All posts tagged gluten-free

Another Low-carb diet benefit: Better eggs

More protein for better eggs?

More protein for better eggs?

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) seems to think that a lower carbohydrate, higher protein diet can improve a woman’s egg quality. This certainly bodes well for the gluten-free, higher protein lifestyle that I’ve adopted as of late. Want to read more from the ASRM and why I’m trying to limit my carb consumption to 40% of my diet? Click here. Note that I’ve decided to move all posts about  my personal journey with fertility to that link, my personal author site

 

Farm Fresh to You: The coolest thing EVER!

Organic, Local, FARM FRESH produce delivered to your doorstep!

Organic, Local, FARM FRESH produce delivered to your doorstep!

I knew it was time to do something when I opened my fridge today in search of a snack. My veggie drawer stared up at me empty and alone, no fruits and veggies to keep it company. Unfortunately, my closest farmer’s market isn’t until Saturday and our weekend schedule is already packed full with yoga, acupuncture and dog grooming (just your average American couple!).

Enter Farm Fresh To You, a service that makes getting your fruits and veggies easy! You select what you want, when you want it and a box of organic and local produce shows up on your doorstep. Exciting, right?!

My friend the Skin Owl has been raving about how easy juicing is because of her weekly produce deliveries. I’ll be cooking up some of her famous Glow Juice in no time now that I’ve jumped on the CSA box bandwagon (Community Supported Agriculture). According to the Skin Owl, I also can expect a wild variety of veggies to arrive forcing me out of my butter lettuce salad, spinach omelet routine. Cheers to a colorful plate bursting with nutrient dense, LOCAL, ORGANIC, and FARM FRESH fabulousness!

How do you make sure your fridge and fruit bowl are stocked full of healthy snacks all week-long?

So called “Healthy” snacks, bad for you?

A bite sized clementine: My favorite snack!

A bite sized clementine: My favorite snack!

I arrived at Yahoo this morning to check an often forgotten email account and saw this headline:

 

 Are Those “Healthy” Snacks Actually Bad for You?

 

Sounds scary, right? Like all this time you’ve been haphazardly snacking on poison! Oh the horror.

Here’s a list of the snack foods Yahoo’s experts said to avoid, plus my commentary:

#1 Rice cakes. Their take, the rice cake “has a mere 35 calories, but consists of high-glycemic, puffed-up white rice with a low nutritional profile.”

My plan: Rice cakes aren’t on it. If my blood sugar’s gonna sky rocket, I want to actually enjoy it while it happens. Enter a piece of dark chocolate. Or better yet, grab an apple or handful of berries for fiber and antioxidants.

#2 Kale chips. I’m new to Kale so I’ve never actually had these, but without a lot of oil and salt, they sound gross! Yahoo claims that “some veggie chips contain more additives than you’d think” and goes on to explain that many bags contain mostly dehydrated potatoes.  If only potatoes were as good for us as Kale!

My Plan: Here I’ll take Yahoo’s advice to make my own (someday when I’m feeling brave). Or I’ll do the next best thing and actually read labels. If the chips I’m buying have more than a few ingredients and contain chemicals I can’t pronounce and understand, I’ll play it safe and reach for a handful of raw nuts or a piece of fruit.

#3 Sweet potato chips. They’re so darn good, aren’t they? Almost as good as sweet potato fries (just because they’re “bad” for you doesn’t mean they’re not disgustingly delicious!). Yahoo’s expert explains that “sweet potatoes contain more fiber and vitamins A and C” than their white counterparts.

My Plan: These crunchy little suckers pack a nutrient dense punch. As long as the ingredient list contains only sweet potatoes, veggie oil, and salt, I’m in! Still, these babies are higher on the carb side so if you’re watching your glycemic load have just a few.

#4 Protein bars. Or should we say glorified candy bars? Just read the ingredients. Low sugar alternatives, like ThinkThin bars may be an option if you’re seeking sweet satiety, but they’re still loaded with wacky chemicals like malititolan ingredient that can cause gastrointestinal upset . I think the air I breathe in Los Angeles is toxic enough, don’t you?

My Plan: I’ll take a protein smoothy with almond milk and berries over a protein bar any day!

#5 Baked chips and crackers. The term “baked” is mostly a marketing ploy and only saves you a few grams of fat, but not the high fructose corn syrup, high-glycemic inflammatory wheat flour, and other mile long, hard to pronounce ingredients.

