Question: What is one of the most addictive cravings people experience when eating food? Answer: Texture. It may be firm or soft, crispy or spongy, smooth or crunchy; most of us fall in love with the way food ‘feels’ in our mouth. This is where gluten arrives on the scene.
Gluten is used in the manufacturing of all packaged, boxed and canned processed foods to create textures that are more palatable to our taste buds. It is also used to thicken, bind and coat. Gluten is even used as glue on envelopes and stamps! Scary huh?
The term ‘gluten’ is a generic for the storage proteins found in many grains. Wheat, flour products, bread, barley & rye, also white (refined) sugar, are some of the foods that contain specific amino acid sequences harmful to people. Celiac Sprue, the clinical term, used for those afflicted by the consumption of foods that contain gluten, basically causes damage to the lining of the small intestine. This autoimmune condition, causes ‘self-attacking –self ‘, as a misdirection of a faltering immune system.
There are many people who are allergic to gluten and have no clue. I was one of them! It wasn’t until Iunderwent a targeted muscle testing procedure, that I found out I was allergic to grains, wheat in particular. The symptoms can vary from person to person. One may be asymptomatic, not feeling anything, whereas someone else may suffer from chronic digestive distress and others may experience constant fatigue. I know nowadays if I’ve eaten anything with gluten in it, because my joints in my hands start screaming at me!
Some of the symptoms to look for when dealing with the ‘gluten monster’ are as follows:
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Bone or joint pain
- Depression or anxiety
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.
- Infertility or current miscarriage
- Canker sores inside the mouth
- Itchy skin rash
Not a pillar of optimum health at all, is it? There is, however, good news and bright light beaming at the end of the tunnel!
The symptoms of gluten allergies can be effectively managed and even result in complete reversal by following a gluten free diet.
The point here is to: heal the gut. When the stomach lining is healthy, the rest of the body has a stellar fighting chance in supporting its other organs, and effectively absorbing nutrients.
So here are some suggestions for a gluten free diet:
Probiotics are your friend!
Beneficial bacteria and yeast in probiotics- fermented foods and drinks are live and active! Whether you purchase fermented foods and drinks or make them at home, you are getting active bacteria.
Kefir comes highly recommended. What is kefir? Kefir is a cultured and microbial-rich food/beverage that helps restore the body’s inner ecology. It contains strains of valuable yeast and valuable bacteria, in a synergetic relationship, that provide your system with antibiotic properties.
The fermentation in kefir pre-digests vital nutrients for you. Packed with B vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and microflora, (microscopic vegetable organisms), kefir increases the bio availability of nutrients in all the foods you eat by hundreds of times.
Other Superior Ingredients
- Organic Quinoa – a “grain-like” seed related to the spinach family that is prized for being a complete protein (contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
- Organic Millet – a high-protein “grain-like” seed, millet nutrition is important for B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, tryptophan, fiber and antioxidants. Millet nutrition has been noted for reducing cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, migraines and headaches.
- Organic Biodynamic Brown Rice – biodynamic farming takes organic to an even higher level by uniting the farm as a unit in which soil, humans, animals and nature work in harmony to produce your food.
- Organic High-Protein Pulses – soybeans, chickpeas and lentils get a boost in digestibility and nutrients when fermented.
Recipes for Quinoa
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 2/3 cup frozen peas
- 2/3 cup frozen or fresh corn
- 2/3 cup red bell peppers, finely diced
- 1 bunch scallions or 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup of more Rosemary Vinaigrette Dressing
- Cook grain until done but still slight firm.
- Steam carrots, peas, and corn 4-6 minutes ~ still slightly firm.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients: (makes 6 servings)
2 cups cooked quinoa
1-2 Tbsp. organic, unrefined coconut oil, ghee or butter
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 tsp. sea salt or to taste
¾ tsp. pepper
2Tbps dried sweet basil
2 Tbsp. paprika
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
1 lb. greens such as kale, parboiled 5 minutes, chopped
6 red peppers, seeded and parboiled 5 minutes.
- Sauté’ onion in oil, ghee, or butter with seasonings until clear.
- Add garlic, celery, and greens; cook until tender.
- Blend with cooked grains.
- Taste mixture and adjust seasonings.
- Stuff red peppers with grain mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees in oiled casserole dish for 45 minutes.
Recipes for Millet
Millet and Sweet Vegetables
2 cups millet, rinsed and dry roasted in skillet
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, diced
1 small butternut squash, with skin cut off, cubed
1 tsp. sea salt
5 ½ cups water
1 Tbsp. organic, unrefined coconut oil, ghee, or butter
Several pinches of herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage and celery seed (optional)
- Into a pressure cooker, place millet, and vegetables. (This dish may also be prepared in a saucepan. Increase the amount of water to 6 cups and follow the same directions)
- Dissolve sea salt into water and gently pour water around sides of millet and vegetables.
- Close cover and bring up to a pressure, and cook on low flame for 30 minutes.
- Reduce pressure and open lid.
- Fold in oil, ghee or butter and herbs.
- Stir and serve.
- To create a creamier consistency, puree the millet/vegetable mixture with oil, ghee, or butter in a blender.
- Add 3-inch strips of kombu ocean vegetable in the pressure cooker with the millet and vegetables. The dish will not be as sweet, but it will have extra minerals.
Tex-Mex Millet and Amaranth Corn Casserole
1 Tsp organic, unrefined coconut oil, ghee, or butter
1 ½ cups millet, washed and drained
½ cup amaranth, rinsed in fine strainer and drained
1 Tbsp. sea salt
6 cups water
Kernels from 8 ears of corn, or 16 oz. frozen corn
1 large onion, minced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 mild green chili pepper, diced (optional)
1 tsp. Herbamare
1 ¾ tsp. Frontier Herbs Mexican Seasoning (salt free)
½ tsp. ground cumin
- Bottom of large stockpot, sauté’ onion, green chili pepper, Mexican Seasoning and cumin in oil, ghee, or butter with sea salt until onion is clear.
- Add millet, amaranth, corn, and water.
- Bring water to a boil, cover turn heat on low, and let cook 30 minutes.
- Fold in red pepper and Herbamare; adjust seasonings to taste.
- Pour into a 9” by 13” buttered casserole dish, dotting with butter or ghee if desired.
- Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Variation: Use 1 Tbsp. Frontier Herbs Italian Seasoning instead of Mexican Blend; and change vegetables to zucchini, shitake mushrooms, and chopped red bell peppers.
To bring out a more delicious corn flavor, make a “stock” by cutting the fresh corn off the cob and simmering the cut corn and the corn cobs in 7 cups of water for 20 minutes. Puree and drain. Use cups of this corn stock in recipe.
You can purchase these foods from your local health food stores: Whole foods; if in the Los Angeles, CA area there’s: Rainbow Acres, Erewhon, Co Op., in Santa Monica, CA. The internet will provide more information as well.
Whether you want to climb Mt. Shasta, make it through a long day at work or create lasting energy for your future health, be open and continue to use available resources that will guide you along the path to living your epic health now!