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Go gluten free with me (and Troy)!

Ever thought about giving up gluten, but haven’t had the motivation to do it on your own?  Well, do it with me!  And Troy.  You know, that one guy I married.

Let me preface this by saying, I don’t think I have any problems processing gluten.  I’m kind of like a goat – I eat something and my body will process it.  I don’t get tummy aches from certain kinds of food, and the only reason I’m ever sluggish or  tired is because I rarely get enough sleep.  I also have the immune system of Charles McNeversick – a fictional person I just made up who never gets sick.  The last time I called in sick to work was January of 2011, and it had been six years since the last time I called out.

Troy though?  Troy get colds more often than a new preschool teacher.  The term “man cold” was designed just for Troy.  He also seems to need more sleep than most toddlers.  Part of it is his crazy work schedule that has him burning the candle at both ends, but even when our lives were normal, he required much more sleep than anyone I know.

I’ve been kicking around the idea that his body is working too hard to process gluten (and he eats A LOT of gluten) for awhile now, but he’s always kind of brushed me off.  Then I suggested that he should go gluten free for a month.  And I’d do it with him for moral support.  So basically, I cook everything in the house, and prepare all the meals he takes to work, so if I’m in, he doesn’t really have a choice but to participate.

I promised him that I would do this with him to encourage him and so that he wasn’t alone in this endeavor.  This won’t be like the time he offered to give up sugar to support me when I had to go dairy-free because of Jack’s allergy.  He made the decision at about 9 am the morning we found out about Jack’s allergy, and by 2 pm I found him shoving his mouth full of ice cream cake at my niece’s birthday party. Thanks for the support pal.

So, if you’re interested in doing this with us,  we’ll be cutting out gluten from July 15th – August 15th.  I picked a somewhat far off date to give myself time to prepare; gathering recipes, etc.  Generally when eliminating something from your diet, you need at least 20 days for your body to get it out of your system.  We’re shooting for a full month to test my theory that his health will improve.

When I refer to gluten, I’m just talking about us giving up the glutenous carbs like bread, pasta, etc., I’m not referring to checking every single sauce and condiment to make sure that our ketchup is gluten-free.

This is going to be a bit weird for me because when I cook, I use meat as a small part of the dish/flavoring.  I know this gluten-free month is likely to increase our meat consumption.

Let me know if you’re interested in participating!  I’m kicking around the idea of offering a few prizes for people who try this out for a month.  That decision will be made and announced before the challenge starts!  If anyone out there has an etsy shop, or is a crafty person and wants to offer up some giveaways, please shoot me an email.  If I don’t get any giveaways, I’ll just use some Swagbucks to purchase some cool prizes from Amazon.

Also, if you’re daring (and I am.  Kind of), take before and after pictures to see if cutting out the gluten made a change to your physical appearance.  My sedentary lifestyle at work has added a few pounds to thee old backside, so this will be an interesting experiment for me to see if there is any slim down of my sit down.

“Join us”, says Jack, “resistance is futile”.

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40 comments on “Go gluten free with me (and Troy)!”

  1. You’re a nice wife. You’re also crazy pants.

  2. I actually have been thinking of going gluten free for a few weeks. The hubby wasn’t too thrilled about it. It would be great to have some support as well as some recipe ideas!

    Thanks for the “kick” in the pants! I’m in!

  3. My husband has been wanting to eat more Paleo (“huntable” foods such as meat and fish and foraged foods such as nuts, fruits, mushrooms, roots, and vegetables)which is gluten free and casein free by desing. Ix-nay on white potatoes, beans, rice of any color, along with ALL grains, and oh yeah, no diary but fermented stuff like kefir so yeah. Great in theory but way more expensive for our already stretched food budget. Plus I have 3 kids in various states of pickiness…ok 2 picky kids and one who will eat anything-except most meat. It makes meal planning such a joy (eyeroll). I’d be curious to see what complete gluten free would do for my excess weight around my middle but I don’t see it happening in this current economic condition. TVP, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice are cheap, filling and everyone will eat them. If I suspected one of us what having problems with gluten I’d start buying non-organic dirty dozen fruits/veggies again to make room in the grocery budget to buy gluten frees. The food co-ops around here aren’t really any cheaper than our major grocery store and no Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Bulk food stores, farmer’s markets (til later in the summer), or CSA’s nearby (ironic considering I live in a rural farm area).

    • I totally understand – I’m freaking out a bit about how the budget is going to adjust for the next month.

