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Are You in a Celiac Menu Food Rut?

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Good day to you.  Many of us live fast-paced lives which causes us to put an important part of our lives, eating, on the back burner of priorities.  This causes a lot of us to purchase the same food items week-to-week and not exploit the many nutritional food choices out there.  For celiac disease survivors this can be especially problematic as nutrition is more important due to eating gluten prior to diagnosis causing malabsorption issues

So how do you raise the priority of creating nutritional meals with variety without compromising any other aspect of your life?  In my experience, I think you can accomplish this in many ways.  Initially, however, I feel you should outline a plan for yourself on paper by answering these questions:

  • How often do I want or need to go to the various food markets I shop at?
  • Do I shop for food items based upon sales advertisements?
  • Do I shop for food items based upon coupons I’ve collected?
  • How many specialized diets (i.e. gluten-free, non-dairy, vegetarian, etc.) am I shopping for?
  • Do I have specific food item cravings often?
  • How much time can I dedicate to cooking each meal?

There may be additional questions you may need to ask yourself depending on your personal and family  lifestyle.  Feel free to write those down with corresponding responses as well.

Now, what do you do with this information?  The information you gathered may be used in several ways.  I would start by setting up your grocery shopping to be the same day every week or however often you need to go to the markets.  Pick the day when your grocer has published new sales advertisements, for example.  By going the same day you are establishing a routine.  This routine will ultimately allow you to “schedule” yourself time to create the grocery lists of food items you need the day before.

Why do I mention scheduling time for yourself to create your grocery lists on the day before you do your food shopping?  So you can make a food plan, or create a menu, for the coming week or other time duration until the next grocery shopping day.  Remember the questions you answered above?  Based upon those responses, you can make outlines of what you’ll need to purchase on grocery shopping day.

Now here’s the bonus, positive part of creating a menu for yourself and your family.  This is the part where you can pull yourself out of your “menu food rut!”  Remember I recommended you “schedule” the day before grocery shopping to create your grocery lists?  Well, if you are creating a menu, then you can find new and interesting foods and recipes to try so you are not purchasing the same foods over and over!  If you are a celiac survivor, you can also take this time to confirm “new to you” food items needed are gluten-free.  When you have planned your menu, guess what?  You now have a stress-free grocery list with no forgotten items!

By creating menu plans and then grocery lists, you are guaranteeing yourself and your family variety, nutrition, and health. 

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free.

Peace be with you.

Cooking From Scratch with Nutrition and Health

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Good day to you.  If you follow this blog and my Twitter feed, you know me to be very conscious of health and nutrition when preparing meals.  As a celiac, I feel it is most important to eat as healthy as I can due to the damage already done to my digestive system.  With more nutrition packed into each meal, the more nutrients are absorbed and the healthier I am.

When I’m in my kitchen, I like to cook from scratch with recipes whenever possible.  This is helpful to me on a lot of levels.  Foremost, I am in control of what foods go into my dishes.  I’m also in control of the quality of those foods in regard to freshness.  Additionally, I’m able to control the amount of preservatives, sodium, and artificial dyes and flavors in my dishes.  When I cook from scratch, it enables me to have control over each ingredient in my dishes.  I like having this much control as I feel more confident I will not be “glutened” in my own kitchen.  Also, I’m not dependent on any manufacturer of pre-packaged food items in regard to the accuracy of their nutritional and allergen information.

As you probably know in your own lives, I don’t think its possible to cook from scratch every day for every meal.  Life is just not like that.  That said, I’ve seen tips from others whereas they spend the majority of one day cooking for the week ahead and freezing food items in serving size portions.  I’ve seen other tips whereas people will cook items for more than one dish – like chicken for stir-fry with vegetables one night and tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese the next.  Or, make a salad with fresh greens and vegetables as a side dish for dinner, a lunch the next day, and dinner the next night – cooking from scratch is still being achieved.

As I’ve stated in previous blog posts, I do not live in your household.   You may already have ideas or practices in place to maximize cooking from scratch in the amount of time you have in your kitchen.  If so, good for you!  If not, please reference the Internet and Twitter for good ideas to maximize nutrition and health while cooking from scratch.  Live well and be healthy.

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free – and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness for April.

Peace be with you.