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!

Emmer-Flour Zucchini Cakes

Ingredients

  • 3 large zucchini, grated
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 avocado, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp. emmer flour
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • Sea Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Topping: Greek plain yogurt

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine zucchini, onion and garlic.  Add eggs and avocado; mix well.  Slowly add remaining ingredients; mix until combined.
  • Heat a large pan over medium heat with nonstick cooking spray.  Using a ladle, pour batter onto hot pan making a pancake shape. Reduce heat and flip to ensure each side is golden brown and fully cooked.
  • Transfer to a serving platter.  Serve hot.
  • Enjoy and top with a dollop of Greek plain yogurt.

Today, March 2nd thru next Tuesday, March 9th I am hosting a 15% discount on my Belle Fleur- Jasmine Verbena Candle in my Open Sky Shop.

Enter the code: 15belle upon check-out to redeem this magnificent candle that I light every evening while making dinner in my kitchen.

‘Blackened’ Mahi-Mahi with Cherry Spelt Asparagus

Last night I purchased Mahi-Mahi at my local fish market and created a deliciously ‘Blackened’ dish…yes, the smoke alarm surely went off and my tiny Manhattan apt was surely smokin’, hehe, but it was worth it…succulent and spicy…just the way I like it.

I opted to create my ‘Blackened’ rub by reaching for my magnetic spice rack and tossed together the delectable Marx Foods ghost chili’s and spices that are sold in my Open Sky shop…take  a looksy at these unique and incredibly tasty spices in my shop to create your very own blackened dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 ghost chilis
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. truffle salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Mahi-Mahi fillets
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup spelt flakes
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries

Directions

  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Cook spelt flakes according to package.
  • Trim ends of asparagus and steam over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until tender yet still crisp and bright green.
  • Meanwhile, grind ghost chili’s in a coffee grinder until they form a fine consistency.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine all spice ingredients; mix well.
  • Coat mahi mahi fillets with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and rub spice mixture onto each fillet.
  • Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil onto the sizzling hot skillet and place the mahi mahi fillets 2 inches apart on the skillet.
  • Cook both sides until fish is fully cooked to desired consistency.
  • Note: Because the skillet is piping hot, there will be a great amount of smoke generated, but don’t let this scare you as this will create a delectable blackened fish.
  • Transfer to serving dishes. Serve hot alongside asparagus and spelt.
  • Sprinkle with dried cherries.
  • Enjoy.

15% Discount on Ayala’s Herbal Water

I’m pleased to announce an exclusive 15% discount for Ayala’s Herbal Water today, February the 17th thru next Wednesday, February the 24th in my Open Sky shop.

We all know water is vital for life…In fact, the human body contains up to 70% water, and it’s necessary for everything the body does.

But sometimes we’d all like something different…a beverage that’s healthy, refreshing and full of flavor. That’s the secret of Ayala’s Herbal Water.

Free of artificial sweeteners and artificial ingredients, Herbal Water gets its great taste and healthful benefits from culinary herbs. It’s got everything you want, and zero of what you don’t.

Zero calories. Zero artificial additives. Zero preservatives. Nothing to worry about. Just 100 percent natural goodness and wonderful taste.

And, Ayala’s Herbal Water is the first nationally available organically certified enhanced flavored water made with all organic ingredients in the following refreshing flavors:

  • Lemongrass, Mint and Vanilla
  • Ginger Lemon Peel
  • Lemon, Verbena and Geranium
  • Cinnamon Orange peel
  • Lavender Mint
  • Cloves, Cardamom and Cinnamon

The Herbal Water story begins in the spring of 2005, in the garden of Dr. Ayala, a passionate cook, trained pediatrician, artist and lifelong vegetarian, Dr. Ayala spent years exploring healthy, tasty ways to feed children and adults.

Seeking an alternative to sugar-laden and artificially flavored beverages, Dr. Ayala created her own blends of herb infused waters that magically satisfy thirst and restore the spirit. Among her family and friends, Dr. Ayala’s herbal waters became famous for their uniquely refreshing tastes and aromas.

Ayala’s Herbal Water is the first nationally available organically certified enhanced flavored water made with all organic ingredients. Each Herbal Water blend is all-natural and sets a new standard for healthy beverages: zero calories, zero artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors, and zero chemical preservatives.

