How To Eat Gluten Free

Gluten is the protein found in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, farro, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten has gotten a bad reputation lately because it can be difficult for many people to digest. If you have been toying with the idea of going gluten free, here are a few pointers.

Here is a list of gluten-free foods to enjoy:

  • Potatoes
  • Buckwheat
  • Oats (*must be labeled gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination)
  • Corn/ maize
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Teff
  • Millet
  • Beans
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Eggs
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Herbs and spices
  • Meats and fish purchased without sauce or seasonings
  • Home-made soups (avoid bouillon cubes, barley malt, and all types of pasta)
  • Juice (all-natural, 100% fruit juice)

Foods to avoid when going gluten free:

  • Wheat
  • Kamut
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats are generally avoided because they are almost always processed in mills that process grains containing gluten
  • Modified food starch
  • Barley enzymes (found in majority of breakfast cereals), soy sauce, and distilled vinegar (malt vinegar)

If you are going 100% gluten free due to an allergy or celiac diagnosis, be mindful of cross-contamination. Be sure to have dedicated gluten free food prep areas and be sure to thoroughly clean appliances like toasters that may contain crumbs from products containing gluten.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Why You Should Eat More Quinoa!

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains. It is an extremely high energy grain and has been grown and consumed for about 8,000 years on the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America. The Incas were able to run such long distances at such a high altitude because of this powerful grain.

Characteristics of quinoa

  • Contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein
  • Has a protein content equal to milk
  • High in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E
  • Gluten-free; easy to digest
  • Ideal food for endurance
  • Strengthens the kidneys, heart, and lungs

Uses for quinoa

When quinoa is cooked, the outer germ surrounding the seed breaks open to form a crunchy coil, while the inner grain becomes soft and translucent. This double texture makes it delicious, versatile, and fun to eat. To save time, cook a lot of quinoa at once, and eat it as leftovers. Quinoa can be reheated with a splash of nut milk for breakfast porridge; you can add dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon for a sweet treat. Add finely chopped raw vegetables and dressing for a cooling salad, or add chopped, cooked, root vegetables for a warming side dish. Store dry, uncooked quinoa in a cool, dry, dark place in a tightly closed glass jar for up to one year.

Preparation

Before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa, produces a soapy solution in water. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again at home before use.  Place quinoa in a grain strainer and rinse thoroughly with water.

Quinoa is one of my FAVE vegetable protein sources. I use it in breakfasts, lunches and dinners! It can be made savory or sweet, and adds great nutritional value to any dish. We eat it all the time in our home!

© Integrative Nutrition, Inc. | Reprinted with permission

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Gluten Free Does Not Always Mean Healthy!!!

I have noticed a huge trend of people going on “gluten free” diets for weight loss. While a gluten free diet can certainly be a healthy alternative for some and a necessity for others, it can also be quite unhealthy if done improperly.

What most people don’t do when switching to a gluten free diet is eliminate processed, packaged foods. They think that by eating the gluten free version of pretzels, chips, cookies and crackers, they are making a healthier choice. In fact, the junk food manufacturers have to add even MORE preservatives, GMO’s and flavors to their treats to make them taste like their gluten-laden counter-parts. The fact is, switching to the gluten free versions of these treats is often an even worse choice if you are simply trying to lose weight.

A gluten free diet CAN be a healthy option if it focuses on incorporating whole foods and whole, gluten free grains like brown rice, quinoa, amaranth and millet. Fueling your body with nutrient rich, whole foods that are naturally gluten free is a great way to get your healthy eating back on track and lose weight.

So next time you are in Whole Foods and find yourself reaching for the gluten free cookies, remind yourself that gluten free DOES NOT mean low calorie, low fat or healthy. It simply means that it does not contain gluten. If you really want to lose weight and get healthier, you will need to eliminate the cookies and opt for naturally sweet foods like fruit.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Cassava Flour…Try It!

