After a little break in September, we’re back with another 7-Day clean eating challenge! This time we’re going gluten-free and dairy-free for 7 whole days to uncover food intolerances and hopefully reduce chronic inflammation. I’ve included a grocery list, delicious and healthy gluten-free and dairy-free recipes (many of them are good for meal prep), as well as a meal planning printable if you like to plan out your meals for the week ahead.
Gluten-Free And Dairy-Free – What Is It?
Okay, so I don’t think they’ve come up with a name for this yet, but it’s a way of eating where you avoid all foods that contain gluten and dairy. It’s not a diet to lose weight (although it might happen!), it’s more of a healthy way of eating to improve your health and reveal food intolerances you might have.
Eating dairy-free and gluten-free is less restrictive than eating a paleo diet which forbids, that’s right: forbids! all legumes and grains, because according to some sources those foods can make you sick as a dog. Especially if you’re already dealing with digestive issues.
We’re not making this big of a change here, but this week will be challenging enough to make you think differently and find alternative, nutritious sources of food.
What To Eat On A Gluten-Free And Dairy Free Diet
You can basically eat all the foods that don’t contain gluten or dairy…which excludes about 96% of all processed foods out there. But let’s focus on what we can eat!
Fruits And Vegetables. Greens, berries, cruciferous and starchy vegetables, bananas – all fruits and vegetables are dairy-free and gluten-free and you’re welcome to eat plenty of them (bananas in reasonable amounts of course!) Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants and super beneficial for your health, so they should be the foundation of your everyday diet.
Herbs And Spices. Basil, mint, dill, turmeric, rosemary, even black pepper! It’s no secret herbs and spices have healing properties and can give any dish that little special something.
Nuts And Seeds. Chia seeds, flaxseed, walnuts, almonds, cashews – there are many choices here. Similarly to fruits and vegetables – nuts and seeds are full of antioxidants (but fat-soluble!) and essential nutrients that the human body just needs.
Protein. The best choices here are eggs, fish, seafood from a sustainable source and poultry.
Fiber-Rich Foods. You can have lentils, beans, chickpeas and all the gluten-free “grains” like quinoa, buckwheat, millet or amaranth. For this week we’ll skip the oats since most varieties are contaminated with gluten.
Healthy Fats. Coconut oil, olive oil and avocado are the best choices here. Although you’ll see below – I use a little bit of toasted sesame oil every now and then, because I simply love the flavor. It’s not the healthiest oil you can have, but I am okay with that. Don’t add it to your meals if you don’t want to.
Why Eat Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free?
One really important reason to cut out dairy and gluten from your diet, at least for a little bit, is to find out whether or not you have an intolerance to those foods.
Dairy and gluten are two of the most common food allergens, but when we’re eating them on a regular basis we’re not really noticing it that much.
However, those intolerances might still be there and could be making us feel less than our best. So to find out we’ll do the seven days, more would be great – if you can. Then after those are over and if you want to go back to eating dairy and gluten, start adding them one at a time. The important thing here is really ONE at a time, so you can find out which foods actually cause a “bad” reaction in your body.
For example, regular milk might make you sick, while yogurt might be tolerated just fine. (that’s actually shown for acne patients!)
Same with gluten. Eating bread, which has a high glycemic index might make you feel miserable, while cooked bulgur (also contains gluten, but has a lower glycemic index) might be just fine for you.
This is very much like a mini elimination diet, but we’re only cutting out these 2 major food allergens.
Eating dairy-free and gluten-free can also help reduce inflammation in the body, if you do have an intolerance to those foods.
Reducing inflammation inside your body is important, because it’s linked to the development of major diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases and even acne. Low grade, chronic inflammation also naturally develops as we get older, so it’s a good idea to start doing something about it, even when we’re younger and don’t necessarily feel its effects yet. Following an anti-inflammatory diet with lots of vegetables, good fats, fiber and a lower glycemic index (not necessarily low carb!) is one way to do it.
Of course, there’s more to the anti-inflammatory diet than just avoiding certain foods, but eliminating food allergens is an important part.
The recipes you’ll find below can be considered anti-inflammatory, as they’re rich in antioxidants, have a low glycemic index, a good omega-6/omega-3 ratio and aren’t full of saturated fat.
7-Days Of Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Recipes
The recipes below are just meal ideas for you to use during the next seven days. If you do have other go-to gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, please, feel free to use them.
All of the recipes below are, of course, also refined sugar-free. Some of the breakfast recipes use a little bit of honey to make them sweeter. Honey might not have a low glycemic index, but it does come with anti-inflammatory properties and we’re using it in moderation.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Breakfasts
Made with almond butter, cashews, flaxseed and some honey, these are simple, yet super tasty and keep well in the fridge for a few days. You might want to double the recipe, as these are also a great snack and very quickly gone. Recipe is here.
Make this simple chia pudding the night before and top with berries and some chopped nuts for an easy and healthy breakfast! Recipe here.
