Written and compiled by Lori Jo and published on the Advantage Wellness Management Inc. blog, websites, and all their social medias but the company has since closed due to new health reform laws so I am publishing the work here as an example of my published work.
Recipe and photos by Lori Jo
Gluten free diets seem to be all the rage now and for several reasons. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley and can cause digestive and immune problems for those who have trouble digesting it. Sometimes this sensitivity can cause an immune system response that can lead to impaired thyroid function, which in turn leads to a condition called hypothyroidism. A gluten free diet may resolve this problem in some people.
If you have a genetic predisposition to gluten sensitivity, you could in turn develop an autoimmune disorder where your immune system attacks your intestines. This is celiac disease. If you have this disease and continue to eat gluten, it can lead to problems that are more serious. These problems can lead to permanent damage to the small intestines, or even cancer.
Out of the 2.5 million people who may have celiac disease, only about 150,000 are diagnosed and treated. Another reason this disease often goes untreated is that it can overlap with others, which makes it harder to detect. Furthermore, if you stop eating gluten before being screened your test results will not be accurate.
Here are some common symptoms of Celiac disease:
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bruising easily
- Fatigue or general weakness
- Muscle weakness
- Pallor (unhealthy pale appearance)
Important note: This list is not a complete list so if you feel you may have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consult with your doctor.
Some of the wellness benefits of a non-gluten diet are increased energy, thinner thighs, and reduced belly bloat. This is why so many celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz, and Victoria Beckham are hopping on the gluten-free bandwagon. It is also possible to have a non- celiac sensitivity to gluten, which means you have negative side effects when you eat it but no permanent damage. Even more reason for non-gluten containing foods to be in the spotlight.
Gluten gives food a nice spongy or stretchy texture as a thickening agent; however that does not mean the gluten free counterparts are not delicious. One just has to be a little creative and pick delicious gluten free counterparts.
Some think a gluten free diet is a magic bullet to losing weight but what really happens is your choices of foods become somewhat narrowed so you tend to eat less. Gluten free diets still can contain fats and calories so one still has to be careful with his/her choices. Be sure and check the ingredients to make sure that the manufacturer has not added extra fat and sugar to make it tastier. This is not always the case but it can be, so just be aware. If you do decide to go gluten free for whatever reason, you still have to consider the nutritional value of everything you are eating and make healthy food choices. Gluten free does not guarantee nutrition. They even make gluten free junk food and sweets. There are many nutritious and healthy gluten free foods so be aware of what they are and try to use them. Some examples are fruits, proteins, vegetables and gluten free grains like amaranth and quinoa. I found some delicious penne rice noodles made with whole grain rice that are just as delicious as the wheat flour variety.
Of course, diet alone will not bring you the washboard beach abs you may desire. You need to incorporate healthy eating habits along with a wellness program or exercise regimen. Looking great and feeling great is always a lifestyle choice, which includes plenty of water, rest, aerobics, weight bearing exercise, nutritious diet and a positive attitude.
Lemon, Chili, Mushroom, Seafood Pasta (gluten free)
There is something heavenly that happens when you combine garlic, lemon and chilies!
- 1 package gluten free pasta
- 1 vegetable broth cube
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic 2 red chili peppers (the seeds are the hot part so remove or do not remove according to taste) julienned
- 2 tablespoons lemon peel (with the bitter while part removed) julienned
- 1 tablespoon kaffir lime leaves (or lemon leaf if you cannot find) julienned
- 1 / 2cup fresh flat leaf parsley chopped finely. Use one half in the salsa and the other half as a garnish after
- 5 ounces mushrooms
- 7 ounces shrimp, peeled and cleaned
- 7 ounces muscles
- Grated parmesan cheese to garnish with after according to taste
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- In a large pot, boil the water, adding the vegetable broth cube and salt. This will give the noodles a better flavor
- In a large sauté pan add the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms for one minute to remove the water, drain
- Add a little more olive oil and then the lemon peel, keffer lime leaf, garlic, flat leaf parsley, seafood (if using) a little salt and pepper to taste, sauté again and set aside
- Boil the noodles until they are nearly al dente, removing them a minute earlier than you normally would
- Heat up the salsa mixture when the noodles are just about done and when the noodles are just right, drain them and sauté them in with the salsa mix
- Garnish with the remaining parsley and cheese