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Archive for the ‘Gluten-Free diet’ Category

Roasted Vegetable Bean Salad

In Autoimmune disease, Fighting Cancer, Gluten-Free diet, Meal Ideas, Recipes, Vegetarian on October 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

roast veg bean salad 1 cropJust because fresh, summer vegetable season is drawing to a close does not mean you have to stop eating them!  Vegetables of all shapes, sizes and colors provide an abundance of nutrition, are naturally low-calorie, loaded with antioxidants for fighting disease and inflammation, and fill a hungry tummy for an extended period of time (thank you, fiber!).  Whether you are watching your waistline, trying to prevent cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, or managing inflammatory autoimmune conditions, such as scleroderma, lupus and multiple sclerosis, this salad is a healthy addition to your eating plan.  It is compatible with vegan and gluten-free lifestyles as well.  Some of the ingredients are available fresh all year round whereas others will be found in your grocer’s freezer during the off season (which are equally nutritious and healthful).  This tasty and refreshing salad makes an excellent pack-n-go lunch choice or a light meal to share among friends.  The recipe as outlined below makes three generous servings containing 260 calories, 20 grams of carb, 16 grams fat (only 2 grams saturated…nice!), 8 grams fiber and 8 grams of protein.   Enjoy!

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup of peeled fresh or frozen edamame (green soybeans); steam frozen in microwave 4-5 minutes

1 cup fresh or frozen corn, steamed in microwave 3-5 minutes (cut fresh off cob)

2 cups fresh or frozen thin green beans, washed and cut into pieces (blanch fresh beans in boiling water for 90 seconds; steam frozen beans in microwave 3-4 minutes)

1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

1 orange and 1 yellow bell pepper sliced into 1-inch pieces  (organic is best)

10-15 large fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons (this will serve as primary leafy green)

Dressing Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp. honey

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Preparation Instructions:

1.  Prep edamame, corn and green beans as described above.

2.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine sliced peppers and tomatoes in small amount of olive oil and spread in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment or foil coated with cooking spray.  Roast for 15 minutes (until blistered), remove vegetables from oven and roasting pan, and place on new foil for 10 minutes to cool.

3.  Combine all cooled vegetables into large mixing bowl:  corn, edamame, green beans, roasted peppers, tomatoes and basil ribbons.

4.  Whisk together dressing ingredients in a smaller bowl and toss with vegetables.

5.  Chill at least 2 hours before serving to allow for flavor enhancement.

6.  Serve with warm bread, as desired.

Would you like more healthy recipe suggestions?  Interested in learning realistic strategies for creating a balanced lifestyle to meet your individual health needs?  Consider ordering the second edition of my book,  “You Gotta Eat!” at www.thenuttynutritionist.com.  Eat well!  Feel well!

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Pumpkin Custard

In Gluten-Free diet, Holiday Eating Strategies, Recipes on November 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM

By request, I am sharing a tasty, tried-and-true recipe for a healthier alternative to pumpkin pie.  This modified version of the traditional favorite is significantly lower in fat, carbohydrates, and calories–making it a smart choice for people with diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, as well as those trying to prevent weight gain over the prolonged feeding-frenzy that is the holiday season!  And, it is also gluten-free, so those with celiac sprue and gluten intolerance may even indulge in this tasty treat.

The pumpkin custard recipe outlined below uses a standard 9-inch glass pie plate, and consists of 6 servings.  Nutritionally, a 1/6 slice of this recipe contains a mere 120 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 20 grams of carbohydrate, and, as mentioned above, is gluten-free.  One-sixth of a traditional pumpkin pie contains approximately 425 calories, 19 grams of total fat, and 53 grams of carbohydrates—essentially a whole meal’s worth for someone desiring to limit calories and/or dramatic surges in blood sugar.   Even if you plan to serve a traditional pie at your upcoming dinner party, adding this pumpkin custard as an alternative will certainly be appreciated by your guests with specific dietary needs.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree

1/4 cup apple juice

3 egg whites, lightly beaten

12 oz. can evaporated skim milk

1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup unpacked brown sugar

Preparation:

1.  pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

2.  combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly

3.  prepare 9-inch glass pie plate using non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar

3.  pour mixture into prepared pie plate

4.  bake for 35-45 minutes, or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean

I wish you all a happy and joyous holiday season!  Live well!  Feel well!

