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A Colorful ,Healthy Fall Dinner (that’s also gluten-free)

This week many of our BbG Exercisers are going gluten-free to detoxify and to see if they feel any different. Lots of folks don’t have a choice when it comes to eating wheat and wheat products; most people who have some level of gluten intolerance experience all kinds of adverse reactions including weight loss or weight gain, gastro-intestinal problems, aching joints, depression, eczema, exhaustion, irritability and behavioural changes.

Maybe you’ve noticed some changes these past weeks when you eliminated sugar and dairy. It’s always a good idea  to pay close attention to how our food effects our mood and how we feel. One BbGer wrote in to say that since giving up sugar she has a lot more energy!  How do you feel?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

Most of us have gotten very used to eating wheat because it’s in practically everything. New studies have shown that today’s wheat (and the  gluten which is the protein found in wheat) bears little resemblance to the grain by the same name that our ancestors ate. Apparently we’re unable to digest this new genetically modified stuff and it might be making us overweight and sick.

One of our challenges then in avoiding wheat is to come up with other foods to eat! If we can’t eat pasta, crackers, bread, bagels and pizza what the heck are we supposed to eat? One group of foods you should not eat is the relatively new “gluten-free” snacks and foods. In place of gluten, manufacturers have used  ingredients that actually raise your blood sugar higher and faster than wheat (i.e. they have a higher glycemic index): cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch and tapioca starch. Foods with a very high glycemic index cause high blood sugar, higher insulin, more visceral fat deposits….and a bigger belly!

Our goal is to stick to whole foods that do not come in bags or boxes and are not made in a factory.  Eat lots of vegetables, some fruit, lean animal proteins, some nuts and seeds and small quantities of whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.

Here’s what we had for dinner last night. Originally I made the turkey burgers with bread crumbs but since we’re going wheat free this time I substituted chia seeds for the bread and the end result was very tasty! Hope you like them.

First I made the sweet potato fries. OK, I admit to being slightly obsessed with my vegetable spiraler but it makes food so much more fun to eat! You can also just chop up the sweet potato  and saute with a little olive or coconut oil in a large pan until soft.  Add a teaspoon each of cumin, cinnamon and sea salt.

To make the turkey burgers:

Combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:

1 pound lean ground turkey ( highest quality you can afford)

1 cup minced sweet onions

1 cup diced mushrooms

1/2 cup diced sweet red bell pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 -1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons chia seeds

about 4-5 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

Use a fork or your hands (usually what I use) to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.

Form into patties. Heat small amount olive or coconut oil( just enough to lightly coat bottom of pan to avoid sticking) in large skillet over medium heat. Cook burgers about 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Serve with dijon mustard if desired.

I know this picture isn’t all that appetizing but I wanted to give you an idea of what my burgers looked like! Vegetables are prettier anyway.  See the salad below…

While the burgers are cooking I put together my favorite salad

Combine these ingredients for a delicious, sweet salad:

Leafy greens (I use the pre-mixed kind from Whole Foods)

Cherry tomatoes,halved

organic red grapes, halved

3-4 really thin slices of red onion

1/2  avocado, sliced

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Drizzle with home-made balsamic vinaigrette.

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder in a pinch)

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.

What are you having for dinner?

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