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Progress Report

May 30, 2011

I bet you’re all wondering how I’ve been doing on my yeast-sugar-gluten-dairy-free diet. Allow me to share!

I’ve been on my new ‘diet’ since Tuesday and I’m proud at how well I’ve done! There have been a couple of slip ups (the most notable was a small piece of peanut brittle one fateful evening), and some pretty intense cravings (saturday night was a close call…there was a container of jelly beans at my sister’s), but for the past few days especially I’ve been on track. I’m not beating myself up over the slips. This isn’t an easy process for someone who’s never had any problems with food.

There have been a few side effects, including a few pounds lost (not going to complain about that, unless too much is lost, but I have some wiggle to work with) but mostly just fatigue and minor headaches as the gremlins are killed off. They’re trying to fight back but I’m going to win!

Muahahahaha!

Meals

I’ve been trying out new recipes (both from other sources and of my own concoction) but it’s tricky finding ones that meet all my needs. I’m learning that sugar free doesn’t mean gluten free and vice versa. Don’t get me started on dairy and yeast (why is yeast in bouillon? and taco seasoning?). Even vegan recipes aren’t foolproof with all my restrictions. But I’ve come up with a few that have worked well.

Chicken Coconut Curry

Chicken, asparagus, onion and red pepper in a coconut curry sauce

I was inspired by this recipe from Whole Foods. Mostly I just followed the directions for making the sauce. I finally found a vegetable broth that was yeast, gluten and sugar free. What I loved about it is that the coconut milk adds a natural sweetness, one that’s allowed in my diet. It was very tasty and in fact, coconut fat is encouraged, as it has anti-fungal properties! The only issue with this dish was that it was a tad runny. The recipe calls for tempeh and sweet potato, which would absorb a lot of the liquid. Even though I served it over a bed of brown basmati rice, next time I’ll omit the vegetable broth.

Veggie and Goat Cheese Omelette

Six-egg omelette with goat cheese, red peppers and onions

This one we came up with on our own. A six-egg omelette stuffed with red peppers, onions and goat cheese (my dairy free is restricted to cow milk thank goodness. Various sources differ on whether goats milk should be allowed, but I’m going with the ‘allowed’ camp, for the very obvious reason that I love it and can’t fathom giving it up). Yum! It was a large portion so we split it in half.

Pizza! Yes, pizza. One of the things I feared the most about embarking on this quest was that I wouldn’t be able to have pizza. and I love pizza. With a passion I can’t describe. But. One of the blogs I read, Nourishing Flourishing, featured a post the other day for pizza made with a chickpea flour crust. This came to mind as I realized I might not have to go without:

All it requires is chick pea flour (Bulk Barn!) water and salt. You mix it together and grill it up like you would a pancake or a crepe. Top with sauce (sugar free), toppings (we chose red peppers and chicken) and cheese (in our case, goat) and voila! Pizza. The crust had a bit of a different flavor, but I liked it a lot. Hey, it was bread and I could eat it, so I’ll take it.
I wish I had taken a picture, but we made it at my sisters and the camera died 😦

Desserts/Snacks

So meals have been relatively easy to adjust to. It’s dessert and snacks where I’m having trouble. My one attempt at creating a dessert was a complete fail. I found a recipe for Chia Pudding that sounded promising.

Chia seeds

Mix chia seeds with almond milk and vanilla extract and let sit overnight. The seeds suck up the milk, leaving you with a pudding like dessert. Sounds good in theory…not so good in reality.

Chia Pudding with unsweetened coconut sprinkled on top

A wouldn’t even touch it and I don’t blame him. Number one, it was grey, which wasn’t appealing at all. And number two, I couldn’t keep it in my mouth without wanting to spit it out. And that’s the polite version of how it made me feel.

Bleh.

Snacks have mostly been rice cakes smeared with my home made nut butter or raw carrot sticks, and it was getting kind of boring, but yesterday I whipped up at batch of hummus to have with some rice crackers. Sweet. Well, not literally of course.

Eating Out

Eating out has been both positive and negative. I had Japanese for lunch last week which was not a success as far as following my guidelines. I thought California Rolls would be a good choice but turns out there’s sugar in the sticky rice! Honestly.

Yesterday though, I did good. We were out for lunch at Boston Pizza with B and her peeps and I had the lemon baked salmon with steamed veggies and a garden salad sans dressing.

Moving Forward

So there we have it. My first week done. I need to stay on this path until my symptoms clear up and then I can start introducing good sugars (natural, non-refined) back into my repertoire. The good thing that’s come out of this so far, aside from the health benefits? It’s made me very conscious of how much extra crap is in foods we buy at the store. I was aware of it before, but even more so now. I’m definitely going to take what I’ve learned to heart.

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