{How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan} Week 8 and Fridge/Freezer staples

by Valerie on August 23, 2009 · 2 comments

Update June 2010 on How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan – I had originally named this series the Detox Diet Diaries, but my experience with these changes in my diet, while incredibly positive, has made me decide I really do not like the concept of  a detox diet.   It is ironic in that the diet my naturopath put me on was incredibly helpful, and a year later, it has become clear I have non-Celiac gluten intolerance, as well as a strong dairy intolerance.  I continue to avoid all dairy and gluten, as well as other problematic foods such as corn, but have grown to really dislike the concept of “detox” – the term promotes the concept of a quick fix, which is just nonsensical.  I firmly believe that the vast improvements in my health are based on the long-term changes I made, and want my posts on the experience to convey this.     

   Background: The Detox Diet Diaries recounts my story of doing a detox diet for health reasons and to isolate food allergies which may have been a contributing factor to some of my health problems. This diet involves real food. I am not on the Master Cleanse, or Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cleanse, or Oprah’s cleanse, nor are my posts on my diet a way to support their actions. As I explained in my background post, I am doing this under the care of a naturopathic doctor.

In my week 6 post I shared some pantry basics, so I thought I would share the fridge/freezer basics I had settled on by week 8.

Before: organic skim milk from grass-fed cows (Whole Foods started carrying this a few months ago)
Now: after much testing, my two favorite non-dairy milks are the Whole Foods organic brown rice milk (unsweetened) and Blue Diamond vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
The first one is my staple one for shakes and smoothies as it is the least expensive. I like the vanilla almond milk for variety and when I want to top my oatmeal {I started eating gluten-free oatmeal again around Week 6}. Trader Joe’s just came out with an unsweetened vanilla rice drink – oddly, even if it is unsweetened, it has three times the calories of the other two per cup {130 versus 40-45 calories}. Texture-wise, it really resembles skim milk though, mind you, I haven’t had skim milk since late April, so I may not really remember it well. I may add this to the rotation for variety, and save it as a treat. I should add that because I can’t have any sugar other than agave or stevia on this diet, my choices in non-dairy drinks are fairly limited. There are very few unsweetened versions.

Before: an organic greek non-fat yogurt from the Dupont Farmers market – similar to Fage, minus the carbon footprint
Now: nothing.
I miss yogurt a lot. I have yet to find a soy yogurt or other non-dairy yogurt that doesn’t have sugar or brown rice syrup or another sweetener that I currently cannot have. One thing this diet has really done is opened my eyes to how many non-dairy products are nevertheless incredibly high in sugar, just like so many of their dairy counterparts. Also, some non-dairy yogurts have maltodextrin in them.

Before: all-natural eggs from Dupont market
Now: nothing
I miss two things about egg: (1) Eggs were a perfect convenience food and (2) Sunday brunch. Because I have to keep my soy intake very low, I very rarely eat tofu scrambles and, honestly, while they taste good, they really don’t remind me of eggs very much.
Nut butters
Before: all-natural peanut butter and sunflower seed butter
After: Organic almond butter
Oddly, I don’t miss peanut butter that much. As for the sunflower seed butter,it is a great product but has evaporated cane juice in it. There is a sugar-free one which I could order, but shipping is expensive and I like almond butter just fine.
Frozen vegetables
Before: organic spinach, broccoli and peas
After: same, with the addition of organic frozen artichokes
Before, I ate frozen vegetables about a third of the time. Now, they are more of an emergency back-up plan. I eat fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market 95% of the time, and keep frozen vegetables for a day I may run out of fresh vegetables but not make it to Whole Foods mid-week. That often happens on a Thursday night, when I run out of my vegetables from my Sunday market stocking up, and was unable to make it Whole Foods to replenish. The naturopath emphasized the importance of fresh vegetables, but was also realistic that sometimes it is good to have some emergency frozen vegetables.

Frozen Fruit
Before: organic frozen raspberries
After: organic frozen raspberries and organic frozen blueberries
I was surprised to hear from the naturopath that frozen organic blueberries actually have more antioxidants than fresh organic blueberries {I thought it was a myth pushed by the frozen foods industry}. She encouraged me to stock up on those and have them often. As for frozen organic raspberries, they are SO much cheaper than fresh organic raspberries, which have a short season in this area {and have not had a particularly good season either}.
Prior to this diet, I did not keep a whole lot of frozen fish in the freezer, but now do. Most of the offerings at my Whole Foods are previously frozen and expensive, so I tend to buy wild-caught fish from Trader Joe’s, usually various types of Alaskan salmon.

Disclaimer: I am just a regular person posting about my experience doing a detox diet for health reasons and, ultimately, to isolate food allergies that may be the underlying cause of said health problems. I am not a medical professional or nutritionist. Please do not use information from these posts to do your own detox diet. Rather, seek advice from a doctor, naturopath or nutritionist to determine what the correct course of action for your health is.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynne August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm

how do you eat the frozen berries? Just thawed out or do you mix them into things?


2 Melita August 26, 2009 at 2:58 pm

i would miss yogurt too, especially if it came from the farmer's market. sorry :(


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