Going Gluten Free! (How to, What to buy)

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So a lot of people are currently already gluten free or going gluten free. Here is a shopping list for all the things you CAN eat when going gluten free so it doesn’t seem so scary and overwhelming! =) Enjoy!

Also here are some things “gluten” is otherwise called on labels. Read them!! So these are the “no-goes”. Also I listed some basics that are a “No” as well. . . . .

  • Wheat, Barley and Rye
  • Brewers yeast
  • Kamut
  • Malted milk (or virtually any thing with the work “malt” in it.)
  • Oats (there are gluten free oats now, just have to find them)
  • Spelt
  • Wheat bran
  • Flour
  • Gravy’s
  • Some crackers

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Here are some things you might want to check out before buying, they or may not contain gluten depending on the product and brand:

  • Oatmeal
  • Beer
  • Bread and Pastas
  • Noodles
  • Cereals, cereal bars
  • protein bars and powders
  • Some flavored coffees and teas
  • Seasonings and sauces
  • Salad dressings.

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So what the hell can I eat, You maybe be asking? …

  1. Produce! Any fruits, veggies and all the above! lol
  2. Herbs and Spices (be sure to look at some marinades and rubs, some contain gluten!)
  3. Meats and Fish (beef, chicken, fish… check the package for additives, and if you can buy grass fed you’re better off)
  4. Oils, Mayo, Mustard, salad dressings (check labels) .
  5. Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurts, sour cream, cottage cheese, butter.. A lot of non-dairy as well like Almond milks and yogurts
  6. Eggs, egg whites, and tofu
  7. Rice cakes, pop chips, rice crackers, jello, chocolates, dried fruits (check labels) .
  8. Quinoa, buckwheat, flax, seeds, almond flour, there are even pre-packages brownies!! Yum
  9. Peanuts and almond butters, nuts
  10. Juice, coffee, teas
  11. Puffed rice cereal, Chex mix cereal, there are special gluten free cereals too.
  12. Look for special “gluten free ” foods too! There are more options now!!

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Here are some Awesome “gluten- free products” that are already out there. Most of them you can find at your local supermarket, Whole foods or farmers market! Shop around, try new stuff and .. in a way have fun with it! Don’t get overwhelmed and be positive! Also Google recipes, get in pinterist or intagram..  find blogs (I have a few recipies on there that are gluten free too) .. get a cook book. Have fun with it!

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  • Breads – I like udis (they have different kinds too)  . But there is also Kinnikinnik Foods Brown Sandwich Bread, Whole Foods Market brand makes a bread, Food for life brown rice bread, EnerG Tapioca bread and Glutino brand.
  • Cereal – Chex rice, Natures path, Enjoy life Brand , Rice Crispies, Barbara’s brand, Arrohead Mills, and I believe Kashi makes a few too!
  • Pasta- I love Quinoa pasta the best, but there also is veggies pasta, brown rice pasta, you can also make pasta out of spaghetti squash!
  • Oats- bobs red mill, udis,
  • Begals- vans naturals, udies, .. they even have waffles!! YES!
  • Pre-made Meals – Amys brand is good, Boars head brand, … this stuff is usually pretty pricey so you learn how to make your own “gluten free” foods pretty fast! ahaha.
  • Brownies and goodies! – Betty Crocker makes brownies and cake mixes, udis, French meadow bakery, bobs red mill..

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Garlic Chicken Pasta w/ Spinach, tomatoes and chives!

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SOOO Good! Made this the other night and everyone in the family liked it!!

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You’ll Need:

1 box Whole Wheat or gluten free linguini.

3 large skinless chicken breasts (cut into chunks, or you can buy the already cut up kind)

1 small container of mushrooms

3 cups baby spinach

8 small cherry tomatoes (halved)

1 small can sliced black olives

3 chives (chopped)

For the sauce – You’ll need:

2 tbsp. butter ( I used Earth Balance Brand)

4 Garlic cloves (mined)

4 tbsp. Whole-wheat flour or Gluten free flour.

1 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth ( I used chicken this time) -LOOK for LOW SODIUM!!

