Healthy Gluten-Free Eating
Healthy eating hasn’t always been standard practice in my life. Growing up, my father and I stood resolute in our unhealthy Sunday ritual of fast food and Chicago Bears games. Since then, I have (thankfully) learned that food is so much more than instant gratification – it is the gas that fuels our bodies and, fortunately for us, it can also taste delicious. I am perpetually seeking out new ways to creatively cook and prepare food to feel more energized, run faster, and, of course, make my taste buds smile.
Recently, I discovered the importance of snacking on a gluten free diet. Rather than eating three large meals per day, I now try to squeeze in five to six mini meals and pack each dining experience with nutrients. These meals are less daunting in terms of preparation and it’s super easy to make or find gluten free options! Here are some of my favorite snacks suitable for anytime of the day.
Yogurt – The probiotics found in live and active cultures are great for strengthening the immune system and regulating the digestive tract. And it is very versatile. You can add almost anything to yogurt such as fruit, honey, granola… be creative!
Edamame – High in fiber, edamame can help lower your cholesterol and keep you satiated longer. Additionally, the isoflavones found in edamame have been found to lower the risk of heart disease. Simple to make and fun to eat, it’s hard to go wrong with these soy beans.
Nonfat Cottage cheese – Cottage cheese is low in calories, but packed with calcium – one cup serving delivers 140 mg of calcium! And, with a few supplements, you can make this snack savory (lemon pepper and veggies) or sweet (fresh peaches).
Hummus– Hummus is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids to keep your mind quick and your heart healthy. As an added bonus, it contains a plethora of vitamins: iron, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, folic acid, and amino acids. Grill or toast Udi’s pizza crust to make pita chips and you have the perfect hummus-dipping vehicle.
Apple Slices and Natural Peanut Butter – Keep your muscles strong with this high-protein, high-fiber snack. The sticky, crunchy texture of peanut butter (or, smooth for all you creamy types) is a match made in heaven for crispy, sweet apples.
Following a wheat free diet benefits me. How about you? What are the snacks that keep your days filled with tiny bursts of happiness?