One of the diets I have wanted to try from times ago was the gluten-free diet.
Its one of the Korea’s hottest diet since last year and I always had a look at the news or blogs about that but never tried it because I love foods that has flour such as pizza, pasta, cookies and breads.
When you consume flour based products, the carbohydrates in flour makes a substance called serotonin, which makes you or make you feel happy and consume more and more. These carbohydrates in flour based products with high calories do not have good nutrients and make you feel hungry faster than other substances.
It is apparently much more effective to Asians due to disability to digest gluten; most of Asians are not able to digest gluten and when gluten is stored in stomach and liver, it creates toxins which damage blood vessels, bones and various stomach problems.
By stop consuming flour products, you can lose weight because carbohydrates in flour-products are faster than other substances to turn in to fat. Also, it can help you get cleaner skin as flour takes moisture away from the cells.
Instead of noodles, white rice and bread, whole wheat bread and barley rice or brown rice is recommended during the diet, although the best would be not consuming at all.
Examples of typical daily menus would be:
For morning, yogurt + fruits or salad with boiled eggs + fruit juice (orange, grape etc.)
For lunch, cooked chicken breast or pork with green salads
For snacks, peanuts and dried fruits such as apricots or mango
For dinner, cod or seafood with roasted peppers and beans
What I ate was a bit more than the example, however I tried to eat less and not consume the flour based products.
Before going to GBC, for breakfast I ate a cup of plain yogurt with strawberries and banana.
For lunch, I am usually in campus and it is hard to not see a single product that does not have flour in student café or food court downstairs in building A so I skip lunch or drink coffee or tea from Tim Hortons.
For snacks, I bring some of the peanuts and dried banana chips which I purchased from Bulk Barn in a small plastic bag.
After class and when I am in home, I cooked proteins like meat or chicken with my favourite vegetable, bean sprouts and onions for dinner.
Without a doubt, I can say that a week of gluten free diet was one of the hardest challenges I have tried. It was hard to find something to eat outside that is gluten free. Even if there is a menu that is gluten-free, it is expensive than a normal menu and not many restaurants had it. Also by limiting what to eat myself, the daily meal plans were repeating even though it was only seven days.
First day was a bit of surprising day as I felt like it is not that hard and actually can go further than a week. The first problem I encountered was Wednesday evening when I had work and there were no place to eat nearby. The food court downstairs had MacDonald’s, Subway, Manchu Wok, Edo and many more but all these shops had either bread or flour-based products for main ingredients. I had to make a salad in kitchen and ate however, eating salads for 3 days made me feel sick and threw out the rest because I felt like I would rather stay hungry than eat grass.
Thursday, I had a full day schedule from 7am to 6pm in class so I was prepared and brought lunch box and snacks however I found myself not eating as I felt I am not hungry as normal.
The last day of the week, I was so happy that it is over and all I ate was a box of clementine lying down on my bed and nothing else. I could find myself eat less and less throughout the diet and was amused of how it actually worked out.
To maintain this diet, you really have to prepare yourself mentally. There are so many things I wanted to eat during the week; tangy tomato sauce spaghetti, cheesy slice of pizza, sweet cookies and soft delicate breads, especially the ones I baked in baking classes and gave it to my roommate because I couldn’t eat.
As a chef, to support gluten free diet, one interesting recipe I found online was the zucchini noodle recipe as I missed pasta so much during the diet. This recipe is zucchini pad thai as the noodle is thinly sliced zucchini and only takes about half an hour to cook this dish.
Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai (for 2)
2 whole eggs
¼ cup roasted peanuts
½ tbsp. vegetable oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp. coconut flour
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. lime juice
½ tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. chili sauce or garlic sauce
1 tsp honey
- Scramble eggs and set aside, lightly ground peanuts
- Place all ingredients for the sauce into a bowl and whisk together
- Place a large pan over medium heat; add in oil, garlic and shallots. Cook until translucent then add in the sauce until flour is cooked.
- Once sauce is thick, add in zucchini noodles and cilantro and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Cook for about 3 minutes or until noodles soften and then add in eggs and peanuts.
- Plate with lime wedges
- Bon appetit
Would I continue the gluten free diet? As a college student with low income, there is no chance I would. However, when I earn a stable income and prepared myself for long-term diet to change my lifestyle then I will try this again. As a student with low income, one important thing to do daily is managing food budget and lettuce is not cheap. Also, I do not want to get stressed out other than work and school. Eating food I enjoy and cooking that dish was one of the reasons why I came to George Brown and this diet did not help at all.
Gluten free food list, http://www.drperlmutter.com/eat/list-of-gluten-free-foods/
Zucchini noodle recipe, http://inspiralized.com/2014/05/05/vegetarian-zucchini-noodle-pad-thai/
Gluten free recipes from Jamie Oliver, http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/category/special-diets/gluten-free/