Gluten free and vegan the easy way

Posted on: July 3, 2012

With all the new research and info popping up about plant-based diets, I’m sure you have considered how adapting such eating habits would affect your life. In addition, almost everyone knows someone who can’t or has chosen not to eat wheat products. I have done a fair amount of research on both the vegan and gluten free diets and have chosen to adhere pretty strictly to both of them.

Dairy is known to cause digestive issues like bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. I noticed an inability to properly digest things like ice cream and milk about 4 years ago. I still indulge in ice cream or fro-yo almost weekly but don’t feel in my best physical state when I do so. There is also a substantial amount of research supporting the notion that dairy fosters cancer cell growth and the development of other diseases like Type 1 diabetes and MS. If this is alarming and unbelievable to you, pick up The China Study and read away.

On the note of gluten intolerance, my experience and interest with it began several months ago when I broke out in a itchy rash along my neck and upper torso. Writing it off as eczema, I tried a few creams only to deal with a strong burning sensation whenever I sweat and unsightly irritation the rest of the time. I cut out gluten as part of the one week I spent on the Clean program detox and everything cleared up. I then returned to my usual pattern of eating and the rash returned. I googled symptoms of gluten intolerance and, sure enough, eczema was near the top of the list. I immediately removed it from my diet.

With so many dietary restrictions (some of which are self-decided, like being vegetarian) the whole idea of food can sometimes get boring and if not boring, difficult. Today I ventured to the library to seek out books for research on my push goal and stumbled across the number at the bottom of this post. After a quick flip through of the recipes, I realized that exciting eating, no matter what your restrictions and preferences does not have to be as complicated as mapquesting the shortest route to a market that sells sorghum flour and then dirtying 8-10 dishes blending up raw cashews and ener-g egg replacer. Although these crazy culinary conquests are exciting every once and a while, they are simply unrealistic for the average busy American.

My advice? Shop your local health food store, farmers market, gluten free aisle and produce section of the big-name grocery and find some awesome staples to dress up on a daily basis. For example, my breakfast today consisted of “Glutenfreeda” brand instant oats in Maple Raisin flavor topped with organic blueberries (picked them yesterday), walnuts and 1/2 tbsp of PB2 powdered peanut butter. Then for lunch I microwaved an “Amy’s” brand gluten-free, dairy-free burrito and laid it atop a bed a of greens with a dollop of blueberry salsa (from the blueberry farm). Not to shabby, eh? For dinner I’ll probably have Shakeology blended with all the fixin’s like coconut almond milk and a banana.

You CAN eat healthily and stay excited about it!



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