Linda 🙂

The Myths Surrounding “Gluten-Free” Foods

In Gluten-Free diet, Trends, Weight Loss on June 30, 2011 at 9:36 AM

I have been ask to discuss the health value of following a gluten-free diet for weight loss and improved overall well-being.  As a result of all the media hype surrounding gluten-free foods, many people mistakenly believe that such foods are automatically healthier for them.  Gluten, a naturally occurring protein in wheat, rye and barley, is essentially being blamed for making us fat.  Are you kidding me?  While it is true that we are eating gluten at high levels in breads, baked goods, and pasta, we cannot forget that it is just as easy to indulge in naturally gluten-free tortilla chips and salsa when visiting a Mexican restaurant….is that a healthy choice?  Food manufacturers and restaurants are hopping on this bandwagon and going out of their way to generate gluten-free foods and menu choices to entice consumers into thinking they are making  healthier choices, while raising profit margins.   Don’t fall victim to this ubiquitous scam.

Please ignore the idea that avoiding gluten will make you lose weight.  The notion that a gluten-free diet is automatically healthier can be a big mistake.  Many people can just as easily gain weight following a “Gluten Free Diet” because so many gluten-free products marketed today contain an abundance of refined starch, sugar, and fat.  A gluten-free cookie is still a cookie—it is just not made with our traditional refined wheat flour, but refined rice flour or potato flour instead…  How about tortilla chips, potato chips, and French fries?  Corn and potatoes are naturally gluten-free, but what about all the added fat and calories that are added during processing?  If you eat a large bag of potato chips each week while watching Dancing with the Stars, you will gain weight for sure, gluten-free or not.  Weight control still boils down to total calorie intake, whether that be from starches, sugars, proteins, or fats.  Gluten-free DOES NOT mean low-calorie.

Choosing to follow a gluten-free diet is a personal preference, and can be challenging to maintain over the long term unless you are gaining significant physical rewards, such as less gastrointestinal distress and discomfort (discussed below).   The key to following a healthy gluten-free diet is sticking with less processed foods: lean meats, low-fat dairy products, legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, rice, oats, and lesser-known gluten-free grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat (has nothing to do with wheat, believe it or not).  In other words, stocking your pantry with gluten-free chips, cookies, and other snack items is not the way to go.

Following a 100% gluten-free diet is only absolutely necessary for people who suffer from an autoimmune condition known as celiac sprue disease (CD).  Celiac disease can occur in children as well as adults, and is a lifelong disorder in which gluten-containing foods damage the inner lining of the small intestine.  Even small amounts of gluten can affect people with CD.  Fortunately, the resulting intestinal inflammation and poor absorption of nutrients is reversible upon complete elimination of gluten from the diet.

Some people have what is called “non-celiac gluten sensitivity”, in which they develop symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and/or diarrhea, following gluten intake.  It is important to note that no physical damage occurs to the intestinal lining in this situation.  Making a point to consume only small amounts of gluten-containing foods at a time can be enough to relieve symptoms.  Should you suspect a gluten-sensitivity, you can try eliminating all gluten-containing foods from your diet for one week to see if gastrointestinal distress resolves.   If so, you can choose to continue to eliminate gluten, or slowly introduce small amounts of gluten-containing foods back into your diet.

If you are thinking about trying a gluten-free diet to relieve any gastrointestinal distress, first review the symptoms of celiac sprue to determine whether or not you need to have a blood test or small intestine biopsy:

-recurring bloating, gas, and abdominal pain

-chronic diarrhea, constipation, or both

-unexplained weight loss or weight gain

-unexplained anemia (low hemoglobin/iron levels)

-vitamin K deficiency

-fatigue, weakness, or lack of energy

-frequent canker sores inside the mouth

-delayed growth or onset of puberty (children)

-behavior changes, irritability, depression (especially children)

 If you, or someone you know, exhibit three or more of the above symptoms, make an appointment with your medical doctor to rule out the possibility of celiac sprue. 

