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This Week’s Menu Plan {It’s my second week without gluten, coffee, or sugar!}

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

I’ve survived a week without gluten and two full weeks without coffee or sugar! Surprisingly, I actually didn’t miss it all as much as I thought I would. And I’m sleeping better than I have in months — maybe years?

I’m honestly having fun finding new recipes that are gluten-free and sweetened with honey… and I’m also loving the incentive to eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies and lean protein. 🙂

I don’t know what I’m going to do longterm, but I’m really happy with the results I’ve seen from this short stint of diet changes.


Oatmeal, Cereal, Eggs, and/or Fruit


{I’ll be eating a salad with chicken/tuna, etc. on it every day}

Mac & cheese, fruit
Snack-y lunch
PB&J, carrot sticks, apples
Cheese quesadillas, carrot sticks
Leftovers x 3


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
Boiled eggs
Banana Peanut Butter Pancakes

Freezer Cooking {I’ll share how this goes later this week!}

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Grain-Free Muffins


Steak on the grill, veggies, fruit
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole, Fruit, Tossed Salad, Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Waffles, scrambled eggs, fruit
Simple Beef & Veggie Casserole, fruit
Dinner out
Dinner with extended family x 2

What’s on your menu this week? Share details and/or your link to your menu plan in the comments.

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  • Lana says:

    Last week I made a salad bar basket for my fridge. I saw this idea on Pinterest. In a small plastic basket I put small containers of chopped veggies, cheese, olives, mini pepperonis for hubby :), craisins, almonds, etc. We are loving putting our greens in a bowl and pulling out the basket to make our own custom salads. You might enjoy this too for your lunches!

  • I have been playing with a lot of new recipes too without gluten and natural sugars such as honey and dates.
    This is one of my favorite muffin recipes. I don’t add the stevia but do add about 5 more dates to the recipe and its perfectly sweet and tasty muffin!

    Here is our menu this week. 🙂

  • kerry Brasher says:

    Hi Crystal, You may have mentioned Agave nectar before as a substitute for sugar. If not, it is (in brief) a plant derivative very much tasting like honey but with a lower glycemic index.

  • Melissa says:

    Congrats on giving up the coffee, gluten, and sugar. I gave that up last fall and am still off the coffee and gluten. Sugar has crept back in though, and it makes me feel terrible. I’m trying to wean myself off sugar and instead just use small amounts of natural sugar like honey and maple syrup.

    Here’s our menu plan for the week:

  • Karen says:

    Good for you, Crystal! I’ve been gluten-mostly-free (don’t worry about sauces and things that may have trace amounts) for almost 2 years. I definitely notice if I break diet. I feel so much better being GF and it has noticeably helped with some of my health issues.

  • Stephanie says:

    Just curious what did you use in place of the cream soups in your recipes?

    • Crystal says:

      I’m just going to leave that out for mine and let my family have the one with cream soups in it. Though if someone knows of a gluten-free cream soup recipe, I’d love to know about it!

      • Aisha says:

        You can make homemade cream of chicken soup by making a white sauce out of 1.5-2 cups milk (or a combo of milk and chicken broth) 2 Tbsp gluten free flour (or 1 Tbsp corn starch), and 1 Tbsp canola oil or melted butter. Mix and heat those ingredients over med low heat, then add 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup cooked, shredded chicken. Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste, then simmer on low for 20 minutes until desired thickness is reached. If not thick enough, add some cornstarch or gluten free flour to a couple ounces of water and mix in and continue to simmer.

      • Crystal says:

        If you have a good cream soup recipe, just replace flour with cornstarch if you are doing corn. If you’re not doing corn you can sub with with tapioca flour. I’m pretty much Paleo at this point in my life, and there are tons of recipes out there, but if you are just gluten free this will work 🙂 Kudos for taking the challenge! My health and wallet are so much better since we did!

      • lisa s says:

        i’ve never made making my own cream soups a priority. i just use sour cream and a little salt in place of the cream soups. If you want you could add minced mushrooms or chicken etc. or whatever flavor you are hoping to achieve. I never have a problem just using the sour cream and salt though. There are usually other flavors in there doing their jobs to make it tasty enough for me.

      • AC says:

        Target sells a brand of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups that are gluten free. I’m out right now but I think the brand name is something like Pacific. They are in small cartons, as opposed to cans, right next to the soups.

      • Katie says:

        The Progressive Cream of Mushroom is Gluten Free. It is not as thick, but I have used it with no problems!