      I might recommend to you that you make one change a month that your husband wants to make. Work on it until you find a frugal solution for that item and then move on to the next one. It won’t hurt the budget as much if you take tiny baby steps with it.

  4. Good luck. It’s good that you gave yourself some time to do some prep work. That will help it to not be as much of a shock. Last year I ended up cooking a lot of gluten-free meals and desserts for a new friend. Like you, I’m a cook. So, I did my research and figured out alternatives. In fact, because I was willing to cook and look out there, I found a lot of stuff my gluten-free friend just had cut-out of her diet. I found different ways to make rolls, pie crusts, and other basic “carb” foods. Whole Foods has a gluten-free section that even has graham crackers. Even Walmart is starting to have a gluten-free section. I think it helps – especially in the transition phase – to has some of these alternative foods to use in your meal prep. Like – we used quinoa pasta instead of wheat pasta. My friend was gluten sensitive, not allergic – so we could get away with having other types of grains as long as it wasn’t wheat. It seems more people are gluten sensitive – probably from the abundance of wheat/white flour found in so many of our foods. All in all – it wasn’t as bad as I thought. This was a friend, not someone I lived with – so I didn’t have to be conscious each and every meal. But, I did end up cooking some complete meals plus yummy desserts during that time period. So – good luck! And happy thoughts knowing you can still include things like brownies, pies, rolls, pizza crust, and pasta – thanks to the new gluten-free parts of the grocery store! 🙂

    • I don’t know if you’ve heard of the company “The Cravings Place” but they make phenomenal items for people with every allergy you could think of. I’ve reached out to them to see if they’ll contribute a giveaway for the contest. We’ll see!

  5. You better figure out a bread alternative for sandwiches or Troy won’t last a week!

  6. I’ll try it with you. Will you cook all my meals too?? Or just share the recipes 🙂 I am gluten sensitive but I’ve been cheating on the diet a lot lately. This will be good motivation to get back on the band wagon.

  7. just a few notes as i have several friends with severe gluten allergies so i try to cook more than a few things gluten free:

    quinoa pasta and such is bay far my favorite for flavor, i’m just not into the brown rice flavor. but it cooks QUICK.

    lentils are a good supplement to pasta dishes

    soy sauce has gluten in it, gluten free tamari is relatively easy to find

    subbing cornmeal for flour in almost anything you would batter isn’t too very hard and in my opinion is much tastier… could just be the southerner in me

    there are LOTS of gluten free mixes out there, some are better than others, it’s just finding the ingredient you like (ie my preference for quinoa over brown rice)

    lots of the pre-made gluten free breads are far more fruity and much smaller pieces for the price

    we have used a lot of polenta instead of say cream of wheat or such things for breakfast

    all oats are good to go, jut watch what the binding agent may be in granola bars and the like

    there is a “vodka” based pie crust out there that is reputed to work …. i haven’t actually tried to make this, but my friends swear up and down it’s awesome

    watch out for “thickners” for making any type of bread product, a little goes A LOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGGG way

    and it is entirely possible to do it and eat well, eat cheap, and eat tasty. it just takes some getting used to.

    and for now that’s all the help my brain has. but honestly since seeing my friend’s allergies i use more gluten free pastas, cook with a lot of rice, use corn tortillas more, and eat a lot less bread products. i honestly feel a lot healthier that way.

    Good luck, and have fun with it. The experiment should be pretty great.

    • Thank you! I was gluten-free for a bit because of Jack’s allergies, and there are great options out there. There are also some horrible ones! ;-D

  8. I’m in it as well i acturally have a gluten allergy but tend to ignore it more than i should but i’ve been trying to get better at it. So this will help motivate me.

  9. Not to be a.downer but by only cutting out obvious gluten may not make a difference. It wasn’t until I started cutting out things that contain gluten as well that I actually felt better.
    Oats are not gluten free at all. You can find gluten free oats but it is not really worth the money and they can still make some people sick.
    Hope he feels better.

    • I agree with tifga, although I wish we were both wrong:) Depending on the level of gluten sensitivity, any particle of gluten at all can activate symptoms. Unfortunately, the best way to diagnose a gluten problem is to go whole-hog and eliminate all gluten (frequently hiding in salad dressing,etc.)

    • Oh I know all that – I went through it when I had to cut out dairy and gluten because of Jack’s allergies. We don’t buy too many packaged items, and frankly, I’m trying to go the easy route just to see what happens with the grains. I think the grains are the root of the problem – not necessarily the gluten.

