Thursday, 13 March, marks the start of Coeliac Awareness Week. This year we are excited to participate in the PureBred Seven-Day Gluten-Free Challenge. TheFamilyKitchen.com.au writer Shanyn, 24, is all set to share her experiences with cutting gluten out of her diet for the next week (if you want to know more about coeliac disease, read this post). Sarah-Jane Purnell, nutritionist and naturopath gives an overview of the challenges and provides advice.

Sarah-Jane started things off by asking me about my eating habits and general well-being. My immediate family has never been diagnosed with Coeliac disease or eats gluten-free. I do not have an auto-immune disorder. What is the frequency I eat wheat? At least one serving of wheat products is included in every meal. I do not eat it at snack time. I have abdominal pain, lethargy, fatigue, and aching joints. I also suffer from insomnia. I often go to bed at midnight because I am tired. Here’s what I eat most days.

Breakfast: Weetbix/green smoothie containing spinach, kale, and strawberries.

Lunch: Wholegrain bread with Ham and Salad/Wholegrain wrap with Ham/turkey/chicken, and Salad/White bread roll with Ham, Cheese, and Salad

Dinner: Pasta (at least three times per week),/chicken and salad/eggs over toast/steak/mashed potatoes

Snacks Chocolate chips/Cadbury chocolate/tea, both black and green/milk arrowroot biscuits

The verdict is in…

Sarah-Jane explained to me that it was clear that you consume a lot of gluten each day, which could be contributing factors to your digestive symptoms, fatigue, and insomnia, as well as long-standing aches, pains, and aches. The benefit of this challenge for you is that you will eat healthier and lower-GI grains such as quinoa or buckwheat, and it will encourage you to eat more vegetables at lunch and dinner. Open sandwiches (one slice of gluten-free bread) would be my choice. I also recommend salads, lean protein, and lots of vegetables for lunch. You can replace the pasta with brown/basmati rice or steamed vegetables for dinner.

With a meal plan and some recipe ideas, I am excited to take on this challenge. I can’t wait for next week to see how it feels!

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