Yay!! It's official today has been a full year of eating gluten free!!
For those who don't know, my twin sister was diagnosed with celiac disease. Since I've had stomach problems for most of my life (same symptoms as her and being a twin made me 30% more likely to have it) I decided to go gluten free to see what would happen. Within a week I was a totally different person!!
There are a lot of things that improved, but the most important one for me was going from having nausea 24/7 for years on end to never being nauseous at all!!! The best thing ever!! Anyone who has had chronic nausea for whatever reason knows how bad it is. I feel a million times better than before I went gluten free.
Another side effect of going gluten free is that I lost fifteen to twenty pounds and here's the kicker... a full year later and I haven't gained a pound back!! I was in no way overweight, but I wasn't my ideal weight either. Now I'm back down to what I weighed as a teenager! I never thought I would see that day again. The crazy thing is I haven't increased my exercise and I don't exactly eat healthy either (trust me I eat candy like it's going out of style/still addicted to sugar). So the weight loss was purely from going gluten free. I've stayed at a consistent weight for an entire year. I love it!
A lot of people feel deprived when they decide to try gluten free, but I never really did. I felt so awful that I was willing to try anything. When I started out I was eating meat, fruit, veggies, rice, potatoes and dairy. That's it. All home cooked meals so that I knew the ingredients were safe. Eventually in time I started adding in gluten substitutes like gluten free rice pasta, gluten free flours for pancakes and birthday cakes, (even found gluten free soy sauce!) etc. I still don't eat a lot of those, but it's nice to have them every now and then. I think the main reason I was able to stick with it is because a lot of candy is naturally gluten free so I didn't have to cut those out... I don't know if I would have had the will power to go gluten free while also fighting a sugar addiction. Now that I've been gluten free a year I'll probably try to break the sugar habit too, but we will see.
Now for proof that gluten free isn't torture here is an idea of some of our favorite meals/dishes.
White chicken chili (AMAZING!!)
Cream cheese black bean dip
Chicken salad or tuna salad with corn tortilla chips
Chicken and rice (my favorite meal ever)
Cheesy potato soup
Spinach artichoke dip
Taco salad (or tacos, nachos, tostados, enchiladas, etc.)
Hungarian pork chops
Refried bean dip
Meatloaf (use rice) and asparagus
Sweet and sour chicken wings (homemade sweet and sour sauce using gluten free soy sauce is AMAZING!)
Spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash (we love squash)
Baked pasta dish with gluten free pasta
Chicken bacon ranch baked potato
Salads of all kinds
Stir fry veggies and rice
Sandwich wraps (be careful of gluten in lunchmeat!) in white corn soft tortillas
If you're interested in any of these recipes let me know. I'm a picky eater, but I'm telling you all of this stuff is amazing! So we by no means feel deprived at all! The only thing that is difficult is finding gluten free restaurants to eat at, but we rarely eat out and when we do we found an amazing Mexican restaurant that uses cheese as a thickener in their meat so it's gluten free! Yay!
P.S. For anyone who has a sweet tooth, but is trying to stay away from processed foods, here is a quick snack that totally does it for me. Put all natural peanut butter (you can find some with very few ingredients, it's great!), chocolate chips (there are some with a small ingredients list) and sugar in a bowl. Microwave. Stir. Amazing! It has protein, cuts the sweet tooth and doesn't have an ingredients list that is 5 miles long. Enjoy! :)