I am so excited to share my latest project with you all! Lacy and Meg GF is all about connecting the gluten free community with valuable information to help them live a healthy and happy gluten free lifestyle!
One of our biggest goals is to create a network of a gluten free community so that no one feels alone or without the information they need in their gluten free journey. We will be sharing delicious Recipes, Stories of fellow Celiacs living without gluten in their lives, Sound and reliable education shared from Lacy Wright, R.D., lots of free printables, and product reviews.
Our biggest accomplishment, Living Gluten Free: The Basics ebook is going to be released later this month! You can sign up for our e mail list to be notified AS SOON as it hits the interwebs!
*This is part 2 of a series. To read part one “A Peek Inside our Refrigerator + ….click here
When I posted the above pic of a peek inside our refrigerator on Instagram, a friend of mine asked if I could tell her what I would make from what she saw in my refrigerator – as far as meals go.
I understood where she was coming from, looking at this makes it seem like all we eat is raw plants, and although a big chunk of our diet is plants, and at least half our dinner plate is salad, we do have cooked meals. I made some notes of what we planned on eating that week and will share it with you today!
In this second post I will share:
What else is in the refrigerator that you may not be able to see.
How foods in pantry and freezer are key to creating well-rounded meals.
How only buying what you need for the week is key to an organized refrigerator.
Meals we ate that week
Snacks we ate that week
Lunches we ate that week
Breakfasts we ate that week
1. What You Can’t See
In the above pic, there is a bag of shredded cheese and some eggs. I go very easy on the cheese, using only about 1/3 of what most recipes call for, so one bag can often last 2 weeks. I do this for health reasons, not cost…but it does help the food budget to eliminate most animal products.
Our eggs are also local and organic. There is hummus from Trader Joes, we use it to dip pretzels, veggies and to top salads in place of salad dressing. There are a couple little containers of food from our local organic deli. I am the only one that eats these, usually for lunch.
What you don’t see are my freezer and my pantry, and the foods in there are the key to making meals out of what you see in my refrigerator. Example, I have mason jars of cooked beans (made a large batch of Crockpot Refried Beans) in the freezer, and whole grain pasta in the pantry.
3. Only Buy What Is Needed
The week I took the picture, we only needed 5 meals, as 2 of the days I did not need to cook since we would not be home. Because I plan my meals out and write my grocery list according to those recipes and what we already have, I didn’t have anything in my refrigerator that we wouldn’t be eating within the week, other than condiments.
I serve every dinner we have with a green salad loaded with veggies. I often make a cooked veggie side, too. I love to roast veggies, especially at the end of the week I love to throw any leftover cut up veggies onto a pan, and roast away. Click here for my post on everything you need to know about Roasting Vegetables.
So there is a pretty typical week of food/eating in our home. I hope this gives you some good ideas on how to get your family to eat more plant food. It really is so much easier when a little bit of thought goes into what ends up in our grocery cart, and how it is displayed & stored once we get home. You all know how passionate I am about staying healthy, and an organized refrigerator really has been key to reaching that goal!
If you have read my post, 5 Reasons To Drink Lemon Water In The Morning, you will know I’m a HUGE fan of lemon water. I feel like I can’t function well in the morning without hydrating with lemon water, and I always have it before my cup of coffee in the morning.
Now that I know about this awesome water bottle called AquaZinger, I have been drinking lemon water all day long!
This is really the coolest thing. It is a water bottle that has a built in grinder in the bottom. It also has a filter, so seeds and chunks stay at the bottom.
You simply start by cutting a lemon in half. I’ve learned that by cutting off the very end of the lemon, it makes grinding a whole lot easier! When I first purchased my water bottle, I felt frustrated at how much muscle it took to do the grinding. Now that I watched the below “tips” video and know the tricks, it is easy and I love it!
You then take the filter piece and push it down into the fruit.
…then you take the water bottle part and twist it on. The twisting action is what grinds the fruit.
See? Isn’t that so nifty? It really is easy.
Here is a view inside the AquaZinger bottle. That filter keeps all the seeds and chunks of fruit from going down your throat!
Add cold, filtered water. Then give it a little shake.
I refill it all throughout the day, and usually only use one lemon half a day, sometimes two if I am extra thirsty and find myself filling it up more often.
