Gluten + Dairy Free: Week 2

Alright fam, it’s week two of not eating gluten or dairy. Last week was difficult but definitely manageable. I started to feel a little bit better and noticed my acne clearing up. This week? Not as smooth-sailing. Between Thanksgiving with my family and a Friendsgiving with some pals, I’ve definitely seen a difference in how I’m feeling. Read on to see everything that I’ve eaten this week.

Day 1

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

Morning snack: trail mix

If you have any recommendations of good trail mixes, let me know. Right now, I just make my own with pepitas, chocolate chips, peanuts, and gluten-free pretzels.

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

Afternoon snack: apple

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

I absolutely loved this dinner and am so glad I made enough to eat two nights in a row. I think I might stick to the whole spaghetti squash + protein + sauteéd veggie combo for a while.

How I’m feeling: I’m not sure what I ate, but my stomach has been kind of rumbly and upset all day. I’ve been eating completely gluten- and dairy-free for an entire week with the exception of a few mini peanut butter cups and I feel like I should feel better than I do.

Day 2: Thanksgiving

I had a lot of mixed feelings about this day. Do I crack and eat whatever I want? Do I restrict myself and only eat things that are gluten- and dairy-free? (On Thanskgiving, that’s not much.) After a few days of contemplation, I decided to just eat little portions of whatever I want. There’s only one holiday dedicated solely to eating; this is my time to shine.

You knew it was coming.

A post shared by Carly Koemptgen (@cjkoemps) on

How I’m feeling: Well I haven’t eaten gluten or dairy for a few days, so obviously my body is adjusting, but honestly this isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Day 3

Breakfast: scrambled eggs + sausage

I spent the night with my roommate’s family and was fortunate enough to wake up to her parents making us breakfast. I realized that breakfast is generally pretty easy to eat gluten- and dairy-free. You can still eat traditional breakfast things like eggs (as long as they’re cooked in oil and not butter), meats, and potatoes. Things like pancakes and toast can also easily be made gluten-free.

Lunch: fajita meat + peppers with guacamole

Fajitas are much better with a tortilla in my opinion but this bowl was decent.

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Afternoon snack: guacamole + Jackson’s Honest blue corn tortilla chips

Dinner: spaghetti squash egg-in-a-hole with blistered tomatoes

I realized about halfway through eating this that I already had eggs for breakfast, but this was too good to pass up. It honestly started off as an experiment to see if I could actually fry an egg  in a “nest” of spaghetti squash and keep everything together. I clearly did and it was delicious and I highly recommend making this. Oh yeah, and the blistered tomatoes made it.

Amateur tip: heat olive oil in a pan, add cherry or grape tomatoes, and sauteé for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to burst. I like to add parsley, garlic powder, salt + pepper as well.

How I’m feeling: I think my body is still recovering from Thanksgiving. One thing I noticed, though, is that my face is more red and itchy (this seems like it should be a strange thing but I’m realizing it’s actually pretty common for me). Again, my stomach isn’t feeling a whole lot better.

Day 4

Brunch: 2 slices Trader Joe’s uncured applewood smoked bacon, two eggs fried in coconut oil, 1 slice Trader Joe’s gluten free bread

This may or may not be my favorite breakfast combo of all time. Also, tracking my meals has made me realize how lazy I actually am on weekends. #socollege

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Afternoon snack: grapes

Dinner: spaghetti squash with ground beef, marinara sauce, and mushrooms + spinach salad with tomatoes and Primal Kitchen ranch dressing

This dinner was just thrown together with things I had in the fridge. I had leftover spaghetti squash from dinner a few nights ago, marinara sauce, and ground beef in the freezer. Oh and the Primal Kitchen ranch? Total lifesaver. I’ve been buying their ranch dressing since this summer and I will never go back to the old stuff ever again. It’s made with 100% real ingredients and tastes WAY better.

Nighttime snack: trail mix

How I’m feeling: My stomach doesn’t hurt, but a few pimples have popped up on my face. Yep, the painful, under-the-skin kind. I GUARANTEE this is from Thanksgiving.

