Recently my food habits were thrown a curve ball. I’ve been working with my acupuncturist on some problems I’ve been experiencing like fatigue, body pain, bloat, inflammation, sinus problems, and so much more. She asked me to go gluten free and dairy free… UM WHAT?!?!? I seriously heard that and wondered what the heck I was going to be able to eat! My husband Joe, suggested we plant a carrot garden so I wouldn’t starve to death, Ha ha. I’m about a month in and as it turns out there are LOTS of options, including foods I was already eating but I won’t lie that it’s taken a lot of effort, planning, and learning and still will for quite a while.
My biggest challenges so far have been:
- Food outside the home… it seems that gluten free often has dairy and dairy free often has gluten and if it doesn’t have either, you’re getting a gluten free bun and an egg. For those of you who don’t eat eggs either, you’re just getting a bun!
- Knowing what to keep at home… before I knew a few staples to always have around and now I’m at a loss! I’ll get there but currently I have an expensive grocery bill playing around with options.
- Changing over my kids food… I often snack on their foods, although a bad habit, I just hate waste. I’ve been switching over a lot of what they eat so that I can.
- Quick food at home… the same thing at the grocery store as restaurants is happening. My favorite frozen vegetable blends often have one of the three things I don’t eat; meat, gluten, or dairy! I love cooking but it’s nice to have quick and easy options available but it looks like I’ll be prepping a lot more now for busy nights at home.
- PINTERESTING HAS GOTTEN HARDER! Pinterest is my best friend in finding recipes. I love typing in vegetarian easy dinners and seeing all the options that come up! Now I think I just confuse the app when I type in too much – Dairy Free (it pulls up vegan but that takes away recipes with eggs), Gluten Free, Meat Free Easy Dinners is a lot to type in. Often I end up with Vegan Gluten free options that are not so easy, take a ton of prep or expertise, and they don’t always focus on protein packed options but I can’t type that into the whole mess lol
I will admit, I feel a lot better. I don’t feel sick after I eat, my digestion seems to be getting better, my pains in the morning are no where near what they were and so much more. I don’t see myself going away from this way of eating for the foreseeable future. As I move through this journey, I want to share recipes and finds so that I can go back and make them myself AND so that other people in my same place might be able to find options here too!
Before I move on to a new recipe, lets talk about this Pinteresting problem… What do I type in? MAYBE we can come up with our own name?!?!? When I’m searching, I want protein focused meals that are easy-ish and quick to make (usually this is what I want, sometimes I like to make something a little more complicated), dairy free, gluten free, meat free AND whole foods. I’m not usually in the market to try and make fake cheese or use it, this is where I run into problems with pizza night. It’s either gluten free, dairy free with fake cheese or nothing. LOL There’s A LOT to type in and I don’t know that I’m going to be coining any new terms as much as that would be awesome. A friend of mine suggested using whole 30 and tagging the word vegan with it. This has gotten me farther than anything else so far so I guess this will have to do for now. In the mean time, I’ll work on filling my pinterest feed with so many recipes like the above explained that they HAVE to come up with a name for it!
So let’s get started on this new lifestyle share. The good news is, these recipes should all fit what my father in law needs on his new heart healthy diet so I can share them with him too. It’s a win win for everyone. I think for the new year since people are often focused on fresh new starts, I’ll share an easy salad! This salad uses lots of pre sliced vegetables that make it super quick and easy to throw together. It’s packed with nutrients and protein so it’s good for lunch or dinner. A fresh and healthy salad to begin what he hope is a fresh and healthy new year! Enjoy!
I tried our Estate 8 Sauvignon Blanc with this salad, it pairs so nicely with the garlic and lemon. It also cut some of the Papaya and Guava notes in the wine and made it seem lighter by highlighting the citrus notes. It’s currently not in stock so until a new year is released, try this limited edition Sauvignon Blanc that gives back to the same great cause. They’re both a great option for a pairing and every bottle helps deliver healthcare services to families in need throughout Napa Valley. If you don’t have a bottle on hand, try Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. That is one of my favorite easy grabs from the liquor store if I don’t have one of our own on hand. Light and bright, easy to drink. Perfect for the summer but is still beautiful in the winter. Sauvignon Blanc really pairs well with the idea of a new year and fresh beginning because it is so light and refreshing. Cheers!
Luckily I had one glass left to pair with this mid afternoon blogging session... <3
Mediterranean Throw Together Salad
- 2 Spoons Roasted Red Peppers Mezzetta jarred in the salad dressing aisle typically
- 2 Spoons Sliced Pepperoncini Peppers Mezzetta jarred in the salad dressing aisle typically
- 2 Spoons Sliced Kalamata Olives Mezzetta jarred in the salad dressing aisle typically
- 2 Spoons Canned Chickpeas Or more, it's up to you
- 4-6 Sliced canned quartered artichokes
- 2 Hard boiled eggs sliced
- 1/4 Diced medium onion Or less, it's up to you
- 8-10 Halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 5 oz Container mixed greens
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Olive Oil or plain your choice
- 1 – 2 Squeezes Lemon juice
- 1 Teaspoon Minced garlic
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Mix dressing and salad ingredients seperate and pour dressing over to taste. I like to mix everything but the dressing and greens in a container so I can prep ahead and have more salads for the week without the lettuce loosing it's crisp.
- A little goes a long way with the dressing. You can also use your favorite lite balsamic, italian dressing, or more instead of making your own dressing if you prefer.
- If you like something crunchy – I added crushed GF, DF crackers or you could do toasted slivered almonds, roasted chickpeas to substitute the fresh ones could be fun too. Just play with it.