5 Reasons To Drink Lemon Water Every Morning
It balances pH–Lemon is an acidic food, but once metabolized, it becomes alkaline. I work very hard at keeping my body alkaline. Why?
To put it most simply, alkalies help keep the oxygen in our blood at a safe pH level, and this helps our body heal itself, assimilate nutrients and fight off unwanted sickness.
It keeps skin clear and glowing! I have noticed this. Hydration from drinking lemon water is great for moisturizing our skin from the inside out. Lemon also contains lots of Vitamin C, which helps with wrinkles and blemishes.
It kick starts the digestive system–a big glass of lemon water is a great way to start the day. It encourages the liver to produce bile which in turn aids in digestion. It increases urination which helps purify it. It also helps with heartburn and constipation.
It helps with weight loss–I have read that keeping the body in an alkaline state helps people lose weight faster. Lemons are high in fiber pectin, which helps keep one full, longer. They also have a diuretic effect, which helps with water weight gain.
It helps control the coffee habit–I will drink coffee sometimes, but only if I have had my entire glass of lemon water. Many days I feel like the lemon water wakes me up more than coffee does…
…which brings me to bonus Number 6:
It helps kick the pop habit--I have found that adding lemon to sparkling water and adding a whole lot of ice satisfies any soda craving I might have. I gave up soda pop the minute I was diagnosed a year ago, and I really don’t miss it. I don’t think I could stand the sweetness of it now, but I DO miss the fizz, so my “Lemon Spritzer”–lemon +sparkling water+ice–is the perfect solution!
My sister-in-law has the Citrus Zinger and loves it. I may eventually get one of these, too, but I have really grown to love my Aqua Zinger. I like that it grinds the lemon peel up, too, so the lemon flavor is extra strong and I get the benefits of the essential oils in the peel. If you watch the video below, you will see that the Aqua Grinder is not just for lemons, but for any type of fruit. I have not experimented much with other types of fruit, but when I do I will let you know!
To purchase the Aqua Zinger & Citrus Zinger – Click here.
We are thrilled to be welcoming Meghan as our Health & Gluten Free Contributor here at New Nostalgia. Meghan will be here once a month on Saturday sharing her knowledge of all things gluten free, from tips to recipes. She has much to share in the area of health, and I know you will enjoy her warmth and knowledge as much as I do.
I am so honored and excited to be a part of New Nostalgia, and the New Nostalgia contributing team! Amy is such a blessing to me, as I know she is to all of you wonderful readers who stop by. I wanted to take a little minute to introduce myself, so you can know a little bit about me and why I am so passionate about eating a plant based, whole foods, gluten free diet.
My name is Meghan, and I write over at eat.live.make. After battling with sickness for many many years (and still am!) it was discovered that I have Celiac Disease. The only “cure” for this disease is by following a strict gluten-free diet. I also am allergic to casein, so our diet quickly changed from vegetarian to gluten free and vegan! Due to my health issues, I have also learned how to live a more natural and holistic lifestyle. I do not believe that everyone needs to/ or SHOULD adapt a gluten-free lifestyle, BUT I DO believe that everyone can benefit from a plant based and whole foods diet!! If you want to learn a bit more about me, you can do so here.
You have heard the word “gluten” more and more lately, and are most likely wondering what it is! By definition, gluten is “is the generic name for certain types of proteins contained in the common cereal grains wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives. The good news is that all fresh fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken, fish, lamb, pork and dairy products are naturally gluten-free.” Source.
If you do not suffer from gluten allergies/intolerances or Celiac Disease, you most likely know someone in your life that does. If you suspect you may have an intolerance to gluten, you can find a great list of symptoms here.
The word “gluten” is being heard more recently because doctors are becoming more aware of its effect on people’s health, thus they are able to diagnose gluten intolerances and Celiac Disease now more than ever! Simply adhering to a gluten-free diet can eliminate almost all, if not ALL of the symptoms related to the disease. Pretty cool, huh?
It is not my mission to convert you all to eating a gluten free diet! By no means! Most people digest the protein found in gluten quite well, and should not take it out of their diets. In fact, gluten-free products have much more sugar and fats in them vs. their glutenous counterparts, so if you are looking for a weight loss diet this is not for you.
