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Gluten Free Diets – Fad or Fact?

 

Gluten Free Diets – Fad or Fact?

Have you chosen a gluten free diet to lose weight or get healthy because you have heard that wheat or gluten is “bad for you?”  I am about to tell you how true these health claims really are.

Gluten free diets can be effective for weight loss and health, depending on three factors:

1. Whether or not you have a gluten intolerance, celiac’s disease, or a wheat allergy

Are you gluten intolerant, have an allergy, or suffer from a lifelong auto-immune condition known as Celiac’s Disease?  If so, you should absolutely follow a strictly gluten free diet upon diagnosis.  If you have not been tested and have suspicions of having a gluten problem, I encourage you to see a ND or MD to run blood tests. Food intolerances, allergies and celiac’s disease are NOT something to mess with, as gluten problems can lead to immunodeficiency, leaky gut, and even more auto-immune conditions over time.  You may want to know exactly what foods are safe to eat and stick to it 100% if you have these gluten problems.  For these conditions, it requires a lifestyle change moreso than a short-term “diet”.   Eating foods that your body can’t handle will lead to unwanted weight gain. For those who do not have a true gluten problem, you might be trying a gluten free diet for the wrong reasons and may put yourself through more trouble than its worth to restrict the popular gluten ingredients in the supermarket. Glutenous foods include wheat, barley, rye, and vital wheat gluten.

2.  What you are eating to replace gluten in your diet 

If you are replacing glutenous grains with processed grains instead of healthy whole grains, you are most likely on a fad diet and not making healthy choices for weight loss.  100% whole wheat has moderate protein from gluten and also is a high fiber food; processed grains are typically low protein and low fiber. Regardless of your reason for going gluten-free, you should try to eat healthy to get results. Take the time to study the ingredients that you find on the labels of foods or be careful what you put in your homemade meals to replace the gluten proteins in wheat, rye, or barley.  Many gluten free foods are also high in oils which are 100% calories from fat, and there are 9 calories per gram of fat. Other gluten-free products contain eggs, which are both very high in saturated fat and cholesterol, yet contains no fiber.  To be safe, I would avoid eggs on a gluten-free diet (another common allergen) and then check to see if there are less than 20% of calories from fat on the nutrition label.  Remember to question if a product is fad or fat? If you can follow these few tips, and eat more home cooked meals, you are likely going to see some weight loss results.

3.  The amount of sugar you are eating on gluten free diets

If you are overeating sugar, you are going to have trouble losing weight and might even gain weight on a gluten-free diet.  If you have gluten intolerance and also want to lose weight, then contact me for help because a lot of gluten free foods are jam-packed with added sugars and processed chemicals to make up for the lack of gluten.  This could bump up the amount of calories per gram of food, and you can easily overeat if your new diet is highly processed.  If going gluten free results in you making more homemade meals, you might experience the contrary and start to lose weight.

Need help learning about gluten-free diets or getting a written nutrition plan that’s right for you?  I write plans with both 100% whole wheat and gluten free options! Choose the foods that are right for you!

kelly-gibson-vegan-gluten-free-nutritionist-nutrition-coach-tempe-mesa-az-ahwatukee-scottsdale-phoenix-gilbert-arizona
Kelly Gibson, Vegan Gluten Free Nutrition Coach

My name is Kelly and I am intolerant to wheat and gluten.   I was sticking to gluten free diets mostly for 3 years, but cheating once in a while with a food that contained wheat or gluten really affected my weight goals.  Having a snack once a week containing gluten created auto-immunity inside of my body and prevented me from losing the weight that I worked so hard for the other 95% of the time.  After going fully gluten free, I have never felt better and even lost my last 7 pounds. I plan to be on a gluten free diet for the rest of my life and I do it for my health! If I didn’t have intolerance I would have no problem eating it, and I have no problem encouraging others to do the same. It is estimated that roughly 30% of people have a gluten problem; as for the other 70% they shouldn’t have to worry about cutting the gluten.

Written by Kelly Gibson on Jan 12, 2015. Edited Aug 5th 2016.

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The One Healthy Mac and Cheese You Have to Try!

 

HEALTHY Mac and Cheese

Want to enjoy the delicious flavor of mac and cheese without gaining weight???

Try my Homemade Gluten Free Vegan recipe for Healthy Mac and Cheese!
This recipe contains literally NO CHEESE, NO OIL, NO MARGARINE and NO BUTTER. Seriously, You have to try this!

gluten-free-vegan-mac-and-cheese-dairy-free-homemade-recipe
Gluten-Free Vegan Mac and Cheese (using Homemade Dairy-Free Cheese!)

