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My gluten free diet is seriously lacking fiber!

Gluten free diet seriously lacking fiber

Gluten free diet seriously lacking fiber

Hi! Hope everyone is having a good day!  So, I just released my R U Fueled app – a nutrition tracker inspired my my kiddos. One being on a food restricted diet (gluten free, fructose malabsorption and food allergies) while the other is just super picky. My first insight: the gluten free diet is seriously lacking in fiber! Not big news, but I thought I was doing pretty well! Despite my best efforts to add fiber to our gluten free diet, I learned that it was still not enough.  My son is only getting on average 58% and my daughter is worse…..

Fiber as you probably know is helpful in maintaining weight by adding bulk keeping you full longer. In addition, it improves digestion, helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Finally, of course it helps with your bowel health. Insert the big eye roll from my 13 year old, followed by giggles from obnoxious bathroom humor…. 

Gluten free diet seriously lacking fiber

So, what will our next steps be?

Gluten free sources of fiber include:

Fruits: raspberries, strawberries, apples, banana, fig, prunes

Veggies: broccoli, beets, dark leafy greens like chard, spinach, artichokes

Beans/Legumes: navy, kidney, pinto, garbanzo, lentil

Nuts/seeds: almonds, pistachios, pecan, sunflower seed, flax, chia

Whole grains (GF): quinoa, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice

 

Navigating food allergies is another challenge. Let’s pick a few allergy friendly AND FODMAP (safe for fructose malabsorption and IBS) sources from each category:

Fruits: Kiwi, berries

Veggies: broccoli, baby kale

Beans/legumes:  mung beans (Korean pancakes this week!)

Nut/seeds: pepitas, sunflower seeds

Whole grains (GF): teff, buckwheat, psyllium fiber

This week I’ll add more of these to our diet to see if we can improve our fiber levels and I’ll report back. And I’ll track with R U Fueled – nutrition app. My game plan will be eating a salad every night at dinner. A kiwi for lunch everyday because it’s easy to pack in lunch boxes. The berries I’ll either sprinkle in at breakfast or dinner. I’ll make waffles or pancakes for this week’s breakfast with the teff flour. (These are great make ahead items that can be frozen and then pulled out what you need them every morning). Korean pancakes will be dinner one night. Yum! I’m excited about that – they’re so tasty! And make great leftovers as well. The seeds, what to do with those? Gotta be honest,  seeds are not the kids favorite. I’ll have to get creative. I might try grinding them up and adding them to a cookie – like a seed flour. What do you think? 

Goals for the week

One of my goals is to see if my 13 year old is less hungry during the day. As you can imagine, he eats like a TRex (yes, he might be one of the ones you see on the Facebook videos 🙂 ) But, let’s see if adding more fiber helps. Maybe he’ll just eat like a baby TRex….. Now ,I know that I have to be smart about adding fiber as well… too much and I’ll have both kids in the bathroom all day. So, there that.  Ha! I think the right approach is to try to add it throughout out the week, and not just a day. Anyone else have any ideas? Let me know!

R U Fueled - nutrition tracker

R U Fueled – nutrition tracker


Help! My gluten free diet is making me fat!

Help! my gluten free diet is making me fat!

Help! my gluten free diet is making me fat!

 

Help! Gluten free diet is making me fat!

Hi! This post really has nothing to do with my kids, time to focus on us! Gaining weight on a gluten-free diet is common, but also manageable if you make the right choices. Some gluten-free substitutes can contain a higher calorie counts than gluten-containing foods. For instance, white rice is gluten-free but one cup of cooked rice contains 204 calories and a mere 0.6 grams of dietary fiber. Of course, many ready-made gluten free products are made with white rice flour.

Another reason for weight gain from a gluten-free diet is that gluten free products are many times higher in calories to make them taste better. As you know, gluten is a sticky, stretchy protein that gives structure to baked goods, breads and pasta. There may be added fats and sugar in GF products to help compensate for the different texture. I think generally, we all can agree that limiting processed foods is healthier, but sometimes the convenience is key. 

Help! my gluten free diet is making me fat!

Sigh, now what can be done?

This goes without saying, but I will emphasize it anyway : make sure your body gets 30 minutes of physical activity everyday. For reference, an individual weighing 150 lbs can burn about 90 calories by walking for 30 minutes. Regular exercise can add up benefits and keep you slimmer and fitter.

Satisfy your hunger with healthy foods

High-fiber foods make you feel fuller for longer on fewer calories. If you’re eating primarily low fiber gluten-free foods, you may be inclined to eat more to feel fuller, resulting in an increase in calories. You will also notice that you are hungry an hour after you ate! Try to eat fruits and veggie snacks to quell your hunger. Also consider adding high-fiber foods such as brown rice, millet, amaranth and quinoa into recipes. As many of you know, I like to add ground flax seed or psyllium powder to baked goods or potatoes to boost the fiber and nutrient density.

Cut down on ‘junk’ gluten-free food and go lean, nutrient dense

Have you been snacking a bit too much on gluten-free crackers, cookies and brownies? Seems every week when I go to the store, there is a new product that is made gluten-free. Sometimes it just so fun to try something new ….. and then maybe get carried away. (not that I have any first hand experience with that HA!) Keep a firm control over the added calories you’re consuming as a result of your snacking habits.

Nutrient dense, protein and fiber filled snacks will keep you motoring through your day:

Apple with nut butter (or sunbutter)

Sugar snap peas with hummus

Greek yogurt with blueberries ( I mix in a Tb of ground flax of chia seeds)

Hard boiled egg

Goat cheese stuffed mini peppers

DIY trail mix

Grilled veggies and pesto

Avocado with whole grain crackers (try Mary’s)

I think I’ll work on a few more recipes to fit this bill.

Stick to a balanced diet

Common wisdom dictates that a varied diet is a healthy diet. It is possible to go gluten-free and still enjoy a diverse diet, regardless of whether you prefer to eat naturally gluten-free foods or specially made non-gluten breads and pastas. There is an extensive range of fruits and veggies to put on your list as well as unprocessed meat products, dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds, and an array of other whole grains. Including a salad with every meal helps you fill up with fiber rich, nutrient dense foods before possibly over-consuming higher calorie foods. Watching the portion sizes can also go a long way in preventing weight gain. Here are my tips in a nutshell:

Fiber! eat more

Eat more protein

Whole grains, foods a must

Reduce refined carbs (like crackers, cookies, pasta)

Plan snacks ahead – include protein and fiber

Move for 30 minutes a day

Read food labels – less processed, whole foods you can pronounce, lower sugar content

Compare labels on gluten free products

Compare labels on gluten free products

I think another blog post about snacks may be in order – but perhaps focusing on the kiddos. Let’s face it – they are not easily persuaded to eat more whole grains. Do you have any go to snacks or tips to share?