1 1/2 cups Almond milk, or low-fat milk will work too.

3 teaspoons Parsley flakes

2/3 cup graded parmesan or mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to taste.

HOW TO:

  • In large skillet, season chicken to taste with some chicken seasoning (I like Ms. Dash) and place in skillet. Add about 1/2 cup water and cover. (My mother taught me this trick when cooking chicken so it doesn’t dry out! =) …)

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  • Meanwhile, in another med-large skillet, put in butter and garlic cloves till butter is melted and garlic is starting to break down. Cook for around 1 min. (this will be your sauce pan)
  • Start noodles according to package in large pot. And drain when does cooking. Set aside.

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  • Go back to sauce pan, add flour and cook for 1 min, stirring so all the flour is dissolved evenly.  After, add broth and almond milk, stirring occasionally till sauce thickens and boils. Then add parsley, salt, pepper and cheese into sauce and cook till cheese is melted and sauce is thick. Turn to simmer-low until ready to serve.

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  • Meanwhile, to keep from burning your chicken, you can always add a little more water to pan and let simmer covered. Cook chicken till done (no pink in middle of the chunks) And when chicken is done, place in bowl and set aside to chop up. In same pan (leaving some of the chicken juices), put in a little olive oil, add spinach, tomatoes, chives, mushrooms and olives into the pan and sauté.

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  • Cut cooked chicken on cutting board into bit size pieces and add to veggie mix.

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Once everything is done, pile noodles on place, add as much veggie/chicken mix as desired and top with a little sauce … YUMM!!

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Olive Garden Healthy Options

So.. I love me some Olive Garden. And its safe to say that its one of my fav’s and I almost ALWAYS get a gift card to that place from a family member for Christmas or my birthday. So needless to say its a known fact that I LOVE OLIVE GARDEN! haha

But not everything there is healthy either. Just like other restaurants, they have good healthy options, and … eh, lets just go with the fact that they have poor decisions as well…So.. which do you choose? How do you know what’s a “healthy” option without bombarding the waitress about all the nutritional information and looking like a crazed, obsessed dieter.

And that my dear friends, is why  I’m here!

AMANDA to the RESCUE!!!

So being the salad and breadstick lover I am, I’m sad to say that one serving of their delicious salad (that’s drenched in awesome dressing I might add) and one breadstick is a whopping 500 calories alone. Sad, but true. And don’t go and try to blame the breadstick either! ok. One breadstick is around 150 calories, so most of the issue is actually coming from the drenched salad… ironically. So, quick fix, as for the dressing on the side! YAY! (don’t drench it when you get it on the side either- that’s defeating the purpose) Instead, dip the prongs of your fork into the dressing and, then, get a fork full of salad. Tastes the same, saves some un-needed calories.

  • Next .. say you want an Appetizer.

Stuffed mushrooms is probably your best option – 280 cal.

Mussels de Napoli which is 180 calories but extremely high in sodium so … only have a few.

Unlike the Lasagna Fritta that’s around 1,030…HOLY SMOKES!

  • Next, the main meal!

Soups and salads are always a better choice (usually) depending on where you go….

Now I know I just bashed the famous Olive Garden salad, bit its not that bad, if its your main course, just go light on the dressing.

Best Soup option – Pasta e fagioli  (it has the lowest amount of sodium)

Other options include

  • Cheese ravioli with marinara sause
  • Linguine alla Marinara
  • Parmesan Crusted tilapia
  • Plain ol’ Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Herbed Grilled Salmon
  • Apricot Chicken
  • Ravioli Portobello
  • Chicken marsalla (kind of high in sodium , so if you cut in half, that would be ideal)

And as good as that Tour of Italy dish looks , its almost your entire days worth of calories along in that one dish! oh my.. – 1.450 calories and 3,800mg of sodium. WOW

To make your dish even healthier .. you can always ask for Whole grain or Gluten free noodles. Regular linguini and penne are the other two better options.

And choose marinara over any white cream sauce.

Also – here is the link to Olive Gardens Menu and Nutritional Information if you want to look for yourself. https://www.olivegarden.com/Menu/Nutrition/

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