Gluten Free Fitness

Parting (with Gluten) is Such Sweet Sorrow…Or Is It?

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Parting (with Gluten) is Such Sweet Sorrow…Or Is It?

Imagine this…

You’re in the doctor’s office.  You’ve been through a battery of tests, you feel like doo-doo on a stick.  Your hair is falling out, your body aches, and you have no energy.  You’re scared to death, because so many of your friends and acquaintances have either been diagnosed with cancer lately, or know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer.  You sit, on the hard chair, and you wait for the doctor to enter the room.  It seems like an eternity that you are waiting (and depending on the doctor it might be.)  You really want to try to read your chart, but they’re slick and have it on the other side of the door.

So you wait…  And you wonder…

Am I sick?  Is this going to be bad?  I know I’m sick, but exactly how sick am I?

And you wait some more, and the worst case scenario in your head keeps getting worse.

Finally the doctor enters the room and shakes your hand.  “How’re you feeling?”  Just dandy, doc, that’s why I spent 2 hours of my life in your waiting room, and my hair is falling out. But what you really say is “OK.  What did the tests say?”

He flips open your chart and rummages through the papers at the front.

“Let’s see here…negative, negative, normal, good, oh wait.”

An eternity passes.  Maybe 5 seconds.

“You tested positive for celiac disease.”

What the $%*& is celiac disease?

If you have a good doctor, this is where they give you solid information, and maybe a referral to a dietitian.  If not so good, or just poorly educated, you might just be told to not eat gluten.  Here’s another option if you require a “2nd opinion” –

I have seen/heard people who are just furious that they are no longer supposed to eat gluten, and have to give up (gasp!) “regular” food.

Seriously?

No, really.  Seriously?!?!

Think back.  When you were scared straight in the doctor’s office, and you thought you may be dying – is (insert glutinous favorite food of your choice here-pasta, cereal, bagels, etc) really that big of a deal?

No, really.  Think about it.

  • Do you have to go through chemo?
  • Take lots of toxic medications?
  • Be on medicine for the rest of your life?
  • Be separated from family and friends?
  • Do you have to have surgery?
  • Do you have to go through physical rehabilitation?
  • Are you sentenced to a life of chronic pain?
  • Will you be able to ever eat anything again?

No?  Didn’t think so.

All we have to do is not eat gluten.  We have the choice, and the ability, to heal ourselves.  A diagnosis of celiac disease can be a blessing in disguise.

It’s all in how you choose to approach it.  And yes, it is a choice.

You choose.  In the immortal words of Bruce Springsteen, “you gotta learn to live with what you can’t rise above.”

Why just live with it when you can rise above, and let living gluten free enrich your health and your life.

It really is a beautiful “burden”. You choose.  Your perspective on celiac will color every bite of food you take.

You choose.

Choose to see the huge, wonderful, varied world of naturally gluten free foods.  The bounty of meats, poultry, fish, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, oils, etc and so on and so on!  Look at what you CAN eat, not what you can’t.

For more reading about my philosophy on living gluten free:

The Easiest Gluten Free Diet

And if you want more, Gluten Free and Fit 101 has a lot more in store, including more ideas for dairy and gluten free protein powders.

And that should give you enough reading for a while.

If you STILL want more, or you just want a step by step, simple, checklist  approach to cleaning up your diet, check out 7 Quick Start Tips to Living a Healthy Gluten Free Fit Life

So what will you choose?

Gluten Free Grilling is Easy

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It’s Summer… Gluten Free Grillin’ is Easy

It’s hot here in Oregon.  Dry hot… Stupid hot… Way too hot at times!  Days like this, you don’t want to heat up the oven and by extension, the kitchen.  And so we grill.

Grilling is an incredibly easy way to get a whole bunch of flavorful and healthful food prepared at the same time.

I’m a huge believer in preparing ahead for healthy gluten free eating success. If you are cooking, you might as well cook big.  By cooking big, I mean so that you have lots of food leftover, and ready to package into your own takeaway meals.

Case in point—I made a reduced fat version of scalloped potatoes last weekend.  It was awesome, very flavorful, and by using smaller amounts of flavorful cheese and a lower fat cheese all the cheesy goodness was maintained.  I also used about 3 pounds of potatoes.  That’s a lot of potatoes.  However, we had plenty of food for a few days.

