2013 – Gluten Free Living
A couple of years ago someone in John’s office challenged me to a “shopping fast” for a year. She had done it for the year 2010 because, in her words, she already had plenty of stuff, plenty of clothes, didn’t need anything for her house and she wanted to break the addiction to needless shopping. My conscience was pricked and I accepted the same challenge in 2011 and, except for some things we needed when moving in to our new house, I pretty well stuck to it. I backed off excess shopping last year too, only allowing myself a few indulgences.
The Gluten Free Challenge for Those who are Gluten Intolerant or Not!
This year I realized I needed another challenge–a food challenge or food fast if you will. I want to try to live the year gluten free to see if that will break my addiction to wheat and things made with wheat like pizza, desserts and sweets, breads, chips and crackers, pasta, pancakes, many casseroles (because of the toppings) and even flour used in sauces and soups.
Eating Clean and Healthy
Salads without croutons and not accompanied by a side of garlic bread are what’s going to be on my menu over the next year.
Soups without crackers, croutons or bread will be on the gluten free menu this year.
Meat will be on the menu in limited quantities and with no breading or sauces that contain flour.
Dairy will be on the menu.
Any kind of raw veggies are always on the menu.
All kinds of fruit are on the menu.
Sauteed veggies or stir fries are always on the menu.
Stir fry veggies and cooked vegetables are also on the menu.
The Gluten Free Challenge
I’ve noticed that eating anything with wheat seems to increase my appetite. Along with an increased appetite eating a lot of wheat-flour products like those listed above usually come accompanied by excess calories to boot! I want to dedicate myself this year to eating clean and leaving off wheat flour (I still plan to eat oatmeal, rice, corn and other grains on occasion). Saying no to gluten is not easy but I think it’s key to helping me get control of my eating habits and cravings and learn to live a life that’s not so self-indulgent or gluttonous.
This does not mean that I will refrain from making desserts, breads, casseroles, pasta or other foods made with wheat flour, because I will still be making those kinds of foods for company and parties. It means that I’m going to make a concerted effort not to eat it myself. Additionally, it means that you will find a lot of gluten free recipes posted on this blog during 2013. Finally, it means I will be eating lots of salads, plain fruits and veggies, soups (not using flour in the base or croutons, bread crumbs or anything else in the ingredients), meats (not coated with flour) and dairy. But I’m going to eliminate sweets, all wheat flour, and casseroles with lots of hidden and fattening ingredients.
As much as I love them, rich desserts won’t be on the menu.
Unfortunately, I have a great weakness for breads, but they won’t be on the menu either.
My favorite casserole won’t be on the menu because the cream sauce is made with flour.
My favorite fattening meal won’t be on the menu.
My favorite pasta won’t be on the menu this year.
My favorite family recipe won’t be on the menu this year.
Desserts with graham cracker crusts won’t be on the menu.
When John decided he wanted to go on a diet to lose 40 pounds this year I knew I needed to find some way to help, encourage and support him along the way. While I can’t afford to lose 40 pounds, I can apply the discipline of being gluten free for a year. Besides, I believe it will help me sympathize more readily with my friends in the blogosphere who struggle with gluten intolerance and help provide them with tasty alternatives and choices they may not currently have.
I know if God helped me through every assignment at seminary working on my Master’s of Divinity degree for four years He can certainly empower me to refrain from eating wheat flour (even though I’m not allergic to it) for a year, as well. So my challenge for 2013 is “The Gluten Free Challenge!” I have already learned lots of ways to cook vegan, so I’m sure I can learn lots of ways to avoid gluten. I’m not planning on substituting oat, coconut or other nut flours and continue eating sweets or breads, etc., rather, I’m choosing to eliminate that kind of food entirely and subsist on plain meats, dairy, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some grains like rice and oatmeal. It’s a return to clean eating and laying off all the indulgences I’ve allowed myself the past year.
This clean recipe is a great one for the gluten intolerant. It has a delicious garlic and butter sauce and lots of herbs, but no flour is used.
Many of my vegan soup recipes are also gluten free.
If you leave off the croutons and don’t serve salads with bread they are usually gluten free. Eating plain raw vegetables is clean eating. Be careful of the dressings you use though. Some of them may cause problems.
I admit that Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Red Velvet Pancakes, Carrot Cake Pancakes, and New York Cheesecake Pancakes from IHOP are a real weakness! I love pancakes, I love donuts, I love breads and pastas, I especially love chocolate in everything. I love food, period! I find when I eat the gluten free way I don’t have a tendency to overeat, I don’t have all the sugar and wheat cravings, and I eat smaller meals but more frequently throughout the day which increases my metabolism and burns calories.
Perhaps you’re reading this and realize you would like to join me in the Gluten Free Challenge for 2013. Maybe your reason is because you have gluten intolerance or allergies, or you just need to shed some unnecessary pounds. Regardless, my commitment to you is to share new gluten free recipes every week that are tasty and delicious but also healthy, and low calorie. And, perhaps together, we will find that we can really live gluten free for an entire year!
Hummus served with raw veggies rather than pita bread is a great way to eat clean and gluten free.
If you choose to join me in the Gluten Free Challenge for 2013 I hope you will sign in and let me know via the comments at the end of this post and let’s encourage each other throughout the year.
- The Skinny on Gluten-Free (massageenvy.com)
- Top 10 Gluten-Free Snacks (everydayhealth.com)
- How to host a gluten-free Thanksgiving (denverpost.com)
- Would You Go Gluten-Free in the Name of Beauty? (bellasugar.com)
- Gluten-Free Dishes Become a Lot More Tempting (nytimes.com)
- Sidestep the Side Effects of Eating Gluten-Free (everydayhealth.com)
- Will Going Gluten-Free Make You Healthier? (everydayhealth.com)
- Gluten free foods are tax deductible (pujablogs.wordpress.com)
- Living with Celiac Disease (katherinesimms.wordpress.com)