Sometimes I make hasty decisions.
When I decided to go gluten free for Holy Week, I just did it. It wasn’t until I was writing a post about it that I began to realize it was going to take a lot more effort than I had given it credit for.
Gluten is in wheat, rye and barley, which don’t sound so intimidating in number (only three things!), but as it turns out, we eat a lot of wheat at my house! We also went meatless for Holy Week, so that provided an added challenge with one less food group to incorporate into meals. Keep in mind I was already sugarless for all of Lent, and I gave up processed corn and soy.
I did and didn’t want to feel differently while fasting from gluten. On one hand, if cutting gluten gave me exponentially more energy and mental clarity, I wanted to experience that and know how to obtain it. On the other hand, if I felt better gluten free, I would worry that I should give it up for good, and I quickly learned how much of a lifestyle change that would be for me.
Ultimately I didn’t feel any differently, although I did notice very regular bowel movements. Every time I used the toilet, I had a bowel movement. I’m so sure you wanted to know that. Sorry, I should have put a poop disclaimer before writing that sentence. 😉 The second I added gluten, sugar and white flour back into my diet, I was much more stopped up, and I did notice that the first time I had unsoaked whole wheat, later in the week, I could feel the heavy-ness, and was even less likely to have regular BMs. Hmmmm!
What does a Gluten Free Week Look Like?
It was definitely a valid sacrifice, and I had lots of opportunities to pray.
We ate lots of soaked oatmeal, a green smoothie, scrambled eggs, and Paleo pancakes. When my family had toast, I replaced that with a leftover baked potato. Don’t laugh – I used to eat baked potatoes for breakfast all the time in high school! I just remembered my love affair with those spray butters on my potatoes…blech…talk about consuming chemicals!
Mostly leftovers. I ate lunch at the zoo Tuesday and had a hard-boiled egg, yogurt with fruit, and a salad. Packing a lunch without wheat was definitely trickier! I planned ahead when making the chickpea wraps on Friday and used amaranth flour instead of white flour.
Unfortunately I didn’t think this far in advance when I made a Southwestern Pot Pie last Tuesday. It has cornbread right on top, and my recipe uses half whole wheat flour. Since my husband doesn’t like sweet potatoes, I had to finish the pot pie or let it go to waste, so I just ate the filling without blatantly eating cornbread. There was certainly some cornbread mixed amongst the beans and vegetables.
Was it a coincidence that I got crabby that night before dinner? Was it gluten intake? Overall lack of sleep? Or was it just passing up sourdough pizza crust for leftovers? My wise husband reminded me that I was sacrificing gluten for God, and that I ought to offer it up joyfully.
Tuesday: Three Bean Soup (Recipe available in The Everything Beans Book), salad with homemade dressing and a hard boiled egg. But this is what I missed: Not so attractive in a photo, but the loaded quesadillas looked really, really good at the time!
Leftover refried beans, Mexican beans and rice, and potato salad with a loaded Caesar salad. But this is what I missed: Uh-huh. That’s homemade cheese, mushroom and red pepper pizza, on a crispy sourdough crust. That was a rough one.
Thursday: Millet cakes and simple cabbage soup. The millet cakes are very bland, kind of like salmon patties with no salmon. This was a new variation on my cabbage soup, minus carrots, plus potatoes, with garbanzos instead of great northern beans and a little added cayenne. It’s a big improvement on an already delicious soup!
My cravings were so BAD today! I really wanted that dark chocolate and started eating everything in sight trying to satisfy the craving – dried fruit, nuts, power bars…nothing seemed to help!
Friday: Roasted tomato soup from the freezer and more millet cakes.
Saturday: We had dinner at the in-laws, and I stayed meatless and GF through lunch, and I skipped the roll at dinner to try to stay soaked grain free and more or less gluten free.
And Sunday? I ate way too much candy, a piece of deli pie, cured meat, and so much junk!
Have you ever tried an elimination diet? What were your results?
I’m entered in: