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Diary of My 7 Day Gluten Free Challenge

Monday, 10 March 2014
7-Day Gluten Free Diet Challenge Diary

So Monday the 3rd of March was the first day of our entire family gluten free challenge. We have had a few speed bumps along the way and found that the girls just werent ready to change their diet and Hayley is at the age where things looks strange so she wont put it in her mouth. The only thing Hayley wouldnt change was from white bread no matter the sort of PureBred we purchased.

Madison on the other hand was easy to please and ate everything and anything Mummy dished her up.

The seven-day challenge was set by the amazing Sarah-Jane Purnell, who is amazing at her job and is just in general a lovely person. You would have seen my initial post on this here. In this post it will go on to tell you the benefits of cutting gluten out of your diet and how Sarah-Jane Purnell came up with this diet.

Sarah-Jane Purnell is an amazing nutritionist and naturopath. And in light of the Coeliac Awareness week ( 13th March for 7 whole days), she has formulated a very special 7 day gluten free challenge in conjunction with industry leading gluten free bakery brand, PureBred.


Our Weeks worth of Gluten free Shopping- TOTAL $190
We kept a diary on how we went and what we ate, as well as how we felt at the end of the day and the changes we noticed. So this is what you will see below, pre warning there are some parts that will be a little TMI- so read on at your own risk ;-P Kidding it honestly isn’t that bad, but I don’t cut any corners with how we felt.



Before we started though Sarah-Jane explained to us how important it was to replace the carbohydrates we will be loosing, with more nutritious foods. This was especially important with the kids as they will loose weight and energy quickly with the wrong diet. 

Also I would like to touch base and let you know you should seek medical advice before starting this challenge and seeing if the benefits of cutting out gluten are right for you. I am not a doctor and if you have any concerns please don't hesitate to seek medical advice.

As Hayley has school and Matt is at work their meals differ from ours so will go into details on what we all individually ate.

DAY 1 Monday-




HAYLEYS LUNCH BOX- In Hayleys lunchbox there was a PureBred Wholemeal ham and cheese sandwich, which she only ate half as she didnt like the bread. For snack there was some gluten free popcorn, gluten free fruit strap (which is super yummy) and half of a banana.

BREAKFAST- Mummy: I had two slices of PureBred raisin toast with some Nuttelex spread on it- plain and simple as I am not usually a breakfast person. To be honest I couldnt taste the difference between normal PureBred raisin toast and gluten free- the PureBred stuff is YUMMY!

Daddy- Ate at work and had a orange and banana.


Hayley and Madison- Both had a bowl of Freedom Foods Pro-Teen cereal and half a sliced banana in there. The pro-teen is actually really yummy and tastes like banana flavoured nutrigrain (with a fraction of the sugar.)

LUNCH-  Mum and Madisons Lunch: Wholemeal PureBred with Nuttelex spread with plain scrambled eggs.

Dad: Gluten Free Rice biscuits with cucumber, cheese and tomato.



DINNER- Obviously with dinner we all eat together so for dinner we had Mixed Meat Stir-fry. In the stir-fry there was fresh vegetables, chicken, beef, coconut milk, gluten free noodles and some herbs and spices. If you want this recipe please feel free to contact me J More then happy to share.

SNACKS- For snacks Matt had mandarins x2, Madison and I had watermelon and then also some pumpkin seeds. Hayley had some cantaloupe when she finished school.

HOW ARE WE FEELING:
So as you would expect there was no immediate changes, although I did feel a lot less bloated and could eat a lot more.  Were very excited to feel and see the changes we might get when sticking strictly to this diet.

DAY 2 tuesday-

HAYLEY’S LUNCHBOX-  Ok so after the first time trying a multigrain PureBred sandwich and not liking it, I thought I would give her a break day so instead opted for some gluten-free rice biscuits and tuna for lunch (which she loved and demolished.) For her brain food and snack I popped in some carrot sticks, and another GF fruit strap as requested.



BREAKFAST- Madison, Hayley Mum: We had a slice of PureBred raison toast and a banana. After having these three slices though I popped the loaf in the freezer as the best before only lasted 4 days, and I didn’t want to waste it.

Dad: An apple and an orange.

LUNCH- Madison, Dad and Mum: For lunch we decided to just have the left over stir-fry as there was so much left over and would be a shame to waste. Madison and I mixed it up a little though and had some cheese and rice crackers afterwards.

DINNER- For dinner we actually were not at home and got invited to Matts parent’s house for dinner. Matt made sure to let her know we were on a gluten free challenge. We had chicken fillets with a onion chutney jam and roasted eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin and tomato.

SNACKS- Organic popcorn, cucumber sticks dipped in cream cheese.

HOW WE FEEL- I won’t lie I didn’t feel any different really but I did notice again I wasn’t bloated by the end of the day and slept like a baby. I also did notice I was going to the toilet normally now and passing more gas then usual (TMI, but it is being honest.)

Matt said that he felt quite hungry by the time he got home but was feeling great and had no stomach issues what so ever.

