Getting enough Fibre when living  Wheat Free

Getting enough Fibre when living Wheat Free

Wheat is said to stay in the stomach for up to 3 days. Remember though cutting wheat out means you need to look for alternative sources of fibre in your diet. Fibre is essential for proper digestion and really helps for beating the bloat. The digestive system isn`t designed to consume large amounts of gluten. Therefore products containing wheat flour, such as bread and pasta can make people feel bloated and suffer from indigestion. 
 
A lot of ready-made breads and treats are high in sugar but low in fibre, so read the labels. Recommendations would be brown rice, beans and pulses such as lentils. A great way of getting fibre into your diet at the start of the day is to have porridge for breakfast. Fruit also contains dietary fibres, which can help with digestion; some suggestions are apples and pears. 
 
There are a lot of alternative flours that allow you to have the same treats as if you were eating wheat. If you are baking, try cornflour, maize, buckwheat or spelt if permitted. Oats are also a great alternative especially in sweet treats. Gluten-free flour, usually made from a mixture of alternative flours (rice flours etc) is specifically designed for those on a gluten-free diet and is generally a good substitute to plain flour or wheat flour in baking. These usually have fibre, so are worth using to get the right balance. 
 
Bread and carbs can often been seen as fattening starchy foods, but in reality they are a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients for our diet. As well as starch, these foods contain fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins. Believe it or not, starchy foods contain less than half the calories of fat, just watch out for the added fats used for cooking and serving (like oils, sauces, butter). This is what increases the calorie content. Wholegrain varieties of breads, crackers, rice etc are a better choice especially if you are trying to eat healthy and cut back on fats. The wholegrain varieties also digest better and help beat the boat that is often associated with these foods. 
 
Some tips for eating more fibre in a wheat-free diet: 
 Have more rice and wheat-free pasta and less sauce 
 Add beans and lentils to your casseroles, stews and curries 
 Try brown rice – makes a very tasty rice salad, and is filling 
 Add in seeds and nuts if you are making bread or sweet treats such as flapjacks. 
 Also great to add into cereals and yoghurts 
 Porridge is great for breakfast. Oats are a good source of soluble fibre. "Your health is in your 
hands!" 
 
Article submitted by Aoife Luykx 

www.wheatfreeliving.blogspot.com

 

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Cooking without wheat

Cooking without wheat

Making the decision to go wheat free…

When you’ve decided that you are going to live wheat-free for medical issues such as intolerance or sensitivities or for health reasons, it can be a complete minefield. Suddenly you are faced with, what am I going to eat? Although there is so much other food out there as opposed to wheat, you do get the sense of feeling a little lost and it can be very daunting. Read some recommended books as it gives you ideas, motivation and opens your mind. Here are my recommendations:

What to eat when you can’t eat anything

This book changed my life. It’s the complete allergy cookbook by Chupi & Luke Sweetman. As a result of their own food challenges, it made the Sweetmans rethink the way they ate. They teamed up with nutritionist Patricia Quinn, and created healthy, nutritious, fun dishes that make up this book. What to eat when you can’t eat anything is packed with innovative recipes and is perfect for everyone. Different levels of food sensitivities require different diets. This book does this too. It has different categories depending on how sensitive you are. Specific allergies and food intolerances are described, including wheat, sugar, yeast, dairy products, gluten and artificial additives. It also includes tips on what and how to buy ingredients. I’d really recommend buying this book if you are struggling with wheat/gluten free living and looking for new recipe ideas.

You are what you eat!

Gillian McKeith has been my saviour! Although she is not a practitioner, nutritionist or doctor, she talks a lot of sense. Colour on your plate, fruit and veg etc, plus Gillian is an advocate of no wheat. She believes that we don’t need it for our bodies. Her cookbooks have loads of alternatives and I’ve found it great for recipes and meal ideas, soups, salads, especially her delicious chickpea burgers. Check out her cookbook “You are what you eat cookbook” and website, some great health info and advice.

Submitted by Aoife Luykx guest contributor for What Can I Eat.

To source wheat free products and recipes go the Pantries of What Can I Eat and the Wheat Free Support Pages.

