Thursday, March 13, 2014

  Celiac disease and weight gain

I have been eating gluten free since 2003. This diagnosis came after I had had years of intestinal issues, starting from the time I was 10 years old, in 1986. 

 Eating gluten free has not been easy. First, I couldn't find gluten free flours that tasted good. Then, in 2008, I was introduced to the Domata Flour brand. This is a cup for cup substitution mixture. This brand also has xantham gum already added into the mixture, which helps to hold the flours together, as a replacement to gluten.

Over the years, I have experimented with several gluten free flour blends. Pamela's kitchen, Gluten free Mama, Betty Crocker Gluten free Biscuit mix, straight almond flour, and others.

In 2003, I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism. This condition is common in individuals with Celiac disease. Since Celiac is an autoimmune disease, other autoimmune issues tend to follow. 

Weight gain is prevalent in individuals with hypothyroidism.

 By the end of 2003, I had gone up to a size 10, despite taking my thyroid medicine every day, and intense exercise daily. 

Over the last 13 years, I have struggled to lose the weight, trying different "diets", such as:  calories counting, exercise plus calorie counting, exercise alone, decrease fat intake, and decrease sugar intake.

At the end of 2013, I began going to the gym every week. Then, at the beginning of 2014, I began to bake with almond flour. I also started to use natural sweeteners like agava nectar in place of white and brown sugar.

Despite these changes, I havent seen any weight loss. I have also been experiencing more frequent hypoglycemia episodes.

I now want to focus on what I recently discovered.

I found a new Doctor in town who focuses on a low carb "lifestyle modification" to help patients lose weight.  From what I have heard, there has been a high success rate for those who follow this modification. 

Due to my low blood sugar attacks, I did a glucose tolerance test last week. The results show that I probably have hyperinsulinemia.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinsulinemia

What is connection between celiac, gaining weight, and carbs?

Well, most gluten free flours are made with potato, rice and corn flours. These flours are very high in carbs.

Why do we see blood sugar problems and weight problems in people with celiac disease?

 Please read:

 

 "Insulin is released by the pancreas after you eat carbohydrates. This causes a rise in blood sugar. Insulin assures your cells receive some blood sugar necessary for life, and increases glycogen storage

 However, it also drives your body to use more carbohydrate, and less fat, as fuel. And, insulin converts almost half of your dietary carbohydrate to fat for storage. If you want to use more fats for energy, the insulin response must be moderated."

 http://www.mercola.com/article/carbohydrates/lower_your_grains.htm

 

So, in short:

Celiac people want their bread, cakes, biscuits, cookies, and pasta, like every one else. So, they eat pre-made gf products or they use gluten free baking mixes. 

Grains that are gluten free are also high in carbs. Hence, over time, people using gluten free grains tend to gain weight.

 

This week I started a lifestyle modifcation.  

This is very low carb diet, high fat (good fats, like olive oil and coconut oil), egss and cheese.

meat and veggies are allowed (no carrots , potaoes or tomatoes), sugar free jello, heavy whipping cream, pork rinds, and almonds.

20 carbs or less per day.

No milk, bread, fruit, pasta, candy, sugar, chocolate. 

 

I will be your guinea pig. If I follow this plan, I should not only reduce the vicious cycle causing hyperinsulinemia, but I should also lose this excess weight.

 

Wish me luck!

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Gluten free chocolate cake: Gluten Free Cooking, Gluten free deit and protein. Gluten Free diet and reduded sugar

Hello lovely Gluten Free people,

 Here is a gluten free cookbook that I was introduced to at Christmas by my Mom. The recipes use almond flour only and replace cane sugar with agave nectar for baked goods. It also uses grape seed oil to replace butter or olive oil. 

Agave Nectar is also a good alternative for indiviuals who have diabetes because it has a lower glycemic index.

I love this cookbook because it addresses some of the nutritional concerns that people with gluten intolerance, celiac, and lactose intolerant individuals have. 
Also, it helps those who are trying to eat a more healthy diet in general. 

