Friday, May 11, 2018

The GF/DF Military Diet

Whenever Matt and I get into a rut with food, or we feel like we've been indulging a little too often, we do a round of The Military Diet. Have you heard of it?

It's a 3-day diet with a very specific eating plan that's super simple.

There's no complicated recipes - hardly any cooking at all, really. And apparently, this is what people in the military use when they have to drop weight quickly. (Don't quote me on that, it's just what I've heard!) It's been around for a really long time - I remember my Dad doing this diet when I was a kid!!

The classic military diet with a gluten and dairy free twist! |

Since we are now a Gluten Free family, and I'm also Dairy Free, it's been harder to make the diet work. You can make certain substitutions, but some specifics are kind of a pain. Matt and I just did a round of the military diet last week to reset our bodies after a long hard winter, and I've set it up to be simply gluten and dairy free! So if that's you too, and you're looking to drop a few pounds or reset your bad eating habits, read on!

(BTW, this is not a clean eating diet, and I try to eat mostly plant based normally. This diet just takes the guess work out of what to eat and keeps you from snacking and overeating for a few days to help you continue on with healthier habits!)

Here is the overview of our menu:

A gluten and dairy free version of the military diet |
disclaimer: I did not write this diet, I'm not a nutritional or health expert, and I'm not making
any claims about specific amounts of weight loss! this is just what we did!

If you'd like to follow the traditional menu, search for it on Pinterest - there are lots of resources! I also found THIS to be very helpful in making substitutions. I also remember from previous rounds of the diet that 1) you can wiggle menu items around to be snacks or dessert within the same part of the day and 2) things like salt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, and mustard are "free" additives in small amounts.

So here's how we did it!

Day 1

Early in the day, I had 1/2 of a grapefruit, and a cup of black coffee.

And a while later (maybe an hour or so) I had the other half of breakfast - 1 piece of gluten free toast (I like Udi's new sandwich bread) with 1-2 tablespoon(s) of peanut butter. Different sources say 1 or 2, so you do what feels right for you! Splitting breakfast into two parts helped keep me from getting too hungry too early.

Super simple - 1/2 can of tuna on a piece of gluten free toast (with some salt and pepper), and a mug of black coffee. I actually had a lime la croix with my lunch and saved the coffee for a couple hours later to help me get through the afternoon!

This night we got to have 3oz of grilled chicken, a cup of green beans, and half of a banana. It sounds weird to have a banana at dinner, but it definitely helps fill you up! And I looooooove green beans, so I'm totally down for a big pile of them!!

These are actually listed as part of dinner, and if you want to have them that way - you can. Matt and I figured out, though, if you heat up you allotted apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon (which is allowed) and top it with your cup of vanilla ice cream, it feels like an enormous reward after a day of not eating much of anything! I got Soy ice cream from Trader Joes to make this dairy free - there are lots of options out there!! You can also sub the ice cream for dairy free vanilla yogurt (like coconut or almond milk versions).

Day 1 isn't really all that bad! You just have to stop yourself from the habit of snacking, and remember to drink extra water with and between meals.

Day 2

I chose to make an over-easy egg (with the tiiiiinest dab of olive oil in the pan, a cheat I guess but oh well!) and ate it on my piece of GF toast with some salt and pepper, and 1/2 a banana on the side.

I had 5 GF crackers with vegan cream cheese on them, and a sliced up hard boiled egg. Sparkling water helped me get through this diet for sure!!

I am SO MAD that my photo for this didn't work out - my phone froze and by the time I realized my picture didn't save, I'd devoured dinner!! This meal feels so indulgent because you get a mountain of veggies between a full cup of broccoli and 1/2 cup of carrots. We cooked deli turkey in a frying pan to forgo the hot dogs (we don't eat hot dogs) and 1/2 of a banana. Hilariously, the kids thought the cooked turkey tasted like ham (which we also don't eat) and they LOVED it! They asked to have it more often!! lol

We had 1/2 cup of the same soy vanilla ice cream - super good!

Day 2 is a little bit harder - the amount of food is still fairly decent, but you really start to miss fuller meals and a bigger variety of things. Still totally do-able, though!

Day 3

I sliced my hard boiled egg and put it on top of the crackers, and sliced my apple to eat on the side. It wasn't my favorite breakfast, but it did the job.

I forgot to photo my lunch this day - I had to run out of the house for a meeting and came home and inhaled it before rushing off to pick up! It was just a hard boiled egg and a piece of dry GF toast, so it wasn't exactly exciting, anyway!

This is the hardest part of the diet, I think. By this point, you are HUNGRY and ready for more food, but all you get is a small amount of meat and 1/2 a banana. Pathetic excuse for a dinner! The nice thing is, though, it's okay to sub in grilled tuna steaks, which we got from Trader Joe's. We seasoned them with some lime, salt and pepper and grilled them, and they were great!

The last food of the diet is a cup of ice cream, and at this point it feels SO needed. I noticed, though, that as much as I felt like I needed the substance of the full cup, it tasted too sweet and I didn't even want to finish it.

Day 3 is the hardest, for sure. You've been on low food for days, and the thought of another hard boiled egg or dry carb is just SO unappealing! Matt and I were daydreaming about foods at the end...even healthy ones! We were so ready to have more substance back! BUT, I already felt thinner and less bloated, and I could tell it was really helping me out!

Tip: Plan ahead for your first meal after the diet. You're going to want #allthethings but you don't want to undo your hard work! Plus, everything will feel more filling now. Matt and I had veggie breakfast sandwiches (based on these) with tomato, spinach, turkey and eggs on a gluten free english muffin, and half of a banana the morning after the diet. It was perfect!

Let me know if you try it and what you think!! I feel SO much better now - I'm less bloated, my clothes are more comfortable, and I'm more likely to reach for healthy food. You wouldn't believe how much you genuinely crave a carrot! lol

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  1. Thank you so much for this! I was recently diagnosed with MS and GF DF is more critical than ever. I use this diet a couple of times a month and this gives me a lot of good ideas. sometimes I use rice cakes instead of gluten-free bread and spread my peanut butter over to cakes and I feel like I'm getting more food. Just something to consider. Thank you again!

    1. Awesome, so happy to hear it's helpful! :)

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