 

Directions:

Step 1: Cook 8oz package of brown rice macaroni as directed on package.

Step 2: Mix the following ingredients in a small mixing bowl:
1 cup raw cashews, ground into a powder
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp dried basil
1tsp turmeric
1tsp paprika
2tsp ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Step 3: Strain the macaroni and rinse with cool water. Place into large mixing bowl.

Step 4: Add 1/4 cup original unsweetened coconut milk (make sure it is not vanilla flavored) + Add 1/4 cup of the dried powder mixture from step 2 and whip together with the pasta! Set aside extra powder to save for your next batch! Dig in and eat your Healthy Mac & Cheese!

gluten-free-vegan-mac-and-cheese-quinoa-spirals
Gluten Free Vegan Mac and Cheese Spirals using Quinoa Pasta

Want more delicious, HEALTHY, vegan & gluten free meal ideas? Contact Me about my 28-Day Vegan Challenges!

Written by Kelly Gibson on July 4, 2014

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Vegan Personal Trainer, Certified in Plant Based Nutrition at eCornell University

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The Most Spectacular Gluten Free Vegan Pizza!

 

How to Make a Spectacular Gluten Free Vegan Pizza

In this video, a gluten free vegan trainer who coaches clients online to eat gluten free vegan will walk you through how to make a gluten free vegan pizza with just the basics.  You don’t need any baking experience to be able to follow along and try the recipe that I am showing you. Although I am using alot of ingredients to make the dough, it’s quite a simple process actually. I encourage you to give it a try, you won’t regret it!  This is truly a spectacular gluten free vegan pizza with wonderful flavors. If you aren’t too keen on all the added effort of making the dough, feel free to just skip ahead to the sauce and toppings… anyone with a few minutes on their hands and an appetite can make this delicious pizza with ready-made-crust.  Enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • Preheated oven at 450F
  • food processor
  • spatula
  • measuring spoons & cups
  • one medium sized bowl
homemade-gluten-free-vegan-pizza-tomatoes-olives
Gluten Free Vegan Pizza, Topped with Tomatoes and Olives

Ingredients:

Gluten Free Pizza Dough:

  • Glutino Pizza Crust Mix
  • 1/6th cup olive oil
  • 2Tbsp ground flaxseed + 6TBSP water
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


Cashew Garlic Sauce
:

  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews
  • 1/2 TBSP fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup plain almond milk
  • 1Tbsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp basil

Toppings:

  • 1/2 can black olives
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 3 green onions

Instructions: Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is firm…. Now you have a Spectacular Gluten Free Vegan Pizza !

Video by Kelly Gibson | Gluten Free Vegan Trainer and Online Vegan Coach | on July 30, 2014

 

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PB&J Cannelini

 

PB&J Cannellini

Hate the taste of plain beans but need more protein? Try this delicious snack:

peanut-butter-and-jelly-beans-cannelini-pbj-pb-j
peanut butter and jelly beans

PB&J Beans

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 1 can Canellini beans (or equivalent dried beans, prepared)
  • 2 TBSP natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup organic strawberry jelly (look for jelly with no sugar added)

It’s this simple… heat up your beans and put in a mixing bowl, add PB&J and stir until evenly mixed together. Tastes amazing! Tip: This is a well-balanced snack for anyone, including kids!

  • Total Calories Per Serving of PB&J cannelini: 330
  • Protein: 16g
  • Fat: 8g (mostly unsaturated from PB)
  • Carbs: 42.5g

Want more delicious snack ideas like PB&J cannelini? Try our 7-Day Vegan Kickstart!!

Written by Kelly Gibson on November 1, 2014

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Gluten-Free Vegan Sugar Cookies

 

Gluten-Free Vegan Sugar Cookies

A cookie with no butter, oil, refined sugar or eggs?  That’s right!  Cut out the junk and still enjoy a delicious dessert! 100% Gluten-free vegan

These are an especially great treat for the holidays!

 

Gluten-Free Vegan Sugar Cookies:

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • ½ organic banana, mashed until smooth (makes about ¼ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons organic vanilla soy milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 325F. Combine banana, soy milk, and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.  Slowly add flour, baking soda + powder, and salt. Mix until smooth.  Scoop dough into one-inch balls, and place onto cookie sheet, and top with sprinkles. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, cool, and enjoy. Tip: if you don’t like banana, try applesauce instead.  Give it a try and let me know how you like your Gluten-Free Vegan Sugar Cookies!