Grilling imparts that wonderful smoky flavor to food.

Probably I could eat a shoe if it was marinated and grilled.  Or not, I don’t know for sure, and let’s not test that out.  Anyway; everything tastes better on the grill… right?  Think you don’t like a particular vegetable?  Betcha you’d like it grilled.  This weekend I experimented with jicama on the grill.  In all fairness, I like jicama raw, but grilling it brought out even more sweetness and yumminess.

Generally, we grill a bunch of meat.  If there’s room on the grill, I’ll add on some veggies.  Summer squash, mushroom, onion, and bell pepper are my favorite veggie kabob.  Stone fruits, like peaches, are incredible grilled.  I’ve heard you can grill romaine lettuce, although I admit I’ve not yet tried it.  How about placing a block of cheese on the grill and smoking it?  We’ll saving smoking for another time but until then, think about how that might taste.

The grilling process starts a few hours before the actual onset of grilling.

In the morning I’ll trim and clean whatever meat will be grilled.  In this case, it was several pounds of chicken breast and a flank steak.  I then use zip top bags to hold my marinade until it’s time to grill.

Marinades:

Happily, most marinades you make at home are naturally gluten free.  However, if you are trying a store bought marinade, be sure to read your labels very carefully.  Also check your spice mixes.

  • Steak: garlic, steak seasoning spice mix (I use Montreal Steak), fresh squeezed lime juice, 1 TBSP of coconut oil
  • Chicken: garlic, lemon pepper seasoning, fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • Veggies: fresh chopped basil or thyme, sea salt, cracked pepper, minced garlic (or use a garlic press), dash of coconut oil
  • Put the ingredients of the marinade in the bag, shake to combine.  Add your meat/poultry/veggies but use separate bags for each.  Fish generally doesn’t need to marinade as long, so you could get away with marinating the fish just before grilling.

Grilling guide:

  • Stick these babies back in the fridge and go have fun doing something active.  Or cleaning your house and doing laundry, which seems to happen so often on weekends.
  • When grill time comes, pull your food out of the fridge and it’s ready to go.  Let your meat come to room temperature before grilling, and also pat it dry.  Drying the surface will help it sear.
  • Grill for appropriate time. This is based on the suggested internal temperature found in your cookbook
  • Enjoy cold gluten free adult beverage of choice while food is cooking.  Or water or iced tea.  But it’s the weekend, kick back and have an adult beverage if you’d like.

Love the grill marks.  Don’t they look great! Awesomeness.  Here is one of recipes for Grilled Corn

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You’ve now created not just a great meal for the night, but great food for a couple days.

Package it up in some portable containers, make lunch for work, have it ready for grab and go.

You’ve now made it easier to make more healthful choices.

When you have easily accessible real food, you will be much less tempted to grab a convenient but less nutritious snack.

A resource for more grilling ideas is Eating Well.  I read the magazine and visit the site often.  Many of their dishes are naturally gluten free – score!

For more tips on eating gluten free and healthfully, check out Gluten Free and Fit 101. If you’re looking for a system for living more healthfully (ie: gluten free), check out our other articles here on Gluten Free Fitness.

I’d love to hear your tips and experiences with grilling!  What’s your favorite thing to grill?  Share it below in the comments!

Aerobic Exercise and Oxygen

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AEROBIC EXERCISE AND OXYGEN

Aerobic” stands for “with oxygen” and it involves the use of oxygen in the production of energy as performed by the muscles. Aerobic exercise is any form of physical exercise carried out at direct levels of intensity for a specific period where oxygen is employed to “burn” sugar and fats.

It is an essential ingredient to a healthy body. It can also be a great way to relieve anxiety and stress. It is very helpful if you’re trying to push yourself to sleep at night. It is one of the most effective cardiovascular exercises that can be recommended for your body. This form of exercise is beneficial for weight loss and improved blood pressure; it is better than resistance exercise!

Aerobics is the general term used for exercises that involve strength training, stretching, and aerobic exercise with the sole aim of increasing one’s overall fitness – heart fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility.

Nowadays, aerobics has been modified into dance-like movements. What’s more, aerobic classes are now categorized into assorted levels of intensity. Gyms now offer a wide range of aerobics categories for everyone, which are observed by certified instructors.

