By now, you probably know at least one person (if not yourself) that follows a gluten-free diet. The diagnosis rates of celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity have greatly increased in recent years, leading to an influx of people having to strictly avoid gluten for medical reasons.
The awareness of these gluten-based illnesses have caused many people to reassess their eating habits and analyze what they put into their bodies. While the majority of people do not have a medical reason to avoid gluten, there are many who claim that doing so improves some recurring symptoms.
Carefully following a gluten-free diet can actually lead to eating healthier since many processed foods contain gluten and many whole foods do not. If you are interested in trying a gluten-free diet, or a doctor has directed you to do so, try this 3-day meal plan, which offers inspiration and direction, to kick-start your new healthy path.
- Plan ahead. Be aware that for most people, going gluten-free is a huge change, and takes a lot of time and effort to do. Plan meals ahead and meal prep in order to have food ready whenever the unexpected hanger sets in.
- Make extra. Don’t be afraid to double the batch, because leftovers are always welcome when on a restrictive diet.
- Get the goods. In order to prepare for these three days, stock up on nut butter, almond flour, coconut flour, quinoa, gluten free oats and eggs as they are a staple in a gluten-free diet.
- Drink up. Water, as always, is a key part of feeling good and staying healthy so make sure you’re always hydrated.
- Don’t be fooled. Avoid processed foods labeled “gluten-free”. Just because something is gluten-free does NOT mean that it is healthy. The best way to remain healthy while on a gluten-free diet is to eat natural, whole foods.
Dinner: Chicken Pad Thai. This recipe will beat any takeout or store-bought version. Avoid the excess sodium, sugar and risk of cross-contamination by making your own pad Thai at home!
Dessert: Mocha Protein Fudge… sweet, sweet fudge!
Breakfast: Since good things come in threes (like this 3-day meal plan… wink, wink), these low-carb 3-ingredient chocolate pumpkin protein pancakes
are perfect for those mornings when you’re craving something a little extra.
Lunch: Leftover pad Thai. Don’t be afraid to rejuvenate it with some fresh veggies!
Snack: Sliced apple with almond butter. This ideal snack is packed with protein and healthy carbs to keep you energized and fuller longer.
Dinner: Acorn Squash Quinoa Salad with Zesty Balsamic Glaze – add as many veggies as you wish to this colorful bowl! (make extra quinoa for tomorrow night).
Dessert: Leftover fudge – YES! You get to enjoy this again. Have at it!
Breakfast: Leftover pancakes or bowl of oatmeal cooked in almond milk, sweetened with honey if desired. Cook in some flax meal for extra nutrition, and top with sliced banana, frozen or fresh berries and almond butter.
Lunch: Sweet Potato Toast with Avocado. Haven’t tried it yet? You’re in for a treat. An acceptable meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner, sweet potato toast is all the rage! Thinly slice a sweet potato and pop it in the toaster (you may need to push it down two to three times) for a satisfying twist on traditional toast!
Snack: Spiced, oven-roasted chickpeas and a banana. Choose from four simple recipes: honey-cinnamon, lemon zest, barbecue or spicy chickpeas.
Dinner: Vegetable Stir-Fry Bowl with Quinoa – using any leftover quinoa from last night’s dinner.
Dessert: Chocolate chip and sunflower seed butter protein cookies. Feel free to substitute with almond butter or peanut butter if that is all you have on hand!