Sunday, September 30, 2012

Grain-free = pain-free for me!!!

For many years, I've had GI issues usually after I ate.  Over the past two years, they have gotten significantly worse-painful cramping, terrible bloating, etc.  Two years ago, my big brother was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and he is on the extreme end of the spectrum (he can't even eat anything that was cooked near wheat-products without having horrible stomach pains).

A few weeks ago I got fed up with my own stomach pain and saw a doc.  Turns out I am gluten-intolerant.  Next I went to see a nutritionist.  She was amazing!!  I am now on a grain-free diet (paleo), and since I started eating this way I have had zero stomach issues!  It's been incredible!!  I did, however, eat pizza when I was in NYC last week (NY pizza is the best!), and man oh man did I regret it later that night.  

Now that I am paleo and pain-free, I've realized how much processed crap I was eating, despite me thinking I was eating "healthy".  I have learned about new products, such as coconut oil in lieu of vegetable or olive oil, and almond flour in lieu of wheat flour.  This has taught me to be very creative in the kitchen, and so far I've made some kick-ass meals that even my hubby likes!!  Sure there are times when I really want mac-n-cheese (mmm), but the pain I would get from eating it (like my NY pizza experience), is SO not worth it.

So here are some of the delicious things I've made recently:
Banana Walnut Muffins
Almond crusted salmon

Chicken fajitas
Paleo Waffles (I drizzled them with organic maple syrup)
A great snack my friend told me about it trail mix.  I make my own from the bins at Sprouts and I mix macadamia nuts, dried blueberries, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds, carob chips (like chocolate chips), walnuts, pumpkin seeds.  I then divide them into snack bags so they're an easy on-the-go snack.

One snack I love is guacamole, but now that I can't eat chips I wasn't sure what to eat the guac with.  A friend of mine who is paleo introduced me to plantain chips from Trader Joe's, and they are absolutely scrumptious with guac!

There are a lot of foods I eat that I don't have to change, like chicken, fish, steak, pork, fruits, and veggies.  The things I have to really become creative with are things like the waffles and muffins above since they have to be grain-free.  There are some awesome resources out there, some of which I linked in the picture captions above.

This has been a culinary adventure for me, and I love it.  I love the way I feel (no stomach pain) and I love being adventurous in the kitchen!  It's going to be fun exploring new recipes and writing about it along the way.

On another note, tomorrow registration for the LA Marathon opens, which is the beginning of my journey to running my first full marathon to raise funds and awareness for the horrible and rare disease called MDS that my Mom recently passed away from.


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