 

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The trials and tribulations of travelling and living wheat free!

The trials and tribulations of travelling and living wheat free!

Most people get excited when they book a holiday.

Looking forward to it can be the best part. Although I love travelling and visiting new places, there’s a part of me that worries!  I worry that there’ll be no food, imagine in this day and age when there is so much variety. Although living wheat free involves eating a lot of fruit and vegetables and this shouldn’t be a problem anywhere, but trust me, the language barrier has its own challenges!  I recall a trip to France when I lost a few pounds from lack of food!! We were in the tiniest town (it was unique and very pretty), where there was literally one bakery, one restaurant and the hotel where we stayed. I knew I’d have to avoid the pastry delights and freshly baked bread (we were in France after all!) but I was looking forward to the continental offerings for breakfast which usually is an array of delicious fresh fruit and yoghurts. Boy, I was mistaken! Breakfast consisted of a mini tea party. Seriously it was the most delightful sight I had ever seen, it looked like a children’s tea party, everything was mini – from mini croissants to pain au chocolates to mini muffins, and mini baguettes. It all looked divine, but there was nothing I could eat! Dilemma! With my basic French, I tried explaining that I couldn’t eat wheat and it would be great if I could have some fruit. The owner looked at me as if I was very odd and disappeared. Moments later she came back with a mini plate with the tiniest strawberries I have ever seen. There were about 8 on a mini plate. I think she might have picked them from the bush in the back yard! So, after eating them, I tried enquiring again.  She said she had no more fruit and she would see what else she could get me.  She came back with a mini pot of yoghurt. It did me for the morning, but obviously I felt embarrassed and I was still hungry!!  It was when I went to the local bakery that it was the most comical. I thought sure you never know, I am in France where they cook lots of types of fresh bread, they might make corn bread or some other wheat-free variety. Again in my basic French, I explained that I couldn’t eat wheat and asked if they had an alternative.  It was like declaring that I had made the biggest faux-pas ever. They looked at me like I had 10 heads! It was actually quite funny. Obviously I came away empty-handed and still hungry!! We stopped for lunch in a cafe. I daren’t ask about the bread, as I’m sure they had heard about me in the town, so I decided that plain food was the way to go. The safest option is always salad (without the sauce!). That evening, we went to an amazing wedding of a good friend. Although the company was great and we had good fun, my stomach suffered yet again. The starter was soup with gluten in it with freshly baked bread on the side. There was a great looking buffet, till I looked closer and there was pasta salads, couscous salads, bruschettas – I couldn’t believe it!! I managed to find some lettuce leaves and some plain meat. Needless to say, I was still hungry. The dessert looked fantastic; it was a French tradition – a montage of sweetened balls made of flour (wheat of course!). All I could do was laugh. So, that’s an example of living and learning. I was unprepared and this trip obviously changed my approach to travelling. I now always go prepared. I make sure I’ve nuts to snack on and always bring wheat-free crackers, whether they are oat-based or gluten-free made from rice or corn. You can never be too prepared. Don’t rely on the country you are travelling to understand you and to stock your regulars in their shops. Some countries are great like Germany and Belgium have health stores where you can find something, but others, especially France (!!) clearly don’t! Might I also add that this particular trip did not stop me travelling, it just made me more aware and I just bring lots of supplies with me now! So, my advice is to research where you are going to and if in doubt, don’t leave without.

Article submitted by Aoife Luykx, guest blogger for What Can I EatWheatfreeliving.blogspot.com

 

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Coping with eating out on a Wheat Free Diet

Coping with eating out on a Wheat Free Diet

When you are living wheat free, eating out can be a bit of a challenge.

It’s a matter of finding what suits you really. An obvious no-no is an Italian restaurant, as most of the menu is pizza and pasta, therefore wheat based. Some establishments however have started doing gluten-free pasta dishes and gluten-free pizza bases, which is great, but these are far and few between, especially in Ireland. Lunchtime is the hardest feat of all, as sandwiches dictate the menus, so it’s really just a matter of avoiding them. Salad is the safest option, just get the sauce on the side and ask what’s in it. If you are overly sensitive to gluten, you’ll find that sauces are toxic, and the smallest amount consumed can have a huge effect on your stomach causing bloating and pain.

