Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a Read more

gluten free

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread


So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly — I’ve never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I’m not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of HOT MESS!

I have always loved zucchini bread and have made it for my family using traditional recipes but today I decided to make some that I could enjoy also.  I am a little afraid of coconut still after trying to substitute it into my grandmother’s homemade egg noodle recipe.  Let’s just say that I almost vomited after the first bite.  So with much uncertainty and trepidation — I tackled this one.  I think the trick with coconut flour is to really increase the amount of liquid ingredients to keep it from getting too dry.

So this really turned out moist!!  It isn’t super sweet like you would find with some zucchini breads because we are going the healthy route here –But it really is good!!

 

Ingredients 

3/4 cups coconut flour

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup honey

6 pastured eggs (cage-free)

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

 

Directions:

SUPER SIMPLE!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray baking loaf pan with coconut non stick spray.  Combine all the ingredients except the zucchini and mix together.  Then stir in the zucchini and bake for 45 min or until fork inserted comes out clean.

 

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Nutrition, Whole Food 1 Comment

What Happened When My Dad Went Gluten Free

It seems I am getting more and more testimonials from patients on how great they feel when they go gluten free.  I thought I would re-post this great story by one of my friend’s experiences.  Comment down below with any of your own experiences and share!

 

What Happened When My Dad Went Gluten Free

Health trends, like many trends, come and go.  But the gluten-free trend may just be a keeper.  Why is this?  This gluten thing is part of a bigger picture….genetically modified foods and how they cause inflammation, and how that makes us sick.  Here’s what happened to my dad.

It all began in 2002 when my dad was 53 years old.  His heart just wasn’t beating right, and at 35-44 beats per minute (normal is 60-100), dad felt pretty lousy.  Eventually, it was determined that dad’s thyroid was under active.  This caused his heart to beat too slowly.  Dad felt like he couldn’t breathe, and nearly passed out whenever he stood up.  But it didn’t end there.  The slow heartbeat thickened the wall of Dad’s heart, which in turn led to an electrical problem causing atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat.

Dad’s doctor added thyroid hormone to correct the hypothyroidism.  This, and a surgical procedure brought his heart back to the normal beats per minute.

But what was the root of Dad’s thyroid problem?  An autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis caused Dad’s immune system to attack his thyroid.  His body was confused by an invader, but instead of going after the true culprit, Dad’s immune system accidentally recognized his thyroid as the enemy.  Under attack, the thyroid was unable to produce enough hormone to keep his heart beating fast enough.

So what was the enemy that invaded Dad’s body, and why did his immune system become so confused?

Always the student of nutrition, Dad read that hybridized, or genetically modified wheat can cause autoimmune problems.  Hybridization of the grain makes people sensitive to gluten.  He read that the human body fails to recognize hybridized wheat as food.  This fact stunned Dad because he knew 70% of our immunity comes from digestive tract.  The logic was simple.  Inundate the digestive tract with hybridized wheat, which the body fails to recognize as food, and you could potentially create an immunological reaction.

Dad made a plan.  Calm the immune system.  How?  Cut wheat.  (He had already cut junk food years ago).

After six to eight months, Dad’s blood test showed his TPO antibodies had dropped from 2,700 to 141.  In plain language, that means his immune system stopped cranking out the little critters that had been attacking his thyroid.  After a total of 12 months wheat free, Dad’s TPO’s continued the downward trend to 101.  Additionally, the post wheat-free blood tests showed more improvements.  Dad’s TSH was low normal, measuring .5.  Normal range for TSH, or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, is .47-4.7.  This was great news because it let his doctor know Dad’s brain no longer needed to pump out TSH in order to stimulate the thyroid.  After going wheat free, Dad’s TSH had dropped down to normal, and with some adjustments to his thyroid medication, his next TSH check showed a reading of 2.0, well within the normal range.