My Plan: No backed chips and crackers for this body. Unless they’re Flackers, my newest gluten-free, flax seed cracker obsession, I’m not interested.

Other items on Yahoo’s list include Popchips and Rice Crackers, two other starchy, processed foods. And that’s the thing that every item listed has in common: it was born on a conveyor belt. I will always prefer a handful of nuts, a few mandarin oranges, or even a bag of pumpkin seeds (dried seeds + salt = Yum)! Real food is always a part of this girl’s plan.

 

 

My favorite gluten-free cracker: Flackers!

Low carb + high fiber + minimally processed = Delicious!

Low carb + high fiber + minimally processed = Healthy & Delicious!

My Week Without Wheat has now lasted over a month and I’ve never felt better! Throughout the process of purging my cabinets of bread, pasta, and crackers I discovered Flackers. This flax seed cracker contains only organic flax seeds, organic apple cider vinegar, bragg liquid aminos, organic rosemary, and organic sage. AND we’re talking 7 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per serving!

I’ve discovered all sorts of amazing ways to eat these crunchy little flax crackers. For example, I’ve paired them with hummus, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes for the ultimate snack. This low carb, high fiber, and absolutely delectable gluten-free option has a place in my grocery cart every trip. But note, I’ve only been able to find them at WholeFoods. If you’ve seen them at other stores do let me know in the comments!

Flackers Snack_2

Spaghetti Squash: your Gluten-Free pasta

Sphagetti Squash

When I worked at Red Bull, my svelte forty something boss used to lament the wonders of the Spaghetti Squash. Back then the thought of it scared me. Squash that you can substitute for pasta? Gross. I was happy in my wheat induced haze. I was happy eating crazy carb loads at every meal.  But no more. Being gluten-free means getting creative with meals, means braving new vegetables like the squash pictured above. Combined with a thrown together meat sauce (sugar-free pasta sauce with organic turkey and fresh mushrooms), this has become my husband’s favorite new gluten-free meal.

Here’s a link to this great pasta substitute’s nutrition info. In summary, the spaghetti squash has 42 calories per 155 grams (which equates to over a cup!). Compare that to around 174 calories in 1 cup of whole wheat pasta. Even if you’re not ready to go gluten-free your waist line will appreciate this recipe. It only has 10 carbs per serving too, compared to around 36 carbohydrates in the aforementioned pasta, which makes it the prefect treat for those leaning toward a lower carb lifestyle.

Here’s now to make this low-glycemic index, gluten-free, and positively delicious food:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 (ovens vary so adjust as needed).
  2. Wash the outside of your squash with soap and water thoroughly.
  3. Carefully slice the squash down the middle into two halves. Scoop out the seeds.
  4. Fill a 2 inch baking dish with an inch of water.
  5. Place both halves of the squash face down in the pan.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven (30 minutes is prefect in mine).
  7. Remove squash, allow to cool in fridge for 10-20 minutes (I’m impatient so I wait about 5-minutes, honestly).
  8. Grab a plate or bowl. Then run a fork over the inside of the squash in a scooping motion so that strands separate into your bowl.
  9. Season, butter, or oil to taste.
  10. Finish with the meat or vegetarian sauce of your choice!

Enjoy! :)

 

RecipeWhore: Protein packed Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!

Not the prettiest things, but definitely yummy!

Not the prettiest things, but definitely yummy!

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? Now that I’ve been without wheat for over a week, I’m even more committed to a gluten-free lifestyle. I do, however, find myself craving sweets occasionally. So when I purchased gluten-free oats from Trader Joe’s, I jumped at the opportunity to try the gluten-free oatmeal cookie recipe on the back. I decided to improve the recipe’s over all glycemic index by substituting refined white sugar with coconut sugar AND by reducing the sugar added.

Here’s the recipe:

1/4 cup butter

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 coconut sugar (TJ’s called for 1 1/2 cups of sugar!)

3 cups rolled oats

6 oz dark semi-sweet cocolate chips

2 eggs

1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts (I used walnuts!)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup peanut butter (yay for extra protein!)

Fresh from the oven, gluten-free goodness.

Fresh from the oven, gluten-free goodness.

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter and beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and nuts. Place a teaspoon full of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet about two inches apart (I grease with coconut oil). Bake 10-14 minutes depending on your oven or until lightly brown around the edges. This recipe makes around 30 cookies! Four cookies later, these are absolutely DELICIOUS!