free beer which was a huge bummer, but honestly I’m feeling pretty good. The one thing I’ve noticed the most is that I don’t feel as bloated as I normally do and my stomach doesn’t really hurt after eating. I do miss cheese, though, and I forget how many things taste better with it.

Day 4

Brunch? (It was 2:20 pm. Saturdays, man): leftover turkey burger with lemon garlic aoli, sautéed spinach, mushrooms, + red pepper, + roasted sweet potatoes

My roommate bet me that I wouldn’t make it the entire 6 weeks and I’m determined to win this bet. Honestly, I’m surprised I’ve made it this far without cracking.

Afternoon snack: Veggie Straws

Okay, I know veggie straws are just glorified potato chips nutrition-wise, but I really just needed something crunchy.

Dinner: 1 slice Trader Joe’s Gluten Free bread with avocado + everything but the bagel seasoning, 2 fried eggs, sun dried tomato chicken sausage

Nighttime snack: dark chocolate covered coconut chips aka the best thing to cure a sweet tooth EVER. (Side note– I just found out that Amazon doesn’t sell these anymore and Iowa City is lacking in the health-food-store department so if you know of anywhere to get these, hit a girl up!!)

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Day 5

Brunch (Again, at 2 pm. Don’t judge): smoothie with one frozen banana, 1/3 cup coconut milk, 2 tbsp peanut butter, + 1 scoop chocolate bone protein powder

Afternoon snack: grapes

Dinner: leftover turkey burger with lemon garlic aoli, sautéed spinach, mushrooms, + red pepper, + roasted sweet potatoes

Nighttime snack: I did it. I cracked. I was hanging out with friends and someone brought candy and man, do mini Reese’s peanut butter cups get me every time. I had about 3 and I regret everything.

How I’m feeling: I’m not beating myself up over cracking and eating a few pieces of candy, but wow can I feel it. My stomach is rumbly and upset and in pain and I didn’t realize a little bit of milk chocolate could do this. Let’s hope for a better morning.

Day 6

Breakfast: two fried eggs, blistered tomatoes + sun dried tomato chicken sausage, + 1 slice Trader Joe’s Gluten Free bread

After last night, I’m ready to eat completely gluten- and dairy-free again. I can’t believe how much I could tell once I ate that candy, but I guess this whole diet change is doing something for me. Also, right after I took this photo I just mixed everything up and it was incredible.

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Morning snack: Snyder’s gluten free pretzels + generic brand roasted garlic hummus

Lunch: leftover Banza chickpea pasta with dairy-free cheese sauce + peas

Remember when I said this was pretty gross? It was pretty gross for round 2 as well but I’m on a budget and can’t really afford to waste food. At least it’s sort of photogenic?

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Afternoon snack: apple + roasted pumpkin seeds

Dinner: my final turkey burger with lemon garlic aoli, sautéed spinach, mushrooms, + red pepper, + roasted sweet potatoes

This dinner was so good I contemplated licking the plate clean, but my roommate and her boyfriend were in the room so I opted out because I have SOME decency.

Nighttime snack: popcorn with olive oil + salt

One of my all-time faves. If you haven’t tried popcorn with olive oil instead of butter, you’re missing out.

How I’m feeling: I feel like yesterday really screwed me up because my stomach is definitely not feeling 100% today. Also, one thing I’ve noticed is that I’m craving meat and chocolate a lot more than before I started this whole thing. I’m not sure what that means, but hey, it’s fine.

Day 7

Breakfast: smoothie with one frozen banana, 1/3 cup coconut milk, 2 tbsp peanut butter, + 1 scoop chocolate bone protein powder

Morning snack: Beanfields Pico De Gallo flavored chips

A few months ago Beanfields was kind enough to send me a package of goodies because I wrote about them in another blog post. This is the last of my stash and honestly they’ve been in the back of my cupboard forEVER. But I figured I would need something salty to snack on at work and at least these have a little bit of protein to get me through to lunch (beans for the win!).

Lunch: spinach salad with shredded grilled chicken, tomatoes, red onion, avocado + “dressing” aka olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt + pepper, peanut butter chocolate chip Larabar

Amateur tip: make your own salad dressings to avoid any additives. Trust me, it’s so easy.

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Afternoon snack: apple slices with roasted pumpkin seeds

Dinner: spaghetti squash with sausage and sautéed spinach, mushrooms, onions + tomatoes

I must say, I have been KILLING the dinner game this week. At first I was sad that I couldn’t add a little bit of parmesan to this bowl, but I realized I didn’t even need it. The sausage added flavor and all the veggies + spaghetti squash tasted great with just salt + pepper.

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Nighttime snack: veggie straws

How I’m feeling: I did it. I made it half a week and I only cracked once. This means I’m 1/6 of the way there. Lord help me.

My stomach has barely hurt all week (with the exception of my little Reese’s mishap) but, sparing all the lovely details, my stomach has definitely not been on its A-game. I’m starting to question whether or not this is all worth it.

HOWEVER as I sat down to write the final part of this post and questioned whether I would truly make it the full six weeks, I realized that I have not had ONE new pimple emerge this week. Now, I guarantee I’m going to wake up with a massive one in the morning just because I jinxed it, but seriously. Not one. Something has to be going on.

If you made it all the way through this blog post, congratulations, you rock. Feel free to leave any comments + questions + helpful tips in the comments below. Thanks for following along!

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2 thoughts on “Gluten + Dairy Free: Week 1

  1. All of these photos are making me hungry haha! Even though my health is okay regarding gluten/dairy I do like to try and cut down on dairy where possible so this gives me lots of inspiration! xx

    Like

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