Gluten-Free Eating Recap

So I ate mostly gluten-free for the month of January.

Why did I do this?  It helps cut out some of my trigger foods: bread, pasta, beer, bagels, cupcakes & holiday treats.  I find I feel a bit better eating without these foods.

I also thought I’d start 2013 off with a “paleo” eating goal, but I got a bit scared.  I was scared that if I set that as my goal, and I failed, then that I’d completely fall off the wagon.

So out of fear of failing, I decided that gluten-free would be a bit more manageable.  I know that some people must eat this way in order to stay healthy, and I don’t fall into that category.  I did not attempt to avoid ALL gluten, e.g. I ate the same oatmeal as always (and there is some gluten in most oatmeal due to the processing).  But I do find that my weight and energy are much more stable when I avoid gluten-focused foods.

So what worked well?

  • Meal Planning!  I followed Katie’s lead to plan my meals out in advance.  Dinner was my biggest challenge, since Mike will cook if I don’t plan meals. And Mike has two weeknight meals:  stir-fry or pasta.  
  • Trying not to stress
  • Getting in the pool!
  • Losing 5 pounds from my pre-holiday weight (!)
  • Cheating

Cheating?!!  Yes, I “cheated”  about once a week.  It was usually a planned thing – like going out to dinner with family or friends.  There were a few unplanned cheats:  a beer at a bar when I wished I was home instead, or crackers with my chili without really thinking.  And some paleo sites I’d researched permit cheating, with the idea that you’ll stick with it more with cheating.

The last week in January I ended up cheating a bit more than normal.  I planned to cheat on Saturday evening – beers out at a brewery downtown for a friend’s birthday.  And then it happened after my indoor tri – I didn’t feel like ordering wine at Goose Island.  And then again at work – a small piece of pound cake at a celebration, followed by leftover brownies in the kitchen.

I still miss bagels A LOT!  I think about them almost every time I’m at the gym.  And I didn’t even eat bagels all that often.  Homemade bread, a good microbrew.  Those are the good types of gluten for me.

So I’m left to wonder what my strategy should be?  Gluten-Free & Cheating:   1 cheat meal a week,  and 1 cheat week a month?  Or find another eating plan that has success for me? So far I’m sticking with the “gluten free & cheating” MO.

How do you manage healthy eating? 

  • http://www.ilaxstudio.com/blog/ kilax

    My first question was going to be how you planned to continue! I think I would have to do a lot of cheats. ;)

    • lauren

      I think I have to plan my cheats out well. Like the blogger beer tour, so eat healthy the rest of that week.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/eri-thon Erin

    I’m firmly in the camp that if you really, truly want something then go ahead and eat it in moderation and make sure it’s worth it. It sounds like you managed that this month. So, I wouldn’t call it cheating. I would just say that you try to avoid gluten but, hey, if you want a really good microbrew or some amazing homemade bread then go for it!

    • lauren

      I think you hit it on the nail. When it’s really worth it! There was one time that it was just saltines w/ chili at a regular lunch out. Not really worth it, but I hadn’t been thinking. And planning ahead so I don’t have too much “worth it” every day! :)

  • http://www.livehalffullblog.com Katie @ Live Half Full

    After many years of yo-yo dieting, I gave it up a few months ago and I’m working towards eating intuitively. Clean eating & intuitive eating is my plan. So, if I want something I’m going to eat it but I want to eat clean most of the time. I’ve created “bagel Fridays” for myself because I usually crave them, so now I can look forward to having one instead of having to deprive myself. I’ve also been limiting myself to one day of drinking per week. It makes me really think about what I actually want to drink and it helps me feel satisfied!!! :)

    • lauren

      I love both of those tips! That’s pretty much what I’m aiming for, and most of the time the gluten free hadn’t been too hard for me.

  • http://www.rungingerfoxxxrun.blogspot.com gingerfoxxx

    The second i tell myself i can’t have something, i freak out and only want that thing. The fact that you can limit it to one or two cheat meals a week is impressive! (and more realistic that totally gluten free!)