That Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Life
Long time, no snacks. Well that's about to change because my diet has shifted slightly, and I'm totally reinvigorated when it comes to food and, more importantly, snacking.
Before I explain the shift, I want to state clearly that I am extremely anti-diet. I don't think any types of restrictions are helpful for anyone with a history of an ED or who has struggled with body acceptance. I'm thankful my days of counting everything I eat and letting that impact how I feel about myself are far behind me. One of the many upsides of no longer associating those two things is that it opens up your whole food world. Nothing is "bad" or off limits.
Conversely, when you are truly eating a wide variety of foods and suffering from some digestion issues and inflammation, it can be hard to pin-point exactly what you're ingesting that your body doesn't like. THUS, here I am living that gluten-free, dairy-free life...temporarily.
I feel like food trends are so all or nothing, and there's such an emphasis on diets being a "lifestyle" that it can feel like if you're going to try something, you have to commit to it forever. The alterations I'm making right now are solely so I can eliminate for a few weeks and then reintroduce foods to see what's affecting me most.
I won't get into the digestive issues I've had, but I will add that I've been having recurring swelling in my neck and my ENT told me to pay very close attention to everything I'm eating just in case the swelling is an allergic reaction. With that said, I'm eliminating most gluten and dairy for the next few weeks. To be honest, this isn't a huge change for me EXCEPT FOR not being able to have my beloved cheese boards and baguettes.
I'm not counting macros, I'm not eliminating sugar, I'm not trying to lose weight, I'm simply trying to figure out what the hell is going on in my body. As always, I want to make what I eat as delicious and snackable as possible, so it's been fun to try new recipes and scour Erewhon for new snacks.
Here is what my meals and snacks have looked like the past couple days.
Over the weekend, my nieces had an enormously amazing banana split at their favorite ice cream shop and I saw a picture of it on the gram. They are 100% the inspiration behind this breakfast! I split the banana and added two scoops of Living Cultures Superfood Bourbon Vanilla Coconut Yogurt (it is absolutely the best vegan and coconut yogurt I've ever had), a sprinkle of hemp seeds, a few spoons of Erewhon vegan granola, goji berries and a dollop of Beardy Boys Pecan Spice nut butter. Not to be dramatic, but if a nut butter can change your life, this Pecan Spice butter is the one to do so. I've been eating this for breakfast all week.
Eating with a few limitations is actually extremely easy if you live in Los Angeles, largely thanks to Erewhon. Their vegan, gluten-free bread is some of the best bread I've had in a long time. It's soft, doesn't crumble like so many GF breads do and has a seedy, nutty flavor that plays well with sweet or savory. I've been having it as avocado toast and then eating greens on the side. I had the cucumber slices with Rabbit Hole Foods Vegan Artichoke Dip (I don't even like artichoke dip, but I LOVE this dip) and topped the chopped romaine with Follow Your Heart Vegan Ranch dressing. My friend Stefanie brought over this dressing as a dip for crudite on Super Bowl Sunday and I have been addicted ever since. Even typing the word "ranch" makes me cringe, but loving ranch really cannot be helped.
Two snacks I've fallen in love with: Pipcorn and these Bites of Luv cookies. Pipcorn is teeny tiny popcorn that's gentler on your teeth (and in my personal opinion, therefore digestive system). The truffle flavor is subtle enough to eat it by the handful and not get tired of it. The Bites of Luv cookies are my favorite "healthy" cookie. They're soft with a nice crumble and taste a little dough-like, which is a plus for me.
I'm not exaggerating when I call myself a snackface. I literally snack all day and have snack foods with everything, including dinner, as evidenced with the Siete Lime chips.
One of my favorite dinners is just throwing a bunch of things on top of rice and calling it a meal. On Monday I had basmati rice with Better Bean Co's Chipotle Red Beans, romaine, avocado and The Honest Stand Spicy Nacho dip drizzled on top. If you try one new product from this post, please, please, please let it be The Honest Stand Nacho dip. I've tried three flavors so far and they are ALL amazing and taste just like the real thing.
On Tuesday, I attempted to make pho for my first time ever. I used this recipe as the base and made a couple mistakes. First of all, my broth boiled the whole time instead of simmer (I forgot to turn the temp down), and secondly, I used pad Thai noodles instead of pho noodles. So my broth was more like a bisque and the noodles clumped together, but still, I'm not mad at this first try!
After dinner is always more snacking (dark chocolate, yogurt with peanut butter, a bowl of shredded chicken true story and so on), but that's what I've snapped so far!
I'd love to know: what are your new snack recommendations or gluten-free, dairy-free recipes and meals you like?
I'll keep you posted on new finds and how the next few weeks go!
Ciao for now,