So you've wisely committed to changing your diet and lifestyle in order to put the odds in your favor to stop or slow down the autoimmune process that is plaguing you. You deserve credit for adopting health supporting dietary changes! Few people put in the effort that can pay off handsomely with great dividends. Sometimes you run out of creative ideas for delicious food to eat, especially ones that are easy to eat on the go, or that your children will like.
Well, search no further. Thanks to the ever-expanding selection of GF, CF and SF products available, all you have to do is think creatively. That's what one of my wonderful, dedicated patients does. Sandy Pepliski has generously shared some great recipes and you can receive them FREE of charge, by clicking on the big orange button below!
Recently, I cycled 175 miles for
While riding long distances (or any other sporting challenge), using "energy bars" for a portable food source is popular. The problem is most of them contain gluten, soy and/or dairy. I have found a solution...LÄRABAR. This company makes bars mainly from raw nuts, and fruit - some have chocolate in them as well. They state on their website: "At LÄRABAR, we believe that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat. And what you eat is most delicious and satisfying when it's in a whole, natural state." Now that's a philosophy I can live with and in fact, promote.
They have so many flavors to choose from, you'd be hard pressed not to find any you enjoy. My favorite so far is Cherry Pie. "Tart and tasty, chewy, but not ooey or gooey, our Cherry Pie contains 1 full serving of fruit, 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. The simple, 3-ingredient mix of unsweetened cherries, dates and almonds, packs a big flavor with a dollop of fun."
Another popular strategy to gain the energy needed to keep your body moving when it is crying for fuel, is to use carbohydrate gels or shots. Most of the products manufactured, in my opinion, have a bunch of lousy ingredients with artificial coloring, and of course, gluten, dairy and/or soy. A novel and extremely effective solution to this challenge comes from the CliffBar company; CLIF SHOT BLOKS®. "CLIF SHOT BLOKS Energy Chews are semi-solid, easy-to-chew sources of carbohydrates—your body's preferred source of fuel during activity – and electrolytes." Although they cannot state their product is gluten free, soy free or casein free due to possible cross contamination, my personal use of the product and knowing how my body reacts when I come in contact with these ingredients, indicates they are just fine. I like that Clif Shot Blocks have 95% organic ingredients: "3 CLIF SHOT BLOKS also provide 100 calories, so it’s simple to keep track of calorie intake during long outings. In addition, CLIF SHOT BLOKS are made with organic brown rice syrup, a minimally refined source of carbohydrate with naturally occurring sodium, potassium and magnesium. We do not use high fructose corn syrup."
Duing the Bike MS event, we are provided with breakfast and dinner at Hope College in the dining hall. There I can easily select foods that meet my special health supporting diet, free of obvious gluten, dairy and/or soy. Of course any time I eat outside my home, I take 4 enzyme capsules that break down any inadvertant gluten, dairy and/ or soy. I have 3 personal favorite enzyme products that meet this need: GlutenFlam®(K-52) from Apex Energetics, ZGlutn® from Systemic Formulas, or Similase® GFCF from Integrative Therapeutics. All these products are available from my office dispensary.
Lunch during Bike MS is whole different story given the food choices available. Typically the main course is a submarine sandwich. I could just take the meat off the bun and eat that with the accompaniments of chopped onions, tomatoes and lettuce, but I prefer a healthier option. Most cold cuts contain gluten, dairy or soy, in addition to many undesirable preservatives. I like fish, so I bring along Wild Herring Fillets Seasoned with Cracked Pepper from Bar Harbor Premium Wild-Caught Fish. Check out this small list of ingredients: "Wild Caught Sustainable Harvested Naturally Wood Smoked Herring Fillets, Cracked Pepper, Salt."
I just place the can of fish in my back center cycling jersey pocket wrapped in a lightweight cloth (to avoid the cans edges from irritating my back). When I get to the lunch stop, I simply get in the lunch line, obtain my paper plate, ask for a fork, and a generous serving of chopped onions, tomatoes, lettuce and mustard for my plate. I then discreetly head over to a trash can and open the can of fish, drain the water and place the delectible contents on my plate. Once I mix the fish and the accompaniments, I have a gourmet lunch! Awesome!!!
With just a bit of planning and shopping prior to your sporting event, you can still stay on your health supporting diet and have great energy for your sporting endeavor. That's "having one's cake and eating it too!"
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All the best – Dr. Johnson – Digging Deeper To Find Solutions
You know the feeling - - you are invited to someones lake house for a holiday celebration and you think to yourself - how am I going to stick to my health supporting diet?
Living with autoimmune illness, such as celiac disease, Hashimoto's, Parkinson's or something else is a strain on the body and mind. Deciding you want to do whatever it takes to prevent further progression of the disease process - or better yet prevent the process from getting a foothold requires great will power and intestinal fortitude!
Whether you have recently been told you have celiac disease or you are a seasoned veteran with a known autoimmune process, you've got to take charge and make sure your meals stay free of immune stimulating foods.
My wife and I (and our children) need to be gluten free, casein free and soy free (among other individually varying food sensitivities) - so what do we do? The most sensible plan is to make and bring safe foods to eat whenever we get invited to someones home for a holiday celebration. We love going to White Lake to take in the beauty and fun of the lake and the fireworks on the 4th of July weekend. We found out we were not alone in having sensitivities as our host's mother was diagnosed with celiac disease.
Our gastronomical contribution was cut up watermelon, a tomato salad, fresh organic strawberries, seared Ahi Tuna steaks (cooled and sliced, then placed on a bed of romaine lettuce for eating cold) , gluten-free brownies, a vegetable tray, hummus and some veggie crisp munchies. Sticking to gluten free adult beverages like gin and tonic or wine allows for guilt free toasting as well.
When it came time to come together to satisfy our hunger, we knew all our food selections would be safe and we could continue our health supporting lifestyle.
Our host's mother was new to the whole gluten free lifstyle so she learned a lot in the process too. For further help, I directed her to my blog and website so she could learn about accurate testing and other nuances of the whole autoimmune process.
An important point to remember...just cheating a bit with a piece or bite of forbidden food can set a whole body inflammatory process that can last for days, weeks or months!
Our 4th of July celebration was fun, healthful and full of guilt-free food and drink. You can do it too!