Living. Gluten-Free. Living. Gluten Free.

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1 Gluten-Free


3 Introduction Going gluten-free is all the rage right now, and a walk through your grocery store will reveal loads of new products that boast gluten-free labels. Interestingly, the gluten-free diet that is trending across the country was actually developed as a medical treatment for people who suffer from celiac disease. People with celiac disease have a severe immune reaction to gluten. In order to maintain their health, those with celiac disease must avoid ingesting gluten products at all costs. In celiac disease sufferers, gluten causes the body's immune system to attack the small intestines, causing tissue damage and chronic inflammation. People without celiac disease may suffer similar symptoms from eating gluten (for example, diarrhea or cramping) but they don't experience damage to their organs; following a gluten-free diet likewise helps alleviate these uncomfortable symptoms. Others, who have neither gluten sensitivity nor celiac disease, believe that removing gluten from their diet is a step toward a healthy lifestyle. If you are considering choosing a gluten-free diet as a health choice, be sure to consult with your doctor or a nutritionist for the best approach to build nutritious habits. Eliminating gluten may sound like a great way to cross tempting foods off your list. However, in the case of celiac disease, where gluten can actually damage your organs, a gluten-free diet is a necessity. For people with celiac, gluten-free is much more of an inconvenience than it is an awesome weight-loss method. The fact is, going gluten-free eliminates a ton of foods that you likely eat every day and which you probably don't even realize contain gluten. Additionally, all people with celiac disease and some people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity can't handle even minor cross-contamination, making it quite a complicated diet to follow. The good news is that by avoiding gluten, the symptoms of celiac disease can be completely mitigated, and the damage done to the intestines can actually be reversed. Whether you have a celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or are pursuing a gluten-free diet to feel healthier or lose weight, it's important to understand what it means to eliminate gluten from your diet and how being gluten-free can affect your health. PAGE 3

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5 Chapter 1 WHAT IS GLUTEN? You may be asking yourself, what is gluten? Gluten is actually the Latin word for "glue." And not unlike glue, gluten is the component in bread that gives the dough its sticky elasticity and shape, as well as its chewy texture once it's baked. Gluten is a combination of proteins found in wheat and other grains like barley, rye, and triticale (a cross between rye and barley) and is related to starch. Its biological function is to help nourish flowering plants, but as a food product, gluten doesn't offer a lot of nutritional value. However, to be clear, that doesn't mean that foods containing gluten don't have some nutritional value. In fact, foods with gluten typically are rich in fiber, iron, and calcium. That's why it's important to attempt to balance a gluten-free diet nutritionally. If you suffer from gluten sensitivity or are gluten intolerant, gluten can cause symptoms like cramping, bloating, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease where a person's intolerance for gluten further triggers an immune response, causing inflammation and damaging the lining of their intestines. This creates additional health problems because important nutrients can no longer be absorbed by the damaged intestines. The health of your heart, bones, and nerves all rely on your body getting the nutrition it requires; celiac disease can be extremely serious and detrimental to your health. As celiac disease affects as many as 1 in 141 Americans, it's no wonder that gluten-free has become a popular theme in the health world. People with gluten sensitivity present with similar symptoms as celiac disease, and while ingesting gluten does not actually cause damage to their intestines, following a gluten-free diet can still be quite beneficial. In fact, people who are gluten intolerant should not only remove gluten from their diet, but they should also vigilantly avoid cross-contamination from cooking or storing foods with other products containing gluten. Outside of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, there are a number of people who believe that avoiding gluten can help them overcome other health issues, such as chronic fatigue, headaches, depression, and weight gain. If you do not have gluten sensitivity and are simply cutting gluten out of your diet remember it is important to balance your diet with other whole grains, fruits, and veggies in place of gluten. People with gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance should avoid foods products with gluten in them in order to control their symptoms. For the rest of us, it may simply be a choice we make in our effort to live healthy. However, balance is the key! PAGE 5

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7 Chapter 2 WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING GLUTEN-FREE? Being gluten-free is critical in the treatment of celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. The major benefit of following a gluten-free diet is the relief for people who suffer from celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or gluten intolerance. In some cases, people with celiac disease can minimize potential complications, improve symptoms, and even heal the damage that was done to their intestines by eating a strictly gluten-free diet for the rest of their lives. Other nutritional deficiencies may be associated with celiac disease. The inability of the intestines to absorb nutrients can lead to problems such as osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage, and even seizures. A gluten-free diet used to treat damaged intestines also makes it so patients can again absorb nutrients without necessarily needing additional supplements. So you might say that a benefit of being gluten-free is prevention of debilitating conditions caused by celiac disease. Although the gluten-free diet was developed specifically as a treatment for celiac disease, it has also been adopted by people with gluten sensitivity. The diet is quite restrictive, and the availability of more and more gluten-free products on the market has non-celiac dieters also adopting a gluten-free lifestyle to lose weight, feel healthier, or gain energy. It is important to note that you need to balance your diet with other whole grains, fruits, and veggies and it is a good idea to talk to your doctor or nutritionist first before starting a gluten-free diet. PAGE 7

