Aloha tweakfit.com followers. I am checking in to update you with my gluten-free, dairy-free personal challenge. I am actually currently finished my journey, it just took a little while for me to update my blog. Although I did have some slip-ups, I am willing to forgive myself for being human and a whole new-found sympathy goes out to the food allergy sufferers out there, because this journey was not easy for me. Here are a few things I learned along the way:
Surprising Foods That Contain Gluten/Dairy:
I am a Registered Dietitian and have had clients in the past who had celiac disease, a wheat allergy, or who are lactose intolerance/sensitive. I have provided lists of foods they must avoid, and gone through reading ingredients lists, as well as create meal plans for me. However, I’m not going to sit here and say that I know every single food that does or does not contain gluten or lactose. Products can change, and new foods are introduced to the market every day. Here are a few of the foods that threw me for a loop:
- microwave popcorn; contains milk
- soy sauce; contains gluten
- curry & other spices; may contain flour to prevent clumping
- luncheon meats; many contain lactose
- Lara bars; read labels b/c certain flavors contain lactose
- Gum; some contain wheat!
- Lime tortilla chips; contains milk
My saving grace:
When I was starting to feel deprived of my favorite foods, I was happy to be able to utilize some of these gluten-free, dairy-free swaps:
- Almond milk for regular milk
- Lara bars (most varieties) for granola/snack bars
- Rawfaello brownies for other desserts
- Rice Chex for other cereals
- Corn tortilla chips; plain for flour tortilla chips
Visiting my local Farmer’s Market on a weekly basis also helped me stock up on all the fresh fruits and veggies I needed for less money than the grocery store. I was also able to find 100% vegan, raw snacks made from a local company called Rawfaello, amazing!
A weight is lifted:
My initial anticipated outcomes of going gluten and dairy-free were increased energy, elevated mood and weight loss. While I did feel as though certain days I was full of energy, overall, I do not feel as though my mood or energy was changed by this particular diet change. While I used to be very normal with bowel movements, this changed negatively, even with increased fruit and vegetable intake. This caused abdominal bloating and an overall weight gain of 3lbs! I must say, this may have been in part from an increase in white rice, nut butter, and higher fat intake then my prior diet. Now, one week after incorporating back in dairy and gluten, I am back to my normal, regular self and weight.
The day I was finished this diet, I felt so relieved. A weight was lifted off my shoulders of not having to worry about where or what I could eat. Again, this entire process has made me even more sympathetic to those with food allergies and made me realize that I am not allergic to either gluten or dairy. On the contrary, this process made me realize that my body works better with these foods in my diet; especially dairy. This is how my body feels, which may not be true for yours. The only way to know how you will feel, is to try it for yourself. Hopefully some of my insights will be able to help you along your journey, if you choose to do so.