No matter how much you eat, if your body is not absorbing the food that you give it, you are going to be hungry. Before I began my own personal gluten free journey, I really thought that there was something wrong with me. In fact, I spent years, and years trying to figure out what it was. I could not stop eating. I mean nothing satisfied me. I could eat 17 cookies, one half gallon of ice cream or a bag of pretzels, and I was still hungry. Furthermore, I had guilt, because even after I ate all that, I could barely keep my weight at 100 lbs. I bought every self-help book known to man in an attempt to suppress my appetite and eat like a normal human being. And as I ate these foods, one thing that did happen afterwards was the stomach aches. Really painful stomach aches. One time I went to the emergency room because I thought I had appendicitis. After reading Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s book The G Free Diet, I began to understand my eating behavior a little better. According to her book, your body has an internal checklist of all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs and if there is a deficiency, your body will send signals to keep on searching to fill those nutritional needs, often driving us to overeat. Due to the damage of the villi from years of eating a gluten-based diet, our small intestines have a difficult time absorbing even the most nutritional sound food. Not only does this leave us starving, it leaves us nutrient deficient. And our body, doing the only thing it can, signals us to eat more food. Luckily, the resolution to this problem is two-fold and helps both issues. Once you decide to subscribe to a gluten free diet, you will realize that the foods that you can eat are more nutrient rich and satisfying and over time, our villi will heal, allowing even better absorption of these key nutrients and hopefully restoring our health. Even if you are not celiac or believe you have an issue with gluten intolerances, it is still important to look at this aspect of your diet. As they say, “Not all calories are created equal.” Your body can benefit immensely from a 100 calorie banana or avocado vs. a 100 calorie slice of bread or cookie. So even if you do not follow a gluten free diet, it might be a good idea to re-evaluate your food choices each day so you get the most ‘bang for your buck.’ In addition, it is especially important for those that do follow a gluten free diet to monitor their nutrients as well. Since most of the pastas, breads and other baked goods are not fortified with vitamins and minerals, we need to look for other food sources in our diet for these vital nutrients. In general, I would take this opportunity, if you do feel sluggish, lethargic or always tired, to look at the foods you eat and maybe switch to some whole foods, foods from nature, fruits, vegetables, rice and potatoes, organic meats if you are not vegetarian. You will feel better and be more efficient and productive. And that will make it all worthwhile.
Avocados are a great example of a food that provides a ‘bang for you buck.’ Besides providing mono-saturated fats, which are often considered ‘good fat’ it also provides 20 essential vitamins, including Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Vitamin E and Potassium. Avocado season peaks during the month of March. You can use them in salads, on sandwiches and burgers, or use them to make a guacamole to serve with chips or other authentic dishes.
2 Avocados, ripe and pealed
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp pepper
2 T red salsa
1 tsp lemon juice
Blend well with a fork.
Enjoy with chips or on the side of Mexican dishes.