March 31, 2017
What raises your blood sugar levels more? Whole wheat bread or table sugar? Read on to find out.
"I could never go gluten free. I like bread too much."
"I've tried gluten free bread and I can't stand the taste."
"It's too hard to eat in a restaurant if you don't eat gluten."
"I don't have a gluten intolerance. I never have to run to the bathroom when I eat it."
Do any of these sound familiar?! These are among the top comments I hear when discussing gluten. There's a lot of buzz out there among the word gluten and there seem to be three camps of people: Those who are gluten free and are completely sold that it's improved their health, those who feel it's fine for other people to be gluten free but it's not for them, and lastly, those who believe that gluten free is a trend and will soon die out.
What is the truth? Is gluten bad for your health? If you're not intolerant should you be eating it?
I first discovered the concept of a gluten free diet when I read the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. This book opened my eyes to an entirely new concept and much of what he wrote seemed to be written directly for me.
A few things I learned:
- The wheat we eat today is not the same wheat our grandmother's ate.
- Even if you have a seemingly perfect diet, you may still hold on to body fat if wheat is in your diet.
- Wheat is the dominant source of gluten protein in the human diet. There are other grains containing gluten but as a general rule we consume those much less frequently.
- Whole wheat bread increases blood sugar as much or more than table sugar.
This last one was a real eye opener for me. I've had blood sugar issues my whole life. It's one reason it's hard for me to ever feel full for long. Up to this point, wheat made up a large part of my diet. I consumed pastas and breads without thinking twice. I exercised really hard so I figured, why not? After reading this book I learned exactly why not. I chose to remove gluten from my diet to see if there was some truth behind what I'd read. At this time I really didn't understand all the in's and out's of gluten. I now know that I had not removed 100% like I thought I had. Despite this, I still lost some weight, my tummy was flatter, and my blood sugar levels were much more stable than they'd ever been.
Of course, it was difficult living without gluten so this new lifestyle quickly dwindled and I went back to my old habits. Until I experienced a great loss
in my life, which spurred on my cystic acne (which I had fought off and on since my teen years). When creams and face washes weren't doing the trick I decided to take a more holistic option. I began researching on the internet what worked for other women with adult acne. A common theme kept recurring; Remove gluten and dairy from your diet as the first step.
I battled and struggled with this. I remembered how great I'd felt when I gave up gluten before, but truth be told I didn't want to do it again. It was too difficult. It was easier to eat in a restaurant if I was able to eat gluten. I didn't really have a problem with gluten, right?! There can't be that much truth to this idea. Long story short, I went back and forth A LOT before I finally realized I wasn't doing myself any favors and cut gluten from my diet 100%. No longer was I allowing a once a week treat of regular bread or cutting myself slack when eating out. I realized to see the changes I wanted it had to be all or nothing.
Here is the truth about identifying food intolerance and identifying foods that cause inflammation in your body. After all, too much inflammation in the body is where illness begins. If you want to know if eliminating gluten will make a difference for you, you have to completely eliminate it 100% no exceptions. The length of time you do this for really depends on your symptoms. If you have acne, eczema, rosacea or any other skin ailments then the longer the better. My acne clients do it for six straight months. If you're having GI discomfort you may notice a difference within a few days.
Here are other symptoms related to gluten intolerance:
- Brain fog
- ADHD like behavior
- Bone or Joint Pain
You can read more about it here: Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity
For some clarification, a gluten intolerance can exist even if you don't have Celiac disease or another type of autoimmune disorder. The problem with the bread of our grocery shelves today is it was made to be shelf stable. This equals a higher gluten content. Also, when you see the word "Enriched" on a label it often means "deprived of nutrients." Enriched means some of the nutrients that cause the food to spoil faster have been removed and replaced with chemical ingredients so the food will be shelf stable. (Dr. Sear's, The Inflammation Solution
Does cutting gluten from your diet seem scary or unmanageable or simply something you just really don't want to do? I get it. I once felt the same way. It's important to remember that you can always introduce back into your diet. If you eliminate if for two weeks and feel zero changes, start eating it again!
I highly encourage you to give this a try!
Tell me, have you ever eliminated or considered eliminating gluten from your diet?
March 23, 2017
I'm in love with these waffles. They are my go to when we have "breakfast for dinner" and when I have some stored in the freezer they make a delicious quick breakfast for my girls.
About a week ago my oldest daughter asked me for these waffles. I used a different type of fat from what I used in my original recipe. Not sure if it was that, or if I just didn't grease my waffle iron well enough but I ended up with quite a disaster. For the first few waffles anyway. Fortunately, the entire batch wasn't a loss and I was able to get some normal looking waffles. After posting about my fiasco, ironically I had people ask me for the recipe! I made these waffles again, using my original go-to and they came out perfectly.
Not only are these waffles gluten free, they are also dairy free and refined sugar fee although no one will know! These waffles fool everyone. I call them freezer waffles, because much like the freezer store bought variety you can toast them right out of the freezer for a quick meal.
Heat your waffle iron while preparing the batter. Grease generously with coconut oil, avocado oil or palm shortening. Makes about 12 to 16 (4-inch) waffles
1 cup Gluten Free 1 to 1 Flour Blend (I like this brand because xanthan gum is already in the blend. No need to add any!)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup palm shortening, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extra
In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients and whisk well to be sure everything is evenly incorporated. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
In another medium bowl beat eggs slightly. Stir in milk, palm shortening and vanilla extract. Add milk mixture all at once to your flour mixture. Stir just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy.
Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto your well greased waffle iron. Bake according to your waffle iron's instructions.
To freeze these: Wait until waffles have completely cooled. Store in a resealable storage bag or a freezer proof container with a sheet of parchment paper
between each waffle. To serve from the freezer, simply toast the waffle. There is no need to defrost it first as the toaster does all the work. To prevent burning, toast on a low setting first and then if needed toast again.
I hope you enjoy these waffles as much as my family does!
*Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook