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?