Nothing but great taste from pure water, infused with the finest natural herbs from around the world, kept fresh in a beautiful bottle for your enjoyment.


Take advantage of this amazing 15% discount and let me know how you enjoy the refreshing taste of Ayala’s Herbal Water.

Click HERE to redeem this promotion.

Product Review: Measure-Up Bowls

I recently discovered these fabulous Measure-Up Bowls created by Heather Harvey, who created Measure Up Bowls out of her own necessity.  A great new product, the Measure Up Bowl, which I am selling in my Open Sky Shop, has already been on Dr. OZ, Fox Business News and other round up product segments and gift guides.  Heather is featured in the January issue of Health Magazine with her inspiring weight loss story.  The product has also been featured in Redbook.  Many of my clients are using the Measure Up Bowls and seeing superb results with their portion control.
Heather had always struggled with her weight, but really needed help when she was 233 pounds and 5 months pregnant.  She enlisted the help of  trainer who advised her to journal everything she put into her mouth.
One morning while measuring out her portion of cereal Heather realized this would be so much easier if the pre- measured portions were on the interior of the bowl she was eating out of.  She started developing them and now these porcelain microwave, dishwasher safe pre-measured portion bowls are for sale for your convenience.
The Classic Bowl has pre measured portions of 1/2, 1, 1-1/2 and 2 cups on the interior, which is perfect for soup, rice, pasta and cereals.
The Small Bowl has pre measured portions of 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 cups on it’s interior and was designed for high fat calorie dense foods in mind such as ice-ream, nuts, chips, and granola   If you’re going to indulge go ahead but don’t ruin your day!
Portion control has never been so easy or elegant.
Heather also developed her brand new Measure Up Journals.  A three month Journal designed to be easy to use, and keep you on track for the new year and beyond!
Measure Up and Good Health To You…
Purchase your Measure Up Bowls in my Open Sky Shop here and get your portions ‘In Control’…

Ayala’s Herbal Water Give-Away

Good Morning, Foodies…As I usually don’t post on the weekends, this offer just simply couldn’t wait….


Who doesn’t love a little Valentine’s Gift?  The fabulous folks over at Alyala’s Herbal Water are offering to send a 6 bottle sampler pack of Ayala’s Herbal Water and an herbal water totebag to my winner….but, hurry…I’ll be picking a Valentine by 12 pm EST on Monday February 8th!

Good Luck…

Simply leave me a comment on this post as to what flavor you’d like to try of Ayala’s Herbal Water, which is sold in my Open Sky shop, and I’ll pick  one winner on Monday morning at 12:00 noon EST.

Enjoy your weekend and good luck!

Sugar Blues and Open Sky Discount

sugar

Sugar is everywhere today.  Not only is it in soda, cake and ice cream but in more unlikely foods such as ketchup, canned food and salad dressings.  Sugar is often disguised in fancy language such as corn syrup, dextrose, fructose or maltose.  Many of us unknowingly consume 30 teaspoons of sugar each day, which is 3 times the USDA recommendation.

It is only natural that we crave sugar.  It is simply the body asking for energy.  When sugar is digested, it turns to glucose which fuels the body’s cells and helps restore energy levels.  But, before you hit the vending machine for an instant energy boost, note that all sweets are not created equal.

Refined sugar creates a roller-coaster effect–imagine a child’s birthday party.  The kids are calm in the beginning, but after cake time everyone is bouncing off the walls.  The sugar from the cake quickly enters the bloodstream and causes the blood sugar level to skyrocket causing excitability, hyperactivity and nervous tension.  Because this sugar is refined and does not have any minerals or vitamins to sustain energy, the hyperactivity will only last for a short period of time before the energy plummets and the kids become cranky and tired.  Ever wonder why these kids birthday parties last only a couple of hours?

Refined sugars not only lead to major mood swings but also take a tool on the body leading to health problems such as diabetes, weight gain and hypoglycemia.  Because the table sugar in your morning donuts is such a severe dose of energy, it causes your body’s glucose levels to spike up and then crash down.  When the body senses a high level of sugar it goes into panic mode and words hard to burn it up as quickly as possible.  In order for the body to absorb sugar properly, it uses its own minerals and enzymes creating a deficiency.  Refined sugars also create more cravings for more high-calorie, sweet foods as your body tries to replace lost nutrients.