    • Sarah, it’s worth a shot and if it ends up being the gluten and you want to try a totally gluten free diet it won’t be that hard because you use so few processed ingredients.. most condiments I already liked and used are GF, swap tamari for soy sauce (and avoid any dressings or sauces with soy), and don’t use bulk spices.

  10. This would be awesome! My gluten-free sister was staying with us a few weeks and that helped us start. I don’t think I have a huge problem with gluten, but grains in general make me feel sluggish, so I’ve been avoiding them for a while and it really helps. Plus, it would be nice to get some ideas from somebody else…

  11. I need to do this. I do all the cooking, so my husband doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. 🙂 He eats whatever I put in front of him…except broccoli and brussel sprouts. lol I have so many stomach issues, so this could be good! We were eating a fairly strict Paleo diet, but I LOVE dairy. I better start searching for recipes.

  12. He might also want to try reducing or cutting dairy to reduce colds and see how he feels too. Exclusion diet and food diary helped me figure out how different foods caused me to feel.

    Also, I’m gluten free which you know and I’ve been eating no meat or dairy after watching Forks Over Knives (great movie!) to see if I can have more energy (I do).

    Gluten free does not have to be more expensive or lame! I have a ton of GREAT recipes that I’d love to share. Let’s talk!

    • I’m hoping it is the grains because I can’t/won’t go dairy free again to support him. I love my cheese too much and he doesn’t have the willpower to be dairy free.

      Pray for us!

  13. I started a gluten free diet recently i had the worst headache the first few days and couldnt stop thinking about a freshly baked roll but have to admit I feel great and have so much energy. I actually find i am saving money as well.

  14. the BF and I went on a low-carb diet. you eat a lot LOT of salad, which turned out to be really good for the BF as he lost 20kgs (donno what this is in lb or stone or whathaveu – google it ;p)

    what really helped is having NOTHING in the house to cheat with. it is real easy to just pop a slice of bread in your mouth when nobody is looking, sneaking carbs buggering up your ketosis (not a bad thing but a good thing – using stored fat for energy and not sugar you keep stuffing in your facehole)

    finding stuff that you can eat isn’t tough. meat. beans. sub any flour for almond etc etc. has a decent low carb section with lots of cool hints and tricks. you are not alone and lots of people ponder this problem and come up with rather tasty solutions. not all of them soy based either!

    you learn to like veggies you HATED as a kid. brussels sprouts, carrots cooked bleh (i still don’t like it though lol, but it is ok in stew and mixed veggies). the trick is to bake the vegies and use butter and spices a lot. it makes you feel satiated and asif you are treating yourself. sour cream is ok too, and yogurt as the lactose has been eated by the bacteria so lower in carbs.

    keep the good snacks handy. jerky is high in salt so take in moderation, as are other processed meats, but if you have a raging hungry man on your hands, hand him the jerky and see him smile. nuts are also good, try for the unbaked, unsalted ones. good shit that.

    eggs lotsa eggs. baked, fried, boiled, scrambled. never learned fritatta but it’s a good way to use up leftovers.

    just know you have to enable yourself to do this diet, and keep strong over weekends and when you go shopping, treat yourself with cream or yogurt or nuts or something allowable.

    you will lose kgs if not stones or pounds and you will not die of hunger, though it feels like it for the first week or so. i was hungry even while i was eating! but i think it is all physical changes and mental too. after a month u get better.

    oh yeah, it also helps to have a diet worked out to stick to. you can plan your shopping list, see how expensive it works out (it is more expensive because of all the meat, but there are alternatives to meat as you well know)

    stick to it and keep going. no more heartburn ever!

  15. I’m not worried about my willpower (I was gluten and dairy-free because my son had those allergies and I was breastfeeding) and was able to live life with everyone around me eating it. It was hard, but doable if you get creative with substitutions.

    Troy on the other hand…;-D

    My freezer is stocked with lots of meat, so I’m hopeful the cost has already be “front loaded”. We never get heartburn, but I’ll pass that on to my sis who has horrible acid reflux!

  16. I will try it too! I love reading your blog! Keep up the great work. You are so inspiring.

  17. I’ve been gluten free for about three years and I have felt so much better. People tell me “there is this gluten free stuff” that are made with other flours, but I have slowly turned my diet into a very simple non processed eating plan. I feel so much better. Good luck to both of you. It is NOT that hard to do. Knock out the obvious ones – barley, wheat, and I think rye. Just take them out – no substitutes, nothing. Just do without them. You can do it

    • Thanks for the tips!

