Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gluten and Dairy Free.. and Feeling Great!

Gluten Verboten Great Athletes Go Against the Grain
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I have been gluten and dairy free for a little over a week and it hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it's still no walk in the park either.

There is no just grabbing a quick snack or being fed up with the kids and ordering take out. I have to actually put a lot of thought into what I buy at the store, not that I was buying unhealthy foods before but when you cut two whole foods groups out of your diet your choices at the store become a bit more limited and you become a nutritional label reading ninja.

I am still learning how to do this whole thing but I have honestly never felt better since I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease fifteen years ago. I was eating healthy but still fell back on take out or crackers to fill me up sometimes- now I have to eat even better than I was. Of course I miss bread; I made a delicious loaf of Italian bread for my family the other night and was drooling over it but feeling great was worth way more than indulging in a food that hurts me.

My biggest advice for people who are changing their diet is to not think about all of the things you can't eat but of all the things you can- believe me, just focusing on things you can't have is depressing. It is mind over matter when it comes to making changes in your life and a positive outlook will get you to where you want to be!

As far as my diet goes, I haven't had to go too crazy to fill my tummy.

Dinners are super easy to do gluten free- if it's something that includes gluten or dairy I just change my portion up a bit. I made turkey noodle soup the other night and used brown rice in my soup instead of the noodles I used in everyone else's. I've also found out that I love quinoa pasta- actually more so than regular pasta (color me surprised on that one).

Breakfast and lunch (when I don't forget to eat- so not healthy but I am working on this) have been pretty easy so far too- I eat quinoa pasta with sauce, brown rice with dairy free butter, veggies, poached eggs (obsessed with these right now), fruit, salad, Raw Meal mixed with almond mix (its an organic meal replacement drink), gluten free oatmeal and leftovers.

What has been hard for me is snacks. I refuse to buy specialty gluten free crackers and cookies because they are overpriced, I am sure they don't taste very good and I want to eat as little processed food as possible. I love salty crunchy snacks like crackers and my willpower gets tested every time I open my pantry and see the kids cheddar bunny crackers staring at me but I just remind myself that a handful of crackers is not worth the damage they will do to my body. Tortilla chips have become my best friend right now and I have been making an effort to snack on fruit, which is something I rarely did before.

Listen, if I can completely change my eating habits anyone can. It takes determination and knowing that what you are doing is benefiting your body, which will in turn spill over to other aspects of your life. You don't need to go gluten or dairy free like I did (I only stopped eating them because they made me sick) but why not cut out the junk food and the processed food? Why not eat more whole foods and fruits and veggies? You can do it. It will stink at first to give up the things you loved to eat but I promise you will find other things that you love and when you start to feel better and have more energy, you won't ever want to go back to how you were.

We can do this! We are strong enough to better ourselves!

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