These blood test improvements led Dad’s doctor to lower his thyroid medication from 137 mcg to 112 mcg for 6 weeks, and then down further to 100 mcg.  Dad is so happy to have less medication and, of course, hopes to eventually discontinue it altogether if possible.

Cutting wheat just may have eliminated the culprit guilty of revving up Dad’s immune system.  This simple dietary change helped my dad gain control of his rogue immune system.

About the author:

Jeanne Barker Benz is a full-time mom of three children and Team Beachbody Coach.  While her background is in law, her passion is encouraging others in faith, education, business, and health.

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition Leave a comment

Ash Wednesday

One year ago on Ash Wednesday, I vowed to officially go gluten and dairy free and finally practice what I was preaching. I had been limiting gluten and dairy for years before but would ultimately end up cheating every 3-4 weeks with occasional  pizza/cake/ nachos etc. So last year I gave it the 40day test and I was amazed at how great I felt. I lost weight, my energy and brain fog improved, my skin cleared up and my mood seemed great! Mind you , I wasn’t grain free all together and was still eating some brown rice and corn. I also wasn’t completely cognizant of all the hidden doses of gluten were stashed in food. Overall, I felt pretty proud of kicking diet cola, gluten and dairy. I would do it all over again in an instant. But, I got weak and lazy after Easter and gradually added back the dreaded cheese. I’m talking the factory farmed stuff too–not the organic goat stuff. However, when I did add the dairy —the weight came back instantly (proving to myself that I am one of those victims of molecular mimicry) that can’t tolerate casein.
The year was successful and I was able to kick gluten for good (I only cheated once with Coors Light at the Dave Matthews concert).
I was still doing some grain and dairy. 

So today I am starting the official grain free/dairy free diet again and am anxious to keep you updated on the results —
So far for breakfast I’ve had a spinach/mushroom/pepper/onion omelette with NO CHEESE and iced tea–lunch was a salad with only veggies/chicken and NO RANCH DRESSING.

I’m still alive!
I’ll keep you posted!

Our spirits dwell in a beautiful vessel that should be treated well -So it’s about time I get over myself and start relishing my health.

 

–What are you going to give up that isn’t serving you??? Leave your thoughts in the comments below

 

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Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition 2 Comments

This is a game changer!

I lied yesterday —-the actual sessions don’t begin until sunday so you still have time!!!!  I’m registered and I listened to the preview podcast today on the Underground Wellness site and I’m pretty stoked now.  I realize it’s a little nerdy to get so excited about gas, poop, reflux and farts but remember–this is a huge issue we all suffer from!!!  Any info we can get to help ourselves is amazing.  This series is cutting edge and the average health practitioner will take about 17 years for this new info to become common knowledge.  That’s why we are getting it first!!  We deserve this free knowledge.

You can either Register for Free now for the event starting sunday –you will have 48 hours to listen to all four interviews or

 

Register HERE

 

 

or you can purchase the whole series at a discounted price and listen to the entire series as many times as you would like

 

Purchase the Series HERE

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition Leave a comment

Chicken/Kale Pasta

A big shout out and thanks for this recipe share from Kim:

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Chicken/Kale Pasta

1 (16) oz. Gluten free pasta (you could also substitute spaghetti squash or zucchini ribbons)

4 (6oz) skinless and boneless chicken Breast cut into 1 inch pieces (organic/local)

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper (I like Pink Himalayan)

Extra virgin olive oil

Kerry gold butter

4 garlic cloves minced

1 cup (homemade) chicken broth

3/4 cup dry white wine

5 oz kale stemmed and coarsely chopped

2 cups grape tomatoes(halved)

1 cup shaved parmesan cheese

1)Prepare pasta as directed.

2) Season chicken with sea salt and pepper, cook in a single layer of hot oil and melted kerry gold butter in a large skillet over high heat without stirring for 1-2 minutes. Turn chicken: cook 2 more minutes or until done. Transfer chicken to plate.

3) Add garlic to skillet and reduce to medium heat. Cook constantly,for 30 seconds then add homemade chicken broth and wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet, simmer 6-8 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add kale, stirring until kale wilts.

