Making Gluten Free Easy and Painless!

Making Gluten Free Easy and Painless!

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Eating Healthy and Gluten Free on a Budget.

Welcome to the first post in a series to come of beginning to eat gluten free, whole healthy foods and on a budget. Say what?! Did you read that right?  Healthy and Gluten Free ON A BUDGET!  You got it!  This is my get-you-started-round-up post of some of my favorite gluten free products that make transitioning to gluten free, painless and tasty.  I will start with breaking it into sections so it will be super easy to browse!

 

I highly reccommend an account with Thrive Market.  Use this link and you will get a discount on your first 3 orders. If you don’t have a grocery store locally that carries specialty items, then Thrive is your place.  It’s an online health food store that offers discounted items because they have no overhead.  You can find so many items much cheaper here than at a brick and mortar store.  If you bundle it with Ibotta then you will get even better deals as you will earn cash back on your purchases.

 

Let’s start with things that you usually think will taste awful as gluten free.

 

For FAST and easy Gluten-free baking:

 

I usually use Pamela’s gluten free pancake and baking mix for my flour of choice.

 

If you want really good pancakes that are paleo and grain free then I use Birch Benders paleo pancake mix and Simple Mills pancake and waffle mix.  Both are delicious and if you want to add a kick to them then add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of unsweetened organic apple sauce and some pumpkin spice, or 1/4 cup of pumpkin and some cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  You may need to add a bit more dry mix or reduce the amount of water it calls for.  I actually use Ripple (you will read about this further down in this post) in mine because it makes them really fluffy and adds more protein and I add an egg even though it doesn’t call for it.  It’s great for you and adds some vitamin A and protein.

 

Do you need good chocolate chips?  Well, I use Lily’s dark chocolate chips sweetened with stevia.  You would never know they don’t have sugar in them.  Go bake some delicious chocolate chip cookies. Or you can always use the baking bar as well. Recipe coming soon!

 

About Ripple: You may be thinking, “What in the name of strangeness is Ripple!??”  Well, it’s my personal favorite dairy free milk.  It is soy free, has twice as much calcium as cows milk and 8 grams of protein per 8 oz and is lower in sugar.  It’s quite delicious. 

If you want my honest opinion, then get rid of cows milk immediately.  It’s really not that good for you and has very little nutritional content after it’s been pasteurized, and even if it says on the carton no hormones added, or hormone free, it’s not.  Cow’s are lactating mother’s.  They are releasing hormones as they produce the milk.  Also the hormones that they are mostly releasing are potentially harmful hormones for us.  This is because most lactating cows on factory farms are grieving mothers because their babies have been taken from them.  I will not sugar coat this.  Factory farming is harsh and so cruel.  It is certainly not the way God intended. 

So, Ripple on people, and drink something healthy if you need a milk product!  However, if you refuse to give up cows milk, and can get local, grass fed/pastured, raw milk then go for it. . . if your brave enough to drink raw milk! There does tend to be a calming affect that raw pastured dairy can have on a person.  It’s just that in my opinion as a holistic nutritional health coach, you can easily live without it and not suffer any consequences, AND even benefit from giving it up. Therefore, Ripple is our go-to milk.

Okay, so I went down a rabbit hole with my love for Ripple, and now back to gluten free eats!

 

Gluten free crackers and chips:

 

Yes, these are considered processed foods, but there are some that are minimally processed and have nothing harmful in them.  In reality, you can’t avoid processed foods 100%, let’s be real here.  Most of us are crazy busy moms, with multiple children and some of us are homeschool moms, some work outside the home, and some have really small children that make you so tired that it feels like your life juice has been sucked right out of your brain leaving you barley able to think much less speak in full sentences.  But, don’t let anyone take away your super mom label just because you feed your child the occasional processed food (just make sure it’s only occasional and doesn’t have any of the “STAY AWAY FROM” ingredients).

On to snacks- we eat Simple Mills crackers that are made from almond flour.  They taste delicious and not like cardboard.  They do however, get stale very fast and you will need to put then in a resealable bag immediately after opening.  Add a dab of almond butter in the middle and they are delicious or eat them with chicken salad(recipe coming soon).  I even eat them in soup because the plain ones taste like a saltine crackers or those little oyster crackers I used to eat when I was little.  I used to love to bite them a certain way and they would split open just like an oyster.  Anyone remember those?

 

I vowed to you that I would never suggest a food that tastes bad, and I won’t. Ever.

 

I eat ONLY great tasting food, so trust me on my suggestions. Do you love doritos? Well Paqui chips are a much better for you version of doritos. They are great in chili as well!  They come in several flavors and all are delicious if you love chips or are a dorito fan.