I do, however, think it is so important that all of us become more aware of a gluten-free diet, and the HUGE issue of cross contamination while cooking gluten free, because many of you may have friends and/or family members who must adhere to this diet! Meals are such an important part of community and our culture, and when people are not able to partake in corporate meals it limits their ability to take part in something beautiful. It is my hope to equip you with enough simple knowledge so that you will be able to cook and host those friends and family members who cannot have gluten in their diets- and you will be confident in doing so!!
The recipes I am going to be sharing with you are all gluten free and mostly vegan. The cool thing is that most of them can be made with gluten (if you do not need to adhere to the diet) and are all whole foods and plant based! I am not a baker, so you will not be finding beautifully baked gluten free products on here from me. I am actually a horrible gluten free baker and try to stick with as many boxed mixes as I can:).
Until next month, let me know if you have any questions (you can feel free to email me!) and I will try my best to answer them. I’ll be back next month with a tasty gluten free recipe.
I am a HUGE fan of coconut oil, for many reasons. I LOVE IT!
The main way I started using coconut oil was topically. This was because I read about how so many body lotions contain parabens and chemicals, and with my cancer history, I am being very purposeful about getting rid of as many toxins in this house and on my body as possible!
Its been all over the news that they are finding parabens in the breast cancer survivors breast tissue. My ears perked up with this because I have been in the beauty business for years as a cosmetologist, and parabans seem to be in EVERY beauty product. I have also met way too many young hairstylists that also battled breast cancer, and it has made us all say “hmm.”
Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, including underarm deodorants. Parabens are absorbed through intact skin and from the gastrointestinal tract and blood.
Measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors (Darbre, 2004). The particular parabens were found in relative concentrations that closely parallel their use in the synthesis of cosmetic products (Rastogi, 1995). Parabens have also been found in almost all urine samples examined from a demographically diverse sample of U.S. adults (Ye, 2006a).
Parabens are estrogen mimickers, with the potency of the agonistic response being related to the chemical structure (Darbre, 2008). They can bind to the cellular estrogen receptor (Routledge, 1998). They also increase the expression of many genes that are usually regulated by estradiol and cause human breast tumor cells (MCF-7 cells) to grow and proliferate in vitro (Byford, 2002; Pugazhendhi, 2007). Nevertheless, parabens as a class do not fully mimic estradiol in the changes in cellular gene expression nor are the effects of all parabens identical (Sadler, 2009).
“Parabens are estrogen mimickers.” This really made me pause, as my cancer and the majority of breast cancers are fed by hormones. I had symptoms of estrogen dominance for years and I often wonder if this contributed to my diagnosis.
As I have been trying to avoid parabens, I have been on a kick of making my own beauty products. There are some wonderful healthy organic body products out there, but they usually end up costing “an arm and a leg,” so have been quite motivated to make my own or to figure out a simple, inexpensive & healthy alternative.
I’ve also used coconut oil as my main cooking and baking oil for a couple of years now. The below recipe has been viewed over 632,238 times! It is one of the most popular recipes here at New Nostalgia, and for good reason. It is delicious. Funny how my most popular recipe was created by a mess up!
The above Oatmeal Whole Wheat Quick Bread is a great recipe to have on hand. It takes just minutes to throw together and it is good for you. I often make it when we are having pasta and I need a quick bread to dip in the sauce.
–I buy a large container on Amazon, I love the Nutiva brand. It is organic and wonderful. Trader Joes also started carrying coconut oil. Yay!
–Coconut oil is very unique. It is a solid up to I think 76 degrees, then becomes a liquid. So depending on the temperature of your house, you will either be scooping the oil if solid, or pouring it if liquid.
— For beauty purposes, I scoop some out and store in a small 8 oz mason jar. I love the Elite series glass jars. They have a nice wide mouth and are a cute shape. I also keep coconut oil in a small 4oz jar to throw into my gym bag.
I am new to Coconut Palm Sugar, and have quickly become a big fan. I use it in my coffee, on my oatmeal and have even tried it in a Wholegrain Blueberry Coffee Cake recipe (which came out fantastic, I will post the recipe soon).
I was first introduced to coconut palm sugar when I visited my friend Karen in California. She is a sister survivor that I met through this blog (read more of our story here). We are both now very dedicated to health, and seeking out ways to improve our nutrient intake. Karen wrote a bit about coconut palm sugar on her blog, I Choose Hope. She uses it in her Choose Hope Chai Latte.