8 Chapter 3 WHAT IS A GLUTEN-FREE DIET? IS BEING GLUTEN-FREE AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO DIET? What exactly is a gluten-free diet? A gluten-free diet excludes any product containing gluten, typically any product made from wheat. This is pretty obvious, but what's not obvious is the gluten found in all kinds of foods beyond the grains in which it naturally occurs. As mentioned, gluten is a wheat-based product and is found in other grains including rye, barley, and triticale, a cross between rye and barley. This sounds fairly straightforward, but following a glutenfree diet is tricky because these grains can be listed under a number of different chemical or common names. Furthermore, gluten is counted among the ingredients of hundreds of other products. You're probably familiar with bread and pasta as gluten-rich foods, but did you know that gluten can also be found in frozen vegetables or in the seasoning packets found in boxed foods? Naturally gluten-free foods that should be included in your diet are beans and seeds; fresh eggs; fresh meat, fish, and poultry; fruits and veggies; and most dairy products. Just remember to avoid processed versions of these foods and cut out dressings or seasonings that aren't gluten-free. You must also avoid any foods coated in breading. Gluten is often found in baked or fried foods, even if the food itself was gluten-free before frying. For example, french fries might be gluten-free while raw or frozen, but they will no longer be gluten-free if they are cooked in the same oil used to cook onion rings or chicken tenders. Of course, not all grains and starches have gluten. These alternative carbohydrates may provide a good balance to your diet: buckwheat, corn and cornmeal, flax, gluten-free flours, quinoa, rice, or potatoes. PAGE 8

9 The list of foods to avoid is quite long. It includes products that contain wheat such as bulgur, couscous, graham flour, semolina, and spelt. Off-limits food includes most breads, baked goods, pizza, pastas, cereals, crackers, soy sauces, beers, battered or deep-fried foods, processed and frozen foods, soups, dressings, sauces, and gravies. Some candies and medications may use gluten as a binding agent, and gluten can be found in lip balms and even certain toothpastes. Foods labeled as "wheat free" can still contain traces of wheat and gluten, so double check the ingredients if you suffer from gluten sensitivity. For a list of foods to avoid, check out the Celiac Disease Foundation site at: or visit MedlinePlus at While a gluten-free diet is meant as a treatment for gluten disorders like celiac disease, some people believe going gluten-free may be an effective way to be healthy and lose weight. Basically, going gluten-free means cutting out a whole food group and a starchy, carb rich food group at that which can definitely result in weight loss. However, if you are going the gluten-free route, keep in mind that products which normally contain gluten and which have been substituted with rice or gluten-free flours often are higher in sugar and calories and lower in fiber. And remember, if you are cutting out gluten as a way to be healthy, you may want to supplement your diet with vitamins or minerals that are commonly provided by the foods that contain gluten, namely iron, fiber, and calcium. From this list of foods to avoid, you can see that following a gluten-free diet is not always easy and requires some creativity and discipline. As with most things, the best approach to healthy living is making thoughtful choices and balancing the foods you need to function best. Understanding labels and focusing on the foods that you can eat will make a gluten-free diet much more manageable. The availability of new gluten-free products - even if it's because the market is simply responding to current trends in dieting - is certainly making it a bit more convenient for those with gluten-related disorders. Now you can have your gluten-free cake and eat it too! PAGE 9


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13 s Turkey Chili INGREDIENTS 1 pound of organic lean ground turkey 1 large organic red bell pepper, chopped 1 large organic onion, chopped 7 cloves of organic garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon of chili powder 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper 16 ounces of organic green salsa 1/4 cup of water 15 ounces of kidney beans DIRECTIONS Cook ground turkey, bell pepper and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. S tir in salsa and water; bring to a simm er. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Simmer for another minutes. Serve hot. PAGE 13

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15 s Spinach Cakes INGREDIENTS 12 ounces of organic spinach 1/2 cup of part skim ricotta cheese 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 2 large organic eggs, beaten 2 cloves of organic garlic minced 1/4 teaspoon of salt 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper *makes 8 cups DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Line 8 cup muffin pan with liners. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups. Bake the spinach cakes until set, about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Serve warm, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, if desired. PAGE 15

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17 Salmon & Egg Frittata INGREDIENTS 1 large organic baking potato 6 large organic eggs 1 teaspoon of salt 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley 2 tablespoons of organic olive oil 1 organic onion, chopped 1/4 cup organic green bell pepper, chopped 1/4 cup fresh button mushrooms, chopped 1/4-1/2 lb smoked salmon 1 organic tomato, sliced DIRECTIONS Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add potato and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and slice. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together eggs, salt, pepper and parsley. In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion and green pepper until soft, then stir in mushrooms. When mushrooms start to shrink, add the salmon, potato and tomato slices. Pour in the egg mixture; gently stir to combine. Sprinkle cheese on top of eggs; place skillet in preheated oven. Bake until eggs are firm, about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool briefly before serving. PAGE 17

