Hey guys!! My life has been a little hectic lately as the hubs and I are getting ready to make a major move back to the states within the next couple of weeks. I actually have about a week left in Germany before I head back, then the hubs leaves a week later. The movers show up on Monday, and we have to have everything ready for them when they show up at 7am that morning. Plus, we are in Paris this weekend doing some last minute traveling. It will be a late night on Sunday! Ack!
About a couple months ago, I embarked on an elimination diet that entailed eliminating gluten from my diet as well as dairy for a month. I took it one step further and decided to go vegan. I came to the conclusion of starting myself on this elimination diet out of desperation. I had been dealing with stomach problems for years with no help from doctors/nutritionists. After researching my symptoms online, I noticed that they were closely correlated with that of a gluten sensitivity and/or celiac’s disease. Most people with gluten sensitivities also can be afflicted with a lactose intolerance, and that is why I decided to go vegan. Within the first few days, I immediately felt a difference. My chronic constipation had virtually disappeared, and my energy levels skyrocketed. After a month, I knew for sure that I wanted to live gluten free for the rest of life.
As for the vegan trial, that was the difficult part. I craved cheese so badly. I caved in twice, but felt physically ill after eating it in anything more than an average serving. It tasted so good though. After that month, I felt like I had broken my addiction to dairy, and I rarely crave it now.
So, two months later, am I still eating meat or any animal products for that matter? The answer is yes, but let me explain. When we are at home, I don’t have a problem eating vegan and gluten free. When we travel or eat out, that is a different matter entirely. I was faced with situations within the last few weeks especially when traveling that I could either eat a piece of bread and a salad that literally consisted of lettuce and tomatoes (that was it) or nix the bread and add some cheese or proscuitto to the salad. I opted for the second scenario. I’m sorry to those hard core vegans out there, but when faced with being starving within 30 minutes of eating a salad consisting of only tomatoes and lettuce or eating a piece of bread that would have caused me to be constipated for 5-9 days after that plus horrible stomach cramping, I chose to put some cheese or meat on my salad so I didn’t become a raving beeotch 30 minutes after lunch lasting until dinner time.
And don’t say, “But Nicole, you could just order some french fries (or some other food) with your salad.” That all depends on the restaurant. Most french fries are fried in the same oil that they fry breaded items in which I can’t eat. You wouldn’t believe how many items have gluten in them or are just cross contaminated with gluten as in the frying case. Yes, I’m that sensitive to gluten.
I’m also all for buying meat/dairy from a reputable farm that treats their animals with compassion. I’ve always believed that humans were meant to eat animals, but just not by way of factory farming. I also don’t believe we need to eat it everyday. Will I try to stay away from meat? Yes. Will I 100% cut it out of my life? No, especially when faced with situations like the one above. I will probably eat meat once or twice a month. As In The Defense of Food states, I believe animal products should be a garnish, not the main course.
The weight question: Over the past couple of months, I have in fact lost about 5 pounds. My stomach is noticeably smaller. Before you get excited and want to jump on the gluten-free vegan wagon, pay attention. Since I was dealing with chronic constipation for 5-9 days at a time, this weight loss may be the result of, ahem, unloading from going gluten free. Since I have gone gluten free, the bloat has also massively decreased. I don’t feel like I have a “gas baby” 24/7 anymore where I have to unbutton my pants in order to be comfortable at a meal (or after).
I have leaned up a little though, but keep in mind that I have increased my training schedule. I’m pretty sure that my fat intake has increased since going vegan since I needed something to keep me full sans meat. I’m sure my fat intake is around 30-40% of daily caloric intake now as opposed to around 20-30% before I went vegan. I’m not worried about this since the average Mediterranean fat intake is 40% of daily calories, and they are one of the healthiest populations in the world. Obviously, I’m getting all of this fat from plant-based sources.
As requested, I put together an average gluten free vegan day for all of you. Keep in mind that this was a rest day from training. I usually eat a lot more than this when training hard. This day added up to around 2100 calories.
I started my day off with a green monster consisting of:
- 2 huge handfuls of spinach
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 cup vanilla rice milk
- 1 tbsp nut butter
- 1 tsp acai powder
- 1 banana
- 3 ice cubes
A few handfuls of these throughout the day…
A huge salad for lunch. All the good stuff is hiding beneath the lettuce.
- 2-3 cups of spring mix
- 1 ear of corn
- pine nuts
- huge glob of homemade hummus in addition to the brown rice bread topped with hummus
- Olive oil and vinegar dressing
Dinner was my homemade spanish rice with homemade white bean burgers crumbled up in corn tortillas topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro with a squeeze of lime.
I understand that I was probably lacking in fruit that day, but I my stomach was happy, and I was satisfied by the end of the day. I believe in variety so obviously, not every day is exactly like this. I have to adjust for activity level (and hunger level). I don’t keep track of my calories, but I did on this day so that you all would have an idea of what I eat.
Which brings me to the giveaway…
I was so excited to start my month out vegan, that when I got on Amazon.com I ordered two Veganomicons by mistake instead of one. I realized this when I opened up my mail and was staring down at two books. Was I upset about this? No! I thought this would be a perfect giveaway to anyone wanting to add some vegan recipes to their lives!
This is just one of the recipes from the book. I love it so far!
I actually made the chickpea cutlets from this book that are famous in the blog world, and they were amazing! Of course, I had to deglutenize them!
You will have until 2pm EST on Thursday, June 24th to enter.
- Tweet about this giveaway. My tweet name is @geekturnathlete . Leave a comment to let me know you did that. Here is a sample tweet if you wanted to use it: @geekturnathlete is giving away a copy of Veganomicon! http://geekturnedathlete.com/2010/06/19/gluten-free-vegan-thoughts-average-day-giveaway/ Check it out!
- Mention this giveaway on your blog, then leave a separate comment to let me know you did with the link back to it.
**** This giveaway is closed. Thanks to all those who entered.
So, what is your eating philosophy?