      • Vanessa says:

        Once a month mom has a wonderful chart for making cream soups. She even has a dairy/gluten free option for each one. Here’s the link:

  • Amanda says:

    I don’t think I could ever give up coffee! Here’s my plan:

  • Kathryn Cothern says:

    Good for you on your efforts!! One thing to keep in mind is there are hidden sugars in some of the items you listed. Just read your labels carefully to see the sugar content. Keep up the great work! 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Yes, I’m reading ingredient labels religiously and only eating all natural stuff (without any sugar or other sweetener except honey or fruit juice) that I’ve gotten from Vitacost, Amazon, Azure Standard, or the health food store. 🙂

      • Kathryn Cothern says:

        I watch my sugars, fat, proteins, and carbs religiously since I am training for triathlons. Have been doing a ton of research to find out how all this affects my efforts to lose 5 lbs of body fat while keeping muscle tone. As I get older, the way my body processes sugar is so different than even 10 years ago. Since I was a toddler, I am a huge peanut butter and strawberry preserves fan. The peanut butter I buy these days (for me not my kids) is just good ol’ ground up peanuts and I do watch my preserves consumption since lots of brands can contain lots of sugar. I stay away from breads. I also watch out how much fruit I eat since those natural sugars count too. I actually cut back on some of the higher sugar content fruits such as grapes, apples, etc. Unfortunately, one can overeat fruit and gain weight. Even tomatoes have a lot of natural sugar. I have one banana with a protein a day since that is my pre-workout fueling. Unfortunately, milk has lots of natural sugar as well…so I have to watch out how much skim milk I drink in my protein drinks. I read lots of labels and do comparisons in all the stores, and want to ensure that if a product is saying one thing on the front label, it matches the same thing on the back label. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

        • This sounds like what I am doing. Have you looked at unsweetened almond or soy milk? They contain no sugar and no carbs! Much better than skim milk. 🙂 Milk has the protein but I add protein powder to my almond milk. I agree, I was eating too much sugar via fruits and I’m so glad I finally figured that out.

          • Kathryn Cothern says:

            Hello Milk Allergy Mom, I tried almond and soy milk and it tasted alright…but the taste just doesn’t match up to good ol’ milk. I watch my skim milk consumption so that I intake the sugar and carb content into small portions. I would rather run a few extra miles and keep my favorite skim milk than turn to the alternative milks. It is interesting how much more those alternative milks are…but if you have any allergies, I certainly understand. I always keep my skim milk and protein powder drink made in the refrig for pre and post workout fueling. I use a purer protein powder that athletes and bodybuilders use. The only milk I buy for my family (since it is their favorite) is Borden’s. The skim milk is nothing like other skim milk brands. Have a great day and thanks for the conversation! 🙂

            • Jennifer Ott says:

              Where do you get your milk?! Here almond, rice, and soy are all cheaper than organic cow milk (I assume you meant “cow” by “good ol’ milk”)! We used to get Bordern’s when we still ate animal products, but that is still more than almond and rice milk here.

              • Kathryn Cothern says:

                Jennifer, yes, when I say “good ol’ milk”, I am referring to cow’s milk. I purchase my Borden’s milk (gallon jugs) at my regular grocery store. It is slightly more than the store brand but not by that much. I don’t buy organic milk. My grocery store will frequently run a store coupon on Borden’s milk (it did in April, and there is another promotion going on now for May) so I save more. At one time, I did a taste test with my hubby to see if he could pick out the non-Borden milk brand and he did. I am such a big advocate of Borden’s that I have had long conversations with their sales reps. Borden’s goes way back to my grandfather’s days…unfortunately, they are no longer a US based company…they are now owned by a Mexican dairy conglomerate.

  • I’m still planning the menu for this week (I think the peaches will be ripe on our tree this week, and that will affect the menu somewhat as well).

    We have a lot of Swiss chard in the garden right now, so today I made Swiss Chard soup and homemade French bread for lunch. Breakfast was homemade Greek yogurt with homemade granola and homemade low-sugar strawberry jam (I found strawberries for .48 a pound last week!). Dinner tonight will be a roast chicken, a green salad from the garden, and turnip gratin (turnips from the garden) with a peach pie (using home-canned peaches) for dessert.

  • Your menu sounds very doable, even if sometimes your fam eats different from you cuz of avoiding gluten. Very refreshing to see another mom have a no-fuss meal plan. Here is mine this week:

  • Emily says:

    There’s our menu for this week – including gluten free dishes (I am 100% gluten free)!

