Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Diet Experiment

The other night I decided that I was going to do a little experiment. I “diet experiment” if you will.  I was thinking, how am I supposed to council people on their diet if I don’t know much about it specifically.  So for the next couple of weeks I’m going to experience some different diets myself in order to better understand what certain people have to go through.

This week: I’m going Gluten-Free.

Normally people who have Celiac disease or who have gluten intolerance should go on a gluten-free diet.  Recently however it’s become a fad diet. I’m not too happy about that but that’s another story.

Let’s get into a little background first. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.  Oats, while typically gluten-free, can sometimes have cross-contamination as well from the factories.  For people with celiac disease, gluten causes damage to the lining of the small intestine leading to malabsorption of nutrients, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting (among other symptoms).  Those with gluten intolerance usually don’t have the damage to their intestinal wall but do still experience some of these symptoms.  While there is no cure for celiac disease, it can be treated by a gluten-free diet. (Source)

So if in the future I work with someone with Celiac disease, I will know a little bit more about what they have to go through after this week!

WebMD offers a great list of have and have nots for those on a gluten-free diet.

Don't eat:
Wheat and all its forms, including semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn, and farro
Oat bran
Wheat germ
Graham, gluten, or durum flour

Do eat:
Cornmeal (polenta and tortillas)
Breads, cereals, crackers, and pasta made of corn, rice, potato, soy, arrowroot, tapioca, sago, flax, and hominy.


So I started yesterday and let me say –it was pretty tough! We have bread, english muffins, Vitamuffins, granola bars, etc all in the house and all contain gluten! But I managed.


Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Hot Cereal made with skim milk. Almond butter. Cantaloupe (I ended up only eating 1/2 of all this since it filled me up quickly!)


Stir fried veggies (red bell pepper, onion, asparagus, tomato, garlic) on top of spinach


Honey Chobani


Leftover stir fried veggies with brown rice and egg (it was supposed to be like a faux fried rice dish but it ended being more like a frittata i guess?)

On to day 2!


  1. I thought about going Vegan free for a bit because I have horrible IBS but I'm too addicted to grains and oats. I love how you found Gluten free hot cereal. I need to look into those. And I love using left over veggies for something new :D

  2. its difficult because a lot of foods also have additives you wouldnt think of that are not gluten free (my sister has celiac), for example modified food starch which is put in pretty much everything! its especially hard to find gluten-free dairy products - chobani is GF and Ani-approved though!

  3. I think it's a great idea to try out different diets so that you can better help future clients! Now you'll be able to make recommendations about foods your enjoyed/didn't like. :-)

    I'm 95% gluten free, however I don't worry about cross contamination because I don't have Celiac (I tested negative). Wheat however, upsets my stomach BIG TIME, so I try to avoid it. Eliminating foods like WW bread and Vitatops from my diet (staples!) was rough at first, but over time I've become used to it, and actually don't miss those foods at all anymore! I've found wonderful replacements that are just as tasty (if not more). Just don't try buying gluten-free bread!! Every loaf I purchased was pretty bad (and super expensive!).

    If you need any recipe ideas/suggestions, let me know! :-)

  4. This is a great idea! I sort of went on a gluten free diet when I did my elimination diet (actually, it was definitely gluten free, and of course free of SO MUCH else!!). I think it's a great idea to take some time to try out all of these special diets, just so you can empathize more with your patients. I think what I learned the most about doing the elimination diet was that gluten free is SO expensive! It was rough...

  5. I LOVE this idea. Once I pop this baby out in September, I'm going to do some experimenting, too. Gluten free, vegan, etc. Can't wait to read about you adventures in eating! :)

  6. I think its great that you are experimenting with your diet so you will know more about future clients. I am interested to hear how being gluten free goes for you!