Gluten Free, Are You For Me?
I have had stomach issues my whole life. I remember when I was in kindergarten telling my mom I couldn’t go to school because my stomach hurt, and it just got progressively worse with age. Sometimes I would practically be on the floor my stomach hurt so much and my bloating was so bad.
As I noted earlier, I was told I had IBS, so I had to take Miralax at a young age. My high school friends and I always had a great laugh about that (and still do to this day), but if I didn’t take it, I wouldn’t go to the bathroom for a week! My symptoms still continued and started to get worse. I would get hives on my face, and acne around my mouth and chin area, as well.
I decided to do a food elimination diet a few years out of college and cut out gluten. I felt a lot better and didn’t have any bloating.
I went to get tested for Celiac disease, or a gluten sensitivity, but the tests came back negative, and I found that suspicious. However, something I didn’t know at the time is that in order for the sensitivity to show up on your tests, you have to be eating it within 2-3 weeks and I hadn’t. In addition, the testing for Celiac has to be done properly, and the majority of the time, it is not.
I decided instead of paying for more testing, I would just forego eating gluten because it obviously doesn’t agree with me.
I am currently a student at Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and one of our recent modules was about gluten. There has been a huge rise of people going gluten free for various reasons, but I think if you don’t have a sensitivity or allergy, there’s no need to fully deprive yourself of it. However, if you do have stomach issues it could very well be a food sensitivity or allergy, so it’s best to eliminate that food group for 2-3 weeks to see how your body responds. I highly recommend it and find it the most effective way to get to the bottom of what is irritating you! Check out Aimee Raupp’s book, Body Belief, and you can learn more about the food elimination process, as well as, autoimmune diseases, that could potentially be the root cause of your food sensitivities.
Being gluten free is really hard when traveling, and going out to eat, but when you cook for yourself at home, it really isn’t all that bad! I do miss beer, pasta, and pizza, but there are substitutes (although not always healthy). I am not like most health coaches, because I don’t believe in having a green juice every morning, and salads for lunch and/or dinner. I believe being healthy is all about balance and what is right for you. Therefore, I think it’s great to have healthier versions of some comfort foods like pasta and meatballs, for instance.
I make chickpea pasta and my husband actually loves it! I am loving Banza pasta, which you can get at places like Whole Foods or Thrive Market. Here’s a super simple and easy recipe that I love to make and it’s one of his favorites:
1 (8 oz) package of Banza chickpea pasta
1 (16 oz) package of Organic ground turkey meat
1 (15.5 oz) Rao’s Marinara Sauce
1 Organic white onion
1 Organic clove of garlic
Fresh Basil leaves
Fresh Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes (if desired)
Dice ¼ cup of onion
Dice garlic clove
Open the ground turkey meat and drain out any excess liquid in the sink (if there is any)
Put the turkey meat into a large bowl and mash it up with your hands
Add diced onion & garlic clove to the large bowl
Roll and separate out the turkey meat into small ball sized portions for meatballs
Add a teaspoon of ghee or olive oil into a large sauce pan and put the pan on medium heat and add meatballs onto the pan and flip them as needed so they are cooked all the way through and until slightly brown on the outside
Bring a large 3-quart pot of water to boil and add the pasta
Let the pasta cook for about 7 minutes
In a smaller saucepan add the Rao’s Marinara sauce
After the pasta is cooked, drain out the water with a strainer
Add the meatballs to the sauce to let them have their final cook in the sauce for 1-2 minutes
Pour the sauce and the meatballs over the pasta
Grate Parmesan cheese for a topping (as desired)
Add 2-3 Basil leaves on top
Add Parmesan cheese, Salt & Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, as desired.
Serve and enjoy!