With almond butter and banana this 3-ingredient smoothie is actually filling enough to be a quick and easy healthy breakfast. Feel free to mix in some soaked chia seeds after blending to make it even more nutritious. Recipe here.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Salads & Bowls (Great For Lunch)
This vegan gluten-free bowl recipe has been a part of every single clean eating challenge thus far, I know and I’m not trying to hide it. It’s one of my go-to recipes as it’s healthy, easy to make and so delicious with the hummus and tzatziki! Recipe here.
Do not be scared by the word detox in the title! When I posted this recipe, I was going through a stage in my life, where I thought everything should be called detox. And this quinoa salad recipe really is healthy and detoxifying, but it’s also fresh, full of flavor and antioxidants. Recipe here.
Switching things up to something that doesn’t contain quinoa and has shrimp instead. The original recipe calls for yogurt in the dressing, but instead, you can use tahini and a Tbsp of water or this cashew sauce + the rest of the dressing ingredients. Recipe is here.
Very simple, yet delicious chickpea and tomato salad, it’s ready in about 10-15 minutes. Recipe here.
Pretty simple avocado and chicken salad that you can make ahead, it’s low carb, gluten-free and paleo. Recipe here.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Dinners
One of my favorite meals on this blog – easy to make and so full of flavor! We’ll change things up a little bit by not adding feta cheese to the salad, using some chopped olives instead and using the cashew garlic sauce my sister made instead of a yogurt sauce (although the sauce is optional!). Recipe here.
I guess nothing new to most people at the time I’m posting this, but this year was the first time I made cauliflower fried rice and actually really liked it. This is a vegetarian version with only eggs and vegetables and I used tamari sauce, which contrary to soy sauce is actually gluten-free. Yes, it was a shock to me that soy sauce actually contains gluten as well. Recipe is here.
Another recipe from the time in my life everything needed to be “detox”. And again, it’s true as well, as this healthy soup is loaded with detoxifying broccoli and spices, but most importantly – it’s very delicious! Make sure to add some salt at the beginning, so that the soup doesn’t turn out bland. Recipe here.
What might surprise you about this super tasty dish is that it is made in 15 minutes and with only 5, that’s right 5 ingredients: shrimp, tomatoes, dill, olive oil and garlic. My sister made it for us and it was amazing, I still have beautiful haunting dreams about it. We did eat it with bread though. To keep it gluten-free, you can serve this with gluten-free pasta, quinoa, rice or over zucchini noodles for a low carb version. Recipe here.
Never knew, I’d become such a huge fan of cabbage! But this recipe was all over the internet and I decided to make my own version with chicken. It was totally worth it. I’ve been making this almost every week now and it always tastes amazing. Again use tamari sauce or coconut aminos for a gluten-free option. Recipe here.
This black bean and quinoa bowl is vegan, gluten-free and full of flavor! Recipe here.
When my sister was doing the keto diet she made this coconut curry shrimp soup with only chopped zucchini and no noodles or rice in it. Keto? No thanks, I don’t have the self-discipline of a marine. Still, I tried it and it was incredible. Like I was eating actual Thai food, but it was at my sister’s place. Keto diet did not last, but she’s still making this soup and I cannot blame her, it’s so perfect and so easy to make. Recipe is here.
(Side note: Now I noticed I shared only shrimp recipes from my sister’s blog…she does eat other things as well though, and most of them are healthy. If you haven’t, you can check out her blog Her Highness, Hungry Me here).
If do need snacks to get you through the day here are some great options:
- hummus with vegetables
- this vegan cream cheese with vegetables
- raw almonds, cashews or walnuts
- fresh fruit like apples, pears, peaches or berries
- you can also use the energy balls as a snack
Meal Planner Printable
I eat intuitively (never thought there was an actual term for this!), so I probably won’t be sticking to an exact meal plan), but if you like to plan out your meals, feel free to download and use this meal planning printable. It’s free and it’s here.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Grocery List
This is an overall gluten-free and dairy-free grocery list for all the recipes I shared above. Please make sure to adjust for the meals you’d like to make in the provided meal planner.
- Red pepper
- Chicken Breast or Thighs (skinless, boneless)
- Ground Turkey or Chicken (for the egg roll in a bowl)
- Chickpeas, canned
- Black beans, canned
- Tomato paste
- Curry paste (gluten-free)
- Tamari sauce
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Coconut milk
Seeds And Nuts
- Almond butter
- Sesame seeds
- Chia seeds
- Favorite nut milk (or make your own cashew milk)
- Sunflower Seeds
Herbs and Spices
- Coriander, ground
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Cumin, ground
- Mint, dried
- Ginger, ground
- Black pepper
You can download the grocery list in PDF here.
Wow, can you believe it took me 6 hours to put this post together? I’m kinda exhausted and really do hope you find the recipes, printable and this post helpful! Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment here, on Pinterest or on my Instagram which is very rusty right now.
Other Meal Plans You Might Like:
- 7-Day Clean Eating Challenge (The First One)
- 7-Day Vegan Clean Eating Challenge
- Clean Eating Challenge #2 (Lower Carb!)
- Clean Eating Challenge #3 (Hydration!)