 

If you are not only gluten free, but grain free as well, then these delicious chips are THE chips.  SO SO GOOD!  I love them!  They are called Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips, and they come in several flavors!

 

Glutino makes fabulous pretzels!  They are very high in carbs so watch that, but if you NEED a pretzel, that is my go to pretzel. They are great dipped in lily’s dark chocolate melted with a tbsp of coconut oil to make a healthy chocolate shell.

 

We also love Made Good granola packs.  They are perfect for on the go and actually have some vegetable powder in them, but I’m not sure how much benefit it can be in that small amount. That’s about all I can think of off the top of my head for crackers and chips that we eat.  We really don’t eat many chips/crackers at all.

 

Breakfast foods quick:

 

One go to for us is Glutino Multigrain English muffins. We eat them with an omelette egg with mushrooms and micro-greens.

Another great option is O’Doughs gluten free bagel thins with salba chia. These are fabulous as well and we usually make an omelet, cheese free (I hate cheese in my eggs!) and top with fresh greens, usually broccoli micro-greens that I order locally from a hydroponic farm around the corner from us. I highly recommend looking for local fresh greens that are organic.  If you are local you can order from Circle A farms.  They will even deliver!

In the summer we eat greek yogurt parfait using Siggis or Icelandic yogurt, whichever I have an ibotta rebate for and I mix one container of yogurt with one container of cocowhip (NOT the LIGHT, I get full fat), which is a dairy free very low sugar whip cream.  I eat a few spoonfuls with fresh berries and some sprouted pumpkin seeds (this isn’t the exact ones I buy but the same brand) or my homemade power cookie bites(recipe coming soon!) crumbled up on top.

 

I also like to have a Humm Kombucha to start my day at least every other day. They are filled with probiotics, b12, folate, thiamin, and b6.  It powers me through my day!

 

Lunch:

 

We graze for lunch usually.  In the summer I eat a salad most days with fresh greens, avocado, pumpkin seeds or almonds, berries and an olive oil and white balsamic vinegarette.

 

We also eat Golden Platter gluten free organic chicken nuggets that we get from Costco and dip them in guacamole.  My kids really like Costco’s frozen gluten free pizza for a quick no brainer fast lunch.  Other than that, they eat apples and almond or peanut butter, smoothies with frozen organic berries, some kind of greens and either stevia or honey to sweeten.  They love baked sweet potatoes with a dab of butter, raw honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon and coconut sugar.

 

I try to keep chicken salad in the fridge or egg salad.  We also will fix some Brazi bites which are gluten free pizza bread bites. I buy these at Sprouts Farmers Market (Where I do 90% of our regular grocery shoppingn) or Costco. They snack on raw almonds and clementines or some kind of fruit.

 

We also make smoothies quite often with fresh greens of some kind, cucumbers, frozen organic wild blueberries and/or frozen or fresh strawberries, raspberries or blackberries depending on the season,  frozen dragon fruit, and I sweeten it with organic pitted dates and a bit of stevia.   Banana’s with dark chocolate almond butter spread on top is also a big favorite as well.  We use Maranatha for the dark choc. almond butter.

 

Dinner Favorites:

 

Most kids favorites are usually chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti or some kind of pasta.

 

I almost always cook everything homemade so for the usual kid favorites here’s what I substitute.  Full recipes coming soon.

 

If we have pasta our favorite would be Explore Cuisine red lentil or edamame pastas.  You would NEVER know the red lentil pasta is gluten free.  My kids love the lentil pasta, as do my nieces and nephews.  My husband loves both the lentil and the edamame spaghetti pasta and that speaks volumes.  Those pastas are filled with protein and are gluten free.  It takes much less of this pasta than regular pasta because it is so filling.

 

If my kids want anything like homemade chicken nuggets, I use unsweetened shredded coconut and Ians gluten free panko.

 

For Macaroni and cheese we use the red lentil pasta by Explore Cuisine and coconut milk or ripple instead of cows milk. The recipe coming soon!

 

For Desserts

 

We don’t eat dessert often and certainly not every night. But if they are going to have dessert I prefer it to be the least of the evils. Meaning less sugar and preferably not loaded with carbs.

 

My kids love ice cream in a cone, so we get gluten free ice cream cones and we eat Nada Moo dairy free ice cream.  It is THE STUFF!  Seriously its an addiction.  I mean the snickerdoodle has actual cookie dough pieces in it and they are gluten free!  It’s not often someone who is gluten free can find cookie dough that tastes awesome.

 

I also make cookies quite often from scratch that are made with almond butter.  No flour, no cane sugar.  They are super!  I make double dark chocolate, chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle. These recipes are also coming soon!  Keep coming back if you want the recipes!