4) Add kale mixture to reserved pasta. Stir in tomatoes and 1 cup shaved parmesan if desired.

Prep time 25 minutes Cook time 30 minutes

Posted on by Angela in Green Living, Nutrition, Organic, Uncategorized, Whole Food Leave a comment

More great gluten-free recipes submitted by YOU

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I am so excited that everyone is sharing their stories!  A husband/wife team are doing the Detox Challenge and loving it!  I got a message from a friend stating that she LOVES -Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo and am getting great recipe submissions as well.  Keep them coming and be sure to comment below if you have any pearls of wisdom to add to our journey!!!

 

 

 

Thanks Debbie for this great recipe:

 

Here is a recipe that I used Gluten-Free Pasta to make. I’m still not sure exactly what has gluten in it, so I don’t want to say this is totally gluten-free, but it should be close. I’ve tried this recipe before with regular Ziti & it was also good. Takes very little time to make. o Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta (elbow). I boiled it for 2 min. & then let it sit covered for 18 min. like the recipe said, but I think it sat for a little too long. I’m going to try 15 min. next time. o 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil o 1/2 cup sour cream (I used light) o 24 oz. jar pasta sauce 2 4 oz. cans mushroom pieces, drained 1 8 oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided Optional: 3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (I did not use) Once I made it without meat & once I put in about 3/4 of a big smoked sausage link, thinly sliced it & sautéed for a couple of minutes to brown it. It was just enough to taste, but wasn’t overpowering. 1) Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta to pkg. directions. Drain & return to pot. 2) Heat oil in skillet over Med-Hi heat. Add meat & cook until no longer pink in center. Combine meat, if using, with pasta, sour cream, sauce & mushrooms. 3) Pour 1/2 of pasta mixture in 2 qt. baking dish or 8×8 baking pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Pour remaining mixture on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. 4) Bake 25 to 30 minutes until heated through.

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss 4 Comments

Gluten Free Update

Here’s Superhero Sandy’s latest gluten-free update.  It seems it is possible to change and still enjoy food!  Here are a few of her recent observations and recommendations.  Thanks Sandy–we are all inspired by you!

 

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Sandy Writes:

Gluten free update: I’ve always been one to buy quality name brand products, not the generic store brand stuff that doesn’t taste as good. I’m known among close family and friends as a good cook, and it has always been my contention that good cooking starts with the choices you make in the store. I’m a picky shopper, favoring name brands and top quality fresh food; my motto is “if nobody eats it, it’s not a bargain,” so stay away from the cheap, generic stuff.

Anyway, while driving the four blocks to Kroger from my home one day about three months ago, my phone rang. It was the nurse at my doctor’s office telling me that my thyroid antibodies were sky-high and that I needed to get on a gluten-free diet as soon as possible. I also needed to start taking probiotics, selenium, and CoQ-10 to help combat the catastrophe that was taking place in my intestines and finding its way to my thyroid gland…and who knows where else…probably wherever I felt pain, including my arthritic knees. As I understand it, the antibody issue is separate from the TSH, T3, T4 markers for thyroid disease. This was something different, an autoimmune thing I had going on along with a underactive thyroid gland.

The nurse sounded serious. This wasn’t just a “why don’t you try this and see what happens” suggestion; it was an order. Oh, man. I had a lasagna pan full of semolina pasta covered in meat sauce, cheese, and sour cream…all ready to bake for my grandson and his friends who would be arriving in a couple of hours. I started doing an inventory of what I was planning for dinner that very night that I could and could not eat if I were to actually change my diet to gluten-free. Salad? Okay, yeah. Pasta? Not so much. Bread? Don’t make me laugh. First I panicked. And then I started to solve the problem.

