05 December 2016

Staying Slim on a Gluten-Free Diet

By Debbie A. Johnson

Investigate every ingredient on gluten-free packaged foods and what do you find? Sugar, starch, corn, rice and every other high-carb, high-glycemic-index ingredient you can imagine.

Add to that potato starch and bean flour plus tapioca flour for good measure and that equals weight-gain.

So how do you avoid getting heavy on a gluten-free diet? Either eat a caveman diet, or get creative with delicious soups, main dishes, salads and desserts you love by learning to cook them yourself.

How? You can be creative with nuts and seeds in place of flour for pie crusts, cakes, brownies and bars. You don't have to deprive yourself of these treats to stay slim. Then experiment with fruit, Stevia and other natural non-nutritive sweeteners that go well with a balance of something sweet like applesauce, or other fruit sauces you can make yourself quite easily. Replace sugar, honey or agave with fruit sauces combined with whole leaf liquid Stevia. Ask your health store about it. It's the only natural non-nutritive sweetener I can honestly recommend, knowing what I do about processing. Avoid bottled fruit jams and such as they usually have corn syrup, even if hidden in "fruit juice concentrate." Try frozen organic fruit (so you avoid refined, added sugars) and blend them in the blender, once thawed, to make your own yummy flavors for pancake sauce/syrup.

Yes, you can have pancakes! High-protein, low-carb pancakes consist of nuts and seeds blended with eggs, cottage or ricotta cheese (if you can eat dairy, if not, use some organic canned coconut milk, the thick part), grapeseed oil, a little salt, cinnamon, stevia and vanilla. Toss in a bit of baking soda or powder and voila! You have pancakes or crepes, if you add some water. You'll know it will work by the texture of your mix.

With some desserts, especially pie crusts, you may want to use about ¼ cup amaranth or quinoa flour for a firmer crust or cake. Don't trust millet as it may be cross-contaminated with wheat these days. You can also use these flours to thicken soups or sauces and gravies, too.

Be sure to include good oils and fats to increase flavor and satisfaction. We've gotten away from eating oils and they are so necessary, and they do not cause weight-gain, starch and sugars do!

Even real butter or ghee (clarified butter), or virgin cold-pressed coconut oil can be very good for you, depending on what your doctor recommends.

To top it all off, add fresh herbs and spices to your diet with gourmet, healthy salt such as pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt full of minerals. Your body will love the nutrients it's getting, the natural flavors and textures, and it will stay slim while you feel great!

By Debbie Johnson, author of cookbook, Fun with GF/LG Food. and former executive chef of a gluten-free, diabetic-friendly, allergy-friendly gourmet restaurant http://glutenfreefun.com

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