When I went to BlogHer back in August I connected briefly with the Udi's Gluten Free products people at the expo. I didn't have much time to speak with them, but I did get a few bites of a delicious grilled cheese sample on one of their awesome breads. It was, as I will often say about melted cheese, deliciousness.
In our brief passing I noticed they had a form available for anyone interested in participating in a 14 day gluten free challenge with Udi's. I figured why not inquire about it - and so I entered my info and waited. Eventually I received an email with link to a form to fill out so I could participate and be provided with some samples/coupons to help me start my journey off on the right foot.
I received a package that contained this folder filled with loads of gluten free information and coupons. The provided documentation told me where to look for hidden gluten, what sorts of gluten free staples to keep handy, and a list of what to substitute for my favorite gluten-loaded products.
When I started giving gfree living a go, I was down a few pounds after a few weeks of a group challenge I was participating in. I posted about it back on October 3rd, and was excited to get going.
After two solid weeks of strict gluten free living, monitoring ingredients and tracking my food to the tiniest detail, I put back that weight and a little bit more.
To say this was not what I expected would be a lie. I had high hopes that eating gluten free would have me dropping weight more quickly, as opposed to leading me to find myself in a standstill. I hit a rut, and maybe it was because I was compensating for the "normal" foods with specialized gfree products? I wasn't just going with Udi's - I tried a truckload of other brands, as well. If you follow me on facebook you've probably seen the variety I tried over the 2+ weeks.
I contemplated following this diet for longer, to see if it would help me. I really thought maybe I should follow the *rules* and keep at it, and maybe then I'd see what happened. But I recognized something as I went through it. I didn't have a medical reason to go gluten free. My sister-in-law is a trillion times healthier since the day she stopped putting gluten into her system. She's lost a decent amount of weight and feels so much healthier.
This wasn't happening for me.
Now, I didn't expect it to be a complete change in a small two week window, but I had hopes anyway. And I know that to be my healthiest self I need to be moving. Motion = exercise = some sort of way to burn and put out the calories you put in, right? I mean - you don't have to be a science major to know that. Notice I said science. I never know if I should go with physics, or chemistry or what, exactly. That's just who I am.
Anyway, I have been moving a bit more. And when I stopped my gluten free challenge, a few days past the 2 week mark I had planned on, I started to just eat. I am opting for fewer *carb-loaded* choices and making healthier decisions. I've increased my fruits and veggies, something I've been doing anyway, but noticed that while I was going gfree, I somehow lost focus on. I was so intent on making the right choices when it came to gluten that I lost track of the rest of my meal. I'm a better eater than I was a million years ago. I'm a mom and a wife and we, as a family, sometimes eat crappily (word? maybe - maybe not!) and other times I have us on the best possible track.
I'm currently addicted to kale chips and cauliflower soup. Both homemade. Both happen to be 100% gluten free. I didn't make these things when I was focused on the challenge. Why? I don't know. Somehow gluten = bread/carbs to me and I was trying to be so strict there. I bought random products and snacks that I don't normally eat JUST because they were gluten free. (Pirate's Booty, anyone? My addiction returned easily. I reminisced about the days Pirate's and Veggie booty were a constant for me. Healthy snacks abound! But were they?)
I will include that sometimes I did feel fuller after a gluten free meal, and maybe that was because of the things I was eating, and not just the products? I was over-eating less during meals, but absolutely snacking more. Hmmn.
So, overall, I don't know that I have that much to report. I didn't see a significant change in myself over the trial period, and yet, that isn't to say that I wouldn't have had I kept going. And not to get too personal, but I have noticed a change back to certain digestive issues post-trial, which could totally be from my upping the veggies and whatnot, or just from reintroducing certain foods into my body. Or maybe because I actually do have a sensitivity to gluten? I guess I don't know for sure.
I truly thank Udi's for the opportunity to give this a go. It's been something I have wanted to do for a while now, and their products and coupons AND information were a great help in getting me started. Another huge plus is that the Udi's website has a community and the participation there is fantastic. You can pretty much get all your gfree questions answered, and so many first-hand experiences are shared, you're set if you decide to step forward into the land of gluten free and try this journey for yourself.
I can absolutely recommend their granola and dark chocolate brownie bites as shown below, because both of those were delicious! The bread was also good - but it is an adjustment and I preferred it toasted. I froze the loaf so it would last me, and then toasted a few pieces as needed.
But you don't have to take my word for it, you can try it for yourself. Just grab a $1 coupon for Udi's products by heading on over to their website and signing up.
* I was provided with a variety of products and coupons from Udi's Gluten Free foods to help me get started on this 2 week challenge. All expressed opinions and detailed experiences are my own.