I started changing my shopping practices on that very first trip. Luckily, I ran across some gluten-free pasta, so I bought it, scraped some sauce and cheese off the casserole, cooked up the new pasta, and mixed them together. Not bad. So far, so good. Everybody else ate the original casserole while I ate my gluten-free pasta version. And from that point on, my kitchen only contained gluten-free pasta. You literally couldn’t tell the difference…although you do have to be a bit more exact about cooking time.

Then I started doing research, shopping the out-of-the-way sections of the store: buying organic stuff, fresh fruits and vegetables. I also started going to the local meat market here in Greencastle, buying better, unsullied by hormones and antibiotics meat and milk and butter and eggs.

Now, less than three months later, I just returned from a grocery shopping expedition. I have completely changed, one or two items at a time, what I buy at the store. My shopping list is entirely different from it was not long ago. Here’s a partial list of what I buy now:

Trader’s Point milk (grass-fed, organic, not homogenized, the real stuff my Grandpa Hause used to carry in buckets from the barn to the house)
Kerrygold Irish butter (kind of like the stuff my Grandma churned from those buckets of milk)
Blue Sky free range eggs (I’ve tried several brands of eggs; these have the most golden yellows I’ve ever seen.)
Van’s gluten-free waffles…or pancakes…or whatever. These are better than Eggo. Trust me.
Rudi’s gluten-free “original” white bread (okay, so it’s not quite the same as what you usually buy…but it’s gluten-free and you can make a sandwich with it.)
Izze soda (instead of diet Coke…nothing but fruit juice and sparkling water)
Smucker’s Simply Fruit jelly…again, no sugar, no sweetener of any kind…doesn’t need it…just fruit juice.
Udi’s blueberry muffin tops (gluten, soy, wheat, and dairy free)
fresh produce from local suppliers, including some honey crisp apples from Anderson Orchard, which we picked up yesterday
heirloom tomatoes…don’t fall for vine ripe or Indiana tomatoes…heirloom are the best
100% grass-fed beef from local producers. If I can’t find grass-fed, I will still buy local. If I can’t find local, I buy organic…no hormones, no antibiotics. Sometimes this means there’s no chicken available today, so you have to buy pork instead or you can’t find the cut of beef you want. You have to be adaptable to eat well.
Kemp’s frozen yogurt (because my soul needs ice cream)
Talenti gelato (can’t eat much of this because it’s calorie-, fat-, and sugar-laden, but it is gluten-free, HFCS free, and oh, man, is it ever good!)
Simple Truth gluten-free animal crackers (a store brand, but good)
Quinn’s popcorn (although i don’t use the flavor packet that comes with it…I use the above mentioned Kerrygold Irish butter.)
Pamela’s chocolate chip gluten-free cookies
Glutino table crackers
Ronzoni gluten-free pasta
Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes (I already knew these were the best canned tomatoes and tomato sauces and spaghetti sauces around…been buying Muir Glen for a while now)
frozen corn, peas, green beans, broccoli…whatever I can’t find fresh, I buy frozen. Just the vegetables. Not the kind that come with sauces already in them. I love those ones that you can steam in the microwave.
Maple Hill creamery yogurt (full fat with the cream on top, just like the milk from grass-fed cows…and mostly I buy plain and mix in my own fruit and granola and sweeteners. Trader’s Point makes good yogurt too, but Maple Hill is thicker. I like it better.
organic blue agave syrup
real maple syrup
GiddyUpGo gluten-free granola
Nature’s Path corn flakes
Cheese…I don’t know about cheese. We still have a bunch I bought in Wisconsin last month. I can’t swear that what I have is organic and grass-fed. Probably some is and some isn’t. I’m working on that.

I try to buy things that are sugar-free, but you have to watch that. Most of the time “sugar-free” on a label means that they used aspartame or some other poison instead of sugar. Sugar isn’t good, it contributes to inflammation, but poison is worse. Sugar is also better than high fructose corn syrup.

