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I Ate Too Much Cheese and Drank Too Much Wine and My Body Hated It

I’ve been gluten free for about four years now and haven’t felt better. Cutting out wheat and other grains containing gluten has left me feeling healthy again, less lethargic and bloat-free.

I’d also cut out dairy (mostly) along with a bunch of other foods that had irritated my stomach to the point where my body was rejecting pretty much everything I was ingesting. I had to cut out rice, bananas, peanuts, wheat, gluten, oats, soy and dairy. I took various supplements and probiotics to help heal my gut.

So when I hear people say they’re going to do the Whole30 challenge where you cut out all gluten, legumes, non-gluten grains (like rice and quinoa), dairy, sugar, and alcohol for 30 days, it’s a piece of cake!

Looking back to my teen years, I realize that I had a sensitivity to dairy. My mom would make pizza every Friday night, and I remember feeling terribly bloated and sick after eating it. I’d have upset stomachs, break out in pimples, and eventually put weight on.

So when I indulged this holiday season with an abundance of cheese and wine, my body quickly reacted negatively. My stomach bloated up to look like I was six months pregnant. My skin broke out, and my stomach felt super upset.

Even though I knew the cheese wasn’t good for me, I was craving it! The compounds in it actually alters brain chemistry because it contains caseinm which triggers the brain’s opioid receptors, causing a drug-like effect on your brain. That’s why cheese – like sugar – is addictive.

Sugar is another nightmare. I avoid white sugar like the plague. Now sugar that is naturally occurring in fruits or starchy vegetables is different than the sugars added to packaged food. I choose coconut palm sugar for baking and in my coffee.

Sugar is also addictive; scientists have found that sugar stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain as cocaine or heroin. Just like drugs, getting off sugar leads to withdrawal and cravings, requiring an actual detox process to wean off.

I baked gluten-free peppermint chocolate cookies using dairy-free chocolate and coconut palm sugar… and one or two cookies filled the sweet craving. But when I indulged in some regular milk chocolate, my body quickly reacted again; I craved more. One piece wasn’t enough! I also bloated up like a balloon.

After over-indulging, I vowed to start fresh again on January 1st. It’s amazing how quickly my body started feeling better after cutting out the cheese, wine and chocolate from my diet. It’s important to listen to how your body reacts to certain foods, and eliminate those that affect it.

Even four years after cutting out gluten from my diet, people ask me if I miss bread and pasta. I don’t. I don’t miss the foods that made me feel discomfort and pain. It’s just not worth it. I have learned to use substitutes in my own cooking and baking without much difference in taste; but the difference in my health has been enormous.

I Ate Too Much Cheese and Drank Too Much Wine and My Body Hated It

Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan

When I first became gluten free, I missed many Italian dishes. All of the gluten free pastas I had tried weren’t very tasty; the texture and flavour of the pasta wasn’t even close to the real thing… until I found the best gluten-free pasta. Also, I began to cook with various gluten-free flours, and combinations.

Lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs, rice balls, chicken Parmesan, and eggplant Parmesan are just some of the delicious Italian recipes that I was determined to make, but with gluten-free (and soy-free) flours.

Here is a delicious recipe for Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan that you’ll enjoy – without the breadcrumbs. The texture of the eggplant with the arrowroot or tapioca flour is even better than breadcrumbs, in my opinion. Add the gooey goodness of a good mozzarella cheese, and fresh tomato sauce… you’ll be tempted to eat the entire dish in one sitting.

Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients

3 large Sicilian eggplants, sliced thick

¼ cup tapioca or arrowroot flour

1-2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup parmesan

2 ½ cups cooked tomato sauce

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Mix together tapioca or arrowroot flour with Parmesan cheese. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in flour. Place in a single layer on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes on each side.

In a 9×13 inch baking dish, spread some of the spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.

Cover in aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Serves 4.

Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan | amotherworld | amotherworld.com

Gluten Free Diet: Tasty Snacks

Freshly baked French baguette slathered with butter… crispy on the outside and soft on the inside croissants… ooey gooey pizza…

Gosh I miss wheat and the gluten that makes those yummy breads so soft and chewy!  Why do I miss them? Well, I have been gluten free for about three years now.

I’ve had issues with my stomach – irritation, inflammation, bloating – all due to certain foods in my diet, including soy, wheat and gluten. Because of the pain and discomfort, I was forced to cut these ingredients out of my diet to help my stomach heal.

