Well, as you may be aware if you read my last post, I recently had a little confused by food meltdown!
After a little holiday from the kitchen, some time to reflect and the support and inspiration of my Foodie Friends, I have recovered and I’m ready to hit the pots and pans once again.
Certainly, for me, the problem was getting all wound up and overwhelmed by trying to eat in a perfect way…and feed my family in their perfect way. So…what have I learnt? There is no one perfect way to eat! We are all different and our needs are constantly changing with the seasons, our emotions and our desires. What’s important is to listen to our bodies, be sensible and enjoy a seasonal approach to eating. Eat with joy, embrace simplicity and break up with perfection…there is no room for anxiety or stress at the family table!
I have chosen to stay with the gluten free eating as recommended by my Naturopath because I understand and value the reasons why we are doing it.
Luckily for me, the gorgeous Naturopath and Whole Food Advocate, Jules Galloway has come to my rescue with some easy to follow, down to earth, helpful hints!
Top tips for going gluten free (plus my favourite go-anywhere dessert!)
Making the change to gluten free living is not always easy. I swear, “slip-up” used to be my middle name! But over time, I’ve realized that the after effects of gluten consumption are not worth it for me – the bloating, tummy aches, joint pain, fatigue, itchy skin and mood swings are all things I can happily do without. So I am now a lot stricter with my diet and I feel fantastic.
But how did I achieve this without losing the plot? I’m glad you asked! Here are my top tips for a smoother transition to gluten free living.
Change one meal at a time
Choose a meal and aim to make it gluten free for an entire week. Whether it’s swapping your breakfast cereal for a gluten free variety, having a salad for lunch instead of a sandwich, or getting rid of the wheat-based noodles and pasta at dinner, pick one meal for the whole week and go for it. Once you’ve successfully integrated gluten free eating into that part of your day, pick another meal, and add that to the mix. Within a few weeks you will be 100% gluten free!
Hungry people often make poor food choices. This is a danger time for the gluten free eater because it’s easy to get caught out. Prior preparation and a few emergency GF snacks stashed around the place can make all the difference. A friend of mine arrived at a party last week with a container of cooked GF pasta for her allergic toddler and popped it in the fridge in case she stayed later than planned. I often have little tins of tuna and beans, Brookfarm muesli bars, and little containers of dried fruit and nuts in my handbag, gym bag and car. I very rarely leave home without a banana or apple. I’m even considering putting a couple of slices of GF bread in my friend’s freezer because I often turn up there ravenous after a surf (she lives closest to the beach). Work out which foods you can get by on. Stash them everywhere. And eat them before you feel desperately hungry.
Restaurants and cafes are another danger area. Surveys of gluten intolerant people have revealed they often have a “night off” and eat gluten when they go out. I have been very, very guilty of this, and have paid the price dearly! I’ve worked out that a rubbery arm and a hungry tummy don’t go well together, especially after a couple of wines. While a night off may be ok for a select group, why damage your health and undo all your good work if it isn’t necessary? Gently remind your friends that you would prefer a place with GF options, call the restaurant yourself ahead of time and check that you will be catered for, and enlist the help of a close friend who will remind you to stick to your guns, even after a couple of sauv blancs.
Identify your social triggers
Dessert at friend’s houses was always a killer for me. Often at gatherings I would make it through the event unscathed, only to fall at the last hurdle… dessert. Someone would bring out an amazing looking cake and that would be it – game over for another gluten free day. So I have adopted a new strategy – I will always bring dessert with me! Now, when someone is having a dinner party or BBQ, I jump in and offer to bring a gluten free, dairy free cheesecake or tart, and it is always met with appreciation. It’s also a great way to show people that gluten free food doesn’t have to be bland or boring – you never know who might be considering making a healthy change in their lives!
Below is a super easy, no-bake gluten free, dairy free chocolate tart that everyone will love.
1 cup almonds
6 dried figs
1/2 cupvirgin coconut oil
1 cup cashews
1/2 cupagave syrup (you can also use coconut nectar, honey or rice malt syrup)
1/3 cupraw cacao powder
1/2 cup unsalted macadamias
Let’s do this!
Throw the almonds and figs in your blender and whizz on a medium speed until the mix is slightly sticky. You can check this by pressing a small amount between your fingers – if it falls apart easily, blend a little longer.
Press the mix into a 25cm tart pan, covering the base and 2cm up the side.
Throw your cashews into the blender and whizz until they resemble a nut butter consistency.
Next, add your the coconut oil, agave and cacao powder, and combine on a low to medium speed until it reaches a smooth, velvety consistency.
Pour the yummy chocolatey mix into the tart base, and top with macadamias.
Put in the fridge for 2-3 hours, or until set.
You can find Jules at her website and blog (which is full of even more amazing raw dessert recipes!) julesgalloway.com or on Facebook. Drop by and say hi, she is super friendly and very helpful!