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Gluten Free May – the Follow Up

30 days of no gluten.

Was it tough?

Not at all.

Did I miss anything?

Barely.

Towards the end of week 2 when the killer muesli was baking away in our oven (for my boyfriend’s breakfasts) I did swoon. The smell was unbelievable.

So although I thoroughly looked forward to again consuming all varieties of oats once more; I did not want anything.

However this point is part of a much larger discussion and that is one of cravings, mental headspace and feeding our bodies as they need. The topic of another post….

As you will know from having read this I was well prepared for gluten free May and actually a little excited.

So how did I feel?

No different.

What I can report is this….

WEEK 1
Physicality Emotional Overall Types
Felt good about my options and no doubt my planning assisted this. Felt fuller and enjoying more of foods as lower-calories items often. Forced me to have more grain variation and further push me for week 2 i.e. polenta and buckwheat Felt great Really happy and excited. Don’t feel at all lacking… quinoa, brown rice and seed bread (gluten-free), polenta and buckwheat
WEEK 2
Did not feel as full this week from similar options however non-grain lunches I was fine with. Have had 6 straight nights of very vivid dreams… Good to go Making killer muesli – the oat smell was incredible! Post-month could include quinoa etc with oats ?? quinoa, arborio rice, seed bread

Key points:

  • Experimented with varying gluten-free grains
  • Ate more non-grain meals than usual and was satisfied
  • Had 6 straight evenings of exceptionally vivid dreams (weird!!!)
  • There was a distinct difference between weeks where by in one week I thoroughly enjoyed eating MORE food as the meals were lower calorie without gluten and/or grain at all though the following week I found those same meals were not filling me up in the same way

During the month of May I experimented and enjoyed various methods of consuming quinoa, brown rice, seed bread, polenta and buckwheat. Fave recipes were my amaranth muesli, mung bean pasta with grilled chicken, a few polenta options of which you can expect to see on the blog in the coming weeks and this pancake recipe

Amaranth Muesli heaven

Amaranth Muesli heaven

Polenta 2-ways for yummy and nourishing meals

Polenta 2-ways for yummy and nourishing meals

These gluten-free grains were enjoyed at varying times of the day, sometimes hot, others cold and at times even raw!

It was so much fun trying out new recipes and enjoying them.

As the 30 days were nearing an end I decided that my first gluten meal would consist of oats. Firstly because I love them and the smell in week 2 had stayed with me, though also because they are the lowest gluten grain as compared to bread for instance. As my body had become used to not consuming gluten I considered this to be a kinder way of reintroduction. Eating that porridge was delicious and very filling. For hours and hours I felt nourished and content which admittedly had not been as much the case for the past 30 days. In those first few days I ensured only to eat gluten in one meal of the day.

Delicious and warming porridge with stewed rhubarb, apple and cinnamon

Delicious and warming porridge with stewed rhubarb, apple and cinnamon

Waking up the day AFTER porridge was not great I must say. I felt nauseous and not quite right.

It passed within an hour and has not since resurfaced.

All signs point to the fact that this was my body’s natural response to gluten.

HOWEVER as it did not continue in the following days I really can not be sure.

Within those 30 days the weight on the scales which although not an indication of body fat; showed lower numbers each week. This would tell me that my body was releasing fluids in line with me not consuming gluten.

BEFORE – removing gluten Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 AFTER – with gluten
58kg 57.9kg 57.4kg 56.95kg 57.25kg 57.6kg

In one week after re-introducing gluten; I did not notice any further differences and had since sampled oats, bread and water crackers.

As much attention as I pay to what my body tells me, it is so hard to recall everything. In part this is why I kept a gluten-free diary and broke it down into important points as you will have seen above.

Overall I felt good during those 30 days and I feel good now as well. This is as much to do with my clean and active lifestyle as it is about removing/adding gluten to my diet. As discussed in previous posts; unless one has an allergy/intolerance I am NOT an advocate of removing food groups/large food items.

The original symptoms that I identified with were not gone though several of them can not be properly assessed as they are often not present or at least obvious. So in other words – I do not really know if I have an intolerance to gluten or not. I wish I had more concrete evidence to provide to you though at this point I do not. What I do know and feel strongly about, is that we all should make the effort to think outside the box (gluten) whether you feel any different or not consuming it.

The quality of the majority of gluten products available, offer very low nutritional value and worse still; gluten is present in almost all non-clean food. It would seem that gluten is all around us as opposed to wonderful creations like amaranth and quinoa. How wonderful it would be if these grains existed as bountifully as gluten does on menus/in stores and on our dinner tables.

In a world that seems somewhat obsessed with gluten being an enemy; for me; these 30 days were a wonderful opportunity to sample new and different grain ideas and to now enjoy combining them with gluten here and there. For instance instead of the grain in my killer muesli being oats I will trial varying % of oats/quinoa & oats/amaranth and not simply rely on “old favourites.” Here is to us all trying out non-gluten grain options and LOVING them!!

Now onto preparing for dairy-free July….

Stay well everyone xxxx Nadia

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi Nadia, since 1960 wheat has technically been extinct, it is a hybrid modified plant, great book and dozens of others on the peer reviewed studies on the dangers of Gluten,wheat etc, ”Wheat Belly”..Davis just for starters, the big thing to remember, how is a child going to digest Gluten, and do we actually, digest it?..I know the answer, do you?

    June 24, 2013

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