Looking for more Recipes? Try one of my Vegan Recipe Plans or Contact Me for More Info:

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Written by Kelly Gibson | Gluten-Free Vegan Trainer | Vegan Nutrition Coach | Gluten Free Vegan Recipes | Gluten Free Vegan Cookies

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Can Eating Salad make me Fat?

 

Can Eating Salad make me Fat?

Is a salad with dressing really worse than a cheeseburger? A pound of lettuce is going to contribute about 20 calories so there is a negligent amount of macronutrients to worry about in that by itself. The real calories come from what you add to the salad. Let’s take a look to answer your question “Can Eating Salad make me Fat?”:

It almost seems silly to compare the two, since their macronutrient ratios are entirely different. However, in terms of calories you would need to add 6-7 tablespoons of Italian Dressing to make a plain salad as unhealhty as a cheeseburger.  That means almost a half of a cup of dressing!  I don’t know anyone who needs that much dressing. What a relief! So I guess we should keep adding dressing to our salads as long as we control our portions, right?

Wrong and let me tell you why. The first ingredient in majority of store-bought dressings is the most overused sweetener in America, and the worst part is? Everyone tells you to stop having it.  You may not know it, but you are defeating the purpose of a healthy salad when you add High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), with a hint of added flavors and preservatives. What about Fat-Free?  Don’t worry, food companies will sneak in some artificial sweeteners like sucralose or dextrins to make it taste better.

Unfortunately, toxins like these can make it very difficult to lose weight, even if you’re limiting your overall calorie intake.  I suggest you take a look in your refrigerator and read the ingredient label on your salad dressings (or ALL condiments for that matter). If it’s got HFCS, I recommend you chuck it or donate it to your local food drive.

Many of you may already be aware of this problem, and you probably stock up on organic dressings.  But there’s still a ton of sodium in those too. Hmm! What to do now?  I know I know… create your own salad dressing! It takes 2 minutes or less to whip up a healthier dressing to ensure you’re not putting toxic ingredients in your body. Sounds worth it to me. It’s important to add healthy proteins to your salad and cut down on the processed oils, so I tend to make nut or seed butter dressings like tahini, made from sesame seeds.

Try my mega easy 30-SECOND dressing recipe! It contains more protein than most store-bought dressings.

easy-lemon-tahini-dressing-recipe
Easy Lemon Tahini Dressing

Lemon tahini dressing:

1 TBSP Tahini

1TSP Lemon Juice

1TSP Water

Instructions: Whip together all of the ingredients in a small bowl for one serving. 3 ingredients in 30 seconds? You must think I’m joking!! Seriously I’m not, this is my go-to salad dressing and its as easy as 1 2 3! Give it a try and let me know how you like it! If you eat salad wtih this amazing protein dense dressing you wont be asking “Can Eating Salad make me Fat?” anymore.

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The Vitamin D Deficiency Problem

 

The Vitamin D Deficiency Problem

Video Transcript:  Do you take a multivitamin to ensure that you cover your bases? Or maybe your doctor already diagnosed you with a Vitamin D deficiency and put you on a high dose? 

You’re not alone. The Vitamin D Deficiency Problem affects up to 75% of the population in the U.S. There are 3 main reasons why it’s so common today – 1. the overuse of sunscreen, people treat the sun like it’s full of germs and they’re afraid to get sunlight for a few minutes they’ll catch cancer. It’s beneficial to use sunscreen for longer duration of sunlight, but it’s ok to use spf 8 on occasion to get more vit d. 2. the American lifestyle of having desk jobs, playing on our computers or smartphones all day and spending less time outdoors, and 3. Eating a diet high in processed foods or fast foods. Does this sound familiar? Well If you suffer from any of the following symptoms – keep watching:

  • Weight Gain or Inability to Lose Weight
  • Severe asthma
  • Depression or gloomy moods
  • Weak, Brittle Bones or Bone Pain
  • Cognitive issues or poor mental function
  • Skin rashes like Psoriasis or Dermatitis

If you suffer from any of these symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency the first thing I’d recommend is getting sunshine 15 minutes a day 3 times a week – minimum. An easy way to do this is to do a cardio warmup and stretch outside for your workout. Your body produces vitamin D through skin exposure to UV rays  – so you have to be in direct sunlight (not through a window or in the shade) to boost your D levels. Your improved vitamin D levels can help release norepinephrine and dopamine (similar to an anti-depressant), AND you’ll release endorphins from the exercise which also improves your mood. Win-win.   If you live in a climate where that’s just not possible, then try to get your vit D from whole food sources of fat such as nuts, seeds, and oils.  The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the average adult is 600IU (international units) or higher.