This pretty bag of organic coconut palm sugar caught my eye recently at our local health food store. I have wanted to try coconut palm sugar, and I’m a sucker for pretty packaging! The price was much higher than what I wanted to pay, $6.99 for 16oz! Next time I will order from Amazon, it is $2 bucks cheaper!
Despite the crazy price, I have really enjoyed using coconut palm sugar. It DOES NOT have a coconut taste. It is sweet, with just a slight hint of caramel-ly flavor. It is “pure coconut flower blossom nectar.” It does wonders for my bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Delicious!
What sold me on this product was that it is a sweetener that also has nutrient benefits for the body. It is naturally nutrient-rich. You use it just as you would normally use sugar, it is a perfect 1:1 ratio. It is unrefined, vegan & gluten free.
Here are 6 reasons to replace sugar with coconut palm sugar:
1. Magnesium & Nitrogen Regulated blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Helps prevent and manage hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
2. Zinc Called the “nutrient of intelligence” and is necessary for mental development.
3. Low Glycemic* Slow absorption into the bloodstream, which means a happier and healthier body. No “sugar crash” like other sweeteners give you.
4. Potassium Electrolytes help with muscular strength, cramps, diabetes maintenance and brain function.
5. Calcium Builds strong bones, reduces high blood pressure and kidney stones, and aids in weight management.
6. Amino Acids Coconut sugar contains 16 vital amino acids, the building blocks for all life.
*These statements have not been approved by the FDA. Those with sugar related illness and disease should consult with a doctor before consuming any sweetener.
Amy Rathbun Bowman1. Clean out cupboards/freezer/refrig. Get rid of sugar, processed foods & junk. 2. Make a quick meal plan for the week with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas. 3. Be very purposeful at the grocery store. Be super purposeful about what you put in your cart. Get lots of plant food & all ingredients you need to make what you put on your menu list. Only get what you will eat in a week, keep it simple.
Amy Rathbun BowmanBaby steps. One week at a time. Food ideas for one week: Breakfast–oatmeal. Whole grain toast & fruit. Lunch–salads & soups. Dinner–chili with no meat; fajitas with beans instead of chicken. etc. Snacks–fruit, homemade healthy muffins/granola bars, raw veggies, smoothies.
Think I overwhelmed her with my crazy run-on sentences and gazillion suggestions? Yep, I did. She then sent a message with some more specific questions she had, and I have decided to tackle all of her questions, little by little, on this blog. I know she sent these messages without thinking that I would share them publicly. I left all our typos, casual language and misspellings to keep things ‘authentic.’ Tee hee. Questions for eating plant-based Okay a ton of questions but you don’t have to get to them all immediately… whenever. What can you use instead of milk for cooking- does almond and soy milk work the same? Which one tastes the best for adding to cereal? You can use almond milk and coconut milk for cooking. Plain almond milk is what we use. We use almond milk exclusively, I can’t have soy and I don’t trust soy anyway. You could also try rice milk or coconut milk. We like almond milk, especially on cereal. There was an adjustment period, my kids grumbled at first, but when it was the only thing in the house they gave in and ate it, now we are so used to it that none of us can stand the taste of cow milk. I think the kind that you can get in the cold milk section tastes the best. What do u use instead of butter, whipping cream, cheese etc. does any of it actually taste good? Lol I use soy free Earth Balance. It is a super popular butter substitute with vegans. It tastes good. If you use real butter at least make sure it is organic. There are vegan cheeses but I think they are nasty and made up of way too many ingredients…processed. If we eat cheese, it is organic. This makes it expensive so we eat very, very little cheese. Even on tacos or pizza I use about 1/4 of what we used to use, and I pick it off my finished piece completely. Lots of vegans soak cashews, then put them in a food processor which makes a creamy, cheesy like sauce. I have done this a couple times and liked it but want to experiment more. I don’t use whipping cream unless we are making a special occasion dessert and if so we use the real thing because it is so rare. I buy organic cream cheese for the girls and their whole wheat bagels, but I’ve noticed they only put a super thin layer on. I think they are losing their taste for this, which keeps happening with animal products. They just have slowly stopped wanting them. It is kinda crazy! Which oils to avoid? Is olive oil ok? Some, like Rip E in the below video don’t use oil at all. Happy