Changing Your Diet?

Melodee’s question:

Thanks for posting the sugar free recipes. I am finding it really difficult to find substitutes for what we used to eat. We are on a pretty restrictive diet now. No sugar, corn syrup, corn oil, corn meal, honey. No white anything. No potatoes, white rice, etc. I am finding that it is really hard to find recipes. Especially for a good bread. Do you have suggestions for where I might look for some?

My answer:

I also need to avoid most of the above foods, plus I go easy on brown rice, whole wheat flour and dairy products. Here’s an idea of what we’ve been eating this summer.

We like fresh fruit for breakfast with a dab of soy or Greek yogurt and sliced almonds on top. Delicious! When we can’t get fresh fruit, we substitute frozen blueberries or cherries. As you’ve probably discovered, sugar-free cereal is hard to find, even in the health sections of grocery stores. I don’t eat cereal, but my husband sometimes eats sugarless shredded wheat or oatmeal.

For lunch, he might eat a couple pieces of preservative-free lunch meat with a slice of cheese and a pickle (no bread) plus a boiled egg. I eat fish or avocados or rice cakes with almond butter and sugar-free applesauce on top. Occasionally, I have a green salad or supper leftovers.

Supper can be a challenge. I’ll try to remember what we’ve eaten recently. One night we had hamburgers sans buns plus a big salad. Another evening I tried a wild rice and cashew dish that included ingredients like chopped bell pepper and green onions—very good. Whole wheat tortillas work great for enchiladas. I’m not sure what we’re having for dinner tonight, but it’ll probably include green beans from the garden. Can’t wait!

Dessert is a rare treat at our house, something usually reserved for birthdays and holidays. But lately, after long walks on hot August evenings, I’ve been making smoothies from almond milk, bananas and whatever other fresh or frozen fruit we have on hand. Always yummy and refreshing!

Regarding breads and other flour products, lots of flour substitutes are available, but patience and experimentation are required to create a final product that pleases your family’s taste buds. A few options that come to mind are flours made from: potatoes, tapioca, rice, oats, buckwheat, almonds, millet, quinoa and flaxseed. Other alternatives are listed at http://www.the-gluten-free-chef.com/gluten-free-grains.html and http://www.wheat-free.org/wheat-free-flour.html. You should be able to find most of the above products in health food stores or in the health section of your grocery store.

Grains like spelt (an ancient variety of the wheat most commonly used today) and teff are gaining popularity in the US. Teff, a tiny seed big on nutrition—high in fiber, protein, minerals and carbohydrates, is said to have originated in Ethiopia. Individuals who suffer from gluten intolerance are finding teff to be a great wheat substitute.

Below are just a few of the websites that offer recipes and guidance for those on restricted diets. The Internet abounds with appealing recipes and meal ideas! If you have experience with alternative diets and suggestions for Melodee, including recipe books and websites, please leave a comment. We’ll all profit from your input. Thanks, Becky

http://www.wheat-free.org/wheat-free-flour.html

http://www.the-gluten-free-chef.com/gluten-free-grains.html

http://www.healthy-recipes-for-your-family.com/flour-substitutes.html

http://chetday.com/teff.html

http://whatscookingamerica.net/CharlotteBradley/Teff-Flour.htm

http://nutrition.about.com/od/grainsandcereals/p/spelt.htm

http://allrecipes.com/howto/using-alternative-flours/

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