The benefits of having healthy levels of Vitamin D is:

  • Lower risk of getting type II diabetes
  • Weight Loss or lower body fat
  • Helps with the absorption of calcium into your bones which is why you’ll notice that calcium supplements also contain vitamin D

Before you start going overboard with getting rays of sun every day let me just warn you that there are some side effects from having an overdose of Vitamin D: Here’s what to watch out for:

  •  Increased risk of skin cancer or sunburn by getting too much sun
  • Obtaining more than 4000IU per day can be a health risk, increasing your blood calcium levels which can lead to kidney stones.
  • Foods fortified with Vit D  – typically means the natural source of Vit D has been stripped from the food in processing and they needed to reapply the vitamin to the food to make you think its healthy and compete for your business.

Remember – spend about 15 minutes a day 3 days a week to get sufficient vitamin D levels, avoid fortified foods, only supplement if you are allergic to the sun or suffer from a severe Vitamin D deficiency, and make sure you don’t overdo it. Too much of anything can be bad!

Want to learn more about where to get vitamins in food? Try Nutrition Coaching or Contact Me for More Info:

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Resources/Credit:

www.webmd.com

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/#h4

Video by Kelly Gibson on July 30, 2014

Vegan Nutrition Coach | Plant Based Nutrtition | Vegan Personal Trainer for Women

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Top 7 Reasons to Ditch Meat

 

Top 7 Reasons to Ditch Meat

Do you need meat to be healthy? Yes – you need meat on your bones to be healthy and to sustain life. However, no, you don’t need to EAT meat from animals to have meat on your own bones. You can obtain a heavy dose of protein and essential vitamins from meat, and you can even lose weight by restricting calories and eliminating processed foods while eating meat. What you need to ask yourself is, is it worth it to put your health at risk in order to keep eating meat? Despite what the Atkins or Paleo diet trends have been saying, there is plenty of evidence that has debunked Paleo myths about eating meat for good health.  Despite popular belief, meat does not convert to meat on your bones unless you are working out and strength training. Protein breaks down into amino acids before ever reaching your muscles.  Something to remember: Muscles are built in the gym, and FAT is built in the kitchen. Take a look at the top 7 reasons to ditch meat and just say NO to eating meat:

  1. Meat is high in cholesterol, and not the good kind. One steak (308g) constitutes 278mg of cholesterol.  High LDL cholesterol can cause increase blood pressure and cause atherosclerosis which leads to heart disease. The truth is, cholesterol is not an essential dietary nutrient because our bodies produce healthy levels of cholesterol without food. Has your doctor ever told you to raise their cholesterol? Doubtful, so don’t worry about it being too low.  Vegans average an overall cholesterol level of 133, while omnivores have levels of 200+.
  2. Meat is extremely high in saturated fats, which are different than plant fats (or oils) because animal fat becomes solid at room temperature. These types of fat can increase cholesterol in the blood and increase risk of stroke and heart disease.  Studies show that vegans are 33% less likely than omnivores to have a heart attack.
  3. Meat is very dense in calories, which makes it quite easy to overeat.  Typically it takes the brain 20 minutes to send signals to your body that indicate you are full and satiated.  If it takes 5 minutes to eat a 250 calorie beef dog or burger, you might be in trouble and have enough time to eat up to 4X as many calories as your body needs before you start to “feel” full. If this isn’t enough reason to ditch meat, keep reading.
  4. Meat contains minimal carbohydrates, and that’s a bummer because carbs fuel our brains!  Ever feel groggy or tired after a meaty meal?  You might need some healthy carbs.
  5. The amount of protein in meat is much higher than our bodies can handle in the longrun.  Extra protein builds up and causes kidney stones.  If left untreated then it can result in kidney failure. 
  6. Meat contains no fiber, which means you’ll probably get constipated if you don’t eat loads of fibrous vegetables or take psyllium husk supplements to help you digest.
  7. Meat grows bacteria, which can cause e. coli infections and awful digestive issues like diarrhea. Just say NO to meat.  Now that you know at least 7 reasons to ditch meat, will you?

 

“But it tastes so good!” and “I need my protein!”  Don’t worry, there are plenty of delicious plant-based proteins you can have instead.  In fact, most plant-based foods contain at least 8% of its calories from protein. Fruits have the lowest protein content between 5-8% usually, while green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds have up to 20% protein content.  There is a wide variety of plant based proteins. Take a look at the following high protein plant foods. I hope these are enough Reasons to Ditch Meat. 🙂

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Why Do I Have Sugar Cravings?

 

Why Do I Have Sugar Cravings?

Getting to the Bottom of This Common Craving

Find out if you have the hidden condition that causes sugar cravings and endless health problems. Get answers to your question “Why do I have sugar cravings?”

