Food Should Make You Healthy Series: Part Four
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If you’re not sure why to get rid of gluten in the first place, go check out this article. Back? Alright then let’s get this healthy dough ball rolling. Ditching gluten is like getting out of a toxic relationship. In a way you get addicted to the drama and don’t know what to do when your life is actually peaceful. In the same way, you get addicted to the opioid like substances in gluten and when it’s gone your bodies go into a sort of shock.
Do not fear, it gets easier, and when you know what to eat instead of the usual bagel and coffee, you’ll be much better equipped to keep it up and not go back. There are so many delicious options that don’t involve commercially processed BS gluten free alternatives.
Just think of your newfound gluten freedom as an opportunity to get creative and form some new neural connections in the kitchen. With options from cauliflower crust to zucchini noodle pasta, there’s no shortage of options. When it comes to your fave foods like pizza, cake and cookies you can still have those too!
It just takes some creative experimentation with different flours and ingredients. I can tell you I make some mean almond butter chocolate chip cookies that even the biggest processed food junkies would die for.
Wheat and Grain Flour Alternatives
Almond flour– What’s not to love about almonds? With almond flour you can make pretty much anything you make with wheat flour. For special occasions like birthdays it’s nice to indulge in a fancy cake, but it doesn’t mean you have to eat gluten to do it. Just check out this epic recipe for uber nutrient abundant birthday cake.
Almond and other nut butters – Another option that’s less obvious is nut butters. With things like cookies and bars you don’t even need flour. Nut butter, eggs, and a little honey and baking soda will satisfy a cookie craving in even the biggest of monsters. Here’s a my favorite recipe for a nice treat.
Coconut Flour– Coconut flour is high in fiber since it’s basically what’s left over once the milk and oil has been squeezed out. Its high fiber content makes it absorb moisture like none other, so you can’t just swap it 1:1 for wheat flour. That said, it works well when blended with other flours mentioned here and it’s an excellent thickening agent.
Tapioca starch – Tapioca is a starchy substance that digests easily and adds a nice chewy texture to foods. It rivals cornstarch in its ability to thicken sauces and you can make terrific wraps with it too. I like to blend ½ almond flour with ⅓ tapioca and 2 Tbs of coconut flour for an all-purpose flour substitute.
Pizza, Pasta and Bread, Oh My!
Tapioca pizza crust – Amazingly thin, crispy and easy to make, this is my go to recipe when I’m craving pizza. In all honesty, I think it’s better than regular pizza and you’ll sure feel better afterwards.
Eggplant Cannelloni – The name speaks for itself, instead of those gluten laden cannelloni that have been sitting on the shelf for God knows how long, you use strips of eggplant.
So here’s the thing with gluten free pasta. You need to get a spiralizer. They’re not expensive, they take up minimal space, and they will change your gluten free existence from drab to fab. Plus, it’s the easiest thing ever, you just pop your favorite vegetable on, spin it around a few times and you’ve got noodles just like that. Anything from butternut squash, zucchini, carrots, beets and sweet potato can all be made into yummy noodles.
Here are a few great recipes to get your started once you’ve got a spiralizer. Of course you can never go wrong with the classic spaghetti and bolognese. In this case the spaghetti is substituted for zoodles, which is just a cute term for zucchini noodles or sweet potato noodles. Mark’s Daily Apple has a great recipe for hearty bolognese style meat sauce.
Have a hankering some Chinese food? You’re covered there too. This spaghetti squash chow mein is a million times easier to digest than it’s MSG laden predecessor. And if you’re feeling like something more Thai style, crazy good peanut noodles are made with spiralized squash and you can swap the peanut for almond if you really want to up your nutrition game.
This is the simplest keto, paleo bread recipe you’ll ever find. Dave Asprey is smart to mention that beyond the problems that gluten itself has, it’s also highly susceptible to mold growth, which contributes to a whole new bag of health problems.
Who Needs Burger Buns?
Seriously, there are many ways to enjoy a nice burger or a tasty “sandwich”. Here are a few ideas to get your curiosity humming.
- Portobello sandwich bread
- Tomato slider sandwiches
- Sweet potato sandwich buns
- Grain free hamburger buns
Wrap It Up
- Plantain tortillas
- Make lettuce your best friend, seriously stuff big lettuce leaves with seasoned ground beef, chicken, tuna, you won’t miss soggy sandwiches one bit.
- Tapioca flour wraps
- Coconut wraps
What the Hell Am I Supposed to Eat for Breakfast?
This is the first question I asked myself when I ditched gluten. I always loved having toast and eggs, or cereal to get the day started. Looking back it explains why when 11AM came around I always felt like taking a nap. Big time blood sugar crashes always follow large amounts of difficult to digest wheat and grains.
Now I don’t really eat breakfast first thing in the morning (check out this article on the benefits of intermittent fasting aka why skipping breakfast isn’t a bad thing). But I still love me some breakfast food when that first meal of the day rolls around.
Instead of toast and waffles I like to steam or bake some sweet potato chunks if I’ve had a workout. Or just steam some dark leafy greens and broccoli, tossed with some grass fed butter, a side of sauerkraut or kimchi and some poached eggs and you’ve got yourself a breakfast that actually gives energy instead of taking it away.
Another favorite breakfast of mine are nutrient dense smoothie made with lots of collagen, coconut milk and oil along with berries and some greens. Or you could just go out and buy some of that yummy gluten free pancake mix…just kidding.
Thrive Market – If you’re anything like me, you care a lot about the food you put in your body. In fact, I think it’s much more important than exercise. The problem is that good food can be extremely expensive…but it doesn’t have to be.
Thrive Market is like Costco for everything healthy – an online shopping club offering the best brands and groceries at 25-50% off retail prices, shipped nationally for free. You can easily filter everything by your preferences: paleo, gluten-free, vegan, raw, non-GMO, etc.
✓Getting rid of excuses
✓ Discover the joys of making food you like
Plus a few more tip we have picked up along the way
You can download the guide by clicking here
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This article is part of a monthly series all about hacking your diet.
If you like this post check out the rest of the series:
- How the Establishment Destroyed Your Health and How You Can Get it Back
- How to Optimize the Time You Spend Buying and Preparing Meals
- Stop Eating So Much and Start Getting Results… No This Isn’t Promoting Eating Disorders
- The Devil is in Your Sandwich: Gluten, Gut Health and Glorious Non-Gimmicky Food Fads
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