Gluten-Free n’ Vegan Tips For Fueling Your Body

Here is a useful guide to help those of you who are Gluten-Free and/or Vegan.  As we all know, I am Gluten-Intolerant, therefore I enjoy consuming all of these foods in my meals and snacks throughout the day.

I hope this guide is helpful for those of you new to the gluten-free world and hope this helps you navigate through your farmers markets and produce aisles of your food store.

Go ahead and dive into these delicious, fresh, ‘clean’ foods knowing that they are safe and good for you and your body…

Carbohydrates- Essential for energy. Reach for complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbs such as sugars, white flours and processed grains that are void of vitamins and minerals.

  • Gluten-Free Pasta (Corn or Gluten-Free Flour Based)
  • Gluten-Free Cereals
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Gluten-Free Oats
  • Gluten-Free Breads
  • Whole Grain Gluten-Free Rice

Fiber- Vital for health: keeps bowels healthy, lowers cholesterol and regulates appetite.

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Gluten-Free Whole Grains

Fats– Essential for brain and nerve functions.  Look to get Omega 3 fatty acids as often as possible.  Olive oil is best used for cooking.  Be sure to avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fats.  Keep your oils fresh by storing them in a dark, cool place and never re-use oil.

  • Flaxseed oil
  • Hempseed oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts (especially hazelnuts and almonds)

Protein-Used for repair of body tissues and growth for enzymes and hormones.  Protein needs are met by a varied, balanced diet so be sure to get proteins from many different sources.

  • Tofu
  • Beansprouts
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nut/Seed Milk (almond, hemp, etc.)
  • Soy Milk
  • Gluten-Free Whole Grains (Quinoa, Buckwheat, Brown Rice)
  • Nuts
  • Hummus

Vitamins

Vitamin A– Also known as beta carotene, is a powerful anti-oxidant that supports sight, bone and teeth growth and tissue repair.  Be sure to reach for the brightly colored fruits and veggies!

  • Carrots
  • Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Watercress
  • Spinach
  • Mango
  • Dried Apricots
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Leafy Vegetables

B Vitamins– Important for using fats and protein as well as energy.  Also key for cell grown and your nervous system. This group is made up of B1-Thiamin, B2-Riboflavin, B3-Niacin, B6-Pyridoxin and B-12 (see below)

  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Gluten-Free Whole Grains (Quinoa, Buckwheat, Brown or Wild Rice)
  • Avocado
  • Beansprouts
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Green Leafy Veggies (I love Kale)

B12-Used in nerve formation and cell production.  Anemia can result in B12 deficiency.

  • Yeast Extract
  • Gluten-Free Fortified Cereals
  • Gluten-Free Fortified Nut Milks

Vitamin C-Fights infections and heals wounds. An important antioxidant in your everyday lifestyle.  It is important to note that Vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat, light and storage.

  • Broccoli
  • Parsley
  • Potatoes
  • Green Leafy Veggies
  • Oranges
  • Orange Juice
  • Blackcurrants
  • Kiwi
  • Mango

Vitamin D- Our Sunshine…Needed for calcium use.  Helps form healthy bones and teeth.  Met through a few minutes of sunshine on your skin. D2 is animal free.

  • Fortified Gluten-Free Cereals
  • Fortified Nut/Seed Milks
  • Soy Milk

Vitamin E-Antioxidant used to protect against disease.  Helps with tissue healing and skin health.

  • Gluten-Free Whole Grains (Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Wild Rice, Quinoa)
  • Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocados
  • Carrots
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Apples

Vitamin K– Fights infection Used for energy usage.  Helps with blood clotting and healthy bones.

  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Kombu Sea Vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Green Leafy Vegetables

Minerals

Iron– Used in production of red blood cells and transportation of oxygen.

  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Tofu
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Figs
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Cabbage
  • Pumpkin Seeds

Calcium- Supports teeth, bones and muscles.  Also supports hormones and blood clotting.

