1 Month GF Diary Update
It’s been a little over a month since hearing the news about having celiac disease. There was no easing into the new lifestyle. My doctor said you are 100% gluten free now from your food to your beauty and household products, and I’ll see you in a month to check-in. I’m happy that I can say that to the best of my knowledge my diet is 100% gluten free! Wahoo! I’m still working on switching gout beauty and household products and have been finding some great gluten free and all natural options.
The first week or two into being gluten free, I actually lost 5-7 lbs right away. I could tell that the weight was definitely from bloating and water retention. I can’t tell a huge difference by looking at myself or in the way my clothes fit other than bloating in my stomach. I haven’t actually been eating healthy though. I think that is the misconception of eating gluten free. Sure, donuts are 100% gluten and fried/fast food is unhealthy and most options contain gluten, but you’d be surprised just how unhealthy you can eat while still being gluten free. For this first month, I’m not focusing on eating super healthy, but rather allowing myself to figure out what I can eat from some of my favorite restaurants. I’m definitely pushing the envelope. I’ve gone to In N Out burger because they’re the only fast food gluten free fries that I’ve found. I’ve also gone to Shake Shack for their gluten free bun with my burger and I drove straight to Dairy Queen the second I found out that the Reese’s Blizzard is gluten free too. It’s actually pretty amazing that I haven’t gained weight.
One more interesting thing that I discovered early into being gluten free is “dead head”, I’m not sure what the actual name of this “symptom” is, but “dead head” is what I’ll call it. “Dead Head” occurs when you are in a situation when you haven’t eaten in a while or you’ve forgotten to eat. Instead of having normal hunger pains to tell you to eat, it’s almost like my brain shuts off. It’s almost like I need to continuously have healthy snacks to fuel my brain. I’ve always suffered of hangry and find that I eat more often than most people, but this is a different feeling. Dead Head hit me during a 1pm meeting. I hadn’t eaten since having a smoothie earlier that morning. I felt as though my brain couldn’t find the right words and it was very difficult to even string words together to create a full sentence. I also felt irritable and frustrated when I couldn’t properly express myself. It sounds very similar to brain fog, but with brain fog I feel more tired at least in my experience, where dead head feels like your wires have been cut. Lesson learning! I will make sure I always have healthy gluten free snacks with me and make sure I look ahead to not go too long without fueling my brain!
Gluten Free Chicken Finger Recipe
The food that I was the most worried about never being able to eat again is of course chicken fingers! They have been my favorite meal since I was old enough to eat solid foods. Growing up I ordered chicken fingers at every restaurant and prevented my family from going to eat anywhere that didn’t have them. The older I got the more conscious I tried to be of eating healthier, but chicken fingers have always been my number one! I even have my own tried and true Katrina Chicken Finger rating on a scale of 1-10. This chicken finger recipe scores an 8 on my scale, which makes my heart sing. I did not created this recipe, so I can’t take the credit, but my friend Sydney sent this recipe to me the second I told her how sad I was to never eat chicken fingers again. The recipe was created by Danielle Walker at againstallgrain.com.
I had most of the ingredients needed, but had to go to Whole Food for a few more items like shredded coconut, coconut flour, stone ground mustard, raw honey, and chicken. For the spices, I used granulated onion instead of onion powder. For the salt and garlic salt, I used Himalayan Sea Salt and Garlic Lovers seasonings that are both from Flavor God, which Aaron ordered online.
I’ve never cut up chicken into strips before, so I think they may have been pretty large. I weighed them out to make sure they were for the most part pretty even.
Next, I mixed all of the dry ingredients together, prepared the olive oil and shredded coconut, and got out my oven its and disposable gloves. I hate touching raw chicken because it grosses me out and I feel like I have to be constantly washing my hands. Now I use disposable gloves to prepare raw meat, which makes it much more enjoyable when making chicken fingers like this. I don’t know about you, but I hate when the meat and seasoning gets stuck to you!
The order I went in was… dip the chicken in the coconut flour/seasoning mixture, then olive oil, then shredded coconut and then I placed it on the cookie sheet. The total chicken weight was a little over a pound and I used all of the ingredients to go with it.
While waiting for the chicken to cook, whip up the honey mustard. The original recipe calls for more honey then mustard, but I ended up doing an even ratio because raw honey is so sweet. The consistency is a little runny, so I poured the honey mustard on top of the chicken and ate it with a fork and knife.
I basically followed the recipe exact, but there are a couple substitutions that I noted below depending on your preference. Plus, I included two other super simple recipes that were sent to me at the very bottom.
- My friend, Casey’s recipe: toss chicken into gluten free flour, drop into an egg wash and then roll into gluten free Panko.
- My sister, Kristen’s recipe: Buy the chicken precut in strips or use kitchen shears. Dip and coat them in a bowl with a couple beaten eggs then roll them around in almond flour mixed with spices (salt, pepper, garlic, sometimes a little cayenne and chili powder) and sometimes shredded coconut. Kristen’s two tricks are to have a bowl of coconut oil next to the food prepping to rub on your fingers so the flour doesn’t stick and pull of the coating on the chicken. Then put the strips on a wire rack coated in coconut oil on top of a cookie sheet to get them really crispy!