Herbivore is another plant based eater that rarely uses oil…her recipes are great. I use small amounts of olive oil for marinades, pestos & homemade salad dressings. It has a low smoke point so it is ok to cook with as long as the heat is med or lower. I use coconut oil for high heat cooking/frying/sauteing. I also use coconut oil for baking. I believe coconut oil is very good for you…see this post for more on coconut oil. There are two types, one that tastes and smells like coconut and one that doesn’t. I often use applesauce in place of oil in baking recipes. Is soy good or bad? I feel like I’ve heard both. Most of the soy in the US is genetically modified and I don’t trust it. My Oncologist wants me to stay away from it because my caner was estrogen positive. They do eat soy in lots of Asian countries where cancer rates are low, but they mostly eat it fermented and as more of a condiment or seasoning, less as a main dish as many vegans in the US do. There is controversy with soy, but following my Oncologist orders makes it easy for me to just stay away from it. Plus, most vegan soy foods are highly processed…not whole foods. I’m not a fan of companies turning soy into something that is supposed to taste and feel like meat. Blech. So fake. Are any animal products better than others? Can I sneak some chicken in every once in awhile haha Sure you can. It does not have to be all or nothing. I call myself a “plant eater sometimes cheater” and I eat fish and eggs at times. I was willing to make meat for my family a couple times a week, but they have all lost their taste for meat for the most part. They can eat it if it is in something, like a casserole (which I don’t make anymore) but the texture of chicken and red meat is a bit off- putting to them now. I was surprised this happened. I now have 3 little bean- eating girls with vegetarian palates! Never thought I would see the day! It has just slowly happened. If you do eat meat, stay away from red meat as much as possible, and buy your chicken organic. It is more expensive but worth it. What are your go- to meals each week? Top 5 regulars maybe? ~Chili No Meat ~Tacos made with beans–I love the crockpot beans in this post, we’ve also made the homemade tortillas in the same post and they were AMAZING. ~Spaghetti, homemade tomato sauce, no meat. I use this recipe sometimes, too. ~Soups–we love French Lentil Soup & Vegan Creamy Broccoli soup. ~Breakfast for dinner–whole grain pancakes, organic eggs I will write a more detailed post about this.
Replacement snacks/desserts that are sweet but not loaded up with ickies? I will write a post about this, in the meantime, read this post titled, Healthy Snack Ideas For Kids
How do u know if something is processed? Like our whole wheat bread has like 27 ingredients but it is whole wheat and my homemade bread tastes like cardboard. Lol! Cardboard?! You need to try this recipe…we love it. I just made it tonight to go with our spaghetti dinner and my Teagan said “Mom this bread is the best!” It does get more dry by day 3 or 4, but then it makes the BEST toast. Here is a post I wrote about store bought bread. Look for no high fructose corn syrup, 3-4 grams of fiber per serving & make sure it says 100% whole wheat bread. My rule is try to eat food as close to whole as possible. This post on my Favorite Food Rules might be helpful, these simple suggestions really helped me in my journey of eating clean. Meal ideas for kids cuz Little Man only likes PB and J or chicken nuggets right now as a main course. Sometimes pizza or Mac n cheese but won’t even try anything else. He does good with fruits and veggies as a side. This is hard. Kids are picky, but eventually he would get hungry enough to eat something new. Keep trying new things more than once. If they get used to seeing it around, they are more likely to eat it. I wish I was more tough with my kids when they were little and didn’t give in so much to what they wanted instead of what they needed. Keep up the fruits and veggies, try making them the main dish. I will write more about this another time. Hopefully my readers will chime in on this one!
How to break pop addiction?! I’m seriously an addict! Ha! Is it the caffeine or the bubbly sweet that you love? If it is the bubbly sweet, then mixing juice with sparkling water is a good substitute. I love this Fresh Lime Soda & also this Lemonade Spritzer. If it is a caffeine thing, cut down slowly and replace with herbal teas. Even black coffee is better than pop. Diet has aspartame and regular has HFCS. Even the “healthy” pops have loads of sugar. The best way to break this is to know what it is that you are putting in your body, when I learned how sugar affects the body, it made me want it less. Read about lemon water and why it is good for you…drink it every morning for a week and I bet you will be hooked on water…you will start becoming very thirsty and nothing will quench that thirst but water.