  • Almonds
  • Soy Milk
  • Tofu
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • broccoli
  • Turnips

Zinc-Important for a strong, healthy immune system and wound healing.

  • Gluten-Free Whole Grains (Buckwheat, Rice, Quinoa)
  • Almonds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Green Leafy Vegetables

Iodine-Important for metabolism and healthy functioning of thyroid gland.  iodine in vegetables depends on the soil.  Seaweeds are the best sources of iodine, especially kelp, which is also known as kombu.

  • Kombu/Kelp Sea Vegetables
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Asparagus

Magnesium– Needed for bone strength, nerve and muscle function.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Soya Beans
  • Gluten-Free Whole Grains (Quinoa, Rice, Buckwheat)
  • Green Leafy Vegetables

Selenium, Potassium and Phosphorous– Selenium is an antioxidant that fights diseases.  Potassium helps with blood pressure and calcium helps with balance.

  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Gluten-Free Whole Grains (Rice, Buckwheat, Quinoa)
  • Chick Peas
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Many other fruits and vegetables

Trace Elements- Fluorine, Copper, Chromium, Molybdenum and Manganese support bones, teeth, skin, hair and red blood cells. Vital for fighting against diseases.

  • Seaweeds
  • Potatoes
  • Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Gluten-Free Whole Grains (Quinoa, Buckwheat, Brown Rice)
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Green Leafy Vegetables

And, be sure to check out my Shop…I just added many new gluten-free and vegan products as well as fabulous kitchen tools for all your healthy cooking and baking needs.

Enjoy!

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Lucious Leafy Greens

greens

Many of my clients considered ‘leafy green veggies’ unappetizing before they came to me for counseling.  The first thing that came to their minds when I mentioned ‘leafy green veggies’ was “Well, I eat Iceberg Lettuce”! O boy, I thought…we’ve got some work to do and this is going to be fun.  This is what I love about being a Nutritionist.  I truly love making a difference in the way my clients eat and make them realize that this pale lettuce, once so ubiquitous in restaurant salads, does not have the power-packed goodness of other delicious greens.

Before my clients came to me for counseling, they either forgot about these nutrient-rich, flavorful foods or got scared off by the idea of preparing them.

Learning to cook and eat greens is essential for creating lasting health.  It is a simple, easy way to boost your daily diet.  The next time you are at the farmers market or in your local food store, be sure to add some of the following greens to your shopping list: Arugula, Bok Choy, Broccoli Rabe, Cabbage, Collards, Chicory, Dandelion, Escarole, Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Watercress and many other varieties of lettuce.

Leafy green veggies help strengthen our respiratory and circulatory systems.  They are high in magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K.

Leafy green veggies are packed with folic acid, chlorophyll, fiber and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals.  Moreover, they help with blood purification, cancer prevention, improving circulation, strengthening your immune system and improving gall bladder, kidney and live function.  They are also a great ally in the Fall when cold season begins because greens can help clear congestion and reduce mucus.

Surprisingly, greens are not as complicated as they may appear  Try a variety of cooking methods such as boiling, sauteing in olive oil, steaming, blanching, roasting or chopping up for salads and snacks.  Chopping raw veggies for salads and snacks takes only a few minutes to rinse and prepare.  Cooking greens takes a couple of minutes of prep time and about two minutes of cooking time.  You can experiment with cooking your greens with seeds, nuts, beans, butter, tofu, seital, tempeh, chicken, turkey, fish, ground meat, eggs, etc.  Green veggies are easy to add to homemade or prepared soups or stews right before serving.

Try to get into the habit of adding these green veggies to your diet as often as possible.  While veggies are the scarcest food in the American diet, leafy green veggies area is lacking most of all.

Give some of these green leafy veggies a try and see how you feel!  Let me know what you think about the different flavors and textures of these delicious greens…I’m interested to hear!

Uproot from the Green Basics

While everyday veggies such as broccoli and spinach are great for your health, be adventurous and try these other dark greens that pack a flavorful and nutrient-dense punch.