For those of you who are sugar addicts, start slowly.  Rather than quitting ‘cold turkey’, try to incorporate sweeter veggies such as carrots and sweet potatoes into your day.  You may still experience energy dips in the early afternoon and then a couple of hours post lunch, however, this is only natural.  By incorporating more foods with naturally occurring sugars, the energy dips will not be as sever as if you were to eat a candy bar.  As you add more veggies, you will eventually crave less sugar and naturally crowd out the sweet snacks.

Sometimes your cravings go beyond hunger or the need for an energy boost.  The desire for something sweet may be the need for other forms of comfort in your life. When do you crave sweets the most? Is it in the late afternoon when you are bored at work or when you are home alone? Along with replacing simple sugars with sweet veggies, whole grains and fruits, try to incorporate more self-care into your life, whether it is though relationships, exercise or hobbies.  You may be surprised to learn that your desire for that bowl of ice cream is not as strong.

Here are a few of my facts and tips to help you navigate through your Sugar Blues:

  • Sugar is addicting; once we start…we cannot stop…we continue to crave sugar and want more and more!
  • Food changes everything; we take it in with our mouths and it becomes us..’you are what you eat’, so when we are eating too much sugar, we are very different than when we are eating leafy greens and good sources of protein
  • Willpower is not the problem, it’s the uncontrollable cravings
  • Sugar is the solution, not the problem
  • Why do we go for sugar? It gives us something-energy, feeling happy, satisfied, etc. and it’s an instantaneous solution to these problems. It will shoot our energy through the roof but we will crash later. So, sugar is our solution in the moment- our body is constantly trying to achieve homeostasis (balance).  We want balance.
  • So, if we wake up tired-we want coffee, donuts or sugar, which spikes us up then we crash
  • If we are eating too many salty foods (yang) such as meaty, salty grounding foods they will make us crave sugar (yin) foods.  For instance, bartenders put out peanuts so that people will continue to drink sweet alcohol.  The same goes for dining out–the food is always heavy on the salt so that we will want to order off the dessert menus.
  • When we are craving sugar we are not hungry, we are usually thirsty.  Most Americans are dehydrated, which causes migraine headaches and exhaustion.
  • When you get a craving; take a deep breath and drink water, look at your watch and wait 20 minutes for the craving to pass.
  • There is ALWAYS something behind your underlying causes of cravings.
  • Could be our lack of primary foods in our lives? By Primary Foods, I am referring to love, friends, relationships, work, spiritual practice, career, exercise, hobbies and anything that is a non-food source that heals your soul.  Are you bored? Are you lonely? Are you running away from something or someone? Many people use food to fill a void that food CANNOT fix. The freezer (ice cream) satisfies that need, but the ice cream does not solve anything, so you are off to find another quick fix.
  • Put a list on your fridge that will list non-food options called a ‘Nourishment Menu’; use this menu to feed your soul.  Work in the garden, call a friend, take a walk, get outside in nature, practice yoga, read a book, make a human connection with friends or family members.   Food cannot help our problems or make us feel as good as these options can.
  • Ask yourself, “Am I getting the nourishment that I want from my life?”  ” Am I looking to food to fill this void in my life?”
  • Sugar is not the problem; it is the solution and our body is always trying to come into balance. When we eat too many meat-based or grounding foods we are going to crave the opposite.
  • If we are dehydrated we will crave sugar.
  • Often times, food is not the issue.  We are looking for connection with spirit in our body.  Take a step back and analyze the situation.  You may be surprised to know that food is not the problem at all.
  • What is one thing that you learned about yourself with your relationships with food?  Be sure to look at everything you do for yourself that truly nourishes you.  True nourishment comes from non-food sources; mindless snacking is something we do to keep us busy.
  • If your sweet tooth is not satisfied with sweet vegetables or fruit, here are some of my favorite ‘Sweet’ Condiments, which are more natural alternatives to sugar.

Be sure to understand and comprehend each bullet point above.  Ask yourself if these scenarios relate to your life.  Do you realize the impact of sugar on your health and well-being?

Eat for quality, not quantity and savor each bite of food.

Open Sky Discount

Shop my Open Sky store and receive 10% anything on the Open Sky website; use the coupon code REDESIGN throughout all of January.