Should I Go Gluten Free?

Udi has asked me to take the 14 day Gluten Free challenge. I have decided to give it a try.

Why am I doing this?

Motivation #1: I want to see if I can do it. I have never gone on any kind of diet. I have always believed that if you control portions, eat your fruits and veggies and stay active (Playing volleyball a couple days a week counts right?) you do not have to go on a diet. BUT as I get older I am starting to notice that I am going to have to do a little more than that if I really want to stay in shape. So since I have never tried to stick to any kind of “diet” I think I would like to see if I can.

Motivation #2: I want to see if I feel better. I get headaches more often than most people and I am curious to find out if changing my diet to gluten free will help? I also want to see if my body will feel better, and have more energy.

Motivation #3: I want to know what it is like. I have known many friends who are on gluten free diets. I really admire anyone that can be disciplined enough to stay on a diet. I have partly never tried a diet because I want to be able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I have been too scared to commit to a diet because I do not want to fail.

Motivation #4 I like to get free stuff. I must admit free stuff can be a little motivating. Udi is giving me free products and coupons for free products to help in my gluten free challenge.

I need your help…

I can not do this alone. I need your help. Here are some ways you can help me.

Help #1 Join me in the challenge and comment on how it is going for you. (Monday Oct 8th-Sunday October 21st)

Help #2 Leave some suggestions in the comments of food that I should eat during my challenge. Feel free to link to gluten free on Vitacost.

Help #3 Share links in the comments to recipes that are gluten free.

Help #4 In the comments give me some tips you have learned from any kind of diet not just gluten free.

My plan…

I am going out of town this week so I will start my challenge on Monday October 8th- Sunday October 21st.  I will blog about my progress if I am seeing feedback and interest from YOU!

If I look at this post in two days and have 5 comments or less I am NOT going to do the challenge. If you guys do not care I think it will break my heart and I will not be able to go through with the diet. 🙁

So I am putting it out there… DO YOU CARE?

Click for Gluten Free Savings

Comments

  • Debbie delpriore

    Do some more homework about eating GF, it’s almost impossible to eat GF in a shared kitchen in the first few months. Cross contamination is very hard to control until everyone understands about hand washing, only use squirt mayo, jellies, ect. Just because a product says it is GF doesn’t mean it truly is. Udi’s has great GF products that are GF. If you happen to have Celiac & do this challenge there is no going back for testing. It’s very hard on your immune system to go back & forth if you are celiac or gluten sensative. I’ve been GF for 17 years. Some celiacs have very mild symptoms but that doesn’t mean the disease is mild. Get blood screening first if you possibly can. Jovial is my favorite pasta

  • Pam

    It IS possible to eat gluten free in a shared kitchen. My daughter has done this for 6 years very successfully. However, she has her own condiments, which are all labelled for her. But going gluten free is not easy! I would definitely think hard about trying this. There are a lot of great recipes available online to help you if you do so, and some very good cookbooks you may be able to find in a library until you see if you are going this route for life. Good luck!

    • Monica

      Wow. I admire you Pam! You must be a rockstar! I am sure that is a challenge to balance. Thank you for your advice and encouragement.

  • Samantha

    As I have researched and recently been put on a very food restrictive diet due to allergies and sensitivities, I have found a lot of problems people have with headaches, fatigue, and other symptoms can often be caused by Candida- a yeast overgrowth in the cells of your body. I have also discovered that tons of food additives can cause major issues too. I would ultimately go to a Dr if your concerned about your symptoms, but if it is more about feeling better, try limiting one or two things. Or cutting out one thing all together that we get too much of, like sugar or red meat. It really is interesting what the foods we eat can do to our bodies!

  • Bevel

    Of course you should do it. 🙂 It’s about willpower and a challenge and being healthy and FREE things! Toast the bread. It seems to always taste better that way…. really I think GF without carby stuff is more flavorful. However, we tried GFCF (no dairy either) and dairy adds a lot of flavor (and GF seems to be bigger now) so you may have more options. Be prepared to crash in the first 2-3 days and get some extra sleep. Also, there’s a lot of GF junk out there (Cheetos, Swedish Fish, etc.) don’t go wacko. Stick with your own healthy habits.

    • Monica

      Great advice. I had no idea they made gluten free cheetos and swedish fish. I do not really like eating those very often anyway. So it would be easy to steer clear!

  • chelsea

    Hey, the way i see it is, what do you have to lose? You try it and you feel better (which I think you will) and then you know that it’s a good thing to do, OR you try it and feel no different and then you know:)! I support you! We have been trying to eat grain-free for a few months and I think it is wonderful, we get so creative with eating a ton of vegetables (I get a lot of recipes from wellness mama) and that can only be good plus we feel great and my 4 year old daughter is growing up knowing not only how to eat veggies but love them. This is how I felt when I decided to try a new skin care line – I will try it and then go back to what I was using before and see if I can tell the difference and I really could so that told me it was definitely a great product (and I have loved it ever since, no more looking around for the right product) and the same with the diet, or as I like to call it, way of eating and health (calling it a diet will make it be a more negative experience I think, just tell yourself and others that you are eating certain foods for your health). Best of luck and I hope you have great results!