  • Kale- This leafy green is easy to grow and thrives in cold temps.  The beautiful leaves provide an earthy flavor and excellent nutritional value.  I love making ‘kale wraps’ where I wrap kale leaves around my fish and chicken for a fun finger food!
  • Collard Greens- A staple of traditional Southern cooking, this nutritional powerhouse provides vitamins A, C, calcium, iron and magnesium.  Collard greens are delicious to bake with and I love adding collards to my baked fish recipes.
  • Bok Choy- This veggie has a light, sweet flavor and a crisp texture.  Toss some bok choy into stir-fries, Asian dishes or soups.
  • Escarole- This curly Italian green has a bitter taste.  As you remove the leaves, you will experience different degrees of flavor! As the leaves are peeled back, they continue to lighten in shade and bitterness.

Product Review: All One Powder

Thank you to All-One for sending me a package of samples for my clients.  All-One provides a daily nutrition regimen in powder form, that is easy to take, readily used by your body and supports optimum health.  Their nutrition supplements are in powder form, which is fun to mix into smoothies, yogurts, baked goods, oatmeal and juice.

My clients had the opportunity to try each of the following All-One powders:

Original Formulaallone
Rice Baseall
Green Phyto Baseaaaa
Fruit Antioxidantsquare4R
Totally Fiberalloneeeeee
Calcium Complexalone
Vitamin Cal

Be sure to check out the All-One website for additional products.
Thank you again to All-One for sending me samples of your All-One powders for my clients!

Sardine Melt

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Now, don’t get grossed out by this recipe because I assure you, if you give these little canned babies a try—you’ll be thanking me, not only because of their amazing taste but because of the nutritional punch that they pack, as well. 

I have recently been purchasing sardines for their rich Omega 3’s, which helps our bodies maintain muscle.  Moreover, they are a good source of vitamin D, Calcium, vitamin B12, and protein!  Not to mention low in mercury, making they a smart choice for pregnant women.  If you are not fond of the flavor, try soaking the sardines in vinegar for 30 minutes; I find this helps eliminate the fishy taste. 

I came up with this cute little spin off of a tuna melt and decided to incorporate my sardines.  The flavor is amazing and this will surely become a lunch staple for me.

Ingredients

  • 1 can Sardines (no salt added)
  • Bread/Wrap/Crackers of Choice
  • Kale (or any leafy green veggie)
  • Mustard
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Celery (chopped)
  • Bell Pepper (chopped)
  • NuSalt and Pepper to season
  • Chopped Onion
  • Fresh Basil (Chopped)
  • SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free Cheese

TLT (Tofu, Lettuce n’ Tomato) Sandwich

I just made this divine TLT sandwich for my lunch today and I cannot stop raving over it! I will definitely be making this my lunch staple a few times each week!

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 pieces Kale (or your green “a.k.a. lettuce” of choice)
  • 14 ounces water packed extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Reduced Sodium Tamari (Wheat Free Soy Sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon Veganaise (Vegan Mayonnaise)
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Scallions
  • Toasted Bread of choice (Pita, Bread, Bagel, Naan)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Combine Tamari and Dijon mustard in a small bowl.
  • Pat tofu with a paper towel to soak up excess water and slice tofu crosswise into 8 pieces
  • Using a spoon, spread the mustard mixture on the tofu slices (both sides)
  • Bake tofu for 20 minutes
  • Spread Veganaise onto toasted bread and place the tofu, lettuce, tomato, cilantro and scallions on top.
  • Enjoy!

I love Tofu, not only is it delicious, it’s healthy and packed with a beneficial amount of iron and has no saturated fat or cholesterol.   Tofu is also high in calcium and magnesium as well as a great source of soy protein.  Moreover, the FDA claims, “25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Although I am Not a vegetarian, I do love my tofu.  Do you enjoy Tofu?  Share with us some of your favorite ways to prepare and incorporate Tofu into your meals.