I have joined the gluten-free band wagon. Until recently, I thought eating gluten free was for hippies and health fanatics. Clearly not for me. For many years, I have been so very tired. Even after 8+ hours of sleep, I often felt like a nap was necessary to continue with the day. I was chronically fatigued. Then after Bradley was born, I started having migraines. The migraines were a game changer because its pretty hard to take care of two little ones when you are confined to bed.
A change was in order so I started doing some research. I found that gluten was pretty much the root of all evil when it came to my fatigue and migraines. The gluten had to go and it really has not been that difficult of a change to make. My daily diet used to look something like this:
Breakfast: 3-4 servings of Frosted Mini Wheats or Honey Nut Cherrios (I like cereal a lot).
Lunch: PBJ or Turkey Sandwich with Chips
Snack: Cheese-Its, Pretzels or Goldfish
Dinner: A Protein and a veggie or two
Its easy to see that sugary, processed carbs were the foundation of my pitiful diet. Its no wonder that I felt tired all the time! Now after a few simple changes my daily diet looks something like this:
Breakfast: 1-2 servings of Chex cereal or a gluten free blueberry waffle topped with peanut butter, granola and raisins.
Lunch: Turkey and spinach on a gluten free wrap with hummus, fruit and chips (I didn't say this diet was low fat:)
Snack: Banana or yogurt
Dinner: Protein with veggie sides
I have been eating gluten free for almost 6 weeks now and I feel so much better! After only a few days, my energy level was through the roof and I haven't had another migraine. I will preface that I have also cut out caffeine and a few other things to help alleviate the migraines. However, this new regiment does not mean that I won't occasionally have a splurge or two...like that piece of chocolate chip pound cake and macaroni that I had at Easter:) After all, its not like I have a serious allergy to gluten. But really, I haven't felt deprived in the least.
Recently, I got a craving for potato soup (which can be made gluten free!). My mom used to make this regularly growing up. When I called my mom to get her recipe, she didn't answer her phone so I started perusing the web for the perfect potato soup. I couldn't find what I was looking for so I just made a recipe up on the fly and it turned out surprisingly delicious. Brad and I ate the whole pot in one night! I'm sharing my accidental yumminess and I hope you like it as much and we did:)
Chunky Potato Soup
5 slices of Bacon
4-6 Baking Potatoes chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic finely diced
4-6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
2 cups of milk (I used 1%)
2 tablespoons of butter
6-8 oz. low fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup light sour cream
Salt & Pepper
Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and saute onion and garlic in drippings until onions are translucent then set aside (I like to give the onions a head start in cooking because I hate raw onion). In a dutch oven, boil potatoes in chicken stock until fork tender - about 8-10 minutes (you want the chicken stock to barely cover the top of the potatoes. increase or decrease the amount of chicken stock accordingly). Season the chicken stock and potatoes to taste with salt and pepper. Once potatoes are done add onion, garlic, milk and butter to the dutch oven. Reduce heat. Simmer on medium low heat for about 10 minutes. Add in cheese and sour cream and season again with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with chopped bacon, shredded cheddar and green onion.