It sounds like a big claim, but going gluten-free (GF) has been a big game changer for me. For a long time, I felt awful after eating lunch and dinner. My stomach would hurt, I’d need to visit the bathroom and I’d be bloated. And not just a little bit bloated. Bloated to the point where I had people ask me if I was pregnant. As you can imagine, this was far from ideal and generally made me sad. I had been living with the boy for about 2 years when I realised that I had to go to the bathroom within about 30 mins of eating, because I didn’t feel well. I then decided to give up gluten for a bit. It was becoming a regular feature in meals, and so I thought that giving it up may help. It did, and then I gave it up every now and then. I couldn’t give it up properly because EVERYTHING good has gluten in it! Then one day, back in February this year, I just went cold turkey. No more gluten. Nothing. Nada. I’ve had it once since then – I was drunk and neither Pizza Hut or Domino’s were open, so I got a gluten pizza. But apart from that, nothing.
The change that I have seen is OMG ridiculous. I don’t get bloated. I don’t feel ill. I’ve lost weight. It’s basically been the best diet ever. Cutting out the good stuff has been hard, don’t get me wrong, but when I’ve seen the change, I’ve felt good. Better than eating a Red Velvet Cupcake good.
Here’s the sort of thing that I’ve had to cut out (GF alternatives aside):
- Some/most chocolate bars
- Yorkshire puddings, stuffing, gravy etc.
- Lots of desserts: cheesecake, profiteroles etc.
- Soy sauce
- Anything in batter
- Fast food
- Processed food (meatballs, burgers, sausages)
Basically, ALL the good food. But whilst it is a bit tricky, you realise that this is all of the sort of stuff that you should be avoiding anyways. Oddly, when I’m in situations where I’m offered something like this, I find myself feeling slightly smug whilst declining. Restaurants are getting much better at catering for this, and a lot of this food also hold refined sugars, so by not being able to eat it, I’m being much healthier.
One thing to be weary of, is that GF food isn’t always better. People think that eating GF bread is better for you. If you make it for yourself using a different type of flour (i.e. quinoa flour or almond flour) then yes, it will be. Buying it processed from the supermarket won’t be better for you.
By going GF, I have managed to lose a dress size. And not just a normal dress size, a skinny jean dress size none the less! #winning! And it’s things like that, that have encouraged me to keep at it. When you’re feeling much better, and no longer feeling ill, that’s the best thing. When you get body confident, get to your desired dress size and know that you’re eating better. That’s the dream.
Food being GF is becoming a big thing. Okay, it’s become a bit of a fad diet for some, but it’s also becoming recognised in a number of restaurants as a legit dietary requirement. One of my biggest things before I went properly GF was that if I went to a nice restaurant, I would eat gluten. I would have massive FOMO so was keen to avoid that. Seriously, what’s the point? You have a great meal and then feel crap. By saying you can’t eat gluten. you get an equally nice meal, with none of the associated stomach pain. Double win.
People often ask what I eat instead, here’s a quick list. It’s not conclusive by any means, but it does form a large part of my diet:
- Vegetables instead of carbs
- GF pasta
- GF bread
- Sweet potato
- Brown rice
- Meringue based desserts
- Panna cotta
- Rice noodles
- Sushi (with GF-free soy sauce, which is nicer BTW)
- Protein – eggs, meat, etc.
This is such a all-over-the-place list. It covers all manner of foods, but shows that there’s no extensive list. It can be hard when eating out, but home-cooking isn’t a chore at all. Luckily, I’m not a baker. I feel that might be trickier, but I’m lucky that I don’t have to worry with that,
So, there you have it. All of my blog is GF, and so I wanted to say why it is, and also make it clear that going GF isn’t as scary or rubbish as people think. It is hard, and OMG I want a Yorkshire pudding so badly, but when I know the effect it’s going to have, I know that in all honesty, it’s not worth it.