I absolutely love controversial food issues. The thought of a full-blown argument over GMOs or pasteurized dairy makes me positively giddy with delight and determination. And the thing is, while there are a few subjects I’m very black and white about, I find that what’s most helpful to most people (myself included) is knowing facts on both sides of the argument so we can make our own decisions.
So from time to time, I’ll be providing you with my perspective on some hot food topics, along with the reasons about why I feel this way. I encourage you to think for yourself and form your own opinion. Remember, what we eat is often as much about belief and emotion as it is about facts, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Given that so many people are experiencing various forms of gluten intolerance, not to mention that any health benefits of whole wheat (like fiber) can be found in healthier, less problematic sources, I have adapted as many recipes as possible in the Unprepared Kitchen Meal Plans to be gluten-free.
However, I believe it’s more important to add in healthful foods than to start by subtracting “bad” ones. This is a basic tenet of the health coaching program I graduated from at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Therefore, I don’t think eliminating gluten is necessary for everyone, nor is it a measure of how healthy you are.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of IBS, if you feel constantly fatigued, if you are having nutrient-absorption issues, if you’re struggling to lose weight in your midsection, or if you’re experiencing autoimmune issues, you might consider a gluten-free diet. However, I always encourage people to first try a high-quality probiotic (such as Garden of Life brand) to see if these sorts of issues can be resolved more easily.
I am not entirely gluten-free—mainly because it can be a lot of work to make the switch, and I don’t currently have any chronic, debilitating health issues. And gluten-free wheat tortillas suck, as a general rule (if you know of an exception to this, holla!) So look at gluten from your own perspective. If you’re just starting to switch from white to whole-wheat flour, go for it! And if you want to start experimenting with gluten-free flour, that’s great, too! I’ve got some tasty recipes like Gluten-Free Lemon Goji Berry Scones and Gluten-Free Applesauce Biscuits.
If you are gluten-free and are interested in the Unprepared Kitchen Meal Plans, I’m working on a plan just for you! In the meantime, it’s very easy to use the meal plans as they are by substituting wheat products like bread with gluten-free alternatives. For recipes that use whole-wheat flour, I try to offer alternative ingredients or links to similar gluten-free recipes.
And if you’re Paleo, you’re a more disciplined person than I am, and I salute you! Bring me over some of those coconut-flour raw cacao cookies you just made. You won’t convert me, but I’ll eat them.