Remember when I announced that for the entire month of May I would be eating a gluten free diet? Well, it may not have been perfect but I actually did it!
Going gluten free for a month taught me so much about my body, how to deal with cravings and really opened my eyes to the quality of foods I was eating.
So, as a recap I wanted to share with you all everything I learned from going gluten free for 1 month!
Let’s jump right into it!
1.) I had no idea I was eating so many carbs and so little protein/ healthy fat
I don’t count calories, macros, sugars…etc. So, going gluten free forced me to pay a little more attention to the different types of foods I was eating.
Prior to going gluten free I’d have an egg on some bread for breakfast, some kind of fruity smoothie for a snack, a sandwich/wrap for lunch, a protein bar for a snack then pasta/an open faced sandwich/rice/quinoa for dinner.
Uhhhh hello almost all carbs.
Going gluten free requires you to eliminate a lot of carb sources so I had to find a way to still fill myself up. Instead of eating bread and pasta I’d add veggies, extra protein or healthy fats to my meals and I was shocked how much better I felt and how I was actually eating less to get full and STAY FULL for hours a time.
To this day I have completely eliminated bread from my diet and my day of eating looks more like 2 eggs, kale and sausage for breakfast, maybe half a protein bar for a snack, lunch is always protein like chicken, tuna or grass-fed beef with veggies, then another half protein bar if I’m working out then dinner is the same as lunch with protein and veggies.
Now this is what breakfast should look like! Perfectly balanced with protein, veggies, healthy fats and little bit of carbs from the potatoes. No gluten here!
2.) My digestive system thanked me
Before my gluten free experiment my digestive system was awful. Some days I’d wake up feeling great and would have my regular morning bowel movement but other times my stomach would be bloated, sour, all cramped up and I wouldn’t have to use the bathroom for 2-3 days.
I honestly had no idea what was causing it since I figured I ate a healthy diet full of whole grains, fruits, proteins, fats…etc.
I’m not sure if it was eliminating gluten or just putting a more focused attention on getting more veggies and healthy fats in my diet but WOW within a week of going gluten free my digestive system had never been better.
I’ve really taken a notice to how my digestive system reacts when I eat certain foods and gluten is still something I consciously try to avoid.
I’ve learned that my digestive system works best with more healthy fats in my diet like avocado, nuts, eggs, butter…etc instead of processed carbs/ sugar.
3.) Eating out was easier than I thought
I had a lot of traveling going on during the month of May so I was concerned that this whole gluten free experiment would be a total disaster. BUT with the exception of a little bit of wine and honestly having to eat 1/4 of a nasty sandwich from Jack In The Box (it was the only thing open) I did really well.
Most restaurants these days have gluten free items on the menu. If they don’t you can easily ask for substitutions or stick with salads, bowls, proteins + veggies…etc.
While traveling to Portland I had bacon with a delicious egg bake that had mushrooms, goat cheese and scallions. Yes, I had a nibble of the bread and half of one of those doughnuts but hey the majority of my meal was gluten free.
4.) My cravings and hunger attacks almost went completely away
For awhile I was struggling with sudden bouts of extreme hunger that would trigger terrible anxiety/ panic attacks. I’d feel shaky, weak, my vision would tunnel out and it would take hours even after eating to feel better.
I self diagnosed myself thinking I had low blood sugar and thankfully eventually got my butt to the actual doctor for some blood work and guess what…my blood sugar was fine!
These sudden crashes that would make me feel absolutely crazed were most likely due to eating too many carbs/sugars without pairing them with healthy fats and protein.
Like I talked about in #1 going gluten free forced me to replace a lot of the carbs in my diet with veggies, healthy fats and protein. I’m now able to go hours without even thinking about food and have not had one of my extreme hunger attacks since changing the nutrients I was eating.
Also, my cravings for sugar, pasta, pizza, bagels have completely gone away. I now crave things like almond butter, grass-fed beef, salmon, kale…etc. It’s honestly like my body is telling me what it wants more of and hey I feel great so I’m listening.
Oh yes please give me a buffalo burger on a portobello bun any day. I honestly crave this more than pasta these days which is SHOCKING!
5.) You don’t need to be perfect every day to feel the benefits of going gluten free
Did I try my best to eat gluten free every day? Yes!
Did it happen? No!
Sometimes I’d *gasp* eat something with gluten but since 90% of my diet was still gluten free I still felt great.
I think a more maintainable approach to this whole gluten free lifestyle for me is to continue to base my meals around protein, healthy fats and veggies but not obsess over everything being 100% gluten free. If it’s available…AWESOME! If something gluten free isn’t available or I just want a freakin’ piece of bread or a cookie you bet I’m having it just in moderation now that I’ve felt the benefits of changing my diet.
You really don’t need to eat 100% gluten free all the time to receive the health benefits. You bet I ate a few of these Cravory cookies during the month of May but the rest of my diet was pretty darn clean.
I don’t think anyone quite knows how exactly gluten affects the body.
What research is showing is that sugar is what’s causing so many health issues these days and guess what’s in most products that contain sugar…gluten.
I’ll say it once and 947598435 more times on this blog the best way to approach food is by eating REAL FOOD. We’re talking meat, eggs, fish, coconut oil, olive oil, almond butter, veggies, fruits, beans, seeds…etc and avoiding (or moderating) processed foods like bread, cereal, frozen meals, baked goods, pasta, sweets, chips, crackers…etc.
I think the real reason I felt so much better over the past month and continued into this month is that my diet switched back to primarily all real food where for awhile there I was getting lazy and letting a bunch of crap sneak in.
I highly recommend anyone who is experiencing digestive issues, cravings, sudden hunger attacks, headaches, trouble sleeping, body aches/pain to consider trying to go gluten free for a month. And if that’s too extreme maybe starting with just making 1 meal of your day be made from all real food ingredients.
Your body will thank you!
*Please note I am not a doctor. Before changing your diet please consult with a medical professional.