One of my guilty pleasures is Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark.  I usually purchase mine at costco or this brand from Thrive Market.

 

Thank you for being patient as I get this blog up and running!  It is taking lots of time getting the recipes photographed, tested, tested again, and recorded.  They will be coming sooner or later though!

Eat to Live, for real and Flu Remedies

Eat to Live, for real and Flu Remedies

Some Secrets You DO NOT Want to Miss

Afternoon, morning, evening!  Whatever time it is that you are reading this, hello!  I promised that I would blog about how to bullet proof your immune system and all natural ways to make sure the FLU doesn’t attack you or those you love!

Whoofers!  Can you believe just how much sickness is going around?  It makes my head spin; and for some you it’s what a germaphobe’s nightmares are made of!  Mine, however are made of large hairy spiders, and scorpions, and bad nutrition(imagine that!?).  *shiver!*  I know, the last one is pretty lame.  But, it’s my passion and truth be told, I do fear things that I see in the grocery stores that are considered food!! I have my opinions on why the flu and other illnesses are so rampant right now.  Everyone may not agree and that’s okay.  But, the quality of the food you eat affects your immune response so very much!

Remember this: If you eat food made by people wearing white coats and hair nets in a factory warehouse, expect to see many other people that wear white coats and stethoscopes.

“Fact for the day:  99% of your ailments come from your gut.  Your gut is your second brain and regulates so much more than just digestion!”

Bullet proof your immune system:

Sugar

1. Cut way back on anything with sugar!  This includes, cane sugar, cane syrup, high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. Sugar lowers the immune system response and makes your body super acidic.  This makes you more susceptible to infections and viruses. If you need something sweet try using unrefined coconut palm sugar(tastes like brown sugar and is 1 to 1 baking substitute), or 100% pure maple syrup, or stevia to use as a sweetener.

Glorious Greens

2. Eat twice as many greens as you do fruits.

Red Meat and Pork

3. If you are a meat eater limit your red meat and pork intake, especially during the months where people seem to get sick more often. These foods are hard to digest and can cause inflammation in your body.

Vitamin D and C

4. Up your Vitamin D from your regular daily intake starting in September and through March. People generally get less sunshine in those months than the summer months causing our Vitamin D to be lower. The average person should have at LEAST 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 a day and more if you don’t get any sunlight or are feeling depressed, anxious or it’s flu season.  Vitamin C is vitally important as well.  It is very hard to overdose on Vitamin C, so load up!  Take extra and you will be amazed at how wonderful you feel!

Snoozing

5. Sleep at least 8 hours.  Not 6, not 4, not 7.75, but 8-9 if you are an adult.  Your children need upwards of 10-12 hours, even teens because their bodies are growing rapidly and that takes energy as well.

Soda

6. Do NOT drink soda.  I think I saw some eye rolls and heard a few groans.  But, come on people!  Wake up! This really makes your immune system have to work super hard.  Not only has the soda been sitting in a can, but it also has so much sugar it shocks your pancreas and lowers your immune response to a crawl.  If you need the carbonation I will post about kinds of soda that aren’t as terrible but still not the best thing.  Or better yet, drink a Humm Kombucha, it’s carbonated and delicious!

Fermented Veggies

7. Eat some kind of fermented veggies.  I personally hate fermented carrots, but love Bubbies Saurkraut.  This keeps your gut flora really happy!!

Kombucha!

8. Drink kombucha and take a probiotic daily.  Every single day, take a probiotic; preferably the ones in the refrigerated section.  I will post my favorites in my round up post so you can see what we love and use regularly.

Oil of Wild Oregano

9. Oil of wild oregano will boost your immune system and is also one of the most potent antiviral, antibiotic, and anti fungal remedies out there.  You can take these in capsules (especially as a preventative during flu season!) or you can get drops that are already mixed with olive oil and put it under your tongue(not for faint of heart).  Know that this is a hot oil, and it feels as if you consumed a jalapeño or something hot like that.  However, my husband and I, and all three of our kids are fine with a few drops in honey or just mixed with a sip of water.  I find that the drops seem to work faster if you need relief fast or if you are already fighting an invasion on your immune system. (If you are pregnant please consult your OB or just don’t take oil of oregano as this is too powerful for safe consumption while growing a human unless you are given the OK by your OB).

Juice

10. Cut way back on drinking juice.  Orange juice has the same amount of sugar as a coke.  Even though it is natural sugar, your body still doesn’t know what to do with that much sugar and it can not convert all of that into usable energy.

It’s time to eat to live!  For real!  The flu this year is no joke!  So eat to live and eat good, healthy, whole, fresh, unprocessed food!  You are what you eat.  Are you healthy?  Is your immune system up to par!?

