I Tried Gluten Free For a Week

If you are new here, and you haven’t seen my ‘6 Ways to Thrive on a Vegan Diet’ article, then you might not know that this is actually a vegan and gluten free experiment. I am vegan and have been for almost 4 years. I’ve really loved being vegan and learning how to cook and bake in different ways.

Vegan and gluten free eating can seem daunting and even restrictive. However, it can really encourage a way of thinking about food that opens your mind to unconventional methods and adventurous foods. It also is a healthy way to try out new foods. Granted, it can be very unhealthy if you just eat junk food, but that’s not really what we’re encouraging in this post.

I hope you enjoy seeing how this trial went for me. I hope it inspires you to try something new and exciting!

Physical Changes

Weight

There’s not a whole lot to say here. I lost about 2 pounds, but that’s really not surprising to me. Day by day, my weight fluctuations up to 4 pounds depending on the time of day, time of month, and what I eat.

It wasn’t an immediate weight loss either. By the end of the week I was a little over 2 pounds lighter. No big deal. I have a feeling though, that if I do this for longer, I would see more results weight wise and health wise.

Even though I didn’t lose weight (which, I could stand to lose a bit of weight), I did feel as though my stomach was flatter than before I started this. It wasn’t a huge change, but long term, I think there would be a more noticeable difference.

How it made me feel

Unlike the weight subject, I did feel quite a difference while not eating gluten.

I definitely felt less full, and quite a bit lighter after I ate. What I didn’t really expect to feel is hungry in between meals. To me, that’s not really a negative for this experiment. To be completely honest, my body is very contrasted after having my son to before I had him. My body responds differently to certain foods. For example, my metabolism is much slower now, and eating or restricting certain foods can affect that.

What I learned from trying gluten free for a week is that it really helped my body feel more like itself. Growing up, I had a very fast metabolism, but it changed after I had my son and my hormones all adjusted.

So, feeling less full and getting hungry quickly after meals was a good sign to me. It means my body can burn off energy from the food I’m eating way more effectively.

When I began eating vegan, I felt this same way. I was simply more capable of being in tune with my body. I could understand my body and how it felt much easier. It honestly made losing body fat that I didn’t need pretty rapid of a process.

After I Finished

The day after I finished this trial I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and spaghetti for my son and me. The texture of the bread was so delicious and luxurious. I had really missed eating gluten during this experiment.

My son didn’t join me, so it was difficult cooking separate meals from him, and not eating his leftovers; finally being able to eat it again was so nice. Plus, by the time this week was over, I had a few days to wait until grocery shopping day. So I didn’t have much food besides spaghetti, rice, and stuff for sandwiches.

Immediately when I started eating foods with gluten again, I felt fuller longer, but also not as light as I had been. My weight hasn’t changed, but I definitely feel like my stomach is not as flat as it was during this week.

Food

What I shopped for

Like I said, I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to have my meals be, but I also wanted to get outside the box a little. So I got the normal: rice, beans, lots of veggies and fruits, cereal (who knew cheerios are gluten free??), almond milk, potatoes, snacks for my son, etc.

Then I stopped at the asian food section of my Walmart and browsed a bit to see what options I might find here. I picked up my favorite stir-fry sauce, some canned bamboo, and a bunch of thai rice noodles.

also picked up some salted peanuts, dried bananas, a sweet onion salad dressing, and some Tofutti sausage that I thought was gluten free but really isn’t. *FAIL*

Meals

Breakfast most days was pretty simple. I’ve been absolutely loving Maple Cheerios for the last two months or so. I was planning to have to find a gluten free cereal, but luckily this one already is! I love to eat cereal with fruit, nuts, or even seeds on top.

Another one of my favorite breakfasts is oatmeal with brown sugar, frozen berries, and almond milk. Walmart also has some super cheap oatmeal granola bars that I love and just so happen to be gluten free.

For lunch, I used a lot of the Thai rice noodles in different recipes. I was babysitting a little boy one day and I really needed an easy lunch everyone would like. So I made pasta for the boys with veggie nuggets, and I made pasta with rice noodles and non gluten free Tofutti sausage. *eye roll emoji*

I also used those rice noodles and the sweet onion salad dressing to make a sweet onion alfredo type dish. My son wasn’t the biggest fan of this, and I’ll be honest, it was good for little effort and being cheap, but it didn’t taste alfredo-y at all. When I finally master fettuccine alfredo, I promise to post a recipe.

Another lunch I made with the rice noodles was a stir-fry that I make all the time. When I looked at the directions for the noodles, it mentions cooking them and then adding them to the stir fry with a sauce. You need to make sure there is enough sauce that the noodles can take on the flavor of the whole dish.

This stir-fry included broccoli, green beans, onion, green pepper, garlic, tofu, spinach, and baby kale. This is such a good stir-fry to make, and it’s forever versatile. My base is almost always broccoli and another hardy vegetable like zucchini, green beans, or potatoes. Sometimes if I want it to be pretty plain, I will add garlic powder and salt after it’s all done cooking.

This meal was so plain but also delicious. It was the end of the day and I really didn’t want to spend a lot of time making dinner. So I made some rice and threw on some garlic powder to spice it up. I added on some black eyed peas and tomato sauce and that was it! So simple, so filling, and honestly, so satisfying.

Even though it may seem there’s not much nutrition in this meal, the black eyed peas still made it very saciating and added a lot of protein, fiber, iron, and magnesium. They also contain a good deal of potassium that aid in building muscle, electrolyte function, and regulating blood pressure.  

Finding recipes

Previous to this little experiment, I already had many meals in mind that are normal meals for me, healthy, and still gluten free! However, it wasn’t easy coming up with a variety of meals that do not include gluten.

Pinterest was a huge help to me. It’s so easy to find a plethora of specific types of recipes on this platform. Even if you don’t find a perfect recipe, you can always personalize them slightly to what you have on hand, which is what I do 90% of the time. *shrug emoji*

Another easy way to find recipes is to do a simple Google search of gluten free recipes. There are a lot of options that you can find right at your fingertips.

I mentioned this in my ‘6 Ways to Thrive on a Vegan Diet’, but Instagram is such a good resource for food inspiration. Hashtags are one of the best ways to find people with similar interests, or in this case, special diets. There are also a lot of food brands that try to become better known through Instagram. You never know what you might discover through browsing.

Final thoughts

If you take anything from this article, I would hope that you understand that this is definitely an achievable diet. This particular experiment was obviously vegan and gluten free, but if you are not vegan and want to try this, that opens even more recipe options for you to try out.

In the future I would like to do this for longer to see what kind of changes it would cause. I know that there are a lot of people that have intolerance or sensitivities to gluten, and I am curious to know if I have a sensitivity that has developed. If not that, maybe I will see a bigger difference in the way I feel after eating.

If gluten free recipes or topics in general interest you, please leave a comment below to let me know! During this week, I made some delicious fudgy chocolate chip cookies that I have to let you guys in on.

Also, I’m just going to add my Instagram as a shameless plug. If you’d like to see pictures and recipes from food I eat all the time, check me out at @briggys_creative.

Happy experimenting!

Briggy

About The Author…

Briggy (Brigetta) Jones is an easy-going, art loving boy mom and dog mom. She loves to make music with her trusty guitar, create art, cook vegan food, and write. She enjoys going to farmers markets and exploring the city of Dallas with her husband. Briggy joined The Quiet Nonsense team to focus her skills and passions into a platform to engage with her readers in a personal way. One day she hopes to have her artwork displayed all over the world.

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Photo credit: Jess Graphic credit: Natasha
Photo and graphic credit: Erin

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