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judochop's avatar

Have any of you tried a gluten and/or dairy free diet? If you have what are the benefits you achieved, how long did it take for those benefits to be achieved? Are you still gluten and or dairy free? If not, why did you make the switch back to dairy and gluten?

Asked by judochop (16070points) July 19th, 2010

I am thinking of making the switch to a dairy and gluten free diet. I’ve started to make the switch slowly and yesterday while at my local grocery I realized just how hard and expensive this is going to be. My weekly grocery bill jumped from $50 to almost $200. I may be splurging a little on all the fresh, organic produce that is in season right now but still, even if I had watched what I was spending it would have cost close to $100.
Benefits? Pro’s, con’s? I desire to live long and prosper. Possibly share a personal recipe you dig on or a favorite brand if you’d like.
SIDENOTE: Hai! I am smart enough to use the internetz to it’s fullest potentials so please keep the links to a bear (grrrr!) minimum.

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13 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well as vegans, we’re dairy free – we were able to make a switch easily by using soy milk, vegan cheese and vegan ice cream and by eating a lot more green leafy veggies and adding a calcium supplement. It didn’t cost us more, for some reason. We’re still vegans, it’s going great, teeth are stronger, no more bleeding gums, hair growing faster. Sometimes, I am a sloppy vegan and eat regular ice cream but I pay for it w/diarrhea as my system isn’t used to dairy anymore.

christine215's avatar

@judochop My sister in law cut gluten out of her diet for herself, and as a side benefit, her daughter’s skin condition started to go away (auto-imune thing per the doctor) they’ll never eat wheat again, that I can tell you. She says she’s also never felt better and she’s lost 25lbs

In order to cut back on your food bil, I would suggest eating strictly fruits, veggies, meats and dairy and eliminate anything processed

the more somebody else does to a food product the more it costs, so buy brown rice, quinoa, etc, in bulk

One of my all time favorite meals, just happens to be gluten free: Brick Chicken
spatchcock a chicken (take out the back, break the breast bone forward and flatten it out)
rub fresh herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper under the skin

get a cast iron frying pan hot, place the chicken, skin side down in the pan and cover with a brick which you’ve wrapped in foil or another heavy frying pan.

let it get good and brown then flip it over and put the whole thing into a 425* oven with some little fingerling potatoes which youve doused with olive oil, salt, pepper, onions, garlic and rosemary

by the time the potatoes are done, the chicken should be finished

serve with a nice arugula salad dressed with a lemon/olive oil vinegarette

Your_Majesty's avatar

Just an addition to what @Simone_De_Beauvoir have said,It’s the rule of vegetarian people. I became a vegetarian since I was a teen(some family member are from not-eat-meat culture). I don’t really see the changes but I feel that I’m fresher than people around me that aren’t vegetarian,my skin feels smoother,I have less/no skin problems,my urine and sweat are less smell.

I think the cons for me is that Organic Veggies and fruits are more expensive and hard to find than common veggies/fruits,you need to eat a lot of greens in order to feel satisfied/full,you will need to urinate slightly more often than usual(maybe because I also drink lots of water in a day),etc.

Mariah's avatar

@christine215 “her daughter’s skin condition started to go away (auto-imune thing per the doctor)”

Psoriasis? I’m only asking because I have a (different) autoimmune disease and I have heard that a non-wheat non-carb diet can do wonders for them. I’ve thought about trying it myself but trying adhere to such a strict diet is daunting. She’s had a good experience with it, then?

llewis's avatar

I’m on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet – tried regular gluten-free and had a bad response to the starches used to substitute for wheat. Doing really well on it, but getting tired of having so much work to do for any little thing. I did dairy-free for many years due to a milk allergy cured by Bioset treatments (an offshoot of NAET). I couldn’t tolerate the soy and almond cheeses, so just did without.

Not sure I could do both gluten-free and dairy-free at once. That’s quite a challenge! I have dairy now, but only fermented (home made yogurt from a friend’s goats’ milk).

I would say you will know within a month if you’re getting a benefit from the change in diet. But remember, if you’re paying attention to what you’re eating to the extent of doing this, you’ll probably be eating a healthier diet anyway and that will have an effect, too.

I’m planning to go back (gradually) to eating “regular” food after another few months, simply because I miss wheat bread and am tired of not being able to just grab a sandwich now and then.

downtide's avatar

I am intolerant to dairy proteins so I’ve been mostly dairy free all my life. (I say “mostly” because I’m fine with fermented dairy products – cheese and yogurt – and I’m not so sensitive that I need to study food labels for hidden dairy products). But generally, I have never considered raw milk to be an edible substance any more than I would consider mud to be edible.

