5 Day Gluten Free Challenge
Day 1 GF Challenge
You have a really simple task today, and everyday. We're looking for consistency and small steps, looking at what you typically eat and what's in it.
Task for Day 1:
Prep your Overnight Vanilla Protein Oats
Post a picture of your prep process on the FB group-the ingredients, the final product, or something in between. And in your caption finish this sentence: "I joined this GF challenge because..."
That's it, you will feel so good about waking up tomorrow to not having to decide what to have for breakfast and to having it all prepared and ready to go.
Topic for Day 1:
What is gluten and where do I find it?
Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat, barley & rye. Gluten, meaning "glue" in Latin, is what gives bread and other wheat-based products their chewy texture. If you've had gluten free bread or baked goods or pizza, you probably quickly realized what gluten is. It's a thickener and a flavor enhancer, so it can be in some foods that you may least suspect, like your bottled salad dressing.
Why is gluten so "bad" for you?
Gluten is not actually "bad" for everyone. For those who should avoid gluten, you can think of it in 3 categories:
1. Celiac Disease
Those with Celiac Disease are the most severely affected by gluten. It is an autoimmune disease that deteriorates the villi, or hairlike structure in the small intestine. These villi help the body absorb nutrients and without them, can cause anemia and severe digestive issues. Celiac Disease can be diagnosed by your doctor through various testing.
2. Gluten Sensitivity
This is more common than Celiac Disease but cannot be tested for. It does not damage the villi of the small intestine but consuming gluten has other side effects such as abdominal pain, anemia, diarrhea, depression, eczema, fatigue, joint pain & headaches. It is best tested by excluding gluten from your diet to see how you respond.
3. Wheat Allergy
This is considered one of the top allergens. It can be tested by your doctor through a skin prick test or a blood test. If you are diagnosed with a wheat allergy, you can probably still consume barley & rye. Some symptoms of a wheat allergy are diarrhea, hives, nausea, rashes, sneezing & swelling of the throat.
You could say that this challenge is focusing most on the concept of "gluten sensitivity." The idea of eliminating something from your diet to see how you respond. You can do this with anything-dairy, caffeine & sugar are some common examples of things that can cause inflammation in your body.
We are just changing one meal a day, we are not eliminating gluten completely.
However, if you want to take this one step further, you can look closer at your other meals and aim to eliminate gluten from those as well.
By the end of the 5 days, you should have enough leftovers to have a full GF day, if you choose.
Thank you for putting yourself and your health first, I promise that those around you are watching you and will benefit from this, too. And in the best case, I hope they are doing it with you!
Lots of gluten free love & tons of health,
Day 2 GF Challenge
Tasks for Day 2:
1. Prep Lunch for tomorrow: Roasted Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad- Chop up the sweet potato (I leave the skin on, it has lots of fiber, so don't toss it!). Cut up the Brussels sprouts, cook the lentils, make the tahini dressing.
* The bonus of doing this task today is that you can do it at any time of day, since you are not cooking it until tomorrow.
2. Post a pic on the FB group of your prep process, any part of it, be creative or don't, include yourself in the pic, or don't. Please add any questions or comments that come up for you, because if it comes up for you, I am certain it came up for someone else!
Topic for Day 2:
Where is gluten in your breakfast foods?
Eggs- when eaten at a restaurant, they can add in pancake batter to make them fluffier, but eggs are naturally GF
Oats-when cross-contaminated with wheat or other grains containing gluten
Baked Goods, bagels, muffins, croissants, donuts, corn bread
Toast, pancakes, waffles
Granola-Many use wheat or oats that are not GF
Energy Bars-Many use wheat or oats that are not GF
Vitamins & Supplements
The key is to read ingredients and check labels. People with Celiac Disease are extremely sensitive to any cross contamination of gluten. Others are not as likely to have such a strong reaction, but it is helpful to be aware of all the potential sources of gluten. When you start looking, it's amazing what you will find, it's like a treasure hunt, as you turn your "healthy snack" around to see the label.
It may entice you to start making some of these things yourself-your own granola, GF muffins & pancakes. Just look in the aisle for Bob's Red Mill brand for a huge variety of GF products, clearly labeled and certified GF.
When I work with clients, I provide customized meal plans that are naturally gluten free. I don't even emphasize them not having gluten, because you wouldn't even miss it. But you certainly feel the difference in your body. If you like the idea of working one on one, you can get in touch with me here. Or any other way you connect with me!
Lots of love and tons of gluten free health,
Day 3 GF Challenge
It's Day 3 of the Gluten Free Challenge! I hope you were able to have some leftover Overnight Oats this morning and have your veggies all ready to go for lunch today.
All you're doing for our food prep today is heating and mixing your lunch together. Tomorrow is a slow cooker meal, the best kind, that simmers together and makes it look like you've been cooking all day.
Task for Day 3:
1. Go in your pantry and find your favorite GF snack. It can be anything. Your favorite granola, your healthy crackers. A can of beans:)
2. Take a pic of that item or items and post it in the Facebook Group
Part of this group is about sharing and learning something new that you don't already know. If you have a favorite brand or product, share it with everyone!
Topic For Day 3:
Where is gluten in your lunch?
Those Extra Fluffy Eggs at the Cheesecake Factory
How have people been eating bread for centuries, and now it is "bad for you"?
It's a good question that I have found a variety of answers to.
The bread you are layering your ham & Swiss in now is much different that the bread from long ago. The process of making bread used to be much slower, allowing the fermentation process to break down lectins, making the bread easier to digest. This is compared to the commercial practices today, using fast acting yeast to speed up the process of making bread. And back then, your bread would be eaten the same day or within a couple of days. How long does your loaf of bread last? Weeks? Months? Longer?
Farming practices have also changed, so the wheat itself in the field was different hundreds and thousands of years ago than it is now. The soil the wheat is grown on is different. And there is an increased use of pesticides & herbicides to protect the wheat.
So when we think of our current bread as an "ancient grain", think again.
I have come to use all sorts of gluten free alternatives for wheat flour-almond flour, coconut flour, buckwheat flour, the brown rice flour, quinoa flour, the list goes on and you can find the flours in all grocery stores. You can reinvent your classic cakes, banana breads, cookies, and sweets, without gluten but with plenty of flavor.