Day 5

Pre-run: 1/2 an apple + Trader Joe’s peanut butter

Post-run: 2 slices of Trader Joe’s gluten free bread with 1/2 an avocado + 2 fried eggs

I don’t normally have two slices of bread at breakfast, but for some reason this morning I was really feeling it. Plus, one serving of Trader Joe’s gluten free bread is two pieces. So it’s all good, right?

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Morning snack: The Good Bean fava beans + peas, balsamic herb flavor

Lunch: chicken salad with Good Thins Veggie Blend Gluten-Free Crackers

Dinner: everything

My friends all got together this night to do a “Friendsgiving”, and I’m still trying to find a balance between being social and eating with restrictions. It’s really hard for me to be in a social situation and NOT eat all the things I want to eat. So I listened to my body and I ate whatever I wanted.

Nighttime snack: pineapple

How I’m feeling: obviously not great. This has been a rough week for eating gluten- and dairy-free. This week has made me think about what’s really important. Holidays are for spending time with friends and family, eating good food, and taking a breather. I didn’t want to have to worry about eating with restrictions especially when I’m so focused on having a good time. But now that the holiday’s done, it’s time to focus on eating completely gluten- and dairy-free.

Day 6

Breakfast: 1 slice Trader Joe’s gluten free bread topped with peanut butter, 1 slice Trader Joe’s gluten free bread topped with 1/2 an avocado, 1 Bilinski’s sun dried tomato + garlic chicken sausage

I woke up this morning with a HUGE craving for peanut butter toast. I swear, I’ve never craved it in my life. Once I saw half an avocado in the fridge, I knew I had to make two different kinds of toast. And the sausage was thrown in for protein, but I swear by Bilinski’s chicken sausage. It freezes great and can easily be added to a variety of things. (Think: egg scrambles, pasta, spaghetti squash)

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Morning snack: apple slices + roasted pepitas

Lunch: chicken salad with Good Thins Veggie Blend Gluten-Free Crackers and a spinach salad with tomato + Primal Kitchen ranch

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Dinner: spaghetti squash with ground beef, marinara sauce, + mushrooms 

Nighttime snack: popcorn with olive oil + salt

How I’m feeling: My stomach hurt this afternoon between lunch and dinner but it was hours after I had eaten. It felt like the pain that I normally get, so I’m not sure where that is coming from. I’ve also noticed that I’ve felt a little bit more tired and groggy lately.

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

Lunch: “Greek salad” with Trader Joe’s gyro meat, red onions, tomatoes, zucchini (substitute for cucumbers since I’m allergic), and dressing made with mayo, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt + pepper

Afternoon snack: grapes

Dinner: cauliflower crust pizza with peppers, mushrooms, black olives, red onions, + Trader Joe’s almond milk mozzarella

This was my first time I’ve ever had cauliflower crust pizza and I have to say, it’s not bad. As my friend eloquently put it, “I’d rather have Mesa” (a go-to place for drunk pizza in Iowa City) but this is definitely a good substitute. I bought this crust from Trader Joe’s and although it was pretty expensive, I think I would rather just buy this crust than go through the trouble of making it on my own.

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How I’m feeling: I’m still at the point where I’m questioning whether or not this is worth it. I haven’t really seen an improvement in my stomach pain, but I have seen an improvement in my acne. I want to try to make it one more week and see if that makes a difference.

Also, a friend made a comment today that sparked some thought in me. They were telling me about how their uncle went gluten-free and lost a ton of weight. While that may be great for their uncle, I’m not here because of a number on a scale. I believe that you should eat food to fuel your body properly, not in order to alter your weight. You can tell when you’re fueling your body properly because it performs as it should. If you’re fueling your body and it’s performing properly, weight loss/gain will come naturally.

For me, this whole journey is less about adhering to specific guidelines and more about doing what makes my body feel good. At this point, I’m not sure if this specific diet is making my body feel the best, but I’m going to give it another week to evaluate.

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