Good Day Mates…as they say here in Sunny Adelaide!
Since my recent surgery, I’ve been experimenting with a low gluten, low sugar and low lactose diet. I say “low” because I’m not one for radically slashing food intake or jumping into changes that I’m not sure are required. Instead of trying to adapt to drastic changes, I’ve opted for a gradual reduction in gluten, sugar and lactose to see if I feel improvements in my body.
In lowering my intake of these hard to avoid foods (seriously…they’re everywhere!), I’ve been taking it one step at a time, adding in new non-gluten foods every day. I guess you could call them substitutes or gluten alternatives.
How does this play out in real life?
We all know how difficult it can be to stick to a healthy diet while traveling. This vacation is no exception. Today, Vic and I left the kids with the grandparents and enjoyed a little shopping. When hunger struck, we headed to – you guessed it – the food court. As we walked in, we were greeted by KFC, McDonald’s and an Italian eatery. I thought, “Argh, I’m never going to find anything here to eat that fits this new experimental diet.” But, with a little creative thinking, I enjoyed a great meal that didn’t derail my attempts to reduce gluten, refined sugar or dairy. Here are just some of the alternatives we came across:
- Fresh fruit juices with a green tea base
- Fruit bowls
- Bean burritos
If you’re thinking the burrito isn’t gluten-free….you’re right. But this is what I had to work with, and I turned it into a yummy bean salad by removing the flour wrapping. A little unorthodox, but it was tasty, filled with healthy dietary fiber and – best of all – didn’t leave me with any aches or pains.
I confess, as a bread lover this move to a low gluten lifestyle has been challenging. While I do still eat bread, I make every effort to ensure it has a lower gluten and sugar content than other breads. At home, I enjoy a cold rise bread which rises in the fridge for a minimum of 10 hours. This long rise helps to break down the gluten and, so far, I’ve had no ill effects, sore joints or gut issues from eating it. It’s important to note that I don’t eat this every day. However, when a craving hits, I have no problem enjoying a piece without any internally abusive reprimands.
Here are a few tips to revamp your evening meal to minimize gluten intake.
Quinoa burger lettuce wrap: Instead of placing the burger in a bun, use Iceberg lettuce to wrap the burger. It’s so delicious that when Natasha tried it, she said “Mom, it’s better like this!” She now happily eats her quinoa burgers without the bread.
Beef burgers: Enjoying your BBQ burgers without the bread can be done. Instead of bread, serve a black rice quinoa corn salad. We enjoyed this for dinner last night, and it was delicious! Although we initially tried to hunt down some bread for this meal, it turned out that none of us missed it.
Cold meat sandwich: To enjoy this meal, simply opt out of using bread and feast on the ham, chicken or your favorite meat along with a salad and vegetables with dip. Add in a piece of fruit for dessert, and you’ll feel full and satisfied.
Cabbage rolls and salad: This is a naturally gluten-free meal….one we had upon our arrival in Australia.
Enjoy your favorite stew over a bed of rice, potato or sweet potato.
A very convenient way to help keep your willpower up is to simply not put the bread on the table in the first place. I suggest that rather than completely depriving yourself of all bread products, you substitute with healthier options. Some good alternatives include brown rice, quinoa, potato or lentil salads. If you crave something crunchy, try adding in rice cakes. They are versatile and come in many flavors. When you add in non-gluten alternatives, you’ll still enjoy your meals. You’ll also feel full and satisfied while providing your body with needed essential nutrients.
Pay attention to what you’re eating and consciously choose foods that will take you where you want to go. My desired destination is a pain-free life that is filled with energy and happiness. What is your destination? What do you need to eat in order to get there?
Remember….it’s your life, your choice.
If you would like some help with this commitment, or are currently facing health challenges or lack of energy, I’d love to help you. Stop by to quickly apply for your free 1-1 Health History Session with me, where we will explore how your lifestyle is impacting your energy levels and discuss the strategy needed to turn things around!
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