Monday, July 27, 2009
Living Gluten-free – But What Should I Eat?
Those of us following a gluten-free diet can get very focused on what we cannot eat. We can’t eat gluten, obviously, and we exert a lot of time and energy identifying those hidden gluten sources that can make us feel ill. Sometimes we spend so much time being “gluten-meters” that we forget to focus on what we should eat.
When I was speaking to one of my children last week we were discussing the mental checklist that I go through each afternoon to make sure that I’m on track for getting all my necessary nutrients each day. If you wait until the evening to review, the day is basically done and it’s too late. So instead, I do it each afternoon while there’s still time to make needed corrections.
To make this easy I came up with six major points (all beginning with the letter “F”).
Follow the 6 Fs
1.Flush your system of toxins. Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of clean, pure water each day. A recent study showed that those who exercised a lot needed 3 to 4 more glasses and those exercising moderately needed 1 to 2 more. Ramp up to it by adding another glass each day until you get to the desired amount. Staying well hydrated will help to keep your weight down and it will flush toxins from your body – a strong key to good health.
2.Fresh – we could add to that: Organic, Unprocessed and Real – everything you eat should fall into this category. Organic unprocessed, fresh food has an incredibly higher amount of health promoting nutrients as compared with pesticide laden processed food. There is absolutely no comparison. Is organic more expensive? Somewhat, but remember to buy seasonal food and take advantage of your local farmer’s market. This will keep costs down. Plus, not buying all the processed foods such as soda, chips, candy, etc should help to save money in the long run.
3.Free – you want to eat food that’s free of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and heavy metals. Ideally it should be grass-fed, wild or farm-raised with a high quality diet. Our local fish market offers very high quality farm-raised fish that is fed krill, a small fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Most farm-raised fish is of a lower quality than wild so I encourage you to speak to your fish market and find out the difference and what they specifically offer.
4.Fiber - helps to keep bowel movements regular and stabilize blood sugar. Flax seeds, fruits, veggies when consumed in adequate quantities are usually sufficient to provide adequate fiber. But if not, adding a fiber powder (use mostly soluble fiber) is a good idea. It’s very important to have 1 to 2 easy, large bowel movements every day. If not, toxicity in the body increases, leading to health problems.
5.Fat – It’s important to consume good fat. Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish, eggs and flax seeds tend to be underconsumed by the average American. Omega-3 fatty acids can protect against stroke, obesity, osteoporosis, depression, they raise good cholesterol, lower triglycerides and are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is considered the trigger for most of the major diseases killing Americans such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil are good oils for cooking.
6.Flush (again, but different) – Otherwise known as that nice “glow” one gets after exercise. It’s important to exercise 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. Remember to combine stretching, strengthening and aerobics to get the most benefit from your exercise regime.
To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of The Gluten Effect