Could a Gluten Free Diet be The Key to a Healthy Life?

Could a Gluten Free Diet be The Key to a Healthy  Life?   (Well, it works for me)

When my wife Kathy cooks she does not always follow a precise recipe. She starts with a conventional recipe, but then she tweaks it and keeps tasting until  it so delicious that she does not want to stop eating it. Over our 41 plus years of marriage she has become more of an intuitive cook.  So sharing her recipes is often  — challenging. However she was a good sport and let me video her as she explained how she made this dressing.

Could a Gluten Free Diet be The Key to a Healthy  Life?

About fifteen years ago I began to have problems with the digestion of bread so I started limiting the amount of bread I would eat.  I loved the whole grain breads and I was especially aware of how they helped with my fiber needs, so I limited most of all my bread consumption to whole grains.

Eventually my family doctor ordered a blood test to check for Celiac disease.  Those test were negative so I starting eating more fiber and increasing my exercise.  I had not the faintest idea that my diet was at the core of why I was having even more problems.

The increase in fiber from breads did not help.  In fact I began to have to increase my dosage of over the counter supplements.

My daughter Joanna, in the meantime, had moved to France.  One evening about three months ago while Kathy and I were visiting with Joanna on Skype  she mentioned that she had visited the doctor due to some health issues.  Her doctor listened to Joanna’s problems and then asked one question, “Are you eating more bread?”  (Of COURSE she was eating more bread — she was in France!)  With the doctor’s advice, Joanna immediately curtailed her bread consumption and she began to improve immediately.

Huh.  Maybe I should have figured this whole bread thing out a lot earlier.  I immediately went to a gluten free diet and my constipation problems gradually disappeared.

I find it intriguing that on the first visit to a doctor in France he had a good idea of what Joanna’s problem was. The doctors in the States have treated me for over thirty years and not a one of them every even mentioned gluten intolerance. I was tested for Celiac disease but when the results were negative I assumed gluten was not a problem and none of my doctors every gave me a hint about such a thing as gluten intolerance.

Well, perhaps our lives are not “happily ever after” (this is the real world) but my systems are much happier.   Yesterday for our family Christmas dinner Kathy did a great job making almost everything gluten free.  She made two scrumptious dressings, a cornbread dressing and a sweet potato dressing that were outstanding.  See the recipe for the sweet potato dressing below. There is no recipe for the cornbread dressing but she explains how to make it in the first video at the beginning of this blog post.

 

Quinoa, Sweet Potato and dried Cranberry Stuffing

[adapted from Gluten-free Goddess]

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red quinoa
  • 1/2 cup original quinoa [white]
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
  • salt + pepper to taste

Directions

In a medium saucepan, add 1 + 1/2 cups water,  quinoa [total 1 cup], season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes, until all the  water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cover baking sheet with foil, spray with non-stick, add sweet potatoes, onions and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, toss to coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until soft.

Combine sweet potatoes and onions with cooked quinoa. Drizzle with olive oil [optional]. Stir in cumin, cranberries, toasted pecans and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Serves 4

Kathy did make a pie with a conventional pie crust (she is still working on adapting pie crusts and pizza dough to being gluten free)  and I had a small piece.  I am feeling the affects of the gluten in that crust and it was only a small piece.  I have had many experiences of eating just a bit of wheat and they always confirm that I am most definitely gluten intolerant.

Now just a quick note about Gluten Intolerance.  The symptoms vary dramatically from individual to individual.    I would strongly encourage you to try giving up gluten if you have any digestive symptoms that are bothersome.

Why has wheat become such a problem in recent years?  The theory is that genetically engineered wheat has a much higher gluten level that our bodies were not made to handle.  The links below lead to a book written by an MD that seems to really understand the reason for widespread gluten intolerance.

Wheat Belly Cookbook: 150 Recipes to Help You Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Summary: Wheat Belly …in 30 Minutes – A Concise Summary of Dr. William Davis’s Bestselling Book

The links below take you to some great sources for books that help you cook gluten free.

Wheat Belly Cookbook: 150 Recipes to Help You Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
Wheat-Free Recipes and Menus
Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap
100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes (100 Best Recipes)

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