The Challengist – Gluten Free Challenge

gluten free pizza

After a successful Yoga Challenge, I was feeling smug, which is  a great way to fail in your next challenge.

And fail I did. I was totally ill prepared to start my gluten free challenge and faced the beginning of November with two birthdays, which demanded me eating cake. No way that cake was going to be gluten free. But I accepted this slow start, and embarked on my gluten free challenge on the following Monday, so November 3.

At first I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. I don’t eat a lot of bread, and I happily substituted my Sunday morning toast with a gluten free edition.

But going gluten free is a bit trickier than that. I realised that I do eat quite a bit of other things with gluten. We usually share a pizza on a Friday night. I like a hearty pie on a cold day. I am a big fan of pasta. Suddenly my lunch options were reduced to half of my usual favourites (no more pie, noodle soups, sandwiches or anything in breadcrumbs). So I’ve been eating a lot of rice: Indian curries, rice noodles and sushi.

On Friday I made a gluten free pizza (recipe here). The successful part: homemade pizza is great. The unsuccessful part: although I enjoyed it, my husband didn’t. And it took over an hour to make!!! The whole point of having a pizza on a Friday night is to avoid cooking. So that kinda defeated the point.

So 12 10 days down the challenge, have I been able to stick with it?

I have been able to stick with gluten free choices – mostly. I’m not great with restricted diets, so in that sense I’ve been doing well. The unsuccessful part: I’ve eaten stuff with gluten, but that has been mostly without realising it.

Any gluten free eater will be able to tell you that gluten is hiding in the most unexpected of places. Even if it doesn’t look like bread or pasta, is may still contain gluten. So I ate meatballs (includes bread crumbs), thickened sauces and gravy (guess what makes them thicker). And then once I had a tortilla simply because my daughter was having a meltdown and there was nothing else on the menu that I was able to order quickly. So that was a conscious lapse. Apart from the tortilla, I didn’t realise I was eating gluten until the following day, so this was not a conscoious lapse. Just thoughtlessness. I’ll try to stay more alert going forward.

What about the results? Do I feel better?

I don’t know if 10 days is long enough to judge, and whether my lapses have brought me to square one each time. I don’t feel massively different, but I do feel a bit better after meals where I’ve substituted regular bread with gluten free bread. I feel less bloated, and I don’t get any heartburn, when I usually would.

So forward I march with my gluten free challenge, hopefully with less mistakes and lapses.