Guest Post: Brian Forester from Now Foods – Natural GF Options for Your Diet

Great Natural Foods To Incorporate Gluten-Free Choices Into Your Diet

So, you’ve decided to start incorporating more gluten-free choices into your meals. Great! And while that might require you to start rewriting your favorite recipes, there are plenty of naturally gluten-free foods that you can easily incorporate into your new diet without causing you to wrack your brain every time a meal comes around.
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Gluten is the protein found inherently in the endosperm of wheat, rye and barley—composed of two smaller proteins glutenin and gliadin. For people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, gluten can cause bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, pains and other ailments. Cutting gluten from your diet can relieve these symptoms, but as gluten—and many of the foods that contain gluten—offer nutritional values in protein, fiber and sugar, they need to be accounted for in your new diet. Luckily, there are many natural food solutions.

As gluten-free means avoiding products made with wheat, barley or rye, the bulk of your meal replacement is going to exist in your grains and breads, which can be tricky as many meals use these grains as a base. For natural, gluten-free options in this category, try unbleached, unprocessed rice (brown, wild or flour variants), buckwheat, almond flour, quinoa, flaxseed, tapioca, millet flour, soy, sorghum and finally, one of your biggest and best alternatives, corn and potatoes.

Corn and potatoes are likely to be your easiest transition from wheat, rye and barley as many grains—tortillas, breads, and pastas—are already widely available in corn and potato options.

Dairy will most of the time be gluten-free, although some varieties of cottage cheese, yogurt, cream and ice cream sometimes contain gluten additives. Blue cheese, unfortunately, does contain gluten. Always check the ingredients on the label to make sure there aren’t any gluten surprises.

Hummus is a fantastic naturally gluten-free food that can be worked either as a side or as an appetizer into almost any meal.

Luckily fruits and vegetables are all gluten-free, which you’ll likely be eating more of in order to make up for the loss of fibers and vitamins found in gluten products. Fresh fruits and vegetables will also give you natural sugar alternatives in addition to being gluten free; supplying your body with better and more efficient energy reserves.

Meat, too, is gluten-free unless breaded—like fried wings, chicken parmesan or meatloaf; all dry beans are gluten-free as well. Thankfully,there are many great recipes out there to make gluten-free versions of classic dishes. Check out this recipe for a delicious, gluten-free meatloaf http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/entrees/r/glutenfreemeatloafrecipe.htm.

Desserts are going to be one of your hardest substitutes as so many pastries and treats contain gluten. Fruits are a great natural dessert, but if you need to have something a little more exciting you can use butter, margarine, peanut oil or butter and even olive oil—which offers great opportunities for infusing flavors. Try putting blood orange-infused olive oil on a salad with mandarin oranges and cocoa-roasted nuts and tell me it’s not a dessert!
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Going gluten-free doesn’t mean quarantining yourself off from the rest of the eating population; it simply means making some key substitutions and refraining from foods that, as it happens, are naturally not recommended as part of a balanced diet (i.e. fried foods, processed sugars and flour, and many desserts).

About the Author:
Brian Forester is a health and wellness writer in the Chicago area. It is his goal to help people learn more about healthy natural foods and incorporate them into their diets. Companies like Now Foods offer healthy options to improve wellness for everyone with NOW Personal Care.

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Is Rice Gluten Free?

For those of us that have been gluten free for a while, this seems like an obvious question. However, I want to make sure this blog helps everyone – especially the newly diagnosed – so I’m adding in some of the basics.

I get asked all the time by non-celiacers about different grains to see if I can eat them or not. Very commonly I get the question, “Can you eat rice?” Or, “Is rice gluten free?”

I remember when I was first diagnosed, when I started to hear what gluten was, I had the same thoughts. This also led to thoughts/questions about corn, potatoes, quinoa, spelt and many more. I will have more posts about those grains (and others) soon.

In short, yes, rice is gluten free. You are safe eating it, but watch out for accidental cross contamination. You done want to boil rice in a pot that just had whole wheat pasta or something. And, traditional soy sauce is not gluten free (neither is teriyaki sauce – which is comprised of soy sauce and other ingredients) but there are alternatives. I use gluten free tamari and can’t tell the difference. It is available at almost any grocery store in the Asian foods section.

