So my New Year's resolutions for 2012 were no alcohol and no gluten for 10 weeks. Now I don't drink too often (maybe 2-3 times a month) so cutting out the booze from my diet really wasn't that big of a deal. I was raised on breads and pasta though.. and I absolutely love a good sandwich so giving up gluten was a bit tougher to wrap my head around.
I read the book Wheat Belly
over the holidays to help get me motivated (I will write more about this another time). It has been almost 3 weeks now and I can honestly say that I am about 98% gluten free! It was a little challenging at first, having to find alternatives for my fried egg sandwich in the morning, my turkey or tuna sandwiches for lunch, my favourite fettuccine alfredo, and of course my weekly Sunday cheat.. a greasy, deep dish pizza! But now that I'm a few weeks in, it has gotten a lot easier!!
Finding different things to eat for breakfast wasn't actually too bad, I just have to make sure I'm prepared and have all the ingredients I need. I'll now either have a protein smoothie in the morning (milk, greek yogurt, hemp seed oil, protein powder, egg whites and some frozen berries) or I'll make scrambled eggs with an assortment of veggies (yams, peppers, mushrooms, onions) and some cooked ham/turkey sausage/side bacon & cheese.
For lunch, I'm trying to eat a lot more vegetables. I now have my turkey and tuna over a bed of salad or will make myself some chicken, rice & broccoli or mix some leftover meat and veggies up with some eggs and have another scramble. I realized that I was eating so many sandwiches because they were super easy and convenient. I've found that if my fridge is stocked full of fresh produce and if I have plenty of healthy options like lean meats, eggs and cheese on hand, it's super easy to put something together in a few minutes. I've also started carrying around some nuts, yogurt and fruit in my gym bag so I always have a snack with me if I need.
Dinner really hasn't been a problem because I almost always eat something off the barbecue, whether it's a steak, grilled chicken or pork tenderloin. We also try to have fish at least once a week and have a bunch of wild salmon filets in our freezer from last Summer that we're still trying to get through. I always have a mixed salad or some steamed veggies (no starches) to accompany my meat.
It's only been a few weeks so it's tough to tell how much of a difference removing gluten from my diet has made. I definitely feel better, I have more energy throughout the day and have been having far less gastrointestinal/digestive issues. I haven't felt bloated at all except for the time that I cheated and had some 2 for 1 pizza at a friends place the other weekend. My guts ached so bad the next day and I felt puffy, bloated and gross!
I'm going to give it the full 10 weeks and then reassess things from there. I'm only human and realistically know that I'll probably eat gluten containing foods again. I'm going to try to treat the gluten containing foods like cheat meals though and limit them to no more than once or twice a week.