Many of my friends did the Whole30 challenge this month but I kinda missed the boat on it. However, every year, our church does a 21 day fast at the beginning of the to kinda give the first part of the year to the Lord. Pretty cool huh? Well, since I’m breastfeeding, I can’t exactly fast so we had to choose to give something up. I had just finished reading Wheat Belly so we chose to go without Gluten. On a separate note, we also gave up TV for 21 days but I’ll write about that elsewhere.
So just in case anybody out there is considering gluten-free then I thought I would record my thoughts each day of the 21 day (sorta) fast!
Day 1: Almost forgot we were starting this today. Sundays are always busy, lunch is usually something quick so when it came time for dinner, I actually had to stop and think about it! Settled on Sweet Potato Tacos because those are my favorite! And with corn tortillas and Spanish Rice for the side, they were perfect! (And make the best leftovers too!)
Day 2: I met a friend for a birthday lunch today and I agreed to Red Robin. When I got there and flipped open the menu my mouth was watering at the thought of a juicy burger with that fluffy bun until I realized I cant have the bun. Bummer!! Neither could I have the chicken strips, fried fish or even the wraps!! So I settled on a Cobb salad. And you know what? It was glorious! I wasnt even the tiniest bit sad over missing out on the burger and I felt great all afternoon!!
For dinner, we did eggs and bacon. Usually we would load up on pancakes too but obviously that cant happen, lol. So we just had really big helpings of eggs and (turkey) bacon. It also was glorious! I did splurge on some chocolate afterwards cause it had been a seriously stressful day and I was craving some comfort food. A small handful of chocolates though is a pretty big difference from TWO pb&j’s, lol.
Day 3: I’ve done a really terrible job of meal planning this week. Not gonna lie, we scrounged up some leftovers because sometimes that’s just what happens!
Day 4: Wednesdays are so busy around here. We have a playdate at noon but this week I had to bail early for an appt at 3pm so I had to leave early. By the time I got home at 6, I was so worn out. Dinner was Baked Chicken Fajitas with corn tortillas, Spanish Rice and my Re-fried Beans and it was so nice to relax in the living room with no TV going.
Day 5: After a completely unorganized week, we came into today, Thursday, with absolutely no idea of what to have for dinner. So I decide we need to use the ground beef from yesterday. Our go-to, quick dinner is usually burgers on the grill, except we can’t have bread. Hmmm…. So we just went bunless! And it was great!! I normally love mayonnaise and avocado on my burger but wasn’t sure how to accomplish that with no bun but I ended up mixing the mayonaise and mashed avocado together and making a paste and then a plopped a big dollop of it on top of the burger. I felt very chef-y! Rounded the meal out with some absolutely perfect sweet potato fries and it was great! I think I enjoyed it without the bun more because I could really taste the other ingredients. Plus because I had to eat it with a fork, it took longer and I felt more full at the end. Win!!
Day 6: Kind of just winged it today. Breakfast was a shake as usual, lunch ended up being snacks throughout the day. Dinner, for me, was leftover Sweet Potato Tacos with an added bonus that I didn’t microwave the leftovers (as usual) but instead, tossed them into some corn tortillas, laid them inside my large cast iron and put a cover on the skillet. It was so good!
Day 7: There’s a good possibility that I had a bowl of peanut butter and honey for lunch. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was delicious!! Dinner was at a place called Zoe’s with some friends and I was very appreciate of their gluten free notations on their menu. Ended up with a greek salad with some grilled chicken and a side of rice pilaf! Hubs had Salmon Kabobs also with a small greek salad and some hummis but no pita!
Day 8: I was speaking with a friend yesterday about our journey and she has been gluten free for 5 years, we shared a giggle when I told her neither of us have died without wheat yet 😉 Dinner was Hamburger Cassarole – one of the kids favorites! I think I’ve finally got my recipe how I like it!
Day 9: Kiddos requested Sweet Potato Tacos again and I was happy to oblige – its one of my favorites!! I’m pretty sure I love it with corn tortillas more than flour.
