Gluten Free Fitness

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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Intuitive Eating: You Eat Therefore you Think

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Intuitive Eating – Getting your Mind into your Food

What does our brain have to do with eating anyway?

Well, as it turns out, quite a bit.

If you have struggled at all with eating or weight issues, you’ve no doubt heard that people eat “mindlessly” or that eating is often used to deal with emotional issues that may have nothing to do with hunger.

Even if you have NOT struggled with eating, you’ve likely heard these terms. Food, eating, weight-they are all a huge part of our culture.  Especially now that approximately 33% of Americans are overweight, and another 34% are obese.  The implications of these numbers are staggering.

There’s always the search for the magic pill, the miracle exercise plan, the instant fix. There are thousands of diets, immense numbers of diet books, and a new weight loss guru every day showing up on the internet.

Celiacs have a special challenge with weight loss due to the absorption issues in the gut; and then there are also hormonal wackiness in some celiacs. The idea of intuitive eating is a huge subject, and one that I have wanted to discuss for quite a while.  It’s such a huge subject that I was hesitant to tackle it, as it is a very individual journey.

I listened to a podcast where Carla and Shauna discussed their views on intuitive eating.  They also expressed what a giant subject this is, and provided their own personal views on intuitive eating.  (Carla also mentioned she was gluten intolerant, which of course I found very interesting.)  The podcast gave me the kick in the butt I needed to write this.

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So what the heck is intuitive eating?

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In their podcast, Carla and Shauna renamed it “mindful eating” which I like quite a bit.

I have written in the past how awareness of what you eat can benefit you from a health and weight perspective.

Authors Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch have written a book titled Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works I read this book several years ago, and keep it handy for reference, which I still do from time to time. On their website, they give this definition:

“Intuitive eating is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body–where you ultimately become the expert of your own body.   You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom.   It’s also a process of making peace with food—so that you no longer have constant “food worry” thoughts.  It’s knowing that your health and your worth as a person does not change because you ate a so-called “bad” or “fattening” food. “

The truth is, that intuitive or mindful eating is going to have a slightly different definition for everyone.

We attach so much emotional value to food. In its most basic form, food is fuel.  But to many of us, food also represents celebration, tradition, and family fun time.  To some of us, food also represents loneliness, comfort or escape and that’s where we start to run into problems. Not only do we eat when we’re hungry, we eat when we’re bored, lonely, upset, happy, driving, watching TV, or any other time.

Imagine if we ate only when we were low on fuel

Imagine if we didn’t let food define us, allow it to control if we see ourselves as “good” or “bad” (ie: “I was good today, I only ate lettuce” or “I was bad today, I had a chocolate cake”.) Maybe then we could start to get this obesity crisis under control.  Maybe we could separate our feelings of self from our eating pattern.

Intuitive eating is not a diet, just as eating gluten free is not a diet.

And food has no inherent control on who you are.

It’s my personal opinion and experience that a combination of intuitive eating and structured eating is the way to go for weight (fat) loss.

For maintenance eating,(staying at your “happy size” when you get there)  I think a full on intuitive approach is definitely a great way to go.  I do think that as you are actively losing weight, that there may need to be an additional component of calorie control.  You absolutely can eat too much, even if it is “clean and healthy” food and never lose the fat.  In these instances, you would have to limit your caloric intake by measuring/weighing/using portion control.  Calories do matter, I don’t care what zealots of any given diet plan say.

To lose weight (fat) there must be a higher caloric expenditure than there is intake.  That means you may feel hungry.

Feeling hungry is not fun, but it won’t kill you either, especially if you have a lot of fat to lose.  This is why I think that a more structured eating plan is necessary in a fat loss phase, especially for celiacs whose gut hormones may be a bit wacky.  If you feel hungry and you are intuitively eating, you would eat.  But that won’t help you if you’ve already eaten the maximum calories for the day which will still allow you to lose weight.  You end up spinning your wheels and getting frustrated, “I’m doing everything right but I’m still not losing weight!”  In these cases, almost always, it’s a case of too many overall calories.  Even if they are healthy calories.

Carla had a great idea on the podcast.  She suggested keeping a food diary which indicates not just what you eat, but how you feel before, during and after eating an item.  I think this is a fantastic idea.  I suggest keeping a food diary… be sure to add in the awareness component to your writings.

The key in the beginning is to keep the diary without changing anything.  No judgments on yourself, just write it down as this helps set the baseline of where you are now.  What you eat, how much you eat, and how you feel – before and after you eat.  After a week or two, you will see a large increase in your awareness of what you are putting into your mouth, how often you are putting food into your mouth, and how it makes you feel.

Now go back and review your diary.  Notice anything? If you notice that you are eating when you are already full, then stop doing that. If you notice that you are eating after a meeting, then stop doing that. (It’s like the guy who goes to the doctor – Doc, my arm hurts when I do this – the Doctor responds with “stop doing that”).  I know I know – it isn’t that simple… right? Some things aren’t that easy to just stop.  I get that! The key is “awareness”.  As you become more aware, the “just stop” will take care of itself in time.

I know I am over simplifying, but the most important thing is to do something. Today. Now.  If you are unhappy with how you look or feel, it is up to you to make a change. You can do it.  You are stronger than you think.

Over on the Gluten Free Fitness Facebook page in the discussions tab we have a “goals and accountability” section where you can post your goal and get support and a kick in the butt if needed, so swing by and join us.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please pipe up on what you think of intuitive eating, your experiences and opinions.

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