A lesser-known form of gluten sensitivity occurs as a chronic skin rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis.   It presents as an intensely itchy, blistering rash, with symptoms ranging from mild to serious, but they are likely to disappear if gluten ingestion is avoided.  If you develop a rash that does not respond to other forms of treatment, consider asking your doctor for a blood test (for IgA antibodies) or a skin biopsy.  If the test comes back positive, a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet must be followed to relieve symptoms. 

If you don’t have celiac sprue disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, or other gastrointestinal signs of gluten sensitivity, then the choice to follow a gluten-free diet is entirely up to you.  If cutting out the likes of pizza, pasta, bread, and traditionally made cakes, cookies, and pastries helps you cut your total calories and lose weight, that is great.  Just be sure you don’t substitute them with a bunch of gluten-free junk foods, otherwise you are back to square one.

Should You Be Following a Gluten-Free Diet?

In Gluten-Free diet on February 9, 2010 at 3:46 AM

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, kamut, spelt, rye, barley, and triticale.  Food products made with any of these grains will contain gluten in varying amounts.  What makes a gluten-free diet most challenging is that many food additives contain gluten that we simply don’t even recognize…  Fortunately, food manufacturers are starting to mention on their packaging whether a product is “gluten-free” or “contains gluten”.  Very nice indeed 🙂

The notion that following a gluten-free diet is healthier can be a mistake.  Many people can gain weight following this “diet” because so many gluten-free products marketed today contain an abundance of refined starches, sugars, and fats.  A gluten-free cookie is still a cookie—it is just not made with our traditional refined wheat flour, but refined rice flour or potato flour instead…  How about that bag of corn chips or potato chips? (Frito-Lay is going to hate me now…)  Corn and potatoes are gluten-free, but what about all the added fat and calories that are added during processing???

The key to following a HEALTHY gluten-free diet is sticking with less processed foods such as: lean protein, low-fat dairy products, legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, rice, oats, and lesser-known gluten-free grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat (has nothing to do with wheat, believe it or not). 

Following a 100% gluten-free diet is only absolutely necessary for people who suffer from celiac sprue disease (CD).  Celiac disease can occur in children as well as adults, and is an lifelong, autoimmune disorder in which gluten-containing foods damage the inner lining of the small intestine.  Even small amounts of gluten can affect people with CD.  Fortunately, the resulting intestinal inflammation and poor absorption of nutrients is reversible upon complete elimination of gluten from the diet.

Some people have what is called “non-celiac gluten sensitivity”, in which they develop symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and/or diarrhea, following gluten intake.  It is important to note that no physical damage occurs to the intestinal lining in this situation.  Making a point to consume only small amounts of gluten-containing foods at a time can be enough to relieve symptoms.  Should you suspect a gluten-sensitivity, you can try eliminating all gluten-containing foods from your diet for one week to see if gastrointestinal distress resolves.   If so, you can choose to continue to eliminate gluten, or slowly introduce small amounts of gluten-containing foods back into your diet.

If you are thinking about trying a gluten-free diet to relieve any gastrointestinal distress, first review the symptoms of CD to determine whether or not you need to have a blood test or small intestine biopsy:

-recurring bloating, gas, and abdominal pain

-chronic diarrhea, constipation, or both

-unexplained weight loss or weight gain

-unexplained anemia (low hemoglobin/iron levels)

-vitamin K deficiency

-fatigue, weakness, or lack of energy

-frequent canker sores inside the mouth

-delayed growth or onset of puberty (children)

-behavior changes, irritability, depression (especially children)

If you, or someone you know, exhibit three or more of the above symptoms, make an appointment with a medical doctor to rule out the possibility of celiac sprue disease.  Otherwise, the choice to follow a gluten-free diet is up to you!

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