Day 10: After dinner last night, the kids asked for REGULAR tacos,which is a treat we haven’t had in awhile. So I whipped some up with my Taco Seasoning mix, paired it with my Spanish Rice and Re-fried Beans and topped with shredded lettuce, tomato pieces and cheese for everyone but me. I told my husband that I must be turning Hispanic with all the taco dishes I make lately, but gosh they are so good!
Day 11: Continuing on our theme of “winging it” tonight we had grilled chicken with a bit of BBQ sauce, some baked beans and honey carrots. It was delicious!
Day 12: We try to eat meatless twice a week – Monday and Thursday – and since we dairy and now gluten free that can make meatless tough! But tonight we had gluten free pancakes and eggs. The pancakes, made with rice flour, were actually really good! I think I actually like them better! (Shh… don’t tell anyone that we did have a little turkey bacon with it. We got so caught up in “breakfast” that I forgot it was supposed to be meatless, whoops!)
Day 13: Fish Friday! Fridays are always a toss up because I like to just go to the store, pick up whatever fish happens to be on sale then come home and try and cook it. I also like to stick to kosher fish when possible but I’m not crazy strict on that. This week was Swordfish ($6.99/lb!) and I just tossed it in the cast iron skillet for about 10min with some seasoned salt and paired it with some rice and green beans. I also had a bit of tarter sauce with mine, cause I love tarter sauce!
Day 14: Another quickie whipped again today! I forgot to take out any meat for dinner so sent hubs to the store for 2lbs of ground beef (grass fed!) and we made our avacado-mayo bunless burgers with sweet potato fries again. Seriously, it should be criminal how good this is!
Day 15: I’m running out of ideas! Dinner was grilled chicken (in the cast iron skillet), baked beans and rice. I had a bit of BBQ sauce for my chicken and hubs had some wing sauce. Sometimes the simplest things are the best!
Day 16: I finally tried a recipe for a Three-Bean Veggie Chili that I had been wanting to try. It was really good!! I also grabbed some gluten-free cornbread mix at the store. Next time I will just make my own cornbread but I just wanted something quick and easy. Both were great!
Day 17: Chicken fajitas again for dinner, its such a classic and one of my favorites! Plus its so filling! And leaves just the right amount of leftovers 😀
Day 18: After a long day of running errands all day (read: 7 HOURS), I was thankful I had remembered to take out some ground beef earlier that day. Whipped up the old faithful – bunless burgers – but unfortunately the last avocado was bad so they were rather plain. I did manage to cook up some seasoned potatoes though so that was good!!
Day 19: Salad for dinner! Hard boiled some eggs in the oven, shredded carrots, chopped up mushroom, tossed in some sunflower seeds and mixed with some iceburg lettuce and spinach leaves. It was yummy! And filling!
Day 20: Remember how I talked about we semi-follow Kosher food rules? I should remember this when I feel like eating crab. We had some steamed crab, rice and peas for dinner and I felt sooooo sluggish! Like I wanted a nap at 6pm! I have no idea how I stayed awake all night.
Day 21! We made it! My husband will probably just have a loaf of gluten filled bread for breakfast tomorrow, haha! I, on the other hand, am actually quite content without it. Maybe its all in my head, but I feel like I’m enjoying food more without breads. We’ll see how things go the next few weeks and I’ll definitely keep an update! Our dinner today was at a little cafe and we had chicken salads – yummy!!
After 21 days I feel like going gluten free was pretty much the same as going dairy free (which I had to do for my breastfed baby with a milk allergy). At first it was torture, the sheer thought of it appalling! But in reality its not that bad. I’m curious how I will feel when I eat gluten again. Its definitely made me appreciate other foods and made me branch out from just adding a piece of toast to every meal or grabbing a granola bar for snack!
UPDATE: (Day 23) Hubs had a beer yesterday and gave me a little sip to try (I hated it, as I usually do with beer, lol) and I woke up this morning with extreme cramping and bowel discomfort!
Are you gluten free? What are some of your favorite recipes and/or replacements? Have you noticed a change in how you feel? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!