  • Cathy Jenkins

    Glad to see you got comments. I love experiments. I don’t think I have a Gluten problem but I applaud you in your efforts and am curious to hear you results !! You Go Girl !!

  • Amy

    I would love to go GF, I just don’t have the will power. I had a roommate who was gluten intolerant and she ate a lot of the Ancient Harvest pasta. I also love quinoa, which I know is GF. If you’re looking for a little reward, Woodchuck Hard Cider (and probably other hard ciders) are GF and delicious.

  • annie

    You are lucky to be getting free items. gluten free diet is very expensive. the 2 brands my husband likes best is the Namaste pizza dough mix and their pancake mix. and for noodles Quinoa noodles are the best! better than regular ones. the linguine noodles are thicker than the spaghetti ones so that is what we buy. If you can find a good all purpose flour with bean flour as a base it is better than the all purpose rice flour base. It is not as grainy.
    You have to watch everything you buy because you will be surprised at what has wheat in it. the main ingredient in kikoman soy sauce is wheat so we buy la choy. Eating out at resturants is tricky. no fast food for sure unless you ask for no buns. taco bell’s spices have wheat in them. We even ate at a resturant that said they had a gluten free menu but my husband got really sick afterward so either they brought the wrong item or it was contaminated when prepared. Our meals consist of a lot of meat, fruits and vegetables because we don’t like a lot of the gluten free products out there. they go stale very quickly and they have a different texture that one has to get used to. Plus my husband is allergic to other foods so we have to stay away from them also. But I will tell you this. going off wheat has made it easier to loose and maintain weight! Good luck

    • Lot’s of meat, fruits and vegetables sounds like a good option. That seems like something I can handle. Then I could supplement in some of the Udi products. I think I will order some more nuts from vitacost.

  • Kristy Guernsey

    I think it is awesome, but the most important thing is to think of it as a lifestyle change not a diet. When you use the word diet it’s a temporary. When I went to lose weight the first thing I was taught was to think of this a new life and lifestyle change. It made all the differeance and 7 yrs later I am living that lifestyle. I know you can do it if this is something our truly want to try and make a change in your life. Good luck girl you have my full support.

  • Sarah

    You can do it!!! I’ve always been curious about going gluten free. I have some friends that have done it just to lose weight and its worked!! I’d love to read your updates and see how it goes!!!

  • michelle

    I have looked at gluten free for my son (still haven’t made the leap yet) but I have read and heard that it takes quite awhile for the gluten to leave your body. From what I understand you have to try it for at least a month and 6 months is a more accurate trial period. And be careful cuz it is Everywhere! Gluten is a binding agent so it’s in seasoning packets, gravy, so many things that aren’t pasta or bread. I love that Chex has so many GF options so I can still rock the cereal deals & coupons. I’m definitely interested to hear how it goes if you decide to do it!

  • I prescribe a gluten free diet for many of my patients, and time after time they do wonderfully on it. It does NOT have to be hard, it does NOT have to be expensive, AND it is not dangerous if you do it correctly. What I tell my patients is don’t get consumed with eating “gluten free” packaged foods. If you eat lean meats, dairy, nuts and seeds, fruits, and vegetable those things are naturally gluten free. Add in some brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes and you have a healthy well-balanced diet. Good luck and I hope that you do it!

  • Sophie

    One thing to take note of:

    If you truly think you have a gluten intolerance or allergy that is causing headaches, etc, get tested (both blood and possible biopsy) to confirm this prior to eliminating gluten from your diet for good. By confirming this and having an actual diagnosis from an MD, there may be certain tax deductions available if you have to spend so much on gluten free food every year (check with your tax guy, it can fall under medical expenses). If you go gluten free, your body will start to heal and if you get tested later on after you have eliminated gluten for an extended period of time, there is usually no damage to indicate a diagnosis. Then, even though you truly may be celiac, you may not actually be able to be officially diagnosed. This may or may not be important to you, but just an FYI in case it is!

    • Great advice Sophie. I appreciate it. I do not have stomach issues so I do not think I am a celiac. But I do think that sugars cause my headaches. I think a modified way of eating might naturally cut out many of the sugar options. I will take your advice though. I am only going to try this for two weeks and see how it goes. If I decide to go for it as a lifestyle I will do more research and consult a physician.

      I hope your excellent advice can help other people needing to go gluten free for medical reasons.