Grape seed oil can be expensive, so you could also use coconut oil for the recipes in this cook.  Some people cant digest grape seed oil or coconut oil well, so the oil can always be modified in these recipes.


The chocolate cake below is a recipe from this book.
This cake is made with whipped cream, so it does have dairy on it, but this could be easily substituted with another GF, reduced sugar frosting. 

This year I have started to eat less cane sugar. Ive started using agave nectar in my baking and have been replacing unsalted butter with coconut oil.
Sometimes people with Celiac disease develop other health issues, like thyroid disease and weight gain due to eating grains that have higher amounts of carbs than wheat flour.

Almond flour has less carbs than corn, rice and potato flour. It is also a good alternative if you cant digest coconut flour very well. 

I have read recently that eating too much almond flour, over time, can cause some other health issues. Always consult a doctor or a nutritionist before starting a new diet.



















2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup agave nectar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Grease a 9-ince cake pan with grapeseed or coconut oil and dust with almond flour.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
In a medium bowl, combine, the agave nectar, eggs, and vanilla extract.                                        
Stir the wet mixture until thoroughly combined. batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour, then serve                                                                          .                                                                       

Elana Amsterdam's "The Gluten-Free Almond Flour cookbook." p. 84

Saturday, January 18, 2014

 

 Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

1 1/2 cups almond flour OR GF flour of your choice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut OR sweetened coconut
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 egg whites
1 cup agave nectar IF using unsweetened coconut. 1/2 cup agave nectar if using sweetened coconut


 

 

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, coconut, and cocoa powder. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks with a mixer. Blend in the agave nectar. 
Fold the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture.
Spoon the dough 1 tablespoon at a time onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between each macaroon.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes, then serve. 



 

 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gluten Free Ghiraradelli Chocolate cake with Whipped cream frosting and fresh Strawberries

Gluten Free Ghirardelli Chocolate Cake with Whipped cream frosting and fresh Strawberries


 I found a "featherlight chocolate cake" recipe from foodnetwork.com. I modified this recipe to make it gluten free for my sister's Birthday.

Recipe

from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gale-gand/featherlight-chocolate-cake-recipe/index.html

Ingredients -This will make enough for either two 8-inch round cake pans or one 9-inch cake pan and one 5-inch cake pan. I used a 9 inch and a 5 inch cake pan.

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), plus more for the pan
1 3/4 cups sugar  
3 eggs - since this is Gluten Free, you must use 3 eggs.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Cup Domata brand Gluten Free flour
1 cup Betty Crocker Gluten Free Biscuit Mix brand flour
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Premium baking cocoa-Sweet ground Chocolate and Cocoa. 
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups ice water

Instructions 

Arrange a rack in the upper 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a bundt pan, or different size round cake pans. Use a mixture of cocoa powder and gluten free flour to prevent white spots on the cake.



In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the sugar. One at a time, mix in the eggs, then the vanilla, occasionally scraping down the mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, sift together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture; then 1/3 of the ice water. Repeat, mixing after each addition. Transfer the batter to the pan and bake until springy and dry, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Let cool in the pan on a rack, then carefully turn the cake out

You can use dental floss to cut the layers of the cake in half


 

Whipped Cream frosting- This should be made about 30 minutes before serving the cake

1 half pint of heaving whipping cream chilled.
Put the whisk and the mixing bowl in the refrigerator or freezer for 15 minutes pirior to making the whipped cream
2 tablespoons of granduated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

*Put the heavy whipping cream in the chilled mixing bowl. Set the mixer on high setting
* Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time.
*Add the vanilla extract in.
*Whip the cream until soft peaks form. This will take about 3-4 minutes
* Put the whipped cream in the freezer for about 10 minutes

Cake Assembly

*Cake must be completely cooled before you begin assemply

 *Cut the layers, length wise, of the cake in half, using dental floss. You should have 4 thin layers of cake.
*Start with the larger layers and spread strawberry-lavender or strawberry jam on the layers and then put a SMALL amount of whipped cream on top of the jam of the cake layers. Then work with the smaller layers. Set the smaller layers on top of the larger cake layers.
*The whipped cream should be chilled enough so it doesn't melt when spreading in on the layers.
*Frost the cake with the remaining whipped cream
*Cut on strawberries, length wise and put them on top of the cake.
*Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving it.
*Cake should be put in the refrigerator immediately after you've finished frosting it.




