Gluten via Wikipedia: a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye.
Gluten via Urban Dictionary: while your friends eat oreos, cake, and other hallmarks of the wondrous American diet, you must crunch dry rice cakes and order salads without croutons or most dresses.
(or this one via Urban Dictionary: To be used as another word for Drama, Bullsh*t, Haters, i.e. I don’t want any more Gluten in my life. — irrelevant, but hilarious.)
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I decided to give up gluten for Lent for two reasons:
1. I had been eating very poorly, putting a lot of junk inside my body and I just wanted to get it out and eat clean.
2. I wanted to challenge myself.
What is gluten in you ask? Oh just about everything. So instead I’ll tell you what it’s not in: fruit, veggies, lean meats, potatoes, beans, rice.
After doing some research, I decided I would not go the path of replacing my regular foods (bread, pasta, etc.) with the gluten-free variety that are now plentiful in most stores. To compensate for gluten, most products include more sugar and thus, people typically gain weight on a gluten-free diet. While I’m not doing this to lose weight (though it would be a positive side effect), I do not want to add any more unnecessary sugar in my body. See reasons above.
Here’s my typical gluten-free day menu:
Breakfast: Yogurt (some are gluten free and some aren’t), fruit
Lunch: Salad packed with veggies and a lean meat
Dinner: Lean meat, veggies, potatoes/rice (We made these Southwestern Stuffed Peppers the other night and they were perfect)
Snacks throughout the day: fruit & peanut butter, veggie crisps, nuts
The hardest part for me has been the inconvenience of eating gluten free. For breakfast I often grab a Special K bar, for lunch a sandwich or pasta for dinner. I have to plan ahead and be very mindful of what I’m eating, which is exactly what I wanted to make myself do.
Since I don’t have Celiac Disease and eating gluten doesn’t harm me, if I accidentally eat some here or there because I don’t recognize it in the ingredients, I’m not beating myself up about it. (Or if I’m STARVING and the only thing in our 5-hour meeting is a cookie … :)) I am also allowing myself Sundays as cheat days, typical of Lenten sacrifices. What did we eat last Sunday?? Pizza and beer and ice cream. NOM.