How To Shop For Gluten-Free Food

How To Shop For Gluten-Free Food

How To Shop For Gluten Free Foods

Two years ago we got the call that B had to eliminate fructose from his diet. I was given a list of things to eliminate and one of the biggest pieces was gluten. At the time he was 2 years old and no longer allowed to eat gluten, fruits, and vegetables until we got things on track with his diet.

I was completely lost.

After an hour call with a pediatric nutritionist, I thought I had at least a small grip on things. That night I went to the grocery store and walked up and down the organic aisles for an hour. I bought a whole bunch of different things and we started figuring out what works in his diet.

Now, two years later I’ve gotten the basics down of what we need to shop for. However, you never know when ingredients may change and what brands might throw a curve ball your way. I get excited at the prospect of gluten-free Oreos coming in January but also take it with a grain of salt until I see what the ingredient list is.

One of the biggest questions I get asked when I talk to someone about going gluten free is “where do I start at the grocery store?” Going gluten free can be extremely overwhelming if you think about all of the foods you need to eliminate. However, what many people don’t realize is that there are so many foods you GET to eat.

Who Should Eat Gluten-Free Food?

One of the biggest misconceptions about going gluten free is that it is for weight loss. I see where the misconception comes from. Those with a gluten sensitivity generally find that when they no longer eat gluten, weight loss happens. However, that is not the reason that someone should switch to a gluten-free diet.

Three types of people who should be eating gluten free:

Those with an auto-immune condition such as Celiac Disease

Those who are allergic to wheat

Those who have gluten sensitivity

If you are someone who thinks you might have a gluten sensitivity, it is good to talk to your doctor about it first prior to eliminating it. There are no medically approved ways to test for gluten sensitivity, but there are so many different symptoms that can be associated with it. The best way to find out if you are sensitive is by eliminating gluten and other certain foods.

Where To Shop For Gluten-Free Food

One of the biggest shocks with going gluten free was how much our grocery bill exploded. Gluten-free eating is NOT cheap. It took a lot of experimenting to find what we needed at the best price. 

Amazon Subscribe & Save – One of the first places I turned to was Amazon. We got lucky and found a number of B’s snacks available on subscribe and save. When you add more than 5 products to your shipment each month, you get up to 15% off. This came in handy as we started sending his snacks to school. We were able to buy ahead for the month as well as some gluten-free brownie mixes.

Thrive Market – Honestly, I was hesitant. Thrive does come with a subscription fee but ultimately I did find that we were saving a few dollars by using it. Over time it adds up. They also have their own brand of food which is cheaper than most of the name brands. So far we haven’t found anything we don’t like.

Grocery Store Shop – In 2020 it is a little difficult to do but I found that by spending an hour in each of our local grocery stores I got a much better idea of the average price of things. Some stores increase the price of specialty products, whereas other stores were in line with what I was finding at Amazon & Thrive.

What To Shop For?

Now that you know why and where to buy, how about what to buy. As I mentioned, going gluten free isn’t as scary as it once seemed. There is a lot you can still eat as long as you make sure to read the ingredients.

Instead of making it more overwhelming, I’ve got good news. I finally put everything I’ve learned into a guide for you on how to get started shopping for gluten-free foods at the grocery store.

Tell me! What is your favorite way to shop gluten free?

 

What To Do With Leftover Turkey

What To Do With Leftover Turkey

Leftover TurkeyIt’s easy to feed a dozen people with one turkey. This year we were feeding three adults and one child so if you are like us, there is a good chance your fridge is full of leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. I’m no Monica Geller so I do not do moist-maker sandwiches (if you know, you know) but I’m always on the hunt for ways to get creative and enjoy the leftovers.

I will be the first to admit that there is nothing wrong with enjoying the leftover turkey as is. However, sometimes it’s good to have options when you are planning to eat turkey three times a day.

This was our first Thanksgiving cooking a turkey and while it wasn’t as pretty as many of those I’ve seen around Instagram, I think we did a pretty good job. As we cleaned up the kitchen, we cooked up 4 quarts of Turkey Bone Broth to use over the next few days in soups. There are so many health benefits to bone broth that I couldn’t pass up the chance to make our own.