That’s all I got for you now, but my list is ever-changing, and I still haven’t been able to explore Fresh Thyme as thoroughly as I want to. Look for more updates in the future on my gluten-free lifestyle. Oh, and I just got another blood test last week. My numbers are “a little bit better.” We’re making some adjustments. But I feel better all the time, am not sick as much as I used to be…I’m staying on top of this thyroid deal, and that seems to actually be helping with the arthritis issues too.10505625_10152531893746815_5633312240394115874_n

Posted on by Angela in disease, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Whole Food Leave a comment

Gluten-free on the run!

Superhero Sandy has been so kind to share more of her journey with us!!! My kudos go out to her for sticking to this journey!! It certainly isn’t easy!  Of note–she is already feeling better!!!  She has more energy and that is amazing!

Sandy shares:

“I think it’s time for a gluten-free update now. Lots has been happening around here lately, but through it all I’ve managed to stick to my new eating style. Sometimes when I’m lazy that means a piece of watermelon and a cheese stick for dinner, but most of the time I’m inspired enough to cook something decent. Those King Arthur muffins I made last night, and added blueberries to, were fabulous, and I’ve put most of them in the freezer for a quick breakfast bread or a snack of some kind. Given my experiences of the past week or so, I think I’ll be very happy to have them. I hope to figure out some more stuff I can have on hand to grab and go. A piece of fruit is great for that sort of thing, but sometimes you gotta have something “stick to your ribs” to go with it.

The hardest thing is being out running errands or keeping appointments and thinking “what do I do for lunch?” Last week, there were two full days when I drove an hour to attend awards day with my grandkids, hung out with them, took them to lunch, and then drove another hour to get home again. Under those circumstances it’s easy to stay on the gluten-free part of eating, but it’s harder to eat several small meals a day and keep your metabolism perking along at full speed. I didn’t manage that part so well. I took each kid to O’Charley’s for lunch, and I somehow managed to resist their dinner rolls while eating a salad with grilled chicken one day and some cedar-planked salmon the next. And broccoli. Not bad. But getting up early and rushing out to a 9 a.m. school program meant I had a gluten-free toaster pastry for breakfast one day and a banana the next and then nothing until the big lunch. And then nothing until I got home. Not good. But still gluten-free.

I don’t crave fast food so much as I crave the fast food experience. “Give me one of those, two of these,” and you pay and go sit down or drive off and eat it. Eating in a white tablecloth restaurant is simple. They serve salads and vegetables and meat, so all you have to avoid is the bread mostly and anything breaded and fried. And dessert.

Usually in the middle of the day, I’m not looking for a restaurant meal though. I’m looking for something fast, easy, and filling. I’ve found that I can stop at Panda Express and order steamed brown rice, some mixed vegetables and whatever I see that isn’t coated in breading and sweet sour sauce. They do have some teriyaki pork or chicken that is just meat with sauce that you apply yourself, so I think that’s pretty safe with the brown rice. You have to look for it though, and you have to ask for the steamed brown rice. In the one I go to most often, I find the teriyaki near the end of the line, where they keep the egg rolls and crab rangoon.

I’m also told that you can find good things at Mexican restaurants, particularly Chipotle Grill and Qdoba. I haven’t tried either of those yet though. I’ll study the menu online and see what they have. Speaking of Mexican, one of my lunch favorites around the house is one of those little individual packets of Wholly Guacamole, some pico de gallo from the produce department, and a little sour cream all piled together in a bowl with some Mission corn chips, which are gluten-free.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss 2 Comments

Getting Glutened—Episode 3

 

Thanks Sandy —for sharing more of your gluten free adventures with us!

“So last night, I got some cereal boxes mixed up and accidentally may have eaten some gluten. It was honey nut cheerios, but I wasn’t paying close attention and thought I picked up honey nut Chex. You’d think I might have noticed the difference in size and shape of the cereal in the bowl, but I had my head elsewhere and didn’t notice. (Some of you may have guesses as to where my head was, so I’d like to clear that up right now…it was in a book….that place my mother was always telling me to get it out of…turns out she may have been right.)

