Adding Coconut Oil to Your Wheat-Free Diet

Hey Wheatbeaters!

I’d like to share one of my little secrets for warding off mid-day hunger pangs.

It’s coconut oil.

A lot of people are resistant to adding something so high in fat to their diet, thinking that it will make them gain a ton of weight. I’ll admit—I was hesitant at first. But the thing is I just replaced my regular cooking oil (olive oil) with it so I don’t actually take in any extra calories per day. Coconut oil is healthy in so many ways! I find that two tablespoons per day (which is about 200 calories) WILL make you lose weight by making you feel full. 

To fit it into my current wheat-free diet, I changed up my breakfast plans a bit. Protein is absolutely essential to making me feel full and stopping me from gorging on carbs throughout the day. Seriously, if I haven’t had protein in the morning I will just wander aimlessly around the kitchen for an hour until I cave and eat bread. Previously, I have had two eggs and a rice cake with peanut butter for breakfast (with coffee, of course).
Now I start my day with the following:

  • a bowl of oatmeal (make sure the bag says gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts (nutty and delicious and keep you, erm, “regular”)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • a splash of milk if it is too thick
  • 1/2 of a small banana diced (I highly recommend adding this because it makes it taste one zillion times better. One zillion.)

So just make your oatmeal and put all this healthy crap in it and voila! Honestly, it keeps me full beyond lunch a lot of the time. PLUS coconut oil has all these great qualities:

  • aids in digestion
  • makes your hair all shiny and stuff
  • prevents premature skin aging (also, reduced my red marks from acne SIGNIFICANTLY)
  • promotes immune system health
  • reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (never hurts to start early!)
  • increases weight loss

There are a million more things that could be added to that list but those are some of the biggies. So I guess my point is that you should add coconut oil to your diet, stop using the other oils, and maybe even comment on this post about how that works for you! I love hearing back from everyone about their progress 🙂

PS: You can add a bit to your dog’s food and his coat will get shinier. Gentle Ben likes it!

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Delicious Gluten-Free Wraps

One of the biggest complaints I hear (and harbour myself) about eating wheat-free is that there aren’t many ways to “hold” the food. No bread, so sandwiches are out. No tortillas, so you can’t make a wrap. Sometimes I just end up with a big bowl of stuff, which is fine… but it’s nice to have something to transport the food from the plate to your mouth.

I stopped in a little local market and found this pack of 20 rice paper wraps for $1.99 and decided to test them out. So far… LOVE them! They are super easy to use once you get the hang of them, and they make for more portable snacks.

I made some sort of taco-like dish and it was delicious! Plus it probably cost about $10 to make and it lasted about 4 meals. Win win win.

Ingredients:

  • 1 rice paper wrap
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • small handfull of cilantro
  • 1/2 pack of taco seasoning
  • 1 cup rice
  • shredded cheese
  • 1 chicken breast

I could write out the recipe step-by-step, but it is so simple that it’s just not worth doing. Really you just bake chicken how you like it, slice it up, mix it with all the ingredients in a big bowl, and then put it in the rice wrap. I like to heat everything in the microwave before putting it in the wrap, and then I add the cheese on top.

I ended up with a ton of leftovers so I put them in the fridge and made a pot of rice and mixed it all up for lunches. Very easy and convenient! Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of everything in the bowl, but I did take a few of the wrap. And sadly they were done using my phone, so they are terrible quality, but the sentiment is there 🙂
Also, I recommend dipping these bad boys in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Mmmm…

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My Return to (Almost) Wheat-Free Eating

I have a confession to make… I have been a giant gluten-glutton since October. I have indulged in bread, dabbled in cupcakes, and even baked a loaf of real bread or two. Sigh… 

So that’s why I haven’t posted anything in a while, in case you were wondering. I think the biggest issue with being gluten-free has been going out for food. I started dating someone last summer and he wants to go out for food constantly, almost DAILY, and eating from a restricted menu at the same old restaurants gets really old, really fast. I guess you could say I caved – and boy am I regretting it! 

All that weight I lost? Oh yeah, that’s back. I’m possibly in the worst shape of my life also because I’m in class 7 hours a day sitting at a computer. I’m more lethargic than ever, I swear to god my vision is worse, my allergies have been so bad that I might have to start getting allergy injections again, and I’m pretty sure the bags under my eyes are going to start their own colony. Square one is the worst place to be. 

That being said, I’m going to go back to a *mostly* gluten-free diet. Being 100% absolutely gluten-free is tricky when you go to the occasional birthday party or nice meal, and I’d rather sporadically cheat than be like, “Well, guess I’m not gluten-free anymore! BRING ON THE PANCAKES!” and just binge for months like I’m going into hibernation. I keep having to remind myself that I am not a bear. 

Little Benny has been feeling the effects of my gluten obsession as well. All the carbs make me super tired and lazy, so he hasn’t been getting the long walks he so deserves/needs. Getting back into the groove of things is tricky, but I actually miss eating a clean diet. I look and feel like a whiny bag of garbage. To kickstart this (again) I made a delicious grilled salmon salad! I’ll post the very simple recipe in the next blog entry. 