Last night I took to Pinterest to round up some more ideas in case I was not alone in an attempt to get creative. Here are some of the top rated leftover turkey recipes I found.

After doing a deep Pinterest dive, I might have to make another turkey… every recipe sounds absolutely delicious! My fridge is full and we have enough leftover turkey for now so turkey noodle soup is coming up first tomorrow.

I know there are plenty more recipes out there, what’s your favorite way to enjoy leftover turkey 

Homemade Golden Milk

Homemade Golden Milk

If you follow me over on Instagram, you may have seen that I am doing a three week elimination diet. As I work towards getting my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach certificate, I am learning about a variety of food sensitivities. One of the recommendations was to try our own elimination diet so we get a feel of one and see if we might actually have sensitivities we didn’t realize. For three weeks I’m eliminating the five most common foods we as humans are sensitive to: dairy, gluten, egg, soy and corn.

All of that being said, one thing I needed to replace was milk for my coffee creamer. Golden Milk was trendy a few years ago, but I never gave it a try. Instead of just almond milk I figured now was a good chance to give it a try. To be honest, I might not switch back.

For starters I followed a recipe, but I’ve adjusted it more to my tastes as I’ve gone on over the last three weeks.

Benefits of Homemade Golden Milk

The more I read about Golden Milk, I can see how it was trendy, however I am also surprised it didn’t make the trends this year as people looked for ways to boost their immune systems.

The third ingredient used in this recipe is Turmeric. When you question why the homemade golden milk is golden, it’s because of the Turmeric. It has been known to reduce inflammation. I could go down a long rabbit hole about inflammation and the amount of ways reducing it could improve your health. For now, the important note is that the less inflamed your body is, the better it can perform.

Turmeric also contains a compound called curcumin. There are mixed studies, but many researchers believe that this compound can lower anxiety and depression.

Then comes ginger. A little bit of ginger can go a long way. I had to reduce the amount in the recipe I had because even 1/2 tsp ginger was very overpowering.  Ginger is a great way to settle nausea in an upset stomach. Some studies are starting to show that it can help with weight loss, lowering blood sugar and possibly preventing heart disease.

Homemade Golden Milk

Any extra boost of immunity can be considered helpful these days. This Summer I switched to using local honey in an attempt to slow my allergies down. Making Golden Milk was just another excuse to fit it into my morning routine.

I use about 1/4 of a cup a day in my milk frother to add a little bit of a creamy taste in my coffee. The recipe listed below makes about one week’s worth of Golden Milk. For now it’s been added as part of my Sunday meal prep.

Homemade Golden Milk

Servings 7

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp local honey

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to a small saucepan.
  • Whisk ingredients over medium heat for 5 minutes, do not boil
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Store in fridge to use throughout the week
  • For extra creamy taste, mix 1/4 cup in a milk frother prior to adding to coffee.

What do you use for coffee cream? Have you ever tried golden milk?

Self Care – Why We Need To Focus On It More & How To Practice It

Self Care – Why We Need To Focus On It More & How To Practice It

Self care is more than a face mask and a tub of ice cream.

There, I said it.

Mental health has been a hot topic (for good reasons) throughout COVID. Everyone has suffered in some form or another.

October 1st brings the start of a new month. It’s a good time to sit down and evaluate how the previous month went. Even if the month did not play out how you wanted it to, it’s helpful to see how it DID play out as you plan for the next one.

As you look through your month, how did your self care look? Let’s be honest, things are stressful. Life is stressful. The world is stressful. Instead of waiting until we have a mental breakdown, self care needs to make its way up on the priority list.

Why Is It Important?

Self care is a piece of your overall health. You can’t be taking care of yourself without taking care of your mental health, even on the busiest of days. Not only does self care actually lower your stress levels but it can boost your confidence, help in weight loss and increase your energy.

