Gluten Free Fitness

Gluten Free

What do you Mean You Don’t Like Veggies?

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What do you mean it’s too hard to make them taste good? It’s really not hard if you keep an open mind and take advantage of what is available.

I am very lucky to have a nearby market where they feature locally grown and mostly organic produce.  I stop by there on the weekend and pick up whatever looks and smells good to me.

Last weekend, there was a bunch of beautiful bright orange carrots and some zucchini (aka summer squash-as I understand it summer squash can be either yellow or green, and the green variety is zucchini.)

It’s in season now, and was very reasonably priced.  I loaded up my basket with those and some other goodies.  Had I a clue of how I was going to prepare them?  Nope.  But, I knew I could figure something out.

In my opinion, that’s a key to preparing your own gluten free and healthful food.

Keep your options open if you are at a market such as this.

See what looks good and is reasonably priced.  When you start with fresh, local ingredients, generally you will have a much more flavorful start to your meal than if you are starting with something that has been shipped and/or processed.  You won’t need fancy sauces or preparation methods to make them taste good.

So here I am with my zucchini and carrots.  My Dad is in town for Fathers’ Day, and Jeff is at work, so it’s dinner for me and Dad.  It was Sunday, so it’s my cook ahead for the week day.

I had been marinating chicken breasts in lemon juice, fresh garlic, and lemon pepper seasoning (this is my favorite) for most of the day.  That would be our protein source.

I remembered seeing an idea to make pasta-ish ribbons from zucchini using a vegetable peeler.  I thought that sounded good, so I scrubbed my veggies with water and a veggie brush and pulled out the peeler.  2 peels into it I decided that would take far too long.  I am definitely not that patient.

I do have a mack daddy food processor which I love.  I pulled it out and gave myself a quick tutorial on how to use the shredding blade.  It worked fantastically.

I had a beautiful big pile of shredded zucchini and carrot.

Now what to do?

My theory is you can never go wrong with some fresh garlic.  Not in the amount that would protect you from vampires, but just a touch for some flavor.

Dinner is almost served…

I poured a tablespoon of coconut oil into my pan, and let it warm up over medium high heat.  Then I used my garlic press on 1 medium clove of fresh garlic and added that to the pan, stirring frequently as not to burn, just get that toasty garlic aroma floating through the house.

This is when my Dad was drawn into the kitchen by the smell of garlic, and I chased him off.

The chicken was in the oven cooking away while I was doing all this, and some sweet potatoes were keeping the chicken company in the oven.  Especially in Florida in the summertime, if you’re heating up the oven, you may as well make the most of it.

Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the pan, and stir.  They cook quickly, about 5 minutes or so is all you need.  I added a couple shakes of sea salt and grinds of black pepper, and that was it.

We had a lovely meal of chicken, the shredded veggies, and sweet potato.  All naturally gluten free.  All wonderfully full of flavor, and easy to prepare.

You can see in the photo the eggy breakfast casserole in the background, and the pot in which I was cooking rice.  You can do this also, and get a bunch of good food prepared ahead of time.

What’s your favorite way to prepare vegetables?  If you have tricks, please share!

The Magic Bullet for Living a Healthy Gluten Free Life

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The Magic Bullet for Living a Healthy Gluten Free Life

No, not the Magic Bullet, one of my favorite small kitchen appliances… Not a pill, or potion, or lotion, or gimmicky late night infomercial product or fitness program…

Actually, it’s not very sexy at all. But, it will get you closer to your goals than a kitchen gadget, a pill, a potion, lotion, or gimmick.

It’s awareness.

Awareness

Since you can’t package it and sell it, I’m afraid this little tidbit may be receiving less attention than it should.

If you’ve been reading my rantings, you may have heard me rant about this before. I believe that celiac disease is a blessing in disguise, a built in necessity where we HAVE to become more conscious of what we put in our mouths.

Awareness can extend much further than the gluten status of a food though

1. Be aware of how much you move-sitting, standing, lying. Be conscious of your movement or lack thereof, and try to add more general movement to your day.

2. Be aware of how eating different foods make you feel. Do you feel energized or listless? Do you feel good or no so good after eating french fries or something with a list of unpronounceable ingredients longer than your arm? (Gluten free of course-whatever it may be.)

3. Be aware of your sleep patterns. Many, many of us aren’t getting enough sleep, and that can lead to issues with appetite and weight control. On top of feeling tired, which just stinks. I am guilty of trying to get a lot done in a small amount of time, I understand totally. But sleep is crucial. 7-9 hours is ideal. Really. I get up at 5AM, but I’m lights out by 9:30-10 PM.

4. Be aware of your stress levels, and minimize them whenever possible. If you find yourself getting aggravated, try to focus on your breathing, count to 10 in pig latin, whatever it takes to talk yourself down. Every day life throws a lot of chronic stressors our way, and we’re just not built to live well under that constant low level stress. It’s very different than the stress of running from a lion, you know? In that case you run and it’s over. If you find this interesting, a great book to check out is Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky.

5. Be aware of the nutritional value of your food. You don’t have to change anything, just take a look-see. You may find that your habits begin to slowly change, and gravitate toward more “healthful” foods just by being aware of your choices and not just grabbing by habit.

So it’s not a pill, or a potion, or a lotion, or a gimmick. But give it a try and see what happens. You may be surprised what a little awareness can bring you.

Leave your experiences with awareness below…I love to hear from you guys!