Dinner out isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Many restaurants are seeing the demand for coeliac-friendly dishes, so are beginning to mark these on their menus, by simply putting a (c) beside the dishes or colour coding the options. This makes our night out and our dining decisions much easier, as there’s no need to ask what’s in the food and feel foolish. I’ve tried a range of restaurants serving different types of food; see www.wheatfreeliving.blogspot.com.  The best cuisine so far for choice and taste is Thai. There is the obvious option of rice, some dishes also have potatoes and some restaurants have rice noodles. The curry sauces that they serve are usually made with corn flour. If it doesn’t state it on the menu, just ask. The great thing about Thai is that you can get dishes that are solely made with herbs and spices with vegetables and meat if you opt for that. No need for thickeners or sauces, just pure flavour from herbs and spices, better for your waistline too. The other type of outlets I would recommend are brasseries, as normally there is a good choice available and usually a meat, potato and vegetable option, which without sauce can be the perfect healthy option when on a wheat-free diet.

So, all in all, eating out can still be enjoyable, once you’ve tried and tested. My advice is to make sure that you make the booking, then you have the choice!!

 

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Travelling and following a Wheat Free Diet

Travelling and following a Wheat Free Diet

Wheat free products you can source outside of Australia

If you are following a wheat free diet or any dietary restriction it can be a real challenge when you are required to start travelling.  A much greater challenge you would think leaving the country.  I have found an Irish lady who has a wonderful blog entited wheatfreeliving.blogspot.com.  If you are travelling to the UK in the future please go visit Aoife’s blog as she does some great product reviews on wheat free foods sourced in her region.  It is extremely important to be prepared when travelling with food allergies and intolerances.  I always travel with my packet of nuts or dried fruit just in case I am in a situation where I can not source suitable wheat free foods.  If you are always prepared you avoid the risk of being left with a belly ache before, during or after your holiday.  Been there done that, not so fun.

Check out some great  Wheat free food choices from our Snack Pantry today for some delicious solutions to have on hand when travelling.

 

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Eating wheat-free on a shoe string

Eating wheat-free on a shoe string

At times, it can be a real challenge to eat wheat free and to try to do that while being friendly to your wallet can be difficult. Although the health shops are packed full of wheat-free goodies and have such a great variety of different foods – grains, flours, pastas, crackers, it can put a fair dent in the wallet, so the key thing is to be sensible but yet get ingredients that can go a long way and can be versatile.

The main ingredients that can get you by, not cost a fortune, and you can get in both supermarkets, and health shops are wheat-free and gluten-free flours and pastas – those that taste good and mix well with sauces are brown rice pasta, spelt pasta and corn pasta.  

Flour is probably your best friend. You can use it to bake bread, quiches, pizza bases, etc. All you need to patience, time and a little imagination. Try experimenting with different flours like bean flours, amaranth, and spelt flour. A bag of flour will cost you half the price of a loaf of wheat-free bread, but  you’ll probably manage to make 2 loaves out of it. Use herbs and spices, they can really make a big difference and give loads of flavour. For example, add in mixed herbs into bread dough before baking, or add in dried fruit and cinnamon into dough before baking a fruit loaf. And if that all seems too daunting for you, some brands even do ready mixes where you just add in milk or water before baking.

The beauty of eating wheat-free is that is doesn’t all have to be carb based. You can make your own sauces too. Make in batches that’s how you really save money. You can then freeze in portions. Tinned tomatoes are cheap to buy but yet so tasty and versatile. You can make a simple tomato sauce with tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic and onion, salt and pepper and a spoon of sugar. You’ll have it made in 10 minutes. Use this with your pastas or add in mince to make a bolognaise or a lasagne. Homemade sauce is much kinder on your wallet and your health than buying jars.

So before you go shopping, plan your meals and write a list, it will really help. Happy shopping and baking!

Submitted By Aoife Luykx  – Wheatfree Living

W: www.wheatfreeliving.blogspot.com @wheatfreeliving

 

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