When I realized my error, I read the label and thought “Ah, that’s okay. This is mostly oats.” I chose to ignore the part at the bottom of the ingredients list that said “may contain wheat.”

I enjoyed my bedtime snack, read a little longer, and went to bed, thinking “that’s okay…not that big a deal…you probably won’t notice any difference.”

Until about 3:30 this morning when my guts woke me up with their cramping. Really? Really?! More evidence, I guess, that gluten-free is the path for me. I haven’t had that happen in a couple of weeks now.”05a903eecbbabcb6bd2e3d855edd80c7

 

Here are a few tips to recover from

getting

glutened!

1.  Cleanse your system quickly:  This includes hydration above and beyond your usual requirement of 1/2 your body weight in ounces.  A great way to hydrate and detox is to use coconut water –it also contains electrolytes that can be lost via vomiting or diarrhea (It’s nature’s Gatorade)

2.  Try some digestive enzymes:  they speed up the breakdown and absorption of nutrients.  Make sure you get one that contains the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase(DPP-IV) which specifically breaks down gluten

3.  Decrease inflammation with omega 3 fatty acids, ginger, or turmeric –these supplements all have fabulous anti-inflammatory qualities.  I take THIS

4.  Heal your gut using probiotics.  I would recommend doubling up on your probiotic (up to 100 billion units/day) for about a week after gluten exposure.  I take THIS

5.  Use bone broth that is high in glycine and proline.  The gelatin heals  the mucosal lining of the gi tract.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss Leave a comment

The Gluten Free Saga with Superhero Sandy

So if you following Sandy’s Gluten-Free Journey —here are her most recent thoughts.  (BTW–if you are further along in the diet–don’t be confused –we are still aiming at not doing a lot of grains or gluten-free items) For many of us–(including myself)– this is a journey to a new lifestyle that we are embarking on with baby steps!!!!  Keep your head in the game! (Geez I love Zac Efron and just watched High School Musical with Emma)

 

Gluten free breakfast. Scrambled eggs, orange, and cream of rice cooked cereal masquerading as toast. I'm out of grits, but I plan to remedy that soon. Cream of rice is okay as long as you pretend it's grits.

Gluten free breakfast. Scrambled eggs, orange, and cream of rice cooked cereal masquerading as toast. I’m out of grits, but I plan to remedy that soon. Cream of rice is okay as long as you pretend it’s grits.

So far, gluten free is not so bad. It’s easy to eat meat and vegetables and fruit and not eat any bread. The thing is, the easiest thing we ever eat is a sandwich. Grab some bread, throw some meat on it, maybe some cheese and lettuce, and off you go. And bread is what we Americans use to complete a meal, to make us feel full. We sort of use it to hold everything else together, whether in the form of a sandwich or a pie or a cake…it’s easy, hand held…grab and go.

But, I am here to tell you there are other ways to eat and be satisfied.I cooked up a bunch of rice and stuck it in the fridge so I can have some whenever I need more filling up than a piece of meat and some asparagus or carrots provides.

I’ve read all the advice everyone gave me…and man, I had no idea there were so many of you out there doing this. I got comments, private messages, emails, phone calls…everybody has an experience to relate. Most of the advice is great, and I plan to try much of it, especially the polenta/corn meal mush with eggs deal and the one to add some sour cream to gluten free baking mixes. But really, so far, I haven’t needed to eat any cake or brownies.

Some people told me that the first week you feel awful, but I have not found that to be true. I feel pretty darn good. Gluten free is good for my knees and general body aches, I think.

Other people seemed to indicate that they have a bad reaction just from one tiny little misstep. I’m doing this to get rid of inflammation, and I think I’m not going to have to be quite so religious about it as someone with celiac disease. Of course, I’m also taking a really good (expensive) probiotic twice a day, selenium, CoQ-10, and several other supplements, but my goal with all that is to eventually stop taking medications for pain and high blood pressure…or at least to cut back on the ones I take now. I can see improvement already too. It didn’t take long. I had my last gluten at noon on Monday, and every day since then, I’ve had less joint pain and just feel better.

