We’re Doing A Seven Day Gluten-Free Challenge

This post is thanks to PureBred

Thursday 13 March kicks of Coeliac Awareness Week for another year, and this time around we’re excited to be trying out the PureBred Seven Day Gluten-Free Challenge. TheFamilyKitchen.com.au writer Shanyn, 24, is all set to share with us 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). Before we launch into her diary tomorrow, here’s an intro to the challenge and advice from nutritionist and naturopath Sarah-Jane Purnell.


Our staff writer, Shanyn, is starting a seven day gluten-free challenge this week.

Words by Shanyn Brennan

Sarah-Jane kicked things off with a questionnaire about my eating habits and general well-being. No, nobody in my immediate family is on a gluten free diet or has been diagnosed as Coeliac. No, I don’t have an auto-immune condition. How often do I eat wheat? I have a least a serving of wheat products for every meal daily (but not always at snack time). Yes, I suffer from abdominal pain, lethargy and fatigue (this is a big problem, I feel tired all the time), aching joints and insomnia – even though I’m so tired during the day, I don’t sleep well at night and I find myself going to bed after midnight every night. And here’s a look at what I eat most days:

Breakfast: oats/Weetbix/green smoothie with spinach, kale, strawberries, banana and chia/raisin toast with butter

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 a week)/chicken and salad/eggs on toast/steak/mashed potato

Snacks: Potato chips/Cadbury chocolate/tea (both black and green)/milk arrowroot biscuits

And then, the verdict…

Nutritionist and naturopath Sarah-Jane Purnell

Nutritionist and naturopath Sarah-Jane Purnell

“It is very clear that you are consuming a large amount of gluten in your day which may be a contributing factor your digestive symptoms, fatigue, insomnia and long-standing aches and pains,” Sarah-Jane told me. “The benefit for you in completing this challenge may also be that it will encourage you to eat more nutritious and low-GI grain choices, such as quinoa and buckwheat and hopefully also encourage a higher vegetable consumption at both lunch and dinner. I’d opt for an open sandwich (one slice of gluten-free bread) with lots of salads and lean protein on top, or salads for lunch. For dinner, ditch the pasta and replace with either brown/basmati rice or steamed vegetables.”

Armed with a meal plan, recipe ideas and a desire to feel better, I’m heading into this challenge with enthusiasm. Can’t wait to see how I feel this time next week!