So, I’m nearly done with my 30 day Gluten free challenge and to be honest I haven’t done THAT badly! I’ve had one full on cheat day (for Charity) and other than discovering that the muesli I ate had gluten in it, I really haven’t had to change my diet too much. Yes, there have been the occasional cravings for sourdough toast, and yes, there have been a few restaurant meals where I’ve had food envy– but overall it hasn’t been that bad!
My tips for gluten free eating– not that I’m an expert after 23 days but- here’s what I’ve learned:
1) Mexican Mexican Mexican- Ok, yes, it’s my favourite food but as long as you stick to corn tortillas it’s pretty much all gluten free! Last night I made a fajita extravaganza- grilled skirt steak, pico de gallo, refried black beans, black and white rice, corn chips, corn tortillas, and grilled veggies- all without gluten!
2) When in doubt, ask-– I’m amazed by how many restaurants will make alterations if you tell them you’re gluten free- I went to The Grounds in Alexandria (LOVE that place!) and really wanted a burger- because they look amazing– and they were able to do them on gluten free bread. Ok, the gluten free bread wasn’t as amazing as the brioche looked, but it was pretty good! Nearly everywhere in Sydney can accommodate – I’ve even had a cafe serve me polenta instead of toast with my breakfast.
3) Read labels. Wheat and gluten pop up in the most bizarre places- soy sauce, muesli, some but not all chocolates. Read the label before ruling it out or shoving it in your face!
4) Don’t be a pain in the a$$ but don’t feel bad about it either. Everyone these days is on some sort of diet, special eating plan or just doesn’t like things– so many people are paleo, dairy free, gluten free, vegan, sugar free, organic, pregnant, detoxing, etc that it’s totally normal (at least in my group of friends) to have a “special” diet. Actually there’s a great essay doing the rounds at the moment on how “special diets” diets are a First World Problem. Click here to read it.
Everyone is on a diet of some sort but to be honest, no one wants to hear about it. It’s not that interesting. No one wants to go out to dinner or to eat with someone who either lectures them about the virtues of their diet or who turns up their nose and can’t eat anything and makes a big song and dance of it. Ok, so you can’t have carbs, that’s fine, but if I’m shoveling rice and pasta and potatoes in my mouth and enjoying it, I don’t want to hear about how evil carbs are. And, if you’re vegetarian and we’re in a steakhouse don’t be surprised when there’s only one option for you to eat– you’re the one who agreed to go, don’t make everyone else miserable trying to make you happy. Which leads me to tip 5….
5) Research– it kind of follows on from point 4 but if I’m going out to eat, I have to do some legwork before I go. What’s on the menu? Is there an option for me there? Is it a pasta and pizza deal with nothing else on the menu? If so, it could be a challenge and it’s best to know that ahead of time!
So, with only 1 week to go, I’m giving this challenge a 2/10 on the difficulty scale. I’ve only used one of my official cheat days so far– and the second one I’m using on Saturday for a hens day (it’s high tea during the day and pizza at night). So it’s not too bad…. next month’s challenge– 30 days No dairy…. I’m anticipating this could be a bit more difficult!