Did you know that wheat can stay in your system for several months? It took a good year to heal my gut, and feel back to normal again. A hairstylist even noticed by touching my hair – he asked me if I had done something differently in the last six months, because I had new hair growth which was thicker and fuller than the bottom half of my hair. I realized that the new hair growth occurred after I had cut out wheat and gluten from my diet!

May is Celiac Awareness Month, a good time to learn about what gluten and gluten sensitivities really are, and how they impact many Canadians. I’m lucky I’m not Celiac; celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by gluten. People with celiac disease can’t eat gluten, otherwise their body wouldn’t be able to absorb nutrients which are necessary for good health. If I happen to have a trace of gluten, I won’t suffer. But those with celiac have to avoid cross-contamination.

Going gluten free has become a complete lifestyle change – and I’ll never go back. My stomach has since healed, and I feel so much better. While I’m often tempted to have “just a bite”, giving in to the craving is not worth the havoc it wreaks on my body.

Bread? Pasta? Desserts? They don’t even faze me. I bake my own bread, I’ve found a great-tasting pasta, and I bake my own gluten-free desserts.

But snacking is another issue. I love crunchy, crispy, salty snacks.

Quaker® Crispy Minis® rice chips are deliciously crispy with a light texture. They are made from grains like rice and corn then sprinkled with a tasty, bold seasoning.

With flavours like Tortilla Style Smoky Chipotle and Creamy Ranch, I can get that crunch satisfaction packed with a flavour punch. Sweet Chili, Ketchup and Sour Cream and Onion are also favourites in our home. All of these snacks are certified gluten and wheat free!


Yummy Gluten Free Snacks Quaker Crispy Minis | www.amotherworld.com

Gluten Free Tasty Snacks Quaker Crispy Minis | www.amotherworld.com

A serving size of 20 grams has 90 calories and 14 grams of carbohydrates.  Of course I probably couldn’t limit myself to just one serving! But even having two servings is still within a good calorie count.

If you’re also sensitive to soy ingredients, Quaker® Crispy Minis® Tortilla Style Smoky Chipotle Rice Chips and Tortilla Style Creamy Ranch Rice Chips both don’t contain soy, and neither does the Caramel Kettle Corn Flavour Rice Chip.

Certified gluten-free by the Canadian Celiac Association, Crispy Minis rice chips are a tasty gluten-free snack that comes in a variety of delicious flavours.

What’s your favourite Quaker® Crispy Minis® flavour?

Gluten Free Tasty Snack | amotherworld | www.amotherworld.com

 

This post is generously sponsored by Quaker® Crispy Minis®.

Kashi Introduces New Gluten-Free Cereals

With all of my various food sensitivities, I’m often challenged with time to cook and bake meals that I am able to eat. I can’t just grab a few slices of bacon or gluten, dairy and egg free pancakes for breakfast. It takes planning!

I’m thrilled that I can reach for a bowl of cereal as an option now that Kashi has introduced new cereals that are gluten-free, certified organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified! This is fabulous news for someone like me who is sensitive to so many ingredients.

Kashi Organic Promise Simply Maize cereal is made with whole organic corn in crispy flakes while Kashi Organic Promise Indigo Morning cereal combines a delicious blend of puffed golden corn flakes with real blueberries and blackberries for a tangy sweet flavour.

The cereal is really tasty, like a treat – just a little bit of sweetness, made with organic dried cane syrup.  You really could have a serving just as a snack.

Kashi Organic Promise cereal

Kashi’s new line of cereals and snack bars also feature nutritious ingredients such as chia and flax seeds – superfoods with many benefits. The new Kashi Chia Granola Bars are available in Cranberry Lemon and Dark Chocolate, Almond & Sea Salt flavours and have 4g of fibre per 35g bar.  My husband tried and enjoyed both granola bar flavours and said they tasted chewy yet crunchy and had a nice texture.

The benefits of chia are also coming to the cereal aisle with the introduction of new Kashi Nutty Chia Flax Multigrain cereal. It has a nutty flavour, light crunch and perfect blend of chia, flax and walnuts, a yummy way to start your morning.  Each ¾ cup delivers a source of Omega-3 polyunsaturates and 5g of fibre, a great boost to your day.

Kashi Chia Granola bars

I’m very happy that Kashi has 11 products that have the Non-GMO Project Verification! By the end of 2015 more than half of their products will also be non-GMO. Kashi is moving towards the use of organic and non-GMO ingredients where possible, and is committed to have all of their products non-GMO.

Do you eat cereal? Have you tried chia and flax seeds?

Kashi new cereals

Disclosure: I’m working with Kashi to promote their new line of cereals and granola bars.