DAY 3 wednesday-

HAYLEY’S LUNCHBOX: For lunch I made her some PureBred Chia Seed Loaf and jam sandwich, which she actually liked at ate. I think she liked this a lot better as it somewhat resembled the white bread she knows and loves and was not too much of a change. For snacks I made her cucumber sticks with humus dip and a mandarin. 



BREAKFAST: Madison and Mum: For breakfast we had a mixed fruit and berry smoothie with all our faves- banana, mango, grapes, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry and watermelon. We were hungry still after this and snacked on some PureBred raison toast soldiers.

Dad: Yoghurt, Freedom cereal and blueberries.

LUNCH: Mum: Fruit salad and honey yoghurt.

Madison: Boiled eggs and PureBred soldiers.

Dad: PureBred salad and cheese sandwich.



DINNER: Dinner we had a home-made chicken Gluten free noodle soup with carrot- Nonna's recipe.

SNACKS: Corn on the cob and some gluten free pancakes seeming’s it was pancakes day :-P

HOW WE FEEL: Today it was suggested that I eat some nuts, but I have an allergy to them so this was not on the list for me unfortunately.  I woke up in the morning with more energy then I have ever had, usually I am peeling myself off the bed but not this morning. I had the entire house cleaned including floors by 10am!

Matt also noted that he felt like he had more energy and came home to prepare the yard for concreting on the weekend without a single complaint.

DAY 4 Thursday-

LUNCHBOX: Fresh fruit salad for snack and seaweed rice crackers with a tuna/chicken (canned) mix and a fruit strap.


BREAKFAST: Again we love our mixed muesli in this house and decided The collective blueberry and acai yoghurt with gluten and nut free muesli and fresh blueberries was the way to go.

LUNCH: I packed the same thing for Matt as well as I knew he could do what we were doing at home but at work.
Toasted PureBred gluten free sandwiches with ham, cheese and tomatoe, also popped some roast chicken in another.

DINNER: Gluten Free pasta- tomato sauce, mixed FRESH veg and GF pasta.

SNACKS: Carrot sticks and organic GF popcorn.

HOW WE FEEL:  Today is the day I actually felt the real difference of this diet change and woke up feeling like a million bucks.
By 10am I already had the house clean and was ready to take our dog Billy for a walk- which we did.

The whole day I did feel a little peckish but turned to carrot sticks and in the evening some popcorn as that gets me through to dinner.

Matthew said this diet took effect for him starting from yesterday, but he has found that knocking out gluten has made him go to the toilet more frequently and also snacking a lot more then he usually would during the day.

The girls- well they are the girls and to be completely honest I have not seen a difference in there, which is probably a good thing though.


DAY 5 friday-

LUNCHBOX: Hayley’s last lunchbox for the gluten free challenge!!! For lunch I packed her some of the left over gluten free pasta, which she absolutely loved eating at school. Then for snacks I made her some little GF pancakes with jam for a snack and an apple for brain food.

BREAKFAST: Gluten Free pancakes for the entire family, I made these the night before and just zapped them in the morning to warm them up. I am not sure if it was the brand of pancakes I bought, but these babies did not taste to crash hot… I don’t think I would be eating gluten free pancakes anytime soon as they tasted like mushy cardboard no matter the topping.       

LUNCH: Dad had: Left over GF pasta, when I cook people must think I am cooking for an army. He also went up to the bakery and got some GF pastry thing that we cannot remember the name of. 

Madison and Mum: For lunch we had Pumpking soup, which was left overs I had there. 


DINNER: We all ate an amazing quinoa and brown rice fried rice type dish that I just put together not following any instructions. Basically I cooked the brown rice and quinoa separately and while they were cooking I cooked a large fillet of chicken, capsicum, onion, carrot and mixed vegetables. Then once the rice and quinoa was cooked I added it all to the one pot and added some GF soy sauce to it all and mixed it through. This meal was amazing and the girls went for seconds.

SNACKS: Today we were pretty on the go and didn’t really have time for snacks. Madison did break the 7-day challenge though and had some ice-cream, which her grandma gave her not knowing we were on this diet.

HOW WE FEEL:
Today I have noticed my mind doesn’t wonder off with the fairies as much and my concentration span has increased- although I tend to still switch off as the girls are Pete repeat and its “Mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum” constantly all day. 

My energy level has increased quite a lot and I am not getting as tired as I was when it hits 4pm.

Also Matt and I have noticed the change in toilet habits. For my my irritable bowel couldn’t cope with the change for the first two days but after I stuck it out things did improve- enough bloody toilet talk now haha.

DAY 6 Saturday-
Ok, before we start here I will say that we BROKE the 7-day challenge today as it was just so hectic in our house having concreted the backyard ourselves and start some major renovations.

BREAKFAST: The girls are cereal for breakfast- which was not GF but they have not been strictly kept to this diet from the beginning either, we’ve just lessened the amounts given to them on a day to day basis, and will continue to do so from here on out. 

Matt and I ate some gluten free PureBred raisin toasts with Nutellex (so we kept to the diet.)

