Gluten-free/paleo challenge wrap up

So, did you last the whole month?  How did you find the "new" eating style?

I did great, but just as I suspected, there is not a single cell in my body that can't handle not gluten (double negative, woot woot!).  I'm a-ok with the gluten.  I noticed a decrease in belly bloat and gassiness, but I attribute that to replacing carbs with veggies and fresh fruit.  I've been eating breads for almost a week now, and the gassiness and bloat still haven't returned.

Troy probably slipped up about every 3-5 days with this challenge, but they were all harmless things that he didn't realize as opposed to "I need a sandwich or I will die" kind of thing.  He did say he felt a bit less tired, but I honestly wish that he had been working out this past month too so that he could really test if being grain-free was increasing his weight loss and stamina to just go about his day.

Let's look at the numbers, shall we?

Before Weight: 151 lbs (it was 152 with clothes on, so I'm taking a guess)
After Weight: 149.05 lbs (it was 150.05 with clothes on, so again, I'm taking a guess)
Before Height: 6 ft
After Height: yeah, that didn't change...
Before Waist:30
After Waist: 29

Before Hips: 39(yipes!)
After Hips: 39

Before: I currently wear a size 8 tall, but a lot of clothes are not currently in rotation because they're too tight.
After: size hasn't changed, but I have a few clothes that now fit a little bit better.

Before Weight: 215
After Weight:  Not sure.  We don't have a scale!

Before Height: 5 ft 11
After Height: Didn't change.  Troy still remains the shrimp in my family.
Before Waist: 39
After Waist:
38 1/2

Before Hips: 43
After Hips: 43

Lessons learned from this challenge
I realize that I always thought we did a decent job of eating enough vegetables, but truly we didn't.  I'd love to continue having a big salad for lunch, or something else less "carby" than before.  I think it kept my blood sugar pretty constant throughout the afternoon much better than what I was eating in the past.

Also, I realized that I need to incorporate more veggies in our dinner.  In the past I thought it was fine to have pasta with garlic bread, but duh, um, no.  Of course if it is a special occasion or something like that and I'm serving bread, fine of course, but yeah, not any more.  My husband has ZERO self control when it comes to those things, so not even putting them on the table/meal plan is a change that will remain going forward.

I don't aim to follow any government food suggestions - these are the people after all who subsidize corn and soy so heavily - but part of the "myplate" recommendations that I like is that veggies are the largest part of your meal.  I've been aiming to have veggies take up half of the plates at dinner, and I think we're finding that a success.  The funny thing is that about a year ago, I actually bought smaller plates thinking that Troy would put less stuff on his.  Again, the man has zero self-control, so if it is front of him, he'll eat it.  All along, I should have just been offering more veggies to FILL the plate.

We're currently buying the huge organic salad container from Costco ($3.99 for a big ole' tub) and doing a really good job of going through that in a week.  Before, we would maybe eat 1/4th of it and let the rest go to waste. I'm also doing better putting more greens in our smoothies.  In the past if I was out of spinach in the fridge, I'd be too lazy to walk 10 feet in to the garden to get kale.  Now, it's not an option to make a smoothie without the greens.  It's just such an easy way to get additional veggies in my diet and Jack's.  I made a smoothie a few weeks ago with tons of spinach and an extra tablespoon of almond butter in it, and I was so satisfied that I didn't even want lunch until about 2 pm.  Usually, the nature of my job has me snacking a bit in the morning and longing for lunch at 11:30 am.

In the last two weeks, in his limited spare time, Troy has built me three new wooden garden beds that are each 4x6.  They replace an area at our rental house that was used about twice a year for additional parking.  Well, when that is the only area of the property that gets enough "sun"light during the winter to successfully grow anything, I couldn't see keeping it for a function that saw such limited use.  Besides, we have great neighbors and pretty much everyone can just borrow each others driveways during big social events.  I'll share the details of the garden beds soon, but I brought them up because they have essentially more than quadrupled my fall/winter gardening capabilities.  Troy is going to add some dohickeys to the sides so that we can bend pipes over the tops and cover with plastic when the frosts and limited snows come.

The reason I bring this up is that now that I have these, I can definitely increase our winter veggie selection (Brussels sprouts, kale, rutabagas, kohlrabi, lettuce, beets, and spinach) all while decreasing the dependency on buying fresh veggies at the grocery store.

So, bottom line, we're going to maintain our increased level of veggies in our diet, and consider carbs/grains more of a limited option.  I'll continue to make homemade bread, 8 loaves at a time (because if I am going to the trouble to make it, I don't want to just make two loaves) and freeze them, but I'm contemplating cutting the loaves in half before freezing them.  I think it's so tempting to have a huge loaf of delicious homemade bread in the breadbox.

Now that I'm done rambling, I'd love to hear how you guys did.  I had an email conversation with a reader recently, and she told me that they're going to maintain this new lifestyle because they feel so much better on it.  How about you?