Adult mammals are not supposed to drink milk anyway.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I have been on a gluten-free diet/dairy-free diet for a long time. At times, I have “caved” and eaten wheat and/or dairy and the immediate things that I notice is that there is weight gain, a feeling of lethargy, bloating, foggy-thinking and joint aches. It’s really very evident. I wake up like I have a hangover the next day.

I am vegetarian and have been for most of my life. It shouldn’t cost that much. You just have to shop wisely. I recommend some macrobiotic cookbooks as they have a lot of dairy-free and gluten/wheat-free recipes. It’s good to go with a shopping list.

Good luck to you! I think you will see a great difference.

Buttonstc's avatar

You can get a lot of good info on recipes, shopping tips, etc by hanging out at forums and websites for people dealing with celiac disease.

For them it’s essential to avoid gluten so they’ve become experts on the subject out of necessity.

That’s most likely the auto-immune disease referenced by the Doc mentioned in a previous post.

There is one highly recommended website and book entitled the G-Free Diet.

MercurySunrise's avatar

I cut out breads and gluteny things and to tell you the truth I sure feel alot freaking better. I eat dairy though, well, I guess anyway. I don’t usually drink any milk and I don’t eat yogurt (Yogurt is dairy right? o.O). I eat cheese though. And what do you mean specific carbohydrate diet? Is that low-carb? Hah I’ve never heard it called that.. anyway I’m on the low-carb diet, I make a sort of burrito with only sandwichy ingredients and a flat out, and personally I think it tastes better than a sandwich and it is just as enjoyable. :D

christine215's avatar

@Mariah, I believe it is psoriasis. It’s been nearly a year since they cut gluten out of their diet, so I don’t remember what the skin condition was, but I do remember being concerned when she said it was an autoimmune disease or disorder.

llewis's avatar

@MercurySunrise The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) allows certain (“specific”) carbs in the diet, but not grains or most sugars (honey is okay). It helps with a number of digestion-related disorders and illnesses, such as celiac disease, IBS, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, and others. I don’t have any of those, but did have horrible cramps and gas and diarrhea, which this diet cleared up. Plus I lost 25 lb of bloat. It’s not intended for you to stay on it forever – keeping the diet (with NO CHEATING) for a year or so is supposed to help your system heal enough to tolerate “regular” food again.

Read Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall, or go to for more information.

Mariah's avatar

@llewis The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was actually the diet that I was referencing in my above comment. I have ulcerative colitis. I read the book and I’m still feeling indecisive about it. It just seems so hard to pull off, like you said, and I’m going to college next month so I don’t feel like I’m going to have the option to be that picky. Any recommendations? (Totally didn’t mean to bombard you with an awkward question, sorry)

llewis's avatar

Elaine recommended trying the diet for one month to see if it will work for you. If it does, then it will be well worth the trouble, especially if you have UC. I noticed a difference after about 2 weeks, and I wasn’t very sick.

If you are going to be in a dorm and eating dorm food, that’s a problem. I’d talk to the school about what they can provide you. (I know when I was at the dorm I lived on bread and ice cream – everything else was just gross. I gained 20 lbs. and was horribly unhealthy. But that was over 35 years ago – things may have changed since then <grin>.)

You could see if there’s a place where you can bake your own cookies and crackers ( I recommend the cookbooks by Raman Prasad and Sandra Ramacher for the diet). They will freeze, but they only last about a week outside of the freezer. There are dorm-sized freezers, though. Buy almond flour – making it is laborious, and you won’t have the time.

You can eat meats that are not cured or seasoned with sugar (most packaged sandwich meat will be out – they put sugar in almost everything), non-starchy fresh or frozen veggies and fruits, and nuts (but not mixed nuts – they add starch). Some dried fruits will be okay – read the label. You can have eggs, if they don’t add milk to them. You will need to mix and bring your own salad dressings. Invest in a yogurt maker to make your own yogurt ( you can’t have commercial yogurt, because it’s not fermented long enough). (Yogurt mixed with honey and mustard makes a GREAT salad dressing! My favorite breakfast is yogurt with honey and fruit.) Hard cheeses are fine; soft ones are not.

Where are you planning to go to school? Some areas have people who will cook for college students. There are also natural markets who will sometimes work for people on special diets. Maybe you can line something up before you get there. Look for SCD support groups online to see if there’s something / someone in your area.

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