      My plan was to just cut out the grains and replace them with veggies and whole foods instead of replacing them with fake bread, etc. We’ll see how it goes. A week in to it and I might tackle the person giving out wafers during communion at church!

  18. I’m gluten intolerant and it’s quite shocking how many things contain wheat or dextrose from wheat. Rice flour is great to use in gravy but if you make a cake using just use rice flour the texture isn’t right, so I use 2 cups white rice flour, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 2/3 cup potato flour. I find this way cheaper than buying the premixed stuff and it’s got a better flavour.

    I’ve certainly reaped the benefits from cutting out most (I sneak bread occasionally) of the gluten out of my diet, things like an itchy scalp and ‘wheat belly’ I don’t miss at all! Good luck!!

  19. I gave up both gluten and dairy about 4 months ago and haven’t looked back! I do have the odd bit of wheat here and there now, but for the first 6 weeks had none at all and lost around 14 pounds in weight! I have to say it was pretty easy and not stressful at all. I don’t miss either now and feel soooooo much better for it. Good luck 🙂

  20. It’s much easier to stick within a reasonable budget if you don’t replace wheat items with gluten free pre-packaged foods. So many of those foods have corn, soy, or potato and with the food allergies in our house, we just can’t risk it. We use brown rice or quinoa once or twice a week, but for the most part we eat Paleo-style. For baking, we use almond meal, tapioca flour, and arrowroot, sweetened with honey or fruits. Only the almond meal is expensive, so it’s really a treat for us.If you can eat beans, you don’t have to use meat too often. Until we found out that my daughter has a bean allergy, I was getting good at making anything and everything with beans. You can grind dry beans or brown rice into flour, or make cakes with cooked beans. Although food allergies had to change our habits and lifestyles, I’ve been so excited about all of the inexpensive, creative options I would never have known about otherwise. Good luck to you!

    • My plan is to eat a more paleo diet than simply replacing wheat with other grains. I’m interested to see if that helps Troy with his “exhaustion”. Everyone I know who has gone paleo seems to remark that they have more energy while eating the diet.

  21. As an FYI from someone who had to go GF for her girls it takes 6-8 weeks for gluten to completely leave the system, but my girls found they felt better and had skin clear up in 2 weeks. I’ll keep an eye on your GF endevour. Since my girls went GF two summers ago I have been working to go GF myself and am always on the look out for good GF recipes. We don’t eat more meat (actually less) since we went GF. As for pasta I recommend you get a quinoa pasta (good protein, texture and taste) or spaghetti squash. I have not found a sandwhich bread I like, but we do have Bagels, and rolls. I avoid commercial GF breads because they rely on soy and gums that I don’t like.

    • Well hello there stranger, I’ve been wondering where you’ve been!

      My intent is to cut out grains and replace with other foods, so I think using the term “gluten free” wasn’t correct.

      Have you tried Udi’s bread? It is what we used when Jack was gluten-free, and didn’t taste like an old shoe.

  22. I piddled with watching my gluten… I’m willing to take the challenge. It seems easier than low-carb, because you can still have potatoes and potatoes make me happy.

  23. I’ve gone gluten free on and off – and always feel so much better – I have tended to go off because I let myself get too hungry and then go for dinner somewhere where there are few gluten free choices… and pretend to myself that I seem to be tolerating wheat just fine now (not 🙂
    My recommendations… find somewhere that has Udi’s gluten free bread products and stock up on a few loafs of bread, hamburger buns and hotdog buns. Then get some various types of rice pasta (spaghetti, rice lasagna noodles and some thick rice-stick noodles (the kind that you eat in vietnamese soups) … that way, you will hardly notice the gluten free change. We are like you..we have few processed foods in our cupboards to begin with.. but we do like our hamburgers and pasta sauces.
    Tonight we had garlic scape/basil pesto over rice noodles and a gluten-free cherry clafouti (….. which was out of this world!

  24. I will join you! If you are still looking for giveaways I make reusable dish sponges and potholders. I also make headbands for little girls. My husband and I have started shopping at whole foods and are trying to cut down on the grains. Our biggest downfall is we haven’t purged our cabinets of our cheat items so every day the cheating is available. Good luck!

  25. I randomly came across your blog through browsing around some others that I read and have been enjoying your style here. Very funny and entertaining. I know this challenge was last summer, but I think it’s awesome – I just gave up gluten to see if I felt any better, and the improvements have been amazing, to say the least. It’s great you did this for your husband.