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19 s Gluten-free Taste of the Far East INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons of avocado oil 2 onions, minced 3 cloves of garlic, minced 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger root, finely chopped 6 whole cloves 2 sticks cinnamon, crushed 1 teaspoon of ground cumin 1 teaspoon of ground coriander Salt to taste (about 1/3 teaspoon) 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper 30 ounces of garbanzo beans DIRECTIONS Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and fry onions until tender. Stir in garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, and turmeric. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat, stirring constantly. Mix in garbanzo beans and their liquid. Continue to cook and stir until all ingredients are well blended and heated through. Remove from heat. Stir in basmati rice if desired and garnish with cilantro just before serving. PAGE 19

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21 's Breakfast Crepes Serving size: 2 crepes INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup of organic oat flour 1/4 teaspoon of salt 2 large organic eggs 1/2 cup of organic whole milk 1 tablespoon of raw organic honey 1 tablespoon of melted butter, cooled 1 ounce of organic goat cheese 6 slices of organic tomatoes 1 tablespoon of minced basil DIRECTIONS Whisk together flour, salt, eggs, honey, milk, and melted butter until smooth. Heat a skillet and lightly grease with oil (we suggest organic corn oil or olive oil). Put a 1/4 cup of batter in pan. Tilt the pan so that the batter covers the entire pan and cook for about seconds. Flip and cook for another 15 seconds. Layer done crepes, slightly overlapping, on a plate. Spread 1/2 ounce goat cheese on crepe, layer 2-3 tomatoes over cheese and sprinkle with basil. Fold crepe in half and return to skillet and cook on each side until crepes are lightly browning on each side. PAGE 21

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23 's Cinnamon Surprise Breakfast Muffins INGREDIENTS 2 cups and 2 tablespoons of organic oat flour 1 tablespoon of baking powder 1/2 teaspoon of salt 2 teaspoons of cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon of organic vanilla bean powder 1/2 cup of chopped organic apples 1/2 cup of melted vegan butter 1/2 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar 1 shot of freshly brewed espresso 1 cup of organic coconut sugar DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with vegan butter. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon to a large mixing bowl and stir well. In a blender, add the silken tofu, cider vinegar, espresso, melted vegan butter and coconut sugar. Blend until smooth. Pour the wet mixture into the mixing bowl and stir until a batter forms. Spoon batter into muffin tins and top each muffin with the cinnamonsugar sprinkle - generous amounts. Bake for 12 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake another 8 minutes. Serve warm. MUFFIN TOPPING 1 teaspoon of organic sugar 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon Mix well in a small bowl. PAGE 23

24 GLUTEN-FREE SNACK IDEAS (When possible organic is best!) Ants on a log Celery stick filled with peanut butter, almond butter or cream cheese and topped with raisins Apple sandwiches Spread apple slice with peanut or almond butter, sprinkle with gf granola, raisins, coconut, chocolate chips and top with another apple slice Apples Applesauce Baby tomato, cheese and pickle Bananas Black or green olives Broccoli or cauliflower with dip Carrots with honey mustard dip Carrots, cucumbers, celery Chickpeas roasted with olive oil, paprika or cayenne or curry and garlic and bake until egg is cooked Chocolate milk Cottage cheese Cream cheese on a rice cake, topped with jam Devilled eggs Dried mangoes or pineapple Edamame Frozen berries Frozen grapes Frozen yogurt dipped strawberries or blueberries Frozen yogurt made by filling fun shaped ice cube containers and freezing them Fruit kabob Fruit salad Fruit salad Garbanzo beans Gluten-free cookies Gluten-free luncheon meat rolled up in lettuce Gluten-free snack mix (link to recipe) Guacamole and tortilla chips Hard boiled eggs Homemade lunchables (gluten-free sausage, cheese, rice crackers) Kale chips Kiwi, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, grapes, cherries PAGE 24

25 Oranges, apples Peanut butter, hummus, or baba ghanouj on rice cakes Peppers Pickled asparagus, carrots, or jarred olives Pickled beets, carrots, beans or asparagus Pickles Pineapple Popcorn Popsicles Raisins or craisins Red and yellow peppers Rice crackers and hummus Salsa and tortilla chips Sensible portions Veggie Straws or Veggie Chips Shrimp cocktail Smoothies Snap peas Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds Sweet potato fries Tortilla chips Tuna salad wrapped in lettuce Tzatziki with red peppers Yogourt or frozen yogurt Zucchini PAGE 25

26 To maintain healthy habits is to forge a lifelong friendship with your body. PARTHA NANDI, MD AND HEALTH HERO