  • Alison

    Just writing to share a GF banana bread recipe with you. It’s become one of our favorite treats since my husband was diagnosed with celiacs last year. I just made a batch Sunday night, intending it to be part of breakfast Monday morning; two-thirds of it had disappeared before Monday even rolled around.

    http://www.musingsofahousewife.com/2011/11/best-ever-gluten-free-banana-bread.html

  • Tyree

    Potatoes, and rice do not have glueten, niether does oatmeal. My Dad is alergic and we grew up with a lot of chinese food and mexican food. You should think about all the meals you already make that are glueten free naturally. Soups made with corn starch instead of flour. You don’t have to buy glueten free to be glueten free–they are just treats and usually not that good. You can have tacos, stir fry, meat and potatoes, soup, fish and rice, etc. You lose bread, cookies, cake, crackers, waffles, rolls, etc. You don’t have to eat weird to be glueten free.

  • megan

    Hello! I have been GF for about 5 years and it’s second nature now. I was diagnosed gluten intolerant by a ND and have loved it. My stomach issues, my sugar cravings, my headaches, and even PCOS has all greatly improved because of this diet! I was able even able to conceive!

    It is REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY hard the first 3 months, especially getting used to checking labels, explaining what you can and can’t eat to friends, and the cravings/withdraws. Yes, I would call them withdraws because if you are gluten intolerant (and especially celiac) your body doesn’t process gluten or wheat like it is supposed to. It’s kind of like giving up caffeine when you are used to 2+ cups of coffee a day.

    It will take time, patience, and determination. I believe that going GF can really change a person’s health for the better! It forces you to be more conscientious of what goes into your body. MSG has gluten in it, as does wheat, some oats and barley (because they grow near each other some gluten can contaminate it), almost everything that is pre-made, anything fried or breaded. Most sauces and gravy, dressings, canned soups…

    The list is pretty long, BUT fresh veggies, fruits, and meats are rarely contaminated! And there are TONS of great GF blogs and pinterest is amazing! I made GF corndogs the other day and they were fabulous! It’s been years since I’ve had them and my hubby couldn’t even tell they were GF!

    Ok, so the whole flours thing still confuses me, and I’m not exactly a novice. The basic thing to know is that you have to use more than one. GF flour blends you can get at the store are great for just starting out or trying the diet, but aren’t really cost effective. My fav flour blend can be used 1:1 for flour in any recipe and I found it here:

    http://www.artofglutenfreebaking.com/2009/11/the-story-behind-my-gluten-free-flour-mix/

    This is one of my favorite GF site. She explains things very well, and its the only flour blend I have found that tastes good on its own. I made pancakes (flour, eggs, milk) and loved it!

    There are TONS of blogs and websites for GF diets and info. Good luck and I am excited to hear about your journey!

  • shirley

    Find someone to mentor you when you go gluten free, this will make it easier. I found an extension educator who has celiac disease to help me out. I also discovered that Hyvee stores have a dietician on duty that can assist you with foods in their stores and also does meals once a month that are gluten free to get you started. I have been gluten free for almost 2 years and helped my father to become gluten free. He has noticed a lot of health issues have disappeared since he went gluten free. He also says that he couldn’t have done it without my help. Another thing to know is that if one person in your family has gluten issues, others could also. It is a gene that can be passed on to other family members. You must also be aware that toothpaste, medications and detergents plus soaps must be gluten free. I am still discovering things that cause problems for me.

  • Shaina

    There is noting wrong with trying a GF diet. Both my kids have food allergies and not just to gluten. They are allergic to Eggs, Dairy, Corn, Wheat, Oats, Tomatoes and Strawberries. People always ask me “What do you feed them.” They love vegetables and meat plus there are a lot of recipes to make things gluten free at home. I make pretty much everything they eat. My husband who isn’t GF love the pizza crust I make better then regular crust. I’ve been doing this for 6 years and it’s just a life style around here not a diet. I just wish people wouldn’t feel sorry for my kids. They are way healthy and don’t know any different. I switched back and forth with GF/regular (eat anything you want) diet and didn’t have any effects. Everybody is different so there is now way you know until you try it. Good luck!

  • Shawna

    I found this blog today while researching to decide if I should try a gluten free “diet”…I was going to do it for some of the same reason…to see if I could, and to see if it could benefit our family. I do not believe we have celiac, but I do get headaches, fatigue, and stomach aches. I figure it can’t hurt to try….so after reading this I am going to join you in the challenge! My challenge however is going to be cost. I have a family of 3 adults, (My husband and I and my dad), and our 4 children. I feed all of us each week on $120. Not sure how this will go during this 2 week GF challenge, but after all, that is why it is called a challenge. I am going to focus on trying to incorporate more meat, veggies, fruit, and rice into our meals. I look foward to following your posts in the coming weeks:)

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