*I am not a medical doctor, nor is my information meant to replace your doctor.

What Is Gluten and Why I Had to Eliminate It.

What Is Gluten and Why I Had to Eliminate It.

My adventures of going gluten free and why I had to do it.

 

What is gluten anyway? Well, it hasn’t always been horrible.  But, gluten is a mix of two protiens that are present in wheat and many other grains.  If you want to get technical, they are called gliadin and glutenin. It can be found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, kamut, and einkorn), rye, and barley. It is responsible for the stretchy, elastic texture of dough.  It is like glue; it helps foods maintain thier shape.  This is the number one thing in the american diet that causes the most sensitivites, food related allergies, and inflammatory auto-immune diseases.

Going gluten free was definitely NOT an easy task at first. Bread. Mercy, I loved bread!  Good bread!  I really think I probably could have lived off of bread. I would have been totally fine to eat bread for every single meal.  I looked forward to eating at restaurants that served complimentary bottomless bread baskets; and to be honest, my mouth still waters thinking about some of it. I honestly think I may have been addicted to bread at one point in my life. I have always eaten quite reasonably in my life and preferred to eat somewhat healthy, but bread was my weakness.

After my son was born I had a whole big host of health issues that popped up and wouldn’t go away.

My issues ranged from horrendous anxiety, hives, awful migraines, achy body parts and horrible weird reactions to nuts or gluten. So, first I realized I had become allergic to most nuts. The worst ones were peanuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans.  Right as I started liking mixed nuts, I find out I can’t eat them.  I never liked eating nuts growing up, except for my peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I ate for lunch every single day at school.

After my son was born, I tried mixed nuts as a snack and I actually liked them!  Not for long though, because they certainly did NOT like me back!  I developed strange sensations after eating them, a headache that would knock out a dragon, tingling in my limbs, extreme neck pain.  I felt horrible after eating them.  The migraine pain was nearly unbearable. The migraines I was having caused me not to be able to turn my head because my neck felt swollen and painful.  So, I stopped the nuts after trying a few times to eat them thinking it was just coincidence, unfortunately it was not; and thank goodness I didn’t end up with anaphylaxis!

After much research and trial and error I discovered it wasn’t only nuts that bothered me but wheat and gluten.  I honestly just never really felt super wonderful.  I had no energy, which I thought was normal for a new mom. I was just blah and achy and fighting off illnesses all the time it seemed. I felt like I was 90 years old most of time! News alert, if you are 89 and under and you feel like you’re 90, change something because it’s not normal!  Something always hurt; I was achy, had migraines (not as bad as when I would eat nuts, but still a migraine), and was itchy. I had weird fluid filled bumps under my skin that was diagnosed as dyshidrotic eczema!  Sometimes I would have all out hives all over me and I would be one big itch. Misery.

Well, after doctors didn’t know why I felt the way was feeling, I decided to give it a go, and give up wheat and gluten. Guess what?!  My headaches subsided, my aches went away, my weird eczema went away and my anxiety lessened!

Oh boy, at the learning curve I had ahead of me.

  • I had to learn to cook gluten free and make it taste good.
  • I needed to learn to cook gluten free and have no one know that it was gluten free.
  • Not only that, but I needed to learn to be able to fit the gluten free food that was priced as if it were plated in platinum into our young family budget.

That’s exactly what I set out to do. The next few years were full of trial and error, yucky food experiments, lots of learning, and some gagging over horrible tasting gluten free cardboard, I mean food. I also learned that just eating gluten free doesn’t make it healthy! Not everyone needs to eat gluten free, as it doesn’t bother some people. More than 80% of the population actually have an intolerance to gluten and they don’t even know.

One thing to keep in mind, is that our food sources have changed drastically, our soil is depleted of most nutrients, the chemicals sprayed on our food is toxic; there’s cross contamination issues between farms, and the GMO’s. All of that was not intended for our bodies to digest.

Everyone needs to cut down on the kinds of gluten and the amount of gluten they are eating as well as a host of other things.  But we will save that for another post. Many people have no idea that their body isn’t processing/digesting the gluten as it should; and they probably don’t even realize they feel bad because it’s become normal.

If you think you need to try being gluten free, I can help you! I LOVE food. Good food. I consider myself “a foodie.”  Eventually, I will be putting all of my family’s favorite recipes on here for all to try out if you are gluten free or going gluten free or even if you aren’t gluten free. All of the recipes you will find on this blog will be nutritionally packed, extremely tasty and kid approved!  If you don’t see them yet, stay tuned. . . they are coming shortly!  Well, eventually.  I’m still working on photographing the recipes and testing them to make sure they are perfect!

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