Gluten Free Fitness

Advice

Tackle it with a Gluten Free Fitness perspective

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One day is not going to make you fat. Not Christmas, not Thanksgiving, New Year, not even Superbowl.

What matters is the other 359 days a year that aren’t holidays, however, these days can be a bit of a calorie bomb. If you are eating well 80-90% of the time, these days are simply a blip on the radar screen of wellness. But-maybe you’re trying to get in the swing of eating more healthfully, or simply want to be aware of what your options can be.

We generally have people over for a get-together fairly regularly. Our house has an open floor plan, and is set up wonderfully for parties. This time, the “let’s have a few people over for the Superbowl” had turned into a 30 person party.

And so it goes.

I enjoy cooking, and I especially like being in control of the food so I know exactly what is in everything. From a gluten standpoint of course, but also so that I can make choices that reflect quality and health of ingredients whenever possible.

Here’s a sampling of our Superbowl menu:

Cheese and crackers

I have chosen Mary’s Gone Crackers, and Nut Thins. These will be on a separate table from the regular Wheat Thins. For my cheese, I have chosen Cabot’s 50% reduced fat cheddar (the only reduced fat cheese that I have found that tastes good and has a good texture,) regular fat extra sharp cheddar, and goat cheese. Goat cheese will be 1 log of regular, and the 2nd I will make a “spread” by adding fresh snipped herbs. Goat and feta cheeses are naturally a bit lower in fat than cheddar, and have strong flavors so you can use less. I will also have sliced cucumbers a’plenty. This is so after I have a couple crackers, I can use the sliced cucumbers instead of crackers to save some calories if I wish. (I also use the cucumber trick for salsa instead of tortilla chips.)

Salsa and chips

I make my own salsa, for which I’ll provide as close as I can get to a recipe below. (I don’t actually measure, so it’s all ballpark.) For chips I use Baked Scoops! and baked blue corn tortilla chips. I love, love, salsa-so after a few chips I’ll switch to cucumber slices.

Shrimp cocktail

Shrimp is a naturally lean protein, and quite yummy. Instead of commercially prepared cocktail sauce, I use Heinz Reduced Sugar Ketchup and horseradish to make my own cocktail sauce. I have no recipe-just combine the two, and a bit of lemon juice until you find a flavor and consistency you like. This will save some of the sugar that is common in cocktail sauce.

Fruit plate

This will be near the cheese. Grapes, apple slices, and strawberries. YUM! Florida strawberries are just coming into season…

Tuna Dip

This is for my fiance. There is absolutely not much that is redeeming about this dip, and I just don’t eat it. I would if I used low fat mayo-but to stay true to the original recipe from a local restaurant it’s full fat mayo all the way. A lot of full fat mayo. There are so many other great choices, I won’t even miss not eating this stuff.

Veggie crudite and dip

Love me my veggies, and it gives something very healthful to munch on. This will be red bell pepper, grape tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, and baby carrots. I will make a quick and easy dip with nonfat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, and some fresh herbs. You can also add a gluten free powdered Italian or ranch salad dressing packet to the Greek yogurt to be even faster.

For the “real food” we are grilling chicken breast and burgers, for which we’ll use 93% lean ground beef. Nothing wrong with that. The gluten-eaters can have their buns, which I will be keeping an eye on to make sure they don’t contaminate anything, and they never go on the grill. Friends are bringing some sides.

For dessert I will be making Shirley’s Flourless Oatmeal Cookies from Gluten Free Easily. I had considered using peanut butter chips, but will use mini chocolate chips. I will also be making the stealth “black bean brownies” which deserve their own post next week. Maybe some chocolate fondue if there are any strawberries left at this point.

Salsa Fresca
– Whole bunch of Roma tomatoes, or whatever tomato looks good. You’ll cut these in 1/4’s, and seed them. (Squeeze them over the garbage so the seeds come out-keeps your salsa from getting too watery.)
– Bunch of fresh cilantro, stems removed
– 3-4 fresh garlic cloves
– 1/2 onion
– 6 limes
– sea salt
– 1 small jalapeno pepper (optional)

  • Tomatoes, onion, garlic, and pepper all go into the food processor. I remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno. You choose how spicy you want to go. Pulse until combined. Add cilantro, and fresh squeeze the lime juice into the processor. Pulse. Add a few shakes of sea salt, taste, and pulse. Repeat until desired consistency! Enjoy!

Make smart choices, and truly enjoy your food. Eat what you want to eat-don’t just eat something because it’s there. What sometimes gets lost is the idea that get together and gatherings are about the company we keep, and being present with your friends and family. Oh-and yeah-there’s a game on, right?

Click here for the additional Defense against your gluten free diet.

What are you going to have/did you have for Superbowl? Come back after the game and give your favorite commercials!

Protect Yourself from Gluten

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If you are one of the persons who are gluten sensitive as a result of the protein inherent in some cereal grains such as wheat, barley and rye, it is usually difficult to find food that will not give you discomfort. Often at times, most restaurants and possibly grocery stores where you visit, you carefully select your gluten free products. Yet still often at times the label is carrying misleading identity. Most of this so called gluten free products carry enough level of gluten to make you sick! Literally!  So, be sure to protect yourself from gluten.

After years of complaints, the Food and Drug Administration in August, 2014 came up with new rules to help protect gluten sensitive consumers from deceit and trouble. There are certain standard rules for gluten sensitive products which should be done to ensure strict adherence and to avoid misleading information that could trigger the disorders inherent.

Get tested before you become gluten free individual

It is recommended for the gluten sensitive person check first for Celiac disease before starting gluten free regime. A person can be allergic to wheat and not being gluten intolerant. Someone who goes gluten free may feel better possibly as a result of eating healthier foods which are natural than the usual processed food he is used to.

It is vital that you carefully read the labels

Read the labels of the processed gluten food you intend to buy before purchase and use ensure strict adherence. Know that such processed food have more sugars and calorie to make up for the lost gluten. According to Food and Drug Administration publication in 2014, for a processed food label to be tagged gluten free, no gluten, free of gluten or without gluten, it must be free of wheat, barley, rye and cross breed of such grains, containing less than20 parts per million of gluten (ppm). This is because it is an easily measurable standard as no current test can measure gluten at zero level. The most precise test can only measure at 3ppm level. Many Celiac disease and gluten sensitive persons can safely eat gluten at 20ppm which is not enough to cause any intestinal cramps, weakness or joint pains.

It has been revealed that gluten intake that is less than 20 ppm (parts per million) is safe to celiac disease and gluten sensitive persons. Long term consumption of low levels of gluten can accumulate overtime to cause a chronic effect. Celiac disease damage is cumulative and as such every little amount counts.

Gluten free food does not cure all diseases, it can be healthy or unhealthy depending on what you eat. It is not a weight loss strategy since there in no known evidence to that effect.

When shopping and ultimately combining ingredients, note the combined gluten parts per million across all of the products. Notice potential gluten containing grains like oats which is not under this rule as it is gluten free. To avoid oats that has been combine with gluten containing grains during growing, harvest and processing, look for oat specifically tagged gluten- free and not cross-contaminated during the processing and packaging.

Do not be deceived by likely gluten claims not addressed under gluten-free rule. Labels on food claiming to be made with no gluten containing ingredients must not necessarily comply with the FDA rule.

Look for third-party certifications if you would wish to get a small amount of gluten. The Gluten Intolerance Group awards its Certified Gluten-Free seal only to products proven to contain less than 10 ppm of gluten while Celiac Sprue’s seal is even tougher, allowing just 5 ppm in approved products.