Saturday, February 1, 2014

30 Day Gluten Free Diet Challenge: Day 1

Cecelia's Marketplace has held a 30 Day Gluten-Free Diet Challenge every February since they published their Easy 30 Day Gluten-Free Diet book. I've participated each year, but I thought it would be fun to blog about it too. I need an excuse to post more pictures, so this is the perfect opportunity, right?

I'm going to do my best to post a photo of each meal, and I'm also going to do my best to ensure I follow the book as closely as possible to help those interested in trying to follow along.

Day 1:

I generally have a hard time eating much more than dry cereal or an Udi's muffin top for breakfast along with my cup of coffee. For that reason, I LOVE that they've started the challenge/book with bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns. It is the perfect hearty breakfast, and I'm hoping this will encourage me to start getting up earlier to make a more substantial breakfast in the future.

Morning Snack:
The morning snack is supposed to be orange slices, but I have a weird thing for grapefruit, so I decided to do grapefruit instead. I usually don't eat grapefruit the "normal" way either. I peel it like an orange, which is why you aren't seeing half a grapefruit here. This is white grapefruit which I haven't purchased in a long time. It's not as sweet as red grapefruit, but these were much larger, and both were $1 each, so I went with the white this time around to get better value. 

Lunch is supposed to be Garden Salad with Italian Dressing and Corn Chips on Day 1. My only modification was using Honey Mustard Dressing instead of Italian Dressing. I've been having trouble finding a soy free Italian Dressing, so I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any. This salad includes spinach, romaine lettuce, yellow pepper, carrot shreds, and honey mustard dressing. I used Fritos for the corn chips. 

Afternoon Snack:
The afternoon snack on day 1 was popcorn. I decided to go with kettle corn. Here is a close-up of my popcorn before you see the next picture proving I "cheated." 

I'm really glad I discovered Angie's brand popcorn because it's been my go-to backup for when I don't feel like taking the five minutes to make fresh popcorn. It was recently on sale for $2/bag, so I purchased 6 bags. I still plan to make my own kettle corn (have you read my Popcorn Spree entry?), but I'm a sucker for a sale, and convenience won out today.

 The first time I did the challenge, I completely fell in love with the lemon dill sauce from dinner on Day 1. The meal is Grilled Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce, Brown Rice, and Steamed Snow Peas. All I have to say is yum! As you can tell, I put the sauce on everything. I've also found in the past that the sauce tends to turn green when I mix the dill in with the sauce, so I simply sprinkled it on top this time. If anyone has suggestions on how to mix it without the sauce turning green, I'd love to hear it.

It's incredibly cold where I live, and we received a TON  of snow, so we used the new Cuisinart grill we got for Christmas to grill the salmon instead of pulling out our propane grill. This thing is amazing! The plates come out and are dishwasher safe. We had one of the older models of the George Foreman grill, and my husband absolutely hated washing it. You can't submerge it, and it's awkward to do. There were a few times that we discovered it had been put away without washing it because it sat on the counter for such a long time, and neither one of us wanted to do it so it eventually just wound up on the shelf. The plates on this device also flip over to a flat side if you want to use it as a griddle or you don't want the marks on your food. We were also given additional plates so we can use it as a waffle iron. How cool is that? (The George Foreman will be sold in a garage sale this summer now that we have a replacement.)

 Every time I do the challenge, I ask myself why I don't buy pineapple more often. It makes the perfect bed time snack, and according to the book, the bromelain in fresh pineapple aids in digestion. (This only applies to fresh pineapple--canned pineapple is good for you, but doesn't do the same thing.) I don't have nearly the problems with digestion that I used to have, but I'll take everything I can get. Fresh pineapple can be a bit of a pain to cut, but it tastes SO much better than canned.

If anyone else is doing the challenge, I'd love to hear your comments. 

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