It seems like no matter where I am… grocery store, nutrition counseling clinic, REI, playground… I find myself recommending a gluten-free 10-day experiment to folks who are feeling zapped on energy, gassy, irritable, unable to focus, and unexplainably bummed out. So, despite feeling fantastic, focused, and strangely excited by everyday chores, I decided to do, track, and share my own dietitian-approved gluten-free day.
Gluten–which is the Latin word for “glue” (tasty!)–is the protein portion of a wheat kernel, and important in giving wheat flour it’s elasticity. You may have heard of Seitan, aka the “wheat meat”, which is pure wheat gluten, and pure protein. Gluten, unfortunately, is responsible for a whole variety of allergies ranging from very mild and often unnoticeable to extremely painful, disruptive, and seriously serious (such is the case with Celiac disease). Gluten also tends to cause inflammation, and while I’m personally quite a fan of the glue myself, it’s amazing how great people feel after ditching it for 10+ days. Here’s how my gluten-free day tasted:
Gigantic glass of water, 2 cups coffee with soy creamer & sugar
1 slice of DELICIOUS Udi’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread (Know of any good egg-free, gluten-free breads?)
Hot cereal made with 1 cup cooked quinoa, raisins, chopped apple, vanilla soymilk, and cinnamon
1 Trader Joe’s FIBERFUL fruit bar
1 cup baby carrots
Large arugula salad with 3 pieces of homemade baked tofu (recipe in upcoming Trader Joe’s Skinny Dish! book)
2 gluten-free Sesame Cherry Chewies (again in the upcoming Trader Joe’s Skinny Dish! book)
2 small squares dark chocolate
Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snack (whole package)
1/2 Haas avocado w/ sea salt (HEAVENLY!)
Water (skipping the Hefeweizen, but could opt for a gluten-free beer)
2 corn tortillas with vegetarian refried beans and loads of stir-fried bell peppers
1 slice Udi’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread with peanut butter and sliced banana
What I Wanted to Eat But Had to Pass Up…
The kids’ leftover cinnamon raisin toast at breakfast, pretzel sticks, graham crackers, a whole grain tortilla, and a whoopie pie.
If you have the right ingredients on hand, this is totally doable, tasty, and energizing! Other glue-free ideas?