A Sample Meal-Plan for a Day of Gluten-Free Eating

As promised in my last post, I’m providing you with a sample meal plan for a day of gluten-free eating! This sample provides just under 1600 calories (ideal if you’re a sedentary female, or ideal for an average active adult female looking to lose weight), 39% of the calories are from carbohydrates, 28% from fat, and 33% from protein. The high protein content is a result of not having specialty gluten-free breads, tortillas, cereals, cookies, etc. included. Often when you replace gluten-containing processed foods with specialty gluten-free processed food, your diet will have more sugar and unnecessary carbs, so keep that in mind if you do choose to buy those items.

Breakfast:

An omelet of 2 eggs, ¼ cup reduced fat cheddar, ½ cup bell pepper, 3 slices lean ham, and salsa (or another low-calorie topping of your choice); ½ cup cottage cheese with ½ cup blueberries on the side.

Lunch:

¼ cup (dry-measure) quinoa with 4 oz. grilled chicken breast, sautéed onion and mushrooms with garlic (you can also replace 4 oz. chicken with any other lean protein, and feel free to replace the sautéed onion and mushrooms with other veggies of your liking)

Snack:

6 oz. fat free greek yogurt, a larabar (larabars are energy bars made of simple ingredients, such as fruits and nuts. All are gluten free!)

Dinner:

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Turkey burger (4 oz. lean ground turkey breast, you can add whatever spices or low-calorie sauces you like. I usually season mine with Peter Luger’s steak sauce and garlic powder), a bowl of Trader Joe’s carrot ginger soup (this usually amounts to 8-16 ounces, depending on how hungry you are. I calculated 2 cups, so 16 ounces), a small side salad of mixed greens, carrot, and cherry tomato topped with 2 tbsp. of your favorite gluten-free dressing (always check the label!)

This plan is very filling, so I didn’t add a nightly snack, but some ideas for PM snacks could be a fresh piece of fruit, a few tablespoons of chocolate chips, or a handful of nuts. As you can see, it’s easy to have a well-rounded gluten-free diet, without a lot of processed food, which is what we should all be aiming for. It’s tempting to replace gluten-containing cereal and cookies with gluten-free versions, but with so many fresh, whole-food, gluten-free options, try to stick with the most minimally processed choices as shown above.

-Jess

Re-examining the Gluten-Free Diet and Your Well-Being

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A helpful book on Celiac Disease, by Peter H.R. Green and Rory Jones

As I’ve previously posted, gluten-free diets are becoming ever so popular for a variety of reasons.  While going gluten-free may not decrease your pants size, it can definitely help when it comes to digestive issues and other health issues that can affect daily life. My previous post on going gluten-free was geared towards those who are confused about whether the diet is going to help you lose weight. My answer remains the same—it really depends on how many calories you’re taking in and whether you actually have a gluten intolerance.

If stomach aches and digestive issues are a frequent complaint, you might want to look into what foods specifically are causing these symptoms. While I don’t think gluten is the cause of all stomach/intestine pain, it seems to be a major contributor. In addition, gluten does seem to affect certain populations more than others. Particularly, those with autoimmune disorders, or family members of someone with an autoimmune disorder. Why is this? Because Celiac Disease (a serious gluten-intolerance, with many symptoms) is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s own immune system attacks itself. Scary Stuff!

Other autoimmune disorders/diseases associated with Celiac Disease (and thus, gluten intolerance) are thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s Disease and Graves’ Disease), and Type 1 Diabetes, among other less-common autoimmune diseases. Individuals with either thyroid abnormalities and/or Type 1 Diabetes, should get tested for Celiac Disease, and even after testing, it never hurts to experiment with eliminating something from your diet that causes any negative symptoms.  My sister, (who has Type 1 diabetes) has noted several positive effects of the gluten-free diet, some of which include increased energy, decrease in stomach and back pain, easier digestion and defecation, and that it’s easier to manage blood sugar levels.

If you are curious about going gluten-free for health reasons, keep track of your current health complaints and see if gluten could be the culprit. The easiest way to become gluten-free is to eliminate all processed food except for gluten-free grains (rice, corn, buckwheat, and a few others). A diet based on whole foods such as fruits, veggies, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats will benefit you even if you aren’t diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Check back soon, as I’ll be posting a sample meal plan for a day of gluten-free eating!

Stay well.

-Jess

Is Kombucha Tea the Cure You’ve Been Looking For?

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Bottled Kombucha Tea purchased at Whole Foods Market. This brand (GT’s) is popular and you can usually find it at most health food stores.

Kombucha Tea is marketed as a health beverage with claims that it can treat cancer, intestinal disorders, autoimmune disorders, fatigue syndromes, etc. It is often promoted as a way to detoxify your body from impurities. The tea is brewed from yeasts and bacteria that resemble a mushroom along with black or oolong tea and sugar, which ferments together and produces an acidic tasting liquid. I’ve had many varieties of Kombucha Tea and to me it tastes like a cross between plain yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and beer.

Kombucha Tea is so popular not because of its unique taste, but because of the health claims behind it, but is there any truth to its “detoxifying” properties? Unfortunately, research has yet to prove that Kombucha tea does anything but cost $3-$8 a bottle. There have been proven cases where people have become sick due to making their own Kombucha tea, so to be safe, always purchase it from an actual company, and not directly from a home brewery.

Some varieties of bottled Kombucha tea contain added juice and sugar, but typically the calories per bottle fall somewhere below 100, and usually the taste is so strong that it’s difficult to ingest too much (unless you really like the taste). If you enjoy Kombucha tea, or just want to try it, I say go for it, but don’t expect it to cure any ailment you might be suffering from. For more information on Kombucha tea, you can visit the following websites which provide a more in depth look on the subject:

Kombucha Tea: Does it Have Health Benefits? -Mayo Clinic

Kombucha Tea Info provided by WebMD