Sunday, January 6, 2013

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap cookie crust


I decided to try to make a Vegan Pumpkin cheesecake for a community potluck where the members only eat Vegan or raw foods. I found a great recipe for one and then used my a GF Gingersnap crust recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line spring form pan tightly with foil. Wrap outside of pan tightly with foil (to create a watertight seal during baking), pressing wrinkles flat.

Put half a package of GF Gingersnap cookies, 4 Tbsp. melted butter , 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 cup brown sugar in Food Processor. Press crumbs into bottom of prepared pan. Freeze for 10 minutes.

Bake crust for about 10 minutes and let it cool.


Filling:
1 can pumpkin
4 containers Tofutti Cream Cheese-softened
1/4 cup white granulated sugar OR  pure maple syrup  (which is what I used)
Egg Replacer for 4 eggs (I use Ener-G Egg Replacer) or, alternatively, 3 large eggs
1 teaspoon. pure vanilla extract
 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom


Directions: Beat the Tofutti Cream Cheese in a mixer. Then add the sugar/maple syrup and egg replacer. Mix this up until it's fluffy. Then add the canned pumpkin. Mix this well and then add the rest of the ingredients.

Then pour the filling into the spring form pan that is already sealed with aluminum foil. Put the spring form pan onto a cookie sheet that has at least 1 inch sides. Put it in the oven and then add the water to the cookie sheet.

Bake Cheesecake at 350 degrees. Check the cheesecake every 30 minutes to add more water to the cookie sheet is necessary. Cheesecake should be done in 1.5 hours.

After Cheesecake was baked and had cooled, I topped it off with leftover GF Gingersnap cookie crumbs and coconut flakes.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

GF Vegan and Vegetarian Pot Pie

 
 Vegan and Veggie Pot Pie. Gluten Free Crust Option
 
                                                                                                                                                                                               Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil.
1-2 cups sliced yellow onions
1/2 cup gluten free flour
2 1/2 cups organic butternut squash soup
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons almond milk
3 medium potatoes red or white, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups asparagus tips OR a handful of Kale and Spinach
1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced carrots (4 carrots)
3 celery stocks chopped
2 green apples cut into cubes with skin on
1 sweet potato , peeled and cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (1/2 pound)
combination of parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, cloves and cinnamon.
salt and pepper


In a large frying pan, cook both the sweet potatoes and the regular potatoes in olive oil or coconut oil until they are slightly soft, about 15 minutes on medium heat.

Then, in a separate pan, Melt the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, 10 minutes. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, then Slowly add the Butternut squash soup, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the almond milk, then add in the carrots, kale, spinach or asparagus. Also add in the apples and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add in herbs. Use your own preferred amount of the herbs according to your own taste. You should be able to stab the veggies with a fork, this is how you'll know it's done.

For the pastry:

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour OR you can use Wheat Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon honey

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl or a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the coconut oil and mix quickly with your fingers OR a pastry cutter. If using a food processor, 10 pulses should be enough until each piece is coated with flour or until the dough looks like it is "meal". Add the ice water and honey ; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Put the Veggie Pot Pie filling in a glass pie plate. Put the crust on top.

Bake the Pot Pie for 30 minutes at 350 Degrees ..OR until a toothpick, inserted into the pie, can easily stab into veggies and pot pie liquid is boiling.
Always put a cookie sheet under pie plate so liquid doesn't get inside oven.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Resources

 Here is an awesome website for Shauna James Ahern and her husband, who is a chef.
 They have tons of GF recipes. She is a wife and a mother and she has Celiac Disease.


http://glutenfreegirl.com/


Here is a website for an amazing magazine..Living Without.
 If you are sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, etc this has tons of great recipes and ideas.
Thanks to my sister Emily who introduced me to this magazine.

http://www.livingwithout.com/