Gluten-free is currently one of the major health trends. Every decade or so, we have a new trend with thousands of new products. Some trends have greatly backfired on us such as the “fat-free trend” and the “eat only meat” trend when we found out, after several years of research into the health of individuals following them, that they weren’t so healthy after all. I am not necessarily claiming that gluten-free diets will meet the same ill demise as other trends, but consider this: Gluten-free meal plans can have health benefits, especially to those with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. Even individuals with no significant health risks arising from the consumption of gluten can eat gluten-free and maintain a healthy lifestyle. But buyer beware!
I often hear of individuals going on a gluten-free diet so that they can lose weight and “be healthier.” Great! I applaud any efforts to engage in a healthier lifestyle. However, often times, a gluten-free diet is filled with highly processed, low fiber, empty calorie foods. It’s not healthy at all! Gluten-free pancakes, gluten-free cookies, gluten-free toaster pastries certainly fit the bill for a gluten-free diet! But are they healthy? Not so much. Nor are gluten-free pizzas full of preservatives, gluten-free pasta dishes with no veggies or gluten-free sandwiches full of highly processed cheese, mayonnaise and other “unmentionables.” Also consider that many of these processed, gluten-free items are pretty darn expensive! You end up throwing money away on food that has “no life” and certainly isn’t healthy!
So what’s a gluten-free health nut to do? Look at other whole food options that are naturally gluten-free. There are so many healthy, inexpensive options available that no one should feel confined by a gluten-free diet. All fruits and veggies are gluten-free, so indulge in plenty of those! Beans also gluten-free. Grains such as quinoa, rice, buckwheat (in spite of its name) and amaranth are all excellent sources of fiber filled carbohydrates. Nuts and seeds? Gluten-free! A wonderfully healthy and delicious gluten-free plate would include a preferred vegetable (or two!), a healthy dose of protein such as organic chicken breast, and a side of rice or quinoa.
Earth Girl recommends you break free from the highly marketed, gluten-free products lining the grocery store shelves. Focus instead on lovingly grown, naturally gluten-free products that you can find every weekend at most any farmer’s market!
Written by Tina Hatcher
Either you’re running late for the second night in a row, you have a million things to do, or you’re just plain exhausted and you don’t have the energy to cook dinner. No worries, the Bella girls have you covered! We just discovered Three Bridges meals that are so easy to make and are good for you too!
Three Bridges got their name from the three “bridges” that they stand for: chef-crafted recipes, endless creativity, and good living. They are a company that worry about not only what is best for your body, but what is best for the environment. In order to keep you healthy they only use the best ingredients in their meals. You can purchase dishes like their ravioli or their tortellini at your local grocery store or from their website! It’s so easy; it helps you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing what you love instead. In order to do what’s best for the environment, Three Bridges has begun to generate over a third of the electricity they use in producing their meals using their very own solar panels! Even better, they also use paper-based packaging and soy-based ink.
If you’re on a special diet, don’t sweat it; they also have gluten free and vegetarian options too! Three Bridges’ goal is to make you feel that you are making the best choices at the grocery store for you and your family. You shouldn’t have to feel guilty on the nights that you don’t have time to cook! Put down the phone, don’t order that pizza…instead check out Three Bridges and know that you’re making the right choice for you and the environment!
Written by Kathleen Duffy
Daniel Katz of Blue Ash, Ohio is creating quite a stir in the organic food industry. At just 18 years old, Katz has created a company called D’s Naturals that, in his words, “redefines the word natural.” They use only healthy ingredients so customers can believe in what they eat and feel good about the choices they make.
His unique version of the standard protein bar, the “No Cow Bar,” contains natural, plant-based foods and leaves out harmful ingredients. Choose from three flavors: Blueberry Cobbler, Mint Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cookie.
He has also created a delicious treat called Fluffbutter. This comes in two flavors including Chocolate Fudge Cake Batter and Vanilla Maple.
There are many ways to enjoy Fluffbutter– including melting it into fondue.
These items are dairy free, soy free, gluten free, and vegan-friendly. Visit Katz’ website to celebrate his accomplishments and try his products!
Written by Lani Maddox
The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Family Cookbook is a great way to introduce yourself to gluten-free vegetarian meals and stay healthy in the process. It includes 150 healthy recipes for meals, snacks, sides, desserts and more. Within, you’ll find delicious recipes like the following one for a Sloppy June and Sprout Panini:
2 pieces gluten-free bread (there are recipes for different flavors in the book)
1/4 c Sloppy June filling (recipe in book)
sliced cheese or vegan cheese (optional)
coconut oil spray for the grill
- Lay 1 piece of bread on a cutting board. Place a slice or two of avocado on the bread; you may wish to mash it and spread it on the bread. Top with a small amount of hummus (about 1 tablespoon) and spread it out. Add the Sloppy June filling and spread it out, then add the sprouts and cheese. Place the second piece of bread on top.
- Lightly spray the top and bottom of panini machine or indoor electric grill with coconut oil. Put the sandwich in the grill and press it together. The machine should tell you when the panini is done, or grill until the bread is browned and the ingredients are heated. Save immediately.
Enter to win a copy of The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Family Cookbook on our Facebook page.