If you're like me...you can't eat gluten, and for a long time only thought about what you "CAN'T" eat. I am here to show you how to focus on what you CAN eat... making gluten-intolerance work FOR YOU and turn you into the healthiest person alive!! I am seeing it work for me, and if I can help just one person, it will be worth it! If you follow this diet plan, I promise you a very happy, healthy life!
THE BASICS : LIVING WITHOUT BREAD
Living without most breads, cereals, and pastas, which are the foundation of our modern diet, can be challenging! If you're like me, you still get cravings when you walk past the do-nut isle or see freshly baked muffins. Here's the deal: GRAINS are a necessary part of our diet. The B-VITAMINS found in grains are ESSENTIAL for good mental and physical functioning. So what the heck does a CELIAC do? Well, good news!!! there are PLENTY of Gluten-Free grains out there packed with the vitamins we need. You just have to make sure to choose the right ones! For me... it's all about BROWN RICE PASTA. I eat this stuff just about every day... with my favorite Prego Sauce (also GF!) and some parmesan cheese. Mmmm Mmmmm Good! And healthy for your waistline :-)
When I want to splurge on something REALLY good... that's quick and easy.... I usually go for something like CONTE'S PASTA------>(Check it out here!) Their RAVIOLI is my absolute favorite. 5 minutes in the microwave.... and then I'm in heaven.. My mouth is watering right now thinking about it. haha. CHECK OUT THEIR PASTA! I get mine at Whole Foods..
Now on to GF Breads....Thank goodness for GLUTEN-FREE ENRICHED BREAD PRODUCTS! I have tried MANY different kinds of Gluten-free breads / pastas / cereals, but nothing can compare to the nutrition found in KINNIKINNICK products. And they taste pretty good too! My favorite product of theirs is the ENGLISH MUFFINS. They are very high in B Vitamins, which is difficult to find with a lot of Gluten-Free foods. I love toasting them in the oven for 5 min or so and making them into little pizzas or a PB and J sandwich. Very good, and again... very high in the NUTRIENTS people with CELIAC need DAILY!Go to www.kinnikinnick.com and find a natural foods store near you that carries this brand. Trust me, you will love their products!
EAT THOSE VEGGIES
Fruits and Veggies are an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PART of a Celiac Diet. Since we are living with an IMMUNE SYSTEM DISORDER...the anti-oxidants and vitamins in fruits and veggies are essential for our well-being. Eat a variety of greens... and espcially one super food... SPINACH. Here's why:
SPINACH is a DOCUMENTED SUPER FOOD! Why? Because it's got 500 % of the amount of Vitamin K our body needs daily...and CELIACS are espcially deficient in Vitamin K. I was horribly anemic and was told I needed a lot more leafy greens, especially spinach. After just two days...I could tell an obvious differece in the way I felt. Popye was a smart man!
In addition... I HIGHLY recommend eating BROCCOLI and PEPPERS daily. They are both low-sugar, relatively inexpensive veggies that are SO good for you. I eat Peppers like apples almost every day. (I know weird right?) But it's actually really good! And so good for you. Fruits are important in our diet as well to get those natural sugars and certain vitamins... but VEGGIES are even more important! EAT THOSE GREENS... EVERYDAY! And I promise you you'll see a difference in the way you feel.
A deficiency in Vitamin B 12 is one of the main reasons for the symptoms of Celiac Disease: Depression, fatigue, tiredness, dizziness, anemia. I promise you if you make a conscious effort to get lots of B12-rich foods, you will feel and look much healthier! Sources of B12 are : Beef, Eggs, Fortified Cereals ( which can be hard to find Gluten-free, but they're out there ) ... and Salmon. In addition, some health food stores (and doctors) offer B-12 shots. I did these every week when I lived in the San Diego area. They give you SUCH an amazing boost of energy! Take advantage of them if you can!
Eat your eggs! (particularly EGG WHITES). As mentioned, B12 and IRON are very important to those with CELIAC. Eggs are a very healthy, easy way to make sure you're getting enough of both. So instead of gluten-free carboard tasting cereal for breakfast, scramble em, boil em, poach, or however you like them... but eat your eggs! If you're eating 3 or more a day, make sure to throw out one or two of the yolks. Egg whites are the best source of protein we can eat because our bodies absorb %100 of it! Eat your eggs weekly if not daily... and you'll reap the health benefits.
Ooohhhhhhh yeah. We love meat. Don't forget that animal proteins are a very important part of a healthy CELIAC diet. Red meat, such as hamburger or steak provides B12 and Iron, and a good helping of protien. And thank goodness In-N-Out protein style (breadless) burgers are safe for CELIACS. So it's ok to indulge in some fast food once in a while! (ok I admit, I eat those about 4 times a week!)
Fish is extremely important as well. In Japan the average age people live to is higher than any other country...and why??? FISH! The omega 3's in fish are said to be so good for you that if you eat a small portion of fish 2-3 times per week, you are certain to increase your lifespan by many years! So I know, most people don't looove fish... but you can handle a little salmon every now and then. And it will be worth the much needed health benefits. SUSHI rocks too... just make sure you ask the cooks for NO soy sauce! (another hidden source of the evil Gluten).
You better believe it! There are a variety of gluten-free cakes and other desserts. Again, my fav. which I highly recommend is the chocolate cake from Whole Foods. It's more than worth the time it takes to bake. = ) There are of course, Gluten-free cookbooks out there...but just remember it's better (and healthier) to keep it simple, and only in MODERATION. These kinds of desserts should be for special occasions. Too much sugar breaks down the B Vitamins which are difficult for CELIACS to absorb. So MODERATION is the key!! Not to mention it will help you stay fitting into those skinny jeans. = ) Also FYI = WENDY'S FROSTIES are Gluten Free. When I need a quick fix... they are the perfect solution.
So folks, as you can see.... Gluten Free WORKS! It's all about keeping it simple. Don't fall for those processed, fattening gluten-free muffins and toaster waffles you see in the stores. DON'T spend 9 bucks on a loaf of un-enriched bread that's going to do absolutely NOTHING for your health. Going GLUTEN-FREE is all about a lifestlye change! We all want to feel and LOOK great... right? So eat the foods that are going to do that for you. EAT ORGANIC! Focus on VEGGIES first... protein second... then Gluten Free HEALTHY GRAINS. (Such as brown rice.) Then allow yourself to splurge once in a while...because you deserve it! As you follow these guidelines, you'll be naturally thinner and so much healthier and happier!