Monday, April 2, 2012

What We Eat

So in my post yesterday, I talked about why we are changing our lifestyle to exclude dairy and gluten. Did you wonder what we eat then? I sure did when I first made the decision. My first instinct was to go out and buy all the gluten free processed items I could find.

But that would defeat all of the work I have been doing lately to reduce the processed foods we eat (see the homemade goodies we made here and here).

So, out went all the gluten filled processed foods. Our pantry started looking pretty slim with a few of Jared's must haves (no bean hormel chili, chicken noodle soup in a can, granola bars, and crackers) and the few gluten free items we already had: tuna, olive oil, coconut oil, and canned tomatoes.

While our pantry is looking pretty slim (had a photo but managed to delete it),

our fridge is jam packed with fresh, whole, (some organic) foods. Yes that is cows milk up front. We try to keep Jared's food easily accessible. The funny looking jar next to it is soon-to-be almond cream cheese. It should be ready around lunch time.

There are tons of veggies: mix of spring greens, spinach, peppers, onions, broccoli, kale, cabbage, and more that I am forgetting about.

There are lots of grapes (they make the smoothies taste awesome), some cut up fresh pineapple, honey crisp apples and dried dates.

We have fresh, homemade: pb, cashew milk, almond milk, and hummus (and the soon-to-be almond cream cheese). All came out ok, but are works in progress.

We have meat thawing for great tasty meals. Last nights was salmon patties made with wild Alaskan salmon, kale, quinoa, and some spices. Very tasty. I also served some brown rice pasta (store bought) that Emma really likes, but I think I over cooked it (which is kinda hard to do).

Lunch yesterday for me and Emma looked like this:

For Mama- A chopped salad with, well, almost every veggie we have in the house, plus some chopped turkey, craisins, and cherub tomatoes. We love those tomatoes. I was only able to eat half of it, so I get to eat the rest today!

For Emma- Tomatoes (she already ate all but one) red pepper, carrots, spinach, craisins, and chopped turkey. Now, Emma doesn't really like spinach, but she loves it when we make a spinach and craisin roll up. Add in some turkey and it's even better!

She really does like it, despite what the face says. 

Is a gluten/dairy free diet easy? Um, not a chance. 

Is a gluten/dairy free diet healthy? Um, depends on how you do it. Just like with any other sort of diet, you can take the easy way, or the healthy way. We could rely on all the processed and prepackaged gluten free stuff and we would be no healthier (except maybe less farty) then we were before. 

We chose the healthy route. If I have to radically change my entire way of eating, might as well make it as healthy as possible. Emma and I eat about 90% (or more) whole, unprocessed foods. With the exception of 3 things I can think of (gf pretzels, Auntie Annies gf bunny cookies, and the rice pasta), all of our other foods we eat on a regular basis are whole (fresh fruits and veggies, fresh meat, nuts, and seeds). 

And we rely heavily on smoothies. We are in the process of figuring out our favorites, but we have a few that we know we like (recipes to come). Almost every smoothie we make has some sort of veggie in it-spinach and kale are the most common. 

We also add chia seeds to every smoothie. It's my secret ingredient. 

I like to sip at my smoothie while I do dishes or get stuff cleaned up in the kitchen. Sometimes Emma gets full, or isn't particularly hungry in the morning and wants to save her smoothie for later. Sometimes Da is on his way home when I am making smoothies and we save some for him. 

Without the chia seeds, the above mentioned smoothies start to separate and get gross looking. With the chia seeds, the smoothies maintain their awesome smoothie texture and mixed-upedness for a long time. 

Not only do I love them for their glue like properties, chia seeds are really healthy for you. 

Per 1 Tbsp serving of chia seeds you get (copied from the nutritional label):

4g      Dietary fFber
2g      Protein
64mg Calcium
1mg   Iron
40mg Magnesium 
2.4g   Omega-3
.8g     Omega-6

I add a heaping tablespoon full to every smoothie I make. As a dietary supplement, I believe the recommendation is 2 tbsp per day, but don't quote me on it. 

I also add in a teaspoon of Vitamin C powder and 5 drops of liquid Vitamin D. We are working on getting other vitamins into our smoothies, but I haven't figure out the best way to do that yet. 

To each individual smoothie (once I pour individual cups) I add 2 capsules of probiotics to help heal our guts and keep them healthy. 

Emma and I like to drink ours with a straw. Jared drinks his so fast that he's sad when it's gone. Maybe he should follow our lead :)

I am working on a resource page for gluten and dairy free related information, but in the mean time, here are three websites I find the most helpful with meal planning and general info on this new way of life for us. 

If you have any good resources for living a gluten and dairy free life, please share them in the comment section.

Thanks and have a great day!

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