Gluten is a protein found in grains, wheat, rye, barley and small amounts also in oats. Wheat used for bread often as more gluten to give it a firmer texture.

However gluten can be very detrimental and not just to coeliacs. As a nation we are eating more and more gluten. A typical UK diet starts off with toast or a breakfast cereal, then a biscuit/grain bar for a snack, sandwich or bread with soup at lunch, cake for afternoon tea and pasta for dinner. It can also be found in sauces/meat products, but misleading when it is labelled as starch.

Too much gluten for non coeliacs can still upset the digestive system with bloating, cramps and diarrhea. It can also aggravate the skin contributing to eczema or psoriasis. While it can also give you brain fog, low mood and difficulty in controlling weight.

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So if you are getting any unpleasant symptoms as above then it is worth going cold turkey for 3 to 4 weeks to see if it makes a difference. If that sound too daunting, then try 2 to 3 gluten free days a week and just cut down on gluten on other days too. You should find that you have more energy, flatter stomach and may even loose a few pounds; as many gluten foods such as cakes and biscuits are also high in fat and sugar too! While your body may also retain more fluid if you are reacting to gluten.

Replacement for gluten grains are rice, quinoa, potatoes, corn, millet. For cakes ground almonds and even ground black beans are used especially in chocolate cakes.

Here’s your guide to a 7 day restricted gluten free diet plan anyone can benefit from

Day 1 Gluten free

Breakfast: Rice porridge for breakfast with 1 tbsp of seeds and berries

Snack: 1 x cocoa naked bar

Lunch: 4 x Nairn gluten free oatcakes with hummus and salad

Snack: 4 brazil nut and a piece of fruit

Dinner: Chilli Con Carne with fresh tomatoes, onions and chilli. Avoid packet sauces!

Day 2  Gluten free

Breakfast: Boiled eggs and fruit

Snack: 10 almonds

Lunch:  quinoa with roasted vegetables and chickpeas

Snack: chocolate brownie made with ground almonds

Dinner: Salmon with a baked potato and salad

Day 3

Breakfast: 1 x toasted wholemeal pitta bread with cashew nut butter and 1 x banana

Snack: 1 x yoghurt

Lunch: Oatcakes with hummus and salad

Snack: Fruit

Dinner: Spaghetti bolognaise with buckwheat noodles

Day 4 Gluten free

Breakfast: Cornflakes with tbsp of seeds and berries

Snack: handful of mixed nuts

Lunch: 100g turkey with a large salad and a handful of root vegetable crisps

Snack: Almond Macaroon or Biscotti biscuit

Dinner: Vegetable risotto with green beans, broadbeans, peas and mint

Glass of wine

Day 5

Breakfast: Porridge with tbsp of milled seeds and apple compote

Snack: fruit

Lunch: wholemeal sandwich & plain bag of crisps

Snack: yoghurt

Dinner: Chicken Stir fry with rice noodles. Use tamari sauce instead of soya as it is gluten free!

Dessert: 3 squares of dark chocolate

Day 6 Saturday  Relax day

Breakfast: Poached egg with grilled tomato, gluten free sausage on a bed of wilted spinach.

Lunch: 1 x portion of Glorious Soup” with 2 rice cakes.

Snack: wholemeal scone with crème fresh and fruit compote

Dinner: Fish and chips with crushed peas and broad beans mixed with lemon juice & mint

If drinking regular beer stick to 1 pint and swap to Tiger beer made from rice.

gluten free diet benefits

Day 7  Sunday treats

Breakfast: Scrambled egg on 1 slice of wholemeal spelt bread with grilled tomatoes (can be   easier to digest)

Lunch: Roast Chicken with roast potato, courgette, & carrots with Marigold gluten free gravy.

Dessert: Apple crumble made with 30% ground almonds, 30% oats, 10% agave nectar. Mix  and add to apples 5 minutes before the end of cooking.

Tea: Salmon Sandwiches made with Genius gluten free bread and salad ie celery, beetroot/lettuce.

Dessert: Fruit sorbet of choice.

Don’t forget to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily!

Also check out these gluten free dinner recipes.

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