One Week Diet DiariesThe One Week Diet Diaries: Gluten-Free's the Way to BeGina Vaynshteyn

For one week, I decided to go completely gluten-free. I avoided anything made of or containing wheat, barley and rye. Researching these food restrictions, I discovered I couldn’t have most soups, most salad dressings, most sodas and most snacks, because if they weren’t made with wheat products, they could be contaminated by them. I couldn’t have Starbucks either (unless I ordered a regular cup of coffee) because of their syrups; my beloved latte would have to be replaced by tea. Going gluten-free pretty much eliminated anything super processed, too, since a lot of foods contain binding agents made of wheat.

I had to completely clean out my cabinets. Let me tell you: I’m a pasta fiend. I love mac ‘n cheese and spaghetti and I just love just eating a French baguette straight out of the bag. If I could, I would eat bagels for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I bought a jumbo bag of Chex Mix a few days before which I sadly had to give away to an owner that could love it and cherish it more than I could. But I was ready. I could do this.

Before I go into the details of my week of dieting, I just want to say that I understand that choosing to eat gluten-free is a lifestyle, not a diet. 1 out of 133 people living in the US have celiac disease, a digestive condition that is triggered by the protein gluten (which is found in wheat, barley and rye products). I understand a lot of people don’t have the choice when it comes to food with gluten, and in no way am I making light of the situation.

With that said, I’ve also been reading Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis, who basically claims that America’s biggest problem (concerning their weight) is wheat. Wheat is the culprit that is making us fat because wheat is an evil crack-like substance that gets us hooked and contains more sugar than a candy bar. He also compares the USDA Food and Drug administration to the tobacco industry in that they are helping the “Big Food” companies like Kraft and General Mills stay rich by selling Americans unhealthy and addictive wheat products and labeling these as “heart healthy”.

“Just as the tobacco industry created and sustained its market with the addictive property of cigarettes, so does wheat in the diet make for helpless, hungry consumer. From the perspective of the seller of food products, wheat the perfect processed food ingredient: The more you eat, the more you want. The situation for the food industry has been made even better by the glowing endorsements provided by the US government urging Americans to eat more ‘healthy whole grains’.”

Do you buy it? For me, I don’t trust phenomenons and best-selling diet books, but the author claims that a lot of his patients feel more energetic after they expel wheat from their diet. They also lose weight and feel a lot healthier in general.  So, let’s see how a week of no wheat has helped me.

Day One

Weight: 134

Breakfast:

  • ¾ cup cottage cheese w/ cup of strawberries

Lunch:

  • Three cucumbers with Tapatio
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Homemade green-blackberry tea

Snack:

  • Gluten free bread with almond butter
  • Gluten free lentil chips

Dinner:

  • Brown rice, kale, mushroom and chicken creamy casserole (made with mozzarella cheese, chicken broth, and low fat sour cream)
Chicken rice casserole with kale..yum?

Chicken rice casserole with kale..yum? 

Notes:

I didn’t really have anything to snack on, so I went to Trader Joe’s and found some gluten-free bread by Udi’s and lentil chips. I was totally surprised by the flavors. The bread tasted pretty similar to wheat bread and the lentil chips were a pretty good substitute for pita chips. However… I desperately wanted some veggie chips, but I looked at the label on the back and they were unfortunately manufactured in the same place as other wheat products, so I had to forgo them. Sad!

Day Two

Breakfast:

  • Scrambled eggs with kale and shredded cheese
  • Udi Gluten Free toast
  • Handful of raspberries
  • Coffee

Lunch:

  • Smoothie with mixed berries, orange juice, banana, and kale

Snack:

  • Lentil chips with Jalapeno cilantro Hummus
  • 2 gluten free cookies

Dinner:

  • Salad with mixed greens, chickpeas, black olives, onion, turkey, marinated mozzarella balls with Italian/Balsamic vinaigrette(gluten free)
SUPER SALAD!

SUPER SALAD!

Notes:

I checked the cheese package AFTER I already made breakfast and realized the cheese has corn and potato starch! Luckily no wheat, but still a little bit shocked. Also: gluten-free chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s are SO GOOD.

