Sunday, January 16, 2011

Living In A Gluten Free World

I mentioned briefly in a previous post, that I have been for sometime eating a diet sans gluten. At the present time I have been given a green light that it's okay now, but unless I'm out and about- I have been and most likely will continue to not eat it (especially since I am aware of ways to eat gluten free).

Most- over indulge on grains and puffed things. You know that saying... "you are what you eat"? Breads, pastas, etc are taste-bud-amazing, but they are not really good for the body- ie hard to digest, increased glycemic load, lack of nutrition, processed, etc. Even if you have not been "diagnosed" with a gluten allergy- you might have one. Try taking it out of your diet and see how you feel.

Me thinks it would be safe to say that the majority of people who eat a gluten free diet do not choose to do so, but rather it's because they suffer from Celiac Disease. And after not being able to eat so many things I can see how it must be fun to eat all these taste-y foods again. I experienced the same thing while doing the raw diet. However, same as the raw diet I found them to be limiting, because they each have one goal: to be gluten free and to be raw. It could be improved by also trying to incorporate organic, local, low glycemic, natural, etc. I know not everyone has the same agenda, but this is mine. So I used some of what I already knew and mixed it with some of these new things.

As someone who eats a vegetarian diet, is more health conscious in terms of organic, local, glycemic load, doesn't eat (or is rather strict about) dairy (cheese + milk), and one that for some time was not eating corn- it was at times challenging. It's challenging in NYC just eating a vegetarian diet sometimes. :)

Another thing to note is many gluten free recipes call for Xanthum Gum and Guar Gum. Both of these ingredients help to "bind" ingredients together, but I found that they give me odd headaches. For a while I didn't know what it was. But I kept feeling a little off and notice a big difference when I don't have them. Funnily enough, Gluten Free Girl also noticed this (from Jan 5th FB post): "I have to say that I have been nearly 2 weeks without eating anything with xanthum gum or guar gum in it and I have not felt this good in 18 months. Hm."

Lastly, even though I have fun playing around with these recipes (I will be sharing with you)... please remember all the bread, cookies, etc are still carb heavy (depends on the type of "flour" but you get what I mean). Even though they are gluten free, you'll still feel better eating more veggies, greens and fruit. Cheers!

P.S. During my quest for I utilized many blogs and books for reference and ideas and have listed a few of them below. Many do not have the same "health" agenda, but use them as a starting point and source of inspiration and adapt them to your needs.

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef
I LOVE her blog. Filled with many recipes, tips, and ideas. Would refer often. I made her gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Next time I will make with them without xanthum/guar gum. They have a book out too, which I have been trying to get my hands on. Cute video of them on amazon on that link too. Check it out.

Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone
Lots of treats. There is a fairly good sized section re: meat/fish. Silvana's son, Isaiah has a gluten and dairy allergy.

Clean Start by Terry Walters
This is not a "gluten free" book but there are many ideas and gluten free recipes in here. Her first book was Clean Food which I loved and made some Sweet Potato, Corn and Kale Chowder from.

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