Monthly Archives: October 2011
Cereal… toast… bagels… Danishes… sometimes it seems as if there are no wheat free recipes available for breakfast. Rather than pulling out your pocketbook to buy expensive gluten-free bread so you can make French toast without also making yourself sick, take a moment to re-imagine breakfast.
Do you frequently find yourself hitting a mid-morning slump? It’s 10am and you ate three hours ago, but suddenly the thought of staying awake– let alone productive– without a shot of caffeine or a candy bar seems like a herculean effort. You’re not alone; the prevalence of carbohydrates and sugar in common breakfast foods almost guarantees a blood sugar roller-coaster ride throughout the rest of the day.
Easily digestible sugars and carbs (even complex carbs like whole grains) cause an insulin spike and subsequent crash within hours. Protein and fat– yes, fat!– yield a more stable energy source for your body that allows you to cruise through to lunchtime almost effortlessly. The almost paranoid mania to avoid fat in western culture is based on faulty research and government policy built on the back of campaign contributions and political pressure groups. The truth is that naturally occurring fats from meat, fish, and minimally processed plants like coconuts, avocados, or olives are not nearly as bad for you as the processed flour and sugar that we shovel into our mouths at almost every meal.
In fact, they’re actually good for you.
So take a fresh look at breakfast and try the wheat free recipes listed below for breakfast for a week. See how you feel after seven days. If you like the results, consider cutting out the processed food from another meal as well. We think you’ll see the benefits to your health almost immediately.
Tropical Tuna Cups
- 3 large, ripe avocados
- 1 6.4oz. pouch of chunk light tuna in water
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (gluten-free, of course!)
Drain tuna in a bowl and mix with mayonnaise to make a simple tuna salad. Slice around the outside of the avocados and twist to separate the halves. Remove the pits by embedding the blade of a knife in the tops and twisting them loose. Peel the skin from the avocado halves or scoop them free with a spoon.
Heap tuna salad into the holes in the avocados, distributing it evenly among the six halves. Serve with tea or coconut water (available in the Asian section of many large supermarkets, or from specialty markets).
Serves three (two if they’re really hungry).
Smoky Deviled Eggs
- 6 hard-boiled eggs (locally raised, pastured eggs if possible)
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp dried dill or 1 Tbsp fresh dill
- 2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto or smoked salmon
Shell the hard-boiled eggs and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolks and place them in a bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, and dill. Mash the mixture to a paste with a fork. Using scissors, cut the bottom corner off of a plastic sandwich bag to make a hole less than half an inch in diameter. Put the egg yolk mixture in the bag and squeeze it through the hole (pastry bag style) into the 12 hard-boiled egg halves.
Top each deviled egg with a paper-thin slice of prosciutto or smoked salmon and serve with tea or fresh-squeezed juice.
Serves three, or two really hungry people.
What does eating fat have to do with wheat intolerance? The modern western diet is high in fat, but that is not, in itself, a problem. While experts decry cholesterol intake, they ignore the very real and growing problem of omega 3,6 fatty acid imbalance.
These days, it’s trendy to eat foods high in PUFAs (poly unsaturated fatty acids), but PUFAs are only beneficial when the ratio of inflammation-causing omega-6 fatty acids to inflammation-reducing omega-3 fatty acids is about 4:1, or even lower. Unfortunately, the average American’s ratio of these essential fatty acids is close to 10:1, due to high intake of omega-6 rich grain-fed meat, poultry, and grain- or seed-based oils (soybean oil, corn oil), versus a relatively low consumption of omega-3 rich fatty fish, flax, and walnuts.
Even then, not all omega-6 fatty acids are created equal. Because most meat sold and consumed today is factory-farmed, it relies heavily on grain-based, concentrated feeds. Grain-fed ruminants produce lower levels of the beneficial omega-6 variety called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grass-fed ruminants. Cage-raised hens produce eggs with lower CLA levels than pastured hens.
This is particularly important to people with wheat intolerance or celiac disease. A recent Italian study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research indicates that CLA protects the small intestine of celiac sufferers from damage subsequent to gluten exposure. The head of the research team noted that both CLA and omega-3 fatty acids are shown to have beneficial effects on inflammation and auto-immune disorders in animal studies.
So what’s the takeaway? If your diet is low in fatty fish and other omega-3 sources, but high in grain-fed meat and grain or seed oils, consider switching to grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, and taking a commercial commercial fish oil supplement to correct your omega-3,6 imbalance. Try it for a month and see if you notice any change in your intestinal health and comfort.
Going gluten-free is still the best way to treat wheat intolerance symptoms, but changing your fat intake can help your body deal more effectively with gluten.