LUNCH: This was actually a very late lunch and we had to make something that would also appeal to family who were around helping us do the backyard. I ended up just making a plate full of normal white bread sandwiches. So for Matt and myself I kept some roast chicken and tossed it through salad and had a warm chicken salad with cheese and balsamic dressing- turning out to be quite delish.

DINNER:  Ok, so this is where we broke the GF challenge and probably in a big way…. By the time we finished the work and then went to the in-laws to have a nice hot shower as our hot water  was disconnected it was VERY late and too late to begin cooking, so we gave into takeaway at Matt’s parents. We ate Chinese and there WAS white rice, so not too sure how much gluten we ingested- I do know this place does not cook with any added MSG.

SNACKS: We snacked on many things today like apples, watermelon, nuts and cheese sticks.

HOW WE FEEL:
Well as I said above today we broke the GF challenge and I am not to sure how much Gluten was ingested but I do know after being clean for 6 days from gluten free and bringing it back I felt like a balloon, one more breath and I would have popped. My tummy literally popped out so much so I looked 3 months pregnant.

This is the only real thing that gluten does to me so I have found- bloating. I now know what it does and will be making a conscious effort to keep the Gluten to an all time low but I just don’t think I will be able to kiss goodbye my white bread and things like that, which I have missed a lot doing this diet. If however it makes me feel really ill I may have to cut it out completely. But at this stage I don’t think I will be committing to a complete gluten free diet, but instead cutting back ten fold.

Matthew being metal guts, did not feel anything when eating the Chinese food but this just goes to show he has no intolerance to gluten and can eat just about ANYTHING (very jealous!!) Matt has liked the fact the Gluten Free challenge has inspired me to start cooking fresher more healthier meals which I will be carrying on in our day to day life after this challenge is through tomorrow.

DAY 7 Sunday-
So we have come upon the last day of our gluten free family challenge. We have hit some speed bumps and found the girls to not like things gluten free very much, so had to keep a few of their much loved and known gluten products in their diet, as I didn’t want them to shrivel up to nothing.




OUR LAST BREAKFAST: Well here we are on our last breakfast and I decided to make all those gluten free things the family did like, for me it was fruit salad and GF PureBred raisin toast soldiers. I also had a whole heap of left over mixed berries there so made the kids a berry smooth fruit smoothie and Matt just ate a bit of everything.

LUNCH: For lunch we ate sausage and eggs with some salad on the side- mainly just an onion and cucumber salad.



DINNER: Dinner was that pumpkin soup I made a couple of days ago. When cooking it I didn’t add the cream as I knew we would be eating this again and then froze it- This was DELISH!! I made some of the last PureBred Chia Seed Loaf toast for dipping fingers into our delish bowls of soup. My pumpkin soup is literally pumpkin and potato boiled in a chicken broth and then mashed up- then I add cream and mix. Simple and amazing.
SNACKS:  I cooked some sweet potato chips for a snack, was very yum and loved by all.

HOW WE FEEL: It is sad to see this gluten-free diet go but at the same time I will look forward to going shopping and not having to check all labels and ingredients.

It really has opened up my entire families eyes in realising someone with Coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance life is no longer is convenient and a lot of thought and effort needs to go into what is going into your mouth. I am grateful that our family has no real health issues and apart from my mild nut allergy to diet requirements.

This challenge WILL change our family for the better and there will be certain things in our life that change, for example I will no longer buy white rice and go with the brown range and also I will continue to be mixing it with quinoa as well as eating quinoa on its own- such a wonder food that tastes delicious.  Not only this our family will make conscious decisions to go for the more healthier option and instead of reaching for that packet of chips during the day we will go for some fruit of vegetables.



One meal my entire family loves and is completely gluten-free is the stir-fry, so we will be making that our weekly GF dish.

This challenge has also opened my eyes up to so many brands I would have never known to exist and will help me with my nut allergy. My two main examples are freedom foods- their cereals contain no nuts, no gluten and are wheat free.  So I will certainly be stocking the freedom food range in our cupboard.

Saving the best until last here and I am sure any person with Ceoliac disease or a gluten intolerance would agree that PureBred has been their saviour!! They have a large range of different loaves, anything from a multigrain, to rolls and even your fruit loaves like the raisin toast.



Even though the PureBred range is not exactly the girls idea of yum, for Matt and I we could have made this work and eat it on a regular basis, but will miss our white breads. The one PureBred loaf that will be on our bench top on a regular basis is the Raisin toast- We could not taste the difference between this and the normal gluten ranges so I will continue to buy this and their loaves suit our family a lot better as they are small.
Available at Coles.

Another change this challenge has made is the fact I have thrown our regular margarine and butter out and have replaced it with Nuttelex. A much healthier version that in our opinion tastes better then those other crap filled spread.


So that is it from our family and the gluten-free challenge- although we found it tough to stick to completely Gluten Free diets the benefits and changes it will make to our daily lives is great. I would suggest that any family make little changes to their diet and if you keen try out this 7 day challenge.




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