Going Gluten Free: personal story

I have been near gluten free for 3 years now. It has really helped in many areas of health, but I am still waiting for there to be randomized controlled, double blinded trials on its benefit to prove to skeptical colleagues of its benefit.

Books such as Grain Brain, Wheat Belly, Good Calories Bad Calories, point in the direction that carbs, especially gluten are not all that good for you.

My father, a cardiothoracic surgeon who trained with Debakey and Colley at the Texas Heart Institute surprised us all this Christmas with his radical diet of no more than 30 carbs per day. He has dropped 30 pounds and looks good.

The truth likely lies in some moderation, though it is true that most everyone I know, especially all the kids at the local schools around us, eat far too many carbs and refined sugar. They can not possibly understand the epidemic of blindness I see everyday in my office from the epidemic of diabetes and obesity unless they see it for themselves, unfortunately.

I did speak to someone at the USDA (a Harvard Grad & at the Harvard Global meeting) this week about school lunches, noting that the group that decided the pyramid’s focus on “whole grains” did not consult with eye surgeons or those who are on the front lines of the devastating effects of carb filled diets. Hopefully school lunches will improve soon.

So what to do?
For me, I have gone to a high vegetable, nut, lean meat diet. I am still not convinced that a heavy fat diet is a good idea. I do agree that for those that are overweight, it is better to get filled up with meats than with carbs, though.

I eat a great deal of nuts & seeds (ifsbulk.com or bulkfoods.com) especially pistachioos, pecans, sunflower seeds, or peanuts for breakfast in the morning with one piece of fruit (apple often) with a lot of water.

For lunch I have peanut butter with celery, nuts if in a rush. A big salad with seeds, nuts, balsamic vinegar (with a little extra virgin olive oil). Sometimes I’ll have green peas with cheese melted on top on a skillet.

For a snack in between or late night, I’ll have a cup of Almond Milk (a majorly acquired taste for some), sugar free chocolate, sugar free Vit D (amazon: though it does have sucralose :(, sugar free gum.

Dinner meal favorites are listed below.
1. Brussel sprouts (crispy in oven with some a little olive oil to coat)
2. Chicken with cabbage: basic recipe. Will post soon on personal blog.
3. Rice paper wraps: with all kinds of things (shrimp, mushrooms, peanuts, mint, cucumber, cabbage, bean sprounts, etc, etc).
4. Lasagna without the pasta (homemade pasta sauce with a lot of veggies, spinach (not precooked); many sauteed carrots).
5. Quinoa for the kids often.
6. Taco night once every 2 weeks, heavy on the lettuce, tomato with fried turkey meat for the filling.
7. Many, many salads: favorite by far is
Fresh greens with pistachios, pear, blue cheese with side balsamic vinegar/extra virgin olive oil, +/- sliced grapes.

Below is info from a friends on the issue of Coconut Oil: to use or not? That is the current question I am grappling with.

Tropical Traditions (http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/) is said (by Katrina) to be the best quality (purity and oil characteristics) and comes shipped by mail in glass jars.  For better or worse, it doesn’t have the “coconut smell” (that coconut cookies, like caramel delites and macroons have).

Personally I like the coconut smell, and so I found Tropical Traditions to be too bland (and unpleasant to eat plain

If you or your household don’t like CO, then Tropical Traditions might be best all around, especially if you catch it on sale (via their mailing list).  Right now their special is “50% off” on 1gallon pails ($59 / 128oz = $0.46 per oz, and 2 half gallon jars for $55.50 – $0.43 per oz, both of which are more than Nutiva from Amazon at $0.40 (below)
Nutiva is avaliable in a 2pk from Amazon Prime, and is the one I (Kevin) am most happy with because it *has* the coconut smell and is affordable to buy ($0.40) and easy to order.  It may also be stocked at your local Vitamin Shoppe.
And Radiant Life (which we rarely find ourselves buying) is said to be in between on quality but higher in price
Currently $0.55/oz
We don’t use CO for pan or skillet frying because I think it burns too easily (making the acrid smell that indicates that  aldehydes are likely being formed). In a thermostatically-controlled electric skillet, you can keep the temp below thesmoke point and fry pancakes, but in a frying pan it is just too hard (in my opinion) to limit the acrid smell.  The less refined (more virgin) the lower the smoke point (the easier it burns).
We prefer butter and bacon grease for pan frying.  Its easier to keep butter below its smoke point because of its water content (when it bubbles it is at 212 vs its smoke point of 250 or 300 and therefore ready and ideal for frying), and I’ve always found bacon to be more heat tolerant.
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