Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

A few good reasons to not fear gluten…

People… Not everyone should cut out gluten!  There are lots of healthy gluten-containing whole grains that need some love.

Carbs, especially those that contain gluten, have gotten a really bad rap the past few years, and I’m feeling kind of bad for them.  I’m not talking about donuts, or even Italian or ciabatta bread (although I do love all of you dearly – in moderation!).  I’m talking about good old oats (even though you technically don’t contain gluten), or farro, or wheatberries or all of those other whole grains that deserve a place in a healthy diet.  After all, it’s all about balance, moderation, and quality, right?!

Apparently, about 1/3 of us think that gluten-containing carbs are off limits. Well, I’m certainly not in favor of refined carbs – all of that white flour and sugar definitely got us into a bad place nutritionally, but whole grains deserve a place in our diets, even if they contain gluten.  They’re full of the quick energy, fiber, and protein that our bodies need to run efficiently and feel well. Anyone who has ever tried to be productive, or even get a good work out in knows that you just don’t feel as well if you cut out those carbs.

Whole grains include things like oats and barley that are packed with soluble fiber to lower blood sugar and cholesterol.  And then there’s  farro – which makes such a perfect low glycemic index substitute for risotto, and wheatberries, which add delightful chewiness and bulk to a grilled veggie salad.  And of course, there’s millet, and sorghum and teff – if you really do want a gluten-free whole grain.  Whole grains are the cream of the crop when it comes to grains and they shouldn’t be on the Do Not Eat List unless you  are gluten intolerant, or have a proven allergy or sensitivity to them!

It seems that a few researchers agree, because here’s what they’re sayin’:

A study from the University of Illinois at Chicago examined blood and urine samples from a group of individuals who followed a gluten-free diet and found that they had 70% higher levels of toxic mercury and twice as much arsenic in their bodies than their gluten-eating friends.  It might be because they eat more rice, but the cause wasn’t determined.

Researchers from Tufts University found that eating a diet rich in whole grains when substituted for refined grains, results in increased metabolism, to the tune of about 100 calories per day – that’s 10 pounds a year people!


A few good reasons to eat your gluten...|Craving Something Healthy

image: Chris Lawton


Finally, in a study that looked at exercise performance in cyclers who preferred a gluten-free diet because they believe it enhances athletic performance, researchers found absolutely no difference when the athletes ate a gluten-free energy bar or a gluten-containing energy bar.  AKA it was all in their head.

Bottom line – if you have celiac disease, or non-celiac gluten intolerance, or a wheat allergy, you should absolutely avoid grains that contain gluten or wheat. But for the rest of us, it’s all about choosing non-processed grains and eating them in moderation. They really can give you that extra energy boost and a decent amount of fiber which can have many important health benefits.

What’s your favorite whole grain?  Do you try to limit gluten?

Eat well!







Pickled Taco Salad {Recipe ReDux}

Kick your Taco Tuesday up a notch with these quick and crunchy refrigerator pickled vegetables

Happy Taco Tuesday friends!  It’s also the 21st of the month, which means it’s time for a Recipe ReDux post – and how convenient is this – February’s theme is all about tacos!  We were asked to share a healthy, creative take on tacos.  Tacos are kind of a staple food in my house, because they’re such a quick, easy, no recipe and minimal ingredients dinner.  If I have lots of time, I’ll do them with grilled fish and a cabbage slaw, if I have a little bit of time, I’ll grill up some chicken and make guacamole and beans, and if I have absolutely no time, it’s just canned black beans and sliced avocado with a sprinkle of salt. Continue Reading..

3-Seed Whole Grain & Kefir Quick Bread

It’s soup season!  Make some for dinner tonight, and serve it with this whole grain quick bread, warm from the oven.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ReganMillerJones Inc. and the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition on behalf of Progresso™ .  I received free samples of the soup mentioned in the post and I was compensated for my time. As always, opinions are my own.

I might have mentioned a few dozen or so times, that I’m pretty much addicted to soup, especially when it’s served with fresh quick bread, warm from the oven.  Is there anything better when the weather is cool, cold, or even warmish?? When I lived in Boston, I could eat it all year long. Now, with the 100+ temps in AZ for several months of the year, I’ve had to cut back a bit, but February is soup season, so I’m in full soup swing – it’s like a big hug or a warm blanket on a cold night.  Soup is also my “secret weapon” for balancing any winter weight that might come from indulging in a few too many sweet treats or comfort foods during these long winter months. Eating vegetable or broth-based soups can fill you up for not a whole lot of calories – in fact, research suggests that people who eat soup tend to have healthier body weights. Continue Reading..

How Dorot Makes Garlic Chicken Easy!

Don’t you just love it when you find a really great product that makes your life easier?  I mean, seriously, what did we do before the Swiffer was invented?  Or how about those Yeti cups that keep your drinks ice cold all day, even in the Arizona summer heat? Have you tried those battery-powered sweater fuzz shavers?  All brilliant inventions, and once you try them, you don’t want to be without ’em.

That’s how I feel about these fresh-frozen, preportioned herbs from Dorot. If you haven’t tried them yet – you don’t know what your missing! Continue Reading..

Super-Simple Homemade Peanut Ramen Noodles

No, it’s NOT your dorm room ramen! These delicious, nutritious homemade Peanut Ramen Noodles hit the spot when you’re starving but time and money are short.   

Hey there friends!  It’s time for another Recipe ReDux post, and this month’s theme is “How low can you go?”  We were challenged to create a healthy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal.  It’s a perfect theme for January, as I sort through the never-ending stream of tax forms that come in the mail each day, and realize just how little I earn in a year!  Truth be told, I certainly appreciate a big, fancy and expensive meal – but only if someone else is paying 🙂  I’m just as happy with budget food, as long as it’s fresh. Continue Reading..

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