Hope you are enjoying a Monday! This past weekend at the Dream Center was amazing. We had a giant Easter egg hunt, which is always a good time, and two amazing services. And yes, since Easter is over, it’s time to talk about my sans-gluten experience. 40 days ago, I gave up gluten for Lent. Although I wasn’t practicing it for necessarily religious reasons (I need to do a little more research before making that kind of commitment) I wanted to take on a different life perspective, especially because lots of people I know HAVE to be gluten free (Sarah, Zoe, and Bri, I’m looking at you). I also wanted to try some new and healthy recipes.
I started out strong (skipping meals when I couldn’t eat anything) for about three weeks…and then came the knowledge that you can technically “break Lent” on Sundays…I’m going to be honest, it all went downhill from there. I started taking my “Sundays” on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays…it got to the point where most of my meals were gluten free, but I definitely wasn’t being diligent about avoiding it.
I don’t tend to be super heavy on mindless carbs, but when I cheated, I CHEATED. I kind of ended up being worse than I am usually in my regular eating, which was bad. Anyways. I’m going to just admit that this was only a partial success. I did learn a ton though, such as…
1. Being gluten free is hard. DUH. I could have told you that before I started. But honestly, it sucks when you are hungry and you literally have no options but maybe a snack that you (hopefully!) packed. I definitely could not avoid gluten at all times unless I got sick from it, which is what happens to people that actually have to be GF.
2. There are some good GF options out there. I was pleased with the gluten free bread that I got (Rudi’s is AMAZING!) as well as some other gluten free alternatives like pasta. However, I never found a pizza substitute that I was in love with, which was majorly disappointing. I love pizza. This was a big deal.
3. Restaurants are making it easier on the GF crowd. Mexican restaurants are naturally easier to eat GF at, but there are lots of restaurants in Nashville providing GF options that are seriously delish! My favorite GF place to eat is A Matter of Taste, which specializes in AMAZING gluten-free foods.
Now let’s go through the GF Hall of Fame! Here are my favorite GF things I ate during the past 40 days. Seriously, I’m eating them even after this whole shindig is done.
Rudi’s GF Multigrain Bread: this stuff is seriously amazing. I think because I usually eat Ezekiel Bread the texture transition wasn’t that bad. It makes the BEST French Toast ever. Seriously. Love.
GF Brownie Sundae: I don’t think I will ever make regular brownies again. I swear to you, these things are straight chocolate and love and make me so happy.
EGGS. Eggs saved my life these 40 days. Eggs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Hopefully I’ll be able to eat less of them starting tomorrow, or I may just turn into a chicken (I’m not sure that’s how that works, but oh well).
LUNA bars. Tested these out a few weeks in and am seriously in love! The Chocolate Cupcake flavor is amazing but all of their bars are GF and they were the perfect on-the-go snack.
Paleo Mixed Berry Muffins: I love muffins and I love how these held up/the fact that they were tasty yet healthy. These doubled as breakfast and snacks, so I was a big fan.
In short, being gluten free is hard if you’re not powerfully motivated to do so (i.e. a serious medical condition). With that being said, avoiding loading up on carbs by seeking some GF alternatives once in a while isn’t a bad thing, and is definitely something I’m going to consider doing in the future. More and more companies and restaurants are making GF options available, which is a wonderful thing.
Now, please excuse me while I celebrate with Donut Den (no, I did not cheat and get Donut Den once these 40 days. I’ll count that as a victory in my book).