Day 3

Breakfast:

  • Trader Joe’s mango Greek yogurt

Lunch:

  • Sandwich with GF bread, turkey, cheese, mustard, cucumbers and avocado
  • 2 GF cookies

Dinner:

  • Potato-cheddar soup
  • Leftover salad from last night

Snack:

  • Popcorn

Notes:

Okay, so the potato-cheddar soup probably wasn’t the best way to go, since all it had in it was potato and cheese, but I had been feeling crummy all day and forgot to thaw out meat for a planned pot roast, so the fiancé made this amazing 1,000 calorie soup, but it definitely hit the spot. I’m definitely starting to realize “gluten-free” isn’t exactly the most lucrative diet.  Gluten free foods, as William Davis states, are just as caloric as wheat products. So, treating this gluten-free diet as a diet is proving itself to be kind of futile.

Day 4

Weight: 133 pounds

Breakfast:

  • scrambled eggs with spinach and mozzarella
  • GF toast with almond butter
  • ½ avocado
  • orange juice

powerbreakfast

Snack:

  • 1 GF cookie
  • Popcorn
  • 2 apricots

Dinner:

  • Pot roast w/tomato-based sauce, carrots, fingerling potatoes

Notes:

Despite my totally unhealthy potato heart-attack cheese soup last night, I managed to be down one pound. Also.. I REALLY want a chocolate cake. Or a cheesecake. So badly.

Day 5

Breakfast:

  • 3 pieces of French toast with organic pure maple syrup
frenchtoast

French toast made with love (and maybe pity) by my fiance

Lunch:

  • 2 GF cookies (I know…I just didn’t have time to make myself actual food. I make up for this at dinner though, where I consume my body weight in gluten free fake pizza)

Dinner:

  • Went to Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and got the GF lebni Mediterranean cheese plate  and GF prosciutto pizza

Notes:

Verdict on GF restaurant food: expensive! Anything gluten-free was automatically at least two dollars more. The gluten-free crust tasted like super flat pita bread. Not bad, but not my normal fluffy, doughy pizza crust, either.

Me and my pizza. Don't we look happy?

Me and my pizza. Don’t we look happy?

 

Day 6 

Weight: 131

Breakfast:

  • Cottage cheese & apple sauce (I’m a grandma, I know)

Lunch:

  • Apple slices with almond butter

Dinner:

  • Steak with green beans, corn on the cobb, and my mom’s avocado/tomato/onion salad
  • Cranberry juice watered down with mineral water

Dessert:

  • Mexican hot chocolate and NY cheesecake frozen yogurt from Yogurtland
Yay...it almost feels like I'm eating real dessert!

Yay…it almost feels like I’m eating real dessert! 

Notes:

My mom specifically bought a Panera French baguette just for ME, and I had to politely decline. IT TOOK ALL THE STRENGTH I HAD – aren’t you guys proud of me??

Day 7

Weight: 130

Breakfast:

  • GF toast
  • applesauce

Late lunch:

  • Lobster omelet w/home fries
honeys breakfast

I’m so jealous of my past-self for eating that plate of YUM.

In conclusion:

So, I lost four pounds this week just by cutting gluten out of my diet. I didn’t exercise or starve myself. When I was hungry, I ate something. But I did notice that I was a lot more selective about what I was eating. Even though I had some gluten-free carb options, I tried not to eat too many in a day and still balanced it out with fruit, veggies and protein, I wasn’t as mindlessly hungry throughout the day, and I was more likely to stay satiated by not eating wheat. Something else that might contribute to my weight loss is just the lack of choice. When I went out to eat this week, I only had a few menu options. When I visited my parents for dinner, I couldn’t eat any of the bread. In some situations, I literally had no choice but to eat a lot healthier.  Maybe Dr. William Davis is on to something, after all. I didn’t exactly experience “wheat withdrawals” as he predicted, although there were times I just wanted something fried and bad for me. I honestly didn’t feel more energetic, but I didn’t feel worse, either.

Did I go back to wheat once my week was over? HELL YES. But I will definitely eat it in moderation and treat it more like junk food.

Has anyone else tried going on a gluten-free diet? Thoughts?