Think of it this way… How often do you find yourself stuck when trying to lose weight? You’re doing everything right (eating and working out) but the weight is stuck. Your stress levels are through the roof… and suddenly when things calm down the weight seems to drop. The only thing that changed was your stress levels. (There are no guarantees, this just an example of how it fits into your journey)

Making time to lower your stress each day will make a long term difference.

It doesn’t have to be a bubble bath, there are so many different types of self care you can treat your body to.

Self Care Is…

  • A 30 minute walk
  • Turning off your phone
  • A dance party in your kitchen
  • Unfollowing accounts that don’t bring you joy on social media
  • Listening to a podcast
  • Doing yoga
  • Taking a nap
  • Drinking more water
  • Taking a bubble bath
  • Declutter your space
  • Turning off the TV/News
  • A tub of ice cream (you know I wouldn’t leave that out)
  • Treating yourself to a coffee you love
  • Calling a friend to chat for 20 minutes
  • Asking for help
  • Wear a cute outfit
  • Waking up earlier to have time for yourself
  • Cooking dinner
  • Watch the sunrise/sunset
  • Make a bucket list
  • Turn on your favorite scent in a diffuser
  • Write a letter to a friend
  • Saying no
  • Meditate
  • Play a board game
  • Plan a trip
  • Do your hair
  • Curling up with a good book
  • Spending time at a place you love
  • Exercise
  • Writing in a journal
  • Turning off social media

I challenge you to set a goal for the month of October. For 10 minutes a day, tune the world out and focus on caring for yourself.

What is your favorite form of self care?

Pumpkin Recipes For The First Day of Fall

Pumpkin Recipes For The First Day of Fall

You may now proceed to drink your Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Just kidding, we need to have a quick conversation first. I know the PSL came out early (as usual) this year but I have refused to even think about Fall foods until today. While I’m not spending the day baking, I did round up a number of healthy pumpkin recipes we plan to dig into this Fall.

Happy First Day of Fall!

It’s Okay To Get On The Pumpkin Recipes Bandwagon

There, I said it. I never thought that would come out of my mouth. Truth be told, I’m not a pumpkin fan. A few weeks ago @OneUponAPumpkin shared this graphic on Instagram highlighting the benefits of pumpkin in your diet.

To break down the nutrition benefits she shared…pumpkin has:

  • Pumpkin has anti-oxidant content that helps protect from disease
  • High in vitamin C
  • Also high in potassium
  • AND high in vitamin A

Since I typically don’t just trust a single instagram post (you shouldn’t either). I dug into things further. It turns out, we really do need more pumpkin in our lives.

One cup of pumpkin not only is high in the nutrients above but also has:

  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 11% of your recommended daily B12 intake
  • 8% of your recommended daily iron intake
  • 2 grams of protein

Do you see now why I feel like I need to add more pumpkin into my life?

Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

Watch The Sugar When You Bake With Pumpkin

Now, I don’t expect you to eat a full cup of cooked pumpkin every day. However, something like pumpkin muffins can be a good source of vitamins and nutrients if baked properly.

Many pumpkin recipes I have come across are extremely high in sugar. This is where I caution the pumpkin baking.I’m sure by now you’ve seen memes or images shared around social media about the amount of sugar in a pumpkin spice latte. (Not to mention, a pumpkin spice latte doesn’t ACTUALLY contain pumpkin) Unfortunately that seems to be the case for most pumpkin recipes I come across most days.

The key to cooking with pumpkin is making sure you have REAL pumpkin to use in the recipe. Pumpkin purée is a good way to start. However, if your pumpkin purée is from a can, just make sure nothing has been added to preserve it. You can also make your own pumpkin purée at home.

Healthier Pumpkin Recipes

In order to help get more pumpkin into your diet this Fall, I rounded up a few pumpkin recipes that are made from pumpkin puree and do not have added sugar. I may even try to work my way through a few of these this Fall. As someone who doesn’t necessarily love pumpkin, these actually all sound delicious!

Do you have a go to pumpkin recipe? Where should I start?