  • Monica Johnson says:

    Try a smoothie with just frozen bananas, cocoa, pb and almond milk. It’s amazing!

  • Shelly says:

    This week we are having a few freezer meals and breakfast for dinner one night. I went grain free for a couple of days this week when I suddenly didn’t feel well. It seemed to really help me feel better and I definitely got in more fruits and veggies. We also picked up a couple loaves of free bread that is gluten free at church and I have to say it was really quite good and with only natural sweeteners too.

    Here is our menu for this week,

  • Jaime says:

    A little word of caution: I noticed the broccoli rice casserole has cream soups in the recipe. Those typically contain wheat. If you’ve found a gluten free cream soup, would you mind sharing? Thank you so much! (I live without gluten every day and sugar pretty much always, but coffee? My hat is off to you!)

  • Jenny says:

    Did you sub something for the morning coffee habit?

    • Crystal says:

      Herbal tea with honey and a little milk. 🙂

      • B says:

        HI! Not sure if you will see this now but what type of tea do you buy? Brand wise? And is it good with the milk in it? Never tried it that way. LOVE honey in my tea though!

        • Crystal says:

          I’ve been trying some Celestial Seasoning and Yogi teas.

        • Dineen says:

          When I gave up coffee last fall, I found that I really enjoyed the strong spicy taste of Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea. I can find it at health food stores and online at Vitacost, but not at my local grocery.

  • Bev says:

    I tried clicking on the gluten free grain free waffles link above and it is taking me to a breakfast casserole. Do you have the link for this recipes a available? Thank you so much!

  • Ryan and I have been off gluten, rice, corn, and potatoes since mid-February and I cannot imagine going back to eating them again. We both feel better than we have in YEARS.

    My energy level and my mental clarity have both drastically improved and my stomach doesn’t have pain after I eat anymore (it was getting pretty bad before I cut all of those out).

    The reason we went off all of them is because we went to an allergist (an alternative one) who said that we had sensitivities to all of those. I can still have oats and quinoa though, and Ryan can only have quinoa.

    And the great side-benefit is that the weight that I’ve had trouble getting off since having babies is just falling away! 🙂

    To thicken soups (or anything else) you can use Glucomannan powder. It’s pretty tasteless and a little bit goes a LONG way. (

  • Angela says:

    This looks really good! I have trouble searching for recipes that dont have a ton of ingredients making it hard on the budget.

    I am a bit confused about the mac & cheese part of this plan? Is this with rice pasta maybe?

    • Crystal says:

      I’m the only one eating gluten-free here, so I’m just eating salads for lunch (as mentioned in the post). Hope that helps!

      • Angela says:

        Got it! Thanks! 🙂 I am getting ready to start reading the book “Wheat Belly” so hopefully it will encourage me to try harder as I am the only one in my family that wants to.

  • LaurieG says:

    My diet has been severely limited by health for about 2 months. I woke up one morning in March with Interstitial Cystitis and can no longer tolerate acidic foods. So coffee is a no brainer. It has been far worse than many things to give up as I was a try bean lover. Right now I cannot have fruits, chocolate and have voluntarily scaled back on sugar, gluten, dairy and the like. I hope the tide will turn soon and I will be able to at least eat fruit.

  • Virginia says:

    I’ve been gluten free for about 10 days, sugar free (for the most part) for 2+ years and love every minute of it.

    Good going!

  • Jessica says:

    FYI… the store-bought canned cream of mushroom/chicken soup in your Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is not gluten-free.

  • Vanessa says:

    Our lunch menu has been a bit boring lately so today we tried roasted veggie bites (4-year old loved them) and later this week we’re trying strawberry walnut muffins.

  • I have a lot of GF folks in my extended family. I’ve started making this banana bread (that also is sweetened with honey) and it is a hit with GF and non GF alike!! I also make it dairy free by using coconut oil instead of butter– incidentally, the first time I made it, I only had 5 eggs (it calls for 6) it turned out so well, that I keep making it that way… so, I can vouch for awesome bread with 5 eggs… not sure about 6! Oh, one last thing, it says 2-3 bananas- DEFINITELY use 3 medium to large very ripe bananas!!

  • lisa s says:

    You go girl! I’ve been doing the same for a month now. I love the taste of coffee, but it just hurt me too bad. I miss it mentally, but I don’t crave it at all. I committed my whole family to a grain free sugar free diet for the next two years. We do eat raw honey, but that’s it. We tried this coffee cake recipe for Sunday breakfast with fresh juice and eggs. It was great. A little more honey than we usually go for, but it was a nice treat after a month of being disciplined.