Featured image via 

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  1. You’ve got a bit of misinformation here. The reason why gluten is “bad” is only because we live in America, where every single gluten strain in the country is genetically modified to contain 30-40% more gluten than the average grain, making it more difficult for our bodies to digest, and in some cases, building up around the colon, blocking off nutrient absorbers, causing what some claim to be gluten intolerance. I understand Celiac is it’s own deal, but this gluten-free craze is becoming an epidemic, because people are choosing to fill up with specially made gluten-free products that are even more processed and contain more fat, sugar, sodium, and carbs than the average gluten product. I almost died from being told to go gluten free, it’s not a healthier alternative, it’s just an alternative. The problem lies at the source, the fact that no one know what the hell is in our food anymore due to the governments lack of chemical and agricultural regulations. If you’re trying to lose weight, by all means cut anything and everything substantial out of your diet and make it very time consuming and expensive for yourself to eat “well”. But seriously if you’re going to cut out gluten because you think it’s unhealthy, than you might as well stop eating anything grown/processed in this country all together because it ALL has the same effect on the body. People who can’t eat bread here in the U.S. can eat it anywhere else in the world.

  2. This article is great, such inspiration. I’d like to do a week free from gluten, my diet is mostly healthy but I was surprised when I read that you lost 4 pounds in one week! Incredible. It’s such a shame how processed food has become nowadays :-(

  3. I’ve had Coeliac disease for 5 years now, and although I desperately miss pastry, I actually quite enjoy my diet. I make pizza at home, and it’s way tastier than anything in a restaurant. I also love baking GF biscuits and cakes just to show all my friends that gluten free can be just as good as ‘normal’ treats! I actually put on weight after I was diagnosed, I guess because I was getting all the vitamins and nutrients that I wasn’t getting before. I can still eat GF versions of pasta, bread, pitta, bagels and cakes, which aren’t so bad, but I’m slowly working my way through all the varieties to find the best ones.
    I don’t eat nearly as much junk food as I used to, and definitely eat more fruit and veg. So yeah, it ain’t all bad! I’m glad you thought so too – well done for trying it!

    • Thanks, Laura! There are SO many more GF products out there than there used to be, and that variety helped me out a lot, since I wanted to do this diet the right way. It’s a lot easier not eating junk food when you’re just so much more aware of what goes into your body!

      Gina Vaynshteyn | 6/17/2013 09:06 pm
  4. i haven’t been going gluten-free, but in the last 5 months or so i’ve just been trying to increase my fresh/non-processed food intake. it took me about two weeks of eating specifically & intentionally to get my body, but mostly my brain, out of CARBO-LOAD MODE, though i wouldn’t call it withdrawal at all. 6+ months ago i could probably be caught saying i can’t survive without carbs (and my go tos were definitely of the wheat variety), but now i’m having what feels like a very adult realization (“adult?” what is that mysterious animal?) about what a balanced diet actually is, and that “those people” that seemingly eat salads all day might actually be onto something. for a brunch-time snack yesterday, i ate some snap peas and grapes and it filled me right up! anywho, in the last 5 months i’ve lost 5-7 lbs (depending on the day of course) but i’ve also been working out more and building muscle, so all around i’m feeling pretty good! the real challenge will come when fall and winter hit again LOL. it’s definitely tougher to eat healthily when it’s freezing cold outside!

    • Hey Caroline! I’ve been basically trying to do the same thing and I totally am with you on the “adult” thing! I noticed that after a few days, veggies & fruits were filling me up just as much as a piece of bread, which was insane! I pretty much fluctuate all the time with my weight, but did notice a crazy weight loss this week without any wheat (and an over-all decline in carbs). I think that’s why the Atkins diet works so well, but I could never go through with that for more than a week because it sounds super intense! Thanks for reading my trials and tribulations, haha.

      Gina Vaynshteyn | 6/17/2013 08:06 pm
  5. Although I am not a Celiac myself, my brother and father are, and I often cook for them. I found that I was having to make everything from scratch because our modern food is just sooooo over-prossesed. Its almost scary how much processing and extra ingredients (many with unpronounceable names) go into the food we eat! Learning about the gluten-free lifestyle made me aware of what exactly I was consuming and has definitely made me healthier.

    • Agreed! When I was buying food for this week, even the foods that technically shouldn’t have had any gluten in them, had highly processed ingredients. For example, cheese that had like, three different starches. I think the awareness factor was the most helpful part of the diet and what made it more successful!

      Gina Vaynshteyn | 6/17/2013 09:06 pm