So, eat all the rice you want and watch out with eating in Asian restaurants (because of the soy sauce). It isn’t traditional Chinese food, but PF Changs is a great option for gluten free. They use separate bowls and plates and cook with different pots and pans – gluten free shrimp fried rice is one of my favorites! They have complete meal options and a large gf menu.

Do you have any gluten free recipes using rice that you love?

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Mayo Clinic Tells About a Pill That Could Help Celiacs Consume Gluten

If you have celiac disease, you know that there is no magic pill you can take that will allow you to eat gluten without damaging your intestines. At least, not yet

Here is a video that just came out from the Mayo Clinic (a little slow and dry…but considering the source that makes sense) about a recent study on Larazotide Acetate – a pill that could help people with celiac disease consume gluten.

What do you think? Would you eat gluten again if there was a pill that came available? Or, would you stay gluten free?

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Filed under Changes, Medical Tests, Nutrition, What is Celiac Disease?

Gluten Free Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

In honor of the SlimKicker contest going on in this blog to win a slow cooker I thought I’d post today about a recipe for BBQ chicken I made in my crock pot a couple days ago. It’s super easy and really good. I made more chicken than we needed and I’ve used it in two other yummy recipes I made up since then (future posts coming soon!)

So, here is the recipe:
– Place 4-6 chicken breasts (frozen is ok) in the bottom of your crock pot or slow cooker.
– In a bowl, mix1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar), 1 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp garlic powder.
– Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Easy peasy! We ate them on some premade GF ciabatta rolls, with a side of veggies, but they would be great just alone with a side of veggies and potatoes or something. I found the chicken was a bit spicy, so if you don’t like spice, I’d do a half tsp of the chili flakes.

For the other recipes I used with the leftovers, shred the leftover chicken using two forks and place it in the fridge. Next – BBQ ranch chicken pizza!

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SlimKicker Contest: Win a Slow Cooker!

It’s official – the first contest on My Celiac Life is underway!

This contest is courtesy of SlimKicker – a super cool app/site that helps you lose weight and get healthy one challenge at a time. You pick a challenge – like no snacks after dinner or walking 10 minutes a day – and earn points when you meet each goal.

So, how do you win this little contest and what is up for grabs?

All you have to do is suggest some new challenges. After a week they will pick the best one and ship out the prize! (US entries only for shipping reasons. Sorry guys!)

You make your suggestion via comments on this blog post.

What can you win? This awesome slow cooker. A slow cooker is one of my best friends in the kitchen. Will this slow cooker be your new best friend?

Leave your comments now – contest ends at midnight (Pacific) on Tuesday, April 16th.

Good luck!

SlimKicker also has lots of promo codes such as this page with Bowflex promotional codes.

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Recipe: Easy, Delicious, Flourless Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

So, oatmeal raisin cookies were my absolute favorite before my diagnosis. I’ve tried to make a few types with replacement flours and they just never taste right. Bob’s Red Mill is good for oats, but that GF flour has a brutal taste when it comes to baking.
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One day, I was really craving the oatmeal raisin cookies and I started scouring the internet for options. Enter: Chocolate Covered Katie. This girl is a genius and the flourless oatmeal raisin cookie recipe is to die for. Some of its best features:
1) It is incredibly easy to make. There are only 8 ingredients.
2) It is super quick! The time from “Man, I wish I had a cookie.” to “Mmmmm, I’m enjoying this delicious cookie!” is about 15 minutes. You can’t beat that.
3) No eggs in the batter – so you can glom on the cookie dough without fear!
4) Can easily be made with no dairy (sub water for milk) and still be delicious.

I have found that I need to cook a bit longer than her recipe says, 10 minutes or so, but just test your own oven to see what works. These are seriously amazing and worth trying today. And, for the record, I used Bob’s GF oats for this recipe. 🙂

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Easter Chex Mix Recipe

Chex has posted a recipe to their Facebook page for an Easter mix! The original recipe is almost gluten free. Just substitute the Honey Nut Cheerios (not GF) with Honey Nut Chex (GF) and you’re good to go! Also, be sure to read the packaging on your chocolate candy closely to ensure it is gluten free.

Here is the original recipe from Chex. Enjoy it and happy Easter!

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