So, there's a lady in Manchester. This lady's name is Stephie and she kind of rocks.
Since we started hanging, or "came into each others' lives" (which sounds so much more romantic) her presence has become a necessity in my day. Whether it be an emergency meet-up in a cafe (http://teainyourtwenties.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/tea-in-manchester.html), an evening glass of wine with our "magic money" or even just at work together in our favourite little theatre, making vows of Yoga, Zumba, future companies and millions of pounds.
She makes me want to achieve anything and everything within my reach. The girl is a powerhouse. She inspires me to write better, blog more, be more positive, set goals for myself and use every day to its full potential.
Not long ago, while sipping our soy mochas, we had one of those "what are we doing with our liiiiiiife" moaning conversations that I think every girl in her twenties needs to have on a monthly basis. Somehow this conversation ended with us deciding to do a 30-Day Gluten Free Challenge.
I know. Random.
That's just how we roll.
Why a Gluten Free Challenge? I'm not going to lie and say that I have any intention of ever giving up bread...I don't think either of us do. I love bread, don't believe I have any intolerance and we have already planned our 1st of September dinner out (it involves pies.)
Truly - it's more to have a focus. Have a goal. Take control over one aspect of my life when I feel like lots of other parts are all over the place. Veganism requires zero effort on my part anymore, but I remember in those first few weeks - I felt so powerful and inspired! That realisation of "wow, I can do anything" is a priceless feeling. I think I wanted something like that again and it was either bread or coffee.
Sorry: not giving up coffee.
Maybe next month.
- No Gluten. (Duh)
- Gluten is found in grains (Barley, Spelt, Wheat etc), Pastas, Baked Goods (unless labelled gluten free), cereals, beer, couscous (nooooo!), dressings and chips. There are far more extensive lists...but you get the idea...
- "Gluten Free" options are totally allowed, but Stephie and I both felt that it made the whole thing too easy after a week, because you basically just substitute.
- Daily food diaries to share with each other
- Daily inspirations for when the bread is too fresh-smelling
- Hilarious punishment decided by the other party if you break.
What's Changed in my Diet/Routine?
So, it's now day 15 out of 30 days. What have I been eating, experiencing and feeling?
Honestly - up until yesterday there wasn't a lot to report. I quickly realised the only gluten I really eat is bread itself. I don't really have pasta often, because whenever I do I realise I'd rather be eating spiralized zucchini (no shit), I obviously don't eat cakes when I go sit in cafes, I don't eat cereals or crisps.....so....there isn't much gluten in my diet to cut out.
What this really involved for me, to be honest, was to stop eating bread. OH GOD....30 days without my delicious, precious staple. My avocado on toast....my evening peanut butter on toast treat.....My "grab a bread roll at work because I'm too busy to do anything else" necessity. If I'm honest with you - I definitely would eat bread every day. #confession.
In a nutshell -
- No Bread
- Been preparing nearly all my meals
- Feeling focused and positive having a project with a friend. (Which was exactly the point)
- Feeling slightly disappointed that project isn't harder (Friend agrees)
The Half-Way Results?
The truth is: results? I don't really feel any different at all.
Yesterday I went into work, chilling, made myself a coffee to start the day and, as the day went on, everyone at the cafe commented on my weight. Two girls in particular could not stop going on about it, insisting that I looked a lot smaller and "tighter".
How did I not notice this myself? I messaged Stephie immediately and (because our lives run parallel apparently) she met up with a friend that morning, who told her she also looked like she'd lost weight.
So - another confession - I went home and put on some clothes to see if I could see any difference and I actually did. Wow...things genuinely were a bit looser and my whole body did seem a bit leaner.
Loosing weight is said to be common when giving up gluten, but I am surprised because I know that I'm eating about the same, if not more than I was before this challenge, so there's no difference in my calorie intake. The only, genuine difference is the gluten! So I do find that quite fascinating....Could it be true that Gluten is bloating like they say? I must say ...... I think I'm converted!
It will be very interesting to see what happens in the 2nd half of this experiment. Will my weight just stay as it is now? (I mean, crikey, I'm not big people!) Or will I, hopefully, now start noticing actual health changes? Feeling lighter....sleeping better.....all that jazz.
Either way I'm definitely enjoying myself and not really feeling deprived. So, I guess that makes the experiment a total success. Proving that we are superheroes who can do anything and take on any challenge!
Oh God....don't test me on that if I ever do a coffee challenge.....
Enjoy some photos below! Wouldn't be an Oops Im a Vegan post without food photos, would it?
Our Gluten Free eating extravaganza at Dough in Manchester! So, so good.
Look, the first bite you're like "aaahhh okay, this is gluten free". But then, as you keep munching you really do stop noticing.....it's gluten free pizza after all! They're not magicians!
How To Spread The Vegan Word Without Being a Preachy A***hole
10 Reasons to F**king LOVE Ricky Gervais