The health issue I am going to talk about today is the leading cause of sugar cravings.  Here is a list of symptoms that you may have this condition:

·         Nail fungus or athlete’s foot
·         Craving alcohol or sugar
·         Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, gas, leaky gut, or other digestive issues
·         Having an autoimmune disease
·         Having symptoms of ADHD/ADD
·         brain fog upon waking up
·         poor memory
·         irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression
·         sebborheic dermatitis, eczema,
·         vaginal or prostate infections; itching
·         severe skin allergies to fabrics, seasonal allergies
·         hormone imbalances
·         thrush

If any of those symptoms apply to you, then you might be suffering from Candida Yeast Overgrowth! Candida Albicans is a naturally occurring yeast in the human body for both men and women.  You may recognize this as a female problem, but yeast infections are only one of the many attributes of Candida Yeast Overgrowth.  It’s a good idea to try a candida elimination diet if you have symptoms. Here are some risk factors that can lead to this nasty condition:

·         being treated with antibiotics on multiple occasions, or long-term use of antibiotics
·         consuming dairy products or meats that were from animals treated with antibiotics
·         eating a high-sugar diet or highly processed carbohydrates
·         having a high stress lifestyle
·         taking oral contraceptives
·         binge drinking or regular alcohol consumption
·         being exposed to molds or chemicals
·         consuming toxic metals like Mercury, food chemicals like MSG, or tap water.

Dieting for Candida isn’t something that people typically talk about, and is not something that medical doctors typically will test for either.  It might be something for you to bring up to your doctor and ask for testing.  Before you follow through with testing, there is a questionnaire you can take to see how likely it is that you do in fact have Candida Albicans.

Most of the information you find online about candida elimination base their foods around meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and even supplements not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.  Unfortunately, vegans are given the least flexibility with Candida Elimination diets because we don’t eat animal products and most of us base our meals around starches or fruits, which can give yeast an environment to thrive. So, I’ve decided to put some time into sharing my experience with candida elimination on a plant-based diet.  I’ve broken the diet into a few phases.

First, kill off as much candida as possible within the first week on the diet.  The initial phase of this diet is a Candida Cleanse.  It includes meals based upon whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, legumes, and low-sugar fruit.  The first week can feel terrible, as there are Candida die-off symptoms (known as the Herxheimer reaction).  As miserable as it may feel in the beginning, the more symptoms you experience, the more likely you are actually making progress with eliminating candida.  Here is a list of Herxheimer Reaction symptoms:

·         Nausea or vomiting
·         Headache, fatigue, dizziness,
·         Swollen glands
·         Increased joint or muscle pain
·         Elevated heart rate (tachycardia)
·         irregular heart beats (heart palpitations)
·         sweating, fever, or chills
·         sinus infections
·         hypotension
·         anxiety

Surprisingly, a major sign of die-off is worsening symptoms of your typical candida overgrowth:

  • stronger sugar cravings
  • skin rashes or lesions
  • digestive issues
  • vaginal or prostate infections

It can be tricky to tell whether or not you are making progress or getting worse, because everyone has different symptoms.  The good news is, I can help!  Contact me for Nutrition Coaching or stay updated with my next blog which will include the candida elimination cleanse, recipes for fighting candida, and more information on how to combat Candida Albicans while maintaining a plant-based diet for optimal health.

Written by Kelly Gibson on 1/1/2015

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Don’t Psych Yourself Out

 

Don’t Psych Yourself Out

Tell yourself you can and you WILL! The number one reason for failure in a workout program is lack of motivation. This can mean a lot of things. Maybe you took an unscheduled day off, and feel like you have already failed. Perhaps your legs hurt on your last set of squats and you can’t put yourself through the pain anymore. Or, you tell yourself there are more important things to do with your time. Besides, it sure is easy to sit on the couch and eat popcorn all night, so where is the motivation to work out? It’s natural and easy to excuse yourself from exercising, but giving up is not going to bring results! Don’t psych yourself out of reaching your goals.

Wake. Run. Lift. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Build Healthy Exercise Habits.

The only workout you regret is the one you don’t do! Set your standards high and give yourself the benefit of the doubt to reach your dreams no matter how long it takes or how hard it will be. Stick to anything for long enough, and you will perfect your skill. If you try to make exercise easy, you are cheating yourself. No pain, no gain! Your body cannot produce change if it does not “feel” change. You need to be challenged in everything that you do, or you will frustrate yourself more and more that you are exercising and not seeing results. Forget about dieting and starving yourself. Focus on lifestyle changes that will get you to where you want to be without a chance of going back.

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