Going Gluten-Free

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When people ask me how they can lose weight, I always respond with the same answer. “Stop eating bread for two weeks and you’ll see and feel the difference.”

The problem with bread, or wheat grains for that matter, is the gluten in it. I’m sure you’ve heard all about people going gluten-free and how it’s probably just a fad, but in reality it’s not.

So what is gluten?

Gluten is basically the wheat’s endosperm. Gluten is what gives the elasticity in grain based dough and once baked; it gives bread its chewy texture. Gluten is composed of two types of proteins, gliadin and glutenin.

The reality is that most people don’t have the necessary stomach enzymes to break down gluten, and this even more evident with all of the genetic engineering done to wheat/grains in the last few decades. Even if you don’t feel sick right away after eating gluten-filled foods, you may still be damaging your body.

Gluten has been linked to Celiac disease, brain inflammation, autism, autoimmune thyroid disease and osteoarthritis, depression, headaches/migraines, among many more. Here is a great tool to help you figure out if you may be gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

For me, I know for a fact that I have sensitivity toward gluten. It severely affects my mood (Jekyll and Hyde kind of deal), my digestion immediately goes kaput, my joints ache the next day (especially my hands), and I get puffy all over.

So if you’re up for the challenge, try eliminating gluten from your diet. If you decide to go gluten free, make sure you are feeding your body appropriately. Eat whole foods such as: eggs, meats, veggies, fruits, probiotic rich foods (sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, and kefir) nuts and seeds for better body composition. You’ll notice those love-handles and that back-fat disappear all while your mood stabilizes.

But, before you rush out to buy ‘gluten-free’ labeled items at the grocery store, I do feel obligated to warn you about them. If it’s a processed food, even if it’s gluten free, it’s not that good for you. Often processed gluten free treats are filled with sugar and starchy flour substitutes to make up for the lack of gluten that makes it all stick together. Many people are allergic to corn, and guess what; most of the flour substitute in gluten free foods is CORN. So take the time to read food labels carefully.

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Pea Protein Pasta

The Pea Pasta Story-

Once upon a time, in the land of, Lake Oswego, lived a young and highly, highly attractive, woman, names Mirla. For you see, little Mirla was cursed with the worst spell of all, she was PASTA-intolerant! Tun, tun tuunnnnn!

The poor Mirla, would get sick to her tummy when she ate these tempting noodles or raviolis or angel hair or linguini or fettuccine whatever they cleverly disguised themselves as. She suffered as she watched her sexy Italian boyfriend make and cook pasta and eat every single morsel of it without shame. That is until; Mirla came across a very interesting protein blog (this one and this one) that featured pea protein powder as pasta. She early jumped onto her favorite protein online store (TrueNutrition.com) and ordered her very own pea protein (non-gmo, duh). Once the protein arrived, she quickly whipped up the recipe she had once had given her hope. To her surprise…making PASTA is hard work, just kidding, it’s time consuming, yes, but very simple to make.

She carefully measured out the powder, grabbed two organic eggs and her organic olive oil. She mixed them all together, meading it for 3 minutes until she formed a small ball of dough. She quickly wrapped it up in that Cling Wrap, the one that clings to itself and hardly to anything else, for about 30 minutes. After that Mirla grabbed her old wooden board and lightly sprinkled some pea protein powder onto it and with rolling pin in hand she rolled out the dough into a thin layer of goodness.  Once rolled out thinly, she started to cut out little squares using a ravioli cutter. She then carefully placed the cutout pasta onto paper towels to dry out. She then let it sit there for a good hour to dry up and be ready for some cooking. Mirla then filled up a large pot with salted water and patiently stared at it until it started to boil.  Once the water was hot hot hot, she carefully dropped each pasta piece into the pot. She let it cook for about 20 minutes. Weary, her boyfriend, Jeremy, asked, “Are you sure it says to cook for 20 minutes?” Mirla doubted herself and thought, “Could it be?” For the answer was yes, 20 minutes, is what it took to get that pasta looking material ready for consumption.

In the meantime, after seeing all of her hard work, Mirla’s hot, sexy Italian boyfriend (love you Jeremy 😉 started to make a cream sauce to go with her faux-pasta. He chopped up some chantrelles (for Mirla’s love for mushrooms goes beyond words), shallots, red onion, and salami and threw it in with some hot olive oil. He then quickly dropped an egg yolk onto the pan and sprinkled some good parmesan (not the Kraft kind..eww! But real parm) and stirred it until a creamy white sauce formed. It was MAGICAL.

By that time, Mirla’s pea protein pasta was cooked to perfection. “Sure it was a bit rubbery than traditional pasta,” she thought. She then asked herself, “does traditional pasta give you so much protein in one sitting?…and with extremely low carbs?” Naa! Once the chanterelle sauce was mixed with the pasta, well what do you know, Mirla was in heaven. She ate the whole plate of pea pasta with cream sauce and lived happily ever after. The End.

To make your very own happily ever after all you need is:

75g Pea Protein Isolate

2 large eggs

5ml Olive Oil

Approximate Nutritional Value of the Pea Protein Pasta:

Calories 496kcal

Fat 22g

Carbs 4g

Protein 67g

Sugars 2g

Hope you enjoyed my lame storytelling! 🙂 I would, however, like to give credit to the wonderful protein blog and FB page that featured this recipe. This goes to show that food substitutions are endless!

I have to say that I don’t recommend eating such high quantity of protein in one sitting. Keep it at around 1.5-2g/km of body weight. That means that I need a slap on the wrist for have eaten what would have been two portions for me (I’m at 30-33g of protein/serving). Since the pasta is so high in protein make sure to add veggies to it as the ‘meat’ of the meal. Mushrooms are great for that, they are meaty and tasty. But if mushrooms are not your thing, try zucchini or eggplant. If fat loss is your goal, skip the cream sauce and opt for an organic, low sugar, tomato sauce. Either way, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your protein pasta!