I am doing all I can to avoid gluten, but I have to wonder if I really need to care all that much about “hidden gluten” in things like spaghetti sauce. I have read too that you can overdo fruit because it contains sugar, but please…I am doing myself a favor by eating fruit instead of candy, so let’s just not even go there. Not yet.

Look for further updates. My favorite comment so far: “I’ve only been gluten-free for a week, and already I’m annoying.” I know. I know. There is no saint like a reformed sinner, so if you don’t want to hear about my gluten-free journey, don’t read it.
Gluten free update and observations:

One week ago today, I had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. And that was the last time gluten has passed my lips.

I got all sorts of advice last week, and I’ve learned a lot on my own. Most importantly:

1. You gotta have something substantial to replace the bread in your diet. It doesn’t work to just leave off the bread; you (well, I) must find a replacement for it. This morning, for the first time in my life, I ate corn meal mush. It’s not bad browned in some butter and eaten with eggs. Grits, corn meal, rice cakes, rice, quinoa…there are lots of choices for carbs that don’t contain gluten. And you do need to eat some “fast” burning carbs.

2. I am trying to make sure each meal consists of a protein, a fast carb, and a slow carb. And I am eating about every two to three hours, trying to keep my metabolism burning at an even rate all day long.

3. There are lots of gluten-free cake, brownie, and baking mixes, some not so bad, but I don’t see the profit in replacing gluten with sugar. We all eat too much sugar, and besides, one of my goals is to lose some weight. So I can use those things but sparingly. I made some GF brownies. They were good. I ate one every night over the weekend. And then I cut them in pieces and put the rest in the freezer. They’re there if I need them, but I can’t go on eating them every day. (When I did eat them though, I had some low-fat frozen yogurt with them…I think this will be my emergency, gotta have something really good fall back item…and there they are…in the freezer.)

4. A dollop of sour cream added to any of those GF mixes really improves the flavor and texture of the end product. (Courtesy of Leslie Arcuri Zinn)

5. I got a lot of tips about “eat this, don’t eat that,” but I believe in making just one or two changes at a time, so I’m going to go ahead and eat fruit of all kinds, cheese, and yogurt. I am replacing the milk on cereal with almond milk, but for now anyway, I’m eating dairy products and sweet fruits.

6. I really do not know if it was the recent change in thyroid medication, the addition of selenium and CoQ 10, the switch to a more powerful probiotic, or the gluten-free diet, or maybe a combination of all those, but I have more energy. Lots more energy. So much energy that I have to be careful not to overdo it. I climbed three flights of stairs at the track Sunday and then went up to nearly the top row of seats after that. And I walked about five miles throughout the rest of that day. All that walking, and when I got home, I started right in cooking enchiladas for three hungry weightlifters.

7. I am sleeping better…maybe because I feel well enough during the day to get some exercise. Also, and this is huge. If I drop something, I don’t dread bending over to pick it up. I feel good. And my joints do not hurt. Maybe my muscles do after I do a lot of stuff, but the absence of joint pain is a miracle.

I think the best advice I can give anyone starting a gluten-free diet is be adaptable and be willing to try new things. I adapted when I made those enchiladas Sunday night. I made them with flour tortillas. Everybody else ate them up. I scraped some of the chicken and cheese filling out of a couple of them and ate it with some sour cream and guacamole on corn tortilla chips. I also have a half-dozen boiled eggs in my fridge for a snack when I need it. I have a big dish of rice I cooked ahead of time…I think of this as my loaf of bread…I can put anything on top of it or alongside it, and it’s a filling dish. I am eating corn meal mush and rice cakes, and I have lentil chips in my pantry…that’s me keeping an open mind about replacements for bread. So far, everything I’ve tried has been really good, so I’m going to eat some of those lentil chips with an open mind.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss Leave a comment