WHY YOU NEED AEROBICS

  1. Weight Loss

A healthy diet accompanied with regular aerobic exercise can help you shed pounds quickly. Exercises that increases your blood flow and get your heart pumping can help convert excess fat to fuel.

1 pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories

To lose 1 pound of body fat, be prepared to burn 3, 500 calories. Gluten is a type of complex protein that mostly occurs in certain carbohydrates like rye, oats, wheat, barley, and triticale. Many people consume gluten-free products because they think these foods are healthier, not because they have celiac disease. Here at Gluten Free Fitness, we know there major risks to consuming gluten when we have celiac disease so we must refrain from gluten at all costs. A gluten-free diet is essential for individuals with celiac disease – an inflammatory condition of the digestive system. Going gluten-free for weight loss simply means you’re eating fewer calories (cutting out breads and cereals), which leaves the body consuming stored calories and that my friends is how we lose weight.

Aerobic exercise, when combined with a gluten free diet, is an effective way to burn body fat. With high impact aerobic exercise, an average human being can burn over 540 calories/hour. Aerobic exercises such as running and skipping alone can burn between 700 and 800 calories.

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  1. For Healthy Lungs and Heart

Aerobic exercise improves the capacity and efficiency of your lungs and heart. A healthy heart should beat at a lower rate while at rest. Your breathing should be easier and your blood pressure should be lower. Your lungs and heart can benefit from consistent aerobic exercise regardless of your current level of physical fitness or age. For a newbie, it is advisable to start at a slower pace, exercising between 8 to 12 minutes each day. The duration and the work out rate can be increased as time goes on. Try taking a walk with your dog for 12 minutes or jog with your headset on and increase the time you spend each day by 5 minutes. If you have heart disease, or if you have not been physically active in aerobic exercises, endeavor to see your doctor for a checkup before starting any exercise routine.

  1. Get Your Brain Working

We wrote about the benefits on the brain – Intuitive Eating. Aerobic exercise allows you to utilize all the large muscles in your body. It’ll increase your heart rate as well as your breathing rate and then you will start to sweat. Breathing deeper and faster increases the availability of oxygen in the cell. This oxygen is helpful when breaking down glucose for energy. Your veins will also expand to allow easier and faster blood flow to your muscles and divert waste products from the cells.

In addition to improving your muscles and cardiovascular system, aerobic exercise makes your mind release “endorphins” – a natural pain reducing substance which creates a sense of well-being and euphoria. Endorphins relieve stress and help to stimulate your immune system. Those endorphins only course through your system when your blood vessels are dilated and your heart is pumping. You might feel tired after about 35 minutes of aerobics exercise, don’t stress it will only make you feel great!

Other benefits include:

  • Long-term stamina and consistent energy
  • Lower blood pressure
  • More endorphin production that alleviates pain
  • Stronger bones for the prevention of osteoporosis
  • More grounded heart and better flow (keeps supply routes clear and counteracts coronary illness)
  • Longer life expectancy
  • Better adrenal health and blood sugar level
  • Improved mood
  • Stronger immune system

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SIMPLE AEROBIC EXERCISES

  1. Running

This is a simple but effective aerobic exercise like walking. Just get yourself a good pair of running shoes to get started. Running can be more fun when done outside so you don’t need to join a gym. Running burns additional calories over walking, which helps in weight reduction, without building body mass. A word of caution, if your doctor has informed you that running may add too much stress to your joints, then consider #5 for your aerobic exercise.

  1. Rowing

Rowing will be more interesting if you have bodies of water present in your vicinity. If not, visit the gym and try the rowing machine. Rowing may not be so effective in weight reduction; however, it is an ideal solution if you want muscle mass. Most muscles of the body are conditioned by rowing; it burns the most calories!

  1. Aerobic Dance

This is an aerobic exercise that can be performed at home, in health clubs, and gyms everywhere. Aerobic dance gives your body a lot of twist, making it a fun activity. There are different aerobic dance classes for beginners and experts.

  1. Water Exercises

This is an aerobic exercise for those who want a gentler exercise for their bones and joints. Since water provides resistance to your movement, this exercise allows you a more regulated workout.

  1. Walking

This is like the most common aerobic exercise that is done by everybody daily. This exercise is ideal for those considered overweight and pregnant women, however, all of us can get oxygen from walking.  Note: walking is more advisable for matured people than running.

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