Everything Free

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend! It was Fleet Week here in San Francisco but I didn’t actually participate in the festivities. Instead, I spent the weekend with my family enjoying some quality time. On Friday, my mom and I had a little Girl’s Night and we went out for a fabulous dinner, Saturday was spent with my mom and her best friend and Sunday involved most of my family coming together to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday. Sometimes, I can’t believe that I am so blessed- I truly have the most amazing family and am so lucky that not only do we all get along, but our time spent together is so much fun! It was sad to see my brother and sister-in-law go back to Texas today but I’m hoping they visit again soon!

One thing that I had to keep in mind during this weekends festivities was my new diet. Remember when I mentioned that I’ve been dealing with horrible abdominal pain for the last 10 months? Well they still can’t figure out what is the cause, but as a new test, they suggested I go gluten and dairy-free. I’ve referenced before that my mom is gluten-free, so as you’ve seen, I cook that way a lot naturally. However, going dairy free was a whole new ballgame.

I mean remember my birthday dinner party where everything revolved around cheese? Well, my favorite food has been removed from my diet as of now. I’m only one week in but I’d say that so far it’s going pretty well. I feel like I have more energy, am not bloated and haven’t been in pain. I’m not sure if this diet will be a lasting thing, but I’m hopeful that being pain-free will! I’ll be testing this for about 5 weeks by trying to eat dairy and gluten (separately) and seeing if those cause discomfort.

The one fun thing about this is that I’m finding all sorts of new foodie finds that I will definitely share with you soon. I get very excited when I find something that tastes delicious, and is gluten-free and dairy-free. For all of you other “free” people out there, I’d love your help with protein though! Although I’ll eat chicken or veggie burgers in the afternoon or at night, I find myself struggling with getting enough protein at breakfast. I don’t eat eggs or soy products, so I’ve been doing almond milk yogurt or quinoa flakes but am missing the lasting effects that my 20 grams of protein in Greek yogurt used to provide. Any suggestions?

Another thing I’ve realized is how much I appreciate when restaurants label their menus and make it easy to identify foods that I can eat. I hate feeling isolated because I “can’t” eat something so when I can just ask for a separate menu and order anything I want off of it, I feel normal!

I’ve also come to rely on some great gluten-free blogs like my new favorite discovery, GF in SF. Lauren posts about recent gluten-free finds, but the best part is her restaurant reviews throughout San Francisco. These posts make it so much easier to find great gluten-free restaurants and is a fantastic resource.

Questions:

-Any GF/DF tips you can share?

-Have you ever gone anything “free”?

-I’d love to hear stories if any symptoms you had before going free too!

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8 thoughts on “Everything Free

  1. I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better, Emily! I’m all too familiar with the GI roller coaster ride; in fact, it’s something I’m still trying to figure out! However, I’d say about 90% of my stomach issues are gone now, which is a huge relief. Removing gluten from my diet was the golden ticket, but I’ve found that dairy occasionally makes things go topsy-turvy too. Whenever I eat yogurt or cheese, I pop a Lactaid, which seems to help, but I’ve also found that keeping my portions small is essential. A sprinkling of cheese here and there never upsets me, but if cheese is my main course, I’m asking for trouble!

    As far as protein ideas go: have you tried plant-based protein powders? Sun Warrior is soy free, and really good mixed into oatmeal, pancake batter or baked goods. It’s a little pricey, but worth it! I know a lot of people like Plant Fusion and Vega as well. Peanut flour is another great protein source (16 grams per 1/4 cup, I think). I love it in pancakes, but my favorite way to use it is by drizzling it (just mix with almond milk or water, a little sweetener and/or salt) over bananas, granola etc. So good! I’m slowly acquiring a taste for nutritional yeast, which has an amazing nutrition profile! It’s one of few complete vegan proteins and really the only one that contains B vitamins! The uses are endless–I like to use it in dressings, and I even experimented with it in a “cheeze” sauce (recipe at Oh She Glows). It might not be the sweet that what you’re looking for at breakfast, but it’s a great savory option for the rest of the day. (It took me awhile to warm up to though–just warning you!) ;)

    If I think of any other ideas, I’ll pass them along! And if you ever want to chat about GI stuff, I’m just an email away! Seriously. Nothing is TMI with me! Been there. Done that. Haha.

    Oh, and let me know if you think we might be able to swing something Sunday, the 21st! I’d love to meet you! xoxoxo <3

  2. YES! When I got GF and Dairy free there is a huge difference! I just struggle cutting it out :/ but I know I should because of how I feel!
    GF things I love: brown rice tortillas – I’m obsessed! Also brown rice pasta is pretty amazing!
    Dairy Free: {I stomach goat just fine!} goat yogurt and coconut milk

  3. Wow Emily, we’re in pretty similar eating-boats right now! Although I’ve been wheat-free for a while, I’m starting to notice that more and more grains are upsetting my system nowadays. Dairy is still in my diet because I haven’t had a reason to cut it out completely, but I’ve heard some pretty convincing things regarding reasons to cut it out.

    You should check out some paleo blogs! I know it might sound intimidating, but paleo doesnt have to be tons of meat all the time. I would recommend MarksDailyApple.com– although he does sometimes include dairy in things. There’s also a lot of good info there.

    Do you like turkey? Maybe some turkey sausage or bacon for breakfast? Or red meat if you’re feeling dandy? ;)

  4. Hmmm this is all very interesting! I’m sorry to hear about your stomach pain but it seems like you are handling it well!! Have you tried having a smoothie for breakfast with some protein powder? I have some vanilla protein powder that tastes pretty good and you could mix it with almond milk, frozen fruit, nut butter etc (plus nut butter has more protein!!).

  5. Hiya!

    There are heaps of great blogs out there about going dairy and gluten free.

    When we first went dairy free I found it so daunting – we had to get used to reading all labels on all the packets, because of the hidden sources of dairy. I’d not heard of casein before, for example.

    We soon found dairy free milks and spreads. It’s quite fun trying out different milks to see what works best. So for example, I love hazelnut milk in my hot chocolate and porridge, but prefer unsweetened almond milk, when making bread.

    There are dairy free ice creams, yoghurts and cheeses out there too. Cream can be a bit more tricky, to replace, if you can’t have soya, but I’ve even found a replacement there too.

    My tip is to make a meal plan and stick to that, until you feel brave enough to go freestyle!

    The hardest bit is going out for meals at restaurants, so I’d advise following Sloane Miller on Twitter, re. that one!

    Hope that helps :)

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