Have you ever heard of cassava flour? I hadn’t until recently. One of the members of a “crunchy” Facebook group I am in posted about how she has started doing a lot of cooking with cassava flour and it piqued my interest.

I did some research and found that cassava has some great health benefits, which make it a good addition to your diet. I love that it is gluten free as well as nut free, making it a good option for treats to send in to my daughter’s nut-free school.

Cassava is loaded with dietary fiber. Fiber has a number of health benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol levels, better control over blood sugar levels and a lower risk of obesity. Each cup of cassava boosts your fiber intake by 3.7 grams. This provides 10 percent toward the fiber intake recommended for men and 14 percent toward the fiber intake recommended for women by the Institute of Medicine.

The vitamin C and folate in cassava also offer great health benefits. Adding more folate into your diet protects against colon cancer and reduces the risk of complications during pregnancy while a diet high in vitamin C offers protection against coronary heart disease and several types of cancer.

Cassava also contains magnesium and copper. A diet high in magnesium promotes lower blood pressure and reduces your risk of osteoporosis, while a diet rich in copper helps support healthy nerve function.

When consuming cassava, be sure to cook it, as it contains dangerous toxins if eaten raw. Don’t worry, it is totally safe to eat once it is cooked!

Try some cassava flour recipes and let us know how you like them!

Kasha…An Underused (Delicious) Grain!

Kasha is the name for buckwheat that has been roasted to a deep amber color. It is one of the oldest traditional foods of Russia. Despite its name, buckwheat is not actually a member of the wheat family, but rather a relative of rhubarb. Of all the grains, buckwheat has the longest transit time in the digestive tract and is the most filling.

Characteristics

  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Gluten-free
  • Builds blood; neutralizes toxic acidic waste
  • Benefits circulation
  • Strengthens the kidneys
  • High proportion of all eight amino acids, especially lysine
  • Rich in vitamin E and B-complex vitamins

Uses

Kasha has a strong, robust, earthy flavor and makes a very hearty meal. It can be eaten as a hot breakfast cereal, a side dish, or a grain entrée mixed with vegetables.

Preparation

The only way to cook kasha is to add it to boiling water. This keeps the grains separate and less mushy. It also makes the cooking process faster. Do not add kasha to cold water, as it will not cook properly.

Basic Kasha

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup kasha

2 cups water

pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Slowly add kasha and pinch of sea salt.
  • Cover and let simmer 20 minutes.
  • Fluff with fork.

Millet…A Great Grain That Doesn’t Get Much Attention

Millet is a very small, round grain with a history that traces back thousands of years. It was the chief grain in China before rice became popular and continues to sustain people in Africa, China, Russia, and India, among other places. Millet is an extremely nutritious and hardy crop that grows well under harsh or dry conditions, both of which contribute to its widespread use and popularity around the world.

Characteristics

  • Gluten-free
  • High in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and potassium
  • Contains silica, which helps keep bones flexible in aging process
  • Soothing, especially for indigestion or morning sickness
  • Anti-fungal; helps ease Candida symptoms
  • Improves breath
  • Warming; good to eat in cool or rainy weather
  • Supports kidneys and stomach

    Uses

    Millet can be used in porridges, cereal, soups, and dense breads. It is a delicious wheat-free substitution for couscous, as it has a similar consistency. In parts of Africa, millet is fermented to make beer.

    Buying & Storing

    Look for yellow colored, raw millet in health food stores. Millet is often found in the bulk section of the health food store and is generally not sold in regular supermarkets. Store in an airtight jar or glass container for six to nine months.

    Preparation

    Rinse millet before cooking, and use one part millet to two parts liquid.

    Basic Millet

    Prep Time: 2 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Serves 4

    Ingredients:

    1 cup millet, 2 cups of water
    a few grains of sea salt

    Directions:

  • Rinse millet in a grain strainer.
  • Place all ingredients in a pot with a tight fitting lid.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer 30 minutes.

    More water may be added to make the millet a softer consistency. Millet can also be lightly toasted before cooking to give it a nutty flavor.