>Homemade soup and the Gluten-Free thing

>The kitchen smells like soup . . . maybe because someone got busy tonight and chopped some fresh garlic, sauteed it with some olive oil, then sliced a couple of chicken breasts into strips and sauteed those with the garlic and oil.  That all went into the crockpot along with a big carton of chicken stock, a few bunches of sliced-up baby bok choy, and several sliced-up carrots . . . tomorrow morning it will be a lovely and healthy soup to enjoy for the next few days with gluten-free crackers and a little cheese.

ah, yes, the gluten-free thing.  For a whole bunch of years, I thought I had “hay fever”.  Turns out there was something that irritated my sinuses, but it was not “hay” or anything else in the air. . . it was something I was eating.  There is a protein in wheat (and barley, and rye) called gluten that lots of people are sensitive to – and most of them, at least in the USA, do not even know it.  Gluten sensitivity is diagnosed regularly in Europe, but most doctors here seem much less familiar with it except in babies who have the worst form, called celiac disease. 

I was very lucky.  As my exercise habit got underway, and I was getting very fit and losing the extra weight, I still felt lousy.  Seemed like I was doing all the right stuff.  Felt like crap most days, all congested and bloated.  In a size 6 – feeling bloated.  Something was just not right.  I happened to attend a running-store event about sports nutrition.  The nutritionist took a few minutes to chat with me – and suggested I make an appointment.  She put me on a 2-week eating plan that removed all gluten and all dairy, to figure out what the problem might be.  Yikes!  What was I supposed to eat?  She smiled and said, “everything else”.  Fruits, veggies, lean meat, eggs, rice.  Milk alternatives.  Alternative grains like quinoa.  Qui – what?  She was right, I felt better within just a couple of weeks.  My issue turned out to be gluten.

What the gluten does to those of us who are sensitive to it is much worse than just feeling congested and generally lousy like I did.  It actually causes damage to the part of the small intestine that lets your body absorb nutrition.  I knew from a bone-density scan in my late 40’s that I was already losing bone mass.  Turned out that my body was not able to absorb the calcium I was taking, and I already showed signs of osteopenia.  That has reversed, by the way, and my bones are back to a healthy density again.  So, what else was going on that I still don’t know was happening?

There is a great book about gluten intolerance and about 40 diseases that are associated with it called The Gluten Connection by Shari Lieberman, or you can Google “gluten allergy” or “celiac disease” to find out more.

Not to forget, here’s that little template, with some of my plans for this week!

My Success Week:  (Copy and Paste to complete)
My Week of Planned Workouts
Monday: Workout/ Time  Walk dog, 7 am and 6 pm
Tuesday: Workout/ Time   Walk dog, 7 am and 6 pm; 30 min Pilates video
Wednesday: Workout/ Time   Walk dog, 7 am and 6 pm; 50 min cardio video (P90 Master Series, one of the Beachbody workout programs)
Thursday: Workout/ Time   Walk dog, 7 am and 6 pm; 30 min Pilates video
Friday: Workout/ Time   Walk dog, 7 am and 6 pm; 50 min cardio
Saturday: Workout/ Time   Walk dog, 7 am and 6 pm; run or bike, 1 hour
Sunday: Rest  . . . and of course, walk the dog at 7 am and 6 pm.  Lisette needs her exercise too!

My Week of Planned Meals
Breakfast:   Shakeology (Beachbody nutrition product)
Snack:   gluten-free protein bar, or a few dates with 1 oz. pack of cashews
Lunch:   cold sliced chicken, GF crackers, cheese, and applesauce  – or –
             can of tuna with olive-oil mayo, dill pickle relish, a sliced tomato, and crackers  – or –
             homemade chicken vegetable soup!
Snack:   dark chocolate (oooh!)  – or –
             peanut M&M’s   – or –
             applesauce    – or –
             banana.  And maybe some cashews : )
Dinner:   gluten-free pasta with marinara sauce and sausage  – or –
              grilled chicken with veggies and maybe some yogurt   – or –
              grilled turkey & cheese sandwich on gluten-free bread   – or –
              mushroom & spinach omelet with a slice of toasted GF bread and a banana
Recovery Formula
Multi-Vitamin

Have a good healthy day!  More to follow –

Gail

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