My Favourite Gluten-free Recipes for Summer
At the age of 12, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. That marked the beginning of my journey towards recovery and healing, a journey that taught me, first hand, how changing what you eat can truly change your life. After experiencing the power of nutrition to eliminate my bloating, diarrhea, and weight gain, I made it my life’s mission to help educate others to discover that same truth. I now enjoy travelling the world to educate others on how to eat healthy and change their lives.
If you’ve been diagnosed as celiac and have chosen to go gluten-free, it is imperative that you eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. This will help to rebuild both your immune system and the villi in your small intestine that were damaged by gluten. Special focus and attention should be given to proteins and foods high in iron. Many celiacs are low in iron, so incorporating dark leafy greens such as kale, baby spinach, and blackstrap molasses is very helpful in replenishing the blood’s supply of iron.
Here are four of my recommended food strategies for eating gluten-free, which include some of the foods that helped me recover from celiac disease:
1) Stick to nature as much as possible. Incorporate fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, organic meats, beans, and legumes into your diet on a regular basis. In their natural state, these foods are all gluten-free and nourishing.
2) I eat vegetables like its my full time job. Vegetables are full of antioxidants, fibre, and protein. When you fill yourself up with nature’s vegetable bounty, you won’t be tempted by all the gluten-rich choices available today. As an easy way to add more vegetables to my meals, I love to incorporate new and fresh salad ideas (like the ones in the recipes included here).
3) When shopping, I avoid all the middle aisles of the grocery store. The majority of the foods found there are processed and contain long ingredient lists – often with gluten lurking. I like to stick to foods that don’t have an extensive ingredient list.
4) I like to experiment with gluten-free whole grains like quinoa, teff, Cavena Nud*, and brown rice by adding them to soups, salads, and stir fries.
*Cavena Nud is the trademark name for Canada’s hottest new grain. A Manitoba farmer developed this nutritious hull-less oat that looks, cooks, and tastes like rice. These ‘naked oats’ also go by the catchy nickname ‘Rice of the Prairies’.
AVOID GLUTEN-FREE JUNK FOOD
White flour, white rice flour, enriched wheat flour (white flour with synthetic vitamins sprayed on top), or enriched white rice flour – all of these kinds of flour will do one thing: they will cause you to crave more sugar. These products are devoid of nutrition, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Not only will eating them create a craving for more sugar, it will also cause the body to store belly fat.
Many gluten-free processed foods are made with high amounts of white rice flour and sugar. Avoid them! Choose instead whole grains like quinoa, teff, oats, and sorghum, to name a few.
Here are some favourite gluten-free recipes made with whole foods. I recommend using organic and/or raw ingredients, whenever possible.
Editor’s note: To read a feature on ‘Adapting to Life after Wheat’ by Victoria Yeh, visit: http://tinyurl.com/pdgc8g4