Also, a little bit of potentially life-changing information for any of the ladies that follow my progress, some of you may recall that I struggled with anxiety/depression which was one of my initial reasons for going gluten-free. Firstly, let me just say that it did help a lot and I was much happier for it. Absolutely try going on a gluten-free diet if you want to elevate your mood and have more energy. But I also learned that my body wasn’t tolerating my birth control, which I had been taking for almost eight years, and I ended up going off of it. I have never been happier with any decision in my life. I know now that putting extra hormones into my body was completely changing  my mood and stopping me from being happy. I’d never even been able to have a long-term relationship before because I was so anxious all the time. I highly recommend looking into alternatives if you’re struggling with anxiety and you’re on the pill. I know that’s not related to being gluten-free, but I think it’s a really important thing to know!

 

Juicing, juicing… And not juicing

Hey Wheatbeaters!

So it’s Day 2 of my fast and I’ve succeeded somewhat. I have only had fruit and vegetables! But I have to eat them in addition to juicing. I seriously can’t live without chewing, it is just too weird. So I’ve been making lots of salads and drinking lots of juice! Here is the recipe I’ve been using; it’s only slightly different than Joe Cross’ original recipe:

6 kale leaves
1 cucumber
2 green apples
4 celery stalks
2 carrots
1/2 a lemon
1 piece of ginger

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Spicy Stir Fry (You really can’t go wrong with this)

I am all about what is super easy to make because I know that as soon as I look at a recipe that is asking me to “julienne” and “coddle” things, I get confused and daydream about wheat again. Stir fry is actually the first thing I ever learned to cook by myself, so you really can’t go wrong with it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 can baby corns
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
  • 8 asparagus stocks
  • 1 chicken thigh cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp wheat-free soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp chili flakes
  • green bean noodles (optional)

That looks like a pretty long list of ingredients, but it basically comes down to adding all of your favourite veggies into a sauce pan with chicken and frying it all up. I was using raw chicken so I fried that in the pan with some olive oil before adding the veggies, just to make sure it was thoroughly cooked.  Then I added the veggies (except the bean sprouts) and fried it up on med-high heat with wheat-free soy sauce and chili flakes.  I like to scorch in on high heat for a couple minutes because I like my food slightly blackened.  I added the bean sprouts last and only for about 1 minute because they shrink down into nothingness really quickly.

I also boiled some green been noodles to mix in.  They’re much like rice noodles but kind of slimier and they take literally 30 seconds to cook.  They taste like nothing so they take on the taste of the stir fry nicely and are a great substitute for wheat noodles.

Stir fry almost never goes wrong, and probably every single one of you is capable of making one without my instructions, so this recipe, like many of my others, serves as more of a reminder of what you CAN eat when you are beating the wheat. 🙂

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Tasty Greek Salad

This is a great dish if you are trying to stick super close to the “Wheat Belly” diet.  Just veggies, oil, vinegar, and cheese 🙂

Serves 1-2 people

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Red pepper
  • 1/4 Red onion
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 10 Kalamata olives (pitted works best)
  • Feta cheese
  • Garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Dice all of the vegetables and mix together in a bowl.  Crumble about 1/4 cup of feta cheese into the bowl.  Separately, crush one clove of garlic in a garlic press and mix with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Drizzle over the salad and serve 🙂

Easy-peasy, wheat-free, and healthy!

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Progress Report – Almost 2 weeks in!

Wow, I can’t believe I have not eaten any wheat in almost two weeks!  My life used to revolve around wheat-eating; it was the sun and I was just a planet spinning around it.  I can’t express how much better I feel since giving up wheat.  I definitely went through a period of withdrawals for the first 3-4 days, I must admit.  I would get these lightning quick chills that pulsed through my entire body out of nowhere.  Thankfully, those went away and now I can just sit back and not think about wheat.

Something interesting I’ve noticed is that I actually enjoy eating a lot more than I did before.  I used to look through the fridge and, despite having a ton of food, I would veto practically everything and crave something specific like a pot pie or pasta. Now when I open the fridge door I just pull out mixed greens, chicken, rice, etc., and put a meal together almost intuitively.  Salad is more delicious when you aren’t lusting over tortellini.

So far my allergies have improved, but aren’t entirely gone.  I’ll take the improvement, gladly.  I now weigh 122.8 lbs — 7.2 lbs less than my starting weight.

I still have loads of energy and feel better than I ever have before.  I should mention that while cutting out wheat is the main idea, lowering your intake of starches and sugar is also important.  So if you give up bread and switch to corn-based tortillas, you probably won’t see a ton of results because starches still spike your blood sugar. I also find it easier to avoid sugar, the less I eat it at all. When I’m feeling like I need a treat, I eat a couple squares of dark 85% cacao chocolate and that usually solves my problem.

Overall, so far so good.  I’m still not seeing a ton of results in regards to my body changing, but I figure that will come later.  The fact that I am losing weight, eating more, and not really exercising is pretty remarkable on it’s own.

That being said, my dog is thinking that I should put all this extra energy to good use and take him for a nice run!
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