Yesterday, I shared 8 ways we keep our guts happy. Today I want to expand on how we reduce the amount of gluten we eat.
“Paper mache,” said the woman at the herb shop. “You know how you get an adhesive substance when you mix wheat flour and water? Imagine what gluten does to your gut.”
Okey dokey then, I’ll take a look at my gluten consumption and see what I can do.
But I soon found that eliminating gluten was no easy task.
I knew I felt better without a lot of it in my diet. More energy, mental clarity, balanced moods… But to give up the occasional croissant with coffee? To not be able to swirl around a piece of crusty bread in my salad dressing? Maybe feeling good was overrated.
What ended up working best for us, is moderating the amount of gluten we eat. On occasion, I fast from it completely. Giving it up for a time is a good way to pull in the reins after the holidays or when we get a bit lax with our diets!
Since we’ve been moderating gluten, my son’s eczema has virtually disappeared. Everyone’s mood and behavior (kids and parents alike) has improved. Our digestive systems are in a much better state. And a huge plus – I no longer have mad cravings for it. Many times, I’d rather do without. Here’s how we do it.
How We Reduce Gluten
Morning has a fast-paced rhythm, so it’s tempting to grab a bagel or pour everyone a quick bowl of cereal. But it’s also a time when digestion is open and receptive. This motivated me to come up with a rotation of simple low or no-gluten meals that get my family started off right.
- breakfast meat (sausage or bacon) and a smoothie (such as this paleo strawberry milkshake or this blueberry cooler)
- scrambled or fried eggs with a piece of buttered toast
- oatmeal with berries and chia seeds, sweetened with a little maple syrup or sucanat (takes about 5 minutes to make on the stovetop)
- gluten free buckwheat crepes
- For lunches, we usually have a salad or a “bowl” of leftovers, such as rice, chicken, sauerkraut, avocado, bacon.
- If we have a sandwich it’s usually open face.
- Something new we are doing is using the aforementioned buckwheat crepes as sandwich wraps! This summer, my kids can roll some ham and cheese into a crepe and put some fruit on their plates for an easy lunch.
- Whenever I plan our meals, the majority of dinners are gluten free. When I don’t plan, gluten slips in much more often. So I like to plan.
- If we have a carb at dinner, it’s typically quinoa, rice or potatoes.
- The rice and quinoa, I make in a rice cooker such as this one. It is such a time saver in the kitchen I don’t know how I ever did without it.
- If something is really begging for a little bread on the side, tomato soup for example, I serve just enough for four.
- Sometimes I don’t serve a grain or starch at dinner. It’s a great way to get kids to focus on veggies and protein without having to nag!
In baked goods
The main way I reduce gluten in this department is by not partaking. My kids get enough cookies and other treats outside of the home, especially between Halloween and Easter! However, if the influx happens to slow, I do enjoy baking with the kids from time to time.
One recipe we really enjoy is this half gluten banana bread in which I subbed coconut flour for half of the wheat flour. I feel so much better after I eat it than a full gluten banana bread. And the taste is fantastic!
What about you? Do you make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of gluten you eat? Or would you like to?