How I'm Surviving a Major Diet Change
Many might say they know me as the petite girl who could put away more than her weight in bread and cheese, as well as a local foodie influencer for all the trendy foods out these days. Within the past couple of months, I've turned from that into a double dietary restriction ten pound less version of my already slender self who is missing out on a lot of of the foods I am so used to eating. You may be familiar with this part of my journey I'm on, but if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read about it here. The jury is still out on a diagnosis with more upcoming tests on my calendar, but so far this restrictive diet is helping with certain symptoms, so persevere I must.
I asked with a poll on my Instagram stories if any of you might be interested in seeing what kind of things I was eating and how I was surviving this abrupt diet change, and to my surprise there were 130 votes for yes! I want to add that this post is not sponsored in any way, and by no means am I claiming to be a professional source of information. I am simply sharing with you a few of my favorite finds as I navigate this new diet.
I'll start with the one dish that I thank the Heavens for every day, and after reading this post and the one linked above, I'm sure you'll be able to guess it on your own! Gluten-free pasta. What would I do without you?! I love to eat zucchini noodles too, but actual pasta is everything to me. To be honest, I thought I'd miss the cheese more, but as long as I have pasta and tomato sauce, I'm okay. I've tried a few different brands and types (rice, corn, quinoa, lentil, etc.) finding that some are much more sticky and harden more than others. I prefer ancient grain mixtures with things like quinoa and amaranth, because I find it to be the most similar to regular pasta. One of my favorite sauces is Nellino's because it has everything that's important to me - certified gluten free, vegan & organic, cholesterol free, no high fructose corn syrup, no sugar added, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, low sodium, paleo/whole30/keto friendly, and whole tomatoes only (no paste or puree) and it's still full of amazing flavor! Check out the ingredients of the tomato basil flavor: Organic Tomatoes, Organic Tomato Paste (Water, Organic Tomato Paste), Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Garlic, Organic Basil, Organic Black Pepper, Salt. Made in a peanut free facility. Allergens: none. Made in a green LEED Certified facility.
Another style meal I find myself eating often is obviously salads. I was already a big salad eater, but now I've been playing around with different varieties a lot more, and usually something I just throw together instead of a recipe. This one pictured below I made with a baby spinach and romaine mix, strawberries, cucumber, grape tomatoes, roasted sunflower seeds for crunch, and dried cranberries for another naturally sweet addition. For the dressing, I really like the Hilary's brand products. They make flavors like this Balsamic Thyme I drizzled on my salad, and also vegan burger patties, bites, sausages and more. Check out the ingredients in this dressing: Water, Balsamic Vinegar*, Extra Virgin Olive Oil*, Sunflower Oil*, Tapioca Syrup*, Redmond’s Real Salt®, Dried Orange Pulp, Thyme* *Organic
You can't get much closer to home made than that! It's certified gluten free, vegan, organic, non-gmo, soy free, nut free, egg free, dairy free, corn free awesomeness.
I found a new combination snack that I have literally started craving. Mandarins + Avocado + Balsamic drizzle. May sound weird, but I absolutely LOVE it. You've got the sweet flavor of the mandarin, the buttery flavor of the avocado, and the tartness of the balsamic that all blend together in perfect harmony. To my tastebuds anyways. Since I have plenty of cucumber and grape tomatoes in stock for salads, they make a quick and refreshing snack, too!
What about breakfast? Some days my shift at work starts at 6:45 am, so making breakfast (my favorite meal of the day) is not always something I give myself a lot of time for considering I leave the house by 6:15 am. Usually something on the go is much easier for me, and I love making overnight oats for this reason. There are so many different ways you can prepare them, but if you're going gluten-free like I have, you have to be sure you get oats that are labeled as such! Oats are naturally gluten free, but the way most are processed changes that. I really enjoy Nature's Path old fashioned version. Their ingredients? Gluten free whole grain rolled oats*. *Organic.
I will usually do 1/2 to 1 cup of oats with equal amounts flax milk or almond milk. You can feel free to substitute whatever liquid you prefer. Then add in anything you fancy! There are literally tons of recipes on Pinterest for this! Mix your base, put it in the fridge overnight, and throw some crunch or texture on it in the morning! For me, it's like a healthy breakfast dessert!
One thing I do know, is that I have a very fast metabolism, so small frequent meals and lots of snacks keeps me from getting hangry. I wanted to be able to have access to easy on the go snacks that didn't have a lot of junk in them, but still made me feel like I was getting that same satisfaction without all the negative effects. These MadeGood snacks offer me just that option. Check out these ingredients: Pure gluten free oats*, agave nectar*, brown rice syrup*, raisins*, crisp brown rice*, sunflower oil*, inulin*, cranberries*, apple juice concentrate*, molasses*, raspberries*, blueberries*, vegetable extracts (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms) blueberry flavor*, agar*. *Organic
Their products are similar to all the others I listed in that they are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, certified organic, non-gmo, etc. To me they have a very "airy" texture, but I enjoy them as they are not super filling and don't come with a crash! When you get that "candy bar" craving for a quick snack (and let's be honest, we all do, right?) this one will satisfy it in a safe and more natural way.
I feel like this is a good introduction to the type of things I've been finding to help my transition into this new lifestyle! I'm learning to navigate the restaurant options and will plan to do some posts based on options I choose while out!
If you have any recommendations, tips or advice we would love to hear them in the comments!