  • Jillian Kay says:

    Your chicken rice sounds great. May have to add that to my freezer cooking list this week.

    Here’s my easy, just back from vacation menu:

  • Ariel says:

    Crystal, what type of dressing are you using on your lunch salads? Just curious 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      No dressing, actually. I taught myself to love salads without dressing a few months ago and it’s come very in handy recently since so many dressings have sugar in them! 🙂

      • Ariel says:

        Great idea! I will be trying that 🙂 Thanks for responding.

      • I love to just do oil with a dash of vinegar. Olive oil & grapeseed oils are my favorite. Then red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar. No sugar. A little salt and pepper if you want. Very satisfying and healthy. 🙂 Oil and lemon juice is also a good combo. My sis did that a lot when she came home from Spain.

    • Linda says:

      I’m from Latin America and growing up, we never used salad dressing, only lime juice in our salads and salsas.

      We’d even put it on fruit (green & ripe) as well as on roasted peanuts. We’d put the lime juice, a bit of salt, pepita (ground roasted pumpkin seeds) and some red chile (not chili) powder, all to taste, yum!

  • Yeah! So happy to see that you are going to try my grain free muffins! You will love them 🙂 I have a ton of gluten free and grain free recipes on my site and I always use unrefined and natural sugars.

    Quite the switch in your diet…I am anxious to hear if you are feeling better yet? (Oh and I have yet to give up coffee, can’t quite get there) 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing my recipe with your readers! ~ Halle

  • Julie Osmundsen says:

    I have also been having to eat gluten and dairy free for only a few days now for health reasons and no sugar either. It is a diet I am supposed to maintain for awhile. I noticed you mentioning consuming oats but I thought they had gluten in them. Am I wrong?

    • Sherylann says:

      You have to buy gluten free oats. Winco has them in the bulk section, and Bob’s Red Mill has them online.

  • Michelle says:

    Just a suggestion: for a little more lunch variety, you can sub chick peas for your tuna/chicken on your salads. You still get your protein and it tastes yummy! I use rinsed canned chick peas (garbanzo beans), add a serving to my salad and my kids eat the rest 🙂

  • Sherylann says:

    I have made the banana breakfast oatmeal muffins a couple of times now, and we all love them! Gluten free for about 4 years now. I find that sometimes just smelling the glutinous thins helps the cravings.

  • Congrats on being coffee, sugar and gluten free!! You are a strong woman to give it all up at once! I gave up coffee and soda 2 months ago and feel so much better without them. Now for the last month I have gotten rid of all artificial sweetener’s. I am trying to get my family as close to all natural eating as possible. Each month I eliminate something.

    Here is what is cooking in my kitchen:

    Have a blessed week!

  • I have been doing an Atkins type diet for a month and lost 8 pounds with daily exercise. I have cut all sugar, have very little fruits, have some veggies, and lots of protein (not all lean). It’s working great for me. My doctor told me that diets should be based on our body types. My body does not process carbs and sugar well. It apparently like protein and nuts! 😉 But I know you are a carb person…from what you said when you did P90X. I tried the P90X diet with my husband and he lost pounds while I didn’t. I can’t do that many carbs. It has been very enlightening as I have not been able to lose anything in years…despite exercise. It’s great when you find the diet that suits “you”. 🙂 I’m not giving up coffee….just the sugar and cream. 😉

  • Chelsea says:

    Way to go on sticking to your plan! It sounds like it would be really difficult when you take into account most of the mainstream products available at stores!

    Here’s what we’re having this week:

  • Alysia says:

    Wow, two weeks without coffee!! Way to go Crystal!

    Here is our menu plan:

  • Lisa says:

    Great for you on your menu changes. Glad to hear you are feeling better.

    Here is what is on my menu this week:

  • Tina says:

    ** Be very careful when using cream soups in gluten-free recipes, because most of them aren’t gluten free. **

  • It is amazing how the role diet plays on our health. We’ve been (mostly- not perfect)vegan for about a year, and gluten free vegan for a month. This is the best I’ve ever felt!

  • Shaunna says:

    I love this meal but my boyfriend HATES broccoli . Wont touch anything that has been touched by it. He is sooooo picky. In the future tho I hope to get my son to love everything so I’m not the only one who eats stuff like this. Thanks for your blog.

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