Gluten intolerance and celiac disease have gotten a lot of attention in the press lately, but what exactly is gluten intolerance? Gluten is a grain protein found specifically in wheat, rye, and barley containing foods, and if you have a gluten sensitivity, foods with these ingredients can make you sick. Known by several different names, including gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, and sprue, this affliction can cause people to have gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal symptoms, including gas, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, skin disorders, muscle and joint pain, anemia, and mouth ulcers. While these symptoms are unpleasant, they can be controlled by opting to follow a gluten-free diet.
You have probably heard of yeast infections, which are fairly common infections caused by a fungal overgrowth in warm, moist areas of the body. Some people are more sensitive than others to yeast, a common ingredient in breads, beers, and other foods. Like gluten intolerance, yeast intolerance can manifest itself in a variety of ways, and symptoms include bloating, bad breath, heartburn, nasal congestion, mouth ulcers, fatigue after eating, skin rashes, white patches on the tongue, vaginal infections, and other skin problems.
People with gluten intolerance seem to have a greater likelihood of yeast allergy or sensitivity, so at times it makes sense to eliminate both of these ingredients from your diet. In addition, sugar provides a breeding ground for yeast, and elimination of sugar from the diet as well can help you keep celiac and yeast symptoms at bay. Additionally, this type of diet can help with chronic headaches, chronic fatigue, and type 2 diabetes. While this sounds simple, it can be surprisingly difficult, because bread and other wheat, sugar, and yeast containing products are such a common staple in most diets. The good news is that eating “free” is doable, and it can even be delicious, not to mention the fact that it will make you feel better both physically and emotionally. Here are some recipes and guidelines for eliminating yeast, gluten, and sugar from your diet.
If you are considering eating free, the first thing you should do is consult your doctor. He or she may have recommendations to make the process easier and make sure that your diet contains the necessary nutrients. Once you’ve received your doctor’s OK, begin by keeping a journal for a week of what you are eating. You may be surprised to find that a lot of the foods you eat contain hidden amounts of yeast, gluten, and sugar that are not immediately recognizable. When you are ready to get started, look over this list of recommended foods and substitutions to help you on your journey.
- Fresh fruits (except strawberries, pineapples, bananas, and oranges)
- Low-fat Dairy (without artificial flavorings and sugar, such as pudding and some yogurts)
- Low-fat Meats
- Instead of all-purpose flour, use all-purpose gluten-free flour mix made of bean flour
- Instead of breadcrumbs, use ground flaxseed
- Instead of sandwich bread, use leafy greens
- Instead of croutons, use almonds
- Instead of pasta, use spaghetti squash
- Instead of sugar, use agave nectar or stevia
For a lot of great recipes for gluten-,sugar-,and yeast-free eating, consider visiting foodyoucan.com. This website allows you to eliminate certain ingredients and search for recipes and products based on your nutritional needs. Here are a couple of recipes to get you started on your journey.
- ¾ c arrowroot powder
- ¼ c golden flaxmeal
- 1 ½ c blanched almond flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine almond flour, arrowroot, flaxmeal, salt, and soda.
- In a separate bowl, blend eggs until frothy.
- Add agave nectar and vinegar to eggs.
- Add the dry ingredients to egg mixture.
- Pour batter into greased loaf pan (7.5”x3.5”)
- Bake for 30-35 minutes on center oven rack, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
- 3 eggs
- 1 T water
- 1 T vanilla
- 2 T agave nectar
- 1.5 c blanched almond flour
- ¼ t salt
- ¼ t baking soda
- coconut oil for griddle
- Combine eggs, water, vanilla, and agave nectar.
- Add flour, salt, and soda and mix well.
- Heat oil on griddle over medium heat.
- Place batter on griddle one tablespoon full at a time.
- Flip pancakes when bubbles pop.
- Serve warm.